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NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018 • VOL. 9 — NO. 24

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Dunwoody Reporter

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Perimeter Business ► In bid to attract visitors, hotel taxes seek ‘free money’ with few strings PAGE 4 ► Sandy Springs, Brookhaven refresh their tourism tactics PAGE 4-5

I-285 toll lanes could harm Georgetown, says council member

Hi, Santa!

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

PHIL MOSIER

O.G. Chase, 4, and sister Avery Jane Chase, 6, have a chat with Santa during Light Up Dunwoody Nov. 18. The annual community event rung in the holiday season at the Cheek-Spruill House in Dunwoody Village with a tree-lighting, a menorah lighting and other events.

The very clear message to our returning and newly elected representatives should be that the era of one-party rule is over and there is no entitlement to these seats for one particular party or the other.

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STANDOUT STUDENTS

The musicians of No Solution Page 20

New toll lanes to be built along I-285 could hurt some Georgetown homeowners, businesses and a beloved recreation center, according to a City Council member. But nobody yet knows the details of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s “I-285 Top End Express Lanes” project, creating an uncertainty that is frustrating city officials. “This is my most hated project ever,” City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said in an interview. She has been on the council for seven years and her district includes Georgetown. “There’s potential for a real negative impact on Georgetown ... but we don’t know,” she said. “The attitude I hear from talking to others is this is a done deal. But I don’t think it has to be,” Deutsch said. “There See I-285 on page 14

City puts 6-month hold on multi-unit construction BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

OUT & ABOUT 13 ways to celebrate the holidays Pages 18-19

ANDY BAUMAN SANDY SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL MEMBER

See COMMENTARY, page 10 SIGN UP TO RECEIVE DAILY & WEEKLY EMAILS WITH LOCAL NEWS @ REPORTERNEWSPAPERS.NET/SIGNUP

A six-month moratorium on multi-unit building applications, permits and construction is now in effect as city officials say they need time to review the city’s fire safety codes and ordinances. It’s unclear how the moratorium will affect Grubb Properties’ proposed 20-acre mixed-use development in Perimeter Center that includes 900 condominiums or the long-dormant High Street project that would include 400,000 square feet of retail and resSee CITY on page 22


2 | Community

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SANDY SPRINGS CULTURAL CENTER

DESIGN INPUT MEETING Come meet the design team leading the new Cultural Center, hear an update on the project’s process, and give your input on how to make the Center a vital asset in this community visioning session. Thursday, November 29 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Studio Theatre at City Springs 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, GA 30328 For more information please visit sandyspringsga.gov

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Community Briefs CITY’S 10TH ANNIVERS A RY C EL EB R ATI O N S ET FO R DEC . 1

The city of Dunwoody is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a party Dec. 1, 2-6 p.m. at Pernoshal Park, 4575 North Shallowford Road. The event will include a community bike ride, food trucks, craft stations, giveaways, a photo booth and cider and hot cocoa.

R U NO FF ELEC T I O NS T O B E HEL D DEC . 4

Runoff elections in two state races will be held Dec. 4. For Georgia secretary of state, voters will choose between Democrat John Barrow and Republican Brad Raffensperger. For District 3 of the Public Service Commission, which regulates public utilities, voters will choose between Republican Chuck Eaton and Democrat Lindy Miller. Local early voting runs Nov. 26-30, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

PER IM ETER TR ANSPO R TAT I O N S UM M I T C O M ING NO V. 2 9

The Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber and Perimeter Center Community Improvement Districts are hosting a Perimeter Transportation Summit on Nov. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center, 246 Perimeter Center Parkway N.E. The summit will include a panel of transportation leaders including: Richard Fatzynytz, Administrative Services Director of State Farm Insurance Company; Scott Haggard, director of Government & External Affairs of the ATL Transit Authority/State Road and Tollway Authority; Ann M. Hanlon, executive director of the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs); Vanessa Levingston, program communications manager of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT); and Melissa Mullinax, chief of staff, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). The panel will be moderated by Bill Baker, general manager of Perimeter Mall. Advanced registration is required. For more information, email Britney Hardweare at britney@perimeterchamber.com.

D U NWO O DY EL EM ENTA RY B R IEFLY LO C KED D O WN A FTER THR EAT HO A X

Dunwoody Elementary School was briefly locked down Nov. 14 due to a threat that turned out to be a hoax sent from the U.K., according to police. The Dunwoody Police Department on Nov. 13 learned of a social media posting in which someone was “threatening to shoot up his school in Dunwoody, GA,” and alerted the DeKalb County School District, according to police and school officials. Officials locked down Dunwoody Elementary, at 1923 Womack Road, for less than 20 minutes to make sure it was safe, according to a DeKalb Schools spokesperson. Dunwoody Police Sgt. Robert Parsons said the department investigated the threat and discovered it came from an internet address in the U.K. The same address was used to post similar threats throughout the U.S. and Canada, he said. Other internet threats were made to Dunwoody schools, but not proved credible either, according to police.

TV NEWS R EPO R TER HI R ED A S P UB L IC R EL ATI O NS C HIEF

The city of Dunwoody has hired longtime 11Alive TV news reporter Jennifer Leslie Boettcher as its new communications director. She replaces Bob Mullen, who recently took a similar position in Johns Creek. Leslie Boettcher spent 21 years as a reporter at WXIA 11Alive and has lived in Dunwoody for 12 years. She attends Dunwoody United Methodist Church and volunteers at her son’s schools, Dunwoody Elementary and Peachtree Charter Middle. SPECIAL “I’m so excited about this next Jennifer Leslie Boettcher, the city of chapter,” she said in a press reDunwoody’s new communications director. lease. “Dunwoody is such a special place. I love living here and look forward to sharing and shaping the story of this great city.” She begins the job in December.

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NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

Community | 3

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First Amazon HQ2 pitch included five local sites BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Five separate sites in the Reporter Newspapers communities of Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs were part of metro Atlanta’s initial pitch for Amazon’s second headquarters, according to state documents. Two of the local sites — Dunwoody’s High Street and Brookhaven’s Northeast Plaza — were previously known, leaked during the secretive bidding process. The other sites remained secret. All were included on a list sent to Amazon for review, but all were rejected as not meeting the company’s bidding requirements, according to the state Department of Economic Development. The state eventually submitted a formal bid that included other sites in Atlanta and Cobb and Gwinnett counties. The local site list included: ■ 211 Perimeter Center Parkway, Dunwoody. Also known as High Street, a longstalled major redevelopment proposal that, city officials previously said, was submitted for the Amazon bid by Boston-based owner GID. ■ 3307 Buford Highway, Brookhaven. The Northeast Plaza shopping center. As the Reporter first revealed, the city of Brookhaven proposed this site, adding to Buford Highway’s gentrification controversies, but the shopping center’s owner said it did not want to be part of the bid.

HOLIDAYS AT CITY SPRINGS AN EXPERIENCE WORTH SHARING The Nutcracker November 23–December 2

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■ Abernathy Road at Barfield Road, Sandy Springs. The exact site is unclear, though a large unbuilt parcel sits along Ga. 400 there, near the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz USA and UPS. ■ A “Buckhead location” somewhere in ZIP code 30326, the area of Buckhead Heights and Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza malls. ■ A Buckhead site on Ga. 400 “at the Buckhead Loop adjacent to Buckhead Peachtree MARTA Station [sic].” On Nov. 13, Amazon announced it will split the new headquarters between New York City and Arlington, Va. That opened up Georgia’s previously secret bidding documents, including the site list, to public review. The bidding process began with property owners or local governments submitting possible sites for the Amazon mini-city to state officials. The list was compiled as a spreadsheet giving general information about each site’s location; general size; proximity to transit, highways and Atlanta’s airport; readiness for development; and fiber, cell and utility infrastructure. In many cases, the site was submitted without a specific street address. The self-submitted list released by the state included 62 sites. One site that made the cut for inclusion in the formal bid would have had significant impact on Dunwoody: Doraville’s massive mixed-use Assembly site, which sits close to the city along I-285. Atlanta sites in the official bidding included locations in Midtown, the Atlantic Station area, the Gulch, Old Fourth Ward and the Quarry Yards project near the Bankhead MARTA Station. Other locations included a site near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Dobbins Air Reserve Base and Lockheed Martin complex in Cobb County; and the Infinite Energy Center in Gwinnett County.

The Sounds of Christmastime December 15

Jewel’s Handmade Holiday Tour December 19

Boston Brass & The Brass All Stars Big Band: Christmas Bells Are Swingin’: December 22

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra New Year’s Eve Celebration December 31

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4 | Perimeter Business

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Perimeter Business

Focusing on business in the Reporter Newspapers communities

Winter 2018 | Tourism and Taxes

In local tourism promotion, taxes seek ‘free money’ with few strings BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Hotel-motel taxes are a popular way local governments raise money for their general budgets, self-promotion and tourist-related projects such as stadiums, trails and performing arts centers. Every city in Reporter Newspapers communities has a convention and visitors bureau, one of the ways to take advantage of the endless flow of revenue from taxing outsiders rather than local citizens. But, two experts say, the money does not come with any strings requiring proof that the promotional efforts are effective, and the assumption that visitors can be taxed without negative impact on the hotel business may be faulty. “We don’t have any metrics to gauge effectiveness,” such as hotel occupancy rate changes, said Tyler Reinagel, who answers local governments’ questions about the hotel-motel tax in his role as manager of the Office of Research at the

Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The state encourages those governments to draw up some kind of measurements, he added. Auditing is also largely up to local jurisdictions, he said, with the state receiving a general spending report. Dr. Frank Stephenson, chair of the economics department at north Georgia’s Berry College and a fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, says hotel-motel taxes are politically popular for “tax exporting” — billing outsiders instead of locals. But, he says, there is relatively little research about their economic impact. His own research found that hotel-motel taxes began in major resort destinations such as Hawaii, then spread to smaller cities without international tourist attractions where the economics aren’t the same. “Hotel taxes have long been viewed as ‘free money’ in the belief that they could be fully shifted to travelers and had little effect on room rentals,” said Stephenson.

But he recently published a study whose results, it says, “suggest that hotel taxes are not a free lunch from a tax exporting perspective and that they may impose significant burdens on local hotel operators.” The study looked at a different but similar hotel tax in Georgia: a $5-a-night fee that funds transportation improvements. The study found the fee lowered the statewide monthly average hotel rentals by 92,000 rooms — roughly 0.25 percent — and that hotel operators were not able to pass along all of the cost to the bill-paying visitors. Jim Sprouse, executive director of the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association, would only comment broadly when asked about the hotel-motel taxes, saying, “Historically, investments in the hospitality industry and hospitality product have yielded a greater number of visitors, increased visitors spending, and more hospitality jobs in Georgia.” He did not

respond when asked for specific examples of how the taxes have done that in Buckhead or Perimeter Center. While promotional efforts can be fuzzy, more cities are opting for a provision in state law that allows them to increase the tax rate and use the money to build certain types of structures. Atlanta notably used hotel-motel tax to help pay for the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Reinagel said that 10 cities around the state adopted the higher, project-oriented taxes in decisions approved by the General Assembly last session, and about eight to 12 cities a year are joining the club. Among them recently were Brookhaven and Dunwoody, which are using the money to build multiuse trails. In this quarter’s Perimeter Business, the Reporter looks at how the tourism agencies in Brookhaven and Sandy Springs are rearranging the efforts paid for by local hotel-motel taxes to better brand their cities.

Sandy Springs tourism agency tries to renew its welcome BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Signs on I-285 lure drivers to stop at a Sandy Springs “Welcome Center” run by the city’s tourism agency. But Visit Sandy Springs, as the agency is known, had relatively few visitors itself and recently closed the center with an eye to reopening in a possible new building with better exposure. Meanwhile, the agency continues its work of promoting local businesses and the restaurant scene. “I think that a Welcome Center in the right location can be a great asset in promoting the parks, venues, restaurants and attractions in the city,” said Jennifer Cruce, the agency’s executive director. “Our former location was not highly sought after, so it wasn’t as effective as it could be.” The Welcome Center, which doubled as the Visit Sandy Springs office and opened in 2009, was located in the Parkside Shopping Center at 5920 Roswell Road, below the state’s Anne Frank Holocaust exhibit. “We are here to answer any questions about not only what you want to do in Sandy Springs, but the whole state,” Cruce said during a tour of the center when it was still open in August. The tourism agency’s office is now locat-

ed in the Northside Tower at 6065 Roswell Road, but there is no Welcome Center there, though it remains advertised on signs along state roadways. The Anne Frank exhibit remains in the shopping center The city has proposed a new building, called a “cultural center,” that would better highlight the Welcome Center and house other local groups. The proposal is in the early stages and a building opening date has not been set. “Our lease was scheduled to end in December, so we decided to go ahead and move and see what happens when and if we have a timeline on that new center,” Cruce said. Visit Sandy Springs, whose formal name is Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism, was one the few metro Atlanta suburban cities with a visitor’s center, according to the state tourism website. Roswell and Alpharetta are among others that operate one. The Welcome Center received around 1,000 visitors per year, and many of them were searching for the Anne Frank exhibit upstairs, Cruce said. Others were locals, including some regulars who came in to get the newspaper, she said. There are not many reliable metrics to measure the success of an agency like Visit Sandy Springs, Cruce said. Other than digital media views, such as videos or the agen-

EVELYN ANDREWS

Visit Sandy Springs’ “Welcome Center” had hundreds of brochures on local and statewide attractions and destinations.

cy’s website, there are few numbers to review. “It’s hard to claim a direct tie between what we do and the number of people who actually book a Sandy Springs hotel room, because it’s the hotels who actually close the deal,” she said. The agency is funded through the hotelmotel tax, and is given $1.6 million out of the around $5 million the city collects each year. Visit Sandy Springs spends about a quarter of its funding on salaries and benefits, according to its budget. The agency’s staff includes Cruce, two advertising salespeople, a marketing manager and an information specialist. The agency supports Sandy Springs promotional events, such as Sparkle Sandy Springs, a holiday-themed display of lit and

decorated miniature houses, Fourth of July fireworks and Spooky Springs, a children’s Halloween event. “The city pays for the events and we help with them because they help promote the city as a destination,” she said. Visit Sandy Springs also organizes an annual lantern parade at Morgan Falls Overlook Park. “It gives the community something to do, and it reminds people we are here and we like to have fun,” Cruce said. Promoting Sandy Springs is geared around marketing it as a destination and a place to stay, not only for business, but on the weekends as well, Cruce said. City Springs, the city’s civic center and theater complex, help with that. “This gives us an opportunity to have something new to promote and its helps develop the city’s identity,” she said. “I think it’s going to transform the city.” The agency promotes some local businesses directly, featuring them in materials such as its visitor’s guide and video series. Those have included High Country Outfitters, which has sponsored the city’s Lantern Parade; the gaming bar Battle and Brew; and local restaurants, she said. For more information, see visitsandysprings.org.


NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

Perimeter Business | 5

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Brookhaven looks to create identity with its own tourism bureau BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

SPECIAL

A ‘Discover Brookhaven’ ad in the June issue of Delta Air Line’s Sky magazine includes images of places not located in the city, such as Stone Mountain Park and the Fernbank Museum. The ad was purchased with city hotel-motel tax revenue by Discover DeKalb.

Brookhaven wants to have more direct control over how its hotel-motel tax revenue is spent when marketing and branding the city and started its own Convention and Visitors Bureau this year, so it would not be dependent on an outside agency to frame its image. The City Council also hiked its tax rate this year as part of an emerging trend among cities to spend taxes paid by visitors to build its own infrastructure. Brookhaven has heavily relied for several years on Discover DeKalb, the tourism agency for all of DeKalb County, to try to market the city. But with the new funds coming in from this year’s hotel-motel tax increase, the City Council decided it was time to focus on the city’s own individual restaurants, parks, festivals and other amenities to attract visitors and businesses. The city still collaborates with and pays Discover DeKalb $575,000 in city hotel-motel tax revenue to advertise in major publications or on billboards, for example. This year, Discover DeKalb spent $135,000 to run a “Discover Brookhaven” full-page ad for nine months in Delta Air Line’s Sky magazine. The maga-

zine is seen by an estimated 300,000 fliers a month, according to city officials. The June ad includes text at the bottom noting that Brookhaven is home to Oglethorpe University, the Atlanta Hawks (the team’s practice facility is located at Executive Park), the Weather Company (whose headquarters is in Perimeter Summit) and the annual Cherry Blossom Festival held each spring at Blackburn Park. The ad also incorporates several images of city landmarks like Oglethorpe University and Dresden Drive. But it also includes several images that have nothing to do with Brookhaven, including the Fernbank Museum, Stone Mountain Park and the Michael C. Carlos Museum. “They [Discover DeKalb] are promoting Brookhaven through their CVB and they’ve been doing it for about three years,” said Assistant City Manager Steve Chapman, who has been Continued on page 7

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Ribbon-cuttings in Reporter communities

SPECIAL

Zinburger, a gourmet burger and wine restaurant, opened a Dunwoody location at 4555 Ashford-Dunwoody Road in September. Cutting the ribbon were, from left, City Manager Eric Linton with a group of police officers; Mayor Denis Shortal; Zinburger’s Carlos Oliva, David Maini and David Jackson; Dan Farrar from the city; and Mary Michael and Stephanie Freeman from the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce. Info: zinburger.com.

SPECIAL

Pure Dental Health opened in October at 2390 Mount Vernon Road in Dunwoody. Celebrating were, front from left, Stephanie Freeman of the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce; Pure Dental Health’s Kelsi Almanzar; Mayor Denis Shortal; and Pure Dental Health employees in the back. Info: puredentalhealth.com.

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NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

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Perimeter Business | 7

Brookhaven looks to create identity with its own tourism bureau Continued from page 5 serving as the Brookhaven CVB de facto executive director this year. The Sky magazine ad was part of a “group buy” through Discover DeKalb and the city had no input on the design or layout, he said. The city is expecting to gain more local control of how its hotel-motel tax revenue is spent now that the BCVB board has hired its first executive director after a fivemonth search. Renee Areng is moving to Brookhaven from Mississippi where she served as executive director of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast for four years. She starts her new job next month. Among Areng’s first tasks will be to produce a 2019 budget for the $1 million of hotel-motel tax money set aside for the BCVB, Chapman said. “Our CVB is still in its infancy stage ... and 2019 will be a transition year,” Chapman said.

Discover DeKalb marketing of Brookhaven

In 2017, the city collected about $3 million in hotel-motel taxes. Of that amount, $1.16 million went to Discover DeKalb for regional and national promotions. The city spent $225,000 on marketing and promotions. The city also transferred nearly $1.6 million of the tax money to its general fund, according to budget documents. As part of its destination marketing, Discover DeKalb spent $200,000 promoting the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2017, including $70,000 on out-of-state billboards. They included seven billboards in Birmingham, Ala.; four in Charlotte, N.C.; nine in Columbia, S.C.; one in Chattanooga, Tenn.; and six in Nashville, Tenn. Discover DeKalb also rented billboards in Rome, Ga., and Calhoun, Ga. Another $45,000 was paid by Discover DeKalb to 10 “digital influencers,” people with a large social media following and online presence, to promote the 2017 Cherry Blossom Fest on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Discover DeKalb measured success of the billboards and digital influencers through “impressions,” or views. There were nearly 123 million impressions of tweets promoting the fest with the hashtag “#CherryFest17” during a “Twitter party” held about two weeks before the 2017 fest. Twitter parties are essentially an online chat using a specific hashtag that are meant to bring awareness to other digital influencers and people with like-minded interests. The county’s stats showed that there were only 306 clicks from Twitter to links about the festival. The billboards received more than 20 million impressions, according to Discover DeKalb. Billboard impressions are measured using criteria such as traffic counts made available from various gov-

ernment transportation departments. The billboard and digital influencers were part of new marketing tactics employed by Discover DeKalb, but the attendance at the 2017 weekend-long fest was about 15,000, approximately the same as 2016’s attendance. In 2018, Discover DeKalb spent only about $95,000 on regional and national marketing and branding for the Cherry Blossom Festival. That included about $11,000 for social media influencers. Discover DeKalb, a sponsor of the fest, also sponsored a digital billboard campaign at no cost to the city. The city spent about $290,000 on the Cherry Blossom Festival and budgeted $125,000 for music acts. Attendance over the two-day weekend fest, which included a rainy Sunday, was about 25,000, according to city officials. Last year, city leaders convinced state legislators that hotel-motel tax money could be used to fund construction of the Greenway because, they say, it will become a regional and tourist attraction, much like the Atlanta BeltLine. A law was passed to raise the city’s hotel-motel tax this year from 5 percent to 8 percent, bringing in about $1.3 million more a year in hotel-motel tax money. Of the 8 percent, or 8 cents of every dollar, state law allows 3 cents to be transferred into the city’s general fund for unrestricted purposes. Of the remaining 5 cents, 3.5 cents must be spent on promotion of events or marketing of activities to bring tourists to the city, with the final 1.5 cents required to build infrastructure that will promote tourism, in this case the Greenway. The city used the new revenue stream from the tax increase to issue $12.6 million in revenue bonds to fund construction of the Greenway. The bond will be paid off over 24 years with annual payments of $675,000 in hotel-motel tax money. Brookhaven’s portion of the planned 12-mile Greenway stretching from Mercer University to PATH400 and eventually to the Atlanta BeltLine includes about three miles between Buckhead and Chamblee. The City Council in October awarded a $7.99 million contract to Lewallen Construction Co. to build the first mile between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road. A groundbreaking is set for Dec. 12. Brookhaven is believed to be the first city in the state to use hotel-motel taxes to fund construction of a multiuse trail for tourism purposes. Hotel-motel tax dollars are typically spent to build facilities. The city of Atlanta, for example, used its hotel-motel tax revenue to back $200 million in bonds to fund construction of the approximate $1.6 billion Mercedes Benz Stadium.

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Commentary / Our changing political landscape The Nov. 6 election brought great changes to the political landscape in Reporter Newspapers’ communities. Veteran lawmakers retired or were defeated and Democrats ousted Republicans in districts that long had been represented by members of the GOP. The Reporter asked several local leaders what they made of the election and how they thought the changes would affect our cities and neighborhoods. Here’s what they had to say.

Andy Bauman

Sandy Springs City Council member First, I want to say that the huge turnout in this past election was a great thing. The more that voters are engaged, the more our elected officials need to be responsive. Further, given the extremely close races, in some cases decided by less than 1 or 2 percentage points, I am hopeful that the winners from both parties will recognize the need to work together on the important issues they will be considering in the upcoming legislative sessions. In Sandy Springs, we will miss former Rep. Wendell Willard (who retired) and the seniority and respect he enjoyed in the state House. However, I am very pleased with our new and returning representatives, with us now having representation from both the Republican and Democratic parties in the state House and Senate (and with all of our incumbents winning re-election and having greater seniority). I believe this is actually very reflective of who we are as a community, and the very clear message to our returning and newly elected representatives should be that the era of one-party rule is over and there is no entitlement to these seats for one particular party or the other. I believe this will make for better and more accountable representation. Similarly, Sandy Springs now will have both a Republican (Rep. Barry Loudermilk) and Democrat (Lucy McBath) representing us in Congress. We will benefit from having Representative-elect McBath in the majority party, but I believe she also understands the 6th District is very divided, and I hope and expect she will make an effort to work with her Republican colleagues in Congress in advance of what will likely be another very competitive race, if she seeks reelection in 2020.

Kate Kratovil

Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon Brookhaven resident The midterm elections signified a shift in the north Atlanta suburbs and a doubling down of female-led campaign volunteerism that has no signs of stopping. Locally, voters chose candidates who will bring a “blue” bal-

ance to the Republican-controlled legislature. Notably, Jen Jordan, who broke the Senate supermajority last December, defended her seat and will continue to serve parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs. Other major wins and flipped House seats were in Brookhaven and Dunwoody, where voters chose Barack Obama-endorsed candidates Matthew Wilson and Sally Harrell. By electing Jordan, Wilson, and Harrell, suburban voters demonstrated their readiness to be led by progressive voices. With high voter turnout and an engaged electorate, these elected officials have mandates to fight for quality public education, gun-sense reform, and greater access to healthcare. Although statewide races weren’t as successful, suburban Democrats and campaign volunteers who enthusiastically championed Democrats have much to celebrate.

Terry Nall

Dunwoody City Council member I have faith the newly elected representatives will remember they represent people more than a political party. Following the Nov. 6 election, the residents of Dunwoody and our city’s needs and issues are the same as prior to the election. Throughout our city’s 10year history, the elected officials of the city of Dunwoody worked together to build a healthy two-way relationship with state and federal representatives, regardless of anyone’s personal voting preferences. I expect this collaboration to continue for the coming years. Quality of life issues affect us all. It’s only by working together that we solve the issues we face as a city and as a region. Healthy and vibrant cities depend on strong relationships with state and federal officials. Dunwoody is no different and we will work hard to build strong relationships with the new representatives.

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NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

Commentary | 11

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Around Town

Newly Opened And Welcoming New Patients Joe Earle is editor-at-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

Flying to remember D-Day World War II fascinated Moreno Aguiari when he was a boy. Growing up in Italy, he saw the results of the war all around him and learned the importance of what had happened there. His grandparents had seen the war firsthand. “My grandmother always told me that if it wasn’t for the Americans, we wouldn’t be free,” he said recently. “So, I have an appreciation for what the Americans did.” As a teenager, he developed his interest in airplanes. He wanted to learn to fly and attended a high school that specialized in aviation, he said. As an adult, he moved to the U.S. and worked as a commercial pilot. “A lot of Europeans came here,” he said. “This is the country of aviation.” He became a U.S. citizen in 2009. As Aguiari grew older, he never lost his fascination with flying fighting machines from World War II and other wars. About six years ago, he started a website called Warbirds News, which published online articles about vintage warplanes and the people who fly them. He has described Warbirds News as “a group of passionate warbird enthusiasts who love the history and technology that aviation museums and flying collections preserve for the public.” Recently, the owner of the print magazine Warbird Digest purchased Warbird News. Aguiari works as the company’s marketing and business development director. At age 42, he’s involved in another project that honors machines and men who fought in World War II. From a one-room office he keeps at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, Aguiari is coordinating U.S. efforts to fly a group of Douglas DC-3s, also known by their military designation as C47s, to Europe next summer for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. “We are taking them back after 75 years,” JOE EARLE Aguiari said one recent afternoon as Moreno Aguiari shows drawings of the he sat in his PDK office, which is dec“Placid Lassie” on display in his office at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. orated with photos and drawings of warplanes and pilots and other aviation memorabilia. In June, the American planes will join planes from around the world carrying paratroopers into France in a ceremonial reenactment of the invasion of Normandy, when allied troops started moving across western Europe to attack Germany in World War II. The flyover project is called “Daks Over Normandy” because the C-47 was known as the “Dakota” and nicknamed the “Dak.” Aguiari’s involvement with the project came through the foundation that owns and operates the “Placid Lassie,” a restored C-47 that took part in the original D-Day invasion and will join the reenactment next summer. The people behind the foundation that owns the “Lassie” found the plane in a field near Covington in 2010 and restored it. They call the plane “a real war hero.” The “Lassie” now takes part in air shows around the country. Aguiari said part of his passion for World War II and older warplanes stems from how relatively simple they are, compared to more recent planes. In those days, before extensive development of electronics and computers, he said, the men who flew the planes really flew them. “World War I and World War II aviation was still a very man-driven type of flying…,” he said. “Flying those airplanes, you had to be a ‘good stick.’ There is a saying: ‘flying by the seat of your pants.’ From 1903 to 1948, we went from zero to jets.” He’s also drawn to World War II planes and fliers because they are still around. “There is a lot of it out there. You can still touch it,” he said. “World War I, it’s all in museums, but World War II, you can still talk to the pilots. You can still talk to the veterans. … You can reach out and meet the people. It’s the human aspect. I never think of the war aspect.” So, to honor those people and the airplanes they flew, he started about a year ago to help coordinate and raise the money needed to finance the D-Day Squadron’s participation in the anniversary flight. He thinks it’s important to remember what happened then. He saw the results. “You cannot build a future if you don’t know your history,” he said. DUN

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12 | Community

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Dunwoody voters elected two Democrats to represent them in the General Assembly next year, a historic flipping of seats firmly held by Republicans for decades. A backlash against President Donald Trump and a successful get-out-the-vote campaign by Democrats are credited by some observers as contributing to the city’s political shift. State Sen. Fran Millar, who has served at the Gold Dome for two decades, lost to Sally Harrell, who served in the state House with him Democrat Mike Wilensky defeated Republican Ken Wright for the state House District 79 seat. more than a decade ago, in the Nov. 6 election. And political newcomer Mike Wilensky, a recent transplant to the city from his hometown in Sandy Springs, defeated Ken Wright, the city’s founding mayor, to serve in the state House. Wilensky replaces Tom Taylor, who decided this year not to seek reelection after four terms in office. Taylor won the seat after Millar was elected to the state Senate. Mayor Denis Shortal publicly endorsed Millar and Wright but said he doesn’t believe that will Democrat Sally Harrell beat longtime legislator Fran Millar for the state Senate District 40 seat. hurt the city’s relationships with Wilensky and Harrell. He said he has met already with Wilensky and invited him to speak at a future City Council meeting. He said he does not know Harrell but plans to extend her the same invitation. “I believe in the process,” Shortal said. “You won’t see me, if the election is lost, ... demonstrating in the streets. Or if you’ve got a hat on for the opposition, I won’t be knocking it off your head.” Shortal also said he City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch. doesn’t believe having two new Democrats, and members of the minority party, will affect Dunwoody’s chances of having its voice heard DUN


NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

The adage used to be ‘all politics is local.’ This year it wasn’t. Trump was on the ballot even if he wasn’t. And as long as the Republican brand is defined by Trump, that’s going to be an issue. JOSEPH KNIPPENBERG PROFESSOR OF POLITICS OGLETHORPE UNIVERSITY at the General Assembly. “I’m going to talk to them about our priorities and I expect them to represent us,” Shortal said. As for Democrats winning the state legislative seats, Shortal said the results are likely part of a long tradition of a new sitting president losing support in Congress. Ronald Reagan, he said, was a popular president, but Republicans lost the House and Senate after his first term. He said he did not know if Trump played a role in the local races. The upsets were not entirely surprising as local Republicans knew they were campaigning against the national Republican brand now defined by Trump — a divisive brand that does not traditionally play well with moderate voters living in metro Atlanta, said Joseph Knippenberg, professor of politics at Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven. Incumbents like Millar and state Rep. Meagan Hanson in Brookhaven tried to shake off the Trump stamp by campaigning on local issues such as property taxes, transit and school safety. But such issues did not seem to matter this year as they historically have in local races, Knippenberg said. “The adage used to be ‘all politics is local.’ This year it wasn’t,” he said. “Trump was on the ballot even if he wasn’t. And as long as the Republican brand is defined by Trump, that’s going to be an issue.” City Councilmember Lynn Deutsch said she saw men and women who had never been involved in politics before becoming energized by the 2016 presiDUN

Community | 13

www.ReporterNewspapers.net dential election. “I think people have realized that it’s not enough to just pay attention to what’s happening in Washington, D.C.,” she said. “You have to pay attention to what’s happening at home, too.” Governor candidate Brian Kemp embraced the socially conservative ideals of Trump including an anti-immigrant stance and support of gun rights and concentrated all his energy on rural voters, Knippenberg said. That left suburban Republican candidates facing an uphill battle because they had no moderate support from the top of their party’s ticket, Knippenberg said. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, on the other hand, who spearheaded an impressive get-out-thevote effort, likely helped carry downticket Democrats over the finish line, he added. Local Democrats including Wilensky and Harrell also campaigned hard on their support of issues like Medicaid expansion, funding public schools, gun control, a woman’s right to choose and opposition to so-called “religious liberty” bills. “In one sense, you can say Atlanta is part of a larger national story — the Republicans taking a bath among voters who would have been their bread and

butter as recently as 2012,” Knippenberg said. The traditionally college-educated, white and affluent voters living in the suburbs, like metro Atlanta and in Dunwoody, went for Democrats this year, a party shift that may or not be sustainable depending on who is in the White House, he said.

“What I do know is if you look at demographics across the country, suburban voters led by suburban white women voted for Democrats. It seems marginally easier for Democrats who look like the national party to do well in the suburbs, and that’s a change,” Knippenberg said.

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14 | Community

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I-285 toll lanes could harm Georgetown, says council member Continued from page 1

‘Tis the Season to Be Merry

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have been no public meetings, this is costing billions of dollars, and at the end of the day, what does any taxpayer get for it and, specifically, what if any benefits are there to my city’s residents?” The I-285 Top End Express Lanes project, estimated to cost close to $5 billion, focuses on adding two new elevated, barrier-separated express lanes in both directions on I-285, alongside regular travel lanes. They could stand 30 feet or higher. GDOT says the added toll lanes would alleviate traffic on one of the most heavily traveled and congested highways in the country by allowing motorists to pay a fee to drive in less congested lanes. On I-285, the lanes would run between I-75 in Cobb County and I-85’s Spaghetti Junction, with other segments to the east and west extending near I-20. Construction could start in 2023 and opening could come in 2028. The toll lanes would be similar to the recently opened Northwest Corridor Express Lanes. That project added nearly 30 miles of toll lanes along sections of I-75 and I-575. The tallest bridge of the Northwest Corridor stands 105 feet above ground level, according to media reports. Toll lanes are also planned for Ga. 400 between I-285 and McFarland Parkway. Preliminary studies are underway for the nearly $2 billion project that would add two elevated, barrier separated express lanes in each direction between I-285 and Spalding Drive. Plans also call for two toll lanes in each direction between Spalding Drive and McGinnis Ferry Road and one toll lane in each direction from McGinnis Ferry Road to McFarland Parkway. Construction of those toll lanes is slated to begin in 2021 and open to traffic 2024. The I-285 top end toll lanes and Ga. 400 toll lanes are separate projects from the “Transform 285/400” project now underway. Transform 285/400 is essentially reorganizing and rebuilding the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange to make traffic flow faster and safer. It is expected to be finished in 2020. Squeezing even more lanes into the interchange has a number of effects that concern officials in all cities with I-285 as a border. Sandy Springs City Councilmember Chris Burnett urged public meetings almost a year ago without success, and the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts is working on ways to mitigate the appearance of the toll lanes.

Design of the I-285 top end express lanes is still in the preliminary stage, but GDOT is already acquiring right of way. An environmental study to help determine where the toll lanes would go and the best places for access points is also in the works. GDOT is seven months behind in sharing the proposed plans for the I-285 toll lane, Deutsch said. When GDOT hired a new engineering consultant for the I-285 top end toll lanes this year, state officials said they were forced to push back planned public open house meetings until next year. The Dunwoody City Council has requested Tim Matthews, program manager for GDOT, to brief them about the toll lane projects two times this year. At the latest meeting in October, Matthews said public community meetings are planned for next spring or summer. Deutsch said she understands the I-285 toll lanes are intended to alleviate traffic congestion and benefit metro Atlanta and the region. “But that’s not my constituency,” she said. “My obligation is to my constituents and not to a multibillion-dollar project that may make everything worse for them.”

What could happen to Georgetown?

The Georgetown community includes the Kroger-anchored Georgetown Shopping Center near the Chamblee-Dunwoody Road interchange. The Dunwoody Pines Retirement Community and the Ashford Academy school are adjacent to the shopping center. To the west of the interchange and on both sides of the interstate are dozens of single-family homes on such roads as Old Spring House Lane and Brawley Circle. They are separated from I-285 only by a thicket of trees. When the trees are bare, motorists driving along I-285 can readily see the 40 townhomes of the Chateau Club townhome community. “There is no way this project is going to have a positive impact on these neighborhoods ...,” Deutsch said. “Because of the magnitude of this project, it is hard to take a wait-and-see attitude.” The possibility of elevated ramps and lanes worries Kent Nichols, president of the Georgetown Recreation Club that has been around for 50 years. The private club’s swimming pool is just dozens of feet away from I-285 and separated only by a fence and a small cluster of trees. Any I-285 toll lane development along that section of I-285 DUN


NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

Community | 15

www.ReporterNewspapers.net last month there has been no decision where the elevated lanes will go, but engineers are looking for ways to minimize impacts on property owners. He said about 300 parcels have been identified as needed for the I-285 toll lanes. The state has so far purchased two properties, he said. The Georgetown Recreation Center is open to all residents and has been a popular spot for families to bring their children to participate on the swim team. People from throughout the city also come to congregate over the summer months at the club for recreational swimming, tennis and socializing, Nichols said. “It would be a huge loss for the community and the neighborhood if the state were to encroach on that property,” he said. “But we haven’t heard any-

thing specific. We haven’t been contacted by GDOT or by the city. We would hope they would come and talk to us and work with us to preserve that part of the community.” GDOT officials will come speak to neighborhood groups and homeowners’ association when requested. Deutsch said she is working on setting one up for Georgetown residents and plans to reach out to state representatives to ask for help getting more information to the public. “To me, there are more unanswered questions than answers,” she said. “To move forward on a project this impactful and go to design, full blast ahead, without public input is irresponsible.”

The Georgetown Recreation Center’s swimming pool as seen in this Google Earth image is located only dozens of feet away from I-285. The state Department of Transportation’s planned I-285 top end toll lanes would likely take out the pool, according to the club’s president. Dozens of single-family homes surround the center.

would likely mean eating into that small dividing piece of land, Nichols said. “It would kill us,” he said. “Especial-

ly if they put elevated lanes over us. It would be a hazard to the pool. You can’t have a truck fall into the pool.” Matthews of GDOT told the council

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16 | Faith

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HER E ’ S WH AT S OME OTH ER RESP ON DENTS SAID WHEN A S K ED, “ WH AT I S YOUR SP ECIAL WAY TO CELEBRATE TH E H OL I DAYS?” The holidays are about being with family. – 64-year-old Atlanta man Church, football, food. – 70-year-old Atlanta woman I go out of my way to see as many family members and friends as I can since work and travel makes it difficult to see them during the year. – 27-year-old Atlanta man Shopping on Black Friday, experiencing the lights at a garden or shopping center, going to and/or binging holiday movies at home. – 47-year-old Atlanta woman Decorate a tree with ornaments purchased on each trip we take, light the fireplace, and partake in classic holiday food and drink from brunch to dinner, with leftovers for days. – 36-year-old Atlanta woman The whole family goes to church together. Then we all go back to my parents’ house, all 40-plus, and have appetizers, dinner and gifts. We all just relax and eat and drink and drink and it is just so much fun. My favorite tradition with my husband and kids is going to the Center for Puppetry Arts and seeing Rudolph every year. – 39-year-old Atlanta woman

Community Survey: The many ways to celebrate the holidays When it comes to the holidays, 200 local residents say, they’re all about family. But traditions vary widely on how to spend that special holiday family time. Reporter Newspapers surveyed 200 residents, conducted by 1Q.com via cellphone, about their holiday traditions. The results are not scientific. More than half the respondents said they expected to be home with their loved ones this year during the best parts of the holidays. “The key is being with family,” a 44-year-old Atlanta man commented when responding to the cellphone survey of 200 adults who live in communities served by Reporter Newspapers and INtown Atlanta. The second largest percentage of respondents, 36 percent, said their favorite part of the holidays would take place at the homes of friends or family members. Five percent looked forward to dinners at restaurants and 3 percent said the best part of the holidays would come at church or another religious institution. Respondents may have agreed on who they wanted to be with during the holi-

days, but they differed on the best way to spend that family time. One 52-year-old looked forward to his family’s annual “famous ‘Turkey Bowl’ football game prior to Thanksgiving lunch. Others planned to watch football on TV. Still others wanted to go shopping on Black Friday or head to the mountains or to the beach for a holiday escape. “Our family takes an annual beach vacation over Thanksgiving as a way to escape the unpredictable Atlanta weather,” a 31-year-old Sandy Springs woman said. “This year we’re going to Mexico!” But most of the respondents seemed ready to turn to homebodies. Asked for their special ways to celebrate the holidays, respondents said they looked forward to taking part in family sleepovers, going bowling, heading to church, looking at holiday lights, playing board games, doing community service and to joining a Thanksgiving-style “Friendsgiving” dinner with friends rather than family. A 33-year-old Atlanta man wanted “conversation by the fire.” A 36-year-old Buckhead man summed up his holiday

Communities of Faith 2018 December 9

Children’s Christmas Pageant 10:15am December 23

Lessons & Carols 11:00am December 24

Candlelight Christmas Eve 5:00pm

SAINT MARTIN IN THE FIELDS EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Christmas Eve: Sunday, December 24 3:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist and Christmas Pageant* 5:30 p.m. Christmas Concert & Festival Eucharist* 10:00 p.m. Christmas Concert & Festival Eucharist *Nursery is available for these services and programs.

Christmas Day: Monday, December 25, 10:30 a.m. 3110 Ashford Dunwoody Rd • Atlanta, 30319 • 404-261-4292 • www.stmartins.org

Celebrate with St. James this

Christmas Eve

Y Sun. | Dec. 23

5:00 p.m.

Mon. | Dec. 24Y

3:00 p.m.

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5:00 p.m.

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7:00 p.m.

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11:00 p.m. Candlelight worship with Communion.

4400 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd. | Atlanta, GA 30342 | 404.261.3121 | stjamesatlanta.org | thetableatlanta.org


NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

Where are you during your favorite part of the holidays!

53

Faith | 17

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

%

At my home with loved ones

5

% Out on the town at a restaurant, club, etc.

36%

At the home of a friend or family member

I love taking email surveys! - said no one, ever

Enjoy sharing your opinion quickly and easily, and by the way - get paid instantly.

3%

A religious institution like a church or synagogue

3% other, including community events such as tree-lightings. plans simply: “Eating turkey and ham, watching football and taking daytime naps.” Food seemed to hold a special place on our list of holiday treats. One 24-year-old Atlanta man said he looked forward to simply “eating like there’s no tomorrow.” And our holiday menu is nothing if not varied. Survey respondents eagerly awaited more than just the traditional standbys — turkey, green bean casserole, pecan pie — as their family traditions turn on hot chocolate, Christmas tree cookies, grilled cheese sandwiches, lasagna, spaghetti on Christmas Eve, hot pot and even a mix of Mexican and Korean foods. “We make paella for Thanksgiving,” a 44-year-old Buckhead woman said, referring to a Spanish rice dish. More than one respondent looked forward to a special holiday trip to a Waffle House. “We go to midnight Mass, open presents and then hit Waffle House in our PJs,” a 47-year-old woman said. “We are on our 15th year!” Movies seemed important, too, as some have made certain films into their own family holiday rituals. One family views “Home Alone 2” every year. Another settles in to watch “The Lord of the Rings.” A 50-year-old Sandy Springs man said his family has an annual showing of “Pulp Fiction.” A 37-year-old Brookhaven woman said Christmas Day brought chaos as her family gathered to celebrate each year “and we love it! All the kids (cousins) wear matching pajamas!” Many, however, looked forward to more traditional holiday celebrations. “We deck the halls inside and outside our home with Christmas decorations. We also go to one of our local churches to watch the ‘living nativity’ with animals,” a 37-year-old Atlanta man said. “I love to

sit by the fire and drink mulled wine and cider while listening to old holiday classic music.”

1Q.com/reporter or text REPORTER to 86312

Discover Galloway

Pre-K – Grade 12 Open House Sunday, December 2, 1-3 p.m.

Register at gallowayschool.org

BEYOND EXPECTATIONS At Galloway, students (age 3-grade 12) are inspired to be fearless learners, to embrace challenges, and to discover more about themselves and the world around them.


18 | Art & Entertainment

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LIGHT UP THE JCC!

BROOKHAVEN

BUCKHEAD

HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS

DUNWOODY

SANDY SPRINGS

NATIVITY DISPLAY

LIGHT UP BROOKHAVEN

Thursday, Nov. 29, 6-8 p.m. Musical performances, reindeer, holiday crafts, games, visits with Santa, Christmas tree and Hanukkah Menorah lightings, refreshments, food trucks. Free. Toys for Tots reps will collect donations of new, unwrapped toys. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. Info: brookhavenga.gov.

Saturday, Dec. 1, 5:30-8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m. This 6th Annual Atlanta Nativity Celebration by the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints features unique nativity sets from around the world and a live nativity. New this year is Art from the Heart, featuring the religious-themed works of local artists. Christmas music performances, sing-alongs, Christmas crafts for children, holiday cookies and warm cider. Free. 6449 Glenridge Drive N.E., Sandy Springs. Info: atlantastake.org.

LEARN & LIVE

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Monday to Wednesday, Dec. 3-5, 5:15-5:45 p.m. Join the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta for three days of Hanukkah celebration. Each night will feature songs and activities, followed by a performance and the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah. Arrive at 4:45 p.m. for a free Family Yoga and Mindfulness experience. Jelly donuts and hot chocolate will be served. Free. 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org or 678-812-4161.

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES “A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS”

Friday, Nov. 30 to Sunday, Dec. 16 Stage Door Players presents Phil Olson’s “A Nice Family Christmas.” A young newspaper reporter on the brink of being fired has been assigned a last-chance story about a typical family Christmas – his family’s Christmas. His recently widowed mother, crazy uncle, eccentric grandmother, and battling siblings provide no shortage of material. $15-$33. North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 5339 ChambleeDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Show schedule: stagedoorplayers.net.

“HOLLY, JOLLY AND GAY!”

Friday, Dec. 7, 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 8, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus delivers its 38th annual holiday concert at the Cathedral of St. Philip. This year’s “Holly, Jolly and Gay!” show features new arrangements and new artistic leadership. $40 through Dec. 6; $45 at the door. Free ice cream social after the Saturday matinee. 2744 Peachtree Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: voicesofnote.org.

ATLANTA CONCERT BAND

Sunday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m. The Atlanta Concert Band presents its annual holiday concert, “Holiday Cards.” The family concert will include sing-alongs, a narrator for “A Christmas Tale (Beware the Krampus),” the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church choir and handbells. Free; donations accepted. Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, 471 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Info: atlantaconcertband.org.

GET ACTIVE HOLIDAY CONCERT AND DANCE

335 COLEWOOD WAY NW | SANDY SPRINGS, GA 30328-2956 EPSTEINATLANTA.ORG

Saturday, Dec. 1, 8-11 p.m.; Beginners’ dance lesson 7-8 p.m. The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association sponsors Gerard Delafose & the Zydeco Gators of Louisiana in the group’s first performance in Atlanta. Cajun/Creole food for sale. $18; $14 active military; $5 students. No partner required. All ages welcome. 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org.

FAMILY FUN DAY: ENCHANTED WOODLAND WONDERS

Sunday, Dec. 9, 2-6 p.m. Family Fun Day includes reindeer, story time, performances, winter crafts, games, campfire and cocoa at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Find Fairy Houses and Gnome Homes on the Enchanted Woodland Trail. Bring a picnic or pick up food from one of the food trucks. Included with general admission; free to CNC members. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Ticket info: chattnaturecenter.org.

HOLIDAY MARKETS HOLIDAY GIFT FAIR

Saturday, Dec. 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The North Side Library Association holds its first annual Holiday Gift Fair at the Buckhead Library. Shop for unique items made by local artisans. Free. Funds raised benefit the Buckhead Library, 269 Buckhead Ave. N.E., Buckhead. Info: afpls.org/buckhead-branch.

HOLIDAY ARTISTS MARKET

Saturday, Dec. 1, noon-2 p.m. Decorate your own cookie and have some cocoa while you shop the selection of handcrafted gifts and home decor at the Spruill Center for the Arts’ 25th annual Holiday Artists Market, a six-week shopping event that runs through Dec. 23. Free. Spruill Gallery, 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts.org/holidayartistsmarket.

ANNUAL HANUKKAH BAZAAR

Sunday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Congregation Or VeShalom hosts its 43rd annual Sisterhood Hanukkah Bazaar featuring authentic Sephardic/Mediterranean foods and handmade pastries served by the OVS Sisterhood for dine in or carry out. Shop for local art, Judaica, jewelry, crafts, unusual gifts, used books, and more. Also at the event will be a newly revamped KidsZone and a premium liquor auction. $3. 1681 North Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: orveshalom.org.

LEARN SOMETHING FAMILY HANUKKAH PARTY COOKING CLASS

Sunday, Dec. 2, 3-5 p.m. Learn to make a variety of Hanukkah treats including latke waffles, sweet potato latkes,


NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

Art & Entertainment | 19

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

SWEA ATLANTA’S ANNUAL SWEDISH CHRISTMAS MARKET

cookies and more. $25 members; $35 nonmembers. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org or 678-812-3993.

TITLES @ TWILIGHT

Sunday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Swedish Women’s Educational Association, showcases the culture and holiday traditions of Sweden in this annual market featuring home-baked goods, candy, traditional and modern handicraft, gift items, used books written in Swedish and new and old Swedish products. Swedish Christmas foods and drinks and hot dogs will be for sale and children’s activities will be hosted by the Swedish School of Atlanta. The Lucia procession, a famous Swedish tradition, will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. $2 adults; free for ages 17 and under. Also, free for any visitor wearing a Scandinavian National Costume. Dorothy Benson Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: atlanta.swea.org/julmarknaden.

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Mike Castronis discusses his book, “A Football Story in a Football Story,” a fictional story of possibilities set in the late 1960s, when a football-crazy town begins to understand what might happen to their team if African-Americans were able to play. Free. Community Room at Heritage Sandy Springs, 6110

Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

FREE ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES Ongoing

Take a class or teach a class at the Community Assistance Center. Free adult education classes focus on enhancing life skills and improving job skills. Classes include English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), computers for beginners and personal financial management. All classes are taught by volunteers. 1130 Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs. Info: ourcac.org.

SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT

calendar@ReporterNewspapers.net

SPARKLE SANDY SPRINGS OPENING NIGHT CELEBRATION DECEMBER 1, 2018 6PM AT CITY SPRINGS Enjoy a wonderland of festively decorated six-feettall wooden houses, painted by local artists and organizations. This year’s event will feature the City’s first annual Christmas tree and Menorah lightings. School of Rock Atlanta will provide festive entertainment. We’ll have complimentary hot chocolate and concessions for sale. This free event will kick-off December 1st at 6 p.m. and the display will remain open to the public through December 31st.

SPR.GS/SPARKLE


20 | Education

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The musicians of No Solution Sutton Middle School The music started at their sixth-grade talent show. That was when Max Bittner, Devon Gates, Chris Robinson and Micah MacLane came together to form their blues and rock band No Solution at Sutton Middle School. “We did the talent show, and after that we were like, ‘Let’s keep doing this,’ ” Devon said. Fast forward six years, and these four high school seniors — Max attends The Weber School, the others attend North Atlanta High School — have made a name for themselves performing all across Atlanta and the entire Southeast. They have competed in and won numerous competitions, most recently the Atlanta Blues Society’s Atlanta Blues Challenge. The band will represent Atlanta at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this January. Each band member has brought their unique backgrounds and skill sets to the table. Max’s farther, David Bittner, manages the band, and Max plays the guitar, an instrument he picked up at 6 years old. Chris, who grew up playing on a drum set at his church, remembers first meeting Max at Sutton Middle School. “I had moved here and I wanted to play drums, so I walked into the band room at Sutton Middle School, which had a jazz

band,” he said “I hear this kid playing crazy riffs on the guitar, and I’m like, ‘Who is this? I need to be his friend.’” Devon Gates balances the band’s performances and practices with her numerous extracurricular activities, once competing in a Quiz Bowl state championship before

Standout Student performing later that day. Devon has been singing for as long as she can remember, but she added bass guitar when the group suddenly needed a bass player for the talent show. The other band members are certain that she will end up as a lawyer and they will one day be sleeping on her couch. “This is a really unique thing we have gotten to do,” Devon said. “These guys are great and we are like a big family.” Micah MacLane began taking piano lessons when he was five years old, and now plays the keyboard for No Solution. The members attribute their success to putting in hours and hours of practice, both as a group and individually. They also gave thanks to David Bittner for managing the band for all these years. “None of this

Above, from left, Micah MacLane, Devon Gates, Chris Robinson and Max Bittner perform on stage.

SPECIAL

Inset, from left, Max Bittner, a student at The Weber School, along with North Atlanta High students Devon Gates, Chris Robinson and Micah MacLane, formed the band No Solution in middle school.

would happen without David,” Chris said.

What’s next?

All four band members are looking to study music in college, and hope to play together when they can. “The luxury of today’s world is even if we are in different places, we can still do things together,” Chris said. This article was written and reported by Max Goldstein, a student at Atlanta Jewish Academy.

C O R R EC T IO N The story “Dunwoody expresses concern about DeKalb graduation dates” in the Nov. 9 issue incorrectly stated the graduation date for Cross Keys High. The correct date is May 30.

OPEN HOUSE 12.1.18 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.


NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

Classifieds | 21

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

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22 | Community

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City puts 6-month hold on multi-unit construction Continued from page 1

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taurant space and 3,000 residential units. High Street’s developers attended a Nov. 19 special called City Council meeting where the moratorium was approved. The moratorium comes after House Bill 876, dubbed the “wood bill,” went into effect on July 1. The bill prohibits local governments from banning wood-framed buildings that otherwise meet state building and fire codes. The new law erased Dunwoody’s 2014 ordinance that required commercial, office, apartment or condominium buildings more than three stories tall to be framed with noncombustible materials, such as metal or concrete. Mayor Denis Shortal said HB 876 was “maybe a small part” of the council’s decision to issue a moratorium on multi-unit building applications and building permits, but the main factor for doing so was safety. “We’ve been working on this [reviewing fire safety codes] for three or four months ... with the county fire marshals, to try to make sure our codes are where they need to protect not only our citizens but also the citizens who visit and work in Dunwoody,” Shortal said. The special called meeting for Nov. 19 to approve the moratorium immediately was

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requested because the city was not finished reviewing the codes with county fire officials, he said. Shortal said even before state law was changed with HB 876, the city had agreed it was time for a review of its fire safety ordinances “because we had some idea our codes were not up to snuff.” Councilmember Terry Nall, who spearheaded the 2014 ordinance to prohibit wood-framed buildings over three stories tall, said in a written statement the moratorium is not tied to the “wood bill” or any possible future development. “It’s a breather for Dunwoody to very broadly assess and ensure, in conjunction with the county fire marshal, that the city has the correct codes in place as a public safety review,” he said. Attending the Nov. 19 council meeting were representatives from Boston-based developer GID and their attorneys. They did not speak publicly to the council. GID owns the High Street site at Perimeter Center Park and Hammond Drive, where they have proposed a 42-acre minicity that has been on paper for more than a decade. GID filed a land disturbance permit application with the city in March, according to a city spokesperson. It has not been approved. When Amazon announced last year that Atlanta was one of its 20 finalist cities of where it was considering building its second headquarters, GID submitted the High Street site to the state to be part of its Amazon bid. Amazon announced Nov. 13 that it is splitting its new headquarters between New York and northern Virginia. Why GID was attending the council’s meeting is unknown. GID attorney Woody Galloway declined comment, as did GID’s Vice President of Development Jeff Lowenberg. They did huddle with and speak to Shortal after the meeting. Shortal declined to say what they spoke about. The High Street property, which borders Sandy Springs, currently includes several office towers, including the home of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and a vacant area across the street from the State Farm regional headquarters under construction. The AJC’s occupancy is another question mark, as parent company Cox Communications has reversed a plan to relocate its newsroom to WSB-TV. Just the first phase of the High Street development was proposed to include a 30-story residential tower, a 12-story office building, two seven-story residential buildings, two eight-story residential buildings, a 12-story residential building and several three-story townhouses. All residential buildings would have ground-floor retail. Grubb Properties is slated to go before the City Council next month to seek rezoning of about 20 acres on Perimeter Center East. The developer’s proposed plans include 900 condos, 500,000 square feet of new office space, approximately 12,000 square feet of retail and nearly three acres of green space.

DUN


NOV. 23 - DEC. 13, 2018

Public Safety | 23

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Dunwoody From Dunwoody Police reports dated Nov. 4 through Nov. 16. The following information was pulled from Dunwoody’s Police-2-Citizen website.

Boulevard — On Nov. 7, in the morning, a car was reported stolen.

Road — On Nov. 10, at night, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

and accused of theft by receiving stolen property.

LARCENY/ SHOPLIFTING/THEFT

„„1100 block of Crown Pointe Parkway

„„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 10, at night, items were reported missing from a car.

„„4300 block of Abercorn Avenue — On

„„2400 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

„„4500

„„6700 block of Peachtree Industrial

Boulevard — On Nov. 4, in the morning, a forced-entry burglary was reported. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 4, in the afternoon, a larceny was reported.

— On Nov. 7, in the evening, two incidents of items missing from cars were reported. „„5500 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road — On Nov. 8, in the afternoon, someone reported that they had been pickpocketed.

On Nov. 4, in the evening, items were stolen from a car.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 8, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

„„6799 block of Peachtree Industrial

„„4400

„„4900 block of Winters Chapel Road —

Road — On Nov. 4, at night, a car was stolen. „„4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 5, in the morning, a larceny was reported. „„100 block of Perimeter Center Place —

On Nov. 5, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 5, at noon, a shoplifting incident occurred. „„1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

Nov. 5, in the afternoon, a snatching incident was reported. „„4800

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 5, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of motor vehicle theft. „„1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

Nov. 5, in the evening, items were stolen from a car. „„1200 block of Ashford Crossing — On

Nov. 5, in the evening, items were stolen from a car. „„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 6, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting. „„1200 block of Hammond Drive — On

Nov. 6, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported. „„4800

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 6, in the evening, a larceny was reported. „„4600

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 6, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car. „„4600 block of Shallowford Road — On

Nov. 6, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car. „„6600 block of Peachtree Industrial DUN

„„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 8, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. „„5500 block of Chamblee-Dunwoody

Road — On Nov. 8, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of sudden snatching.

Nov. 15, in the morning, items were reported missing from a car.

On Nov. 11, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 15, in the morning, items were reported missing from a car.

„„1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

„„4400

Nov. 11, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 12, in the early morning, a man and woman were arrested and accused of shoplifting. „„4400 block of Ashford-

Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 12, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported. „„4700 block of Ashford-

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 16, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

A S S AU LT „„300 block of Perimeter Center North

— On Nov. 6, at night, a man was arrested and accused of assault. „„300 block of Perime-

ter Center North — On Nov. 11, in the evening, a woman was arrested and accused of simple battery.

Nov. 8, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported.

Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 12, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

„„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 8, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

„„4300 block of Ashford-

Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 12, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of larceny.

owlake Drive — On Nov. 15, in the morning, a woman was arrested and accused of aggravated assault with a weapon.

„„4800

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 8, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car.

„„1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

ARRESTS

„„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 8, at night, two people reported items missing from cars.

„„1100 block of Hammond Drive — On

„„100 block of Perimeter Center Place

„„4600 block of Peachtree Place Park-

— On Nov. 9, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of larceny.

way — On Nov. 13, in the evening, a truck or bus was reported stolen.

„„2300 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

„„4700

On Nov. 9, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car.

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 13, at night, items were reported missing from a car.

Center — On Nov. 5, at night, a woman was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license.

„„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 10, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported and a woman was arrested.

„„100 block of Perimeter Center West —

„„Ashford-Dunwoody Road/ Perimeter

„„4400

Nov. 14, in the evening, items were reported missing from a car.

„„100 block of Perimeter Center — On

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 10, in the afternoon, a shoplifting incident was reported and a woman was arrested. „„1200 block of Hammond Drive — On

Nov. 10, in the evening, a shoplifting incident was reported. „„4700

Nov. 12, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting. Nov. 13, in the afternoon, a woman was arrested and accused of shoplifting.

On Nov. 14, in the afternoon, a sudden snatching incident was reported. „„5300 block of Abercorn Avenue — On

„„4300

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 14, in the evening, a man was arrested and accused of shoplifting. „„100 block of Perimeter Center East —

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Nov. 10, at night, two women were arrested and accused of shoplifting.

On Nov. 15, in the early morning, 10 people reported items missing from their cars.

„„4500

15, in the morning, a man was arrested

block of Ashford-Dunwoody

„„I-285 EB/ Peachtree Road — On Nov.

„„5100 block of Mead-

„„5400 block of Redbark Way — On Nov.

4, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of credit fraud. „„6800 block of Peachtree Industrial

Boulevard — On Nov. 4, in the morning, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. „„Ashford-Dunwoody Road/ Perimeter

Center — On Nov. 5, at night, a woman was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. „„Ashford-Dunwoody Road/ Perimeter

Center — On Nov. 5, at night, a woman was arrested and accused of driving with a suspended license. „„6600 block of Peachtree Industrial

Boulevard — On Nov. 5, at night, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession. „„Ashford-Dunwoody Road/ Perimeter

Center — On Nov. 6, at midnight, a man was arrested and accused of marijuana possession.


24 |

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