11-9-18 Brookhaven Reporter

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NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 • VOL. 10 — NO. 23


Brookhaven Reporter





► Flight attendant recalls Vietnam R&R service PAGE 6

Racing to rebuild

City claims ‘clear mandate’ with $40M parks bond approval BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

City leaders said citizens sent a “clear mandate” Nov. 6 by approving a $40 million parks bond referendum with 60 percent of the vote. Work now begins to start construction of capital projects at six of the city’s parks, and the longawaited purchase of the front portion of Brookhaven Park from DeKalb County is expected to be finalized. “The residents of Brookhaven have delivered a clear mandate for us to follow through with our city founders’ vision of a top-notch park system that can be enjoyed in the near-term,” Mayor John Ernst said in a written statement. “With the funding in place, we can now make it happen.” The City Council is expected to vote at its Nov. 13 meeting to issue a request for proposals for program management services to oversee the capital projects


St. Martin’s Episcopal School held the Warrior 5K and Fun Run on Nov. 3 to raise money for a $5.5 million capital campaign as recovery from a July 2017 arson fire. Eighth-grader Truman Thompson won the 5K and sixth-grader Judson DiVenere won the Fun Run. The run raised more than $7,800 toward the campaign, which has not yet reached its goal, according to the school, which is located at 3110 Ashford-Dunwoody Road. But work on the new building is already underway with a January opening in the works. The first floor of the new building will be a “STEAM village,” focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math. The village is planned to include science and “tinker” labs and an art room.

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Affordable housing standards get a debate BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The City Council is expected to decide later this month if it wants to enshrine “workforce housing” in its revamped zoning code that would require developers to build a certain number of affordable units in new multiunit projects along Buford Highway. Doing so would be a “bold step” to ensure housing for residents like police officers and teachers, according to an Atlanta official who successfully pushed for inclusionary zoning along the BeltSee AFFORDABLE on page 22

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City claims ‘clear mandate’ with $40M parks bond approval Continued from page 1 at all parks included in the parks bond. Funding perimeter fencing at Blackburn Park is expected to be approved. The city is also slated to finalize a $2 million agreement with DeKalb County to buy the 8 acres of the front portion of Brookhaven Park, according to a city spokesperson. The city took official ownership of the 12 acres of the back portion of the park last year and paid the county $100 an acre. Negotiations for the front portion of Brookhaven Park where the DeKalb Services Center is located have been ongoing since the city’s incorporation in 2012. Since 1978, DeKalb Services Center has provided a day program setting for adults with severe developmental disabilities. A call for nominations for the Citizens Oversight Committee will also be made at the Nov. 13 meeting. Nearly 21,000 people cast ballots in the parks bond vote, with more than 12,000 voting “yes” for 60 percent, and about 8,200 voting “no” for approximately 40 percent, according to unofficial results from the DeKalb County Registrations & Elections. The City Council voted in July to put

the parks bond on the ballot. City officials said after the loss of the homestead option sales tax this year, there was no funding to make improvements to city parks without debt financing. Money from the parks bond will fund several parks master plan projects: Ashford Park, $1.94 million; Blackburn Park, $1.3 million; Briarwood Park, $7 million; Brookhaven Park, $6 million; Lynwood Park, $11 million; Murphey Candler Park, $8.98 million; and systemwide funding for security, maintenance and invasive plant removal, among other things, $3.47 million. J.D. Clockadale, who co-chaired the Yes for Brookhaven Parks campaign with former mayor Rebecca Chase Williams, said in a written statement the capital project improvements will be “transformative investments that will benefit children, families and anyone who enjoys being outside.” “We have full confidence in the city’s planning process and look forward to seeing the results come to life in the months and years to come,” Clockadale added. The Yes for Brookhaven Parks campaign raised more than $27,000 and spent more than $13,000 to pay for a consultant, yard signs, mailers and oth-


A Yes Brookhaven Parks Bond sign near Windsor Parkway before the vote.

er informational materials to urge voters to approve the bond, according to public disclosure reports filed with the city. An opposition effort surfaced in the final days of the campaign, with an anonymous mailer sent to homeowners calling the parks bond a “boondoggle” and an anonymous website. The Yes for Brookhaven group raised the question of possible campaign finance law violations but said they have no plans to file an ethics complaint. Sue Binkert, chair of the Parks and Recreation Coalition of Brookhaven,




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worked on an ad hoc funding task force with city administrators that resulted in the $40 million parks bond. She and three other members of the ad hoc task force eventually publicly opposed the bond, saying it was too costly and included projects not approved in the master planning process. “The voters have made their decision and PARC will continue to advocate for the parks in Brookhaven,” she said. “We look forward to continuing a dialogue with the city for funding for our parks.” After Nov. 13, city administrators will evaluate applications and recommend members to serve on the Citizens Oversight Committee to be approved by the council. The city plans to issue request for proposals for the Brookhaven Park/Peachtree Road entrance, following approval of the Brookhaven Park master plan that is expected to happen in December, according to a city spokesperson. Also, in December, the city will go to DeKalb Superior Court to validate the bonds and in January the city expects to issue the bonds. The parks bond will raise the city’s 2.74 millage rate by half a mill, or an average of $98.34 a year to the homeowner with a home assessed at about $466,000, according to city officials. The millage rate is used to determine local taxes and is the amount taxpayers pay per $1,000 of assessed value. The parks bond will be paid off over 30 years. Parks bond supporters said homeowners’ overall tax bills won’t go up due to other taxation changes this year. The city millage increase would be offset by this year’s new equalized homestead option sales tax. The EHOST dedicates 100 percent of its revenue to reduce property taxes for qualified homeowners, according to DeKalb officials. And in 2021 when a DeKalb County parks bond expires and rolls off property taxes for Brookhaven homeowners, city officials are estimating an overall savings of about $514 for homeowners with $466,000 homes. BK

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NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Nov. 6 election roundup BY DYANA BAGBY, EVELYN ANDREWS AND JOHN RUCH Brookhaven voters on Nov. 6 helped Democrats unseat Republican incumbents as part of a “blue wave” that struck North DeKalb.


Democrat Matthew Wilson defeated Republican incumbent Rep. Meagan Hanson for the District 80 state House seat, which represents Brookhaven and a piece of southern Sandy Springs along Ga. 400. Wilson, an attorney, won 52.46 percent of the vote, according to unofficial counts. Hanson won the seat in 2016, defeating a Democratic incumbent. Both live in Brookhaven.

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Republican incumbent Sen. Fran Millar was defeated by Democrat Sally Harrell, who pulled off a major upset in the once Republican stronghold district that includes Brookhaven, Dunwoody and portions of Sandy Springs in the panhandle. Millar had held the state Senate seat since 2011 after leaving his House seat that he first won in 1999.


The 6th Congressional District race was too close to call the following morning after the Nov. 6 for Republican incumbent Rep. Karen Handel and her Democratic challenger Lucy McBath. Neither candidate had conceded the race.


The so-called Brunch Bill allowing Sunday morning alcohol sales appeared headed for approval by voters Nov. 6 with nearly 80 percent of Brookhaven voters, according to unofficial results. The Brunch Bill legislation was sponsored by state Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven/Sandy Springs).

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A map of the districts for “The ATL,” the new umbrella transit authority. Parts of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Buckhead and Brookhaven are all included in District 3, shown in yellow. District 5, in light purple near the bottom, includes south Buckhead and parts of Brookhaven.


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The first local representative elected to the new “ATL” transit agency board is a vanpooling pioneer and former Georgia Tech professor who is suing Uber and Lyft for alleged patent infringement — and hoping a settlement can help make a new public utility to connect everything from toll lanes to MARTA in one cellphone app. “The objective would be to make a public utility based in Atlanta where you could bring all these things together,” said Steve Dickerson, who was elected by officials on Oct. 24 to the ATL’s District 3 seat. “There’s a big advantage to having practically everybody in the same system.” Dickerson won election over some notable competition: Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts, and Sally Riker, an engineer who is also president of the Mount ParanNorthside Citizens Association in Buckhead and Sandy Springs. Rusty Paul, the mayor of Sandy Springs, also was a contender, but withdrew before the vote; he is also one of the officials involved in electing the board member. The ATL, or the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority, is a new authority for 10 transit systems in 13 counties. It will have a regional governance board with 16 members serving four-year terms, who must be in place by Dec. 1. As the District 3 board member, Dickerson will represent Dunwoody and large sections of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, as well as part of Cobb County. Three other local districts are expected to hold elections — conducted privately by a group of officials — later this month, with the nominees, if any, currently unknown, according to an ATL spokesperson. They include District 1, which includes northern Sandy Springs; District 2, which includes the Sandy Springs panhandle; and District 5, which includes Brookhaven and part of Buckhead. Dickerson was nominated by state Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs). “I think that he won because I truly do believe he has the most experience,” she said, also citing his perspective and availability. “He’s retired. He’s completely unbiased.” Silcox has long known Dickerson as the father of her childhood friend in Sandy Springs. It was only recently that she learned about his transportation expertise and realized he could be a good ATL board member, she said.

NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

A universal transportation app

Dickerson said he earned a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the relatively young age of 25. Besides his former Georgia Tech professorship, he worked for NASA and had a stint at the U.S. Department of Transportation, where he reviewed university research proposals. Dickerson’s academic expertise is in automation, but his interest is in transportation, and his ideas tend to combine the two fields. His claim to transit fame is that he started the first “community-based” vanpool system in the U.S. in 1975 — the Peachtree City Commuter Bus, which later became part of the state’s still-operating shuttle system. Dickerson said he actually piloted the vanpooling idea in Sandy Springs in 1973, using a van with such attractive amenities as bucket seats and a mobile phone. According to the Association for Commuter Transportation, a Massachusetts-based advocacy group, 1973 is the same year that corporaterun vanpools were pioneered, partly as a response to the era’s oil embargo crisis. Dickerson said the vanpooling experience got him interested in ways to automate the process of commuters finding a ride easily. In 2001, he filed a patent for a technology that would allow people to register for a ride in real time based on their location, with a payment system built in. The patent was held through Georgia Tech, but he recently got the rights to it himself. Dickerson says his invention is the STEVE DICKERSON same basic idea used by today’s “ridesharATL’S DISTRICT 3 SEAT ing” companies. So in July, he sued Uber and Lyft for patent infringement. He doesn’t aim to put those companies out of business, he said. Instead, he hopes to add their resources to his idea for a “comprehensive transportation service that is supported by a cellphone app.” In fact, he’s already started a Sandy Springs-based company, RideApp, envisioned as a kind of universal transportation app. The company has no active product and is promoted as a precursor to a public utility. Dickerson said his idea is that, with a single app, a person could do everything from ordering and driving a rideshare car, to paying toll-lane fees and public transit fares, to reserving parking spaces. As for existing transit services such as MARTA, Dickerson said he’s less focused on their mode of travel than on making it easy and comfortable to boost ridership. “I don’t have any objection to rail, but I think we should work on greatly expanding the patronage of the transit system,” he said, adding that rail in particular needs a look at cost-effectiveness before expansion. Variable rates depending on the distance traveled, instead of today’s flat fee, would be one way to boost MARTA ridership, he said, as would a payment system that is the same across all transit agencies. “And be careful to make the vehicles very comfortable to ride in,” he said. How does Dickerson travel the area himself? He said that when he worked at Georgia Tech, he usually drove to the campus. And these days, he sometimes uses Uber.

I don’t have any objection to rail, but I think we should work on greatly expanding the patronage of the transit system.

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Flight attendant recalls Vietnam War R&R service BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

In 1968, international jet travel was still a glamorous adventure, and Joan Policastro signed on as a Pan American World Airways flight attendant to get her taste of it. She soon got adventure in a risky, historic form — four years of flying “rest and recuperation” flights with U.S. troops in and out of the Vietnam War, sometimes with bombs going off outside the base. “I liked it. I liked them,” said Policastro on a recent afternoon as she sat at her kitchen counter in Sandy Springs, reminiscing over a photo of her serving young soldiers on one of those wartime R&R flights. Today, she’s preparing to retire exactly 50 years into a career that took her around the world, meeting celebrities and partying at embassies. Those early Vietnam flights remain especially memorable. Policastro says that seeing how young the draftees were — and reading the words of fear and longing they sometimes left behind for her in notes — eventually turned her private opinion against the war. “Everybody on the airplane was a baby,” she says. “I was 22. They looked 12.” But with her adventurous spirit, her own safety was never a concern—not in the war, not during the “take me to Cuba!” skyjacking craze of the 1970s, not in the post-Sept. 11 terrorism era. “I never worried about that,” she said. “It’s the luck of the draw.” Bruce Cusmano, Policastro’s neighbor and friend, served in Vietnam and took four such R&R flights, which Pan Am exclusively operated. He remembers the passenger jets made big targets that the North Vietnamese tried to shoot down when they got a chance, and admires Policastro’s willingness to serve aboard them. “She did something I think was really extraordinary as a young woman, flying into a war zone,” he says. Cusmano will never know whether his future neighbor was among the attendants on his flights, but he remembers well how much that civilian service meant to him and his fellows during the war. “The girls were super to us,” he said. “They were just so kind, because they knew we were starving to see American girls.” For Policastro, the life of international adventure began more or less on a whim. A New York native, she graduated from the University of Miami and wanted to attend law school, but money was an issue. Billboards and radio ads from Pan Am lured her into considering the job of a flight attendant, or “stewardess,” as they were called in the era, a term that Policastro still prefers. “It just brings back the older days when [the job] was glamorous and it was

real. … It brings up the Pan Am elegance and sophistication,” she said. Pan Am was a pioneer of international flights and jumbo-jet travel, especially across the Pacific, and one of the world’s most famous companies. In the 1960s, it had high standards for flight attendants, Policastro says — a four-year degree and the ability to speak at least one language besides English were requirements. She signed up, figuring she’d try it for a year. She ended up getting an unusually plum posting in San Francisco. Her first flight: a trip to Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia, with a five-day layover offering sightseeing. She was hooked. The posting also came with the assignment of those wartime R&R flights, tak-

ing troops from Vietnam to such locales as Hawaii, Tokyo and Sydney, and back again. She worked such flights from 1968 to 1972, when she transferred to the New York City hub. Pan Am offered the chartered flights to the U.S. military at cost plus $1, she said. In return, all crew got Department of Defense ID cards giving them an honorary lieutenant’s rank — possibly ensuring better treatment if they were shot down and captured. “Back in those days, when you had any connection with the U.S. military, you felt safe,” she said. The risks were real, as Policastro saw on one midnight landing at Cam Rahn Bay, where she says they could see and

hear “bombs in the distance,” directed at the base. An officer came on board and told the troops, “When you get 50 feet off the airplane, hit the ground.” For the troops on the flights, Pan Am tried to offer meals with a taste of home: steak, potatoes, ice cream, milk. In return, Policastro said, troops sometimes left notes behind for her. On one flight, a young solider handed her a note that said not to read it until he left; it offered thanks. “At the end of the letter, he said, ‘I know I’m not coming home alive,’” she recalled. She shared another note that she has kept all these years, folded in thirds and written on Pan Am stationery. Signed


Above, Joan Policastro holds a note of thanks written to her by one of the troops she served on a Vietnam War R&R flight. Left, Policastro works one of the Vietnam War R&R flights in the only photo she has from that period. Opposite page, Policastro poses with rock icon Chuck Berry on a Pan Am flight in the 1980s.

Community | 7

NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

without a last name by one “Rick,” it offers his apologies for staring at her, wishes her well and offers hopes their paths might cross again. “I must say you look better than anything I’ve seen in 15 months in the Nam,” he wrote. Those types of notes, and seeing young draftees “scared to death,” led her to change her initial belief about Vietnam that she describes as, “Well, if the government is in this war, it must be OK.” “It was an eye-opening experience to me. … It changed my attitude, and I was totally against the war,” she said, though she never actively protested it. The flights brought lighter moments as well. Policastro recalls her naïve instinct to intervene when two large Marines grabbed one of her passengers out of his seat — they were MPs and he was headed to the brig in Da Nang — and a time she and four other attendants were stranded on a Saigon airbase in a barracks with walls coated in “gooey slime.” Policastro continued to fly with Pan Am until the company’s dissolution in 1991. She then joined Delta, where she planned to retire in mid-November with a final flight to Rome. Along the way, she considered becoming a pilot herself after her former husband, a Marines fighter pilot, taught her to fly, but the career change didn’t work out. But it is her time at Pan Am she looks back on the most fondly, as a special company in a special time. She is active in World Wings International, a philanthropic organization of former Pan Am flight attendants. “It was an adventure every single day,” she said. “Working for Pan Am was caviar and Champagne.” Being a Pan Am flight attendant meant invitations to U.S. embassy parties, an easy welcome onto any U.S. mili-

tary base, and plenty of celebrity encounters. One “really cute” passenger she served was the Dalai Lama, who ended up unsatisfied with airplane food: he ordered a medium-rare steak, but got a vegetarian meal on a mistaken assumption about his religious diet. “The Dalai Lama says to me, ‘Joan, I think this order is wrong.’” Another famous passenger was rock ’n’ roll icon Chuck Berry, of whom Policastro was a big fan. She got a snapshot with him that she still has in a silver frame. “He never said a word on the flight. He smiled like a fiend and followed me around like a little puppy dog,” she recalls. She says Pan Am was special as an international company that worked hard to learn local customs in countries it served and hired flight attendants from around the world. “We had just an openness to the world. … We accepted people’s cultures and differences,” she said. Something else special about Pan Am was its relationship with the U.S. government and reputation for taking on relatively risky charters like those R&R flights. Policastro said Pan Am was often called upon to evacuate civilians from war zones. When the Vietnam War ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon, Pan Am jets participated in some of the dramatic rescue flights from the city, including “Operation Babylift,” where hundreds of orphaned South Vietnamese children were flown to the U.S. Policastro was out of Vietnam service by then, but said without a blink that she would have volunteered immediately for those flights. “Nothing,” she says, “was ever too scary for us.”

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AJC editor talks newspaper future, City Hall scandal at Buckhead event

Kevin Riley, the editor of Atlanta Journal-Constitution, speaks at an Oct. 22 Buckhead Rotary event.

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke about the changing newspaper industry, President Donald Trump’s media attacks and recent City Hall investigations at an Oct. 22 Buckhead Rotary event. The print business model is changing, Kevin Riley said at the luncheon at Maggiano’s Little Italy. Advertisers used to bring in 80 percent of newspaper revenue, with subscribers contributing the rest. Now, that must flip, bringing more accountability to the newspaper industry in terms of responding to and satisfying customers on pricing and value, he said. “That is a big challenge,” he said. The future of the AJC, which is headquartered in Dunwoody at the owner Cox Enterprises’ headquarters, was put into question in July when a surprise Cox announcement advertised the sale of WSB-TV. Cox had previously considered moving the AJC to WSB’s Midtown headquarters, but the announcement ended that plan. The AJC’s operation is located at 223 Perimeter Center Parkway, which is part of a 42-acre site planned for the High Street mixed-use redevelopment and may be part of Atlanta’s short-listed bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Riley said he does not know if the AJC will stay or relocate when the lease ends in 2021. The AJC moved from downtown Atlanta to Dunwoody in 2010. Despite the declining newspaper industry, the AJC’s audience is “bigger than

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it’s ever been,” through a combination of print, social media and website readers, Riley said. “You’ve likely heard something different,” he said. Riley said internal research shows readers trust the AJC more than they trust national media, which has seen a barrage of attacks from Trump, among others. “Our own research tells us that people in this market trust the AJC,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, people get angry with us, but they don’t distrust us.” One event attendee asked, referring to Trump, said, “There’s a man that lives in a white house that talks mainstream media as if you all are hardened criminals. How do you defend yourself?” Riley said he “wouldn’t waste my energy and time arguing” with Trump, and that the AJC tries to focus on how federal decisions affect Georgians. He said Trump’s reaction to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist, was concerning, calling it “particularly disturbing.”

City Hall scandal The AJC has reported several stories in recent months about the City Hall bribery scandal, former Mayor Kasim Reed’s city credit card spending and Open Records Act violations. “We are right now in the throes of the City Hall scandal … which is much deeper and problematic than we realized,” Riley said. In response to a question about why the AJC did not start reporting on the scandals until near the end of Reed’s tenure as mayor, Riley said he accepted the criticism and said he also wished it could have been published sooner. “It became clear that there was a concerted effort to undermine our ability to get public records and the things that we needed to report a story like that,” he said. The AJC and WSB-TV recently reached a legal agreement with the city over Open Records Act violations. The city will work with the media outlets to draft a new policy, the AJC reported. Riley discussed other major investigative projects, including one covering prison doctors who did not properly take care of inmates with cancer. He initially doubted the story, but it led to one of the bigger projects, he said. “I’m not proud of this … but when we were working on this story, I said, ‘Do our readers care that much about women are in prison? They are criminals,’ ” he said. He said the newsroom shouted him down and he “got a good talking-to by the reporters.” The AJC did the story, and it led to an investigative series about malpractice and doctors who commit sexual assault but are able to keep to their jobs with little difficulty, he said.

Attracting younger generations Riley said, in response to an audience question, that attracting younger readers is difficult because many don’t have a practice of reading the newspaper every morning and frequently checking the news. Younger people tend to think they’ll hear about news if it is important, he said. The AJC uses digital tools, like text alerts, and are working with ways to reach more young readers, he said. “It’s a challenge because that is a person who doesn’t have quite the ritual we depend on,” he said. In a response to a question about recruiting new investigative journalists, he said he believes there are plenty of young people interested. He pointed to a story largely reported by interns that showed the Atlanta BeltLine park and trail system was not meeting its affordability goals for housing developed alongside it. “We can offer the thrill of a byline on the front page on a Sunday,” he said.


NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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10 | Commentary

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Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. 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 www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Melissa Kidd, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Phil Mosier, Steve Rose, Dark Rush

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Community Survey / Is the Super Bowl good for Atlanta? When it comes to the Super Bowl, count many locals as superfans of bringing the game to Atlanta. And more than a few believe the Falcons can still win it. More than two-thirds of the 200 respondents to Reporter Newspapers’ most recent 1Q survey welcomed the Super Bowl LIII to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in February, saying that it mattered to them that the game would be played in Atlanta. “It is great for the community,” a 24-year-old Buckhead woman commented. “Hosting the Super Bowl is an honor for our city and helps the local economy greatly!” The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones to residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific. Many respondents to the survey argued the game will be good for the local economy. “Nationally televised events, such as the Super Bowl, bring active commerce and people to our great city,” a 32-year-old Brookhaven woman said. “It gives local business time to shine and enlivens the citizens of Atlanta. Although ATL is among other great cities in our country, it’s a melting pot area with lots of history that contributes to the legacy of football.” Others said the game, scheduled for Feb. 3, 2019, will give Atlanta a chance to show itself off to the world. Hosting the Super Bowl “shows Atlanta is a first-class city,” a 54-yearold Sandy Springs man said. “Our city will be on the main stage,” a 30-year-old Atlanta woman commented. “We have an opportunity to elevate exposure of our progress, growth, etc. It will also be a great revenue generator.” Not everyone agreed, of course. Some respondents worried the crowds attracted to the game would worsen traffic, that the economic boost the fans would bring would not be equally shared throughout the community, or that the money the game would attract would go to the wrong things. “It matters because it means a lot of money was spent on something Atlanta didn’t need!” a 54-year-old woman commented. “Whether public or private partnership funds, the city needs investments into the decaying infrastructure more than it needed another stadium. … I don’t care that the Super Bowl game will be in Atlanta. The momentary distraction from the miserable state of the city of Atlanta, my hometown, will be little consolation when the fanfare dies down.” Others just didn’t care about the game. “I don’t watch football,” a 38-year-old Atlanta woman noted. But most did. And now that the NFL regular season is about half over, which team did they expect to see playing in Atlanta for the national title? The Atlanta Falcons, of course. Despite the team’s slow start, about 28 percent of the survey’s respondents backed the hometown Falcons, the largest showing of support for any single team. If the Falcons make it, they would be the first Super Bowl team ever to play for the championship in their home stadium. The second largest group, 23 percent of the respondents, cheered the Los Angeles Rams, who were undefeated when the survey was conducted. About 19 percent backed perennial winners the New England Patriots, while the Falcons rival New Orleans Saints drew about 13 percent and the Kansas City Chiefs attracted 8 percent. About 11 percent predicted it would be some other team. Whoever ends up playing under the bright lights of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, many of the respondents to the survey seem ready and eager for the big game to come to town. “I’m an Uber driver, so I’m happy about it,” a 41-year-old Atlanta man noted. “Should be lots of business.”

Which team do you think will win this season’s Super Bowl?





12.5% 18.5%

Atlanta Falcons New Orleans Saints New England Patriots Kansas City Chiefs Los Angeles Rams Other

BE COUNTED IN OUR NEXT READER SURVEY 1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

Here’s what some other respondents to the survey had to say when asked whether it mattered to them that Super Bowl LIII will be held in Atlanta Atlanta is a fantastic sports city, so it’s only fitting that it hosts the biggest sporting event in the U.S.! – 45-year-old Sandy Springs woman

will bring a lot of excitement and tourism. – 25-year-old Brookhaven woman

to be. It makes us look good. – 54-year-old Sandy Springs woman

This will boost the economy for many! – 59-year-old Brookhaven woman

Nope! I suppose it’s a nice feather in our cap, but it’s unclear about the economic benefit for the city. It’s a large drain on resources and infrastructure — so what do we gain? – 37-year-old Brookhaven woman

It’s exciting to have Atlanta used as a hub for major sports events. – 28-year-old Brookhaven woman

I love it! It brings a sense of pride to the city. – 32-year-old Brookhaven woman

No, because I don’t live in an area where there will be a lot of traffic and I think it

It matters. It shows that we are a cosmopolitan city where players and [the] NFL want

Have something to say?

Send letters to editor@reporternewspapers.net BK

Commentary | 11

NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Wrong Way Robin I’m what you could call “directionally challenged.” You might think that this is my glib way of telling you that I am very short (which I am), but you would be wrong. Rather, I am divulging my complete and utter inability to find my way anywhere. Seriously. Anywhere. Given the choice between any two directions — north or south, east or west, forward or backward — I will inevitably pick the wrong one. This is true even if the choice is “up or down.” To further complicate matters, I walk very quickly. So when on foot, I get lost twice as fast. I even got lost in the ladies’ room once. I had to follow a woman out. (In my defense, it was a pretty large bathroom.) Yes, my sense of direction is astoundingly bad, but my husband uses this trait to his advantage. If he’s not sure of which way to turn, he will ask my opinion and then promptly go in the opposite direction. There are people in the world like me; I know that because I am related to them. I sympathize with them, and I learn from them because they have developed creative mnemonic devices for remembering directions. One such aide-mémoire I learned from my father when I was a young girl traveling home with my siblings from a famRobin Conte lives with ily vacation. My brother, sister, and I were fighting over who her husband in an empwould get to sleep on the floorboards while intermittently askty nest in Dunwoody. To ing our parents when we would finally be home again, when contact her or to buy her my father informed us that it would not be long, as he was new column collection, now exiting “east … towards the ocean.” We stopped poking “The Best of the Nest,” each other and peered out the windows in quizzical silence, see robinconte.com. pondering the wisdom of those words. Then my brother replied, “Or you could go west … towards the other ocean.” Odd as it may seem, I’ve been using “east towards the ocean and west towards the other ocean” as navigational cues ever since. I used to figure that one of the bonuses of having children is that once they hit elementary school age, they could read a map for me. As it turned out, two of them can. I think a genetics study could be done here because the offspring who have dark hair like me are also as directionally inept as I am. My daughter and I have bonded over our navigational ineptitude. Put the two of us in a car together and we could circle the perimeter indefinitely. We used to go on road trips together, in the days before Siri, and the biggest challenge we had was breaching the Atlanta city limits. Our trips would typically begin with one of us driving and the other frantically dialing my husband and hollering into the phone, “We have to take 285! Quick! East or West? East or West!” My daughter (who is by now thoroughly embarrassed but who will hate me even more for telling you this) has what I think is a pretty clever orientation cue for our city. She uses the road signs as a guide to help her remember which way to turn onto 400 by pronouncing the abbreviations for north and south as “no” and “so.” We live in the OTP burbs, north of the ATL, so to head north on 400 is “No” Atlanta, whereas going South on 400 is traveling “So” Atlanta. Get it? I use it all the time. Nowadays, of course, I can use the handy navigation system. The problem with that is that I don’t believe it; my uncanny sense of direction always tells me that it’s wrong. As time passed, however, even my dark-haired offspring developed navigational abilities, and they have left me in isolated idiocy. The only thing left for me to console myself with is that I can still find my way around the keyboard.

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The City Council voted last month to provide free deck inspections to all residents in the city through Dec. 31 and if residents find their decks need to be repaired the city will waive the $565 deck permit fee for a short time. Councilmember Joe Gebbia asked for the legislation after he said residents living in the townhomes at Views at Lenox Crossing on Briarwood Road approached him about waiving the deck repair fees. The neighborhood borders Buckhead and is in Gebbia’s district. Gebbia said he was approached by between six to eight homeowners in the neighborhood who said they discovered their homebuilder, Pulte Homes, installed poorly constructed gutters on their townhomes. Pulte Homes could not be reached for comment. Water runoff from the gutters over the years led to severe water damage to more than 20 residents’ decks, Gebbia said. But the damage was not just limited to decks and affected the structure of many of the homes. Repairs were costing some people about $6,000 and they asked Gebbia for help to waive the city’s deck fee to save on costs. Gebbia said it was a public safety issue that was important for the city to address. But to only waive the deck permit fees for one neighborhood would set a bad precedent and was not amenable to the City Council. Gebbia said he worked with City Manager Christian Sigman to create a very specific, temporary piece of legislation that provides free deck inspections from the city by anyone. Sigman told the coun-

cil he had never seen an ordinance like this one. A resident can call the city and ask for a free deck inspection. If the city inspector determines the deck needs to be repaired the $565 deck permit fee is waived for 90 days after the determination is made. The last day for free inspections is Dec. 31, meaning deck permit fees can be waived through March 2019. The fee waiver will only apply to a deck repair or replacement of the same scope or size. “This program is aimed at eliminating any barriers to residents who want to make necessary safety improvements to their decks but found the cost prohibitive,” Community Development Director Patrice Ruffin said in a written statement. “It’s not about catching anyone off guard — it’s about helping people to make the changes for their own safety.” For more information, email permits@brookhavenga.gov or to schedule an inspection call the city main number 404-637-0500 and ask to speak to a Permits Technician.


The city recently opened a new maintenance yard on a Briarwood Road property it purchased as part of constructing a trailhead for the Peachtree Creek Greenway. City-owned equipment stored in Osborne Park has been relocated to the new facility. The City Council in July approved an $113,690 contract to Pro Building System to build a permanent maintenance yard


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NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net at 1739 Briarwood Road. Items stored at the maintenance yard include salt-andsand mix, salt-spreaders for snow and ice, equipment storage containers and storm drain culverts. The 10-acre Osborne Park is a wooded area, also including an old quarry, across Devine Circle from Lynwood Park, accessible from the dead-end of Osborne Road. The 19-acre Briarwood property was recently purchased for slightly more than $2 million after the city lost an emi-

nent domain case to acquire the land for a trailhead for the Greenway. The city is also placing its new public safety headquarters on this property.


Mayor John Ernst and Police Chief Gary Yandura were among those joining in a “Pray for Pittsburgh” memorial Oct. 30 at Chabad Israeli Center Atlanta and Congregation Beit Reuven on Chamblee-

Dunwoody Road. It was one of at least 10 memorials and vigils that were scheduled in Reporter Newspapers communities as a response to the anti-Semitic massacre of 11 people Oct. 27 during a service at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pa. At the Brookhaven service, candles were lit for those killed in Pittsburgh, and Ernst unveiled a plaque that added their names to a “Memorial Board.”


Volunteers participating in the city’s 2018 Stream Cleanup Event on Nov. 3 removed more than 700 pounds of trash and 20 tires from the North Fork Peachtree Creek near Briarwood Road in approximately two hours. The cleanup is part of readying for the expected groundbreaking next month of the Peachtree Creek Greenway.

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Not all services are covered under all health plans. Patients are responsible for checking their health plan documents for coverage. Provider may accept/contract with other plans. Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana plan depends on contract renewal. Other providers are available in our network. Applicable to Humana Gold Plus® HMO H4141-015. It is important that we treat you fairly. Discrimination is against the law. Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries do not discriminate or exclude people because of their race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. Humana complies with all Federal and State Civil Rights laws. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-877-320-1235 (TTY: 711). Español: Llame al número arriba indicado para recibir servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. 繁體中文: 撥打上面的電話號碼即可獲得免費語言援助服務。 Y0040_GHHJYSZTEEN_18_M BK

14 | Community

Always Be Notified! City of Brookhaven alerts and notifications help inform you on weather, traffic, and other emergencies in your community. When you opt-in for alerts, you will have the option to choose the kind of notifications you prefer to receive.

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Or sign up at www.BrookhavenGA.gov/ BrookhavenAlert

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Parents question DeKalb Schools’ redistricting options

Residents discuss redistricting options presented by DeKalb Schools at an Oct. 24 meeting in Cross Keys High.


BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

DeKalb Schools presented two options for Brookhaven redistricting needed to accommodate the new John Lewis Elementary and relieve overcrowding at other elementary schools in the city at an Oct. 24 meeting. Many residents said they were in support of the overall ideas, but some questioned the methodology behind some choices and expressed concern about longer travel distances and splitting up neighborhoods. Lewis Elementary has over 500 open seats, vacancies that the school district hopes to use to curb overcrowding at nearby schools in the Cross Keys cluster. Named for the congressman and civil rights leader, the school is currently operating in a temporary location on North Druid Hills Road and will open in a new building on Skyland Drive in August 2019. Over 200 people packed the gym at Cross Keys High for a presentation on the two options before splitting off into small groups to provide input on the redistricting around the new school. One option focuses on redistricting students to the school closest to them, while the other attempts to keep neighborhoods together as much as possible, according to the presentation. The first would shift 743 students. The second would shift 702, according to the presentation. Both would eliminate 19 “portable” classrooms. Both the options would shift students from almost all elementary schools and improve, but not completely alleviate, overcrowding. Some students from both Brookhav-

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NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net en middle and high schools would be shifted. The redistricting mainly focuses on relieving overcrowding at Montclair and Woodward elementary schools. Over 200 students from Fernbank Elementary would also be shifted to Lewis Elementary. One resident said she was concerned about the hundreds of students that live along the Buford Highway corridor, many in apartments, who would be redistricted from the nearby Montclair and Woodward schools to Lewis Elementary. Buford Highway is dangerous for pedestrians, she said. “Our communities are being separated all throughout and I just don’t think that’s fair,” she said. “Why are we going to bus kids all the way down Buford Highway when there are schools right there?” A resident in the same small group argued that that is necessary to provide relief from the overcrowding. If all the students are able to stay, overcrowding would remain a problem, he said. Another resident said the plan that would keep neighborhoods together doesn’t go far enough. In some cases, only a few houses get redistricted to a new school, she said. “It’s the cherry picking that bothers me,” she said. “If I can’t stay in my school, I don’t want to be the only family that’s not.” Several people in another small group RESIDENT argued that some of the redistricting seems to not serve a point. In both plans, about the same number of students shift from Ashford Park to Lewis as are shifted from Woodward to Ashford Park. The residents did not understand why the students need to leave Ashford Park if the net effect is the same, they said. Dresden Elementary, which is also part of the Cross Keys cluster, was hoped to be addressed somewhat in this redistricting, but the district was unable to provide substantial relief, said Hans Williams, DeKalb Schools’ director of planning. Addressing Dresden, as well as Ashford Park Elementary, will come in later rounds, he said. DeKalb Board of Education approval is expected in February 2019, and any redistricting adjustments are planned to take effect at the beginning of the 2019 school year in August, according to the presentation. The final public meeting is set for Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. in Cross Keys High, 1626 North Druid Hills. The school district will present one redistricting option that will take into account the public input provided and combine the best parts of both options, Williams said. A final version will be created after that public meeting. For meeting document downloads, including maps of the redistricting options, visit dekalbschools.org/redistricting.

Why are we going to bus kids all the way down Buford Highway when there are schools right there?

Community | 15

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16 | Art & Entertainment

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Tuesday, Nov. 13 to Sunday, Dec. 23. Mondays to Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays noon to 5 p.m. The Spruill Center for the Arts hosts its 25th annual Holiday Artists Market, featuring more than 100 local artists with a wide variety of artisan gifts and home decor. Special events scheduled throughout the six-week shopping event include Cookies & Cocoa on Saturday, Dec.1 from noon to 2 p.m., a Handmade Gift Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a Last Minute Shoppers Sale on Sunday, Dec. 23, from noon to 5 p.m. Free. Spruill Gallery, 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts. org/holidayartistsmarket.


Saturday, Nov. 17, 2-3 p.m. Kids ages 5 to 12 can make Thanksgiving turkeys from toilet paper rolls and use them to decorate the Thanksgiving dinner table. Free. Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-512-4640.


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Sunday, Nov. 18, 3-6 p.m. The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association celebrates the beginning of the holiday season with a Dance Party and Potluck. Dance to Cajun waltz, two-step, jitterbug and Zydeco tunes played by a DJ. Bring a potluck dish or dessert or non-alcoholic beverage to share. $10; $5 students. Garden Hills Community Center, 337 Pinetree Drive N.E., Buckhead. Info: aczadance.org.


Thursday, Nov. 22, 8:30-10 a.m. Get ready for your Thanksgiving feast with a turbo-charged circuit class workout on Thanksgiving morning. It’s “guaranteed” to help combat your holiday splurging. Free. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org or 678-812-4025.


Thursday, Nov. 15 to Saturday, Nov. 17, 8-10 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18, 2-4:30 p.m. Oglethorpe University in conjunction with the university’s Rehearsal Room C (RRC) club presents Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities.” The play is produced and performed by students and directed by Kevin Dew, a student and Brookhaven resident. Set on a Christmas Eve, the play revolves around the story of a daughter coming home for Christmas after having written a memoir that reveals secrets about her family’s past. Free. Conant Performing Arts Center, 4484 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven. Info: jmiller2@oglethorpe.edu.

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Friday, Nov, 16, 7:30-8:30 p.m. North Atlanta Voices, a community chorus in Sandy Springs, presents its inaugural concert, “Songs of Harvest,” led by the choir’s Artistic Director Lucas Tarrant. Music includes “The Seal Lullaby,” by Eric Whitacre; “Jabberwocky,” by Sam Pottle; “Neighbor’s Chorus,” by Jacques Offenbach; “The White Moon,” by Eugene Butler; and “Sure on this Shining Night,” by Samuel Barber. $10. Highpoint Episcopal Community Church, 4945 High Point Road, Sandy Springs. Info: northatlantavoices.org.

Art & Entertainment | 17

NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

LOCOMOTION: RAILROADS AND THE MAKING OF ATLANTA Saturday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It’s opening day for the “Locomotion” exhibition at The Atlanta History Center, which features the restored steam locomotive “Texas.” The engine was built in 1856 for the Western & Atlantic Railroad, which had established its terminus in 1837 at the site that became Atlanta. The Texas is one of only two surviving Western & Atlantic locomotives and is famous for its part in the story of the Great Locomotive Chase. It was restored to what it would have looked like in 1886, the year of its last major upgrade. Located in the Rollins Gallery, the exhibit interprets the major role railroads played in transforming Atlanta into the transportation hub and commercial center it is today. See “Meet the Past” performances featuring stories from Pullman porter James Stewart, Southern Railway chairman W. Graham Claytor Jr., and pioneering woman switch tender and brakeman Gertie Stewart. Included in cost of general admission; free to members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Admission info: atlantahistorycenter.com.


Ongoing Help provide families with food for the holidays. Give to the Community Assistance Center online for GA Gives Day through Nov. 27. CAC provides food to about 500 families a month and receives about 1,200 visits a month to its food pantry. $25 provides Thanksgiving dinner for a couple. $50 provides Thanksgiving dinner for a family. $100 provides a family with food for a month. The organization also welcomes grocery store gift cards that can be dropped off at the CAC. Publix and Kroger store cards are preferred, in denominations of $10, $20 and $30. 1130 Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs. Info: ourcac.org.


Ongoing through Sunday, Nov. 18 The 27th edition of this Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta event continues with headlining authors including Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”; Kenny Leon, Tony Awardwinning artistic director of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company; Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham; and Michael Coles, co-founder of the Great American Cookie Company and former CEO of Caribou Coffee. MJCCA-Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Schedule and ticket info: atlantajcc.org/bookfestival or 678812-4005.


Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Keep North Fulton Beautiful will hold a document-shredding event at the Morgan Falls Athletic Fields. 10-box limit per vehicle. Free; $5 suggested donation. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit Keep North Fulton Beautiful. 450 Morgan Falls Place, Sandy Springs. Info: keepnorthfultonbeautiful.org.


Saturday, Nov. 17, 3:30-5 p.m. Current and former DeKalb County high school students who contributed to the book “Green Card Youth Voices” will speak at the Brookhaven Library. Free. 1242 North Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: 404-848-7141.



18 | Education

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Dan Lloyd, Sutton Middle School “Knowing I am helping to build knowledgeable, well-read, empathetic, and tolerant citizens is not my job. It is my mission,” says teacher Dan Lloyd, who represents Sutton Middle School as this year’s Atlanta Public Schools Middle School Teacher of the Year. “Being named APS Middle School Teacher of the Year is the crowning achievement of my long career in public education,” Lloyd said. “I am honored and humbled my commitment to building children is recognized. There are so many deserving teachers across the district.” Lloyd has been teaching at the public middle school in Buckhead for 11 years after spending most of his 25-year career at a high school in Clayton County and a few years in New York City. “Whether teaching in Georgia or New York, I have learned one important thing about children — they need love and parameters,” Lloyd said. “Students want to know their voice matters and that they are valued as humans.” Principal Gail Johnson said she believes Lloyd was chosen because “he represents all that is outstanding in our public school

teachers.” “Dan’s work represents dedication to the craft of great instruction, relentlessness in assuring all of his students are successful, care in understanding that relationships with adolescents are key in connecting them to learning, and pride in



the mission and vision of Sutton Middle School,” Johnson said. “Every day in Dan’s class there is student engagement, inspiration, respect for others and an understanding of the importance of education to allow all students the access to opportunities in the future endeavors.”

Q: What keeps you going year after year? A: My students need me. Many carry bur-

dens of poverty and broken homes, burdens much too heavy for even some adults; therefore, I help each of my students capitalize on their own strengths — whether that be reading, drawing, writing or speaking — with the chief goal of empower-


ing each of them to believe in themselves. Some days I am forced to be their compliance officer, other days their counselor and every day their chief cheerleader. Regardless of my role, my students know I believe in each of them and hold each to a rigorous but attainable standard.


Why did you decide to become an educator?

A: My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Herrin, in-

spired me to become a teacher. She opened my eyes to books, and numbers, and wonder. My peers and I would wallow at her feet in a sea of words, and songs, and creativity. Mrs. Herrin fostered in me a love of learning and a commitment to do my best each and every day, and now I continue to foster that same legacy in my own students.

Q: What are you most proud of in your career?

A: Though every day I am proud of my ef-

forts to build articulate, literate, tolerant children who will one day become successful adults, there are a few moments that stand out. I have had a student win the National Do the Write Thing Writing Challenge, not once, but twice! Last year a student of mine won first in state in the Young Georgia Authors Competition. In 2017, ev-


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Sutton Middle School teacher Dan Lloyd.

ery student I taught — all 125 — scored proficient or higher on the Georgia Milestones in English & Reading, and in 2018, every ESOL student in my push-in collaborative class scored proficient or higher on the Georgia Milestones.

Q: What do you hope students learn from you?

A: It is my ardent hope my students learn

to believe in themselves and their abilities. They each have something to contribute, and I hope they will not be afraid to use their voice to promote positive change in the world.

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Education | 19

NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net


Some Dunwoody residents have expressed concern about the late dates for DeKalb high school graduation. Due to scheduling conflicts at the Georgia World Congress Center, DeKalb graduation has been pushed back to around a week after school ends in May 2019 for most schools in Brookhaven and Dunwoody. Graduation for some other DeKalb schools has been pushed into June, according to a district press release. “There was some slippage on DeKalb’s part,” resident Jeff Rosen said at the Dunwoody Homeowner’s Association’s Nov. 4 meeting. Rosen some parents are unhappy and planning to speak to the Board of Education. Dunwoody High’s graduation is set for May 29, nearly a week after school ends on May 23 and following Memorial Day weekend. Cross Key High in Brookhaven will have its graduation May 24, and Chamblee Charter High’s, which serves Brookhaven, is set for May 31. The district has a five-year contract with the conference center that began with the 2017 graduation. Moving the graduations to the downtown venue was spurred after groups challenged the district’s use of churches for the ceremonies. The district also previously used government buildings and arenas, according to Board Member Stan Jester.


The DeKalb Board of Education approved a construction management contract for the new Cross Keys High School at its Nov. 6 meeting. The $90,000 contract was awarded to Evergreen Construction. A full budget for the construction will be presented to the board in the summer of 2019, according to the agenda document. The new high school is planned to be built at the former Briarcliff High School site on North Druid Hills Road despite opposition from some groups and residents who say the new location would be inaccessible for many on Buford Highway due to the traffic. The contract was on the board’s consent agenda and not discussed at the meeting.


Two students from Ridgeview Middle School in Sandy Springs have been awarded $10,000 scholarships intended to ensure they graduate high school and attend college. Nyla Joy Price and Ashley Raymun-

do Emilio were awarded the scholarships, which require signing contracts to maintain a certain grade point average and remain crime, drug and behavior-issue free, as well as meet with a volunteer mentor until they graduate from high school, the school district announced Oct. 30. When the students graduate from high school, they will receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships — $2,500 each year for up to four years — to be used at an eligible college, the press release said. The scholarships are funded by the REACH, Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen, program that launched in 2012. The statewide program is a needsbased scholarship designed to promote academic success and expand access to higher education, especially for students who are the first in their families to attend college, the release said.


The Galloway School’s theater program won a statewide award from the Georgia High School Association Nov. 3, the school announced. The students won the state One Act Play

Galloway theater students hold their trophy after winning the state One Act Play Competition Nov. 3.

Competition with their performance of “Twelfth Night,” the school said.


The Fulton County School District has expanded its crisis text line program to Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs. The program, “Text 4 Help,” allows students to anonymously provide tips about safety concerns or get mental health help from a licensed clinician 24 hours a day,


seven days a week, a press release said. “Many texting programs are designed for students to report safety concerns, but this initiative links them with a licensed mental health expert who can help them work through all types of issues — academics, relationships, substance abuse and more,” Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis said in the press release. The district hopes to eventually expand the program to all 19 high schools in the district, as well as introduce the initiative to students in middle school, the release said.

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20 | Education

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Fulton County School System Superintendent Jeff Rose is resigning, citing personal reasons, the school district announced Oct. 25. Rose led prominent capital projects in Sandy compassionate care to keep you and your family happy and healthy at Springs that were at times controversial, including the new Riverwood and North Springs high schools. all stages of life. We accept most insurance plans and offer same-day Rose’s final day with the school district will be Dec. 20, the beginning of winter break, the appointments for sick visits. press release said. “I am extremely proud of what has been accomplished over the past two years. It has been Our Services Include: an honor to serve FCS,” Rose said in the release. • Physical exams & wellness care for men, women & children Dr. Cindy Loe, who was FCS’s superintendent in 20082011, will serve in the interim role, the district announced • Care for chronic illness, including diabetes, hormone and thyroid disorders Nov. 6. • Immunizations The Fulton County Board of Education accepted Rose’s decision to resign and not seek a contract extension at an • Acute illness treatment for colds, fevers, flu & more Oct. 25 special called meeting, the release said. “The Board thanks Dr. Rose for his service to Fulton County, and for providing this time to develop a transition plan,” said Board President Linda Bryant in the release. “We look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth transition.” Loe will not be a candidate for the permanent superintendent, FCS said in a press release, and will work with the SPECIAL Board of Education in the search. Her start date has yet to Charles Fulton County Mithun Diana Shetal be decided. Superintendent Jeff Rose. Taylor, M.D. Daniel, D.O. Denman, M.D. Patel, M.D. “I am honored to work with the Fulton County School Family Medicine Family Medicine Endocrinology Family Medicine Board once again to support the continued high performance of the district and to address existing challenge areas,” said Loe in the press release. “I look forward to connecting with district leaders, parents and school staff as we work togethCall 770-395-1130 for an appointment! er to lead our students in reaching their full potential.” 960 Johnson Ferry Rd. NE, Suite 300, Atlanta, Georgia 30342 Loe’s tenure oversaw closing an over $100 million budget gap, which required major budPNFM.com get cuts at local schools in 2010. Rose joined Fulton County Schools as superintendent in June 2016, accepting a three-year contract with a $295,000 annual salary. He was in the third year of the contract, which was extended in June to October 2019, the release said. He had previously served as superintendent in Beaverton, Oregon, according to the release. The city of Sandy Springs had a fraught relationship with the school district at times with frustration over building a new North Springs High and other issues. “I believe the school board will work hard to find quality replacement to keep the momentum going in support of our school system,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said in a written statement. Rose has overseen the reconstruction of Riverwood International Charter School, which had its budget increased by $5 milPre-K – Grade 12 Open House lion in September, prompting concern and calls for stronger audits from school board Sunday, December 2, 1-3 p.m. members. Rose’s tenure also saw the fight to build a Register at gallowayschool.org new North Springs Charter High School instead of only a renovation. Rebuilding eventually became the official recommendation from Rose in a major victory for community advocates. It’s unclear if Rose’s resignation could have any effect on the plan. In another controversial move, the school district in July yanked the enrollment for out-of-district North Springs students before later backing off the plan after finding the school had special permission to enroll some students. Irene Schweiger, the executive director of the Sandy Springs Education Force, said At Galloway, students (age 3-grade 12) are inspired to be the group appreciated Rose’s “enthusiasm fearless learners, to embrace challenges, and to discover and support” for the organization, which more about themselves and the world around them. aids math and science, literacy, after school and mentoring programs in the city’s public schools. and endocrinology services, our experienced physicians offer attentive,

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22 | Community

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Affordable housing standards get a debate Continued from page 1 Line. But a local apartment association warns putting a mandate to build a certain number of affordable units would put a financial burden on developers and could lead to a decrease in the housing stock. The official language in Brookhaven’s proposed zoning rewrite calls for a mandate on “workforce housing.” The mandate is commonly called inclusionary zoning and would require 10 percent affordable units in new multiunit developments within a proposed new Buford Highway Overlay. Proponents of inclusionary zoning say it would ensure city employees, teachers, police officers, nurses and retail workers have the option to live where they work instead of seeking cheaper housing outside Brookhaven. Finding ways to reduce commuter traffic via housing affordability also leads to less traffic congestion, say supporters of inclusionary zoning. Opponents argue that inclusionary zoning mandates put financial burdens on the developers and even other renters and homeowners because they end up paying higher rents to subsidize the less expensive housing. Should Brookhaven even try to set affordable housing policy? Absolutely, said Mayor John Ernst. “Land use is our responsibility. That’s our role in setting zoning policy,” he said. “What people do with private money is up to them. We set the guidelines that affect the city ... including having housing stock at different price points.” The city created an Affordable Housing Task Force two years ago after local

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faith leaders urged the City Council to show compassion and think of the lower-income people and immigrants living on Buford Highway where rapid redevelopment is underway. They said they were seeing hundreds of people being displaced as developers tore down aging, affordable apartment complexes to build luxury townhomes. City leaders also expect the new Peachtree Creek Greenway and the new Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta medical campus at North Druid Hills and I-85 to spur millions of dollars of redevelopment along the international corridor known for its international restaurants and businesses. Ernst said Brookhaven includes some of the lower-end housing inside the Perimeter along Buford Highway, and includes some of the highest-priced homes in metro Atlanta. Anecdotally, he said, he’s heard in the past year a new single-family detached house has not been built in the city for less than $800,000. Rents along Buford Highway can be as low as $700. Those vast differences provide an opportunity for the city to set policy to address the disparity, he said. “We want to find a way to have all levels of housing in the city, so people can live, work and play in Brookhaven,” Ernst said. Brookhaven’s decision to consider inclusionary zoning in its zoning rewrite is a “bold step,” said Atlanta City Councilmember Andre Dickens. “I’m surprised at the boldness,” he said. “Every time this happens, it makes it easier for the next [city].” The Atlanta City Council late last year approved inclusionary zoning for


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new apartments along the BeltLine — a park, trail and transit line that will circle the city — requiring developers to set aside 10 to 15 percent of units for affordable housing. Dickens authored the legislation and worked for three years with many collaborators and developers to get it passed, he said. Dickens wants to take his experience and create a “critical mass” of metro Atlanta cities, including Brookhaven, to share best practices and develop guidelines as part of a regional approach to housing affordability. “Cities can do it one-by-one, but that’s hard,” he said. “When you can get to critical mass, you eliminate the fear and rhetoric.” That rhetoric can include developers threatening to take their proposed developments “10 miles down the road” to a city without housing affordability mandates, Dickens said. “That threat goes away if all the cities come together,” he said. At the Brookhaven City Council’s Oct. 23 meeting, Penelope Moceri, director of government affairs for the Atlanta Apartment Association, said during public comment that requiring a certain number of affordable units in a new apartment development would unfairly impact the residents who can afford higher rents. “Those living in unsubsidized units will pay for those who are subsidized,” she said. “The challenge is ... who bears the cost.” The Atlanta Apartment Association is one of the largest local apartment associations in the country, representing over 1,450 member-companies consisting of 370 companies managing more than 390,000 apartment homes, according to its website. Jim Fowler, president of the AAA, said in a written statement their members prefer voluntary and incentivebased programs such as tax abatements over inclusionary zoning. These types of incentive programs “effectively reduce the impact of the cost of price-controlled units,” he said. Tax abatements allow a government, usually through a development authority, to significantly reduce property taxes on a new development for an established period. A city tax abatement can also reduce county and school tax revenue. Brookhaven’s proposed zoning rewrite does include provisions for density bonuses to developers who build more than the mandated number of affordable units. For example, a developer exceeding 10 percent affordable units could be able to build an extra story on a building, creating room for

more market-rate apartments. The zoning rewrite also includes provisions to allow the City Council to approve on a case-by-case basis other incentives, like fee waivers, expedited permitting and economic development incentives, such as tax abatements. Tax incentives are useful when it comes to ensuring housing affordability, said Rebekah Morris, board chair of Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, or Neighbors of Buford Highway. The nonprofit group advocates for residents living in Buford Highway apartments and they are watching the city’s zoning rewrite closely. The aging complexes on Buford Highway are being eyed by developers for renovations and razing to make way for more expensive housing, she said. Finding ways to preserve existing complexes as affordable housing stock while also supporting inclusionary zoning and other city policies can determine if residents can remain in the communities where they have lived for years, she said. “We provide tax incentives for economic development ... that are good for corporations,” she said. “And that’s manipulating the [free] market for what you believe is beneficial to your city. “Can we think the same way, use the same logic, that it’s OK for a city to invest in its people?” she asked. “And use them to attract, maintain and preserve the communities that are the life and soul of our cities.” Inclusionary zoning policies are relatively new to the metro Atlanta area, Fowler of the AAA said, and it will take time to fully assess the impact on apartment community residents and overall housing affordability. But the AAA and other developers are wary. Fowler warned inclusionary zoning without incentives could lead developers and apartment property owners to deem certain residential projects as “infeasible,” leading to a decrease in housing construction. They could also be forced to increase rents for the remaining market-rate units in order to build new housing supply, he said. But he added it was important for all stakeholders to find common ground. “Housing affordability is an ongoing discussion throughout the region as cities and counties deal with how best to address their specific affordability concerns,” he said. “It is also a priority for our members as we work to balance the increased costs of land, construction and operating expenses with maintaining affordability for apartment residents.”


Public Safety | 23

NOVEMBER 9 - 22, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated Oct. 21 through Nov. 2. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

Oct. 24, in the evening, items were taken from a car.

Oct. 26, at night, items were stolen from a car.

2500 block of Skyland Drive — On

2900 block of Clairmont Road — On


Oct. 24, at night, a robbery via snatching was reported.

Oct. 26, at night, a theft was reported.

Oct. 21, in the early morning, a bicycle was stolen.

3500 block of Buford Highway — On

800 block of Town Boulevard — On

1100 block of Town Boulevard — On

Oct. 27, in the early morning, a forced entry burglary at a residence was reported.

4400 block of Peachtree Road — On

Oct. 21, in the morning, a stolen vehicle was recovered. 4000 block of Peachtree Road — On

Oct.21, at night, a theft was reported. 2600 block of Osborne Road — On

Oct. 22, in the afternoon, items were reported missing from a car. 2200 block of Brixworth Place — On

Oct. 22, in the evening, an entering auto incident took place. 3500 block of Mill Creek — On Oct. 23,

in the morning, a theft was reported. 1100 block of Town Boulevard — On

Oct. 23, in the morning, items were reported missing from a car. 1000 block of Barone Avenue — On

Oct. 24, at night, a car was stolen. Oct. 24, at night, items were reported missing from a car. 3600 block of Clairmont Road — On

Oct. 25, in the morning, a shoplifting incident was reported. 4400 block of Memorial Drive — On

Oct. 25, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of theft by taking. 4000 block of Peachtree Road — On

Oct. 25, at night, a woman was arrested and accused of theft by conversion. 1300 block of North Cliff Valley Road

3800 block of Peachtree Road — On

4400 block of Memorial Drive — On

Oct. 27, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting. 2300 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On Oct. 27, in the evening, an entering auto incident was reported. 3900 block of Peachtree Road — On

Oct. 28, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported. 4500 block of Peachtree Road — On

Oct. 28, in the evening, items were stolen from a car.

— On Oct. 25, at night, a car was stolen.

3200 block of Buford Highway — On

3300 block of Buford Highway — On

Oct. 29, at midnight, a theft was reported.

Oct. 26, in the afternoon, a business reported a strong-arm robbery occurred.

3700 block of Buford Highway — On

Drew Valley Road — On Oct. 29, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of theft by receiving stolen property. 4400 block of Peachtree Road — On

Oct. 29, in the morning, a forced-entry burglary at a home was reported. 3000 block of Clairmont Road — On

Oct. 29, at noon, items were reported missing from a car. 3300 block of Buford Highway — On

Oct. 29, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported. 1400 block of North Cliff Valley Way

— On Oct. 29, in the evening, a theft was reported. 4400 block of Peachtree Road — On

Oct. 30, in the morning, items were stolen from a car. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On

Oct. 30, a man was arrested and accused of robbery. 3500 block of Buford Highway — On

Oct. 30, at night, a no-forced entry burglary at a residence was reported.

Oct. 24, in the morning, a no-forced entry burglary to a residence was reported.

200 block of Town Boulevard — On

Oct. 26, in the evening, items were stolen from a car.

Oct. 29, in the early morning, a strongarm street robbery was reREAD MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT ported.

700 block of Town Boulevard — On

2800 block of Clairmont Road — On

2000 block of


Buford Highway ambulance station deal is finalized BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Brookhaven and DeKalb County finalized a contractual agreement last month to locate an ambulance station at a vacant gas station on Buford Highway owned by the city. The new posting is part of DeKalb County’s efforts to speed up response times in north DeKalb. The city will fund the $180,000 needed to renovate the former QuikTrip to be used by the county’s contracted ambulance provider. The county will repay that $180,000 over five years as part of a lease agreement, city officials said. DeKalb County Fire Rescue provides emergency services to all cities in the county. The city of Dunwoody is seeking to create its own EMS zone after it said delayed ambulance response times by the county’s contracted provider, American Medical Response, was a public safety risk. Brookhaven is working with DeKalb County to post three ambulances at the new station to help improve response times in north DeKalb, but they will also service all of the county. At a September meeting of a state ad hoc subcommittee appointed to review DeKalb’s EMS strategy and Dunwoody’s request for its own EMS zone, City Manager Christian Sigman announced the city was working with the county on the Buford Highway posting. Dunwoody City Councilmember Terry Nall, who is leading the effort for a separate EMS zone, said at the time he was surprised to learn Brookhaven was collaborating with DeKalb. He said he was under the impression Brookhaven City Council members supported Dunwoody’s decision to seek its own EMS zone. The Dunwoody City Council has complained to DeKalb officials over three years BK

about poor ambulance response times. Brookhaven City Council members have not raised the issue of ambulance response times publicly. Councilmember Joe Gebbia said at the council’s Oct. 23 meeting he wanted city administrators to organize a council work session in January on ambulance response times to include representatives from DeKalb County, the ambulance service provider and to invite Terry Nall to participate. Gebbia said Brookhaven is “going out of [its] way to accommodate the county]” with an ambulance posting site, but he wants to be clear on the city’s objectives and make sure the county is accountable. City Manager Christian Sigman said the county is currently drawing up a new request for proposal for a new contract for an ambulance provider and is gathering input from cities on what standards they want included. He said he would be presenting recommendations on those standards to the City Council within 60 days for them to consider and approve as a resolution to be included in the new RFP. In May, Dunwoody declared an “EMS Emergency” to state health officials, saying the city was receiving poor service from AMR and the county was not doing anything to correct complaints about poor response times. The current contract with AMR and DeKalb requires ambulances to respond to 90 percent of all calls in under nine minutes. Dunwoody officials have said wait times can be much longer. AMR’s contract with DeKalb expires Dec. 31. The county hired a consultant this summer following Dunwoody’s declaration to help devise a new contract. The new contract is expected to include such provisions as tiered response times that allow for different response times depending on the seriousness of the illness or injury.

24 |

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