11-10-17 Brookhaven Reporter

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NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017 • VOL. 9 — NO. 23


Brookhaven Reporter



► For sale: Metropolitan Baptist Church PAGE 16 ► After NYC attack, bike path barriers considered PAGE 21

‘Day of the Dead’ on Buford Highway


Density, parking addressed in Overlay District rewrite BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A draft rewrite of the controversial Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District is on the way to the City Council, but not without concerns raised from some residents worried the zoning changes are being rushed through. The Planning Commission on Nov. 1 approved recommending the draft rewrite, with numerous amendments of its own made during the meeting, to be considered See DENSITY on page 18 PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

Samantha Ramirez, who makes traditional Mexican sweets under the brand name El Sueño Rico, snaps a photo of herself at the Día de los Muertos festival Nov. 4 at Northeast Plaza. Organized by We Love BuHi, the event was a local version of the annual “Day of the Dead” in Mexico and other Latin American countries. More photos, p. 30. ►

STANDOUT STUDENT Brookhaven ballerina balances school, life

I believe thanks to our veterans must begin with a recognition and understanding of the unique liberties you and I are afforded as Americans and then celebrating those freedoms.

‘Living the Vietnam War’ exhibit opens

Hunter Hill


Page 10


See OUT & ABOUT Page 25

Gebbia holds onto City Council seat BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Incumbent Brookhaven City Councilmember Joe Gebbia defeated challenger Dale Boone Nov. 7 to hold onto the District 4 seat, according to unofficial election results from DeKalb County. With all four precincts tallied, Gebbia garnered 339 votes, or 60.43 percent of the total, to Boone’s 212 votes, or 37.79 percent. There were also 10 write in votes, for a total of 561 votes cast in the race. DeKalb reports there are about 5,000 registered voters in District 4, so slightly more than 11 percent of voters showed up to the polls. District 4 includes Buford Highway and the city below I-85 where Children’s See GEBBIA on page 19

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Atlanta Hawks now practicing in $50 million Brookhaven facility BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The Atlanta Hawks began practicing in their new $50 million, state-of-the-art training facility in Executive Park last month, perhaps the only bright spot the team is enjoying right now as it continues to lose close games in what some expect will be a rebuilding season. Coach Mike Budenholzer believes the new facility will pay dividends for the team in the future. “I love it,” he said of the new facility, following a Halloween afternoon practice session. “It’s going to be a game-changer for our players, for their growth and development, and for our organization.” The sports medicine equipment available in the new facility will give Hawks players an opportunity not only to practice, but to maintain their health and to recover from injuries, he said. The new facility was created through a partnership between the Hawks and Emory Healthcare. The privately funded facility will combine the Hawks’ training facility and Operations Department with 30,000 square feet dedicated to Emory sports medicine facilities. It is the first such facility in the NBA. “It’s going to be the best in the NBA,” Budenholzer said. The Emory/Hawks partnership is a $50 million deal for the land purchase and building construction with $14 million being covered by Emory University and the Hawks providing $36 million. Emory University will then provide a ground lease to the Hawks for the practice facility. To secure the deal to have the Hawks and Emory locate the facility in Brookhav-


Atlanta Hawks’ Kent Bazemore, center, said during a recent practice that the Hawks’ new practice facility in Brookhaven ‘has that country club feel.’ The inset photo shows the main entrance to the new practice facility, a partnership between the Hawks and Emory Healthcare.

en, city officials agreed to offer the Hawks a $36 million tax break over 15 years. Emory is the team’s official sports medicine provider and secured naming rights to the facility. Emory’s Sports Medicine Center will move to the Brookhaven site as well. The complex will also serve as the East Coast headquarters for Peak Performance Project, known as P3, “a world-leader in applied sports science that provides individualized training for elite athletes from across the globe — using data and science to give them a competitive edge.” Emory Healthcare still is putting finishing touches on its portion of the building, and the grand opening of the facility is tentatively set for later this month. The front entrance to the facility bears the Emory Healthcare name. A gated entrance to the side of the building for players and coaches shows the Atlanta

Hawks logo and name. During the recent visit, players were shooting free throws on an expansive court with numerous signs on the walls and the basketball goals noting them as the “Emory Healthcare Courts.” Padding behind the four main goals is branded “ATL.” “It’s awesome and big ... you have to walk a long ways to get to places,” guard and forward Kent Bazemore said with a smile. “I’m a huge golfer and it’s got that country club feel. One thing NBA players love is new stuff.” “This new facility is awful, I hate it,” rookie John Collins joked. “Seriously, it’s pretty much a country club with basketball. It has everything we need.” Bazemore said the new facility is one of the steps the team is taking toward becoming a top tier organization in the NBA. He expects NBA players who visit Atlanta over the summers to use the new facility.

Collins also hopes the renovation of Philips Arena will help boost the team’s stature in the league. “They go hand-inhand and hopefully we can turn some positives out of that,” he said. For rookie Isiah Taylor, who just joined the team, the new facility is the only one he knows as an Atlanta Hawk. “It’s all I know so far. As you can see, it looks pretty good to me,” he said. Taylor said he is looking for a place to live and he hasn’t ruled out settling in Brookhaven. Collins and Bazemore , who live in Buckhead, said locating their practice facility in Brookhaven meant their commute to work is much easier than the one they used to take to practices at Philips Arena downtown. “I live in Buckhead ... and it’s a hop, skip and a jump,” Collins said. “Aw, yeah, it’s like night and day,” Bazemore said.

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The city recently signed off on the occupancy of 4004 Summit, a 15-story office tower located at 4004 Perimeter Summit Parkway off I-285, and its developers are now seeking tenants. “We represent the largest block of Class A office space in this area,” Randy Holmes, principal with developer Seven Oaks Co., said in a city-issued press release. “The Perimeter market has long since been the SPECIAL land of the large corporate presence. Now A rendering of the 4004 we are focused on securing leases with maSummit office building. jor corporate tenants.” Seven Oaks is working with CBRE to lease the 355,000-square-foot building. The new office tower is part of the Perimeter Summit office complex, which includes 1.8 million square feet of Class A office space. Companies that have recently located in Perimeter Summit include The Weather Co. and Sysnet Global Solutions. Construction on 4004 Summit began nearly two years ago. The developers and DeKalb County say the county has enough sewer capacity to support full occupancy. “DeKalb County has available capacity for growth in most areas of our sewer system,” DeKalb County Deputy Chief Operating Officer Ted Rhinehart said in the city’s press release. “This year we have made significant investments and progress in inspecting, repairing and cleaning the system. Seven Oaks is a good example of a large developer planning and communicating well in advance, and then working closely with both the city and the county as the project progressed, to ensure success.” Decide DeKalb, the county economic development authority, granted more than $6 million in tax breaks to Seven Oaks in 2015, which came as a surprise to city officials at the time. The city part of the tax break was $537,000.


The Brookhaven Public Works Department has started performing conditional analysis of the roads proposed to be paved in 2018. The 2018 proposed budget includes 24 roads slated to be paved in the capital improvement plan, adding up to about 4 miles of projected paving, according to a city press release. The analysis will incorporate core sampling of the proposed paving sites, according to city officials. These core samples will be visually inspected as well as analyzed in a laboratory in order to determine the appropriate measure of recommended remediation. Pavement thickness, structural integrity, base material composition and other factors will be evaluated. This information will assist the city in defining the overall scope and costs associated with the 2018 paving program and the strategy associated with its execution.

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Community | 5


A lifetime of music

Frank Boggs shares how music shaped his life BY JOE EARLE

comfortable.” Boggs took over the festival chorus Frank Boggs has been around church about the time he retired from teaching music all his life. music at The Westminster Schools. He He remembers tagging along to choir taught there for 23 years. A friend, a practice with his mother and father at the minster at a Cobb County church, told First Baptist Church in Dallas, Tex., back Boggs that he’d be miserable without when he was too little to be left at home. a choir to direct. Boggs thought there “I’d go with them and I’d listen to them might be something to that, so he sing and then I’d curl up in the pew and put an ad in a Marietta newspaper go to sleep,” he recalled. “Music was just soliciting singers. The Cobb Festival kind of there my whole life.” Chorus started Boggs has with 18 organized and members. built choirs, Their first taught music performance, and recorded Boggs said, was two dozen of Handel’s albums. He’s “Messiah,” a appeared on piece usually radio and TV, associated and performed with much around the U.S. larger groups. and abroad. JOE EARLE “When people He even coChorus founder and director Frank Boggs talks about heard what we wrote the fight music in the living room of his Buckhead apartment. did that first song played to year, I started cheer the Baylor University Bears, the auditioning more singers.” Now, there are football team at his alma mater. The 111 singers with the festival chorus, he said. song he and his roommate wrote while “Over the years, we’ve built a wonderful they were students at Baylor back in choir,” he said. the 1940s replaced an earlier fight song He’s used to building choirs. When he written by Fred and Tom Waring of big started teaching at Westminster, he said, band fame. Boggs thought that song was the choir was composed of just 18 girls and too hard to sing. Now, “every time they three boys. “It was the most pitiful thing score a touchdown, they play our song,” I’d ever heard,” he recalled. “I came home he said with a smile. and told [my wife] I may have made the “Music is my life,” he said during a biggest mistake of my life.” recent chat in his 21st-story apartment Instead of giving up, he set to work. in Lenbrook, a Buckhead high rise. He started going to football practices “I love to make beautiful music, and to recruit singers. He told the boys they teaching people to love beautiful music.” could meet girls by singing. “I said, ‘I At age 90, he’s still at it. guarantee you, if you join choir, I’m He leads the Georgia Festival Chorus, going to get every good-looking girl at a singing group he has directed since its Westminster to join the choir.’” Once the founding. The chorus performs concerts football players signed up, he said, girl in the spring and fall and is scheduled singers followed and the choir grew. to perform Nov. 19, Nov. 30 and Dec. 12. When he was a student at Baylor, “Through the years — this is our 31st year he organized the music for a series of — we have built a very loyal audience,” student-led tent revivals. They started Bogg said. “They turn out to hear us.” out small, but eventually attracted David Scott, associate director hundreds of people from surrounding of the chorus, said Boggs has been communities. “The Holy Spirit just “tremendously important” to the blessed us,” he said. A thousand people group’s success. “He’s been a great would be spread out on the grass. … advocate for the music,” Scott said. Instead of going for one week like we “His choice of material is very good. planned, it went for three weeks.” He’s fun to work with. …He’s a nice guy These days, Boggs is sorting through to get to know.” his old recordings to make CDs of his That matters. “These things are very music for his grandchildren. He’s pulled personality driven,” Scott said. “If you don’t songs from albums with titles such as “In have integrity, if you don’t have a pleasant God We Trust” and “Yes, God Is Real.” personality, people don’t come back. ” What’s his favorite song? That changes, At the same time, Boggs is a natural he said. He thought a moment and then showman, Scott said. “Frank has a way said a song called “The Majesty and Glory — in a performance he speaks to the of His Name” was one of his favorites for crowd naturally,” he said. “Most folks, the choir. “Every time we sing it,” he said, if you start putting them in front of a “something magical happens.” crowd of 100 or 1,000 or 2,000 people, they get stressed. But Frank is very For more information visit tgafc.org.

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Sandy Springs resident leads a new kind of veterans organization


SENIOR RESIDENCES AT MERC Y PARK Senior Residences at Mercy Park is a brand new development located in Chamblee, GA at 5124 Peachtree Road. The community will offer 79 one and two bedroom apartments for seniors 62 and older. 6 apartments are designated for individuals with special needs and 8 apartments are for veterans. The property will be accepting applications beginning Monday, November 27, 2017 at 8:30am. Applications will be accepted and added to the waiting list in the order they are received. Temporary Office Location: Chamblee Senior Residences 3381 Chamblee Drive Chamblee, GA 30341 Income limits apply and applicants must pass credit, criminal and landlord reference checks. For additional information, please contact 678.266.6116 (TTY: 711) or visit our webpage at www.mercyhousing.org/MercyPark.

Above, Jared Ogden, the founder of Phoenix Patriot Foundation, parachutes onto the Dunwoody Country Club fairway in a tuxedo for a 2014 fundraiser.

Right, from left, current PPF CEO and Executive Director John Paulson, founder Jared Ogden and Mary Paulson at a 2014 fundraiser at the Dunwoody Country Club. Below, Kyle Butcher.

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

John Paulson remembers what it was like to come home from Vietnam as a young Marine in 1970 and into the world of old-school veterans groups. “I went to a VFW and it was filled with all these old World War II guys smoking, drinking, cussing … I never went back,” says the Sandy Springs resident, best known for serving on the City Council and his service at the Buckhead American Legion post. Today, through a twist of fate and a commitment to service, Paulson is now CEO and executive director of a new kind of veterans organization focused on tailored help for wounded vets of the post-Sept. 11 wars. The Phoenix Patriot Foundation, created in 2010 by a North Springs Charter High graduate who became a Navy SEAL, is a modest but growing nonprofit operating in three areas across the country, including Atlanta, Houston and southern California, and directly aiding about a dozen veterans. PPF has its own rock band and has helped to fund veterans’ albums. It has organized Special Forces style Jet Ski journeys hundreds of miles along ocean coasts. Most importantly, it’s open to doing just about anything a wounded veteran is driven to pursue. “We purposely set up these programs to cover anything that comes,” Paulson said. Kyle Butcher, a Newnan resident, is one of the veterans who has come to PPF. In

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2005, he was a young soldier on track to become an Army Ranger when he was shot three times while serving in Afghanistan, ending his military career. “I didn’t know which way was up. I was 20 years old and had my life goal taken away from me,” he said. Butcher tried visits to the Veterans Affairs services, but it’s “just not set up to do the one-on-one,” he said. Then he found PPF and joined one of the quarterly “Vetlanta” veterans meetings that Paulson organizes. Now Butcher participates in those Jet Ski adventures that PPF modestly calls “Challenges” — “600 miles in four days in eight-foot seas at times … it’s not for everybody.” The importance of PPF, Butcher says is “having their own little organization that specifically tailors what they do … They’re absolutely accommodating. It’s not just, ‘Hey, let’s take a trip.’ It’s like, ‘You want to do woodworking the rest of your life? We’ll find a way to make it happen.’” The personal touch — and Paulson’s involvement — came from the personal reasons PPF was founded by Jared Ogden. Ogden is a Roswell native who attended North Springs with Paulson’s children and ended up starting a house-painting business with his son Jeff. Mary Paulson, John’s wife, was particularly close to Ogden and stayed in touch as he attended the Naval Academy and then became a SEAL. In Afghanistan, a teammate and friend of Ogden was severely wounded, losing both legs, among other injuries. Ogden soon saw the limited services able for veterans with physical and mental wounds who come home with an abrupt end to a vigorous, teamoriented lifestyle. So he founded PPF to help them “re-engage” and “re-integrate.” In the early years, Ogden, who now lives in St. Louis, sometimes visited the Atlanta area. In 2011, Sandy Springs declared a “Jared Ogden Day,” and for a 2014 fundraiser, he memorably parachuted onto the 18th hole of the Dunwoody Country Club, carrying an American flag and clad in a tuxedo. “He thought he was James Bond,” Paulson jokes. Around that time, Ogden asked Paulson to join the PPF board to help tighten up its organization. And about 18 months ago, as Ogden grew busy with a target shooting enterprise, he asked Paulson to take over the organization’s leadership. “It’s been rewarding. It’s been challenging,” Paulson said. For the Atlanta chapter, Paulson is working on a number of programs and offerings with varying success. One program is $2,000 in tuition assistance with the Technical College System of Georgia, but no vets have yet applied. PPF is trying to find better ways to connect veterans with the program. For early next year, Paulson is organizing a local version of a “challenge” — a Chattachoochee River boating trip to run 35 miles from the Buford Dam to Sandy Springs’ Overlook Park. Then there are more causal opportunities to socialize and talk in a way that only another veteran can. That’s for both camaraderie and, like many PPF programs, potential therapy for such mental affects such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which Paulson said he suffered after Vietnam. “I’m a combat veteran,” he said. “Combat veterans talk to each other in ways noncombat veterans don’t get.” “No veteran will say he needs help. It doesn’t work that way,” Paulson said. But if he or she has a skill or activity they are driven to pursue, he has a simple message about what PPF offers: “We’ll figure it out.” For more information, see PhoenixPatriotFoundation.org.



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8 | Food & Drink

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Village Burger’s Matt Gephardt on building burgers, bridges BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net ATIONAL SPORTS P ERN UB INT

Metrotainment Cafes is pleased to announce the new addition to the Hudson Grille team, Hudson FC International Sports Pub! America’s favorite sports bar is going worldwide with a new concept that serves up delicious pub fare along with craft, local and imported beers, while focusing on soccer, rugby, cricket and other international sports. Now open and located in Brookhaven Station!

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Village Burger in Dunwoody is more than just a hamburger restaurant. It’s become a place where the community congregates for bike rides or special events. The recipe for its success has led to the opening of two more Village Burger restaurants — one in Johns Creek and another just last month in Tucker. Matt Gephardt is the face of the group of investors that owns Village Burger. If his last name sounds familiar, it is. He’s the son of Dick Gephardt, the Missouri Democrat who served in Congress for nearly 30 years and ran for president a couple of times. Matt’s parents now live in Florida. There’s no politics at Village Burger, however. Matt Gephardt said the mission of the neighborhood burger joint is to bring people together for a good meal. For more information, visit villageburger.com.


Does your dad like to eat at Village Burger?


He is an investor in Village Burger and always wants to eat at the restaurant when he comes into town. He loves the turkey burger at Village Burger, to the point of obsession!


How did you end up in Dunwoody?


My wife, Tricia, grew up in Dunwoody and after we got married, we wanted to live near family. Her parents lived here, so we decided to move to Dunwoody to be near them before we started our own family. That was in early 2001, so we have been in Dunwoody for almost 17 years and we couldn’t think of a better place to raise a family!

Q: Who owns the restaurant? A: Village Burger is owned by a group of

investors, most of whom live in Dunwoody. From the beginning, it was important to us that Village Burger be “from the people of Dunwoody, for the people of Dunwoody.”


Why did you want to open in Dunwoody?


Village Burger opened in September 2010. It has always been located in Dunwoody Village, in its current location, which was previously a Bruster’s ice cream shop. We wanted to open in Dunwoody because that is where we live and we thought the community needed a neighborhood burger joint, where families could go to get a delicious handmade meal at a reasonable price.


There are now a couple more Village Burgers, in Johns Creek and Tucker. How did those come about?


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We have customers visit Village Burger Dunwoody from across the Atlanta metro area. We often receive requests from these customers to bring a Village Burger to their community. We are always on the lookout for a town like Dunwoody, where a Village Burger would be welcomed and would be able to thrive. When we find such a community, we will look for a potential location, which is how the Village Burgers in Johns Creek and Tucker were started.


What’s your favorite meal at your own restaurant?


That is a tough question! While we are admittedly biased and love all the food on our menu, it is hard not to en-

NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Food & Drink | 9



What was the first day of business like at Dunwoody’s Village Burger?

A: We will nev-

er forget it. It was Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. We put out a short message on Facebook announcing our opening and within an hour the line was out the door. We didn’t know what to expect and we got slammed. We are grateful that the community was patient with us as we learned our way.

joy a hot and juicy Village Burger with our favorite fresh toppings and a side of hand-cut seasoned fries dipped in our signature homemade Village Sauce.

Q: How did you come up with the name? A: We came up with the name Village

Burger because we were opening in the Dunwoody Village and we wanted the name to reflect the fact that the restaurant is a part of the community. We think it conveys what makes us special, which is the fact that we are not a chain restaurant with ownership and control from afar; we are owned by people in the community, who are committed to serve the communities we do business in.


How did you come up with the main menu?


We started with the basic concept that everything would be fresh, never frozen and made from scratch. The first menu was fairly simple — certified Angus burgers, Hebrew National hot dogs and handcut french fries. We also offered beer and wine. Over time and based on customer feedback, we added a turkey burger, veggie burger, salads, onion rings, pickle chips, chili and a few other fresh items. Our goal is to have high quality products at a value-based price.

Q: Did you grow up going to a restau-

rant like Village Burger?


There wasn’t one in particular, but many towns all across the U.S. have a neighborhood “burger joint” where the people gather after family events and are likely to run into a friend or neighbor. In some ways we think we’re recreating the early days of Dairy Queen or McDonald’s.


Do you have regulars who get the same dishes every time they come? Or do you most of your customers like to try new stuff each visit?

Matt Gephardt, right, with his business partner and co-owner of Village Burger, Ricardo Gonzalo.



We have a mix of both. Our staff works hard to get to know our regulars and their preferences. Some people even sit in the same seat each visit. Many people come in a few times per week — one time they will have a burger and fries, the next time something a little healthier like a salad.


A Salata salad restaurant has opened in Sandy Springs’ Glenridge Point shopping center. The Houston-based chain calls itself a “next-generation salad bar,” featuring made-to-order salads or salad wraps. Salata is located at 860 Johnson Ferry Road, near the Pill Hill medical center area. For more information, see salata. com or call 470-233-7493.


After briefly closing, Battle & Brew, a popular Sandy Springs bar and restaurant known for hosting video game tournaments and trivia, announced on social media it has been purchased by a new owner and will reopen. Located at 5920 Roswell Road, Battle & Brew closed on Nov. 5, but announced on Nov. 7 it will reopen under new ownership.

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What famous people eat at your restaurant? Any movie stars since the movies have come to Dunwoody in recent years?


We’ve had a number of professional and ex-professional athletes visit our stores. We’re not sure of any movie stars stopping in, but we’ve had some initial inquiries from producers about filming at the restaurant. Maybe that will happen one day!


What’s the best part of owning a restaurant? The hardest part about owning a restaurant?


The best part of owning Village Burger is seeing a full house on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Seeing the community together enjoying each other’s company and a good meal is a lot of fun. We also really enjoy our annual Employee Appreciation Party every November. We bring all of our employees and their families for a big party. It’s a night when the owners get to serve the employees that do such a great job serving our customers. The hardest part of owning a restaurant is the pace of the business. Village Burger is “on stage” every day and we have to perform well to keep our customers happy and coming back.

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10 | Education

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Erin Hazelwood

Chamblee Charter High School, freshman Editor’s note: Through our “Standout Student” series, Reporter Newspapers showcases the work of some of the outstanding students at our local schools. If you would expanding her overall skill and knowllike to recommend “Standout edge of the concepts of dance. Every day Student” to be included in our series, please except for Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., email editor@ReporterNewspapers.net with Erin attended classes that taught differinformation about the student and why you ent styles of dance, such as jazz or modthink he or she should be featured. ern, and that revolved around perforErin Hazelwood discovered her pasmance and technique. sion for ballet five years ago and has been She also took classes in exercises in the world of dance ever since, eventusuch as Pilates to help strengthen her ally leading her to be invited to particistamina for long performances. pate in the Nashville Ballet’s sumThe program worked closely mer program. with Erin and the other stuThe Brookhaven resident’s dents on individual correclove for ballet began when tions and she asked choreograher mom if phy. she could try Erin said out dancing that there after a movis no doubt ie based on that those ballet caught five weeks her interwere chalest. Now, as lenging, but a freshmen that is an at Chamblee aspect of Charter High the experiSchool, Erin ence that is an A stushe enjoyed. dent in the She also is magnet proproud of gram and a how she self-motivathas become ed dancer SPECIAL a stronwho dreams Top, Erin Hazelwood, a freshman at Chamblee ger dancof furthering Charter High School, participated in the er who has her career in Nashville Ballet summer program. improved in ballet. Bottom, Erin Hazelwood performs a ballet more fields Ballet dance with a dancing partner. than just is both deballet. The program was no easy feat but manding and satisfying, Erin said, she had fun every day doing what she which is one reason she is drawn to it. loves — dancing. She wishes to attend “I like ballet because there is always the summer intensive program again at something new to learn and work on, I School of Nashville Ballet this upcoming like a challenge.” she says. summer, so that she may continue workShe has to balance her school work ing towards her dream of being a profesand social life while making room for her sional dancer. dancing passion, which often brings 12 Bethany Elias, director at the North hours of practice a week. A normal week Georgia School of Ballet, said she was imfor Erin consists of practice four days a pressed by the range of ability Erin shows week for three hours at the North Georas a dancer after only beginning ballet a gia School of Ballet while still going to few years ago. “Erin is one of the most speschool Monday through Friday. In whatcial students I have taught,” Elias said. “Her ever free time she has, Erin does stretchhard work, discipline, and attention to dees at home, goes to the gym to work out tail have made her a very smart, dynamic, or watches videos of professional dancand talented dancer.” ers. One she particularly enjoys watching is Svetlana Zakharova, who she says she What’s Next? looks up to as a professional ballerina. Erin plans to study dance in college and At the Nashville Ballet’s summer prohave a career as a professional dancer. gram, Erin danced for about 40 hours a week alongside more than 300 students This article was written and reported by from 33 states as well as international Kathleen Pahl, a senior at Mount Vernon students from Canada and New Zealand. Presbyterian School. For five weeks, Erin spent her summer

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Education | 11

NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Education News

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The Mexican government’s scholarship program chose Oglethorpe University, a private university located in Brookhaven, to receive $18,000 to distribute to Mexican students. IME Scholarships is a program of the Government of Mexico that seeks to expand educational opportunities for Mexicans abroad and is aimed at students with low economic resources who attend basic, university and technological education. Mexican students have several challenges hindering them from completing a college degree, including being low-income and “the implementation of laws or anti-immigrant positions in some states,” the scholarship program’s website said. Daira Galindo, a freshman, and Jose Franco-Zuniga, a senior, were two of the students chosen to benefit from the financial aid. The students also met with Atlanta Consul General F. Javier Díaz de León. Oglethorpe was selected by a local committee and will match the funds. Several other universities in the U.S. were chosen to receive the funds, including one other in Georgia, Georgia Southern University.

R I V ERWOOD P I LOTS PA RTN ER SHIP WI TH GEORGI A F I LM A C A DEM Y Riverwood International Charter School, a Fulton public high school in Sandy Springs, has become one of the first schools to partner with the Georgia Film Academy to teach high school students film industry skills. Continued on page 12


Share in inthe the Spirit Serving grades 7–12, Marist School provides an education where achievement

inspire exploration and uncover hidden talents. Through it all, students gain a JANUARY 6 - 19,

2017 • VOL. 11 —

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Nominator (name, relationship to nominee and contact information) Nominee (Name, age, grade, school, parent or guardian names, contact information) Characteristics and service: Please provide a paragraph describing why this nominee deserves recognition. Include service projects, goals, interests and areas of interest to help illustrate your point.


exists within a spirit of humility and generosity. Students are challenged by an


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Each January, we feature students from public schools, private schools and colleges in Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs who have given back to their community in a significant way. Over the last seven years, we’ve featured students who have created their own nonprofits, have given up summer vacation to work domestically and abroad to help the less fortunate and one even helped build a library by collecting books. The 10th annual 20 Under 20 will appear in our Jan. 5, 2018 issue and we are now seeking nominations of students ages 19 and younger who have committed themselves to service to the community. Nominations are welcome from teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, siblings, fellow students or community leaders. Here’s the information we need:

Sally Marcus, MD Jeff Hopkins, MD Natalie Metzig, MD Allison Hill, MD Amy Hardin, MD Tiji Philip, MD Adele Goodloe, MD







dyanabagby@repor ternewspapers.net

About 20 years ago, Doug McKend noticed the basketball hoops at Allen rick Park in Sandy Road Springs had no nets. “You can’t play he said matter-o basketball without a net,” f-factly. “Have a high school game, a college you ever seen game without game or a NBA a net?” So the business man, now renowned owner of McKendrick’s the Dunwoody, Steak House purchased in some nets stalled them and inat the local park for the who enjoy playing there. kids And he hasn’t stopped. At ger installs 73, he no lonthe nets. “That takes three and a ladder,” people he said. But he does like to buy up all the basketball nets at the Target on Roswell them in the Road, keep trunk of his car and drop ple off at the a coupark for the young people ing there to install playthemselves months when every few they become torn, ragged and See FORMER on page 13


unique strength of character and skill and a joy of serving others that prepares them to be compassionate, confident leaders.

Come visit to experience Marist’s spirit yourself. Learn more at marist.com marist.com




The deadline for nominations is Nov. 30. Please email your nominations to Joe Earle at JoeEarle@reporternewspapers.net.

An An Independent Independent Catholic Catholic School School of of the the Marist Marist Fathers Fathers and and Brothers Brothers

12 | Education

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Continued from page 11

New Year. New Look. Same Exceptional Epstein Experience. The Epstein School offers integrated, dual-language learning that cultivates lifelong skills, inspires Jewish curiosity, critical thinking and creativity. We are: • Centered around our students • Driven by our values • Developing our students’ passion • Building on our past • Focused on our future • Powered by our community

The school plans to roll out a film program this spring, the school said. J.C. Futrell, Riverwood’s audio visual technology and film teacher, was one of 30 Fulton County teachers to participate in a Georgia Film Academy pilot program for high school teachers this past summer, according to a press release. Over 10 days, the program taught teachers the high school curriculum created by GFA and techniques to make films. Industry professionals helped GFA SPECIAL J.C. Futrell attends a Georgia Film create the standardized film curricuAcademy program to train teachers lum for high school students. GFA will on new high school curriculum. provide professional-grade equipment to Riverwood so Futrell can teach students the curriculum, the press release said. The executive director of GFA, Jeff Stepakoff, has announced at forums and other public events that the program was planning to roll out a high school curriculum. He said in a press release that it is an obvious choice to train high school students because they have grown up with video technology. “Interest in film is rampant throughout the state. We are addressing that at the college level, but starting to get our heads around the high school level. We have two million high school students in our SPECIAL state. They’re making movies; they’re Riverwood making them on their iPhones. Why photography are we not bringing them into the fold?” student Isis Mayfield poses Stepakoff said in a press release. in front of her photograph displayed on a MARTA train car.

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R I V ERWO O D S TUDENT S ’ A R T DI S P L AY ED O N M A R TA Fifteen Riverwood students had their art displayed on a MARTA train as part of the citywide Atlanta Celebrates Photography exhibit. The program invited students from Riverwood and Tri-Cities High School in East Point to submit photographs that told “stories of their communities and reflect upon the assumptions and misconceptions of them.” ACP organized workshops taught by local photographers for the students. The program was kicked off at an event at the High Museum of Art where students presented their images and discussed how they represented their communities. The art was then displayed on MARTA Red Line train cars for a week. Riverwood photography teacher Lana Ensmann said the experience was “incredible” for all students involved. “Not many artists get this kind of exposure — ever!” Ensmann said in a press release. Students Emily Greenslade, Wesley Mills, Isis Mayfield, Shereen Ragheb, Michael Kraft, Native Erwin, Josephine Johnson, Jason King, Brenna Munson, Maeve Munson, Reina Abernathy, Mary Mac Birkel, Elizabeth Hernandez, Dori Balser and Sage Patterson participated. The students’ photographs were also used to help launch a new Instagram account called Everyday Atlanta, which is an extension of the popular Instagram feed Everyday Africa. The original Africa account was developed to “combat stereotypes of African communities,” and the Atlanta account has the same goal, according to the release.

NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Athletes will miss using Boys & Girls Club facilities BY DYANA BAGBY

master, Boys & Girls Club spokesperson. “The new location offers more than double the building space of our old site People who drive down North Druid including a huge gym,” she said. “We will Hills Road near the Brookhaven-Oglethobe able to serve 250 kids each day, a more rpe MARTA station often see a familthan 50 percent increase over our current iar sight — volleyball players digging in space.” the dirt as part of a sand volleyball league The sale of the club is not a signifier of that has played at the Boys & Girls Club for a decline in participation, Buckmaster addnearly 20 years. ed. There are 25 Boys & Girls Clubs in metro But now the Brookhaven Boys & Girls Atlanta “and, on the whole, have seen our Club property is for sale, with plans to membership numbers rise or stay stable in close its Brookhaven site this year and rerecent years,” she said. locate to Chamblee in January. Developer “We have not sold any other properties, Ashton Woods is seeking to buy the propbut have shut down a few locations where erty with plans to build a 64-unit townwe did not own the buildings and our parthome development that has raised the ire nerships came to an end,” she said. of nearby residents who said such a develBuckmaster said Brookhaven kids will opment will only worsen the already notostill be able to be served in Chamblee with rious traffic near Peachtree and North Druclub buses picking up students at several of id Hills roads. the local schools to take them to the new facility. “No child that is currently being served will be left behind,” she said. The City Council Oct. 24 voted to defer the rezoning vote of the property at the request of Ashston Woods, which is still hoping to garner neighborhood support for the project. The proposed development goes DYANA BAGBY back to the Planning As a teen, David Williams attended the Brookhaven Commission on Dec. 5. Boys & Girls Club and recently learned how to referee a volleyball match on the same courts he once played But last month, the Planon while attending Cross Keys High School. ning Commission rejected the Ashton Woods deMany residents are also sad to see the velopment, saying it did not conform to the landmark location, with its green space single-family character of area. and sports fields, leave the community. David Williams, 28, has lived in “Everyone knows the volleyball courts Brookhaven since he was a teen and reand the softball fields,” said Shelley Fulmembers attending the Boys & Girls Club ghum, who moved to Brookhaven in 2009 on North Druid Hills Road while he was a and lives on Logan Circle behind the Boys & student at Cross Keys High School. Girls Club. “It’s a community space, and it’s “I made some lifelong friends at the going to be a big loss for the area.” club,” he said during volleyball recreation Fulghum has played in the volleyball league play on a recent Sunday afternoon. league at the club for about five years. Williams, who works for Fusion Sports, She joined the league, managed by Fusion was learning to referee the sport. He is Sports, after seeing volleyball players on also an umpire for Fusion Sports’ softball the courts that are visible from North Druleague, which also plays at the club. id Hills Road. Williams said he understands the Boys “I understand what the club needs to & Girls Club’s decision to move to a larger do,” she said. “But if it can’t be green space, facility in Chamblee but is sad to see it go. it would be better as single-family homes.” “I have so many memories here,” he said. The sale to Ashton Woods of the Boys Rich Alvarez owns Fusion Sports and & Girls Club, which has been in Brookhavsits on the DeKalb County board of direcen for 40 years, is contingent on rezoning. tors for the Boys & Girls Club. Finding a City Manager Christian Sigman said the new home for the sports leagues is in the club approached the city about purchasing works, including discussions with the city the property months ago, but at the time of Brookhaven, other parks departments, was asking $10 million, too steep a price and some private organizations. for the city to pay. “In all honesty, it was time for that club But even if the rezoning fails, the club to move on,” he said. “That neighborhood will close its Brookhaven location and has changed ... and this new move is in the move about four miles away to 2880 Dresbest interest of the club, and more imporden Drive in Chamblee, said Melanie Bucktantly for the kids. dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net


Community | 13


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14 | Commentary

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Commentary: The many ways to honor veterans Editor’s Note: The following is the address that keynote speaker Hunter Hill was scheduled to deliver during the city of Sandy Springs’ eighth annual Veterans Day Tribute at the Concourse Center on Nov. 10. Many of you know Veterans Day was first “Armistice Day,” the day which effectively ended hostilities between the Allies and Germany during World War I. It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month; 11 o’clock in the morning, on Nov. 11, 1918. The name change to Veterans Day took place in 1954 with President Eisenhower so that our nation could honor veterans from all conflicts on the same day. KATE AWTREY Dr. Doug Huber, chaplain of American Legion Post 140, left, and Ninety-nine years later, Nov. CWO5 Edwin Harman III, USMC, salute during Sandy Springs’ 2016 Veterans Day celebration. 11, 2017, Americans across the country commemorate this day to say “thank you” to all who that made this country great. Engage in the public square. Our have served, and to also learn how best There has to be a unity of purpose on founders believed an informed electorwe can honor past and present sacrifices. the part of the American people and our ate was key to the survival of our repubWe live in a trying time for our nagovernment, just like there is in each lic. Then, equipped with that knowltion — one that presents new and danArmy unit — regardless of race, poliedge, we must seek out individuals or gerous challenges for our leaders, both tics or culture. Because America is not organizations that represent our values at home and abroad. And these challand or treasure. America is an idea, an and beliefs and get involved. Whethlenges are especially real for our idea that liberty and juser in your local church, community or law enforcement here at home as tice should be available personal network, engage by making well as our current military overto all people and that all the change you want to see in your loseas. They both are called to opercitizens should be encal, state and national governments. ate in incredibly uncertain envitrusted to govern themAlso, vote. Exercising our right ronments where they don’t know selves. Anyone should be to vote is the basic necessity of any which day may be their last. free to worship as they healthy republic. Too many Americans Current events should also rechoose, they should have throw up their hands and resign to the mind us that veterans are incredthe political freedom to outcome of each election. I fear that a ible assets to our communities, elect their own leaders, people unwilling to exercise their most state and nation. and also have the choice basic freedoms as Americans may not I served three combat tours in SPECIAL in how they pursue their enjoy those rights in the future. Hunter Hill. the Army, and our motto is, “This own happiness. These Finally, if you are a business owner, We’ll Defend.” This represents are things veterans behire a veteran. Veterans have incredible two notions. First, America is special lieve are worth the sacrifice — things value to offer any business or organizaand worth defending; and second, that worth fighting to protect. tion, and investing in our nation’s finour service men and women have the Often on days like Veterans Day, est is an outstanding way to show our willingness to fight. It is my belief that we may see our simple thanks to those gratitude for their service and sacrifice. whatever challenges our nation, state who have served as insufficient. How Our blessings as a nation are many. and communities face can be overcome do we do more? I believe we can do the One of the greatest is our selfless men if we learn from the values our excepfollowing: and women who, past or present, serve tional armed forces instill in America’s Read our founding documents and our nation in uniform. I hope that we young men and women. familiarize ourselves with what each all continue to say “thank you” and In Iraq and Afghanistan, it didn’t veteran has sacrificed to protect. When mean it. But I also hope that we can matter what political party the man to our servicemen and women enlist, they learn from their values and use their my left and my right supported. When swear an oath to our Constitution — to incredible example to better ourselves you’re in the foxhole, you want somesupport and defend it against all enehere at home. one you can trust to carry out the mismies foreign and domestic and to bear May God bless each of you, our vetsion — you’re a unit trained to accomtrue faith and allegiance to the same. erans, and our country. plish a goal. You all know what you’re The America they represent on the batfighting for and what you’re fighting to tlefield are the ideas enshrined in the Hunter Hill served three tours of comdefend. Regardless of the differences in Constitution and our other founding bat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan in the U.S each unit, platoon or company, we had documents. I believe thanks to our vetArmy as an Airborne Ranger, two of which to work together as a team. I believe we erans must begin with a recognition and were with the 101st Airborne Division. He have lost that unifying theme across understanding of the unique liberties served in the state Senate for Buckhead and our society. We’re all Americans. We all you and I are afforded as Americans and Sandy Springs’ District 6 from 2013 to 2017 stand for the same foundational values then celebrating those freedoms. and is a Republican candidate for governor.


NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Community | 15





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A new steakhouse from local restaurateur Michel Arnette is among the tenants of a new 70,000-square-foot commercial complex that recently opened on Apple Valley Road. Apple Valley Brookhaven, located in the renovated Bagcraft Papercorn warehouse at 2700 Apple Valley Road, opened in July. One tenant, Continuon Services, a benefits management company, relocated from Midtown to the new office that is located near Brookhaven MARTA’s station and is within walking distance of Dresden Drive’s shops and restaurants. The office also overlooks a neighborhood park. The second tenant is Arnette’s fourth Brookhaven restaurant, the steakhouse Arnette’s Chop Shop. Arnette’s other Brookhaven restaurants are the popular Haven, Valenza, and Vero Pizzeria, all located on Dresden Drive. “Michel Arnette came to us about a year ago. We have collaborated for about 12 months about what his space will look like and came to terms a few months ago,” said William Stark, managing director of developer Stream Realty Partners’ Atlanta office.

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Buildout of the new 6,335-square-foot restaurant is ongoing and plans are to have the place ready to open by Valentine’s Day, Stark said. “It will be a steakhouse with a rooftop bar and lounge area, an indoor and outdoor space with fire pits,” he said. Design of Apple Valley Brookhaven was by architect Perkins + Will and the office complex includes high ceilings, a mezzanine, lots of natural daylight coming in through large windows, garage door openings and a courtyard. Stark said preliminary plans are to have only one restaurant in the space but there is the possibility of a grab-and-go coffee and sandwich shop. Stark said many of the potential tenants his company has talked to are businesses in Buckhead who want to escape the heavy traffic of the area, but stay on the northern edge of metro Atlanta. Other interested parties are those who like the new trend in loft office space, he said. Apple Valley Brookhaven also has its own corporate bike-share program with 10 bikes branded with the AVB logo. The bikes allow employees to ride to Dresden Drive for lunch or even to the MARTA station for a meeting downtown, Stark said. “People are saying they like the high ceilings, the natural light and the courtyards ... and the neighborhood setting,” he said. Stark said his company is in talks with a potential tenant that could take up the entire south of the building, a total of 30,000 square-feet. Nothing has been finalized yet, however. “We’re probably six months from getting mostly filled up,” Stark said. “We have a lot more announcements coming up.” BK

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16 | Community

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Sandy Springs church is for sale; housing redevelopment possible BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

A Baptist church is shutting its doors after more than 40 years in Sandy Springs, and is on the market for $1.485 million for possible redevelopment into single-family houses. “The plan is to, after 48 years of ministry, to dissolve the church,” said Dr. Nate Bednar, the senior pastor at Metropolitan Baptist Church at 4795 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. “It’s been a very difficult decision for me and the remaining members here at the church.” But with only seven congregants remaining — and that’s counting Bednar and his wife — there was little choice for the small, suburban church. Bednar recently left his position as a Sandy Springs Police chaplain to focus on the church sale. Located in southern Sandy Springs close to the Brookhaven and Buckhead borders around Windsor Parkway, the church opened around 1973 with about 100 members. While attendance has dwindled, the church’s significance remains for such one-time congregants as former Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis. “That was the church I grew up in,” said Davis. “That’s the church where I was baptized.” Davis’s mother, Mary, attended for over 40 years before her death in 2014, and her funeral was held there. Davis recalled attending meals after Sunday services led by founding pastor “Brother Bob” Spencer. Bednar — who has been with the church 26 years as assistant and senior pastor — said he wants those good community memories to survive the church. The possible redevelopment has been vetted by neighbors, he said, and proceeds of the sale will go to other Christian organizations. When a church closes, Bednar said, “Sometimes the pastor flees the state and leaves a mess … My desire is to leave a good testimony here in Sandy Springs.” He said he expects the church, located in a residential neighborhood, will be sold to a housing developer, though bringing in another church is a possibility. “All of our neighbors are on board with tearing down our church facilities and putting one to three homes” in its place, he said. The High Point Civic Association, a community group representing the area in Sandy Springs zoning cases, is not taking a position until it sees a specific, written redevelopment plan, said president Bill Gannon.



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A sale sign is up at Metropolitan Baptist Church at 4795 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road in Sandy Springs.


The 2-acre church property went on the market the week of Oct. 31 and several potential buyers have reached out already, Bednar said. Most are developers, while one was a church, but it needed a much larger building, he said. The money will go to such organizations as Christian missions, Bednar said. “So in a sense, the Metropolitan will cease here in Sandy Springs, but will continue in the lives and ministries of approximately 17 to 20 missions and agencies,” he said. Bednar is facing his own transition. While he’s a natural evangelist — he made sure a reporter left with a Baptist pamphlet — he has no new preaching position lined up and, at least for now, will be returning to the “secular business world,” where he once worked as a project management consultant.

Struggles and history

In a time of dwindling church attendance and rising real estate values, Metropolitan Baptist is not the only local church facing closure. Apostles Church on Glenridge Drive closed earlier this year after a contentious senior housing redevelopment plan faltered; a Catholic church later bought the property and moved in. Elsewhere in the High Point neighborhood, the struggling former Church of the Atonement is attempting a rebirth as Highpoint Episcopal Community Church. Bednar said his small, independent, no-frills church also was hit by other trends: the modern expectation for lots of music and “entertainment” in church, and the Southern Baptist boom in gigantic megachurches that drew off congregants. “For smaller churches like ours, this is becoming a common theme,” he said. Metropolitan Baptist was founded in a different time — 1969, with 40 members who started meeting in a private home. It came to Sandy Springs in the early 1970s with about 100 members, buying a formerly residential property at a discounted price. It was named “Metropolitan,” Bednar said, to reflect that it welcomed members from the entire metro Atlanta area. He said that one founding member, now 96 years old, remains in the sevenmember congregation today. Davis recalled that the land was once a hunting ground and the original Sunday School was a former hunting lodge dating to the 1910s or 1920s, built of stone and still sporting “antlers on the wall.” It became too expensive to repair, Davis said, and it was demolished in the 1980s and replaced with an addition to the church. However, the lodge’s stone fireplace and chimney remain standing behind the church. Davis also recalled that the church property was originally larger, with a piece sold off for redevelopment around that 1980s period. Now Metropolitan Baptist faces the end of that history. The church held an annual anniversary celebration in June that served as a de facto farewell ceremony, Bednar said. But its doors will remain open to all for every Wednesday and Sunday service, Christmas and other special events that remain until the ink dries on a sales contract. For more information about the church, Dr. Nate Bednar, the church’s senior see metropolitanbaptistchurch.org. pastor, stands in the sanctuary before the pulpit where he has preached for years.


NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Community | 17


Give Thanks!

Airbnb house draws city code enforcement attention BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers

A Brooklawn Road house rented through the online service Airbnb is drawing city code enforcement attention. Kyle Howell, a resident of the street, recently voiced complaints to the City Council about short-term rentals in the city and specifically about a house he says was being used as a full-time commercial rental property. Cars are now constantly driving on the street to visit and look at the house, endangering children who live on the street, he said, and the constant activity is disturbing an otherwise tranquil neighborhood. Councilmember Joe Gebbia is the father of Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia Jr. Gebbia was not at the Sept. 26 meeting when Howell raised his concerns and his relationship with Airbnb was not discussed. Currently, Brookhaven code enforcement officials are talking with the owner of the house at 1302 Brooklawn Road, Judd Vollbrecht, according to Code Enforcement Manager Jeff Barron. “It appears we are making progress toward a permanent resolution without the need of a court summons, though that could change if the property ultimately fails to comply,” Barron said. Houses used as short-term rentals on a primary or consistent basis are considered a commercial application and therefore not allowed in a residential zoning, he said. Vollbrecht owns the 1302 Brooklawn Road house, according to DeKalb property tax records. He is also listed as the contact person for the Opis Realty LLC website, which states that the company owns 45 houses in metro Atlanta that are available to rent. When asked about the 1302 Brooklawn Road house and complaints against it, Vollbrecht said, “I don’t rent it out. Nice try,” before hanging up. The house at 1302 Brooklawn Road was listed on Airbnb’s website Nov. 7 as a 5-bedroom house that can hold 12 guests. Rent is $375 a night. The description of the house on Airbnb’s website also includes a note that there is a finished basement that has been set up as a studio apartment with a private entrance and that the owner will sometimes stay there when renting the main house. “This is not a local resident trying to make some money on the side,” Howell said in an email. “Fundamentally, this is not a problem with Airbnb,” he said. “It is a problem with a home zoned for permanent residence being converted into a full-time inn.” “It also lacks any sort of full-time BK

presence for neighbors to know, trust, and rely upon — something any inn or hotel would have,” he said. “As a result, the natural process of coming to an understanding with your neighbors is completely broken.” The Brooklawn community is in District 1, represented by Councilmember Linley Jones. Howell praised Jones’ efforts as well as the city’s efforts to try to come up with a solution. He has also suggested the city address the issue of short-term rentals through an ordinance that enforces a permanent resident live in the home. Short-term rentals have been controversial, especially in big cities like Atlanta, where they can act as competition with hotels while avoiding the same taxes and regulations. Misbehaving guests and absentee owners are another widespread concern, as with a Buckhead mansion that last year attracted a “mansion party” concert. Atlanta officials issued a shutdown order for the Buckhead mansion on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, but it continues to operate. In Sandy Springs, city officials are legalizing, regulating and taxing shortterm rentals such as Airbnb as part of a new zoning code approved this summer.

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Density, parking addressed in Overlay District rewrite Continued from page 1 by the council at its Nov. 28 meeting. The vote came after more than three hours of discussion and debate, including several moments of confusion about what was being amended and what was already included in the draft. “My concern is based on past experience ... the legalese is what is important,” resident Karen Dernovich said after the Nov. 1 meeting. Dernovich was one of many residents who led several battles last year at City Hall against apartment complexes being built on Dresden Drive, which is included in the Overlay District. Dernovich said some commissioners did not realize the draft rewrite includes a provision that development along Dresden Drive is mandated to have at least 15 percent open space included in each proposed project. “I want to see the final version ... not when it’s still shifting around, and not when they are making constant amendments and changes,” she said. “That level of stuff makes me nervous.” Planning Commission Chair Stan Segal, however, said the commission “moved the ball forward” and is giving the City Council a plan that addresses many of the concerns raised by residents. The council can now decide to add other amendments, ignore the Planning Commission’s amendments or even decide to send the rewrite back to the commission for more work, Segal said. “I think we’ve moved the ball forward. I don’t think we got across the finish line,” he said. “They [the council] are going to struggle with some of the same things we have.” The City Council voted in February to award a $135,000 contract to Atlanta-based urban planning firm TSW to rewrite the Overlay District, with the intention of completing the work in six months. The district covers Dresden Drive and Peachtree Road, including the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station. The Overlay Draft rewrite follows the

city’s study of neighborhood character areas that was added to the city’s comprehensive plan this year. Mayor John Ernst and the City Council also wanted an Overlay District rewrite to address the concerns many residents living in neighborhoods surrounding bustling Dresden Drive have raised about future development along the two-lane road that was intended to have a “village” feel. Apparent confusion between what the city wants and what developers say the Overlay District allows also led to the rewrite. Two proposed multi-use developments on Dresden Drive — one approved by the council and another denied — along the road are currently in litigation. A proposed 6-story multi-family complex on Peachtree Road is also in litigation.


The draft Overlay District rewrite recommends the area be divided into three distinct zoning districts that address issues such as building height and the number of units allowed per acre.

Key provisions or rewrite

The draft rewrite includes dividing the Overlay District into three Peachtree Road Districts, or PR Districts. PR-1 is the same as what is currently known as sub-area 1 and includes the Peachtree Road corridor from North Druid Hills Road to Oglethorpe University. PR-2 is the same as the current sub-area 2 and includes Dresden Drive, Brookhaven Park and Town Brookhaven. PR-3 includes Apple Valley Road. PR-3 reduces the height to a maximum of three stories, but allows up to four stories as a bonus for developers. As part of the bonus, developers would have to add 20 percent green space to the project (not just 15 percent), for example. As part of zoning districts, Oglethorpe University will be removed from the Overlay and retain its office institution zoning; homes on Apple Valley Road and Dresden Drive will retain their R-75 single-family zoning; and Post Brookhaven apartments on Caldwell Road will retain their RM-75 multi-family residential zoning. Addressing density is a major issue for the Overlay District. Segal’s amendment to require developers to apply for a special land use permit for multi-family developments in PR-1 over 120 units per acre was

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approved. Planning Commissioner Bert Levy’s attempt to cap multi-family developments at 60 units per acre throughout the Overlay District failed because commissioners feared it would set a precedent throughout the city. To try to address height concerns along Dresden Drive, the commission approved Levy’s amendments to cap development of all buildings east of Apple Valley Road in PR-2 to four stories with no bonuses allowed for developers to build higher. Other amendments included changing the required buffer between commercial and residential development from 30 feet to 50 feet; and requiring any future redevelopment on the MARTA property to include 25 percent public green space rather than just 20 percent. To try to encourage developers build more two-room apartments, the rewrite also mandates that no more than 60 percent of the units may have a floor area of less than 800 square feet.

No parking requirement for multi-family developments in PR-1

Planning Commissioner Conor Sen’s amendment to have no minimum park-

ing requirements for multi-family developments in PR-1 also was approved. Sen said he discovered it costs $25,000 to build one enclosed parking space. For a 700-square-foot apartment, that price hampers affordability, he said. While financers of such developments tend to require one parking space per unit, the idea is more of a statement of how the city wants to set the tone for future development and redevelopment as it tackles affordability issues and tries to create a more walkable, transit-oriented city, Sen said. Sen said he sees people on Dresden Drive walking to the MARTA station all the time. With ride-sharing through companies such as Uber and Lyft, there may be more of a demand for a parking-free environment, he said. Developers will be able to ask for parking spaces, but Caleb Racicot of TSW said “getting rid of parking minimums sets a very strong public policy.” “This is really more of a statement than having any practical impact,” he said. Racicot noted many cities, including Atlanta, have had no parking minimums for many years, but because investors won’t fund projects without parking, no developments have gone up without parking. “But in 10 years that could change,” Sen said. “It’s a statement.” For more information about the Overlay District rewrite, visit brookhavencharacterareastudy.com.


NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Community | 19


Gebbia holds onto City Council seat


City Councilmember Joe Gebbia, center, greets Bill Brown, owner of There restaurant located in Town Brookhaven, at his Election Night Party at Petite Violette restaurant. With them is Michal Gropp, general manager and co-owner of Petite Violette.

Continued from page 1 Healthcare of Atlanta and Executive Park are located. The race pitted Gebbia, who owns his own nutritional food and products business, against Boone, a competitive food eater who makes a living gulping hot dogs and hamburgers. “I worked hard and it was fun,” Gebbia said at his Election Night watch party at Petite Violette on Clairmont Road. “I reconnected with so many people. I was really touched and that fed me … oftentimes you don’t know what people think until you meet with them one-on-one.” Gebbia also took a shot at Boone and his campaign. “He spent too much time on what he wanted to be and not what he needs to do,” Gebbia said. “He was consumed by what he wanted to be, a councilman … and his information was so superfluous.” Gebbia added, “I think the more people he talked to the more votes I got.” Boone said he called and congratulated Gebbia on his victory and expressed disappointment with the dismal turnout. “It’s sad that in District 4 only [561] voters … showed up,” he said. “To lose to an incumbent by 127 votes is nothing to be ashamed of. We pulled out all the stops.” In a recent interview, Boone said he spoke to many people who may not have been for him but were against Gebbia. “It’s kind of sad because there is going to be so much change on Buford Highway and people could have voted to slow it down,” he said. During the next four years, Gebbia said he plans to continue his focus on the Peachtree Creek Greenway, which when completed will be the first significant park in District 4, and also on the coming redevelopment of Buford HighBK

way. “Buford Highway is getting so much attention now … it is Ground Zero for $2 to $3 billion in investments in the next four to 10 years,” he said. He noted CHOA’s current construction of the Center for Advanced Pediatrics and its plans to build a new $1 billion hospital as part of the significant development taking place near Buford Highway. “This will not only be immense for Brookhaven, but for the region,” Gebbia said. Gebbia said he still wants to find a way to build a performing arts center on Buford Highway, which he estimates to be a $300 million to $400 million project. More development will also come with the future development of Executive Park, he said. Last year Emory University purchased 60 acres of Executive Park, but Emory officials have not revealed to the public the plans fo rthe property. Emory Healthcare and the Atlanta Hawks teamed up to build a new 90,000 square foot sports medicine and practice facility in Executive Park that is set to be completed this month. Gebbia said he also plans to ask to budget next year for a traffic analysis between Peachtree Road/North Druid Hills Road and Briarcliff Road as part of “grand plan” to have all the traffic data needed when and if the redevelopment of the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA station happens. “We need these traffic plans so we can be ready for what’s coming,” he said. District 2 City Councilmember John Park was also up for re-election, but faced no challenger. He was re-elected to another four-year term. District 2 includes Ashford Park. DeKalb’s unofficial results show Park received 738 votes. There were 39 write-in votes.

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South Fork Conservancy raises over $2M for trail connections


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The South Fork Conservancy says it has surpassed its $2 million goal in its first capital campaign to connect multiuse trails in DeKalb County, Buckhead and Brookhaven. The funds will be used to build several projects in the Buckhead area that will connect already completed trails. The conservancy is a nonprofit that creates trails along the South Fork of Peachtree Creek, which runs between Buckhead and Emory University. The conservancy plans to link the trails with PATH400, which has already been completed near Peachtree Creek. It also plans to connect to the Atlanta BeltLine and Brookhaven’s planned Peachtree Creek Greenway. Officials plan to break ground on the first mile of the Greenway early next year. Construction on the section of the BeltLine that will eventually connect to the conservancy’s trails has not begun. The campaign will fund six projects in the Buckhead area that will provide connections between already completed trails, including a new bridge, crosswalk and two new trailheads. Some of the projects, including the Confluence Trail Bridge and Creek Walk Connector, already are under construction. “We hit the ground running and didn’t wait for the capital campaign for some of them,” said Kimberly Estep, executive director of the conservancy. “We wanted to get them ready for public use as soon as we could.” The conservancy’s long-term plan is to create trails along all 33 miles of the South Fork. The first phase of the plan is to create a trail system that connects Buckhead to the Emory campus. The conservancy already has opened three trails in Buckhead including The Confluence, Cheshire Farm and Meadow Loop, which are all near I-85 and Ga. 400.

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The campaign has raised $2,041,000 so far and funds still are being received, according to a press release. The largest donations included a $500,000 gift from the Kendeda Fund, a local foundation, and a $250,000 grant from Park Pride, according to the release. “Foundations, businesses, and our local community have all enthusiastically joined us and we are deeply grateful for their generosity,” Joni Winston, the campaign’s co-chair, said in the release. “Their support shows a powerful connection to our mission of creating an urban oasis along Peachtree Creek.” The conservancy expected to wrap up the capital campaign early next year, but received enough donations to finish it earlier, Estep said. Funds raised in the capital campaign are planned to be used for six projects. The largest project, expected to use $950,000 of the funds, is the Confluence Bridge, which is being built over Peachtree Creek and would serve as a hub allowing people to connect to PATH400, the BeltLine and Buckhead sidewalks from the South Fork trails, Estep said. The bridge is being built over the creek near the southern end of Adina Drive and I-85. Construction on the bridge has already begun and is projected to be completed by the end of 2018, Estep said. TSPLOST revenues also were used for the bridge, she said. “The bridge is in an area where there are not a lot of green space or parks. By creating this bridge we are allowing people to access miles of green space,” Estep said. The second project is the Confluence Bridge Trailhead, which would be the entrance to the intersection of three trails: the Confluence Trail; the PATH400/Atlanta BeltLine Connector Trail; and the Meadow Loop Trail. Work will include adding interpretative signage. For more information, visit southforkconservancy.org.

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NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Community | 21


After NYC attack, local cities consider bike path barricades, security

A stretch of the PATH400 multi-use trail in Buckhead.


BY JOHN RUCH, EVELYN ANDREWS AND DYANA BAGBY An Oct. 31 New York City terror attack using a truck to run over people on a bicycle path is raising security concerns in metro Atlanta, where multi-use paths like the BeltLine and PATH400 are becoming modern landmarks — and possible highprofile targets. Local cities say they are considering adding barriers or other security upgrades to their paths. New York is already doing that — though the new barriers are raising their own safety concerns among bike riders and pedestrians. The Atlanta Police Department is among those already upgrading security in response to similar attacks around the world, and adding more car-blocking bollards to the BeltLine is one possibility, said spokesperson Carlos Campos. Some cities still planning their paths — such as Brookhaven’s Peachtree Creek Greenway — say they will factor such threats into their designs and operation planning. “Terrorist attacks by vehicle are unfortunately not new,” said Campos, adding, “While tragic, these incidents provide us with an opportunity to examine ways that we can improve our security planning.” Officials also say a crucial part of security is members of the public immediately calling 911 if they see something suspicious. That gives police a chance to prevent attacks from being carried out in the first place. “We do our best to learn from and prepare against [terror attacks], but it is also important that residents be aware of their surroundings,” said Sandy Springs Police Deputy Chief Keith Zgonc. “If something appears out of place, notify authorities — ‘See something, say something.’” Driving a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians is a terror tactic used in many incidents around the country and the world for at least 15 years, according to media reports. The method has been promoted by the Islamic State terror group and drew particular notice with an attack last year in Nice, France, where a terrorist ran down and killed 86 people. In the New York attack, a man drove a rented pickup truck for a mile on the Hudson River Park Bikeway, killing eight people and injuring many others. According to the New York Times, the city has now installed concrete barriers at 57 intersections on the bikeway to stop vehicles, which is already raising controversy about making it more dangerous for normal bike and pedestrian use. In metro Atlanta, there’s no sign of cities going to such extremes at this point, but the New York attack is factoring into ongoing security reviews. “We have already been looking at options to bolster security around public events and venues in the city of Atlanta, including the use of large vehicles to block access to pedestrian routes,” Campos said. “The tragic event in New York is another painful reminder that our work in this area is far from done.” On the BeltLine, APD and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. have already collaborated on such security measures as vehicle barriers and a dedicated police beat called the BeltLine Path Force.

“We will be collaborating to look at the potential to further secure the paths,” said Campos. “We currently have bollards in places along the trail to prevent vehicular traffic; increasing them is a possibility we can look at. Our officers certainly have a heightened security following the NYC attacks and we also encourage BeltLine users to call 911 immediately if they see any suspicious activity.” Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone said earlier this year that his force was looking at ways to prevent vehicle attacks. One upgrade was tougher barricades at the annual Sandy Springs Festival, which is partly held on a closed-off street. Those methods will get another review in the wake of the New York attack, Zgonc said. Such attacks are also a concern for cities planning new trails or similar public gathering spaces. Brookhaven is currently in the planning stage of its Greenway, a BeltLine-style park and trail to run along Peachtree Creek and Buford Highway. “As with any city transportation or Parks [Department] project, public safety planning is an integral part of the process,” said Brookhaven city spokesperson Burke Brennan. “… As engineering moves forward, and the trail design takes shape, the appropriate personnel will review plans and meet with first responders, so as to ensure the trail’s safety.” Sandy Springs is currently building a new civic center called City Springs, which will include a new City Hall, a theater intended to draw high-profile events, and a large street-side public park. Much like the BeltLine, City Springs will be protected by vehicle-blocking bollards and a dedicated police precinct, said city spokersperson Sharon Kraun. “Since the attack in Nice, France, we have looked at enhanced requirements for securing special events such as festivals and road races,” said Zgonc. “OngoSPECIAL Sandy Springs Police ing, we talk with other law enforcement agencies, inDeputy Chief Keith Zgonc. cluding the GBI [Georgia Bureau of Investigation] and FBI, and we work closely with city departments in the planning of public spaces.”

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22 | Out & About

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Opening night Tuesday, Nov. 14, 6 to 9 p.m. Market dates: Wednesday, Nov. 15 to Saturday, Dec. 23. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Closed Thanksgiving Day.

The Spruill Gallery hosts its 24th annual Holiday Artists Market of locally crafted gifts and decor. Special events scheduled throughout the six-week shopping event including Cookies & Cocoa on Dec. 2, Handmade Gift Bazaar on Dec. 16, and a Last Minute Shoppers sale on Dec. 23. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-3944019 or spruillarts.org/gallery.



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While still allowing a limited number of walk-up sales, the Raiders’ annual Christmas tree sale has gone online and the team encourages buyers to use the site to pre-order

The Heritage Sandy Springs Outdoors Club hosts weekly hikes through Sandy Springs parks every Friday and Saturday and on some holiday dates. Free. Open to all ages and skill levels. Advance registration recommended, and all participants must sign an online liability waiver. Locations and other info: heritagesandysprings.org.


Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m.

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NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Out & About | 23


Capitol City Opera launches its 2017-2018 season with a concert featuring more than a dozen of metro Atlanta’s promising young voices. The performances will include scenes from popular operas as well as lesser known operas at the in-the-round sanctuary at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. $20. 1911 Cliff Valley Way N.E., Atlanta. Info: ccityopera.org.


All are invited to bring their pets to Covenant Presbyterian Church for an annual special worship service and blessing of animals in the church parking lot. Every animal must be on a leash or confined inside a cage or crate. Event sponsor Red Bandanna Pet will provide treats for the animals. 2461 Peachtree Road, Buckhead. Info: covpresatlanta.org.


Monday, Nov. 13 to Sunday, Nov. 19, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In honor of America Recycles Day [Nov. 15], Marist School will host a weeklong electronics recycling drive in partnership with eWaste ePlanet to collect used, old, broken and unwanted electronics. Since 2012, Marist has diverted more than 66,264 pounds of old electronics from landfills with its e-waste drives. All computer hard drives will be shredded off-site to protect private information. Free, except for a $10 fee to recycle televisions. 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road N.E., Brookhaven. List of accepted electronics: ewasteeplanet.com. Info: Amelia Luke at lukea@marist.com, or 770-936-2228. Continued on page 24


A little help. A big difference. The assisted living services at The Piedmont at Buckhead Senior Living Community are about the whole family and the whole YOU. Of course, we can help you with your daily needs. But did you know you will also have options for fitness, socializing, healthy fine dining, and more? And services are tailored to you, so you’ll get just the right amount of help you need, when you request it. But the best part? No matter if you need a little help or a lot, the difference you’ll feel will be amazing. Please call The Piedmont at Buckhead to schedule your complimentary lunch and tour.

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24 | Out & About

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Continued from page 23

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Saturdays, Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, 9:30 a.m. to noon, weather permitting.

Find fresh local produce, pasture-raised meat, farm fresh eggs and dairy products, prepared foods and artists at the Farmers Market as it winds down for the season. Century Springs East, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: sandyspringsfarmersmarket.com or 404-851-9111, ext. 5.

BOOK FESTIVAL OF THE MJCCA Ongoing through Monday, Nov. 20

Lynley S. Durrett, M.D. Obiamaka Mora, M.D. State of the art Pelvic & Bladder Surgeries Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy daVinci Robotic Surgery Bio Identical Hormone Therapy

This 26-year Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta event features more than 45 local, national and international authors with something to offer thousands of book lovers who attend from across the Southeast. Individual tickets can be purchased; some events are free. Most events are held at MJCCA. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org/bookfestival; 678-812-4005 or send an email to bookfestival@ atlantajcc.org.


Learn about the four common types of owls found locally. Bring a headlamp or flashlight for an optional, short night hike to Falling Branch Creek, to look and listen for owls. Ages 6 and up. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. $5 individual; $10 family. Registration preferred; walk-ins welcome. Lost Corner Preserve, 7300 Brandon Mill Road, Sandy Springs. Info: 770-2062035 or registration.sandyspringsga.gov.

Services offered: » Incontinence Testing & Treatment » Abnormal Bleeding Treatment » Annual Exams & Contraception » Nutrient Deficiency Screening & Counseling » Saliva Testing & Pellet Hormone Therapy » Plus Aesthetic Services

Jessica Guilfoil Killeen, WHNP-BC

FIRST ANNUAL HARVEST DAY Thursday, Nov. 16, 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

The Buckhead Library hosts an evening of family fun with a showing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” along with crafts and other activities. Free. 269 Buckhead Ave. N.E., Buckhead. Info: 404-814-3500.

AMERICAN GIRL CLUB: HOLIDAY BAKING WITH GRACE Saturday, Nov. 18, 10:30 a.m. to noon.


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Heritage Sandy Springs continues its monthly American Girl Club programming with the story of Grace, a modern girl whose mind for business and talent in the kitchen bring her friends and family together. RSVPs requested and recommended. Best suited for ages 5-12, and girls can bring a favorite doll. $8 members; $10 nonmembers. No walk-ins this month. 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Free parking is available on Sandy Springs Place in designated lots. Info: heritagesandysprings.org or 404-851-9111, ext. 2.


Donors are asked to view children’s wish lists and spend $50 per child through the Community Assistance Center, which serves people in need in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. Holiday food donations of gift cards from Kroger or Publix are also needed. Cards can be taken to CAC or donations may be made online. 1130 Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs. Wish list info: ourcac.org/adoptafamily. Food donation info: ourcac.org or 770-552-4889.

NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Out & About | 25



featuring oral histories, photographs, documents and artifacts. General admission: $21.50 adults; $18 seniors and students 13-plus; $9 youth ages 4 to 12. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.

FALL PREVENTION WORKSHOP Monday, Nov. 13, 2 p.m.

Perimeter North Villages, a volunteer and membership organization dedicated to helping older adults continue living in their own homes safely and comfortably, will host a fall prevention workshop conducted by Beverly Stegman of Foundation Therapy Center. Free. Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. RSVP: 470-231-0015.


Wednesday, Nov. 15, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Presentation begins at 7 p.m.


Ongoing through Sunday, March 18, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon to 5:30 p.m. Sundays. Ticket sales until 4:30 p.m. daily.

Dr. Virginia Dilkes will talk about her father’s first-hand experiences in World War I, based on his memoir, “Remembering World War I: An Engineer’s Diary of the War.” She will also discuss the geopolitical legacies of the war and the participation of troops from Georgia. Free. Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770-512-4640.

Stories of some of the nearly 3.5 million men and women who served in Southeast Asia between 1964 and 1975 are illustrated in an Atlanta History Center exhibition

It’s All Included: The Most Inclusive Luxury Experience™ This is cruising as it was meant to be — where even the most sought-after amenities are included. Guests enjoy unparalleled hospitality and impeccable service by our professional staff in a sophisticated ambiance. They delight in the expansive spaciousness of all-suite accommodations, indulge in the exquisite cuisine of the finest dining experience at sea, and explore the world’s greatest destinations without limits. You really can have it all aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises®. •••••••••••••••••••• Our 2-For-1 All-Inclusive Fares Include... • FREE Roundtrip Business Class Air* on Intercontinental Flights • FREE Roundtrip Air* on Domestic Flights • FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions • FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Hotel Package* • FREE Unlimited Beverages Including Fine Wines and Premium Spirits • FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities • FREE Specialty Restaurants • FREE Unlimited WiFi • Intimate, luxurious ships featuring no more than 375 suites, resulting in stellar service, no lines and no waiting • All-suite accommodations, 98% with private balconies • Sophisticated ambiance and an elegant casual dress code • World-famous Canyon Ranch SpaClub® Fitness Center and Steam/Sauna Rooms

Continued on page 26

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26 | Out & About

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Continued from page 25

AUTHOR TALK: “ALI” Wednesday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m.

Bestselling author Jonathan Eig discusses his book “Ali,” about the boxing champion and activist Muhammad Ali, at the Atlanta History Center. Eig had access to Ali’s three surviving wives and his managers. He also had access to thousands of pages of new FBI and Justice Department files and dozens of hours of newly discovered audiotaped interviews from the 1960s. $10 general public; $5 members. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.


The film “Storming Papa Doc: The Siege of Haiti’s Casernes Dessalines by Captain Alix Pasquet on July 28, 1958” will be shown at Oglethorpe University. Mario L. Delatour’s animated documentary follows three ex-Haitian army officers bent on the removal of the newly elected Haitian president. Free. Dolive Theater, second floor of the Philip Weltner Library in Lowry Hall, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: connect.oglethorpe.edu.

Through Dec. 31, stop by either of ElectroBike Georgia’s two locations and save $500 when you purchase an ElectroBike Dash plus an ElectroBike Light. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Brookhaven Police Department’s “Shop with a Badge” holiday event.


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Roy Diblik, author of “The Know Maintenance Garden,” will discuss the developing partnership between the gardener, plants and nature as part of an ongoing series of Georgia Perennial Plant Association talks. Event opens with light refreshments and a chance to mingle with fellow garden enthusiasts. Speaker begins at 7:30 p.m. Free. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: 240-505-0598.



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28 | Community

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Court rejects Northside Hospital’s stand on shielding financial records BY GEORGIA HEALTH NEWS In a case closely watched by the state’s hospital industry, the Georgia Supreme Court has reversed lower court rulings that barred access to Northside Hospital’s financial records. The unanimous decision, announced Nov. 2, remands the case back to the trial court. Justice Nels Peterson wrote that the trial court applied the wrong legal standard in ruling against access to the records by plaintiff E. Kendrick Smith, an attorney. At the heart of the long-running dispute was whether the nonprofit Northside Hospital, located in Sandy Springs, was subject to the state’s open records law. The case has involved Northside’s rejection of requests for information about financial documents and other matters. Northside had argued it is not bound by the open records law. The hospital said that because it’s a private nonprofit corporation, not a public entity, this particular law does not apply to it. Attorney Peter Canfield had argued for the plaintiff that Northside — a hospital system based in Atlanta — is subject to the Georgia Open Records Act because it was created by a public hospital authority, which is a government entity, and that the system operates solely on the authority’s behalf. The ruling may have a ripple effect on the Georgia hospital industry, because Northside’s corporate structure resembles many others in the state. Many hospital authorities, for business purposes, have spun off their hospitals into separate nonprofit corporations over the past three decades. Under such an arrangement, the hospital authority leases the assets of the hospital to the corporation. These restructured hospitals include large urban facilities such as Grady in Atlanta, along with medical centers in Savannah, Augusta, Macon, Rome and Albany, as well as in the Atlanta suburbs. “At the very least …, Northside’s operation of the Leased Facilities is done on behalf of the Authority,’’ wrote Peterson in the court decision. “How closely the transactions at issue are tied to operating the Leased Facilities will determine whether documents are ‘public records.’ ” Canfield told Georgia Health News that he believes the plaintiffs will prevail at the lower court level. “We believe Northside is going to find it impossible to prove that these records aren’t connected with their operation of North-

Northside Hospital’s main campus in Sandy Springs.

side Hospital for the authority.’’ He added that the Supreme Court ruling would have an effect on the public availability of records of other hospitals structured similarly to Northside. The Georgia First Amendment Foundation praised the Supreme Court ruling. “The justices said that Northside is bound by principles of open government and transparency,” said Richard T. Griffiths, a board member of the foundation. “The big win for open government is that you can’t allow government agencies to spin off private entities so they can avoid public records scrutiny.” Griffiths added that “the lower court [now] has to look at these records as though Northside is a public entity and whether there’s an exception’’ to public access under the open records law. A Northside spokesperson, Lee Echols, said that “we are grateful that the Georgia Supreme Court has decisively rejected the appellant’s claim that virtually every Northside Hospital document is a public record, just as the trial court and Court of Appeals previously have stated. “From the beginning, the single goal of Mr. Smith has been to gain access, on behalf of a Northside Hospital competitor, to confidential business information that is clearly protected from disclosure,’’ Echols said. “Northside Hospital looks forward to prevailing as we move forward in the legal process.” Northside’s restructuring occurred in the early 1990s. It’s now an extremely successful hospital system, with more than $2 billion in revenues, and is set to add Gwinnett Medical Center, a large suburban system, to its fold. Northside has said for years that its flagship Atlanta hospital delivers more babies than any other community hospital in the nation. Attorney Canfield told the justices in

oral argument in April that “all the assets and liabilities acquired by Northside Inc. during the term of the lease revert to the hospital authority’’ when the lease ends. “Everything that Northside does [it] is doing for the authority,’’ Canfield said. “All of Northside’s assets come from the authority.’’ An attorney for Northside, Randy Evans, told the court in oral argument that the system is a regional player, owning other hospitals in areas that are not governed by the hospital authority in Fulton County. “There is no longstanding rule that every [restructured] hospital is necessarily subject to the Open Records Act,’’ Evans said. He said the Georgia Legislature has rejected attempts to change the law to widen access to records involving restructured hospitals. The fight over Northside’s records and hospital privacy began in 2013, when attorney Smith requested information about Northside’s expenditures in the acquisitions of physicians’ practices. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that year reported about patients who faced higher bills after the acquisition of two of these practices. The hospital turned down the request. The plaintiff, a partner of the firm Jones Day, filed suit, and the case was first heard in Fulton County Superior Court. The judge ruled in favor of Northside, saying that the hospital authority had nothing to do with the operations and acquisitions of the hospital. Smith appealed. The court of appeals, in a split decision, upheld the lower court ruling, and the case then went to the state’s highest court. The state’s attorney general, Chris Carr, had urged the Georgia Supreme Court to reverse the lower court opinion. The Georgia Open Records Act, known as a “sunshine law,” was created to let the


people of the state know what government agencies are doing. Ordinary citizens, lawyers and reporters routinely use the act to find out how agencies make decisions and spend money. Media outlets, which make frequent use of open records requests to investigate and report stories, traditionally favor broad access. The Georgia Press Association, the First Amendment Foundation, the Savannah Morning News and the AJC are among organizations that filed amicus briefs supporting the Smith appeal. Last year, Savannah’s Memorial Health rejected a request from the Savannah Morning News for documents on the relationship between the thenCEO of the health system and a potential buyer, Novant Health. In reply to the request, Memorial Health’s attorney cited Northside v. Smith and the earlier ruling that had favored Northside. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations, sided with Northside in the Smith case. Previous to Thursday’s ruling, Northside had said it was protecting its business interests by denying the requests. “If the decision is overturned, it’s certainly possible that other Georgia hospitals could be required to release sensitive business information when they’re not a public body,” it argued. The decision on Northside is the state Supreme Court’s second big ruling recently involving Georgia hospitals. Last month the court upheld Georgia’s “certificate of need” law in an opinion that said a surgical center could not expand without state approval. This story was reported by Georgia Health News, a nonprofit, independent news organization devoted to covering healthcare in the state.

NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Classifieds | 29


Reporter Classifieds

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110





Administrative Assistant – Performs full administrative and general support duties to assist the manager and Board of Directors. Proficiency in MS Word, MS Excel and MS Outlook. Excellent people skills required. CINC experience a plus. Excellent starting compensation with benefits. Sandy Springs area. Email resume to: P.O. Box 4822, Alpharetta, GA 30023.

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

Female Care-giver with 18 year’s experience seeks to barter services for living quarters in the Buckhead/Brookhaven/ Dunwoody area. Services: Care-giver, Chauffeur, Personal Assistant and Light House-keeping. Sweet indoor cat coming with. Call 470-351-7237

“LegalEats, A Lawyer’s Lite Cookbook” – a fun legal themed cookbook available

Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property…”0n market or just away”. Call Charles at 404-229-0490.

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30 | Community


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Observing ‘Day of the Dead’ on Buford Highway Departed family members and ancestors were honored in a Nov. 4 “Day of the Dead” Festival at Northeast Plaza. Organized by the We Love BuHi nonprofit organization, the festival was a local version of “Dia De Los Muertos,” an annual holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and other Latin American countries.

A. Selena Tafolla, 3, enjoys coloring in the Cross Keys Foundation booth. B. Milly Marroquin, 8, and brother Sean, 5, pose with the “Death Charro,” a

representation of Latino musicians who have died, played by Damian Frausta.

C. Eli Gokce, 11, protects “Birdo” from the rain in the Cross Keys Foundation booth. D. We Love BuHi founder Marian Liou decorates her organization’s booth at the festival. E. A visitor colors a design reading “Leer es crecer” – “To read is to grow.” PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER






NOVEMBER 10 - 23, 2017

Public Safety | 31


Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated Oct. 29 through Nov. 5. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website.

3100 block of Clairmont Road — On

cused of driving without a license.

Oct. 31, at night, three women were arrested and accused of battery charges.

1800 block of Corporate Boulevard —


1400 block of Dresden Drive — On Nov.

4000 block of Peachtree Road — On

Oct.29, in the early morning, someone reported a theft of services. 700 block of Town Boulevard — On Oct.

29, at noon, a car was illegally entered.

1, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of aggravated assault. 3400 block of Buford Highway — On

Nov. 3, after midnight, a man was arrested and accused of aggravated assault and public drunkenness.

3400 block of Durden

4400 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 3, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of simple battery.

Drive — On Oct. 30, in the evening, two people were arrested on burglary charges. 2900 block of Clairmont

Road — On Oct. 31, in the early morning, two cars were broken into.

3600 block of Buford Highway — On Nov. 3, a woman was arrested and accused of family violence.

4400 block of Memorial

Drive — On Oct. 31, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of burglary.

3400 block of Clairmont Road — On Oct.


29, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

3500 block of Buford Highway — On

Oct. 29, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of simple assault. 1500 block of Rivers Edge Trail — On

Oct. 29, in the early morning, a verbal dispute was reported. 1200 block of Gail Drive — On Oct. 30,

in the evening, a simple battery incident was reported. 1500 block of Brookhaven Trace — On

Oct. 31, at noon, a woman was arrested and accused of family violence.


3000 block of Buford Highway — On

On Oct. 31, in the early morning, a woman was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct charges.

2600 block of Buford Highway — On

1300 block of Cliff Valley Way — On

1800 block of Briarwood Road — On

Oct. 31, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Nov. 3, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

2700 block of Buford Highway — On Nov.

Nov. 4, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and endangering the life of a child.

1, in the early morning, two people were arrested and accused of disorderly conduct. 1800 block of North Druid Hills Road

— On Nov. 1, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license. 3600 block of Buford Highway — On

Nov. 1, at night, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. 2900 block of Redding Road — On

Nov. 2, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of interference while a woman was arrested and accused of reckless driving charges.

3300 block of Clairmont Road — On

1500 block of Dresden Drive — On

Nov. 4, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. 1600 block of Tullie Circle — On Nov.

4, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. 1800 block of Corporate Boulevard —

On Nov. 4, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of urban camping.

4200 block of Peachtree Road — On Nov.

1800 block of Briarwood Road — On Nov.

2, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

5, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of driving without a license.

2800 block of Buford Highway — On Oct.

1800 block of Corporate Boulevard — On

2800 block of Buford Highway — On

Nov. 2, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.

Nov. 5, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of transactions with drug-related paraphernalia.

30, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct charges. 2600 block of Buford Highway — On

Oct. 30, in the evening, two people were arrested and accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 1200 block of Curtis Drive — On Oct.

3900 block of Peachtree Road — On Nov.

2, in the early morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. 3200 block of Buford Highway — On

Nov. 2, at night, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license. 1600 block of N. Druid Hills Road —

On Nov. 3, in the morning, a man was


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Nov. 3, at noon, a man was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license.

Oct. 30, in the early morning, a person was arrested and accused of an afterhours sale at a private club.

30, at night, a man was arrested and ac-

It’s what’s INSIDE

arrested and accused of driving without a driver’s license.

OT H E R I N C I D E N T S 3000 block of Clairmont Road — On

Oct. 29, in the morning, a peeping tom incident was reported. 1300 block of Cliff Valley Way — On

Nov. 1, at night, a custody interference incident was reported.

32 |

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