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Buckhead Reporter

Sandy Springs at Ten

Time traveler Mix history with holidays OUT & ABOUT 10

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NOV. 27 — DEC. 10, 2015 • VOL. 8 — NO. 24

Thrift shop helps clothe the needy MAKING A DIFFERENCE 27

Happy tales, wagging tails

A SPECIAL SECTION, PAGES 15-26

Moores Mill shopping center project moves forward with federal funds BY COLLIN KELLEY

PHIL MOSIER

Avery Radics, 7, makes sure Sedona, a 13-year-old Golden Retriever, is listening to her story, during a “Happy Tails Reading Paws” session at the Buckhead Branch Library on Nov. 14. Children are able to work on reading skills by practicing with a trained and registered therapy dog. See more photos on page 34.

Mayor Kasim Reed vetoed a plan to use city money to build a road for a shopping center on Moores Mill Road, but the project will move forward anyway, city officials say. On Nov. 2, Atlanta City Council voted to spend $800,000 from transportation development impact fees to partially fund an extension of Moores Mill Road. On Nov. 10, Reed vetoed the expenditure, saying $2 million had been authorized by the Federal Highway Administration for the completion of the project. Reed’s office said the Moores Mill Extension and a realignment of Adams Drive now will be financed through federal funds and $500,000 in public funds from Invest Atlanta. The total cost of both projects is expected to be about $2.2 million. Edens, a South Carolina-based development company, has said that if the roads are built, it would move forward with a $40 million shopping center project in the area that would include a 45,000-square-foot Publix supermarket, retail shops and apartments. Reed said using federal funds would allow the city to save local taxpayer dollars and local impact fees for use on projects that do not qualify for federal funds. The city can access the federal dollars as earSEE MOORES MILL, PAGE 6

North Atlanta parents cheer for athletics options BY DYANA BAGBY Vernetta Head’s 13-year-old son, Harrison, is academically inclined. He favors chess and robotics over basketball or football. But Head wants the Sutton Middle School eighth grader to be well rounded and to be more physical. So she attended the Nov. 18 meeting of the North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools to find out what options are available to him when he heads off to North Atlanta High School. “We have had a talk about it and I said, ‘This year, you will play a sport,’” she said with a smile. During the first semester Harrison ran cross country; now he is training to play lacrosse. Approximately 50 parents attended the meeting at Sutton Middle that was titled, “Sports & Team Spirit in Our North Atlanta Cluster.”

On hand to talk about what is offered at North Atlanta High School and at Sutton were Dwike Leonard, SMS athletic director; Scotty East, North Atlanta’s sports booster board president; and Andre Regan, North Atlanta’s athletic director. “Sports will help our students learn coping skills,” Leonard told parents. “We are trying to develop the whole child.” At Sutton, students can participate in sports such as basketball, football, cheerleading, track and field, softball, soccer, cross country, golf, volleyball, tennis and wrestling. North Atlanta offers students cross country, volleyball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, football, baseball, swimming and cheerleading. North Atlanta athletics must also be compliant with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits disSEE NORTH ATLANTA, PAGE 33

DYNA BAGBY

Vernetta Head, who has a 13-yearold son attending Sutton Middle School, said it is important to have North Atlanta High School provide information on its athletic programs.


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Al Longman learned that his home work] done and probably not staff time to sits next door to a “high-hazard” dam get it done,” said Woosley. only when the state delivered legal papers Standard flood insurance requirements claiming he should be on the hook for are not a reliable guide, either, said Woosmaintaining it. ley. The volume of water pouring out of a “I didn’t know it was a dam,” Longman broken dam can exceed the so-called 100said of the tree-covered earthen embankyear flood zone that triggers federally rement that supports Lake Forrest Drive bequired flood insurance. side his driveway. “I didn’t honestly know “The dam failure flood zone is differthere was a lake across the street.” ent from the 100-year flood zone,” WooThree years later, the city of Sandy sley said. “In general, a dam failure would Springs has taken the lead on assessing and be bigger…People may not live in a 100upgrading Lake Forrest Dam, and Longyear flood zone, but may still be living in a man said he has been ruled out as a codam break [flood] zone.” owner. Along the way, he saw a map of Dan King, who runs the New York the dam-failure flood zone that did not State-based website FloodBroker.com speinclude his house, but showed about cializing in flood insurance, agreed that 20 homes downstream at risk—“a lot of insurance requirements would not nechouses [whose owners] would be totally essarily alert a homeowner about a dam. unaware” of the dam, he said. “[Housing lenders] probably don’t care Finding out whether you live or work about that…If it’s less risky, then they in the flood zone of one of Georgia’s 474 don’t care,” King said. “high-hazard” dams is surprisingly diffiThe Safe Dams Program’s own highcult, acknowledges Tom Woosley, head of hazard dam list is a spreadsheet that locates the state Safe Dams Program. the dams only by map coordinates within There are 11 such counties. Inspection dams in the Brookhavreports are available en, Buckhead, Dunonly in paper files that woody and Sandy “People may not live in a must be viewed by apSprings areas. Two of pointment at a down100-year flood zone, but them—Sandy Springs’ town Atlanta office may still be living in a Lake Forrest and Tera building. They typiLake dams—are in a dam break [flood] zone.” cally lack information condition that conon the endangered cerns state inspecproperties that trig– TOM WOOSLEY tors. “High-hazard” gered the high-hazard is a classification that classification. HEAD, SAFE DAMS PROGRAM means if the dam fails, “There’s not a the flood likely would complete picture” in kill people. It does not state files about which represent a judgment properties would be about the condition of the dam. flooded, Woosley said, even though Safe How do those people at risk learn Dams has software that could model the about the existence of the dams, which are disaster. That’s because it only takes one often privately owned and hidden within endangered occupied building to trigger housing developments? the high-hazard classification, and due to “There’s not a straight answer on that,” staffing, Safe Dams usually stops its analWoosley said. “Most people have no idea” ysis there. they are in a high-hazard dam’s flood zone, Finding that first building can be simhe said. ple. “Some, you stand on the dam and Woosley’s agency inspects dams reguyou’re looking over the roof of a house,” larly, but its files can be hard to access and Woosley said. difficult to use and they rarely include a But Lake Northridge in Sandy Springs flood map. Federal guidelines call for ownis an example of a dam’s potentially nasty ers of high-hazard dams to notify people surprise. Woosley said that Safe Dams dedownstream and have an emergency retermined that if the Lake Northridge dam sponse plan for imminent failures. But failed, the “flood wave” would cross the Georgia currently requires that only for Chattahoochee River and hit a house on new dams, not existing ones. the other side. The lack of such records is largely due Georgia’s Safe Dams Program is workto funding and staffing of the Safe Dams ing on a rule change to require plans for Program, said Woosley. The budget inall high-hazard dams, Woosley said. But in creased last year, but the program still has the meantime, his best advice on figuring only 11 inspectors for more than 4,200 toout whether you live in a dam flood zone tal dams statewide. “If we required them all is to look for blue dots on a map. “Cer[to have emergency plans on file], there’s tainly, if you’ve got a lake here in Georgia, not enough engineers to get [the necessary then there’s a dam holding it in,” he said. BH


COMMUNITY

Galloway offers to reduce parking in sports field debate

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The Galloway School offered to reduce the parking at its proposed athletic facility on High Point Road in Sandy Springs at a Nov. 18 City Hall meeting. But the vast majority of about 35 residents in attendance still opposed the project due to traffic and flooding concerns. “You’re having to go around your elbow to get to your head. You’re trying to shoehorn it in,” said one of many residents who questioned the suitability of the site as the school’s off-site tennis courts and softball field. The property’s seller is former NFL football star Warrick Dunn, the discussion revealed. Galloway attorney Sharon Gay later said she understands Dunn intended to build a house there, but was affected by a 2013 flood map change. Flooding of the site is an issue residents repeatedly raised at the meeting, though project engineers said the fields would not worsen local floods. Galloway, a private school based in Buckhead, says it needs athletic facilities and doesn’t have room on its main campus. Gay said the school searched for 18 months and looked at 24 sites before settling on the Sandy Springs parcel. The site is between the southern dead-end of High Point Road and Nancy Creek. The plan requires a use permit and two variances: one for creating a new curb cut on a local street and the other for violating a 50-foot buffer zone. The plan has been hotly controversial since it was first vetted in another cityhosted meeting last month. Opponents have dotted the neighborhood with signs reading, “Go away, Galloway” and have created a protest website at helpsavehighpoint.com. One resident who identified himself as a parent of Galloway students spoke up in support at the Nov. 18 meeting, but was the only supporting voice. Traffic is a major worry. Teams would come by bus, the school says, but the design includes 55 parking spaces for families. “One thing that we are thinking about…we could consider reducing the

size of the parking area,” Gay said at the Nov. 18 meeting. The school’s traffic studies show that 38 parking spaces would meet maximum demand, she said, adding that less parking could mean a bigger buffer area. However, when a resident asked whether less on-site parking could just mean more people parking on High Point, Gay replied, “That’s the tradeoff.” Several residents responded with mocking laughter. Regarding the curb cut and parking issues, one resident noted that the city’s Comprehensive Plan designates the area a “protected neighborhood,” which means a suburban residential character that should be maintained. Gay said she did not know that term, but added, “I can make an argument for how it’s unconstitutional to deny access to a public street for private property.” Loss of trees and wildlife on the currently wooded lot was another issue. Gay said a tree survey found 10 “specimen” trees—meaning trees 27 inches or more in diameter under city code—on the property, of which nine would be cut down. Gay said Galloway would follow the city’s tree ordinance, likely by paying into a tree replacement fund. Residents also expressed concerns that the fields would increase flooding and runoff in Nancy Creek. They also questioned why the school would want fields on a floodplain that, they said, regularly has water standing on it after heavy rains. One resident said nearly 30 inches of water stood on the site after downpours this month. Project engineer Wesley Reed of Eberly & Associates said bio-retention ponds would help clean runoff and that the fields must, by law, be designed in a way that does not worsen flooding. Many residents indicated they simply don’t believe that can be done. The proposal next heads to the city’s Planning Commission on Dec. 17. Public comments are due by Dec. 3 at pz@sandyspringsga.gov.

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Above, left, civil engineer Wesley Reed of Eberly & Associates, and attorney Sharon Gay, right, listen to public comments about The Galloway School’s proposed athletic facilty on High Point Road. Right, the plan has drawn opponents. BH

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Buckhead Coalition joins bike lane opponents

The Buckhead Coalition, an organization of business leaders, is opposing a state plan to add bike lanes along a portion of Peachtree Road in Buckhead. In a letter to state Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry, Coalition president Sam Massell wrote that “we respectfully urge the state, our city and our CID to discontinue any further consideration of adding any such bike lanes on this public right of way,â€? the coalition said in a press release Nov. 23. Massell said he and the organization had supported expanding bicycle use in the !! .! #,  / but that “from our members and from the general public, it appears that the arpast, )*+0(&(0%)-)/  "/ gument we face concerning adding bike lanes now to part of Peachtree separates at &,(- $ /. /  .'-'', about age 30 for those in favor against those opposed. 678-424-1606 “On a popular vote, we believe that would calculate to as many as 63 percent bethefrontporchofvinings.com ing in opposition.â€? 2949 Paces Ferry Rd, SE • Atlanta, GA 30339 Massell copied his letter to Gov. Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, Buckhead City Councilmembers Howard Shook, Yolanda BR I EF S Adrean and Mary Norwood, and Buckhead Community Improvement District Chairman David Allman. The state Department of Transportation is considering a controversial plan to add a central left-turn lane on Peachtree Road from Deering to Pharr roads, and adding bike lanes along a portion of Peachtree south of Peachtree Battle Avenue.

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The Buckhead Community Improvement District planned to launch Nov. 27 its fourth year of providing extra police officers to direct traffic in congested holiday shopping areas. “We want to do our part to help residents and visitors coming to Buckhead’s shops, restaurants and hotels have a pleasant and memorable experience,� Jim Durrett, Buckhead CID executive director, said in a press release. “We don’t want the additional holiday traffic to be a deterrent to guests enjoying what Buckhead has to offer during the holiday season.� The program uses off-duty Atlanta police to direct traffic, the CID said. Officers will be posted during rush hours at road intersections near Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza, the CID said. Postings will include: Peachtree Road at Lenox Road; Peachtree Road at Monarch Centre/Lenox Mall entrance; Peachtree at Lenox Parkway; Lenox Road at Kingsboro Road/Lenox Mall Entrance; Lenox Road at E. Paces Ferry Road; Lenox Road at Wright Avenue; Peachtree Road at Stratford Drive; Peachtree at Oak Valley; and Ga. 400 at Buckhead Loop/Lenox Road.

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ly as January 2016, which has no negative impact on the current construction schedule provided by Edens. Reed’s 11th-hour veto initially angered council members, who threatened to override it. Dist. 8 Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean, who represents a portion of Buckhead, told members of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods on Nov. 8 that she had spoken with Reed earlier in the day and he was committed to making sure the road extension and mixed-use development attached to it would go forward, but not by using city impact fees. “Mayor Reed said there is federal money available so we wouldn’t have to tap into the impact fees,” Adrean said. “He [Reed] said we could use the $800,000 from impact fees as a backstop to make sure the project goes forward.” Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, committed $500,000 for a road extension that would create a signalized entrance to the mixed-use project. The additional $800,000 to build the road extension that would connect Moores Mill to Marietta Boulevard would have come from impact fees from both Adrean and Dist. 9 Councilwoman Felicia Moore’s available funds. However, there is concern that using the mix of federal dollars and local money will delay the project and force the developer to move on. Demolition of the abandoned shopping center on Moores Mill Road was to begin after the first of the year to make way for the new mixed-used project.

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COMMUNITY

City officials welcome proposal to restore Flowerland An architect wants to revitalize Flowerland, part of Dr. Luther Fischer’s estate, which also contains his mansion off of Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, seen at left. Flowerland, in Brookhaven, was once a regional tourist attraction. PHOTOS, AMOR ARCHITECTURAL CORP.

BY DYANA BAGBY Architect Andrew Amor hopes to bring back Flowerland, a garden so grand it once drew tourists to an area that now is part of the city of Brookhaven. Amor presented his ideas for ways to “restore Flowerland to its glory” during a Brookhaven City Council work session meeting on Nov. 17. Flowerland was part of the estate of Dr. Luther Fischer, whose mansion still stands off Chamblee-Dunwoody Road behind a condo development on Fischer Way. In its time, Flowerland had 487 varieties of flowers and 16,000 different plants, Amor said. “It became a regional attraction at the height of the blooming season,” he said. He proposed the city revive the gardens as a park and tourist attraction. Amor’s plans for Flowerland include restoring the original gardens, constructing a sawmill to serve as a visitors’ center, having a covered bridge near the sawmill, and also creating a pioneers’ homestead and a Native American village. The developments would pay homage to the history of the land, he said. No costs were mentioned for the proposal, The proposal was greeted warmly by some council members.

“I’m excited because this brings together everything from parkland to preserving our history to gardens and providing a chance to learn from Indian settlers and pioneer settlers,” said Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams. “The city is looking at the idea. It is just a concept at this point. Stay tuned.” Councilwoman Linley Jones agreed that preserving the city’s history is important. “We have not done enough in the Atlanta area to preserve our history and we need to start. Flowerland would be a great place to start right here in Brookhaven,” she said. The area is now on private land and part of the D’Youville condos. Any revival and development of the property would likely include a land deal between the Homeowners Association and the city. Amor said he will meet with the HOA soon. Fischer, who made money selling Coca-Cola, eventually went to medical school and in 1908 opened the DavisFischer Sanatorium in downtown Atlanta with his friend Edward Davis. This hospital later became Crawford Long, which is now Emory University Hospital Midtown. In 1926, Fischer purchased more than 100 acres of land on both sides of Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and built a house overlooking Nancy Creek.

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COMMENTARY Reporter Newspapers Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com

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Sandy Springs mayor: Celebrate our 10 years During the municipalization campaign, I suggested change would come slowly at first, but when we looked back over 10 years, we would see significant improvements. I was wrong. Change was instantaneous, particularly in service quality. About three days after the city launched, I spied a man in a lime-green safety vest with “City of Sandy Springs” hand-stenciled on the back. He was RUSTY digging out a storm sewer. PAUL What struck me wasn’t the “City of Sandy Springs” safety vest, though GUEST COLUMN I definitely noticed. More significantly, someone was cleaning out a storm drain! As a 13-year Sandy Springer, I had never seen a public employee doing something like in our community. That’s when I knew Eva Galambos’ promises about the city of Sandy Springs were real and true. Since then, the accumulated improvements are evident in public safety, roads/infrastructure, code enforcement, parks/recreation and all government services. We have paved 189 miles of roadways, built more than 30 miles in sidewalks, and have done much more than shovel work on storm sewers, with almost 1,000 stormwater repairs behind us. Sandy Springs now has 128 full-time police officers on the street (compared to the 8-10 who served us before), and 115 men and women in our fire department protect our property from flames and provide our community with top-quality EMS services. At the start of cityhood, the Emory University physicians who evaluated our EMS response system told us that a Sandy Springs cardiac arrest patient had a 1 percent survival chance due to an inefficient dispatch system. In other words, it was more cost-efficient to send a hearse rather than an ambulance to many medical emergencies. Our cardiac arrest survival rate today is 18.6 percent, compared with a national average of 8.3 percent, and we regularly honor first responders who demonstrably save lives. We have cut the commute via Roswell Road by 32 hours a year through traffic management technology that optimizes the efficiency of our main thoroughfare and other arterials. I regularly encounter skeptics who never believed our experiment in municipal government would succeed; they almost always acknowledge their mistake. More gratifying is those who

No bike lanes I am the chair of the Peachtree Heights West Civic Association’s Transportation Committee. Our neighborhood has 550 households, and is located on the west side of Peachtree, south of West Paces Road. I and our neighborhood oppose the current GDOT recommendation for restriping Peachtree, and strongly support GDOT’s 6-Lane Hybrid Alternative (five traffic lanes, a left-turn lane and no bike lanes). This 6-Lane Hybrid plan is also the configuration GDOT recommends north of Peachtree Battle, but unfortunately not south of there. GDOT’s own data and analysis clearly show that the 6-Lane Hybrid is by far the best plan for improving the performance of Peachtree. By giving up a through-traffic lane for a left-turn

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

believed in the dream and simply want to chat about their community pride. Yet, Sandy Springs’ greatest tribute is neither the conversion of skeptics nor adoration from the faithful, but the dozen communities who are following our path toward independence, local control and vastly improved public services. Imitation is truly the greatest form of flattery. We haven’t been perfect. As I also noted in the municipalization campaign, citizens would one day be as angry with the mayor and council as they ever were with Fulton County. After all, local government’s role is to tackle those tough issues that most directly affect people where they live. Often, because our choices are less than optimal, we aren’t thrilled with our decisions, either. The greatest difference is that we live here. We face the consequences of our decisions, too. We genuinely want to make our community better. And, we are accessible. People find us at church or synagogue, in the grocery store, at Rotary, on the streets, or wherever we happen to be. They aren’t bashful about giving us an earful if they are unhappy. See the special section, Nevertheless, we Sandy Springs at Ten should pause to celeon pages15-26. brate our first 10 years and contemplate our amazing progress. But it’s only a pause. Once the party ends, we’ll refocus on making our next 10 years even greater. If all goes to plan, portions of Roswell Road will become more pedestrian-friendly and populated with nodes featuring neighborhood shops and restaurants. City Springs, with its world-class park, retail district, performing arts center, meeting venues and government center, will become everyone’s neighborhood. In the next decade, several new parks will come to fruition. We will build more sidewalks, enhance our reputation as a “City in a Forest,” and definitely funnel more resources toward traffic mitigation. Our quest is to make Sandy Springs the region’s most envied community. As we celebrate, I have one regret. Every great cause has a visionary leader with an abject refusal to be discouraged or quit. That’s the most apt description I can give of Eva Galambos. My greatest disappointment is that she isn’t with us today to witness her dream’s continued success. Rusty Paul is the mayor of Sandy Springs.

LE TTE R TO THE E DITOR E-mail letters to editor@reporternewspapers.net

lane, Peachtree will be made 30 percent more efficient and collisions will be reduced by 20 percent. GDOT’s proposed configuration south of Peachtree Battle, however, will basically nullify the efficiency gains. GDOT’s proposal for south of Peachtree Battle will squeeze 45,000 vehicles onto only four through lanes and, consequently, will make the congestion on Peachtree even worse. This will adversely affect me and my neighbors. The reduction in lanes on a roadway already well over capacity will

force drivers into our adjoining neighborhoods in hopes of avoiding the congestion on Peachtree. Not only will the GDOT proposal add to the existing delay and frustration of driving between Peachtree Battle and I-85, it will also increase the dangers to both motorists and cyclists. While contending with all the other challenges of an overcrowded roadway, right-turning motorists will have to worry about cyclists approaching on their right. This will completely reverse the present, much safer, situation in which cyclists travel in the lane in front of the motorist in full view and in which the cyclists, by law, are never allowed to pass to the right of right-turning vehicles. I have bike lanes in front of my home, and that is a safe and appropriate place to put them. So is the BeltLine. Nolan Leake Peachtree is not. BH


COMMENTARY

Squash the day when making a purée Someone, in fact, did say it would be easy. Blogs, books and Food Network throw-downs abound regarding the mindless simplicity of making your own pumpkin purée. Why, a Boy Scout with a pocket knife and old set of bicycle gears could do it. I saw photos of the process—step-bystep instructions where: 1. docile pumpkins lay in wait, 2. are cooked, 3. their cooked skin practically rolls itself off its own pulp, and 4. the pulp blends beautifully. In the time it takes to file your nails, you could produce a batch of smooth and vibrantly colored purée that would be fresh with flavor and bursting with vitamin A. It would be so much tastier than that brownish orange glop that comes out of a can. Yes, according to the blogs, the nutrition-to-ease ratio is roughly five-to-one in favor of going for it. I should have known better because the truth is, I’m not that great in the kitchen. I’m famous in my house for burning water. But I’m a farm-to-table kind of gal, so go for it, I did. I bought two pie pumpkins, one of which happened to be organic. I did a quick calculation of the cost and estimated that for the same amount of money, I could have purchased a case of

Libby’s canned pumpkin— beginning to get impatient, or a completely baked pie. and steaming was supposed ROBIN JEAN Home I went. After only to be faster, so I crawled about an hour, the pump- MARIE CONTE under my kitchen cabikins were sliced and gutted, net, pulled out my stock ROBIN’S NEST their slimy, stringy seeds in pot, and dumped the ena large bowl of watire batch of pumpter, awaiting the kin pieces into the next farm-to-table steamer basket. treatment. I decidI was clocking ed that roasting the into my third hour pumpkins would be of partying with the the simplest cooking pumpkins, and they method, so I lined still weren’t done. I up slices on a cookie didn’t care—I was sheet and shoved it in ready to get this the oven. over with and go Soon, my house shoe shopping. was filled with the The skins that healthy smell of had peeled off so squash. effortlessly in the The slices were photos were clingsupposed to roast for ing to the pulp 45 minutes, but my the way a woman oven was not coopclings to her purse SPECIAL on a New York suberating. It has digital controls, of course, Roasted pumpkin seeds, anyone? way, and I whitand extremely sentled them off, inch sitive ones, which by inch, and threw means that if I so much as stand next to yellowish chunks of pumpkin into the it and sneeze, it turns off. The pumpfood processor. My processer wasn’t kin had been in the oven for 30 minmachine enough for the job, though, utes when I realized that the oven had— and large masses of squash refused at some point—stopped heating. I was to be pulverized. So I pulled out my

blender. I was puréeing my third batch of the stuff around the time my kids started asking what was for dinner. Finally, during hour four, I puréed my last batch, wondering all the while what my neighbors were doing on this beautiful afternoon, just days before Thanksgiving. I surveyed my kitchen: there was a dirty food processer, an orange, goo-coated blender, a cookie sheet covered with sticky pumpkin seeds, a stock pot on the stove and a counter filled with pumpkin parts. I had produced four cups of bright orange…glop. It was filled with pumpkin strings, bits of rind, and chunks of unpuréed pumpkin. Well. You don’t find THAT in a can! It was of questionable consistency. That wouldn’t matter if it were on its way to becoming risotto, but as the featured ingredient of a pumpkin-shaped muffin, it mattered. The muffins came out cute and properly formed, but were missing a certain something, a key element…that robust flavor of pumpkin that comes conveniently out of a can. I called them “spice cakes” and roasted the seeds. And the seeds were good. Robin Conte is a writer and mother of four who lives in Dunwoody. She can be contacted at robinjm@earthlink.net.

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out & about

Time travel for the holidays BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE

elleneldridge@reporternewspapers.net

The Atlanta History Center is expanding its Candlelight Nights events this holiday season to offer visitors a chance to see and hear Christmas celebrations from three distinct periods of the past. “What makes Candlelight Nights distinct, we think, is that it gives Atlanta History Center guests the opportunity to experience Christmas as in days gone

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by,” History Center spokesman Howard Pousner said. On Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, three historic houses on the center’s Buckhead property will show how Southerners celebrated Christmas during the pioneer days, during the Civil War era and during the 1930s, Pousner said. “While history was at the core of last year’s event, a special effort has been made to make the three historic home experiences distinct for our guests,” Pousner said. Connected by candlelit walkways, the three buildings will present decorations, music and actors portraying inhabitants from the different eras: an 1821, frontier-style observance at the Wood Family Cabin; an 1861 Christmas at the Smith Family Farm; and a 1930 soiree at the Swan House. “Meet the Past” museum theater characters are scheduled to share stories of holiday traditions of their specific places and times. For instance, guests at the Smith Family Farm help Civil Warera residents decorate for Christmas, and listen to stories and songs of the enslaved who express their hopes for the end of slavery. At the Swan House, Tray Dahl & The Jugtime Ragband bring a New Orleansstyle jazz sound to holiday classics of the 1920s and 1930s. The voices of the Atlanta Sacred Harp Singers will resound from the pioneer-era Wood Family Cabin around the canopy of Swan Woods, just steps away from Swan House, Pousner said. The History Center’s holiday celebration is not limited just to holidays of the past. “We will have a full-fledged Christ-

LEFT PHOTO, ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER, ABOVE AND RIGHT, BONNIE MORET

Left, Swan House bathed in holiday colors. Above, cookie decorating at the Atlanta History Center’s Smith Family Farm during Candlelight Nights. Facing page, Santa greets visitors at the Atlanta History Center.

mas Market as part of the event for the first time,” Pousner said. “It will be in our Allen Atrium, our dramatic, new front door off West Paces Ferry Road that recently opened inside the Atlanta History Museum.” The market is filled with local crafts and artisanal creations, he added. Children have an opportunity to meet Santa and pose for photographs at the Garden Overlook. Souper Jenny, set to open a new restaurant at the History Center in April, will sell soups, sandwiches, salads and treats in the Grand Overlook Ballroom. Tastes of winter vegetable soup also will be offered at Smith Family Farm and Brunswick stew at the Wood Family Cabin. This special holiday program is $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers; $8 for children. Atlanta History Center is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road in Atlanta. For more information and to buy tickets, visit: atlantahistorycenter.com. Here are exhibitions and performances planned for the three historic houses. Wood Family Cabin. Be transported to Christmastime 1821 and meet a pi-

oneer family just settling into new lives on the Georgia frontier. Savor a taste of Brunswick stew provided by Souper Jenny while enjoying live music, hands-onactivities for a make n’ take toy and the smell of a holiday meal smoldering over the open hearth. Atlanta Sacred Harp Singers, 7 p.m, 8 p.m., 9 p.m. The Atlanta Sacred Harp Singers perform historic a cappella shape-note hymns from “The Sacred Harp,” a collection first published in Georgia in 1844. Smith Family Farm. Travel to Christmastime in 1861 and encounter characters from the first year of the Civil War as they share their personal stories and revive traditions of the past. Guests will help residents of the farm decorate with traditional crafts-making and hands-on activities like popcorn and garland making, salt-dough ornament activities, candle dipping, blacksmithing and open-hearth cooking. Enjoy a taste of winter vegetable soup provided by Souper Jenny. Christmas Tree Lighting, 6 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m. Listen to caroling greet you as you gather round to light the candles on the Christmas tree. The Yule Log, 6:15 p.m, 7:15 p.m.,

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out & about Here are other events scheduled as part of the History Center’s Candlelight Nights events, to be held Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Christmas Market, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Purchase special, one-of-a-kind gifts from local artists and craftsmen. Alliance Theatre Carolers, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, 6:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. The Alliance Theatre Carolers sing Christmas carols during two special evening performances. Visit with Santa Claus, Dec. 11, 5:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. and Dec. 18, 7 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Grab your camera and get ready to photograph the family while visiting with Old Saint Nick. Octave, an a capella group, performs at the Mable Dorn Reeder Amphitheater, 6:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m. Dec. 11 and Dec. 18. 8:15 p.m., 9:15 p.m. Stories and songs sung around the fire as the enslaved community celebrates Christmas and hopes for the end of slavery. Afterward, visit with interpreters as they discuss resistance and the history of holidays for the enslaved. A Christmas Feast, 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. Experience a special Christmas dinner as the Smiths sit down to a course of traditional Civil War-era delicacies and share family stories and traditions of the season. “Meet the Past” Museum Theatre Performance: Stephen’s Story, 6:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:30 p.m. Meet Stephen, an enslaved woodworker who must face a crucial decision regarding his future during the holiday season. This decision will impact the lives of those closest to him, for better or worse. Swan House. Revel in the holiday season of 1930 as you are transported to a Jazz Age Christmas party at the Swan House, where the Inman family and Swan House staff celebrates the season. Guests will encounter Grant Cart-

er as he prepares a 1929 Hudson Super Six sedan for holiday travel in the city; meet Edward Inman as he shares why he donated to the Empty Stocking Fund and how the charity is helping those in need in Atlanta today; and go behindthe-scenes in the kitchen with Lucille Arnold as she prepares holiday meals and shares her plans on celebrating the holidays with her own family once her Swan House shift is done. Create your own 1930s holiday before enjoying dessert and listening to live music and singing in the Morning Room of the Swan House. Tray Dahl & The Jugtime Ragband, 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. Tray Dahl & The Jugtime Ragband is a New Orleans-style jazz band that specializes in 1920s and 1930s classics. Join the group as it performs Christmas songs of yesteryear, inspiring visitors to dance, smile and tap their feet. Piano Christmas sing-along with Ruby Ross Wood, 5:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Ruby Ross Wood, the Inman’s interior decorator, leads guests in a singalong of traditional Christmas songs.

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out& about

BROOKHAVEN • BUCKHEAD • DUNWOODY • SANDY SPRINGS

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

Polar Express Tuesday, Dec. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m. – It’s

that time of year again, with the holidays just around the corner and everyone starting to feel the spirit of the season. Families and kids of all ages are invited to watch the holiday classic “The Polar Express,” rated G, at the Brookhaven Library. Cocoa and cookies provided. Free and open to the first 25 participants. 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. Need additional information? Go to dekalblibrary.org.

Wonderland Ballet Thursday, Dec. 3, 6-8 p.m. – J Dance

Company and Collective Dance Project come together for an otherwordly performance following the classic tale of “Alice in Wonderland.” Kids and adults alike will enjoy watching Alice enter Wonderland and meet some odd characters along the way. Tickets are $10 for members, $14 for nonmembers. Continues Sunday,

Dec. 6, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. MJCCA at Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For more details, go online to atlantajcc.org.

Light Up Brookhaven Thursday, Dec. 3, 6-8 p.m. – The popular

neighborhood Light Up Brookhaven event takes place at Blackburn Park. The whole family is invited to enjoy musical performances, visits and photo ops with Santa, a hot chocolate sale benefiting Montgomery Elementary, refreshments and a Christmas tree and dreidel. Free and open to the public. 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. Have questions? Go to brookhavenga.gov.

Vodka & Latkes Thursday, Dec. 3, 7-10 p.m. – Celebrate Hanukah with MJCCA at the Rose Bar and Lounge in Buckhead. Each ticket purchase in-

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out & about cludes one drink ticket and all the latkes you can eat. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers when purchased in advance; $30 at the door. Rose Bar and Lounge, 3115 Piedmont Rd. NE, Atlanta, 30305. For further details email Roey Shoshan at roey.shoshan@atlantajcc.org or go online to atlantajcc.org.

Family Day at Spruill Saturday, Dec. 5, 12-2 p.m. – The Spruill Gallery

invites the entire family to come out for an afternoon of holiday shopping and activities. Adults can look for gifts for their loved ones while kids stay busy with activities. Free. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30346. To learn more, go to spruillarts. org or call 770-394-4019.

Open Studio Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. –

Brookhaven Potter Tammy Josephson hosts the annual Holiday Open Studio event featuring special guest Marcia Smith, a jewelry designer from Naples, Fla. Skip the mall this year and buy directly from the artists instead! Free and open to the public. 2757 Grove Street, Brookhaven, 30319, driveway entrance. For more information, call 404-849-4281 or go online to tjpots. com.

Hanukkah Bazaar Sunday, Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Or Ve-

Shalom Synagogue celebrates its 101st anniversary and hosts its 40th annual Hanukkah Bazaar. Guests can sample authentic Sephardic/ Mediterranean cuisine as well as handmade delicacies and pastries while they shop at booths featuring local art, jewelry, crafts, used books and more. Kids will enjoy an expanded art and game room, and everyone can participate in a 50/50 raffle to win cash prizes. The Synagogue’s famous burekas will be sold individually or by the dozen with flavors such as potato, spinach, eggplant, rice and meat. Free and open to the community. 1681 N. Druid Hills Rd. NE, Brookhaven, 30319. For further information, email lynne.balaban@orveshalom.org or visit www.orveshalom.org.

Handmade Gift Bazaar

Saturday, Dec. 12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. – With the holidays just around the corner, Spruill Gallery presents a showcase of new gift items by local artisans. Select participating artists will be on hand to meet and greet as well. 4681 Ashford- Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30346. Questions? Go to spruillarts.org or call 770-394-4019.

Live Nativity Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 13, 6-8 p.m. – All are

invited to this well-loved Chastain Park neighborhood tradition. The story of the first Christmas will be depicted on the church lawn with live actors and animals. Christmas carols will be sung in the sanctuary and refreshments will be served. Free and open to all. Sardis United Methodist Church, 3725 Powers Ferry Rd., Buckhead, 30342. Learn more by emailing office@sardischurch.com, calling 404237-6060 or visiting sardischurch.com.

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Red & White Ball Saturday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m.- midnight –

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Menorah Lighting Monday, Dec. 7 through Wednesday, Dec. 9, 5:15-6 p.m. – The MJCCA cele-

brates Hanukah with “Light Up The J,” a threenight event featuring songs, a Menorah lighting and a short performance. Complimentary jelly donuts and hot chocolate available. Free and open to the community. 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. To find out more, go online to atlantajcc.org, or contact Rabbi Brian Glusman at 678-812-4161 or by email at brain.glusman@atlantajcc.org.

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out & about CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

portunity to donate toys for Toys for Tots this holiday season. Tickets are $30 each. Lynwood Park Community Center, 3360 Osborne Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. For more information go online to brookhavenga.gov.

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Friday Nov. 27 through Tuesday, Dec. 22 – This Christmas tree sale, a regular occurrence since 1972, specializes in tall trees between 10 to 17 feet. Free delivery and set up inside your home is included with purchase. Proceeds from the tree 41522 benefi t the church’s youth and chilsale dren’s programs. Fraser firs from western North Carolina start at $35-40 for a small tree and can go up to $500 for a 17-foot tree. Holiday wreaths, garland and tree stands also for sale. Lot is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 to 7 p.m. 550 Mt. Paran Road, Sandy Springs, 30327. Have some questions? Go to stjohnatlanta.org or call the lot’s direct line at 404-252-8348.

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Dan Sasser loves coming and going as he pleases. That’s just one of many reasons he chose Canterbury Court to be his home. “I left a tenured position so I could live wherever I wanted. Then I retired at 60 and was working part time when I discovered Canterbury Court. I thought, ‘How wonderful it would be to live there.’” When he decided to move to Canterbury Court, he chose a studio apartment, which he says “is more than big enough for me.” The maintenance-free lifestyle also lets him keep a second home in Florida and take frequent road trips. Dan says people are “missing the boat” by not moving to a retirement community sooner. “Here you have several restaurant options, all kinds of activities and excursions, a theater with daily showings, a heated pool and wellness center, 11 acres of beautiful gardens ... it’s like being on a permanent vacation!”

3750 Peachtree Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30319 canterburycourt.org

Fellowship Hall. Presenting a wide array of handcrafted gifts, jewelry, home decor, accessories and more, the offerings come from Haiti and around the world. Gift cards and fair trade food products and baskets will also be for sale. Proceeds support the efforts of Ten Thousand Villages and La Gonave Haiti Partnership. The church will also offer Lessons and Carols the same morning at 11 a.m. Free parking is available on the top deck of the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center just south of the church. 2461 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, 30305. Need more details? Go to covenantpresbyterian.us or call 404-237-0363.

Brookhaven Christian Church Saturday, Nov. 28 through Sunday, Dec. 6 – For 25 years, church members and vol-

unteers have helped neighbors and friends pick out just the right tree for their holiday displays. There also will be a limited quantity of holiday wreaths available. Cash, personal checks and credit cards accepted. Open

Sunday 12:15-8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday 3-8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 4500 Peachtree Rd. NE, Brookhaven, 30319. For more information go to brookhavenchristian.org.

Riverwood International Charter Friday, Nov. 28 through Sunday, Dec. 7 – The Riverwood In-

ternational Charter School’s basketball team will sell fresh Fraser firs from North Carolina. Some trees are pre-ordered, but plenty of trees will be available for walk-up sales. Each fir will be freshly cut at the lot, and the basketball team will offer delivery for a small fee within a 10- mile radius of the school. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on opening day, Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. The Lady Raider softball program will also be on site with wreaths from Vermont for sale, available in sizes of 16”, 25”, and 30.” The tree lot is located behind the high school between the football and baseball fields. 5900 Raider Dr., Sandy Springs, 30328. For more information, go online to riverwoodathletics.org.

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NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

2330 Windy Hill Road, Suite 200 • Marietta, GA 30067 www.bodyworksperformance.com


Sandy Springs at Ten

The city of Sandy Springs is in the midst of creating a downtown called “City Springs,” located between Roswell Road and Sandy Springs Circle, and bounded by Johnson Ferry Road to the north and Mount Vernon Highway to the south. AERIAL PHOTO FOR REPORTER NEWSPAPERS

Decades in the making City reinventing itself BY DYANA BAGBY

BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

n a recent Friday evening, families and couples were filling up Nancy G’s, the casual dining restaurant tucked into a back corner of the Fountain Oaks Shopping Center off Roswell Road.

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“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years,” says Nancy Goodrich, owner of the restaurant, as she greets customers at the door. Although she’s speaking of the anniversary of her dining spot, she also knows that Nancy G’s shares its anniversary with the beginning of incorporated Sandy Springs. “I feel like we’re growing up together,” she said.

That $220 million redevelopment fulfills a major promise the city made in its first decade: to create a new downtown. But, as the mayor’s ceremony of symbolic unity suggests, Sandy Springs is also still in the process of inventing itself.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

elcome to everybody’s neighborhood,” said Mayor Rusty Paul at September’s groundbreaking at City Springs, as two dozen residents heeded his call to bring soil from their neighborhoods to mingle at the site.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

www.ReporterNewspapers.net |

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | 15


DECADES IN THE MAKING

Sandy Springs at Ten

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

Consistency in service and food are what make Nancy G’s successful today, Goodrich says. And she believes those traits are also what makes Sandy Springs a thriving city now. For City Councilman Tibby DeJulio, elected to represent District 5 in the city’s first election a decade ago and who still sits on the council, it is consistency and quality of service from the city’s government that ensures its approximately 102,000 residents are safe and pleased with its leadership. “The city is run on a very professional basis,” he said. “Not only have we evolved and progressed better than we expected, we have done better than we ever hoped to.”

DECADES OF LOBBYING FOR CITY In 1987, DeJulio became embroiled in a zoning battle with Fulton County when county officials planned to tear down houses across the street from his home in order to build apartment buildings. DeJulio said he argued before the Fulton County Commission to stop the plans — and he won. Shortly after,

THEN & NOW

City Springs THEN: The Owens family poses in front of their home around 1898 on what is now the City Springs site. The house stood in the area of the former Target store along Mount Vernon Highway. (Photo: Heritage Sandy Springs) NOW: An illustration released by the city earlier this year of one of the City Springs redevelopment buildings under construction on the site now. City Springs is set to open in late 2017.

2005 Legislature approves creation of the city of Sandy Springs.

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he met Eva Galambos, known as the mother of Sandy Springs. “She told me what she was trying to do and asked me to join,” DeJulio remembered. “And then I went to a meeting of the Committee for Sandy Springs.” Galambos and others had formed the committee in 1975 after the city of Atlanta attempted to annex Sandy Springs. Those living in Sandy Springs were unhappy with Fulton County services, such as police protection, and they also felt their tax dollars were being used to bolster the less financially stable south Fulton. Zoning battles between Sandy Springs and the county, which wanted more development, were common. And while state Democrats accused the Sandy Springs cityhood movement of being nothing more than “white flight” and used their power in the General Assembly to block cityhood efforts, DeJulio said Sandy Springs residents were simply tired of being tied to a non-responsive Fulton County government. One county study showed Sandy Springs residents sent $91 million more to Fulton County than they received in services annually. The first meetings of the Committee for Sandy Springs were primarily organizational, DeJulio said. They dealt with matters such as determining what kind of structure the city would have and who would be making decisions. The meetings were held in members’ homes, in boardrooms of local businesses and also in the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church. “It was a time when we knew we had a lot of work to do, a lot of people to lobby. Atlanta was very open about wanting to annex us only for our revenue — the city never talked about what it could do to help Sandy Springs,” DeJulio said. And lobby they did. Volunteers with the committee spent weeks and months, eventually more than 20 years, lobbying legislators under the Gold Dome, asking them to pass legislation to put a referendum on the ballot that would give residents of Sandy Springs a chance to vote to incorporate their city. “Every year we hoped, and every year we tried different angles at the Legislature,” said Carolyn Axt, recently retired executive director of Leadership Sandy Springs. “Eva would come and talk to our class every year and give an update on efforts. And every year we

2006

Voters approve Sandy Springs formally incorporates, the creation of the city of first new city in Georgia in nearly 50 years. Eva Sandy Springs. NinetyGalambos is elected the city’s first mayor. Tibby four percent say yes. DeJulio, Dianne Fries, Karen Meinzen McEnerny and Pictured right: Rusty Paul are elected to the first city council. DaEva Galambos with key to vid Greenspan and Ashley Jenkins later win runoff the new city. elections to take seats on the inaugural council. | NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

wouldn’t quite get it through.” DeJulio said he and Galambos spent many days and nights speaking publicly about the benefits of incorporating Sandy Springs, including having local governmental control and deciding how the city’s money would be spent. Three studies done by the Vinson Institute of the University of Georgia showed cityhood was right for Sandy Springs, he said. “When we had debates on the pros and cons of cityhood, we were hard pressed to find someone from the other side. We often had to get someone from Atlanta or from Fulton County to represent the opposition,” DeJulio said. In 2005, with Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue in office and a Republican majority in the House and Senate, Sandy Springs finally got its wish — the Legislature authorized a referendum for Sandy Springs. This marked the first time in some 50 years that residents would get to vote to create a new city in Georgia. “Eva came to talk to our class that year and said, ‘Guess what? We’re going to have a city,’” Axt remembered. “And then we had a short time to put everything together and the community quickly came together. The dog had caught the train and we had to make sure we were ready.”

‘A CITY RUN ON A PROFESSIONAL BASIS’ The referendum was set for June 21, 2005. When the votes were counted, 94 percent of Sandy Springs’ voters said they wanted to incorporate. “It was a day of great celebration. We met that night at Heritage Sandy Springs and celebrated and proclaimed victory. But we also knew it was the beginning of a huge amount of work that needed to be done,” said DeJulio. After a night of celebrating and a few hours of sleep, those working to create the city of Sandy Springs woke up the next morning ready to get to work. Task forces were formed immediately to take on issues including police and fire, finances, administration and public works. “Eva and I spent about 17 years working to form the city. And during that time we did a lot of planning,” said DeJulio. “We pretty much knew what had to be done.” Not wanting a bureaucracy, volunteers working to set up Sandy Springs’

2/15

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John McDonough starts work as the city’s first city manager. The police department begins operations.


Sandy Springs at Ten

government decided it would be best to run the city like a corporate board structure — with a mayor as the CEO and the council as the board of directors. “We wanted the city run on a professional basis. We didn’t want to have a lot of people hiring relatives, for example,” DeJulio said. This meant hiring a private company to run much of the city’s departments, other than police and fire — something unheard of at the time for municipal governments. Now Sandy Springs stands as a model city for others desiring private-public partnerships. The city’s first election was held in November 2005. Galambos was easily elected mayor. And when it came to hiring the city manager, she conducted an unconventional interview. “The phone call comes. The headhunter says…‘I’ve got this really interesting opportunity. This opportunity is not traditional. This is something different,” remembered John McDonough, the city’s first and only city manager. McDonough applied and was interviewed by “citizens screening committees” and then he met with Mayor Galambos at Island Ford Park on the Chattahoochee. “She got her hiking boots on. She said, ‘Let’s go for a hike.’ Off we went, had an impromptu hike,” while she interviewed him. “Eva was just the epitome of a leader…She was so impressive, had a clear vision,” he said. At midnight on Dec. 1, 2005, the reins were turned over from Fulton County to the fledgling Sandy Springs. “It was like turning on a light switch,” DeJulio said. “We had to be prepared to run an entire city.” City Council members were sworn in on the eve of Nov. 30 and then again shortly after midnight on Dec. 1 to ensure all was legal, DeJulio said. The first order of business was to hire Colorado-based CH2M Hill to run the daily operations of the city. With a private corporation in place to run the city, the mayor and council took on its first priority in the coming weeks — establishing its own police and fire departments, with both coming online in 2006. In 2011, the city decided to do away with CH2M Hill and instead go with several private companies to operate individual city government departments like public works and administration. This saved the city $7 million in operating costs, DeJulio said.

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12/29

City buys parks from Fulton County. The fire department begins operations.

“In 10 years we have never had a tax increase and we can’t have one without a referendum,” he said. “We run a very lean city.” During its last year under Fulton County control, Sandy Springs saw $600,000 spent on fixing roads; in its first year as a city, Sandy Springs spent $7 million, DeJulio said. In its first decade, Sandy Springs has paved more than 160 miles of roads and also rebuilt 25 miles of roads; the city has paved 20 miles of sidewalks. “None of this was being handled before by Fulton County. Our requests were being ignored,” DeJulio said. Sandy Springs leadership also knew it was crucial to preserve green space and establish a park system. The new city began buying land back from the county and eventually opened up such notable parks as Morgan Falls Overlook Park in 2010 and Abernathy Greenway in 2014. Linda Bain, executive director of the Sandy Springs Conservancy, praises the city’s leadership in ensuring parks remain a key part of the city’s continuing development. “We have really strong bones here,” she said of the city’s officials. What is somewhat lacking, however, is a sure Sandy Springs identity. In 2012, the city council approved a master plan for a $220 million City Center located on Roswell Road north of I-285. The center will include a performing arts center, government meeting space, and some retail and residential units. The City Center, set to open in December 2017, is expected to give the city a much-needed symbolic site to better establish a city identity, said Axt and DeJulio. “At one time, Sandy Springs was just a crossroads. Now it has developed into a vibrant, energetic, energized community,” Axt said. “We are no longer an experiment,” Axt said. “We’ve always had a sense of belonging and now we are developing a sense of place.” DeJulio is also optimistic that the City Center will provide the city a much-needed unifying space. “We really are counting on it bringing the community together,” he said. “When I ask people if they live in Sandy Springs and they say, ‘No,’ I always tell them, ‘I’m very sorry. Maybe someday you’ll be lucky enough to live here.’”

A decade behind us, and we’ve only just begun.

Congratulations to the City of Sandy Springs on turning 10!

John Ruch contributed to this article.

2007

2/20

Friends of Sandy Springs, an organization started decades earlier to promote the creation of a city of Sandy Springs, officially goes out of business. Tibby DeJulio and Rusty Paul turn over the last $14,000 in the organization’s treasury to the city. www.ReporterNewspapers.net |

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | 17


5040 Northside Drive NW, Sandy Springs, 30327

Sandy Springs at Ten

City holds birthday events

7 Bedrooms / 7 Full 1 Half Baths / $2,800,000 “Villa Normandy” Enter this beautiful property through the gated entrance and drive down the long winding drive to this private retreat on 4 +/- magnificent acres. The entire main floor overlooks the incredible pool terrace. Wonderful home for entertaining. Easy au-pair/nanny suite. Handsome library with fireplace. Main floor master suite. You will truly think you are in Callaway Gardens as you stroll around this property.

The city celebrates its 10th anniversary with a Dec. 1 open house and a Dec. 4 birthday party at City Hall. The open house, on Tues., Dec. 1, comes before that evening’s City Council meeting. It’s also the exact birthday of the city, which began operations Dec. 1, 2005. The free event runs 4 to 5:45 p.m. at 7840 Roswell Road. It will feature guided tours of various city departments. For more, see sandyspringsga.gov or call 770-730-5600. The birthday party on Fri., Dec. 4 will include entertainment, food and a “walk down memory lane” with historic images, according to the city. The party runs 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Sherwood Event Facility, 8610 Roswell Road. Tickets are $30 advance, $40 at the door. For ticket information, see bit.ly/1ihyNFR.

THEN & NOW

The Spring

David Hutchins www.davidhutchins.com Associate Broker 404-550-0533 RE/MAX Around Atlanta Office 404-252-7500 Celebrating 22 years of helping Sellers & Buyers Top 3 Individual Producer for Office 2004-2014

THEN: Cabins around the site of the spring for which the city is named, off of today’s Sandy Springs Circle, around 1850. Known as “tents,” the cabins housed attendees of United Methodist Church revivals and became the foundation of the Sandy Springs community. (Photo: Heritage Sandy Springs)

Connecting the Corners of your World

NOW: The Heritage Sandy Springs Museum stands near the site where the spring remains preserved under a pavilion. (Photo: John Ruch) • • • • • • • • •

Free Business Checking Free Personal Checking Interest-Bearing Checking Accounts Savings Accounts Personal and Business Money Market Accounts Safe Deposit Boxes Certificate of Deposits Individual Retirement Account (IRAs) SBA Loans

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Personal and Business Loans Mortgages Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit ATM Services and Deposits Online Banking/Bill Pay/Wire/ACH Services Mobile Banking and Mobile Deposits Business Remote Deposit Capture Merchant Card Services Business Courier

Come in and see our Sandy Springs staff for all your banking needs

Congratulations SANDY SPRINGS On your 10th Anniversary! Fran Farias, Agent

6649 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs, GA 30328

770-668-0222 www.FranFarias.com

Celebrating Fran Farias’ 26 YEARS & State Farm’s 93 YEARS of providing Insurance & Financial Services

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7/8

2007

City Council agrees to buy site of abandoned Target store at 235 Johnson Ferry Road for use as a future City Hall. The city pays $8 million for the property in 2008.

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2008

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10001014.1

2009

Fulton County School Board approves site for new elementary school on Ison Road.

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.®

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9/1

9/21

11/3

Chattahoochee River 911 Authority, generally known as Chatcomm, opens.

Record floods hit Sandy Springs. Residents of 98 homes report flooding.

Eva Galambos elected to second term as mayor.


SAND Y 2005

GS N I R SP

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2 01 5

LET’S CELEBRATE THE CITY’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY! Come mingle with your elected officials and tour City Hall

Join your neighbors for an evening of celebration of Sandy Springs

Open House Tuesday, December 1, 2015 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Evening Party Friday, December 4, 2015 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.

Tours begin at 4 p.m. Mix and mingle takes place from 4 – 5:45 p.m. followed by a City Council Meeting at 6 p.m.

Sherwood Event Facility 8610 Roswell Road, Suite 200 $30 per person in advance ($40 door)

Sandy Springs City Hall 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, GA 30350

There will be a small transaction fee

Cash bar Reserve tickets by 11-27-15 at bit.ly/1ihyNFR

Presented by

Presented by

SSPC SANDY SPRINGS/PERIMETER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ReporterNewspapers.net |

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | 19


Sandy Springs at Ten

Sandy Springs’ development hot spots for the next 10 years In its first 10 years, the city focused on planning a new “downtown” on central Roswell Road. In its “Next Ten” planning process underway—including a revised land-use plan and a new zoning code—the city is eyeing a wider variety of development opportunities and challenges. Some are places where the city hopes to spotlight, like Powers Ferry Landing. Some are places where the city is preparing for other agencies’ plans, such as MARTA’s proposed Red Line expansion. This map shows Sandy Springs’ likely development hot spots of the next decade.

MARTA Northridge station MARTA proposes a new station at Ga. 400 and Northridge Road as part of a five-station extension of the Red Line to Alpharetta. That’s not a done deal and would be years away. But existing MARTA stations are sparking transitoriented redevelopment, and the city is planning ahead for a Northridge area boom.

North Roswell Road The northern section of the city’s main thoroughfare is mostly known for strip malls, older apartments and the office park where City Hall is currently located. The city envisions “nodes” of walkable, mixed-use mini-neighborhoods replacing today’s highway feel.

City Springs

Abernathy Road/Ga. 400 Surrounded by some of the largest undeveloped tracts in town, this major interchange area is seeing a major boom that will roll into the next decade. On the west side, the Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters is coming in 2018, along with huge Ashton Woods housing developments. On the east side, there are stalled plans for an office skyscraper, a luxury hotel and more. And MARTA’s North Springs station could see a Red Line extension boom.

City reinventing itself

The crown jewel of the city’s first decade of planning, this $220 million redevelopment will create a new City Hall, concert halls, parks, apartments and commercial spaces. It’s slated to open in late 2017. Big as it is, City Springs is just part of a larger plan for a new, mixed-use downtown that private developers are already starting to build in some older shopping centers.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

ROSWELL ROAD

“Sandy Springs, 10 years into its existence, still struggles with our identity,” said Paul in a recent interview. Creating a sense of place and community through redevelopment remains a priority that will define the city’s next decade, he said. The city’s “Next Ten” planning process is tackling that challenge head-on. Continuing into next year, the process will set new standards for redevelopment, in part by looking Pill Hill closely at both popular areas and neglectThe medical area is anchored by three rapidly ed corners of the city. Community leaders expanding hospitals—Northside, Emory St. Joseph’s express optimism about the Next Ten— and Children’s Healthcare—and is starting to see though with varying degrees of caution. residential development that could continue, espe“I think that they’re probably going to cially around MARTA’s Medical Center station. A big do a very good job of figuring out which planning question is how Pill Hill will cope with its way people want us to go in the future,” nightmarish rush-hour traffic. said Trisha Thompson, president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods. “I’m eternally optimistic, but I’m definitely feeling, as an HOA president, very hesitant,” said Matt LaMarsh, president of the Mount Vernon Woods Homeowners Association, who lives in one of the hottest redevelopment spots at Ga. 400 and Abernathy Road. Everyone agrees that traffic congesGateway/south Roswell Road tion is the city’s biggest challenge. A rebuild of the Ga. 400/I-285 interAs with the northern stretch of Roswell Road, the city envisions walkable, change will be a defining project of the mixed-use developments. An early test of that vision comes next year as the next decade, but it’s just part of possihuge Gateway mixed-use project opens on the Atlanta border, with over 20 ble solutions that may bring more loacres of stores and hundreds of apartments. The city already plans to alter the cal MARTA stations and transit-oriRoswell and Windsor Parkway intersection to handle the new traffic.

Powers Ferry Landing This business area, flanking I-285 at the city’s far western border, has long struggled with a sense of identity. Many people don’t realize it’s in Sandy Springs, and Cobb County commuter traffic is a challenge. The city will try to rouse what founding Mayor Eva Galambos once called a “sleeping giant.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

2010

4/6

Groundbreaking for Abernathy Linear Park.

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7/28 Morgan Falls Overlook Park, the first park completely developed by the city, opens to the public.

2011

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5/17

June

Sandy Springs Farmers Market opens.

City ends using single contractor, CH2M HILL, to provide city services.

Georgia Supreme Court sides with sign companies against four cities, eliminating billboard restrictions put in place before the areas were incorporated.

The first markets are held at the city-owned Target site on Johnson Ferry Road.

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

City Council splits up city business and contracts with five different companies, reducing its cost by $7 million, officials say.


WHERE WOULD A GREAT COMMUNITY HOSPITAL BE WITHOUT A GREAT COMMUNITY?

Northside Hospital is proud to have been part of this community since 1970 and part of this wonderful “new” city for the last 10 years.

A Lifetime of Care Northside.com

www.ReporterNewspapers.net |

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | 21


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20

Happy 10th Anniversary and to many more years of great success!

ented development. Sandy Springs, a city founded on localism, likely will join in more regional planning, officials say. “I see a crystal ball that looks very bright, very promising,” said Yvonne Williams, president and CEO of the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts, describing Sandy Springs as poised to seize opportunities and overcome challenges.

A SENSE OF PLACE

SANDY ABRAMS When only the best will do! Cell: 404-281-0097 Office: 404-233-4142 sandy.abrams@harrynorman.com 532 East Paces Ferry Road, Suite 200 Atlanta, Georgia 30305 | www.HarryNorman.com

We’ve got you covered! Cityhood for Sandy Springs 10 years ago was the catalyst to launch Reporter Newspapers. We look forward to covering every milestone in the city’s history for years to come.

Reporter Newspapers

2012

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It drives the mayor crazy when locals use “Atlanta” rather than “Sandy Springs” in their street addresses, or when people think the King and Queen buildings are the city’s downtown. “Part of [the future] is to create this larger sense of community…the sense of place like Marietta has, like Decatur has,” Paul said. City Springs is a massive attempt to do that by combining a new City Hall, performing arts center and parks with a mixed-use project. When it opens in 2017, it should anchor a more walkable downtown. And, Paul said, it will tie together some disparate Sandy Springs neighborhoods, like the southern end around Chastain Park or the panhandle that often identifies as Dunwoody. “That’s a legacy project,” said City Manager John McDonough. “I think even five years from now, you’ll see a completely different landscape. I think [there will be] more focus on community, more interaction among people.” But even as it builds that landmark project, the city is looking ahead to a different kind of place-making. Instead of rebuilding entire neighborhoods, the next phase is more about adding to them. Paul said he’d like to see the rest of Roswell Road lined with small, walkable clusters of shops and restaurants instead of shopping centers—“a little community meeting space, if you will.” “We want to broaden the horizon of what a neighborhood is,” he said. “In the next 10 years, that’s kind of our vision.”

THE NEXT TEN The Next Ten process is how Sandy Springs will put such visions on paper. Among the results will be a new Comprehensive Plan of land-use

7/31

9/18

Metro voters reject T-SPLOST, a regional tax that would have raised $6 billion for transportation improvements.

City settles dispute with billboard companies. City officials agree to allow 10 new signs, but limits them along Roswell Road.

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Sandy Springs at Ten

guidelines; a new, unified zoning and building code; and several “Small Area Plans” giving detailed visions of such areas as Roswell Road’s northern and southern reaches. “The focus on the next 10 years is different from the first 10 years,” said McDonough. “The first 10 years focused on creating the delivery system” for city services, planning and infrastructure, he said. Now it’s about delivering the products, especially City Springs, but also the more refined input process of the Next Ten. “We should have broad community support. If we don’t, we missed our mark,” McDonough said of the development that will follow the Next Ten guidelines. “In the end, it should be the community’s plan.” Thompson, the Council of Neighborhoods president, said the Next Ten isn’t exactly grassroots planning, but does involve more public input than ever. “I’m not sure it is building [a plan] on public input, but I truly believe this new crew [of planners], they are scouring every nook and corner of Sandy Springs they can think of to garner opinion,” she said. Thompson said the future of Sandy Springs lies in pushing for higher-quality development standards, and that the current mayor and City Council are more responsive to that, especially after the Glenridge Hall estate controversy earlier this year. “They see the older homes coming down. They see trees coming down,” she said. All developers know how to build projects that contribute to a good quality of life, Thompson said, adding, “It’s just whether we can force them to do it in Sandy Springs and not bring their cheap end.” LaMarsh isn’t as convinced that the city’s leaders are on the right track. He and wife Melissa are part of Sandy Springs’ post-cityhood generation, having moved here from Acworth four years ago to be closer to Atlanta and start a family in a “dynamic community.” “We certainly got it,” LaMarsh said with a laugh. The land surrounding their neighborhood is now the site of two enormous and controversial housing plans by developer Ashton Woods. LaMarsh has been a leader in the debates, at one point threatening to sue, and more recently helping broker a key compromise. There’s no guarantee that city leaders will stick to the new development

11/13

guidelines, LaMarsh said. And he worries that most big parcels will be built out already with less thoughtful projects. “My concern here is the damage has been done and it’s going to be hard for us to climb out of [existing projects],” he said. “My fear is we’ve moved a little too far, a little too fast.” However, LaMarsh counts himself a fan of some pending projects, including City Springs. “I think the future of the city is bright and we do have some good things coming down the pipe,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue to protect the neighborhoods that kind of made Sandy Springs, Sandy Springs.”

TRAFFIC AND TRANSIT With all of the growth comes traffic, and solutions to it may reshape several parts of the city. The billion-dollar project to add lanes on Ga. 400/I-285 will start in about a year and wrap up in 2020. But potentially even more landscape-changing is MARTA’s proposed Red Line extension to Alpharetta. The Next Ten includes transit-oriented development studies around the existing North Springs station and a potential Northridge Road station. “Long term, to absorb population growth…we need to have more efficient transportation, and the only way we’re going to do it is mass transit,” said Mayor Paul. “Unless you have transit…we are going to drown in traffic, and we’re going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg and destroy our quality of life.” While it may not feel like it at rush hour, “We’re ahead of the curve” on longterm traffic solutions, said the PCIDs’ Williams. The Perimeter Center’s future includes shuttle systems, more sidewalks and multi-use trails, and more east-west connection roads. Other possibilities include a bus rapid-transit route along the Perimeter to Cobb County, she said. “We’re going to see a very walkable district,” said Williams. In fact, the future may be largely about getting Sandy Springs out of its car. Walkability is key to the sort of place-making the mayor envisions at both City Springs and the mini-neighborhoods of Roswell Road. “If we can do that over the next 10 years,” Paul said, “we’ll be a long way toward making Sandy Springs the most enviable community of [metro] Atlanta.”

2013

Consultant Goody Clancy proposes a downtown redevelopment anchored at the Target site that includes a street grid and a network of green spaces.

4/22 Mayor Eva Galambos announces her retirement at the end of her second term.


Sandy Springs at Ten

from your neighborhood centers, on the City’s 10 Year Anniversary! Sandy Springs by the Numbers

#

101,908

7

Rank in population among Georgia cities

Rank in residents among Georgia cities White Black Hispanic Asian Other

$424,700

59% 20% 14% 5% 3%

Median household Income Georgia $49,179

13,341

Total number of business firms

29.4

%

%

FOREIGN BORN RESIDENTS

26

%

It also has two of the TALLEST

SUBURBAN TOWERS in the United States

Pictured: King and Queen buildings

47

%

OWN HOMES VS. 65% GA

56 25.2

%

MINUTES MEAN TRAVEL TIME TO WORK

Rusty Paul elected mayor.

Massage Spring National Council of Jewish Women Palm Beach Tan Penzey’s Spices Pier 1 Imports Pure Bliss Med Spa Roasters Scotttrade Smoothie King Spring Nails State Farm Insurance Co. The Welch Experience Trader Joe’s Village Cobbler Shoe Repair Willy’s Mexicana Grill

Visit Us: Roswell Road & Johnson Ferry Road

Powers Ferry Village Alpine Cleaners Blimpie Subs & Salads Goodwill Mardi Gras Posh Nail and Spa

Publix Sushi Huku The Juice Box The UPS Store

Visit Us: Powers Ferry Road & New Northside Drive

housing units in multi-unit structures

Percent of firms owned by women

Cornerstone Square Ace Hardware Aldi Carniceria Los Pinos Concentra Urgent Care Cornerstone Bank

Created by Reporter Newspapers | ReporterNewspapers.net Sources: U.S. Census, Wikipedia.org Some icons made by www.flaticon.com are licensed by Creative Commons BY 3.0

11/5

Aaron Brothers Any Lab Test Bell Carpet Galleries Buckhead Uniform Dog City Bakery Elegant Cleaners Firehouse Subs Five Guys Burgers & Fries Foot Solutions Fox’s Fragile HCG Weight Loss Henri’s Bakery Joseph & Friends Manpower Staffing

speaking a language other than English at home

Median value of owner-occupied house

$63,134

20

Sandy Springs Plaza

CVS Pharmacy EZ One Price Cleaners Hancock Fabrics Hollie’s Nails Metro Trophy

Visit Us: Roswell Road & Cromwell Road

12/5 Eva Galambos turns the mayor’s gavel over to Rusty Paul. She says farewell with a poem that concludes: “It’s been a great eight years/we’ve tackled small and big affairs/we set a tone for those to follow/I have no fears about tomorrow.” www.ReporterNewspapers.net |

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | 23


Sandy Springs at Ten - Other Views

I

s Sandy Springs better off now than we were 10 years ago? Was incorporation worth it? Whenever I attend community or civic events, I am always struck by the tremendous pride that our residents, business owners and government leaders have for their home town. There is a passion and a spirit of cooperation that exists in Sandy Springs that I believe is the direct result of our incorporation 10 years ago. Certainly, things like the groundbreaking of City Springs, new road improvements, the addition of sidewalks and parks, and the city’s strong financial condition and high bond rating are all tangible accomplishments we can point to, but it is the intangible component of our Chris Burnett civic pride coupled with strong leadership that makes all these things possible. Both our city and our chamber celebrate their 10th birthdays this year and this is an exciting time of reflection for us. In the past decade, we have seen iconic international companies move their corporate headquarters to Sandy Springs. We have also seen many budding small businesses get their start here, including our company, Bank of Sandy Springs, which opened here in 2014 to help invest in the future of our community. We have seen the expansion of our public and private schools, and we’ve seen the development and construction of some beautiful neighborhoods and homes within our city. Our long-time residents are staying here, and new residents are coming here because of the quality of life and the quality of community that Sandy Springs offers. We know that success and growth come with their own set of challenges, and building and maintaining a strong community infrastructure requires vision and hard work. Because we are our own city, we control our financial and strategic planning decisions in ways that were unavailable to us 10 years ago. For these reasons, incorporation has given the residents and leaders of Sandy Springs more control over their city’s destiny. Our mission will be to keep the fire that we feel for our city today burning for decades to come, and to pass on our sense of pride to the next generation of residents and leaders. If we do this effectively, then Sandy Springs will continue to enjoy its current level of success and prosperity, and will continue to be Georgia’s greatest city. Chris Burnett is market president of the Bank of Sandy Springs and chairman of the board of the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce.

F

or the first six years of its existence, the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods worked directly with Fulton County on behalf of the neighborhoods. We dealt with seven commissioners, only one of whom had our interests at heart. We had successes. However, we still suffered while watching huge amounts of our tax dollars being diverted to both north and south Fulton. Our roads were potholed, police and fire departments were understaffed for the needs of the community, and the response times were bad. Since cityhood, we’ve gained award-winning fire and poTrisha Thompson lice departments as well as a volunteer COPS program that’s a big success. We’ve gained better roads and more sidewalks. We’ve gained the cleanup of garbage-strewn, deteriorated sections of town. We’ve gained repairs of broken stormwater systems. We’ve gained more and better parks. We’ve also gained a traffic control system that helps the traffic flow along Roswell and Abernathy roads. None—not one—of these would have been implemented at the level of quality we have seen had we not become a city. Yes, we have rezonings that bring additional traffic, but this would have occurred even in Fulton County—and, believe me, with far less care, less quality and less thought given to impact mitigation. If you look at the total picture and the total scorecard, we’ve gained, and those gains are huge. For our future, the challenge will be to control quality. The concerns need to be focused on: the quality of the homes and projects being built; the quality of our natural environment—preservation of trees and green space; the quality of our schools; and our quality of life. Traffic is a huge detriment to our quality of life today. Infill development is of major concern in the neighborhoods. We don’t think anyone is against more people—it’s just how to include them without chopping down all the trees and gridlocking our roads. We do want new businesses. We will have new residents. We want everyone to share a fantastic quality of life in a beautiful city. Trisha Thompson is the president of the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods.

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THEN & NOW

King and Queen/ Ga. 400 THEN: Ga. 400 and the “King” tower at the Concourse at Landmark Center under construction, alongside the completed “Queen” tower, around 1990 in this Georgia State University Archives photo on display at Heritage Sandy Spring’s exhibit “Sandy Springs: Then & Now.”

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1/6

7/17

City begins Abernathy demolition of old Greenway Park Target store. opens.

24

|

2015

1/6

NOW: Ga. 400 and the King and Queen towers as seen from the Johnson Ferry Road overpass. (Photo: John Ruch)

3/9

Mercedes-Benz USA City issues demolition announces plans to permits for Glenridge Hall. move its headquarters from New Jersey to Sandy Springs.

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

4/19 Eva Galambos dies at age 87.

9/20 City officials announce the new city center will be called “City Springs.”


C

Sandy Springs at Ten - Other Views

ongratulations to the city of Sandy Springs on turning 10! Prior to the city’s formation in 2005, many people worked for decades to make it happen. Two primary goals of the innovative new city were to control the services provided to citizens/businesses and to control development. Due to the necessity of delivering services and the real estate recession of 2008-2012, we now see development—both new projects and how the city addresses future development—begin to have a significant impact on the direction of the city. My perspective extends 36 years, having attended high school in Sandy Springs, lived half of those years here, and worked for compaKirk S. Demetrops nies all with a Sandy Springs address. The great news in Sandy Springs regarding development is plentiful. The city’s southern boundary is improving with the Sandy Springs Gateway project at Windsor and other development moving up Roswell Road from there. The eastern boundary at Perimeter Center is truly seeing a live-work-play environment unfold. Downtown Sandy Springs is poised for the biggest change, with perhaps the most local impact toward quality of life (a “real” downtown) wanted by many who live and work in Sandy Springs. Projects underway or expected to start soon should create more development in downtown than has occurred in the last 20 years combined. This is led by City Springs, the public-private partnership development under construction, that will deliver a new City Hall and performing arts venue, private mixed-use development and open space. This development and others announced should create the critical mass needed. So what are the significant challenges? I see two. One, land use and zoning, and two, Roswell Road north of Abernathy to the city of Roswell border. The city is currently in the process of updating its zoning ordinances and procedures. I commend the leadership of the mayor and council for initiating this. Lengthy, controversial zonings are counterproductive. From a developer’s perspective, time is usually not our ally. Windows of opportunity open up in our business but do not remain forever. A more efficient, interest-aligned process will benefit all stakeholders. Roswell Road north of Abernathy should be the city’s next big platform for change. The road is a primary artery serving a significant portion of the city. I believe more publicprivate initiatives will be needed. As I look ahead, and knowing the probable developments to come out of the ground, I do see a city moving in a great direction and the new real estate developments having a significant contribution to the success of the city. Kirk S. Demetrops is president of MidCity Real Estate Partners.

Congratulations to the City of Sandy Springs on its 10th Anniversary.

N

ot so long ago, the Wall Street Journal highlighted 20 troubled American cities and how Chapter 11 bankruptcy appears to be the only option to wipe the slate clean and start

over. How can such a municipal mess be avoided? One suggestion may be to look at the city of Sandy Springs and its model for providing city services. Ten years ago, when Sandy Springs incorporated, the model of outsourcing was viewed with skepticism. But as the community celebrates it first decade, evidence of accomplishments is in full view: miles of roads paved, new parks and construction underway to create an epicenter for the community. All accomplished withRep. Joe Wilkinson out a tax increase. Before cityhood, Sandy Springs was part of unincorporated Fulton County, and residents were poorly policed while paying high taxes for few services. That is why I made it my main mission to get the cityhood legislation ratified by the General Assembly, so it could go to the voters. There was an unwavering desire for governance close to home, and that is what Sandy Springs has today. Those making decisions on behalf of the community live within that same community. There is a greater level of accountability. Accessibility also matters, and if you ask any of the members of the Sandy Springs City Council, past or present, they hear from their constituents frequently, via phone calls and emails, as well as in the grocery line and at local events. It is gratifying to see the positive chain reaction that has occurred since 2005, with other cities and counties opting for more privatization of services. In addition to the business model, there is a sense of ownership within the Sandy Springs community. This is a city comprised of residents who feel empowered and who exercise their right to voice an opinion. They also frequently back up the talk with action. The community is strengthened by its volunteerism, as is evidenced by groups such as the conservancy and Leadership Sandy Springs, which have been instrumental in the increase in parks and programs within the city. And both the police and fire departments have troops of volunteers providing assistance from house checks to manning water rehab tents during emergencies. They give. The city gives. It works. As Sandy Springs celebrates 10 years, it’s a good time to say congratulations on thinking different, taking the risk and a job well done. It will be interesting to watch what we do as a community in our next 10 years. Joe Wilkinson represents District 52 in the state House of Representatives.

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Dunwoody Sandy Springs 85 Brookhaven 400

285

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Nonprofit thrift store provides free clothing to the homeless BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE

elleneldridge@reporternewspapers.net

Robyn Hazelrigs helps clothe the Hazelrigs said three 17-year-old needy. boys came into the store in March “I give out anywhere from $125,000 2013 wearing pants hanging off their to $140,000 a year in free clothing,” hips, hoodies and T-shirts. “They came Hazelrigs said. “We are one of the only in and said, ‘We need suits. We’ve nevstores in Atlanta that gives free clother owned suits and we have job intering.” views,’” Hazelrigs Hazelrigs mansaid. Do you know an organization or ages the BuckHazelrigs said she head THRIFTique, helped the recent individual making a difference a nonprofit clothhigh school graduin our community? Email ing, food pantry and ates get dressed and editor@reporternewspapers.net thrift shop operatshowed them how to ed Monday through tie their ties. Sunday by Buckhead “One man Christian Ministries turned around and and located at 800 said, ‘My mom’s Miami Circle. never seen me in a The money the suit. This is going to store earns selling make her day,’” Hasecondhand clothes zelrigs said. “That’s goes toward operatwhen I knew we ing expenses, such as were making a huge the light bill, Hazeldifference.” rigs said. The rest of Though she regPHOTOS BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE the clothes are given ularly works with THRIFTique store manager away. 40 to 45 volunRobyn Hazelrigs. She also donates teers, Hazelrigs said reading material. she always needs “I give a free book more help around away to every child that comes in the the store and more donations. “I love door because I feel every child should coming to work,” she said. “You get in have a book,” she said. your car and you know you’ve made a Hazelrigs said the ministry helps difference every single day and people people in need, including the homeare so grateful.” less and people who are out of work or Shortly after she started volunteerhave had their work hours cut. Single ing at the shop in 2006, Hazelrigs parents and parents of multiple chillearned teenagers chose to skip prom dren who can only work part time and because they couldn’t afford dresspeople struggling to pay medical bills es and tuxes. She said she asked why also receive help after proving they live the store couldn’t just give away dressin the 15 ZIP-code area the nonprofes because they had so many. it serves. Every March, Hazelrigs gives away Local religious organizations of all more than 150 prom dresses and tuxdenominations and for-profit clothing es, many of which are donated by Le vendors regularly donate to the shop Dress, a shop located in Sandy Springs. to help its clients, who live in areas The thrift store even helps coordinate spread across Buckhead, Brookhaven, a prom held at Covenant House, a Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. homeless shelter for teenagers. Adults aren’t the only ones who The community of people helped need help. by Buckhead Christian Ministries’

clothing bank also includes about a dozen people living under a nearby bridge, Hazelrigs said. “They use the thrift store as a personal closet, she said. The thrift store receives such great donations that it creates the best dressed homeless people, Hazelrigs said. “Because of this area, we get such great donations through the door regularly. I get so much Ralph Lauren that I can’t mark it up.” Armani and Prada are two designer

brands in the thrift store, but “marked up” prices mean $20 for an Armani tie that might sell for $250 new in a store, Hazelrigs said. Prada shoes sell for hundreds of dollars less as well. Hazelrigs said she gives away J. Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch clothes every day. “We have great people walking around looking good,” she said. “We have the best looking homeless people in Atlanta walking around.”

2015

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Sarah Smith Elementary School’s fourth- and fifth-grade chorus performed for the third year in a row at the Macy’s Great Tree Lighting ceremony at Lenox Square on Nov. 22.

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Lexi Poline, left, and Gabe Goodhart, pre-K students at The Epstein School in Sandy Springs, spent time at the school’s Thanksgiving table reflecting on the many things they appreciate. Children answered the question, “What are you thankful for?” “My whole family, teachers, and all the puppies and animals in the world,” said Lexi. “My Mommy and Daddy, my brothers and my pet fish,” said Gabe.

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Standout Student ► Haley Burns ► Lovett High School, senior Haley Burns’ charity work goes back at least until 2012, when she started with the National Charity League, an organization through which mothers and daughters volunteer together. “I do that with my mom,” she said. “It’s kind of like a mother-daughter thing...We go out and do our own service projects.” But that was just the beginning. Since she started, Haley has used her people skills and willingness in a variety of ways to serve others to try to make the world a better place. Why does she do it? “I just enjoy it,” she said. She’s awakened at 3:45 a.m. to serve breakfast to the homeless. Recently, she chaired a parent’s night out event for her school Service Board that hosted around 80 children, a record for the program. “She was very involved in planning and organizing this event,” said her advisor, Angela Morris, who described Haley as very organized and helpful. That’s only a part of her volunteer resume. One of Haley’s favorite aspects of charity and volunteering is her time at Northside Shepherd, a senior center. There, she works with elderly people and displays her outgoing personality to liven up the mood. In May, Haley participates in an allnight fundraiser for cancer research. The project, according to Haley, “is extremely fun and takes months before to plan.” Recently, she recently took a mission trip to Peru. “We went to a church/ pre-school and built a new room and a roof, tutored some kids, played with them,” Haley said.

Haley Burns

Asked what she learned from the trip, she replied, “I guess my biggest take away was that all the people there were so nice, even though that’s probably the most impoverished place I’ve been to.” She found the trip inspiring, she said, because of the people she met. She said her experience made her much more appreciative of the things she had living in the United States.

What’s Next? Haley’s applying to many colleges. She’s thinking she might like to attend Tulane University and pursue a career in nursing. This article was prepared by Dave Ghimire, a junior at Dunwoody High School.

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COMMUNITY

North Atlanta parents cheer for athletics options CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Club is doing so is by recently building a crimination based on gender, said Recollegiate-level weight room for use durgan. ing the off season as well as paying for Future sports at North Atlanta could someone to properly train students on include anything from fencing to gymhow to use the weights, East said. nastics. And while gymnastics may beThe Booster Club also runs a webcome a team sport through the Georgia site, northatlantawarriors.org, that is the High School Association, the water polo place to go to find out information on club at North Atlanta would remain a the 20 sports teams, he said. club, for example, Regan explained. “They are really working hard to Parents asked if the school ever could make sure this high school is not a standhave a full-time athletic director. Realone entity and rather to give it a famgan said he still teaches classes and that ily feel,” Head said of the NAPPS preworking as an AD accounts for probasentation. “So when it is time for middle bly 3 percent of his school students to pay. North Atlango to high school, ta’s principal did NAHS is their give him the opchoice and they are portunity to teach not going there just “Now they are workfewer classes, but because they are in ing to have successful having a full-time a cluster.” students and successful AD means the loss Head, a former of a teacher in the student athletes. That’s Sutton student and classroom. also graduate of the important to me.” Other high former North Fulschools do have a ton High School, full-time AD, givsaid it is also im– VERNETTA HEAD ing them an advanportant that the PARENT tage on the courts school system foand fields, Regan cus on academsaid. “We’re comics and athletics — peting against a and she believes the different element,” schools are hitting a home run. Regan said. “When I was in middle school, the Sports has a lot to do where students high schools didn’t come to us. There go to high school, said Scotty East, was no interaction between middle and booster club president of North Atlanta, high schools,” she said. “Now they are which means it is important to provide working to have successful students and an attractive athletic program. successful student athletes. That’s imOne way the North Atlanta Booster portant to me.”

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The North Atlanta Booster Club recently built a collegiatelevel weight room for North Atlanta High School athletes. BH

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COMMUNITY

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PUBLIC SAFETY

Agencies battle Internet crimes, including human trafficking BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE

elleneldridge@reporternewspapers.net

Vice crimes, such as human trafficking for sex, are on the rise locally, law enforcement officials say. “You may not realize it, but we do have a serious problem with human trafficking, particularly with underage girls,” Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said Nov. 17 while introducing Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Renea Green during a Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “We had an operation not too long ago, where we recovered a minor that was being sex trafficked,” Grogan said. A 26-year-old woman and a 16-yearold girl were rescued June 25 from sexual servitude and prostitution, when Dunwoody Police worked with the FBI Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force and the Gwinnet Police Department Vice Unit. Dunwoody police investigated four sex trafficking organizations in 2014 and Grogan said the police department has seen an increase in vice-type complaints. Officer Tim Fecht, a spokesman for the department, said police charged seven people with prostitution, three people for pimping and one person for escorting without a permit Sept. 3. “Our goal of the operation was to rescue any victims of human trafficking and reduce crime as it relates to prostitution,” Fecht said. Green said the GBI is a “request only” agency that doesn’t usually help police agencies or enter local jurisdictions without being called. Unless the case involves bombs, commercial gambling, child exploitation or human trafficking, Green said. When Gov. Nathan Deal took of-

fice, Green said he created an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to stop human trafficking and child exploitation in Atlanta. Green said when she first heard the term “human trafficking,” she thought about the movie “Taken,” where the main character’s daughter was abducted in a foreign country and sold into sexual slavery. She said she wondered if that happened here in the Perimeter area and quickly learned that because of Atlanta’s centralized location, near a major airport and interstate highways, trafficking is a big problem. She added that blame also falls on some rap artists, such as 50 Cent writing “Candy Shop,” a popular song that Green said idolizes prostitution. The GBI focuses only on commercial exploitation of children, which is easier to describing as “juvenile prostitution,” Green said. But people have misconceptions when they hear about minors involved with “prostitution,” Green said. “‘Oh well, she’s doing this because she wants to do it’ or ‘she’s feeding a drug habit,’” Green said people think. “I, for one, had all of those stigmas and misconceptions.” An important part of the job she does as a special agent is helping train law enforcement officers and the public about what is going on. “I have yet to meet one girl who woke up one day and decided, ‘I’m going to be a prostitute,’” Green said. “It just doesn’t happen.” Sadly, Green said many young girls who run away from abusive situations at home end up trapped. “They way most of these kids get involved is they are runaways or throw-

ELLEN ELDRIGE

GBI Special Agents Renea Green, left, and Tricia Keenan speak about human trafficking at a Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Nov. 17.

aways,” Green said. “Most of these girls—and the majority are girls, though boys are affected, too—are already experiencing sexual abuse at home.” Many people are too quick to judge, Green said, when it comes to cases

about juvenile runaways who mistakenly fall in love with pimps and believe someone is finally taking proper care of them. “These are the hardest cases to work because they don’t identify as victims,” Green said.

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NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | 35


PUBLIC SAFETY

Buckhead Police Blotter From police reports dated Nov. 1 to Nov. 15 The following information was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its records and is presumed to be accurate.

R O B B E RY  1300

block of Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard—Two men in masks approached a woman who was walking down the street. One man asked the woman to the vehicle, and, when she declined, the suspects got out of the car. Both men tried to take her purse, but she held on to it. One man threw her to the ground and continued striking her. When the two were unsuccessful in stealing from her, they drove away.

 1000

block of Chattahoochee Avenue—A man was opening a liquor store when two men approached him. One pulled out a gun and they followed the employee into the store. The robbers removed $1,100 from two registers. After pressuring the employee for more mon-

ey, the men removed $55,000 from the freezer compartment of the refrigerator.  First

block of Peachtree Memorial Drive—Two men with guns appeared from a side alley and approached another man, demanded his belongings and struck him in the face. He fell on the ground and the attackers took a wallet with $380 and an iPhone 5.

 500

block of Northside Circle—A man asked to use another man’s phone outside an apartment complex. When the man with the phone handed the stranger his Android Galaxy 3, the stranger said, “This is a nice phone.”

Shortly thereafter, the trunk of a silver Ford Focus opened and a man wearing all black got out of the trunk holding a gun. When the victim told the suspects, “You can take it all,” he was hit in the head with the gun. The victim pushed the suspect and the suspect shot the victim in his shoulder. The victim ran toward his apartment and was taken to the hospital by his roommate. A witness reported hearing a gunshot and seeing a small car speed away with the trunk open.  3500

block of Peachtree Road— A man in a red or orange mask and gloves jumped over the counter at a fast food restaurant, brandished a black pellet gun and forced an employee to open the cash register. The masked man placed approximately $1,000 in his pockets while holding the employee at gunpoint. A woman grabbed the gun from the suspect, ran and threw it across the dining room area. The suspect struck the woman in her head several times before he fled on foot. A black pellet gun was recovered on scene.

 2700

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NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015

| www.ReporterNewspapers.net

block of Defoors Ferry Road—Two men approached a man who was getting out of his vehicle and one of them produced a gun with a red beam and said something unintelligible. The man with the car began yelling and pressing the horn. He then pushed one of the men and ran toward his apartment. The gunman struck the running man in the back of his head and took his backpack, which contained his wallet, shoes and musical notes.

 2400

block of Coronet Way—A man pointed a chrome pistol at another man while he was standing on the corner. The victim gave the gunman $25 before running to his home to phone 911.

 300

block of Deering Road—A chubby man with a black handgun demanded a woman’s belongings. He took her Apple iPhone 6 cellphone and Kate Spade purse.

 4400

block of Roswell Road—A man approached a bank teller at a Wells Far-

go, pointed a handgun and told the teller to fill his bag. The teller gave the man $7,890. He headed west on Wieuca Road in a red Chevy Trailblazer or Tahoe.  3200

block of Lenox Road—A stocky man armed with a black gun with a red beam (laser) on it demanded another man’s wallet.

 The

gunman took the man’s cellphone and wallet, and ran toward an apartment complex parking lot.

 2500

block of Lenox Road—A resident of an apartment complex was near the rear of his vehicle, in front of the A building, when a man walked up behind him, pointed a gun at his head and demanded his property. The victim gave up his cellphone and $300.

A G G R AVAT E D A S S A U LT  2400

block of Coronet Way—An argument turned physical when one person struck another in the face with a bottle. The suspect had departed by the time patrol units arrived. The victim refused further treatment and did not want to press charges.  2600 block of Piedmont Road—A man came running up from behind a woman and snatched her purse. As she ran, she fell and started screaming. A witness pursued the suspect, where he, too, fell. A second witness chased the man until he tripped on a median. The attacker pulled a knife and waved it at the witness, causing him to fall. The stolen purse was recovered.

2400 block of Camelia Lane—An argument turned physical when a man grabbed a woman around the neck and punched her in the eye. There were visible signs of a struggle and the woman had a black eye. 

 400

block of Armour Drive—A woman said the suspect cut her off while driving and she began following the car to get a tag number. She phoned her boyfriend, who phoned police for a lookout. Despite being in possession of the tag number, the woman continued following the car. She heard one of the people in the car say, “Give me the strap. Give me the strap,” and then a shot was fired at her. CONTINUED ON PAGE 38 BH


BH

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NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | 37


PUBLIC SAFETY

Buckhead Police Blotter CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36

R E S I D E N T I A L B U R G L A RY  2100

block of Collins Ridge Drive— A Westinghouse TV and Apple Mac computer were taken from a house.

 1300

block of Dupont Commons Circle—A 42-inch Visio TV was taken from a house. A rock, napkin with blood stains and footprints were discovered. A mouse and TV remote were recovered from a path behind the residence.

 2100

block of Defoors Ferry Road—A witness alerted police to two suspects attempting to break into the leasing office. They were removing envelopes from the rent drop slot. The suspects then entered the rear of an apartment and returned to continue removing envelopes from the drop box. The suspects were then observed returning

38

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back to a blue Jaguar, where they were arrested.

credit cards were taken from an apartment.

 3600

 500

block of Peachtree Park Drive— Two Apple MacBook laptops were taken from an apartment. 

900 block of East Paces Ferry Road—A silver badge and a MacBook Pro laptop were taken from an apartment. 1900 block of Monroe Drive—A MacBook Air laptop, several pieces of costume jewelry, a North Face backpack and a pair of Audrey Brooke shoes were taken from an apartment. 

 1100 block of Lavista Road—An Apple MacBook laptop, Tory Burch wallet, checkbooks and

NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

block of Wimbledon Road— A 32-inch Vizio TV, a Dell Optiplex 755 computer tower, the title to a 2003 Ford Explorer, medication, mail, vehicle keys, mailbox key and apartment keys were taken.

 150

block of West Sussex Road—A Cannon T3i camera, charger, batteries and bag were taken from inside a resident’s vehicle after the garage was left open.

C O M M E R C I A L B U R G L A RY  1700

block of Northside Drive— An audible alarm was cleared by patrol units one day and the next day at 3 a.m. power was cut and someone broke in through a rear door. A safe box and ATM were compromised and $3,800 was taken.

 500

block of Main Street—Three Ap-

ple Macintosh desktop computers were taken.

A U TO T H E F T  Between

Nov. 1 and 7, a total of 12 vehicles were reported stolen and one attempt to steal a vehicle was reported.

 Between

Nov. 8 and 15, a total of nine vehicles were reported stolen and one attempt to steal a vehicle was reported.

THEFTS/LARCENIES  Between

Nov. 1 and 7, a total of 40 thefts from automobiles were reported and an additional 45 reports of other larcenies, including shoplifting, were made.

 Between

Nov. 8 and 15, a total of 44 thefts from automobiles were reported and an additional 35 reports of other larcenies, including shoplifting, were made.

BH


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CEMETERY PLOTS Arlington Memorial Park – two spaces in section A of the Calvary lot. Asking $11,500 for both spaces.Call 864-569-9049. BH

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NOV. 27 – DEC. 10, 2015 | 39


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Nov-27-2015 Buckhead Reporter  

Covering the City of Buckhead news, city council, education, business, police blotter, community news, event calendar, public safety, food a...