__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

reporternewspapers.net

DECEMBER 2019 • VOL. 13 — NO. 1

Olympic Park bombing investigation: Remembering dark days P8

Buckhead Reporter

Tax breaks targeted by new neighborhood task force

COMMUNITY

Historic American Legion building renovated

text here

P2

COMMUNITY

Ryan Gravel

Designer of the Atlanta BeltLine

Richard Jewell

A public challenge: reimagine I-285 P6

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

ART & ENTERTAINMENT

‘A Tuna Christmas’ continues theater partnership P26

Check out our podcasts and Facebook Live Streams

The Buckhead Reporter is mail delivered to homes on selected carrier routes in ZIPs 30305, 30327 and 30342 For information: delivery@reporternewspapers.net

JOHN RUCH

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen talks about the district’s progress and the impacts of tax breaks on revenue and equity at the Nov. 20 meeting of the Northwest Community Alliance at Northside Church of God. BCID NEWS ROUND-UP | More inside ►

‘Revolutionary’ shuttle service is delayed by liability question BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

An on-demand shuttle van service that was to debut in central Buckhead in January has been delayed – and possibly endangered – by legal liability questions. The service, involving four free-roaming vans hailed on Uber-style cellphone apps, would be operated by a company called Via

in a contract with the Buckhead Community Improvement District. It is intended to replace the current fixed-route “buc” shuttle bus service. The Via program was approved by the BCID board earlier this year, with one member praising it as a “revolutionary” service that could be imitated metro-wide. But in contract negotiations, the BCID See REVOLUTIONARY on page 28

Commercial tax breaks and discounts are the target of a new “task force” within the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, which says such deals are shifting the tax burden to homeowners and putting a drag on the school system budget. The Taxes/TADs Task Force came from a team-up suggestion from Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, who blasted tax breaks on luxury redevelopments at the Oct. 10 BCN meeting. She repeated the theme at a Nov. 20 meeting of the Northwest Community Alliance, where she responded positively when told about the BCN task force. “Good for them,” she said. “They seem to be thoughtful. Maybe something good can come out of it. [Or] at least some better understanding.” See TAX on page 30

It’s that time of year... “Siri, where can I buy the best wife insurance?”

POSTAL CUSTOMER

“See page 9”

PRSRT STD ECRWSS US Postage PAID Monroe, GA Permit #15


2 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Historic American Legion building is renovated to serve generations of vets BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The historic Waldo M. Slaton American Legion Post 140 building in Chastain Park is freshly renovated and will serve more generations of veterans after the post set aside a controversial plan to demolish it and build a larger version. “This renovation should ensure the viability of the building for another 50 years,” said post Commander Ken DeSimone, who also serves as the Sandy Springs police chief, about the roughly 80-yearold, rustic structure at 3905 Powers Ferry Road. The post held an open house on Veterans Day to show off the $100,000 renovation, which repair rotting flooring, outdated wiring and other issues in the 1930s-era building. The work was done by Cobb County’s Gay Construction, a prominent firm with historic renovation experience whose work includes Atlanta’s Ponce City Market. Tom Gay, the company’s chairman, is a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam and a Legionnaire at the post. “For many years this building has served as the headquarters for the activities of the post as well as for community

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

The Waldo M. Slaton American Legion Post 140 building on Powers Ferry Road.

Right, the preamble to the American Legion’s constitution hangs over the historic fireplace.

service,” said Gay. “We believe it is important to preserve and upgrade the facility, and we performed the work at our cost.” Three years ago, the post proposed de-

molishing the building as outdated, past its lifespan, and too small for growing ranks of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. In its place would rise a much larger, $1

Better. Right. Now.

At Lenbrook Welcome to Atlanta’s premier in-town community for engaged senior living since 1983. As the area’s only accredited, not-for-profit Life Plan Community, we offer a vibrant lifestyle that includes access to high-quality healthcare services on one campus. lenbrook-atlanta.org | 404-476-7526

million building. That plan drew some resistance among the post’s membership and, in the outside world, from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and the Buckhead Heritage Society. The post gained city zoning approval, but DeSimone said the plan is not happening due to funding. “It was all fundraising-dependent. The more money we raised, the more we could do,” he said. “We are still taking donations for kitchen refurbishment and other items that are needed.” Some of that work yet to come includes installing a sidewalk ramp and gutters, he said. Post 140 serves military veterans mostly from the Buckhead, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs areas. Its house-like building has a stone fireplace, a deck and walls of irregular wooden planks painted green outside. The post is known for community connections, including last year’s opening of a T-ball field next to the building and the renting of the facility to such groups as the Buckhead 50 Club. Legion members help run a Boy Scout camp and hold such fundraisers as a run for Buckhead’s Shepherd Center for brain and spinal injury treatment. The origins of the post’s building are not know for certain. A common assumption is the structure was built as a bunkhouse for workers in President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal work programs. Post 140 was chartered in 1936, according to DeSimone, but no one knows exactly where, though it is believed it was not in the Powers Ferry Road building. What is known is that the building has served as the Legion post since at least 1954. At that time, it was deeded by Fulton County on the condition it remain in Legion use; otherwise, ownership reverts to the county. Slaton, the post’s namesake, died while serving in the Army during World War I. The post’s building also features a prominent memorial to Staff Sgt. Ryan P. Means, a Brookhaven native who became a Special Forces soldier after his friend was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks; Means died of cancer in 2009 while serving. With decades of social gatherings and community events in its past, and now many more decades to come, the building and its renovation invite personal reflection to those who have made the memories. “I have been a member of Post 140 for a number of years,” said Gay, “and I am proud of the services the post provides to our veterans, our service members and our community.” For more information about the post, see post140buckhead.com.

And we’re expanding! Call today to learn more.

BH


Community | 3

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Lovett School seeks to raise enrollment cap after forgetting it BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Lovett School says it has exceeded a nearly two-decade-old student enrollment cap agreement for years after previous administrators forgot about it. Now the school wants to boost the cap by 100 students – from 1,560 to 1,660 – to legalize its current enrollment and have flexibility. “The school is not seeking campus expansion and will remain within its existing footprint,” said Courtney Fowler, a spokesperson for the private K-12 school at 4075 Paces Ferry Road. The enrollment at the beginning of the current school year was 1,614, she said. The discovery came as a direct result of the school’s attempt to deal with on-campus traffic congestion, which is an issue on Buckhead’s neighborhood streets as well. The school was awaiting Neighborhood Planning Unit A review of the request, which would be an update to a special use permit that allows it to operate. The application then would go to the Zoning Review Board for a recommendation, possibly in December, followed by a final vote by the City Council. The school withdrew from NPU-A’s Nov. 5 agenda as neighborhood talks continue. Brink Dickerson, chair of NPU-A, said that neighborhood association response would “weigh significantly” in his group’s vote. When Meredyth Cole took over as Lovett’s head of school last year, she soon began work on finding solutions for the school’s campus traffic. Fowler said that the school hired the engineering firm Kimley-Horn and Associates to conduct a traffic study and make recommendations, which could include changes to internal roads and sidewalks. Cole asked whether there was an enrollment cap in place that could affect permitting of such improvements, Fowler said, “And nobody had that answer.” It turned out there was a cap, set in 2000 and affirmed in a 2007 special use permit update. “Our current enrollment

cap has been in place for almost 20 years,” Fowler said, but no one in the administration had a memory of it. It appears that city officials never checked, and there have been no new buildings or other projects that would have altered the enrollment cap. For at least the past four years, Fowler said, the school has exceeded the cap. The lowest enrollment in that period is this year’s figure of 1,614. The highest was 1,679 in the 2016-17 school year – 119 over the cap. The school is now seeking to set a new cap of 1,660. “Holding the school to the enrollment cap number of 1,560, originally approved nearly 20 years ago, would certainly impact the school’s employees, current families and prospective new families for next school year,” said Fowler. And even setting it at the current level would be too inflexible and could mean, for example, not enabling all siblings in the same family to enroll, she said. If the new proposed maximum of 1,660 students did enroll, Fowler said, the existing campus could absorb them. “We would not need to add ‘seats’ or staff, and we are not seeking campus expansion,” she said. The big question, of course, is what would prevent the school from forgetting a new enrollment cap just like it did the current one. “As part of our application,” Fowler said, “we are offering to self-report enrollment annually in writing to the [city] office of Planning and Zoning, NPU-A administration and membership, and Paces Civic Association administration and membership.” While awaiting a permit decision and possible roadway changes, Lovett is tackling traffic in other ways. It gained attention earlier this year for launch a limited school bus service that is moving toward expansion next school year. The school also made changes to its student carpool line with the goal of making it more efficient. And for employees, the school in August launched a carpool program via the state Georgia Commutes program.

FOLLOW US ONLINE

Handmade Holiday Market Visit the market in the space next to CinéBistro to shop unique items for everyone on your list!

Opening Friday, 11/29 – 10am-9pm Additional Days & Hours:

Thursdays, 12/5, 12/12 & 12/19 3-9pm Fridays, 12/6, 12/13 & 12/20 3-9pm Saturdays, 11/30, 12/7, 12/14 & 12/21 10am-9pm Sundays, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15 & 12/22 12-6pm IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

To learn more, visit www.townbrookhaven.net or facebook.com/TownBrookhaven

www.townbrookhaven.net Conveniently located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University.

Happy Holidays FROM IDEAL GYNECOLOGY

Lillian Schapiro, MD, FACOG

Kathryn Garren, WHNP

Ashlee Forrester, WHNP

Your Home for Womens Health SPECIALIZING IN: • Abnormal Paps • Colposcopy • Coolsculpting • Fibroids • Gyn Ultrasound • Hydrafacial

• Irregular Bleeding • Menopause • Myomectomy • Pelvic Pain

• Pelvic Floor Therapy • Prolapse • Well Women Exam

470-312-3696

www.idealgynecology.com 3200 Downwood Circle, Suite 220, Atlanta, GA 30327

BH


4 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Community Briefs 28 M OR E G UNS HI T S TR EET S FR O M B U CK HEA D T HEFTS , P O L IC E S AY

Another 28 guns hit the streets after being stolen from cars in the Buckhead area in October, police say. That continues a trend of more than 200 such thefts a year of firearms, ammo or gun accessories from cars. Capt. Anthony Singh, assistant commander of the Atlanta Police Department’s Buckhead-area Zone 2 precinct, reported the number at the Nov. 5 meeting of NPU-A. He urged residents to stop leaving unsecured firearms in cars. “We don’t want to put guns in the wrong person’s hand,” said Singh. “The teenagers, the 11-year-olds, the 12-year-olds — they know what to do with a gun now.” Singh said the guns stolen from cars in the previous month included such high-quality brands as Glock, Sig Sauer and Smith & Wesson. Many metro Atlanta police departments are warning residents to stop leaving any valuables unsecured in cars, with guns being the most dangerous item thieves often steal. Last year, Sandy Springs police reported 54 gun thefts from cars, and Brookhaven police reported 22 stolen guns through July 31. In 2018, Zone 2 reported 230 stolen guns, ammo or firearm accessories in a combined stat.

R AP STAR S R EP O R T M O R E THA N $3 6 6 K IN JEWELRY S TO L EN I N HO US E B UR G L A RY

We are pround to welcome

2 New Doctors to our team!

PCCATL.net 960 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 500, Atlanta, GA 30342

Expert care for your lungs. Mirza Haider Ali, MD

Kavita Pal, MD

Accepting new patients! For an appointment call: 404-257-0006 Our specialties include: • Asthma • COPD • Interstitial lung disease • Lung cancer • Occupational lung diseases

• Pulmonary embolism • Pulmonary hypertension • Respiratory failure • Sarcoidosis • Sepsis

Rap stars Iggy Azalea and Playboi Carti say a burglar stole more than $366,000 in jewelry from their Buckhead rental house Nov. 14 while Azalea was home alone, according to a police report. The suspect in the burglary in the 2900 block of Howell Mill Road was masked and may have been carrying a gun, Carti told police based on a surveillance video officers had yet to view at the time of the Nov. 17 incident report. The Atlanta Police Department could not immediately say whether similar burglaries have been reported in the area. Azalea told police that she was alone in the basement of the house around 10 p.m. when she heard footsteps on the second floor. She said she had left the back door unlocked so that Carti could enter the house and believed the footsteps were his. However, Azalea and Carti told police, it was a burglar who spent less than 10 minutes in the house and stole a bag from the dining room that contained their large collection of jewelry and watches. Azalea and Carti said they had a surveillance video showing the burglar looking at the basement window and entering the house through the back door. Carti told police he believes the burglar had a gun and was wearing a dark mask and gloves. They reported more than 20 pieces of jewelry were stolen. Azalea valued hers at $366,000, while Carti was awaiting a value estimate from his insurance company for his items. The report was filed under the rappers’ given names: Amethyst Kelly and Jordan Carter.

D EKALB -PEAC HTR EE A I R P O R T L A UNC HES FLIG HT-TR ACK ER NO I S E C O M P L A INT S Y S TEM

DeKalb-Peachtree Airport has launched a web-based noise complaint system that allows users to identify disruptive aircraft on live flight-tracking radar. The “Symphony PublicVue” system, available on the DeKalb County website, was presented at a Nov. 18 meeting of the PDK Airport Advisory Board by Korey Barnes, the facility’s new environmental and noise analyst. The system shows aircraft flying around PDK in a live radar feed that is on a 10-minute “security delay.” Some information about each flight, such as its number and destination, may be available. The system also allows users to file noise complaints via a form, if they register and create an account. The account keeps a log of all of their complaints. Users can file a complaint without using the flight-tracker and can view the flighttracker without filing a complaint. Symphony PublicVue is created by Florida-based L3Harris. According to media reports, it is used at some other airports around the country, including the major commercial airports in Boston and Seattle-Tacoma. Some residents at the Advisory Board meeting questioned the usefulness of the system, saying local residents had created a complaint-filing app that is easier to use and that the 10-minute delay would make it hard to single out an aircraft in busy times. Barnes said that identifying the aircraft is not really necessary because he can do it later by checking complaint times against the flight data. “This is a test,” said airport Director Mario Evans. “If we find that the community … does not want the tool, we will unplug it.” BH


Community | 5

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

THI RD C A N D IDATE EN TERS F ULTON C OUNTY SHER IFF R ACE

A third candidate has entered the election for Fulton County sheriff. Charles Rambo, a retired lieutenant in the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, joins a race that includes incumbent Theodore “Ted” Jackson and Patrick Labat, the chief of the City of Atlanta Department of Corrections. Jackson, who has held the position since 2008, was re-elected in 2016, defeating a field of six challengers. Rambo, 51, began his law enforcement career in 1989 sworn as a sheriff’s deputy. Rambo served his entire professional career with the FCSO for over three decades, according to his campaign website. The election will be held on Nov. 3, 2020. The Fulton County jail has been controversial, with overcrowding causing some inmates to sleep on mattresses on the floor, according to the Associated Press.

AL DI GR OC ERY SEEKS TO A DD LA RGE RETAILER B ESID E IT

An Aldi grocery store that opened last year in Buckhead leased more space than it needs and is seeking to add a large retailer beside it. The plan involves carving a new storefront into what is now a blank wall between the Aldi and a PetSmart in the Buckhead Pavilion shopping center at 3221 Peachtree Road. The proposal was reviewed Nov. 6 by the Design Review Committee of Special Public Interest District 9, a zoning area in central Buckhead. Patti Wallis, a permit consultant representing property owner Coro Realty Advisors, said “I have no clue” who the pro-

posed retail tenant is. Coro Realty and Aldi did not respond to comment requests. About 21,000 square feet of Aldi’s non-retail space would be used by the new tenant after subdivision inside. The entire space was formerly a Sports Authority store. The DRC requested that the design include plenty of storefront windows. Coro is seeking a special administrative permit to allow the work, according to its application paperwork.

CITY’S NEW D EPA R TM ENT O F T R A NS P O R TAT IO N G ETS C HI EF, S TR AT EG IC P L A N

The city’s new Department of Transportation is setting the path for its first work, with its first commissioner appointed and a strategic plan released Nov. 13 by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The new “ATLDOT” combines previously separate staff from the departments of Public Works, City Planning and the Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST program. The new commissioner is Josh Rowan, previously head of Renew Atlanta. The new “Strategic Transportation Plan” has many short- and long-term goals for improving all types of travel: walking, driving, biking and using public transit. An early initiative is adopting a “Vision Zero” policy, meaning design principles for eliminating traffic-related deaths. Among the other elements of the plan are building more protected bicycle lanes; adding sidewalks and crosswalks; repaving 200 miles of roads a year and making faster pothole repairs; “reducing the footprint of parking” in the city; and working with MARTA on better bus service, including a “high-frequency bus network.”

KENYA JOHNSON FOR PROBATE COURT JUDGE

EDUCATION/ MEMBERSHIPS/ PROFESSIONAL AWARDS/ APPOINTMENTS Clark Atlanta University, Bachelor of Arts, 1995 South Texas College of Law,1998 Distinguished Leader Award, Fulton County Daily Report Chief Assistant District Attorney, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office Community Prosecutor of the Year, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, 2016 Community Service Award, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District, 2017 Chief Deputy Solicitor, Fulton County Solicitor General’s Office (2017-Current) State Bar of Georgia Judicial Nominating Committee, (2018-2020)

Member, Georgia Bar Association Member, Atlanta Bar Association, Probate Section Executive Board, Georgia Association Women Lawyers Foundation (2019-2020) Executive Board, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (2012-2017) Regional Director, National Black Prosecutors Association (2015-2019) Executive Committee, Gate City Bar Community Law Clinic (2012-2019)

“The Probate Court of Fulton County is a true ‘family court.’ From marriage licenses to guardianships for loved ones with mental health needs, Probate Court can help families grow and prosper. For 20 years, I have represented victims of crime, achieved justice for families after devastating crime events and protected public safety as a Community Prosecutor. When my dear mother passed, I was left to handle her business affairs through grief and bureaucracy. When loss and challenges arise, families need an effective, competent and compassionate court to guide them through difficult times. As a proven leader, I have the experience, knowledge and vision to take Probate Court into the future, increase efficiency and make probate services more accessible and convenient. In 2020, I ask for the privilege of your vote to serve as your next Probate Court Judge in Fulton County because family, either by blood or choice, means everything.

WWW.ELECTKENYAJOHNSON.COM BH

Kenya Johnson

Kenya Johnson Judicial Candidate Fulton County Probate Court

ENDORSEMENTS

ANDREW YOUNG Former U.S. Ambassor

MICHAEL LASCALA Partner LaScala & Aurora, LLP

KEITH E. GAMMAGE Fulton County Solicitor-General

RENEE ROCKWELL Legal Analyst


6 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

BeltLine creator holds contest for reimagining I-285’s uses BY JOHN RUCH The urban planning guru who dreamed up the Atlanta BeltLine is staging a contest for rethinking the car-centric uses of I-285 and turning the entire Perimeter highway into “A Bigger Better Loop.” Ryan Gravel launched the contest for the concepts Nov. 15 at Generator, his downtown nonprofit that serves as a brainstorming club. He was expected to announce winners and display their ideas Dec. 6. He circulated the contest on social media, using a graphic showing I-285 as a huge ring and the BeltLine as a smaller loop within it. SPECIAL In an interview, GravThe “Bigger Better Loop” design competition entry form el said the contest is just includes a graphic showing I-285 and the Atlanta BeltLine. for playful, casual fun and he’s aiming for farknowledging that one never knows where out concepts, while at the same time acbrainstorming might lead. After all, that’s

don’t have to build anything new. You how the BeltLine came about 20 years could take the middle lanes.” ago, an anniversary that is the occasion Regarding GDOT’s current plan, he for the I-285 contest. This year also hapsaid he understands the benefits of chargpens to be the 50th anniversary of I-285. ing for driving and that cars will persist in “I do like the idea of rethinking I-285. American culture, but that toll lanes raise It could do more than just carry cars,” questions about equity, lifestyle and the said Gravel. “…So I like the idea of 285 befuture of transportation. “I’d rather start coming something that people love. And in a more aspirational I don’t know what it would place and just sort of go take to do that. I definitely design something for evthink that it’s possible and erybody,” he said. “At the I don’t think that it comes, end of the day, toll lanes necessarily, at the expense are still for cars, right? I of cars.” just don’t think that or“The thesis of the Atlandinary cars are the futa BeltLine was that adaptature.” tion of underutilized infra“The magic of the structure could make a new FILE BeltLine is that it is abway of life possible in AtlanRyan Gravel. solutely a transportation ta,” says Gravel’s contest anproject,” he said, “but it starts with [the nouncement. “Inspired by the success of question of] what kind of life we’d like to that proposition, Generator is asking you lead.” to pitch your ideas for transformation of Gravel’s contest calls for clear, concise Atlanta’s larger loop: Interstate 285.” concepts that Generator can publicize “Early advocates for the Atlanta Beltand adapt. Winners will get unspecific Line were proposing a wildly ambitious awards “in a range of categories.” He said idea for a loop of land they didn’t own, that won’t be taken too seriously. to be transformed by money they didn’t His idea is that all submissions will be have, in a political climate that – at the hung on the wall and some judges he’ll time – was hostile to everything they were gather will choose winners in categoproposing,” the announcement says. “Givries that may be whimsical. He reeled off en that, Generator’s hope for this compesuch ideas as, “Best for People,” “Best for tition is that you not burden your idea the Planet,” “Best Utopia” and “Best Dyswith today’s politics, budgets or other topia.” constraints. It could be anything – think The prize part is playful, too. What will big and be creative.” the winners get? Perhaps a driving tour of I-285 gets prominent discussion in the Perimeter? “Honestly, it just occurred Gravel’s acclaimed 2016 book “Where to me today, what will people be expectWe Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastrucing? I might craft something… But it’s goture for a New Generation of American ing to be handmade for sure,” he said, Cities.” Gravel is a Chamblee native who adding with a laugh, “But I do like the idea says his family moved there because of of a personal tour of 285.” the suburban development the Perimeter Gravel apparently was introduced to made possible. “I grew up 285… We drove the idea of rethinking I-285 in 2017, when to Perimeter Mall when there were cows he made a keynote speech to the Sanacross the street,” he said. dy Springs Conservancy, a parks advoThe latest solid plan for the future of cacy group, on the night that part of I-85 I-285 is the Georgia Department of Transburned in a notorious fire. During the portation is embarking on a massive and event, conservancy Executive Director controversial plan to add toll lanes to the Melody Harclerode asked about the futop end of the Perimeter. Brookhaven, ture of I-285 and its possible alternative Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and other area uses. However, in the recent interview, he cities are advocating that transit buses said he doesn’t recall the exchange. use the lanes as well. Gravel said the toll “Y’all are so lucky to have Melody here lanes were not an inspiration for the conbecause I’ve never heard that question…. test and made it clear he’s not a fan. But I love it,” Gravel said at the time. “I “The toll lanes are fine. But to me, we love the idea of rethinking 285.” should be jumping ahead to transit and “It’s a public space,” he continued, sugbeing real about transit,” he said. “I just gesting that some of its many lanes be don’t get that. I don’t get those [toll lanes].” used for something other than cars. “Instead of thinking of it as a barrier beLike officials in the top end Perimetween ITP and OTP [inside and outside ter cities, Gravel suggest bus rapid transit the Perimeter], think of it as a place that on western I-285 in his work on the city people come to somehow.” of Atlanta’s urban planning vision book. Generator is based at 828 Ralph McGill He said such projects as a rail line ringing Boulevard in Atlanta. For more informathe Perimeter could be a transformative tion about Generator, see generatorcity. connection between metro Atlanta comorg. munities. “You could do it,” he says. “You

HAVE YOU NOTICED HAVE YOU NOTICED ANAN HAVE YOU NOTICED AN ABNORMAL PINK BROWN ABNORMAL PINK OROR BROWN ABNORMAL PINK OR BROWN SPOT, PATCH, OR MOLE? SPOT, MOLE? SPOT, PATCH, PATCH, OR OR MOLE?

IGNORING THE SIGNS COULD BE FATAL. IGNORING IGNORING THE THE SIGNS SIGNS COULD COULD BE BE FATAL. FATAL.

TOTAL SKIN HEALTH TOTAL SKIN HEALTH TOTAL SKIN HEALTH CONTACT US TO SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT

CONTACTUS USTO TO SCHEDULE SCHEDULE YOUR YOUR APPOINTMENT CONTACT APPOINTMENT

Georgia Dermatology Partners Georgia  Dermatology Partners 3925 Peachtree Road, Suite 200, Georgia  Dermatology Partners 3925Peachtree Peachtree Road, Suite Brookhaven, GA  200, 30319 3925 Road, Suite 200, Brookhaven, GA  30319 Tel: (770) 736-5206 Brookhaven, GA  30319 Tel: (770) 736-5206 Tel: (770) 736-5206

BH


Commentary | 7

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs line and writes about people whose lives inspire others. Contact her at worthknowingnow@gmail.com.

Sandy Springs resident joins the ‘Georgia Gang’ The table on the set of the state’s lonand 2007. I was told it was nonpartisan, but gest-running TV issues show, “The Georgia I saw a lot of President Obama’s stuff being Gang,” now has a new occucirculated. I didn’t understand. pant of the middle seat: Sandy That didn’t really seem nonSprings resident Janelle partisan.” CarolKing. Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the DunwoodyAs anyone who hasSandy watched Nevertheless, she was imSprings line and writes about people whose lives inspire others. Contact her at worthknowingnow@gmail.com. the 37-year-old Sunday mornpressed by Obama and his ing talk show on FOX 5 knows, ground game. the panel consists of two com“I looked up to him and votmentators from the political ed for him the first time, even left, two from the right and a though I didn’t agree with evmoderator. erything he stood for,” she said. King, 35, joined the show “It was historical.” in August and, as the show’s But having been born in youngest panelist, offers a Connecticut and raised in youthful perspective. An North Carolina in “a totally SPECIAL Janelle King, the avowed Republican political non-political family,” she realnewest member of activist and President Trump ized she didn’t know what ei“The Georgia Gang.” supporter, she seems reasonther party stood for and decidable and thoughtful, perhaps ed to find out. because of how she became a Republican. “I researched both parties based on the It began at North Carolina A&T State values I was raised with -- school choice, perUniversity, the top-ranked historically black sonal responsibility, small government, procollege in the state. life. That’s when I said, ‘I’m a Republican.’” “When I was a junior,” she said, “I saw a She voted for Mitt Romney the next time. voter registration drive happening in 2006 So new was she to politics that she didn’t re-

alize how few minority voters nationwide agreed with her. “I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I thought everyone had a right to decide,” she said. She moved to Atlanta jobless in 2007 to pursue her interest in politics and had a job within a month. A friend warned that her political views could make life difficult. Her response was to be more “vocal,” not less. If she as a young black woman identified with conservative values, might other minority voters feel the same way when exposed to Republican policies? “I went on a mission working with the state party as a volunteer educating our community,” she said. Thus began her career as a volunteer event organizer bringing Republican leaders into minority communities in Georgia’s smaller towns. The event she’s proudest of was in 2015 at a community center in East Point for minority small-business owners, where she brought in then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp. “He was my first bigname person,” she said, “and I got a lot of pushback for inviting him.” She is now a paid staffer of the Georgia Republican Party. She was in the capacity-filled room at the World Congress Center when Trump launched “Black Voices for Trump” on Nov. 8. Trump invited her husband, Kelvin King, to the dais to talk about growing a successful general contracting firm from his bedroom to its own 12,000-square-foot office building in just seven years. On the dais with him, King said she

was proud of her husband and grateful to Trump for helping to make it all possible. She told me her only regret was that “the room wasn’t big enough.” With such conservative credentials, how does she get along with the other two African American commentators on “The Georgia Gang,” Alexis Scott and Tharon Johnson, who are both staunch liberals? “It’s a respect factor,” she said. “I may disagree with Alexis and Tharon’s opinions, but I respect them.” She has particular respect for Scott, a longtime respected journalist who for 17 years served as editor-in-chief and publisher of the Atlanta Daily World, the nation’s first successful black-owned daily newspaper, founded in 1928 by her grandfather, W. A. Scott II. “Alexis endured a lot so that I don’t have to,” she said. “I appreciate that because of what she’s done, I can go my own way.” King has no desire to run for office. Instead, her goal is to recruit and help minority candidates who want to run as Republicans. “Demographics are shifting,” she said. “The Republican Party has to grow in diversity.” “You may not agree with who represents the party at this time, but it doesn’t change the foundational values the party stands on,” she said. “It’s a value system no matter who’s in office.”

WORTHWHILE CONVERSATIONS RE-THINKING ROTH IRAS… ROTH IRAS ARE NOT EXACTLY NEW. WHAT IS THERE TO “RE-THINK?” More to the point: Some people should re-think the use of Roth IRAs. Start by remembering two key differences between Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs. First, money contributed to a Roth has already been taxed. BUT, if you conform to the rules, everything you ever withdraw, including earnings that might be many times what was contributed, is completely tax-free. Second, unlike traditional IRAs, there is NO requirement to withdraw minimum distributions from a Roth IRA after reaching age 70-1/2. YOU SAID “SOME PEOPLE” MIGHT NEED A RE-THINK. WHO SPECIFICALLY? After 48 years of working with clients, we’ve now advised through the full cycle of IRA drawdowns for some of our longer-tenured families. Oftentimes, we encounter meaningful balances left in these IRA accounts when the estate passes to the next generation. Those clients were well enough positioned for retirement that they did not “need” all the funds in their IRA. That is the opportunity. SO, HOW DOES THAT CONNECT TO THE ROTH IRA? Phillip Hamman, CFP®, CFA, chairs our Wealth Planning Committee, a group of our professionals with multiple professional backgrounds, including attorneys and CPAs. He summarized the connection in this way: “Clients approaching or just starting retirement may forecast that IRA accounts will not be fully withdrawn during their lifetime, leaving a balance for heirs. Until seeing the numbers, it is difficult for them to imagine the potential wealth enhancement from a Roth conversion. The strategy of converting all or a portion of a

(Left to Right: Bill Kring, CFP®; Michelle O’Leary; Tamara Wagner; MaryJane LeCroy, CFP®) traditional IRA and paying some tax now is counter-intuitive, but the savings accumulated over many years can be substantial.” Each person’s situation is unique, and running the numbers is critical. WHAT ARE THE PITFALLS? Make sure you have experienced and well-trained eyes preparing the analysis. This is an area where it is essential to rely upon an advisor who is 100% committed to the fiduciary business model, which puts the client’s interest first. Do not rely on “analysis” from anyone with a product selling motivation. Our experienced team of financial professionals are ready to sit down at our Atlanta office to visit about the potential.

2727 Paces Ferry Road SE Building TWO, Suite 1475 Atlanta, Georgia 30339 770 333 0113 www.linscomb-williams.com


8 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Panel recalls FBI, AJC roles in case of Richard Jewell, Olympics bombing hero turned suspect BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

PREMIER CIGAR LOUNGE

Experience the art and style of cigar smoking.

Cuban and American Cuisine Open for Lunch

Enjoy Live Jazz Entertainment With Classic Vocals Tuesday & Wednesday 6pm - 9pm Friday & Saturday 8pm - 11pm

Sports Viewing in a Relaxed Atmosphere Additional new lounge seating State of the art exhaust system Convenient, free parking

We can accomodate your private or corporate events. Contact the general manager for details. Monday - Saturday | Noon until... Late night Sunday | Noon until 10 pm

www.thehavanacigarlounge.com Follow us on 6010 Sandy Springs Circle Sandy Springs, GA 30328 | 404-500-2483

ator John Pruitt, a former WSB-TV news anchor, read a Facebook post from Dana Jewell praising the book and saying, “I made a promise to Richard when he died, I would tell his story.” The Olympics were a watershed moment for Atlanta, stirring local pride, at-

One of the dark moments in Atlanta’s history, the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing, grew darker still when the FBI and major media wrongly fingered heroic security guard Richard Jewell as the bomber. A Nov. 12 panel discussion at the Atlanta History Center about “The Suspect,” a new book telling Jewell’s story, was a historic moment in itself, gathering significant figures from the case onstage and in the audience. Drawing a crowd of hundreds, the event was partly SPECIAL a preemptive strike Richard Jewell, right, joined by attorney L. Lin Wood at a on how Atlanta 2006 event where Jewell was honored by Gov. Sonny Perdue may be portrayed as a rescue hero of the Atlanta Olympics bombing. in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming movie about Jewell, partly a lectracting international media attention, ture on history and Jewell’s life, and partly building venues ranging from modern an emotional reflection on an investigalandmarks to white elephants, and sparktion gone astray while the real bomber esing massive downtown redevelopment caped to continue his crimes. Jewell died and gentrification. The History Center is at age 44 in 2007. the official repository of Games artifacts “The Suspect” co-authors Kent Alexanand is in the midst of remaking its Olymder, who was Atlanta’s chief federal prospics exhibit for a 2020 debut. ecutor at the time, and Kevin Salwen, the The bombing is part of that history, Wall Street Journal’s regional editor durand commemorations of Jewell’s heroic ing the Olympics, were on the panel. So role are increasing. On July 27, 1996, terwas Bert Roughton, a former Atlanta Jourrorist Eric Rudolph planted a pipe bomb nal-Constitution editor involved in the pain Centennial Olympic Park. Jewell, a seper’s decision to reveal Jewell as the FBI’s curity guard who lived on Buford Highsuspect. Roughton said it was the first way, discovered the bomb and led an eftime he had discussed the controversial fort to clear the area before it exploded. story before an audience. One person was killed and many injured, “I know that a lot of people secondbut Jewell’s effort is credited with savguess and say, ‘Oh, we would never do ing many more lives. Rudolph went on to that,’” said Roughton about publishing the bomb an Atlanta lesbian bar and abortion Jewell scoop, based on leaked information clinics in Sandy Springs and Alabama, obtained by the late reporter Kathy Scrugkilling two more people, and became a fugs. “I don’t believe that there’s a red-bloodgitive until his 2003 capture. The Georgia ed American journalist who, in that same World Congress Center recently said that set of circumstances, wouldn’t have gone a plaque honoring Jewell will be placed in ahead and published the story. …That’s the park next year, according to the Atlannot to say that what happened to Richard ta Business Chronicle. Jewell after that wasn’t awful. A new take on the bombing and its af“There was absolutely a rush to judgtermath is about to enter popular culment in the media and law enforceture: Eastwood’s movie “Richard Jewell” is ment…,” said Alexander, while also descheduled for release on Dec. 13. In a rescribing Jewell as a valid suspect. “So, rush cent AJC essay, Roughton voiced anxiety to judgment, yes. But should Richard Jewabout how the film might portray Jewell ell have been a suspect? Yes, also.” and Scruggs. Among those in the audience were Pruitt echoed that sentiment early in Watson Bryant, Jewell’s defense attorthe panel discussion, cautioning that the ney; Dana Jewell, the widow of Richard; film “will be Hollywood’s version of what Bill Rankin, an AJC reporter who co-wrote happening in our town in that horrible a crucial story casting doubt on Jewell’s time.” He said Alexander and Salwen’s guilt; and George Hamilton, who said he book gives the “truly objective” story. was Scruggs’ partner before her death in Alexander noted that he and Salwen 2001 at age 42. served as advisers on Eastwood’s project, During the discussion, panel moderthough they have yet to see it. “I would


Community | 9

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

JOHN RUCH

From left, panelists Bert Roughton, former senior managing editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and “The Suspect” co-authors Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen, joined by moderator John Pruitt, listen to an introduction by Atlanta History Center President and CEO Sheffield Hale at the Nov. 12 panel discussion.

just encourage everybody not to prejudge the movie,” Alexander said. Salwen said the book leaves moral lessons up to the readers to conclude, because “it’s not so, necessarily, black-andwhite.” The FBI’s obsession with Jewell was one of those gray areas, Alexander and Salwen said. Jewell was one of three major suspects, Alexander said, but added that the FBI had some cause to zero in on him with their theory that he planted the bomb to look like a hero. But the FBI also delayed the use of other evidence while focusing on Jewell, Alexander said. One witness described a suspect at the bomb scene who later was

confirmed to be Rudolph. “That will haunt me forever,” Alexander said. At the AJC, Scruggs’ scoop about the investigation turned into the paper’s most notorious and controversial story. Roughton strongly defended its publication, while acknowledging some mixed feelings and certain personal qualms he had with it then and now. He also disagreed with Alexander and Salwen’s assertions that the paper may have rushed the story due to competitive pressure. “Fine, I’m happy to be a piñata,” Roughton joked at one point. But he later said, “We lose track of the fact that we’re writContinued on page 10

one little box

BEST LOBSTER ROLL

OYSTERS * HALF-PRICED Monday & Tuesday

CHECK OUT OUR DAILY LUNCH SPECIALS

order online www.crab404.com

Private space available for Holiday parties CALL 770-457-7161 TO RESERVE

CRAB404 | 4969 Roswell Road | (770) 457-7161

Destination

Designer Jewelry Custom Shop Jewelry Repair

all the wife insurance you could possibly need.

consignment & Estate Appraisals Insurance Replacement www.lauderhills.com

Celebrating over 53 years in fine jewelry

2090 Dunwdy Club Drive Suite 107 Sandy Springs, GA 30350

770.396.0492


10 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Panel recalls FBI, AJC roles in case of Richard Jewell, Olympics bombing hero turned suspect Continued from page 9 ing about people,” and that his favorite part of “The Suspect” was learning more about Jewell as a person. “He had become a public character in a story that had this extremely bizarre twist and also at the same time [was] the biggest story on Earth,” Roughton said in defense of the Jewell investigation scoop. “… I still believe that we did the right thing. We had an American citizen who was being pursued by the full apparatus of the American government in some way. And this is debatable, but I would argue that we have an obligation to put some daylight on that.” But that doesn’t mean the editing and publication process was easy. Roughton was one of several AJC staffers involved before then Managing Editor John Walter made the decision to publish. “It was a very difficult discussion, I have to say,” Roughton said. “Part of what I want to personally be careful about is not becoming defensive… There are a lot of good questions around what we did at the time, and I think there are good journalistic questions about that, and those are important. And I think in the world we live in, they’re more important now than they may even have been then.” Roughton disputed Alexander and Sal-

wen’s repeated statements that Scruggs’ source was a leaker inside the FBI. Scruggs and co-reporter Ron Martz never revealed their sources, even when threatened with jail time in a subsequent libel lawsuit, and Roughton wouldn’t, either. “I won’t even acknowledge that there’s an FBI source, if there was one,” he said, though adding the source had “very deep firsthand knowledge of the FBI.” Debate over the AJC’s role comes down to whether the paper was too uncritical in reporting a mistaken suspicion. Alexander said the AJC was not aware that the FBI had other suspects as well. It was when all FBI officials stopped talking to the media that the AJC scored another scoop. Rankin, the AJC reporter, found that Jewell did not have time to both plant the bomb and to reach a pay phone used by the bomber to make a warning call. With officials not talking about the investigation, “that was the only reporting we could do,” Roughton said, and it helped to lead to Jewell’s exoneration. Jewell soon filed libel lawsuits against several major media outlets, including the AJC, CNN and NBC News. In a long and fierce case involving prominent Buckhead attorney L. Lin Wood, among others, the AJC finally emerged victorious in 2011 and was the only media outlet not to settle with Jewell or his estate.

LO CAL M EM O R IES O F A TER R O R I S T’S B O M B I NG S P R EE While security guard Richard Jewell was briefly suspected of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, the real perpetrator was right-wing terrorist Eric Rudolph. After the Olympics, Rudolph went on to bomb an LGBTQ nightclub in Atlanta and two medical clinics that performed abortions, one in Alabama and one in Sandy Springs. The Sandy Springs bombing on Jan. 16, 1997, at an office building at 275 Carpenter Drive, was the first use of his tactic of setting off a delayed second bomb in an attempt to kill first responders. He was captured in the North Carolina mountains in 2003 and is serving a life sentence in a federal “supermax” prison. Here are some memories about the Olympics and Sandy Springs bombings. If you have memories you would like to share, email editor@reporternewspapers.net and we may use them in a future story. Centennial Olympic Park bombing MITCH LEFF Then: Public relations rep for Olympics sponsors; Now: President and CEO, Leff & Associates public relations I was working for a local public relations agency, representing several major Olympic sponsors. That day was a busy one and I had fallen asleep on my couch with the TV on when I got

a call from a friend checking to see if I was OK. She thought I was working down at Centennial Olympic Park that night. Initially, Jewell was hailed as a hero for getting people away from the bomb and I was part of the team that was fielding media calls and setting up interviews with him. That lasted for a day or so. When he was named a suspect, we had to stop. Sandy Springs bombing STEVE ROSE Then: Fulton County police officer; Now: Retired Sandy Springs police captain My car was there, but I was not. I left a day earlier on vacation to Lake Tahoe. At the time, I was assigned as security for Fulton Commission Chairman Mitch Skandalakis. He told my sub to take him to the bomb site. They parked beside another car near a dumpster. They were standing in the parking lotwhen a second bomb went off in or next to the dumpster. The car next to mine took the brunt of it, but the blast was so strong my car assumed it was a collision and activated the fuel shutoff valve, disabling the car from starting. That Crown Vic never worked right again.

Holiday Brunch

& Bubbly

You’re Invited! 55+ ACTIVE ADULT APARTMENT HOMES

Enjoy a holiday brunch, bubbly, and live entertainment! Meet the team at our beautiful 55+ active adult apartment home community!

SAturday december 21ST 11Am - 3pm RSVP by Dec 16th

855-971-2436 OvertureBuckheadSouth.com 658 Lindbergh Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30324

Overture is an equal housing opportunity. Amenities and services vary by location. See a Greystar representative for details.

55+


Art & Entertainment | 11

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Publisher’s e-book embargo will limit reader access, librarians say, joining national protest BY KEVIN C. MADIGAN A major book publisher has announced it is curtailing public libraries’ access to ebooks, and librarians in DeKalb and Fulton counties are joining those nationally pushing back. The new embargo by Macmillan Publishers took effect Nov. 1. It limits libraries to just one copy of newly released titles in digital formats, followed by an eight-week hold on buying additional copies. Since the Macmillan decision, publishers Blackstone Audio, Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster have announced plans to implement similarly restrictive programs. Alison Weissinger, director of the DeKalb County Public Library, said that her system is figuring out the best tactic for resisting the embargo and other increasing restrictions on digital media. “We’re working together to push back against the publishers and let them know that none of us like this and that some in the [nationwide] system are choosing to boycott,” she said. “We need some kind of solution that’s going to be more fair to public libraries, and a fair model to provide what our patrons want.” The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System in a recent newsletter highlighted Macmillan’s e-book move and encouraged patrons to email the publishers “in support of public libraries and against the embargo.” The newsletter said the embargo will result in longer wait times for titles to appear and to be available on holds. Director Gabriel Morley said in a written statement that the system “is hopeful that the embargo of Macmillan titles will be of minimal consequence to our patrons.” Macmillan says the embargo is protecting its revenue streams. In a letter to authors and agents on July 25, the company said: “Historically we have been able to balance the great importance of libraries with the value of your work. The current e-lending system does not do that. We believe our new terms are a step toward reestablishing that balance.” Among Macmillan’s recent e-book releases are Elton John’s biography “Me” and “In Hoffa’s Shadow,” a well-reviewed memoir about a suspect in the disappearance of Teamsters Union head Jimmy Hoffa. Julie Walker, state librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service, said the embargo is a significant restriction. She said it “will harm readers across Georgia, because all libraries, no matter the size of the community they serve, will be limited to one copy. That means one copy to share for the 1 million people living in Atlanta/Fulton County. “Clearly, this policy negatively impacts those in our communities who rely on libraries for access to books and resources they couldn’t afford otherwise. This issue impacts all users of Georgia’s 407 public libraries,” she said. There is little doubt that the popularity of books in digital formats has skyrocketBH

ed. Pew Research says one in five adults in the United States has listened to an audiobook and one in four has read an e-book, continuing a six-year trend of double-digit growth. “Like many industries, libraries have been disrupted by the technological revolution,” said Walker. “Over the past five years, the popularity of e-books has exploded. What once began as a complementary collection to our core print collection has become an essential service for many. ” The Washington, D.C.-based Urban Libraries Council responded to the embargo with a statement saying it “strongly opposes the recent decisions of major e-book and e-audiobook publishers to impose increased restrictions on digital lending models for libraries..” Weissinger asaid that a number of public libraries around the country are actively boycotting Macmillan and other publishers as a result of the embargo, “but we’ve decided we’re not going to go there yet. “We’re watching the situation,” she said. “This is just one more thing in a string of restrictions on how we are able to buy and distribute digital content.”

Bariatric Innovations Bariatric Innova of Atlanta & General Surgery

of Atlanta & General Surg Regain Your Health & Mobility!

An Advanced Weight Loss Practice Call or visit: 404-250-6691 BariatricInnovationsAtl.com

We specialize in non-invasive, minimallyinvasive and robotic techniques for advanced weight loss and general surgery procedures. Let Dr. Srinivasa Gorjala, a boardcertified physician, and our on-site dietician help you to live to your full potential with one of our medical or surgical weight loss programs.

Procedures We Offer • Robotic Surgery • Gastric Sleeve • LAP-BAND ® System • LINX® Reflux System • Non-Surgical Gastric Balloons • Thyroid/Parathyroid Surgery • Gallbaldder Surgery • Hernia Repair • Non-Surgical Weight Loss

6135 Barfield Road, Suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30328

Luxury Senior Living • CorsoAtlanta.com • 404-891-9190 • Buckhead


12 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Activist explains carbon fee and dividend proposal intended to impact climate change BY KEVIN C. MADIGAN

b u c k h e a d

Accepting New Patients! Primary Care of Brookhaven is a full-service primary care practice providing the highest quality care possible to families of the Brookhaven and the Atlanta Metro Area. Our board-certified physicians, Dr. Jennifer Burkmar and Dr. Jeffrey Reznik provide care for the whole patient, and offer a full range of family medicine services, including: • Primary Care for Patients of All Ages Including Newborns • Immunizations for Children and Adults • Acute Illness Care & Chronic Disease Management • School & Sport Physicals • Women’s Health Services • Preventative Health Consultations We take pride in serving each patient with personalized attention and care, accept most insurance plans, and offer same day appointments for sick visits.

Jennifer Burkmar, MD, MBA, FA AFP

Jeffrey Reznik, MD, FA AFP

Call 404-365-6500 for an appointment • 4062 Peachtree Road, Suite C, Brookhaven, GA 30319 Prim ary C areofBrookhaven.com

A bill to combat the effects of climate change introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year was the subject of a Rotary Club of Sandy Springs presentation on Nov. 18. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (H.R. 763) proposes a fee on fossil fuels at sources, such as wells and ports, with the money being distributed to each citizens as a dividend to spend however they like. The idea is to tax carbon emissions at their source to promote innovation of clean energy technology and reduce greenhouse gasses. The bill is largely based on a motion of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which describes itself as a grassroots advocacy organization focused on national climate change policies, and was represented at the Rotary luncheon by guest speaker Donna Melcher. “Climate change is considered a threat-multiplier,” said Melcher. “Things that were already problems are becoming worse due to climate change - whether it’s farmers who can’t sustain their farms because of drought, or people who are disadvantaged and are running from severe weather events, or disease that’s spreading because temperatures are hotter. Those who are least able to adapt to a changing climate are the ones that are most impacted.” Many of the effects of global warming will be felt in the Southeastern United States “because of our coastal areas,” she said, adding that between $38.2 billion and $68.7 billion worth of coastal property will be under the sea by the year 2050. “It’s something we need to pay attention to,” Melcher said. “There is 97% agreement among scientists that greenhouse gasses are mostly caused by humans. It’s serious.” Rotary International has been increasingly active of late regarding climate change, Melcher noted, with programs in place on family planning, young girls’ education and regenerative agriculture, among others. “The carbon fee and dividend plan has gotten a lot of people excited and is getting bipartisan support because it’s good for the environment, the economy and for people, and it’s healthy for the planet. It’s revenue neutral too which means it doesn’t grow the government,” she said. That bipartisan support is not readily apparent, however, with U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida being the sole nonDemocrat listed in Congressional records as a co-sponsor of H.R. 763. Melcher said that members of Con-

gress from Georgia who support it include Rep. Lucy McBath of the local 6th District and Rep. Sanford Bishop of the 2nd District of the Columbus and Macon areas. The proposed carbon fee for the first year would be $15 per metric ton of carbon-dioxide-equivalent. The fee increases by $10 per ton each year ($15 if emission targets are not met) and the fee ceases when emissions reach 10 percent of 2016 levels. According to the official description of the bill, the money collected from the carbon fee would be allocated in equal shares monthly to citizens to spend as they see fit. Program costs are paid from the fees collected, and the Department of the Treasury does not keep any of the funds other than administration costs. Melcher suggested dividend recipients could use the money “to defray energy costs, or they can use it to reduce their carbon footprint, or buy a new energy-efficient car. Whatever they want; it’s their choice.” The concept of the plan is to give a stable signal to the market that the cost of carbon is going to include all its other factors, including the cost of pollution, thus spurring innovation in the clean energy field. Under the policy, goods imported into the United States would be assessed a border carbon adjustment, and exported goods would receive a refund. Military and agricultural use of carbon is exempted from the plan. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby estimates 114,000 lives are lost annually in this country due to air pollution, and that 295,000 lives would be saved through 2030 with improved air quality. An attendee at the Rotary event questioned Melcher about the detrimental effects the bill could have on the fossil fuel industry. She responded that Exxon, British Petroleum and Shell Oil have all expressed support for the initiative. Another member was skeptical about the model and didn’t see how the government could be trusted to implement it correctly. “The reason it’s going through the Treasury [Department] is so we can use existing channels for distributing checks properly,” Melcher replied. “British Columbia [in Canada] has had this type of program for about 10 years, quite successfully. It’s had a dramatic impact on emissions.” The North Atlanta Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby meets every third Thursday of the month at 6:45 p.m. at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, 4055 Roswell Road in Buckhead.

BH


Community | 13

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

99-year-old GDOT ‘legend’ and WWII veteran tours I-285/Ga. 400 interchange project

PHOTOS BY HANNAH GRECO

Wendell Lawing, center, surveys GDOT’s “Transform 285/400” interchange project during a tour guided by project manager Marlo Clowers, right, and joined by his son, Mike Lawing, left.

“I can say he truly enjoyed his tenure with the DOT,” Mike Lawing said of his father’s career. “He was always very pleasant and upbeat about what he was doing.” During their tour together, Clowers and Lawing realized many commonalities, including that both graduated from Georgia Tech with civil engineering degrees. Clowers said although there have been changes over the years, Lawing’s ideas are still being used today, including his design of Georgia’s first curved steel girder, a structure used for building bridges. “We are still using…the curved steel,” Clowers said. “I had something to do with that,” Lawing said with a grin. Now, Lawing resides at Dunwoody Place, a senior living community in Brookhaven, and remains passionate about engineering. “It is all just wonderful,” Lawing said. “I learned so much today.”

Wendell Lawing, left, and Marlo Clowers pose for a photo during a tour of Georgia Department of Transportation’s “Transform 285/400” interchange project.

BY HANNAH GRECO hannah@reporternewspapers.net

To many metro-Atlanta residents, the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction project is considered a nuisance. But to Wendell Lawing, a 99-year-old former state bridge engineer for the Georgia Department of Transportation and a World War II veteran, it is a sight to see. “I have been around a century and I have seen a lot of changes,” Lawing said during a Nov. 7 tour of the “Transform 285/400” project guided by project manager Marlo Clowers. Lawing is considered a legend by the state transportation department, paving the way for the designs of the I-285/I-85 interchange known today as Spaghetti Junction, among other accomplishments during his career. But before he began his more than 30-year tenure with GDOT, Lawing was an aircraft radio operator and, after being gunned down, a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II. In 1943, before Lawing’s crew’s departure overseas, his girlfriend Mary caught a train from Chattanooga, Tenn., to where he was stationed in Sioux Falls, S.D., to ask to marry him. “She got in touch with Dad and said, ‘I am here and think we should get married before you get shipped overseas,’” said Mike Lawing, Wendell Lawing’s son. Lawing could not get a pass to leave his base, so he took what he called an “opportune point” and hopped the fence to get married, all without getting caught. “That was quite a feat,” Lawing said. The couple was married for 75 years, up until Mary’s death in October 2018. “Can anybody believe it,” Lawing said. “We had been together in high school.” In 1945, the plane carrying Lawing and his crewmates, a B-17 “Flying Fortress,” was shot down in Berlin and he was captured by the Germans. “The awful thing about it was we had two crew members killed in that engagement,” Lawing said. He was a prisoner of war for a little over a year. After being freed, Lawing returned to Atlanta and enrolled at Georgia Tech, graduated with a civil engineering degree, and began working for GDOT. Lawing was a career GDOT employee, meaning he stayed with the department up until retirement, working his way up from being a bridge designer to become the state bridge engineer. BH

Health care for women by women 404-257-0170

PremierCareForWomen.com

Our team of experienced physicians provides comprehensive gynecologic services, in a compassionate environment, throughout every stage of a woman’s life. • Annual Well-Woman Exams

Welcome Dr. Jaclyn Friedman!

• Menopausal Care • Cervical Cancer Screenings • HPV Vaccinations • Hormone Replacement Therapy • Minimally Invasive Hysterectomies • Contraception Management • Other Gynecological Issues

Dr. Eva Arkin Dr. Sujatha Reddy Dr. Laura Cummings

Dr. Nadine Becker Dr. Jennifer Lyman Dr. Jaclyn Friedman

960 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30342


14 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

A Slice of Good Cheer

After PDK crash, residents question safety and who pays for damage BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

purchase of $25 or more

Sandy Springs 5975 Roswell Rd, Suite A-103 (404) 236-2114

NothingBundtCakes.com Expires 12/31/19. Limit one (1) coupon per guest. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. $5 off $25 before tax. Valid only at the bakery(ies) listed. Valid only on baked goods; not valid on retail items. No cash value. Coupon may not be reproduced, transferred or sold. Internet distribution strictly prohibited. Must be claimed in bakery during normal business hours. Not valid for online orders. Not valid with any other offer.

SMALL WORKS THE ART OF GIFTING Give the gift of SCAD art this holiday season.

DEC. 3–28 SCAD Atlanta 1600 Peachtree St. NW Tuesday through Saturday | 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Dec. 24–25

P R E S E N T E D

B Y

scad.edu/smallworksatl

An explosion jolted John Patterson awake in his DeKalb County townhome on Oct. 30. As he and his dog Max fled the damaged building, he assumed a gas line had burst because so little was left of the real cause: a private airplane that crashed into his home shortly after takeoff from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. “I said, ‘Where’s the plane?’” Patterson recalled asking firefighters and other first responders. “They said, ‘We’re looking.’” The violent crash at 2421 Peachwood Circle near I-85 killed the pilot and a passenger. Debris smashed a huge hole in the roof of Patterson’s spare bedroom and fell through the floor into the kitchen below. Patterson and his neighbor, whose unit was badly damaged as well, were left temporarily homeless. That day, they joined the unlucky few who, despite only tiny risks, have had homes or cars hit by planes falling out of the sky as they leave or approach PDK. The accident has revived safety fears for some residents in the increasingly dense neighborhoods of Chamblee and Brookhaven around the county-run public airport on Clairmont Road. When a plane does hit a home, those on the ground face another form of risk and chance: Who pays for the cleanup and compensation? There is no federal requirement for private aircraft owners or operators to have liability insurance, and only 11 states – not including Georgia – mandate some form of financial guarantees in case of accidents. Total lack of insurance is rare, but insufficient insurance is a significant issue in crashes that often cause major injuries and property damage. Patterson was surprised to learn about the lack of a federal insurance mandate. “I thought, ‘I’ve been hit from behind in my car and I got compensated,’” he said. “You can get into a missile full of fuel [without insurance]?” Nearly a month after the accident, Patterson said his attorney was in talks with the pilot’s insurance company and had a hitch. The insurance company, he said, raised a question of whether the pilot was covered for the type of flying he may have been doing, primarily using instruments rather than by sight. Following the fatal crash in October, residents and officials dueled with accident statistics at a Nov. 18 meeting of the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport Advisory Board, debating just how safe it is to live near a facility that sees about 150,000 takeoffs and landings a year. PDK has a long history of accidents, including an infamous 1973 case where a jet crashed into a Buford Highway apartment building in what is now Brookhaven, killing seven people on the plane and severely injuring a resident with burning fuel. The plane crashed due to a bird strike, in turn blamed on a county-run

landfill next to the airport, and triggered a legal battle over airport legal liability that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to media reports. In the past 20 years, three residential properties have been hit by planes from PDK in DeKalb, Brookhaven/Chamblee and Lilburn. A total of 17 people have been killed in accidents in that time period, all pilots or passengers. Other planes from PDK have wrecked in residential or commercial areas or on highways. But that does not equate with significant or unusual risk to surrounding neighbors, said Edward Coleman, a professor and chair of the Robertson Safety Institute at the Arizona campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. “Statistically speaking, there isn’t much of a risk,” said Coleman about the odds of private planes hitting homes near airports. Crashes are few and, when fatal, typically kill people in the plane, not on the ground, he said. “Most accidents happen on or near the airport,” he said. PDK is one of roughly 3,000 general aviation airports around the country, meaning it serves civilian pilots rather than commercial or military aircraft. PDK’s services include personal, instructional, corporate, medical and charter flights. Commercial airports and airlines are under heavy federal regulation in terms of operations and training, while general aviation airports have fewer rules and are open to private pilots with widely varying levels of experience. According to National Transportation Safety Board statistics, general aviation aircraft are responsible for the vast majority – regularly over 95% -- of all U.S. accidents and fatalities. But the absolute numbers of fatalities are relatively small and trending downward nationally. According to the NTSB’s most recent compilations, there were 217 general aviation accident fatalities in the U.S. in 2018, and 207 so far this year. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association estimates there are more than 500,000 general aviation pilots licensed in the U.S. and about 220,000 aircraft. At the PDK Advisory Board meeting, the statistics presented by residents and officials were incomplete and open to interpretation. Resident Todd Delaune, a frequent critic of PDK noise, compiled Federal Aviation Administration reports that he said show PDK’s fatalities and “incidents” are nationally high. But incidents aren’t accidents, board members said, and Coleman later said that PDK’s fatality numbers don’t sound unusual. Airport Director Mario Evans presented incomplete fatality statistics, emphasizing that the number is low compared to the roughly 3.9 million takeoffs and landings at PDK since 1999. In a separate set of stats, Evans discussed a type of incident called “runway incursions” that are risky and sometimes damage aircraft or property, but which fall short of fullBH


Community | 15

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net blown accidents. The term refers to an unauthorized plane, person or vehicle on a runway. Incursions can range from minor incidents to near-misses with catastrophe. Evans acknowledged that, while the national rate of runway incursions is falling, PDK’s is not. He said 2018 was a “bad year here,” with 28 runway incursions, and 7 as of mid-2019. But, he said, those incidents are dangers at the airport, not in the surrounding neighborhoods. The underlying issue is ever increasing development around PDK, which started as a semi-rural military airport. Coleman said that mirrors national trends, where airports built in once-remote areas to mitigate safety and noise concerns are now attracting development on their boundaries. That increases the actual risk of crashes, Coleman said, as well as the phenomenon of residents moving nearby and starting to perceive safety and noise issues. On the other hand, Coleman said, general aviation aircraft are becoming safer in design and maintenance. In the 1950s, the era when PDK switched to civilian use, crashes “were way more routine,” Coleman said. “I don’t think [nearby development] is as a big a risk as it might have been” in that era. Low-risk is not no-risk, and some planes crash somewhere. People who suffer injuries or property damage may be stuck with bills. Commercial airlines in the U.S. have had mandatory insurance coverage rules

since the 1980s, but general aviation still does not. Many other countries mandate coverage, including Canada, Australia and the European Union’s member states. According to a 2015 U.S. Government Accountability Office report about a possible federal mandate, even the handful of states that require insurance coverage largely lack review or enforcement processes, so compliance is unknown. However, according to the report, total lack of insurance is rare. Under-insurance that fails to fully cover medical bills and damage is a more common problem, it said. Alan Armstrong, an aviation attorney based in DeKalb, is representing Patterson in seeking compensation for the Oct. 30 accident. Armstrong said he has turned down cases involving uninsured pilots, but agreed that under-insurance is an issue. He said that some beginner pilots can get only $100,000 in liability coverage, and that standard $1 million policies don’t always pay out the way that sounds. “From a liability standpoint, liability’s not an issue. An airplane crashed in a guy’s house,” Armstrong said of this

type of case. “It’s a fairly simple case once you figure out insurance.” One reason for the lack of a federal mandate is that many airports require liability insurance for aircraft based there. PDK, for example, requires a minimum of $1 million in liability coverage, according to DeKalb County spokesperson Leslie Agee. But that does not apply to aircraft visiting the airport – the pilot in the Oct. 30 crash was from North Carolina, according to county officials – and there may be devils in the details of the policies. Armstrong said the lack of a federal insurance mandate is largely because there has been no “national dilemma” – a major incident where under-insurance caused a problem.

Above, John Patterson stands next to the hole an airplane made in his spare bedroom in an Oct. 30 crash. (John Ruch) Top left, the debris of a plane that crashed in the front yard of a house on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road in 2008, killing the pilot, in a photo from a National Transportation Safety Board report. (Special)

What is home? Maybe it’s trying a new recipe with the grandkids. Maybe it’s catching up with a friend. Maybe it’s the aroma of freshly baked bread. We think it’s all of the above. Maybe that’s why so many people call Alto home.

Alto Buckhead 4804 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30342 Call 404-857-2058. AltoBuckhead.com BH

Alto Marietta 840 Lecroy Drive, Marietta, GA 30068 Call 770-884-7427.

Assisted Living and Memory Care

AltoMarietta.com


16 | 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 Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

C O N TAC T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Hannah Greco Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer Quinn Bookalam Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Cory Anne Charles Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Kevin C. Madigan, Phil Mosier, Carol Niemi, Clare S. Richie, Judith Schonbak, Jaclyn Turner

Free Home Delivery 60,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are mailed monthly to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and delivered to more than 200 business/retail locations. For delivery requests, please email delivery@reporternewspapers.net

Honored as a newspaper of General Excellence

2018 © 2019 with all rights reserved

Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Commentary: Police cameras are always watching More than 10,000 cameras are watching Atlanta for 24 hours a day and on every day of the year, according to the Atlanta Police Foundation. The foundation says the cameras, through a video surveillance program called Operation Shield, allow police “to prevent crimes before they happen and quickly solve them when they do.” Meanwhile, surveillance cameras have become a target of protests in such places as Hong Kong. We asked Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the foundation, a half-dozen questions about Operation Shield and camera surveillance. Here are his answers. Q: How and where does Operation Shield gather information for police?

Q: What benefits have local police seen from use of the cameras? Do you have any statistics for arrests made through use of cameras or before and after crime reports from areas that use the cameras?

Operation Shield consists of a network of cameras and license plate readers placed across the city that feed footage into the Atlanta Police DepartThe cameras provide APD ment’s (APD) Video Integrawith a “smart policing” tool tion Center. The program that can be used during or acts as both a preventative after a crime’s occurrence. and investigative measure The program has been infor crime. APD signage and strumental in solving some a signature blue light athigh-profile cases including tached to each camera serve the tragic homicide that ocas a crime deterrent to let curred in 2018 at the Barcepotential criminals know lona Wine Bar and the firethey are being watched. bombing of an APD officer’s Dave Wilkinson, home earlier this year. Areas Should a crime occur, the president and CEO of the where cameras are installed cameras provide real time Atlanta Police Foundation have experienced a 20%information to APD for increased situational aware50% reduction in crime. ness, as well as access to past Q: Who gets information from the camfootage for investigations. eras and how is it used? Q. How many cameras are now in operaThe camera footage belongs to the owntion and monitored by Operation Shield ers of the cameras themselves. Some of in the city of Atlanta? In metro Atlanta the cameras are owned by the city of At(if you know)? lanta, while others are privately funded There are nearly 11,000 Operation Shield by businesses and philanthropic organicameras placed throughout the city of Atzations. APD has access to the cameras lanta. Additional cameras are networked for real-time information, should a crime in from the city of Sandy Springs. We occur in the cameras’ views, and limithope to eventually expand the program ed access for a period of two weeks afterto other jurisdictions in the metro area. wards for the purpose of investigations.

Following this, footage needs to be requested from the camera owner. Q: Does Operation Shield use facial recognition software? Can the software used to operate cameras for Operation Shield be converted to use facial recognition software in the future? Operation Shield does not currently use facial recognition software. The Atlanta Police Foundation’s Technology Innovation Center researches and pilots multiple smart policing tools each year, but we are not currently working with a platform that incorporates that type of software. Q: In some places, such as China, cameras reportedly have been used to invade people’s privacy or to identify people who in some way are at odds with the government. What keeps that from happening here? All Operation Shield cameras – even privately funded cameras – exist in public spaces such as streets, sidewalks, public parking lots, parks, etc. They only record where the general public has free and unfettered access. The program is designed to be a “force multiplier,” increasing police presence and public space surveillance.

Letter to the Editor

If college athletes get paid, reward teams, not just superstars

Thank you for publishing the commentary “Amateur sports are worth saving” by Alan Chadwick in the September issue of theReporter. I appreciate your paper sharing a local football head coach’s perspective on a national topic.

I agree that the “pay for play” policy by the NCAA could open up many issues and problems for many college athletes. I most agree with the quote included in the commentary from Tim Tebow, that the game will become only about each individual player, instead of the team as a whole.

YOUR LOCAL DAILY NEWS ONLINE EVERY DAY

A better idea, I think, is to pay a reward to the whole team, not just the individual superstar. William Jablon Seventh grade Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School

CONNECTING COMMUNITIES

PODCASTS

LOCAL & UPDATED DAILY

reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily

represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

ReporterNewspapers.net BH


Commentary | 17

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Family ‘tree-dition’ brings the thrill of the last-minute Christmas tree If it’s Thanksgiving weekend and you’re reading this by the glow of your Christmas tree lights, then you won’t understand. My family is not one to eat the turkey and trim the tree in the same weekend. We like to push the envelope around here. We have our own tradition, which is that is that we wait until the Christmas aisles in the drugstore are packed up to make way for boxes of Valentine’s candy before we finally pick out the tree. The thing is, we’ve always chosen it together. We’d drive home with the tree strapped to the car, on, perhaps, a brisk December evening, and I’d turn on seasonal music, they’d move furniture, I’d pour drinks, they’d tarp the floor, I’d make food, they’d bring in the tree, my husband would pull out the ShopVac, and everyone would scatter. It was a sweet and manageable tradition when the kids were all younger, but it’s getting to be increasingly more difficult. It’s not that we venture to a tree farm in the Carolinas and chop it down ourselves. We just try to find an hour that we all agree on, and that is challenging enough. Each year, the kids are further away from home and arrive later in the month of December, and each year around the 17th, I launch a frantic campaign of texts and WhatsApps designed for us to choose a three-hour time slot during which we can convene for the annual (ahem) tree-dition. Robin Conte lives with her Last year, the appointed day was Dec. 23. We knew that the husband in an empty nest tree-nabbing window was quickly closing and we were cutin Dunwoody. To contact ting it dangerously close and that pickins would most likely be her or to buy her column slim, but we were fortified by the memory of the Tanenbaum collection, “The Best of the of 2004, a 12-foot-tall beauty which we bought at Home Depot Nest,” see robinconte.com. on Christmas Eve for 10 bucks. But last year, you may recall, was an especially wet one near Christmas, not the ideal conditions for peddling holiday greenery, and when we finally set out at 7 p.m. to our favorite tree lot (three-quarters of a mile from our house), we were stunned to find that the lot was completely closed. There was nary a pine needle in sight. We drove to the next one down the street, and it, too, was closed. Then, mild panic set in. We called Costco. No trees. Walmart. No trees. Home Depot. Yes, there were a few left. We drove in the rain to the tarped lot, where another forlorn family was picking in the rubble. On one side of the tent was a pile of trees, flopped on their sides, sacked out like a group of diehards on the final night of a three-day music festival. We picked through the pile, searching for a suitable tree. They were all soaked and puny, supposedly a bargain at $30. We each scouted around the debris as I got the sinking feeling that I would have to create a facsimile that season using a bicycle pump and some green felt. My son eyed a possibility in the midst of the pack and picked it up with one hand, giving it a little shake while needles tinkled to the ground like they did for Charlie Brown’s tree. The tree-lot guy agreed to 10 bucks for it (basically $2.50 a foot), and we took it home and mounted it on a stool. It held approximately 1/154 the amount of ornaments we had, which meant that we decorated it in 15 minutes, and -- even better -- a few weeks later, it came down in an hour. Now I know the appeal of a tabletop tree. And now, I really do feel old.

20 W i To GA & 19, nn p Pr 20 20 er C e 1 18 ol ss 7 um A ni ssn st !

Robin’s Nest

Read Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newspapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and first-place for Humorous column in 2018 from the Georgia Press Association.

Order the book at bestofthenest.net Follow Robin’s book-related appearances at robinconte.com. BH

Suite Vıew. The Suites. Singular service, style and peace of mind.

There’s an elevated and CARF® accredited version of assisted living that can be found in only one incomparable place: The Suites at The Piedmont in Buckhead. Imagine all the comforts, services and amenities of a luxury address combined with attentive, expert support when the need arrives. Call 404.381.1743 today to schedule a complimentary lunch and personal tour.

I n de p e n de n t & A s s i s t e d L i v i ng 650 Phipps Boulevard NE • Atlanta, GA www.ThePiedmontatBuckhead.com • 404.381.1743


18 | Commentary

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Around Town Where authentic Christian mission and academic excellence aren’t mutually exclusive

JOIN US FOR OUR FAMILY OPEN HOUSE

SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 // 1 p.m . - 3:30 p.m. REGISTER TODAY: WWW.WESLEYANSCHOOL.ORG/EVENTS

We offer multidisciplinary and compassionate cancer care for patients diagnosed with melanoma, other aggressive skin cancers and sarcoma. In partnership with the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, our specialized team consisting of experts in surgical oncology, radiology, pathology, reconstructive surgery, medical and radiation oncology, and nurse navigation are available to support our patients throughout their cancer journey, from prevention and treatment through survivorship. We are excited to welcome Dr. Nicole Kounalakis, a surgical oncologist with over 10 years of experience that specializes in providing personalized treatment options to her cancer patients. She focuses on the surgical care of conditions including: • Melanoma • Squamous cell and basal cell skin cancer • Merkel cell cancer • Sarcoma

Nicole Kounalakis, M.D. Surgical Oncologist

NorthsideMSOG.com Phone: 404-851-6000 980 Johnson Ferry Road NE Suite 940 Atlanta, GA 30342

Joe Earle is editorat-large at Reporter Newspapers and has lived in metro Atlanta for over 30 years. He can be reached at joeearle@ reporternewspapers.net

An activist and grandmother writes her memoir

Sherry Frank wears a small gold necklace. The unobtrusive chain displays a single word: bubbe. It means grandmother, or, more specifically, a Jewish grandmother. “I wear it every day,” Frank said, smiling when the word draws notice. “Bubbe fits me.” Others may see the 77-year-old Sandy Springs grandmother as an energetic activist who has lived a very public JOE EARLE life. But her jewelry proudly proclaims Sherry Frank she’s also the kind of woman who likes to bake cookies for her grandkids. Still, she’s no homebody. She served 26 years as executive director of the Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee. She was president of the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish women for two years in the 1970s, and now is again president of the group. She helped create the Atlanta Black/Jewish Coalition and worked to build bridges between religious and ethnic groups. Frank has worked to promote human rights, civil rights and women’s rights. She describes herself as “a pretty passionate feminist.” She’s been involved in Atlanta politics for decades. She helped start a successful synagogue, Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs, and served as its president. She recently published a memoir called “A Passion To Serve: Memoirs of a Jewish Activist,” which was included in the 2019 book festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center Atlanta. Frank came to politics early. She remembers that back when she was growing up in the Morningside neighborhood of Atlanta, her family had one of the first TVs on their block. It made a big impression when members of her third-grade class came over one night to watch election returns. Atlanta was different then, she remembers. She grew up in world that was segregated racially and culturally. “The only African American I knew was the housekeeper,” she said. At the same time, “it was Jewish world. My social life was Jewish,” she said recently during a chat at The Temple in Atlanta, where she had appeared as part of a panel discussion about the history of Atlanta’s Jewish community. “I was very much in a Jewish world.” But she doesn’t remember being conscious of overt anti-Semitism as a child. Atlanta seemed a welcoming place for her as she attended public schools, including Grady High. The world seems much more threatening now, she said, as anti-Semitism grows more visible. “You can’t but be fearful in this day, when you see so much hate out there,” she said. She grew interested in social service and political activism in part because of the times and in part because of her upbringing. She gave money for trees in Israel. She was a teenager when The Temple in Atlanta was bombed by white supremacists. She remembers, a decade later, the devastating news of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She hasn’t given up on politics. Throughout her career, she’s sought ways to bring racial and ethnic groups together and she wants to keep doing so. “I’ve said 1,000 times that if this country is not safe for Jews, it’s not safe for blacks,” she said. “And if it’s not safe for blacks, it’s not safe for Jews.” She’s worked with Christians and with Muslims to allow people to get to know others they might otherwise vilify. As she’s done that, she’s wanted people to understand her Jewishness. She said Jewish leaders once worked behind the scenes. Not her. “I want people to know a Jew is in the room,” she said. “I want them to know Jews are a part of our coalition. I think that’s part of my desire to heal the world.” She’s proud of the work she’s done. That shows up in her conversation and in her memoir. She’s takes pride in trying to make the world a better place by bringing together different types of people to address common issues and improve understanding among various groups that might otherwise be opposed. “It’s given my life great purpose,” she said. “I remember after 9/11, thinking what I do really matters. … It was such a threat to the Muslim world. I thought building bridges of understanding was a great cause and I was part of the chorus.”

BH


Community | 19

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Veterans Day observed with music, ceremony The Atlanta History Center observed Veterans Day Nov. 11 with music, ceremony and a high-profile speaker. The keynote address was given by Rear Admiral Wendi B. Carpenter, U.S. Navy (Ret.), the first woman Navy aviator to be promoted to flag rank. The 116th Army Band performed.

Powers Ferry Square 3718 Roswell Road Atlanta, GA 30342 404-500-1027

PHOTOS BY RON SHERMAN/ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER

We call it home.

Above, from left, Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association members Bryan Tate, Max Torrance, Vince Corica and Cary King wave flags.

DONA AND LEW KELLER

“St. Anne’s Terrace is the best place for retirement living. Take a tour and see for yourself. We did!!

Residents since 2014

• Serving Buckhead community for over 30 years • Minutes from OK Café • Quiet residential neighborhood • Apartments tailored to personal needs

CALL US TO SCHEDULE YOUR VISIT 3100 Northside Parkway, NW Atlanta 30327 www.saintannesterrace.org • 404-238-9200

Above, the audience at the ceremony during an acknowledgment of veterans. Below, bagpiper Wayne Coleman performs during the observance.

Mexican Restaurant 2042 Johnson Ferry Rd NE

(at the corner of Ashford-Dunwoody Rd. in Brookhaven)

(770) 452-9896

Hours: 11am to 10:30pm BH

$5 OFF

Lunch or Dinner

Minimum $20 purchase Not valid with any other offers. Not valid on Fridays, must present newspaper

ad to redeem. Expires 12/31/19


20 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Gift Cards Now on Sale! Get a 20% Bonus Added on Your Gift Cards Now Through Christmas Eve

Walking into the Future Cathy Clark Tyler named new president of PEDS BY CLARE S. RICHIE

Dunwoody 1221 Ashford Crossing in Perimeter Place Brookhaven 804 Town Blvd in Town Brookhaven Midtown 1551 Piedmont Ave NE at Monroe Drive www.hobnobatlanta.com

1295

$

DENTAL IMPLANTS* Lee “Mac” Whitesides, DMD, MMSc Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon If missing teeth are affecting your quality of life, we are here to help. When tooth loss occurs due to disease or trauma, dental implants can be a long-term, natural-looking solution. Schedule an appointment today to see how dental implants from Northside Oral Surgery can restore your smile.

770.615.6909 | NorthsideOralSurgery.net 4700 Chamblee Dunwoody Road | Dunwoody, GA 30338

*New patients only. Must mention offer to receive discount. May not be combined with any other offer, discount, insurance, or reduced-fee program. Treatment needs may vary by patient. Abutment and crown not included. Consult fee ($100) and X-rays ($95) due at consultation. ADA 6000, 6199. ADDITIONAL CHARGES MAY BE INCURRED FOR RELATED SERVICES WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED IN INDIVIDUAL CASES. Drs. Michael Reznik, Gene Witkin & Associates.

Cathy Clark Tyler just took the helm as the second President/CEO of PEDS, the Atlanta-based advocacy organization dedicated to making streets, sidewalks and communities safe and accessible to all pedestrians. Tyler brings to her new role, more than 25 years of senior level executive service in nonprofit, government and higher education arenas. “The Board of PEDS is thrilled to have Cathy join the team. Cathy brings a wealth of nonprofit leadership that will help us expand our mission, those we serve, and our members,” said PEDS Board Chairman Andrew Hixson. Founded in 1996 by Sally Flocks, PEDS has made significant strides through grassroots advocacy and in collaboration with government, civic and business stakeholders. “Walking is a basic human right and people should be safe when they are doing it,” Tyler said. While committed to all pedestrians, Tyler is eager to expand membership and develop new partnerships in underserved communities to address disparities, like insufficient street crossings, which put residents at risk. “I don’t want children being killed crossing a busy road to catch a school bus,” Tyler said, referring to a 14-year old boy who died after being hit by a car on 2495 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in early September. “We did a bus audit over there [Hollowell Parkway], recently. It’s a half of a mile before a crosswalk. If you’re late for school you are going to cross to get to that bus,” Tyler said. That’s why the new PEDS leader wants to help residents who live near multi-lane roadways like Hollowell Parkway, Tara Boulevard and Marting Luther King Jr. Drive voice their concerns. “It can’t all come from us – it needs to be a human voice telling these stories to make it urgent for lawmakers for government to pay closer attention,” Tyler said. Tyler also remains committed to working closely with partners at GDOT and with local governments, including the newly created City of Atlanta Department of Transportation. “I believe that people want to do the right thing, but sometimes they need urging to pay attention,” Tyler said. After a month on the job, Tyler is pleased with the transition. “I am humbled by the amount of support the board of directors, staff and particularly the founder of PEDS have all shown,” Tyler said. During her 23 years at PEDS, Flocks shared that some of her proudest accom-

plishments include: increasing the number of drivers who stop for people in crosswalks; providing workshops to help transportation professionals design for pedestrian safety; and helping innovative crossing treatments become mainstream in Georgia. “I’m thrilled to have created an organization much bigger than myself, gratified to have achieved far more than I ever imagined, and optimistic that Cathy Tyler

Cathy Clark Tyler

will lead PEDS to a whole new level,” said Flocks. Tyler understands that more pedestrian advocacy is still needed, such as fixing Atlanta’s broken sidewalks to increase walkability, connectivity and access to public transit. The city allocates less than $500,000 to routine sidewalk maintenance, which doesn’t come close to meeting the cost of annual disintegration, estimated at $20 million by Public Works. Wheelchair users recently sued the City of Atlanta for failing to maintain sidewalks that are equally accessible to people with disabilities. The lawsuit seeks to force Atlanta to modify its practices, install curb ramps and fix broken sidewalks – remedies that will ultimately benefit all pedestrians. “Litigation is costly. It delays the work and somebody else could get hurt while going through the court process,” Tyler said. The new PEDS leader sees collaboration as a more expeditious solution and is ready to walk the talk. “Steve Jobs said, ‘We’re here to put a dent in the universe.’ Sally has put a dent in the universe of pedestrian safety. I’m very happy to take that on now… to work collaboratively with other partners who are concerned about safety and walkability, particularly in underserved communities”, Tyler said. “It’s the oldest mode of transportation. Everybody can’t afford a car. Everybody doesn’t want a car. They still need to be able to live and thrive in the city.” Learn more at peds.org. BH


Public Safety | 21

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Zone 2 police commander retires, is replaced BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The commander of Buckhead’s Zone 2 police precinct retired effective Nov. 14 in an unannounced move and has been replaced. Maj. Barry Shaw had commanded the Atlanta Police Department precinct, headquartered on Maple Drive, since January 2017. Zone 2’s new commander is Maj. Andrew Senzer, according to APD. Senzer most recently led Zone 3 in Southeast Atlanta. Shaw was known for shaking up the precinct’s crime-prevention strategy by pulling officers off traffic duty and focusing them on patrolling so-called hot spots. Mary Norwood, chair of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, mentioned the command change at the group’s Nov. 14 meeting and said she was surprised to hear why Shaw wouldn’t attend. “We love him,” Norwood said of Shaw.

APD

Maj. Andrew Senzer, the new Zone 2 commander.

Receive up to

1,600

$

Rebate with purchase of qualifying KitchenAid Appliances

Valid through 12/31/2019

For the way it’s Made 761 Miami Circle, Suite D | Atlanta, GA 30324 404.233.6131 | www.builderspecialties.net BH

APD

Maj. Barry Shaw, former commander of Buckhead’s Zone 2 police district.


22 | Public Safety

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Police Blotter / Buckhead The following information, involving events that took place in Buckhead Oct. 1 through Nov. 7, was provided by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its open data records.

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT „ 100 block of Rumsen Road — Oct. 3 „ 700 block of Sidney Marcus Boulevard

— Oct. 3 „ 1300 block of Northside Drive — Oct. 5 „ 3100 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 5 „ 1200 block of West Paces Ferry Road —

Oct.10 „ 800 block of Sidney Marcus Boulevard

— Oct. 11 „ 2500 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 12 „ 3300 block of Peachtree Road — Oct. 18 „ 3100 block of East Shadowlawn Avenue

— Oct. 18 „ 2900 block of Grandview Avenue —

Oct. 20 „ 3800 block of Roswell Road — Oct. 26 „ 3200 block of Northside Parkway —

Oct. 27

„ 200 block of Armour Drive — Nov. 4 „ 3300 block of Peachtree Road — Nov. 4

„ 3500 block of Peachtree Road — Nov. 2 „ 3200 block of Lenox Road — Nov.2 „ 3300 block of Peachtree Road — Nov. 3 „ 3300 block of Peachtree Road — Nov.3

„ 4600 block of Wieuca Road — Oct. 1

„ 1000 block of Lindbergh Drive — Oct. 1

„ 2100 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 29

„ 1100 block of Lavista Road — Oct. 2

„ 3200 block of Cains Hill Place — Oct. 2

„ 2100 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 30

„ 500 block of Main Street — OCt. 3

„ 1000 block of Lindbergh Drive — Oct. 3

„ 2400 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —

„ 1100 block of Lavista Road — Oct. 5

„ 700 block of Sidney Marcus Boulevard

„ 2300 block of Parkland Drive — Oct. 8 „ 4900 block of Peachtree Park Drive —

Oct. 30 „ 2100 block of Piedmont Road — Nov. 6

— Oct. 6 „ 1200 block of Collier Drive — Oct. 9

R O B B E RY

Oct. 12

„ 2600 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 11

„ 3100 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 2

„ 2500 block of Bohler Road — Oct. 12

„ 2400 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 11

„ 3300 block of Peachtree Road — Oct. 6

„ 2400 block of Camellia Lane — Oct. 15

„ 3200 block of Roswell Road — Oct. 14

„ 300 block of Pharr Road — Oct. 7

„ 500 block of Bismark Road — Oct. 16

„ 200 block of South Colonial Homes Cir-

„ 3500 block of Peachtree Road — Oct. 8

„ 1300 block of Northside Drive — Oct. 16

cle — Oct. 15

„ 2200 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —

„ 2500 block of Lenox Road — Oct. 16

Oct. 11

24

„ 1200 block of Collier Road — Oct. 16

„ 2100 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 11

„ 500 block of Lindbergh Place — Oct. 28

„ 2500 block of Lenox Road — Oct. 16

„ 2100 block of Monroe Drive — Oct.12

„ 400 block of Northside Circle — Oct. 29

„ 2400 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —

„ 400 block of Bishop Street — Oct. 13

„ 3000 block of Peachtree Road — Oct.

„ 1100 block of Collier Road — Oct. 29

Oct. 16

„ 2500 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 16

„ 2600 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 17

„ 700 block of Sidney Marcus Boulevard

Oct. 31

„ 800 block of Miami Circle — Oct. 21

— Oct. 17

„ 4700 block of Peachtree Park Drive —

„ 2400 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —

„ 2300 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —

Nov. 2 „ 100 block of Peachtree Valley Road —

Nov.3

Oct. 24

Oct. 18

„ 2400 block of Cheshire Bridge Road —

„ 2500 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 28

Oct. 24

„ 400 block of Bishop Street — Nov. 4

„ 900 block of West Paces Ferry Road —

„ 1700 block of Howell Mill Road — Oct.

Nov. 2

26

SERVED WITH

11.95

$

FOR DINE IN ONLY

SUNDAY BRUNCH AT

CHIN CHIN BROOKHAVEN

Best of Atlanta since 1998

„ 2400 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 27 „ 3100 block of Piedmont Road — Oct. 28

• CHOICE OF RICE • CHOICE OF SOUP • HOUSE SALAD • VEGGIE ROLL

Chinese & Sushi Restaurant

„ 2500 block of Chantilly Drive — Oct. 26

BURGLARYNON-RESIDENCE

12PM TO 3PM

Chin Chin

Nov. 6

BURGLARY-RESIDENCE

„ 300 block of Peachtree Hills Avenue —

„ 2200 block of Lavista Square — Oct. 29

„ 900 block of East Paces Ferry Road —

3887 Peachtree Road, Buckhead/Brookhaven • Delivery (Limited Area, Min.$12) Tel: 404-816-2229 • Fax: 404-816-5929 • www.ChinChinGa.com

Marist Evening Series Captivating courses taught by Marist School faculty and staff. Classes in art history; religion and spirituality; history and culture; science; college planning; technology; ceramics; drawing/painting; photography; film; writing; and more.

Register Today

Classes Filling Quickly! Mondays: Jan 13, 2020 Jan 27, 2020 Feb 3, 2020

Learn more at marist.com/eveningseries BH


| 23

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Communities of Faith The Contemporary Worship Arts Ministry of Misty Creek Community Church

A Night of Christmas Worship at Misty Creek

December 23 | 7:00 pm Admission is free

Sanctuary at Sandy Springs First Baptist | Misty Creek Community Church 650 Mt. Vernon Hwy NE, Sandy Springs

www.mistycreekchurch.org | 404-913-3369

ADVENT @Northwest December 15 - 10:30am

Children’s Christmas Pageant Chili Cook-Off after Worship

December 22 - 10:30am Advent Cantata: Handel’s Messiah

December 24 - 5:00pm

Candlelight Christmas Eve

SUNDAYS 10:30AM Happy Holidays! Get listed in the next

Communities of Faith

Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center 246 PERIMETER CENTER PKWY NE, ATLANTA, GA 30346

Easter 2020

Call 404-917-2200 ext. 110 BEACONCHURCHATL.COM


24 | Art & Entertainment

S U O I R A L I H

HOLIDAY

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

! N U F

BROOKHAVEN

BUCKHEAD

ON STAGE AT CONANT PERFORMING ARTS CENTER AT OGLETHORPE UNIVERSITY

HOLIDAY FUN

Ed Howard, Joe Sears & Jaston Williams

Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. With ice skating, food trucks, live music, “Bouncy” snowman, Coca-Cola polar bear, and a showing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at dusk. Free; $10 to skate. Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. Info: dunwoodyga.gov.

BY

DIRECTED BY

Topher Payne

WINTER WONDERLAND

HANUKKAH BAZAAR TICKETS AT GET.ORG

Sunday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. With gifts and jewelry from local artisans, Mediterranean food and pastries, premium liquor auction, used books sale, and children’s activities. Admission $5 at door. Congregation Or VeShalom, 1681 North Druid Hills Road, Brookhaven. Info: 404-633-1737.

DUNWOODY

international crafts and artist creations for purchase. Tickets: $20, $15 members, $10 children. Atlanta History Center; 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.

HOLIDAY ARTIST MARKET

Through Dec. 23 Works of art and handcrafted gifts by local artists. Spruill Gallery, 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Featuring a winetasting event Tuesday, Dec. 10, and special Handmade Gift Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 14. Free. The Spruill Gallery. 4681 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: spruillarts.org/ holidayartistsmarket.

PERFORMANCES A NICE FAMILY GATHERING

ACZA HOLIDAY PARTY AND DANCE WITH THE REVELERS

Sunday, December 8, 4-7 p.m. Grammy-nominated band The Revelers play roots music during the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association (ACZA) Holiday Party, with Cajun and Creole food for sale. Tickets: $20, $5 students, $14 active military. Dorothy Benson Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Info: aczadance.org.

SANDY SPRINGS

Through Sunday, Dec. 8 The Stage Door Players return with a holiday comedy prequel to last season’s A Nice Family Christmas. Tickets: $34 Adult, $24 Student, $16 Youth. Stage Door Players, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: stagedoorplayers.net

THE NUTCRACKER

SPARKLE SANDY SPRINGS HOLIDAY PARADE

Sunday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m. Sandy Springs hosts its inaugural Sparkle Sandy Springs Holiday Parade, which will serve as a prelude to the Sparkle Sandy Springs Celebration and the tree-lighting. Event begins with a snow machine and hot chocolate at 4 p.m.; parade begins at 5:30 p.m. near the Heritage water tower and continues on Mount Vernon Highway to City Springs. Sparkle Sandy Springs features a holiday village 6-foot-tall wooden houses painted in holiday themes and adorned with lights, which remains on display all season. Free. City Green, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: citysprings.com.

ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER CANDLELIGHT NIGHTS

Friday, Dec. 13, 20 5:30-9 p.m. Santa Claus welcomes visitors to each of the three historic houses to experience Southern holiday traditions during the eras of the Civil War (Smith Family Farm), 1930s (Swan House) and pioneer days (Wood Family Cabin). Plus Holiday Market filled with local and

Through Sunday, Dec. 8 The Roswell Dance Theatre performs the holiday dance classic. The cast includes world-class artists who have danced nationally and internationally and aspiring young professionals from the performing company of the Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance. Tickets: $25-$38. Byers Theatre, 1 Galambos Way. Sandy Springs. Info: citysprings.com.

HOLIDAY INN

Dec. 13 through Dec. 22 The City Springs Theatre Company performs a show-business holiday musical, based on the classic film and featuring Irving Berlin songs. Tickets: $30-$65. Byers Theatre, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: citysprings.com.


Art & Entertainment | 25

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

MUSIC COCOA AND CAROLS CONCERT

Sunday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m. The Atlanta Concert Band and Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church will spread holiday cheer with sing-alongs, a bell-ringing, and hot cocoa. Free. Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, 471 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Info: info@atlantaconcertband.org

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m. A concert to ring in the New Year. Optional pre-show dinner at 6 p.m. for VIP ticket-holders and an optional dessert package for after the performance. Tickets: $60-$150. Byers Theatre, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: citysprings.com.

LEARN SOMETHING PALS WINTER SESSION

Jan. 6 through March 2 Perimeter Adult Learning Services offers eight-week session of classes in such topics as faith traditions around the world, history of American flags, first aid, Atlanta history, economics and more. Fee $50 for eight weeks; lunch can be brought or purchased for $8. Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: palsonline.org or 770-698-0801.

NATHALIE DUPREE’S FAVORITE STORIES AND RECIPES

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m. The storyteller and cookbook author joins At-

lanta local Cynthia Stevens Graubart in discussing her decades of cooking. Tickets: nonmembers $10, members $5. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: atlantahistorycenter.com.

CHEF HOWARD ON HANUKKAH PARTY

Sunday, Dec. 15, 4-6 p.m. Learn how to make all the Hanukkah dinner. Fee: members $20, non-members $25. MJCCA at Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org.

Grand Opening

Louisiana Bistreaux   

FAMILY FUN FAMILY CRAFT NIGHT

Wednesdays, Dec. 11 and 18, 6 p.m. Holiday-themed crafting with supplies provided. Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Info: 404-303-6130.

BUCKHEAD

3312 Piedmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 404-941-9545 BANQUET SPACE AVAILABLE

FESTIVAL OF NATIVE TREES

Saturday, Dec. 14, 12 p.m.-5 p.m. With outdoor art installations, tree decorating, hot cider and cocoa, and a guided walk of the decorated trees. $25 to decorate a tree as a group. Blue Heron Nature Preserve, 4055 Roswell Road, Buckhead. Info: bhnp.org.

FAMILY FUN DAY

Wednesday, Dec. 25, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. With inflatables and push toys, crafts, community service projects, open swim in the indoor pool, basketball competitions, familyfriendly movies, music, and more. Free; food available for purchase. MJCCA at Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org.

Louisianabistreaux.com H IG H

HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA | HIGH.ORG

Enjoy free admission and special programs on the second Sunday of each month.

PARTY WITH A PURPOSE BUCKHEAD HERITAGE SOCIETY GALA

Thursday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m. The Buckhead Heritage Society will celebrate the holidays with a gala at one of the earliest homes built on Peachtree Battle Avenue. The event will feature a cocktail buffet, music and valet parking. Tickets: members $120, non-members $150. Info: buckheadheritage.com.

SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT

calendar@ReporterNewspapers.net

DEC 8 • JAN 12 Designed for little kids, big kids, and the whole family, Second Sundays are for everyone. Visit us each month and experience new interactive, innovative family activities inspired by our collections and rotating exhibitions. Generous support for Second Sundays is provided by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.


26 | Art & Entertainment

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

‘A Tuna Christmas’ marks the holidays, and a theater partnership BY JUDITH SCHONBAK The Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s production of “A Tuna Christmas” this month is a way to celebrate the holiday season – and a successful new partnership with Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center. “A Tuna Christmas” is the second production GET, the resident professional company at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, has brought to Oglethorpe under a “binding partnership” forged in 2018. The first, in June, was a remount of GET’s 20182019 season hit “Driving Miss Daisy.” Connections between the theater company and the university, however, were already ongoing. GET produced “Million Dollar Quartet” at the Conant in 2017. A number of Oglethorpe alumni work or have worked with GET and others have acted in season productions. And the university also hosts two of GET’s summer theater camp sessions. The Conant partnership grew out of a conversation between Anita Allen-Farley, GET’s co-founder and producing artistic director, and Sharon Moskowitz, the center’s managing director. “Sharon and I had a conversation that GET was going to have to find satellite space to perform if we wanted to increase the number of our productions each year,” said Allen-Farley. Another benefit, she said, would be to expand the theater company’s audience.

oped the terms of the partnership. It is ongoing and will expand as opportunities arise, including opportunities for university students for onstage and technical experience. The Conant is heavily scheduled during the school year, so GET has claimed a timeframe for a production during the summer and during winter break each year. GET pays an amount unSPECIAL der a licensed agreement for Enoch King, left, and Jill Hames star in the Georgia each use of the theater, and Ensemble Theatre’s production of “A Tuna Christmas.” Oglethorpe takes a “very small portion” of ticket sales, Moskowitz said her role as managing said Moskowitz. director of CPAC is “to bring in partnerThe Conant production of “Driving ships and collaborations in the performing Miss Daisy” was a success for the partarts with our mission in mind to enhance nership. Large crowds of new audiences the cultural landscape of the university packed the intimate 513-seat theater to see and the community.” After seeing GET’s the iconic show. production of “A Comedy of Tenors” last “A Tuna Christmas” is one of the six proseason in Roswell, she brought the partductions in GET’s 27th season and will be nership ideas to Oglethorpe President Larperformed only at the Oglethorpe location, ry Schall. running Dec. 13-29. A roundtable of 10 officials from In the comedy, two actors take on the Oglethorpe and GET assembled in earpersonae of 22 different citizens of the litly 2018 to design the partnership, includtle town of Tuna, Texas, with quick-change ing Schall, Moskowitz and Theatre Departartistry of personalities, voices, ages, atment head Matt Huff on the university titudes and attire. It’s a study in speed, side. adaptability and comedic talent. The fastBy March 2018, the group had develest head-to-toe costume change must be

completed in 8 seconds. The plot centers on a hot competition in the annual Christmas lights competition, won 14 years in a row by town snob Vera Carp, leader of the Smut Snatchers of the New Order. On the loose is a “Christmas Phantom” vandalizing the yard display and creating contest chaos. “A Tuna Christmas” is the second in a series about the town of Tuna written by Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams. The GET production is directed by wellknown Atlanta playwright Topher Payne. “This play is hilarious,” said Allen-Farley. “I like to laugh, and we chose it for the holidays so people could enjoy laughing for a couple of hours. It’s a respite from the same old bad news that is out there every day. And the characters are wonderful. You will recognize a lot of them. You may not like some of them, and there are some that will melt your heart.”

‘A TUNA C HR I S TM A S ’

Friday, Saturday and Sunday December 13 – 29, 2019 Conant Performing Arts Center Oglethorpe University 4484 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven Ticket sales through Georgia Ensemble Theatre only Ticket sales: www.get. org or call 770-641-1260

Two convenient Atlanta locations Sandy Springs Office

NorthsideHeart.com We are proud to serve the Atlanta community with the highest standard of cardiovascular care. Our board-certified physicians serve each patient with the latest technologies and treatments, and work with referring physicians to optimize treatment plans and individualize care. One of the largest cardiology groups in the North Atlanta area, we offer 8 locations throughout the Metro and Greater Atlanta areas.

We offer services for complete cardiovascular care, including:

• • • • • • •

Arrhythmia Evaluation & Treatment Cardiac Ultrasound Stress Testing Pacemaker Implantation Cholesterol & Hypertension Management Cardiac Cath/Coronary Stent Defibrillator Implantation

6135 Barfield Road NE Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30328 Phone: 404-847-0049

Atlanta Office 5670 Peachtree Dunwoody Road Suite 880 Atlanta, GA 30342 Phone: 404-256-2525

Visit our website for information on our six other convenient locations.


DECEMBER 2019 â– www.ReporterNewspapers.net

TICKETS ON SALE JANUARY 27 #AJFF2020 MORE INFO AT

AJFF.ORG BH

Community | 27


28 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

‘Revolutionary’ shuttle service is delayed by liability question A Via-operated on-demand shuttle van in Arlington, Texas, as shown in a promotional video.

Continued from page 1 ran into the question of who would be on the hook for accidents or other liability problems. Via is a technology company that would not own any of the vehicles and would not directly employ

Long story short, we were unable to get them to agree to indemnify the CID appropriately for this type of service. JIM DURRETT BCID EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR the drivers. That could leave the BCID liable as the operator, and Via was unwilling to cover it. “Long story short, we were unable to get them to agree to indemnify the CID appropriately for this type of service,” said BCID Executive Director Jim Durrett at the board’s Nov. 27 meeting. BCID board chair Thad Ellis of Cousins Properties said the service is “pioneering,” but added that is “all the more reason it’s non-negotiable” to have indemnification. The core question on liability from the BCID, he said, was, “Why are we the guinea pigs?” Via operates in various cities around the nation and world. Lynn Rainey, the BCID board’s attorney, said the company claimed it has never provided indemnification to governmental part-

ners elsewhere. He said it is hard to believe the liability issue never came up before, but that if governments did run the service without indemnification, “shame on them.” The BCID won’t accept anything short of full indemnification, said Durrett. The BCID threatened to withdraw from the agreement, and negotiations with Via are now continuing, he said. “It appears that we do have an opportunity to negotiate a fair and satisfactory contract to be determined… But it’s going to take us a while to get there,” he said. To allow negotiation time, the board agreed to extend the existing contract with “buc” shuttle operator Buckhead Coach through March. “So April 1, [the CID] would be in a position to rock and roll?” asked board treasurer Herbert Ames of EDENS. Durrett knocked on the wooden tabletop in response.

Ga. 400/East Paces interchange idea dies A controversial concept for adding a Ga. 400 interchange at East Paces Ferry Road is dead, BCID staff member Tony Peters reported, while possible improvements to the Lenox Road interchange are still on the drawing board. The East Paces interchange concept was proposed nearly three years ago in a master plan study commissioned by the BCID, Livable Buckhead, the Buckhead Business Association, the Buckhead Coalition and the Rotary Club of Buckhead. The very idea drew criticisms and lawsuit threats from neighborhood groups in Pine Hills and Peachtree Park. The BCID has been

studying it since then. Peters said the concept is now “abandoned” in part due to “obnoxious” cost estimates around $200 million. Durrett said the interchange also would have caused “enormous disruption” to the Lenox MARTA Station and that the Georgia Department of Transportation expressed safety concerns about possible traffic conflicts with the nearby Sidney Marcus Boulevard ramp. The concept “just didn’t work” he said. Improvements to the existing Lenox Road interchange were also recommended in the master plan and are still being studied. Peters said 12 to 13 ideas are in discussion with such agencies as GDOT and the Georgia Regional Transportation Agency for winnowing down to three or four concepts for further work. The concepts cover “everything from vehicular changes to pedestrian crossings to aesthetic improvements,” Peters said.

Tax audit finds $120K shortfall

An audit of the BCID’s tax collections found that they are largely on target, but that 25 properties that should be paying are not, to the tune of around $120,000 a year. “Not a huge number, but it it’s still a number,” Peters told board members, adding, “Two of you [property owners] are in this room, so we’ll talk later.” The BICD is a self-taxing group of commercial properties. The BCID spends the money on improvements related to transportation, public safety and beautification in the neighborhood’s central business district. Its 2018 revenue was around $6 million. The BCID will now check the num-

SPECIAL

bers with Fulton County assessors. Peters said that unpaid taxes could be billed retroactively up to three years back. The BCID spent $11,000 on the audit. One impetus for the review was concerns as to whether the commercial part of mixed-use projects were paying their share of the BCID tax. Peters said the audit used the new Hanover Buckhead Village at Roswell Road and Irby Avenue as an example and found it was paying appropriately, with its various residential, commercial and garage uses split into separate tax parcels. Others may not be so tidy, however. Peter said the BCID also will track expiring tax abatements on local developments to make sure they begin paying a full share at the right time. There are at least 10 properties within the BCID area that are receiving such tax breaks, he said.

Homeless assistance program praised

The BCID is happy with the payoff from a homelessness assistance program to which it contributed $50,000 a year ago. HomeFirst Atlanta, a joint effort of the city and the United Way’s Regional Commission on Homelessness, is raising tens of millions of dollars for a variety of tactics to provide housing and otherwise reduce chronic homelessness. The BCID contributed from the business-minded perspective of lowering the population of people who are homeless and sleeping on the streets of Buckhead’s central business district. BCID staff member Matt Gore said a Hyatt hotel on Peachtree Road recently asked for help with a person who was regularly sleeping on a bench outside. HomeFirst workers contacted the man, who “declined short-term housing,” but was interested in long-term housing. HomeFirst is working to identify such housing for him, Gore said. Ellis said the program is good for both “the right human reasons” and the business community’s concerns. “It’s a very personal, hands-on effort to try to put those people into a stable housing situation,” said Durrett.

BH


Classifieds | 29

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Relevant Resume Get your resume ready for your next job hunt. 423-225-2471

atlantaresumewriters.com relevantresume@gmail.com

CARE GIVER

SERVICES AVAILABLE

Hire The Best – CNA/Personal Care Assistant. Will visit where ever needed (hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities, etc.).  Specializes in Alz/Dementia and medicine reminder.  I am patient, kind, reliable and honest.  Able to keep a calm demeanor in all situations.  Love to prepare delicious and nutritious meals.  Call Zena 404454-6697.

Best Rate Painting – WE BEAT ALL ESTIMATES!! Rooms as low as $125.00. Exterior as low as $1,250.00. 25 years experience. Free estimates no money down. 10% off with this AD. 404-434-8941 visit: bestratepainting.com. Maid of Honor – For Housekeeping you can Trust. Licensed and insured. Call Becky Holcomb, Owner at 678-641-8052 or email rsholcomb0712@yahoo.com

Home Services Directory To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext110

Property Home Tending – Regular inspections of your For Sale or unoccupied home. Call Charles 404-229-0490. Masonry: Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or Repaired. Masonry, Grading, Foundations repair, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe 770-616-0576. Handyman – Wood rot repairs, roof leaks, deck refinishing/repairs. Interior and Exterior painting. Excellent references. 404-895-0260.

CONDO FOR LEASE

Winter Clean-up Special

Atlanta’s Premier • Window Cleaning since 1968 • Gutter Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Family Owned • Licensed and Insured • FREE ESTIMATES

404.355.1901 www.WindowCleanAtl.com

Rare and Spacious 2 br/2ba 2300 sq. ft. Condo for lease in the heart of Buckhead. Secured access with 2 car inside parking. 24/7 resident manager. All utilities paid. Contact: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Marshall Picow, Realtor. Office 404-252-4908, Cell 404-805-4255 1b/1ba 55+ Condo Community.  Multiple Units Available - $2,795/mo.  Mount Vernon Village.  Call Lindsay McCord w/Haynes and Associates @ 719-200-4575.

Since 1999 “We Set The Standard in Personal Service”

Kitchen Bathroom Basement

Showroom, Design, Build

IN HOME CONSULTATION

404-910-3969

www.RemodelingExpo.com

Shades - Blinds - Shutters - Drapery

SHOWROOM

48 KING STREET ROSWELL, GA 30075

GaBlinds.com | (404) 252-6991

WINDOWS

Windows And Doors

Buy with confidence! Visit our showroom in Chamblee!

770-939-5634 quinnwindows.com

No Reasonable Offer Refused

3660 N. Peachtree Rd • Chamblee, GA 30341

justTRASHit!

JUNK REMOVAL & RECYCLING

We Haul Away: We Clean Out: *Furniture *Appliances *Construction *Pianos *Hot tubs *Pallets

LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED BONDED & INSURED PROFESSIONAL & RELIABLE Serving Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Brookhaven, and Peachtree Corners

MrHandyman.com (770) 852-5453 Troy Holland 770.256.8940

Plumbing

Senior Discount

Electrical

(770) 314-9867 www.justTRASHit.com

• Family Owned since 1972 • Fast, Dependable Service by Professional, Uniformed Electricians

770-455-4556

Check out our new website www.BelcoInc.com and follow us on

SINCE 1986

ROOFING

“Serving Metro Atlanta Since 1998”

REMEDIES

• PAINTING

HVAC

All your needs!

REPAIRS • REPLACEMENT NEW INSTALLATION

Family Operated - 38 Years Experience COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL BH

*Basements *Garages *Attics *Offices *Storage units *Estate sales

Belco Electric

REPAIRS LEAKS 404-697-6937

• WINDOWS • SIDING • GUTTERS

770-971-1577

www.paintingplus.com

• ROOFING


30 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Tax breaks targeted by new neighborhood task force

Continued from page 1

The concept of the task force, revealed at a Nov. 14 BCN meeting, is to produce a list of recommended reforms to state and local governments, which were represented at the meeting by several elected officials. Task force chair Mindy Kaplan gave a “very preliminary” review of the strategy and draft recommendations for reforming part of the property assessment system. The overarching concern is that commercial property owners aren’t paying enough and shifting a large tax burden to residential owners. Kaplan said the task force will look at three subjects in turn and make a list of recommendations about each: underassessment of commercial properties; tax abatements, which critics say are often granted to spur developments that would happen anyway; and tax allocation districts, where developers get to fund a project with bonds and keep their property taxes for their own infrastructure for a certain period. The task force is starting with the issue of commercial property assessments. The overall goal, Kaplan said, is policies that would lower the tax millage and reduce homeowner tax burden while maintaining or enhancing government services. The task force looked at a Fulton County audit and an analysis of commercial assessments conducted by Julian Bene, a former Invest Atlanta board member and tax break watchdog who was in attendance. Kaplan said those analyses found about a 60% underassessment of commercial properties in the county, based on a comparison between the assessed values and sales prices of properties that went on the market. More accurate assessments, Kaplan estimated, could boost tax revenue by $200 million to $400 million a year, allowing for a 15% to 20% reduction in residential property taxes or for more money for government services.

Kaplan presented four draft recom“There’s no better way of putting a taramounts to about $385 in taxes on a mendations, partly taken from Fulton get on your back than going against Big $300,000 house. County officials, partly from task force Business,” said state Rep. Betsy Holland (D“It’s just unsustainable,” said Carstarmembers. The recommendations, which Atlanta), a Buckhead resident, adding that phen. drew applause from the crowd at the meetcommercial owners must be challenged on She called out some specific controvering, included: tax abatements and underassessments. sial examples of tax abatements on luxury ■ Increase funding to tax assessor’s ofFulton County Commissioner Lee Mordevelopments, including the 99 West Paces fice to push back against commercial ownris said a problem is that “we’re outgunned” Ferry Road project in Buckhead. That luxers’ tax appeals. by large commercial property owners who ury apartment and retail project received ■ For commercial property apcan hire experts to appeal assessments and a $3.5 million tax abatement from the Depeals, require audited financial statements. get them reduced. Morris, a Buckhead resvelopment Authority of Fulton County in a ■ Retain documents supporting ident, said he is likely to be forced to move deal where the developer promised to offer commercial appeals for at least four years. to Cobb County, where residential taxes are “affordable” units that could go to a single ■ Conduct annual independent aulower, when he retires. person making nearly $120,000 a year. dits of commercial property sales for the previous year and make those records public. BCN Chair Mary Norwood later described the task force’s initial report as “shattering.” Some state and county elected officials attended the BCN meeting to discuss possible legislative solutions to various tax issues, including abatements granted by development authorities and increased homeowner exemptions. All agreed that commercial underassessment is a problem in Atlanta and Fulton. JOHN RUCH “At the end of the day, we want people stay- State Sen. Jen Jordan, center, discusses property tax reform at the Nov. 14 Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting where the new Taxes/TADs Task Force debuted its work. Looking on, from left, are BCN Chair Mary ing in their homes,” said Norwood, Atlanta City Councilmember Matt Westmoreland and Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris. state Sen. Jen Jordan (DAtlanta), who chairs the Senate’s Fulton County delegation. “We’ve Critics say such projects don’t pass the got to fix this problem.” “but-for” test, meaning they likely would Carstarphen Jordan said that underassessment is an be built without tax breaks as an incentive. raises equity issue area where officials “haven’t seen the forest Among those question such deals is DevelCarstarphen continued her call for for the trees” while addressing other propopment Authority member Tom Tidwell, a scrutiny of tax breaks for luxury developerty tax issues. Buckhead resident who attended the NCA ments at the Northwest Community Allimeeting. ance meeting, saying they can contribute “I want Buckhead to get the boutique to equity gaps in the district and city. hotel that somebody wants to have hapRunning APS requires major tax revepen,” said Carstarphen, who briefly served nue. At the NCA meeting, held at the Northon the Development Authority as well last side Church of God, Carstarphen blasted year. “…But when we look at where the tax abatements and other deals that she need is, would these things meet a ‘but-for’ says allow high-end commercial properties test?” to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars a She said APS, like many other disyear to APS. tricts, is facing a “wickedly large” student In her presentation, Carstarphen – achievement gap involving racial and soassisted by APS Chief Financial Officer SOLD 6210 Riverwood Drive! cioeconomic disparities. APS needs reveLisa Bracken – combined some numbernue to address those challenges, she said, SOLD 6420 Bridgewood Valley Drive! crunching on tax breaks with critiques of and so do neighborhoods that need redehow they can widen equity gaps in the disvelopment incentives and wrap-around trict and the entire city. services. She said that members of families Carstarphen and Bracken estimate that in her district’s majority African American tax abatements and tax allocation districts UNDER CONTRACT: and majority low-income schools ask, “‘If – major projects like Atlantic Station that we have to give away the [tax] money, can 755 Glenairy essentially get to spend their propertyyou invest in our neighborhood?’” 5322 Seaton tax money on themselves to theoretically Boosting graduation rates helps the enspeed development – are costing APS $92.2 tire economy, Carstarphen said. million in “uncollectable” revenue this fis“We grow the pie in my world by havcal year alone. And that number has been ing a kid graduate with a diploma,” she climbing annually. said. “When you graduate [a student] with AngIe PonSELL ATLANTA TO THE WORLD The property tax burden partly shifts a high-school diploma, it actually adds to to residential property owners. Carstarthe economic base of your city. When they phen said APS estimates this fiscal year’s drop out, it doesn’t,” she said. www.isellsandysprings.com uncollectable revenue from such breaks

Can’t Find Your Home in Sandy Springs? Call Me!

Lowest prices since 2017! Now is a great time to buy!

Get it before it’s gone!

Keller Williams Realty First Atlanta

404-531-5700 www.kwatlanta.com

404-226-2002

BH


Community | 31

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

APS superintendent has no decision on ‘what’s next’ for job

41 AWARDS FOR EDITORIAL EXCELLENCE

rsary 25th Annive

wnPaper .com

s.net

reporternewspaper

DUNWOODY SALUTES AMERICA WITH ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY PARADE

— NO. 7

Dunwoody Reporter

JUNE 2019

Atlant firstit trans lba’s DeKa moves UrbanerFood planFore mast st would need isahea bothd,publ ic parkt boos tax sales & community farm

ENT ARTS AND ENTERTAINM

PBS to air local singer’s documentary

• VOL. 11 —

NO. 6

Brookhaven Reporter

See pull-out section pages 15-18

GDOT chief: ‘Benefits of express lanes are proven’ P10 Honored winsas Reportaer newspaper General of a 15 Georgi Excellence 2018 Press awards

P10

WORTH KNOWING

Piano-playing Rogers family is a YouTube hit P29

bers Local City Council mem ion sign anti-toll lanes petit

and Check out our podcasts Facebook Live Streams

The Dunwoody Reporter is mail delivered to homes on selected carrier routes in ZIP 30338 For information: ers.net delivery@reporternewspap

WE WA NT

POSTAL CUSTOMER

PRSRT STD ECRWSS US Postage PAID Monroe, GA Permit #15

APRIL 2019 • VOL. 13 — NO. 4 2090 Dunwoody

YO UR

APRIL

Sandy Springs Reporter

Home & Real Estate Local home sales near a peak, agents say P5

G old Sandy

Section Two

2019

Springs

Dunwoody Brookhaven Buckhead

new website Wall to Wa ll Art maps metro murals, wall to wall ►Out & About ►Summer Camps

►A

Officials seek ways to influence toll lanes projects BY DOUG

CARROLL

12 —

NO.

reporterne wspapers.

net

6

BY

WWW.REPO

TWO MODER ARTIST N GEORG S WITH FEATUR IA TIES MOCA ED AT ARE GA PAGE

RTERNEWSP APERS.NET

SECTIO ►FIVE WAYS TO GIVE HOME ANY MODERA COZY, N SPECIAL VIBE

26

SECTION

Local actor fights Batman , ninj as and

N TWO

►WINE

►MOUN COUNTR Y TAIN FITNESS

| PAGES

33 -

44

JOHN

johnruch@r RUCH eporternews

One papers.net day last He’s jumped also beenyear, Matt through beaten Philliben And he’s a windowup by man went just Batman, and to work such while actor. fine, productio The because and dressed thrown Buckhead it’s throughwas murdered ns as all in as rapper the fire new resident a day’s Eminem. by a by ninjas. Matt Keanu Transform work is Philliben for Reevesgaining – where the er, and on the hit “Johnincreasing up-and-co “Black he had set of notice Lightning that Wick: ming “John “I’ve bloody Chapter for Wick: stuntwanted ,” where his says. Chapter ninja work 3 – Parabellu “There’s to be he got brawl in back-up 3 – Parabellum an – and m” plan, legitimate actor, screen going SPECIAL the .” as well time which ly nothing playing Atlanta-ba what.” to work as a in filmmeans stuntmana mob else sed I and if things boss. superhero television didn’twanted , since to series as an work out, do with I was 4 pignch actor, there my life. years as well was Also, old,” ik.net as a no safety I had he Sandy stuntman net. no Springs/ , no I was CONTIN Three 4920 matter Roswell Buckhea

Let

www.

Traffic conc about Emor erns raised Park redevey’s Executive lopment

Buckhead Reporter

reporternewspapers.n

92 Club DR 770-396-04

• VOL.

We Deliv er!

mor e for

Us Cat er You

404-255-6 Road 368

d

r Jul y4

GREAT Emory locatio

UED

BBQ

1815 Area ns! Briarcliff 404-474-9 Road Chamble 5071 444 e/Brookh Peachtree Industrialaven 770-451-1 Blvd. 112

!

a livin g

ON PAGE

32

Pig-N-C

hik $5 off

orders over expires $20

Offer

7/31/19

Summer Reading

Thanks for the ways we con many nec with our dad t s

PRSRT STD ECRWSS US Postage PAID Monroe, GA Permit #15

COMMENTARY

2019

Springs

Buckhead

month to consider sioners is expected next plan designed to countywide transit master bus service and deimprove current rail and COMMENTAR new transit over the Y termine where to build next 30 years. commisAs part of that consideration,if they beto decide sioners will also have to vote for enough motivated are lieve voters pay for the proposed a sales tax increase to P10 include light rail, bus improvements, which rapid transit in rapid transit and arterial The proposed north and south DeKalb. full-penny DeKalb Atlanta Regional DeKalb County, the County transit worked with lomaster plan Commission and MARTA gathered public input scenario would cal municipalities and proposed transit masinclude four light over the past year on a goals: address the rapid transit routes; ter plan with three broad routes foster economfour bus rapid transit county’s mobility challenges, quality of life. end of I-285; P44 including along the top ic development and improve recently toured transit routes. These and eight arterial rapid Consultants with VHB presenta180 project miles. ’S NEST madeROBIN cover June would in and expansions DeKalb cities The dirt path conceptual transit on Buford tions on proposed and that is the Highway in Brookhaven and Dunsubject of front of the master plans to the a dispute about DYANA BAGBY Orchard at Both presentations a new sidewa Brookh woody City Councils. lk and landsca aven a 1 cent sales tax pe strip. spotlighted two scenarios: raise $3.65 billion over increase that would projects, and a half30 years and fund 16 raise $1.85 billion penny increase that would P11 15 projects. over 30 years and fund tax requires a vote. Increasing the sales tax is 8 percent. Springs, a member DeKalb’s current sales Kevin Abel of Sandy decimajor a is which n Board Going to a referendum BY DYANA BAGBY of the State Transportatio project manager, Department of Transsion, Grady Smith, VHB Check out our oversees the Georgia AND EVELYN ANDREWS council at its June 10 took those officials to told the Brookhaven at ReporterNews podcasts portation, however, Dunwoody and hearing DeKalb leadthe toll lanes projpapers.net Elected officials in meeting. He said he is task and said he supports out against the time to consider the and Ga. 400 because ership is wanting more Doraville are speaking ects planned on I-285 input from the cittoll lanes and have BY DYAN bus rapid transit to proposals and is seeking planned I-285 “top end” A BAGBY they promise to bring The Brook the estimated $5 dyanabagby@r signed a petition opposing See DEKALB on page 30haven Reporter the area. eporternewspape to begin construcen has some 31 rs.net billion project expected isMAY mail deliver residents See DUNWOODY on page 2019 ed • VOL. 13 —Emory NO. 5Univer living in by neighb tion in 2023. nearhomes on selecteto orhood sity’s propos through traffic s worried about a $1 billion cutcarrier routes d “health innova al to build and more in such roads over the next congestion tion distric on ZIP 30319 as Sherid t” 15 years on an, Briarcl approximatel North Druid 60 acres of iff and Executive Hills. For information: Park in Brookh y Emory officia delivery@rep avorternewspape ls say they ing to allevia rs.net are workte those ► concerns by con8 See TRAFFIC See our ad on page on .com page lauderhills 22 et

Summertim e, the reading and is easy

JUNE Sandy

Dunwoody Brookhave n

Sidewalk dispute could set Buford Highway precedent

BY DYANA BAGBY

COMMENTARY

Section Two

It’s a livin actor fight g: local s Batman, The ninjas in the St movies M unt ►Head an for the Hills

EDUCATION

Presenting our local high sch valedictoria ool ns s.net dyanabagby@reporternewspaper salutatorian and s Board of CommisThe DeKalb County aP6

P5

PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID Atlanta, GA Permit NO. 3592

The annual competition is judged by newspaper professionals from around the country and represent the highest journalism standards. Thank you to our readers, advertisers and peers who support our mission of providing trusted, hyperlocal community journalism.

JULY 2019 Vol. 25 No. 7 ■ www.Atl antaINto

Please, Pick the Fruit P34 JULY 2019 • VOL. 10

We’re honored that Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown have won 41 awards in the Georgia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Competition over the past three years. For 2019, the Reporter’s honors include eight first place awards in its category.

her “moniker of ‘defeated candidate’” and explaining how she runs the group with similarities to a city council. However, she showed no immediate interest in a political future when asked in an interview. “We have an administration [and] I’m busy doing what I’m doing,” she said.

MER

Facing a controversial ouster from Atlanta Public Schools, Superintendent Carstarphen spoke at a Nov. 20 Northwest Community Alliance meeting with the trademark force and charisma that has many residents speculating – or wishing – that if she can’t stay, she might seek the top job at the DeKalb County School District or run for an elected office. Carstarphen did not address her job or future in her presentation, which focused on how tax breaks for luxury developments harm APS’s revenues. In an interview, she said she hasn’t thought about life beyond APS, but also did not rule out a career in politics when asked. “I am fully focused on making sure I run APS well, right? … It’s a handful,” Carstarphen said when asked whether she is interested in running for office, describing several ways the district has kept her busy. “…But my focus right now is still APS. I haven’t thought about anything for next steps and I’ll do that when I get a little break over the holidays and start thinking about what’s next.” Carstarphen also reviewed her progress in boosting that graduation rate and other metrics since she took the job in 2014 in the wake of an infamous test-cheating scandal. The Atlanta Board of Education decided earlier this year not to extend her contract,

school board will have a challenge in finding candidates for the superintendent position when they see Carstarphen’s contract situation. Norwood referred to her political experience in her presentation, saying that having the BCN chair position is better than

POSTAL CUSTO

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

which runs through June 2020, in a move that sparked controversy. Carstarphen has made it clear that she wants to remain in the job, saying in a previous interview that she was “called here by God” to run APS and that she knows “the work isn’t done.” At the NCA presentation, Carstarphen did not discuss her contract and spoke about the school board only to briefly praise member Nancy Meister, a Buckhead resident who was in the audience. Asked about her contract in an interview, Carstarphen referred questions to the school board and its superintendent search webpage. Also speaking at the NCA meeting was Mary Norwood, the chair of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, who is aligned with Carstarphen on the tax break issue. Norwood, who called herself “a big Meria fan,” has experience in politics and city leadership as a former City Council member and two-time mayoral candidate. Asked about the idea of Carstarphen running for office, Norwood said, “If she wants to run for anything else – anyone who has the interest and the skills and the priorities, go for it.” As for the possibility of the school board changing its mind about Carstarphen’s ouster, Norwood noted the “strong group of people” who urged the board to extend the contract, such as U.S. Rep. John Lewis and former mayors Sam Massell, Shirley Franklin and Andrew Young. Norwood said her “concern for the city” is that the

ATLANTA INTOWN 6065 ROSWELL ROAD, SUITE SANDY SPRINGS, 225 GA 30328

BY JOHN RUCH

WWW.REPORTERNEW SPAPERS.NET

A BUCKHEAD MYSTERY MARY KAYINSPIRES ANDREW’S NEW NOVEL

SECTION

TWO

COMMUNITY

PAGE 26

SPECIAL

AD SECTION

■ PAGES

An art fan maps street murals in and beyondAtlanta

BY DYAN

A BAGBY

dyanabagby@r

eporternewspape

rs.net

The Orchar d at Brookh sisted living aven, an asfacility that caring for specializes those with in dementia, opened on recently Buford Highw ay, a large, low “pre-le yelasing” banne r still hangin over its front g entrance. Just yards from that front entran a dirt path ce is that runs along Buford way, created Highover many reporternewsp apers.net years by people walking along the busy thorou spite a lack ghfare deof sidewa lks. That is supposed dirt path to become a 10-foot Perim and a 5-foot landscape eter Businsidewa ess Springlk strip, a condit 2019 | the city put PCIDs mark ion Where brick-and-mortar retail still works on theThe ofdeveloper s 20 years property when was rezone shaping Perim the d two years eter Cente r ago to See SIDEWA LK on page 23 MAY 2019

Section Two

Sandy Springs Dunwoody

WWW.REPORTERNEWSPA

Brookhaven

PERS.NET

LOCAL COUPLE BRINGS ANIME, GAMING EVENT TO ATLANTA

Buckhead

Perimeter Business: PCIDs turns 20 ►Q+A with local couple behind Atlanta’s big anime convention

SECTION

26

P. 36

BY JOHN

pers.net

Main photo, the diverging at Ashford-Dunwoody

SPECIAL diamond looked shortly Road and interchange I-285 as after opening it Inset, the in 2012. Hammond Ga. 400 Drive interchange FILE shortly after with it opened in 2011.

www.pignch

ik.net

CongratCelebrate Memoria ulations l Day and Let us feed to your family all the 2019 graduat Sandy Springs/Buckhea Three & friends while you GREAT 4920 Roswell locations! d celebrate! es! Road 404-255-6368

P10

RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspa

After 20 increasingly years of a population jammed boom, scraper-sprouting highways and skyit may sound mega-developments, quaint that about Perimeter people worried Mall traffic 1999. way back in But the provement Perimeter Community Districts, Imof business the self-taxing groups out of those property owners that formed concerns, sons the local boom are among the why the has happened reatraffic and to Perimeter isn’t even worse. If you Center today, get there you may go via well PCIDs pushed one of the big projects – like the ramps on Hammond the Ga. 400 Drive woody or the Ashford-DunRoad diverging change diamond at I-285 – and you’ll intertouches they’re responsible see smaller scaping and rush-hour for, like “They had traffic cops. landone, cleaning a reputation for, those cosmeticthings up, providing number some of amenities used to,” we’ve all said Ann become the CIDs Hanlon, who watched form as a longtime resident and now Dunwoody serves as director. their “At lutionary, the time, that was executive that a private pretty to pay for group was revothose amenities.” willing Back in day cover 1999, the three cities that Perimeter en, Dunwoody toCenter – Brookhavnot yet exist. and Sandy Springs As the – did its next 20 years, PCIDs looks ahead it has sion on transportation, refocused its to misproposals leaving such as park-building previous ies. Transportation erything these days to the citfrom trail networks helping to buildmeans evmultiuse to shaping toll lanes the future and transit That’s in of on Ga. 400 addition and I-285. PCIDs currently to some of the like sidewalks provides or basics the and crosswalks,coordinates, shuttles, traffic signal commuter rimeter timing and Connects the Pecommuter vice. advice serAn increasingly part of Perimeter residential sector Center’s is future, with CONTINUED

Is this the gun that killed Buckhead’s namesake deer?

34-39

Holy Spirit plan spurs talk of agreement, lawsuits

TWO

NATURE AND THEATER MERGE AT DUNWOODY’S PLAY-READING SERIES PAGE

PAGE 26

Emory Area

1815 Briarcliff Road 404-474-9444

Chamblee/Brook

5071 Peachtree haven Industrial 770-451-1112 Blvd.

ON PAGE

34

We Deliver! Pig-N-Chik

10% off orders over $20

Offer expires

7/31/19

COMMUNITY

It took — and cial media, a harmonic everything convergence an unmet an engineer’s A tribute changed “It was of soan eye-opening for Rudick. to the former recalls. ping more need to launch retirement and IMAGE in Buckhead, “This Limelight COURTESY experience,” maps covering ro Atlanta. than 500 street a website mappainted disco behind ART RUDICK On the was amazing he by Dr. stuff.” same trip, murals 14 neighborhoods outlying Binder’s duced Dax and in metFittingly, Rudick’s him to cities as Art Supplies The Loss a guy named Instagram, niece introand Sandy and such home Dunwoody, to locate Prevention. to Springs. all of Art was walking six self-guided hood full his Old Fourth and he returned The site Brookhaven the one “I’ve alwaysthe art. tour. Ward of curiosity. also and includes walking photos “It’s partially had Rudick tours of provides He wantedneighborof Atlanta’s says, “but an interest ing that because street art on his in art,” myself. Rudick, bios of 16 muralists. I’ve never street murals to take cartoon,” I grew new Instagram I once an engineer the attraction. up watchbeen an Art end of Rudick did woodworking were the by, making to post 2016 after artist who retired account, says, explaining murals? custom ca-Cola, but where a He says How could as a hobat the Necessity furniture.” The design finds most 32-year career his favorite he find ro, who ing local tion when became the of a new with Cofor Rudick, artists them? uses a artists on of his content mother hobby are Yoyo Rudick technique 61, about contour contact by followmap of Instagram. he and Ferdrawing, three yearstook shape page known the city’s realized that of invenhis He also of a collective times reach on his site, as blind and five with no street art a decent City. While wife visited ago when and artists has a who are him that didn’t exist. Club, which known there, the family in New website, previous experience a guided Twice somepart way. York So, Atlanta he does “a as the Lotus tour amazing to check a year, he says, in doing couple an online took it upon class Bushwickof street lot of interestingEaters work.” took on he drives art in the a himself of Donna He sure that every mural, and the guide to Atlanta’s neighborhood to create around workingand Howells, also admires as the artists her seventies new work site is current. part of making of Brooklyn a Cabbagetownthe work The result who put them street murals while making He’ll often SIGN UP only recently. who began is the Atlanta up. artist in at StreetArtMap.org, Rudick spot TO RECEIVE the creating Street Art the artist says his favorite rounds. murals Rudick DAILY & which Map keeps his mural is has interactive in suburban Tom and known as Jerkface, WEEKLY eyes open one by Jerry cartoon EMAILS cities, based pears on ral is the too. Ferro’s for murals WITH LOCAL characters. on the Brookhaven’s first stop School, work The on the NEWS @ and the Cross Keys apLittle Five musuch locations REPORTERNEWS website High Points notes artwork as the PAPERS.NET/SI parking in garage CONTINUED GNUP of

Proposal for Wieuca roundabout is back

P13

ON PAGE

40

COMMENTARY

AROUND TOWN

Take steps to protect urban wildlife

Naturalist keeps his eye on water and wildlife P12

P18

ROBIN’S NEST

P19

FAITH

Check out our podcasts at ReporterNewspapers.net

PHIL MOSIER

building The Georgia Department of Transportation is considering flyover toll lanes atop the Northridge Road overpass.

BY EVELYN ANDREWS

evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The Sandy Springs Reporter is mail delivered to homes on selected carrier routes in ZIPs 30327, 30328, 30342 and 30350 For information: delivery@reporternewspapers.net

PRSRT STD ECRWSS US Postage PAID Monroe, GA Permit #15

BH

forward.

evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Check out our podcasts at ReporterNewspapers.net

Affordable housing advocates who co-chaired the city’s North End Revitalization Task Force launched an initiative opposing the task force’s final report with a community meeting on Feb. 28. At that meeting, several north end residents said they feared the recommendations would lead to displacement of See TWO on page 14

scenes. For information: books for a long “I know it’s been on the delivery@reporterne wspapers.net time, but we need to mitigate it as much as we can,” said Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs), who says she’s trying to arrange a large-scale meeting of state engineers, local officials and possibly the general public. “This is very upsetting.” The toll lanes, called “express lanes” or “managed lanes,” are proposed by the Geor-

BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Neighborhood Planning Unit system that reviews planning, zoning and other big issues for Atlanta city government is getting a review of its own. A downtown nonprofit called the Center for Civic Innovation has begun a quiet, but

potentially influential, series of meetings and surveys that aims to have reform recommendations for the 45-year-old system on the table by March 2020. “There are things about [the NPU system] that are amazing, and things that we need to have a lot more conversation about,” said CCI Executive Director Rohit See AFTER on page 14

BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The wooden stock is beige and battered with age. The metal plate above the trigger is decorated with a pair of birds. The barrel is long, heavy and octagonal. It’s an old muzzleloading firearm, for sure. It might even be the one that killed the deer that gave Buckhead its curious name in 1838. John Beach, president of the Buckhead Heritage Society, is still trying to figure that For more on out, partly by tracking John Beach, see the tales surrounding Around Town, page 20. another little-known piece of area history – an 1842 log cabin that quietly survived destruction by being moved to a Buckhead back yard. In the meantime, Beach gave the Reporter an exclusive closeSee IS on page 22

See OFFICIALS on page 22

POSTAL CUSTOMER

Published by Springs Publishing LLC

Two groups with opposing views on redevelopment concepts for the north end of Sandy Springs have organized to voice their opinions as city officials determine which concepts should move

BY EVELYN ANDREWS

As neighborhood impacts of toll lanes planned along Ga. 400 and I-285 become are clearer, city and state elected officials The Buckhead Reporter seeking ways to influence the process with is mail delivered to homes varying tactics. Some officials say they’ll on selected carrier routes fight the project, while others aim for smallin ZIPs 30305, 30327 er tweaks. Some call for community-wide meetings, while some work behind theand 30342

Two groups launch to support, oppose north end concepts

PRSRT STD ECRWSS US Postage PAID Monroe, GA Permit #15

United Methodists struggle with church’s LGBTQ decision P18

Left, John Beach, president of the Buckhead which reputedly killed the neighborhood’s Heritage Society, holds the “Buckhead Gun,” namesake deer in 1838. Right, holds what is said to be the same firearm in an undated photo. (John James Whitley Ruch/Special)

After 45 years, a nonprofit launches a review of NPU citizen input system

POSTAL CUSTOMER

The #1 preferred source for local news and information!*

Mother’s Words of Wisdom

*Source: independent reader survey


| 32

DECEMBER 2019 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Up to

$1,320

Get up to $1,320 every year to spend on over-the-counter health items* at Walmart.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield + Walmart means value and convenience for you. We’ve partnered with Walmart to bring you up to $1,320 every year to spend on over-the-counter health items. Plus, YOU choose how to shop! Visit your local Walmart. Phone in your order. Place your order by computer. Order from your mobile phone or tablet. With our Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll receive an allowance up to $1,320 every year to spend on nonprescription over-the-counter drugs and health-related items like: • Toothpaste • Toothbrushes • Cough Drops

• Vitamins • Pain Relief • Sinus medications

• Antacids • First aid supplies • And much more...

Let’s talk! We’ll find the plan that’s right for you.

Stacie Miles an authorized licensed insurance agent for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Georgia License number: 2733354

1-470-522-8815 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 5 days a week

*Monthly, quarterly and/or annual limits apply. Please contact the plan for additional details. This policy has exclusions, limitations, and terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of coverage, please contact your agent or the health plan. Other providers are available in our network. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is an HMO D-SNP with a Medicare contract and a contract with the Georgia Medicaid program. Enrollment in Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield depends on contract renewal. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. Independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Anthem is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. Y0114_19_35654_U_M_223 10/01/2018 BH

72381MUSENMUB_223

Profile for Reporter Newspapers

December 2019 - Buckhead Reporter  

December 2019 - Buckhead Reporter  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded