Dec. 6 runoff will decide Warnock and Walker contest for SenateWalker BY COLLIN KELLEY AND ROSS WILLIAMS
Although Democrats have kept con trol of the U.S. Senate, all eyes remain on Georgia and the upcoming Dec. 6 runoff between incumbent Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walk er.
Warnock earned about 35,000 more votes than Walker, but neither candidate crossed the 50% threshold because Liber tarian Chase Oliver drew 2% of the vote.
Democrats clinched victory on Nov. 12, four days after the actual election, when Nevada incumbent Catherine Cor tez Masto narrowly defeated her Republi can challenger Adam Lexalt.
Both Warnock and Walker had already hit the campaign trail again when Masto won, and now it just remains to be seen if Democrats will have 51 seats, ending the deadlock usually broken by Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Because we are in a situation where you don’t have to have an even makeup of the committees — so that’s why it is im portant, mostly,” President Joe Biden told reporters after Masto was declared the win ner. “But it’s simply better, the bigger the number the better.”
A win by Warnock would provide Biden and the Democrats a major boost in help ing push through their agenda.
Early voting was scheduled to begin Nov. 28, which is the same date voters must have already requested an absentee ballot. At press time, a judge had approved voting to take place on Saturday, Nov. 26, after Warnock filed suit against the state. Both Fulton and DeKalb counties said they would offer early voting on Nov. 26.
Early voting takes place Monday through Friday, typically Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It won’t be Warnock’s first runoff: He won his Senate seat in 2021by defeating then-incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler in a rematch.
“Here’s what this race is about, Geor gia, it’s about competence, and it’s about
character. It’s about both of those things,” Warnock said at a campaign stop on Nov. 10 in Downtown Atlanta. “We need to be clear, this is not simply about passing this law or passing that law, and it’s certainly not about the process of Washington, DC. This is about who we are as Georgians.”
Walker’s campaign has been plagued by a constant drip of unflattering stories, in cluding allegations of domestic violence, lies about past employment and former girlfriends stating that he paid for them to have abortions despite being publicly antiabortion.
Walker was another candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump who failed to close the deal on Nov. 8, and the GOP watched the promised “red wave” dry up.
Back on the campaign trail, Walker called Warnock a “hypocrite.”
“He’s not telling you the truth, and he’s going to continue to be that hypocrite, that wolf in sheep’s clothing, cause he’s not tell ing you this either: You know, he had vot ed against our military,” Walker said dur ing a Nov. 10 rally in Canton. “He said you can’t serve God and the military at the same time. Do you know we’re the greatest coun try in the United States, in the world, be cause we have the United States military, but yet they’re bringing pronouns, they’re bringing pronouns in our military. So, his pronoun’s gonna be ‘former/senator.’”
According to a report from Politico, newly re-elected Gov. Brian Kemp was lending logistical support to Walker’s cam paign.
“Under an agreement that was final ized Thursday, Kemp will transfer his doorknocking, data analytics, phone-banking and micro-targeting program to the Senate Leadership Fund, the McConnell-aligned super PAC that is bolstering Walker,” the outlet’s Alex Isenstadt writes. “The super PAC will provide the funding for the $2 million-plus effort, which will be run by Kemp’s senior advisers and staffed by more than 100 field workers.”
Construction begins on final major segment of PATH400BY DYANA BAGBY
Construction is underway on the fi nal major stretch of PATH400, a multiuse path that “runs along the spine of GA 400” in North Atlanta that provides pedes trian and bicycle connectivity to Buckhead neighborhoods and commercial districts.
Mayor Andre Dickens was on hand for the Nov. 11 groundbreaking of the $12.8 million project to build the new threequarter mile stretch between Wieuca Road and Loridans Drive. Atlanta City Coun cilmembers Mary Norwood and Howard Shook, who represent Buckhead, were also on hand along with several other local of ficials.
“PATH400 … is part of a growing trail network that can eventually serve as a valu able economic development tool for our city and the region,” Dickens said in a press release. “Trails like PATH400 help make Atlanta a healthier city, providing accessi ble and equitable opportunities for exercise and recreation.”
The $12.8 million Wieuca-Loridans seg ment of PATH400 is funded through fed eral and local government funds, including approximately $8.8 million from transpor tation improvement project funds adminis tered by the Atlanta Regional Commission and $3.8 million from the city of Atlan ta’s TSPLOST funds. Additional funding for design was contributed by the Buck head Community Improvement District (BCID).
The Wieuca-Loridans segment connects directly to Mountain Way Common, a park
that neighbors have worked for years to de velop, said Denise Starling, executive di rector of Livable Buckhead. Livable Buck head is spearheading the PATH400 project in partnership with the Buckhead CID and the PATH Foundation.
“Creating pedestrian and bike-friend ly connections between parks in Buckhead was one of the central purposes for building PATH400, and we’re excited to deliver on that promise with this new segment,” Star ling said in the release.
PATH400 is a 5.2-mile walkable, bike able greenway being constructed on public land adjacent to GA 400 extending from the bank of Peachtree Creek northward to ward the northern edge of Atlanta. Con struction of the entire route is estimated to cost $37 million, with funding for earlier phases provided by the PATH Foundation and Buckhead CID.
Georgia Department of Transportation provided its right-of-way along GA 400 as land for most of the trail which will stretch from the Atlanta BeltLine to Sandy Springs when it is complete. The PATH Founda tion has provided construction manage ment services and expertise at no cost to the project.
Construction on the Wieuca-Loridans segment is expected to take approximately two years. Livable Buckhead will soon be gin hosting construction tours for members of the public who are interested in learn ing more about the project. For more in formation about PATH400 or to sign up to receive project updates, visit livablebuck head.org.
Cheshire Bridge Road reconnected as new bridge opensBY COLLIN KELLEY
After more than a year, the bridge over South Fork Peachtree Creek on Cheshire Bridge Road has finally reopened to vehicles and pedes trians.
While work is continuing on the bridge, one lane in each direc tion and a sidewalk are open, according to the Atlanta Department of Transportation. The bridge had to be demolished and rebuilt after a fire in August 2021.
The city acknowledged that the rebuilding of the bridge, which cost nearly $7 million, had taken longer than expected.
The closure of Cheshire Bridge between Woodland Avenue and Faulkner Road caused businesses to lose customers and inconve nienced residents.
Jennifer Ohme, senior consultant for the Piedmont Heights Alli ance, said businesses along Cheshire Bridge saw up to an 80 percent drop in sales. She said the closure not only hampered customers get ting to businesses, but also deliveries.
Daniel Dailey, owner of Johnny’s Pizza, said the detour around closed bridge has had a “dramatic impact on street traffic and foot traffic.”
He said in the first three weeks after the fire, his pizzeria saw a 30 percent decline in total sales and a 50 percent decline in dine-in sales.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens cut the ribbon and walked across the bridge on Oct. 31, commenting that “being able to have two lanes of traffic will hopefully provide relief” for businesses along the corridor.
The complete rebuilding of the bridge could take until February, officials said.
Fulton County reaches sales tax agreement with citiesBY BOB PEPALIS
After four months of negotiations, Ful ton County and its 15 cities have reached an agreement on the distribution of Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenues over the next 10 years.
The Board of Commissioners approved the agreement at its Nov. 2 meeting, a county spokesperson said in a press release.
The county share of LOST will increase from the current 4.98% to 12.5% over the next decade. The sales tax generates 1 cent per dollar on retail sales within the county boundaries and in every city.
Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said the county’s share averages at 9.985% over the 10-year period.
I’m just glad it’s over. I think we proba bly negotiated the best deal that we could get,” Paul said.
Fulton County will receive an estimat ed $383 million over the next 10 years, up from the $191 million it would have gotten if its share remained at 4.98%.
“We are glad that the cities have recog nized the importance of Fulton County’s services for our citizens, and the extraor dinary needs we are facing,” Commission
Chairman Robb Pitts said. “This agreement does not meet every need but is a positive step forward.”
Paul said an attorney representing the cities told them the best to hope for was a 15 percent share for the county, but they were able to get it under 10 percent. He called it a pretty good outcome under the circumstances.
The cities are projected to get $3.46 bil lion in LOST revenue during that time.
The projected $350 million Sandy Springs expects to collect is $85 million more than collected in the previous 10-year period, she said.
“It’s probably been the most grueling thing I’ve ever done in public life. But I thought I’d seen everything, but this was rather intense for a long period of time and Eden has done a phenomenal job,” Paul said.
He said the city is giving up a little bit of money to help some of its sister cities that would have had a real negative impact.
One of the best consequences of the ne gotiations has been the relationship Atlan ta and Sandy Springs have developed, Paul said.
new year's eve swingin' party
City replaces fire station contractor as costs riseBY BOB PEPALIS
Sandy Springs City Council revoked a contract for the construction of a new Fire Station 5 due to cost escalations and award ed it to another contractor that had bid on the project.
Cooper & Co. originally bid just over $8 million to construct the new fire station at 7800 Mount Vernon Road but told the city it needed more money during a meet ing on Oct. 12.
“A contract was not executed because Cooper and Co. indicated it would not be able to maintain the pricing described in its fee proposal,” Dave Wells, director of Fa cilities/Capital Construction and Building Operations, told City Council acting as the Public Facilities Authority on Nov. 15.
Cooper & Co. submitted a revised con tract price of approximately $8.8 million in a meeting with city staff on Oct. 12, Wells said. Staff asked the company to review its pricing and provide the city with a firm cost
with ideas for potential savings to bring the project back to its original pricing range. As the company’s pricing exceeded Reeves Young’s pricing, the staff asked the second company to also submit a best and final of fer.
When the city received the latest offers, Cooper & Co. came in at $8.56 million with Reeves Young submitting an $8.4 mil lion offer, which was lower than its origi nal bid.
“With both offers being capable of com pleting the project an award to Reeves Young would allow a cost savings of $160,000 in cluding escalation costs,” Wells said.
“Just one quick question: Has anybody communicated to Cooper and Co. that this is happening?” Mayor Rusty Paul asked.
Wells confirmed the company had been informed.
City Council voted to revoke the Coo per & Co. contract and award it to Reeves Young.
5975 Roswell Rd, Suite A-103 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 (404) 236-2114
Alpharetta 5230 Windward Pkwy, Suite 102 Milton, GA 30004 (678) 366-1445
Holiday Lights Brook Run Park 4 p.m.
Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting
Dunwoody City Hall 6 p.m.
Holiday Lights Brook Run Park
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Stage Door Theatre
Dunwoody Farmers Market Brook Run Park 9 a.m. - noon
Special-Called Dunwoody Alcohol License Review Board
Dunwoody City Hall 3 p.m.
Dunwoody Art Commission Meeting
Dunwoody City Hall 5 p.m.
Dunwoody Trail Master Plan Open House
Dunwoody City Hall 6 - 8 p.m.
Sustainability Committee Meeting via Zoom 8 a.m.
Dunwoody Farmers Market Brook Run Park 9 a.m. - noon
Park at Vermack Master Plan Open House 4809 Vermack Road noon - 2 p.m.
Handmade Gift Bazaar Spruill Gallery
Dunwoody City Council Meeting
Dunwoody City Hall 6 p.m.
Planning Commission Meeting
Dunwoody City Hall 6 p.m.
Holiday Tasting and Late-Night Shopping Spruill Gallery
Dunwoody Farmers Market Brook Run Park 9 a.m. - noon
City Hall Closed
City Hall Closed
Resident discovers possible method for mail theft at post officeBY CATHY COBBS
A Dunwoody woman may have stum bled on the reason for a rash of check thefts in the area – and all it took was a feeling.
The Dunwoody Police Department has been investigating a rash of mail theft and check “washing” that has been occur ring in the area for the past few months. There have been nearly 50 incidents re ported of checks being stolen, altered and cashed, often for thousands of dollars more than the original value.
The checks have been mailed both from inside the Dunwoody Post Office, located at 1551 Dunwoody Village Park way, and from the drive-through boxes outside the facility.
Susan Still, who lives less than a mile from the Dunwoody Post Office on Dun woody Village Parkway, was mailing a card to a friend Nov. 2 using the facility’s large drive-through mailbox. She said she was aware of the reports of theft but felt confident about using the outside box be cause it didn’t contain a check.
“I put my card in and just had a feel ing that it didn’t hit the bottom of the box,” she said. “I put my hand about 1012 inches down the chute and felt a piece of cardboard that was taped down and trapping the letters from going down into the mailbox.”
Still said she retrieved about 50 piec
es of mail that were blocked by the heavi ly taped carton, which turned out to be a United States Postal Service mailing box. Several checks were in the pile.
When she alerted the workers inside the facility of her discovery, she said she was met with indifference.
“The attitude from the employees was, ‘Why are you mailing things at the box? You know it’s not safe.’ There was no real concern,” Still said. “I bet employ ees from Federal Express would never tell people that it’s unsafe to use their boxes to send important mail.”
Still said she and others believe the so lution to slowing down the thefts is sim ple – close the outside pickup box.
“If it’s not monitored and it’s not safe, seal it up,” she said. “I don’t know why this hasn’t been done already.”
The mail theft/check washing scheme has gotten the attention of local, state and national officials. In late October, Geor gia U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock wrote a letter to U.S. Postal officials demanding an investigation into the incidents, which has resulted in at least $250,000 in fraud ulent checks being cashed.
Dunwoody Police Public Information Officer Mark Stevens said information about Still’s Nov. 2 experience had been received and “has been provided to the case detective.”
Walking path plans divide communityBY CATHY COBBS
Dunwoody residents opposed to a pro posed walking path on Tilly Mill Road accused one city council member of fa voritism.
Speakers at the Dunwoody Home owners Association meeting on Nov. 6 also said there is no demand for a multiuse path in that area.
Neighborhood representatives from Stephens Walk and surrounding neigh borhoods are opposed to a proposed in stallation of 12-foot multi-use paths along Tilly Mill Road, citing the location of the path, the loss of trees, and the proximity of the path to their homes. They also say that the existing six-foot sidewalk is ade quate for the neighborhood’s needs.
The city has proposed two alternatives for the path, one which puts it in front of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) and the other which puts it next to the subdivisions.
In July, city staff recommended the subdivision side for the path citing the greater potential for use, but costing an additional $700,000. Residents in several subdivisions along Tilly Mill have object ed to this plan.
“If the path is located on the original side, we will lose about 25 to 30 trees,”
Stephens Walk subdivision resident Tom Simon said at the DHA meeting. “On the other side, it will disrupt six of the eight entrances to subdivisions, and it will take out more than 300 trees.”
Simon and others have implied or spe cifically blamed Dunwoody City Coun cil Member Stacey Harris for the city’s change of heart. Harris is a program di rector at the MJCCA.
Simon said that the path was “magical ly moved” to the other side of the street after Harris mentioned that the MJCCA opposes its installation on the west side of Tilly Mill.
“It makes me angry that they (the DHA) would bring my reputation into question,” Harris said in response to the accusations. “I have made a concerted ef fort to not discuss this issue at all with the other council members.”
City Councilman Tom Lambert said during the Nov. 14 meeting that he was concerned about the “growing level of misinformation being presented to the public” over the path issue.
In response to the dissention on the path plans, a community meeting has been set for Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dunwoody City Hall, 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road.
LOOK Dine-In Cinema opened at 1004 Town Boulevard on Nov. 3 replac
ing the similar CinéBistro, which closed after nearly 10 years due to the COV ID-19 pandemic.
“When the old place shut down, it re
ally did leave a hole,” said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst at the opening ceremo ny for the theater. “Thank you so much for doing this.”
The new cinema offers seven theaters with luxury seating, where moviego ers can order from a menu that includes cocktails, sushi, pizza, and of course, popcorn.
This is LOOK’s first cinema in the metro Atlanta area and its 11th location overall.
“We are thrilled that LOOK has come here,” said Alan Goodman, president of
the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce.
The new cinema will have longer oper ating hours than CinéBistro and will show movies appropriate for kids and families.
LOOK Cinema CMO James Meredith said he hopes the new theater will become an integral part of the community, wheth er residents are visiting to see a movie, eat dinner, or just hang out.
“Tell your friends and family that they can come at any time,” Meredith said.
“They don’t necessarily need to see a mov ie.”
Join us this winter at soccer camp! There are camps for all ages and levels of play starting in December. All players are welcome. Both Rec and Competitive camps are available.
A team. A family. An assist with everything that matters.
Imagine life with a complete support system
It’s like an extended family working together and making things easier. Meals, prescriptions, appointments, personalized care, even a hobby or two, all taken care of—with smiles at every turn. Having it all, and an extra hand when you need it. That’s Assisted Living at The Piedmont at Buckhead.
Plaza Fiesta shopping center sold to Asana PartnersBY SAMMIE PURCELL
Plaza Fiesta, the popular Latino shop ping center located at 4166 Buford High way, has been sold to a Charlotte-based real estate firm called Asana Partners.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the shopping center was previ ously owned by Sarofim Realty Advisors. The commercial real estate firm CBRE At lanta represented Sarofim in the sale.
“Representing Plaza Fiesta in the mar ketplace was an honor and a career hallmark for our team. The property is the hub for the region’s growing Hispanic community and offers a truly authentic retail experience unlike any other in Atlanta and beyond,” said Kevin Hurley, a senior vice president with CBRE in a press release. “We have
been huge fans and patrons of Plaza Fiesta for many years and watched it thrive under thoughtful ownership and management. We are thrilled to have found a new spon sor that will continue to be a great steward of such a special property.”
Asana Partners, which also operates pop ular Krog Street Market in Inman Park, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Plaza Fiesta originally opened in 1968 as the Buford-Clairmont shopping cen ter with tenants that included a movie the atre, Sunshine’s department store, WinnDixie supermarket, and a Woolco store. It later became known as Outlet Square then as Oriental Mall. Sarofim bought the mall in 2000 and refurbished it into Plaza Fiesta.
DECEMBER 2022 | A SPECIAL SECTION
‘I think we’ve made this a better place …’
Thanks to our city’s founders, who had the fortitude to say we needed to do something, all that has changed dramat ically. We’ve made a name for ourselves –not just in the metro area but also the state and nation. Businesses want to move here; amazing people want to live here. We are Brookhaven.
We have one of the best police de partments you could ever hope for. Re sponse times are dramatically improved. Brookhaven’s police department is inno vative: it established the second drone pro gram in the country and the first citywide license plate reader (LPR) program. Both initiatives have helped apprehend criminals who would do this community harm. And, did you know, the drone was even used dur ing the 2022 Cherry Blossom Festival to lo cate a missing child?
and overall quality of life, but it will also connect us to the Atlanta BeltLine, Path 400, and the Silver Comet Trail.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Em ory and the Atlanta Hawks training fa cility moved into the I-85/North Druid Hills area, an area that’s emerging as a ma jor medical hub with state-of-the-art and pilot facilities serving folks from all over. Our partnerships with these hospitals and the Georgia Department of Transporta tion have advanced $46 million in feder al and state funds to the I-85/ North Dru id Hills Road interchange project to ensure our community, and the patients at Chil dren’s and Emory, arrive easily and safely at their destination.BY JOHN ERNST
My fellow Brookhaven residents, As we close in on our great city’s 10year anniversary, I can’t help but feel nos talgic. I grew up here, in the community known as Brookhaven before we were offi cially Brookhaven. I can remember walking to the Murphey Candler ballfields and play ing in the swimming pool in the summers. Now I live here with my wife and sons in
Lynwood Park. I love seeing my kids enjoy ing the same things I did as a child.
I can’t help but think how far our city has come since it was incorporated in 2012. Before that time, we relied heavi ly on DeKalb County with limited results. There were slow police response times, pot holes all over the place, neglected parks … you get the idea. We were a bunch of neigh borhoods who didn’t know who to identify with – Atlanta? Chamblee? Buckhead?
Brookhaven has embarked on major projects that have improved not only our city, but also the metro area and state.
Thanks to our $40 million park bond approved by voters in 2018, we have des tination and neighborhood parks we can be proud of. We built the first phase of the Peachtree Creek Greenway and are getting ready to embark on the second. Once com plete, this multiuse trail will not only con tinue to add to Brookhaven’s greenspace
Speaking of traffic, we want to be part of the solution. I’m collaborating with the mayors of seven cities and four Community Improvement Districts along I-285 as part of the Top End Transit Executive Com mittee to bring Express Lane Transit to the chronically congested outer perimeter en circling Atlanta.
And let’s not forget the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival. It started with the late former Councilwoman and May or Rebecca Chase Williams and her wish to bring the community together in our beau tiful Blackburn Park. Today, it’s the second largest music festival in the state, bring ing in international stars like Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Rick Springfield, the Re vivalists, Smash Mouth, The Wallflowers and more. Most importantly, it successfully brings us together.
These projects have us poised for the fu ture, and the next 10, 20, 50, 100 years – I think we’ve made this a better place for our current and future residents. We sure are trying. Just maybe my kids and your kids will want to make Brookhaven home when they grow up.
A special thank you to our residents- we couldn’t do this without your support and input . . . Here’s to us!
At Orchard, we collaborate and build relationships with families to foster a personalized approach to care.
We provide community outreach and education as we seek to be a part of improving the senior living experience and eliminating stigmas related to aging and dementia.
We partner with you on this journey. Our mission is to be part of your solution!
About the Cover
Opening Fall 2024 Arthur M. Blank Hospital
Opened January 2020
Center for Advanced Pediatrics Opened July 2018
We are proud to call Brookhaven home
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is excited to announce the newest hospital within our healthcare system. The Arthur M. Blank Hospital, which is slated to open in Fall 2024, will complete our North Druid Hills campus. But, we’re not just building a campus. We’re working at every level to expand our reach, support our research and propel the future of pediatric medicine.
Thank you to all the pediatric providers who deliver expert care to all children, ranging from newborns to teenagers. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with you as this hospital further advances pediatric care in Georgia for years to come.
Scan to tour our future campus.
Welcome to where?
It almost wasn’t called ‘Brookhaven.’
When legislation to create a new city south of Dunwoody was debated in the state Capitol, not everyone liked the idea of calling it “Brookhaven.” There already was an established neighborhood with that name and part of that neighborhood was within the city of At lanta.
So, when a committee of state lawmakers considered an early ver sion of the bill creating Brookhaven, the name was changed to ‘Ash ford,’ supposedly to avoid confusion. The change didn’t last long. Within a few weeks, the name was changed back to Brookhaven.BY JOE EARLE Editor’s Note
In the decade since, Brookhaven has carved its own place into the map of metro Atlanta. Residents elected newly minted city offi cials who created a police department and other city operations from scratch, took control of the community’s parks, fought a strip club and late-night bars in court, and expanded the city to include new areas, including one where medical towers now rise.
The Brookhaven Reporter asked some of the city’s founders and others who have been active in building the new community what they thought of Brookhaven as it approaches its 10th birth day. We also asked current City Council members to look ahead at the city’s next decade.
Here’s a look at Brookhaven at 10. Just don’t call it “Ashford.”
For more content, visit reporternewspapers.net/brookhaven-at-10.
When I look back after a decade at the controversy over cityhood , I laugh a little. Of course, there were some valid concerns expressed. However, the hyperbolic “You’ll be bankrupt in a year, they’ll raise your taxes, and you won’t have enough police” was just bad politics. It came from an inefficient county government that desperately wanted to keep hold of our uneven tax burden. “Police, Parks and Paving” was the mantra for Brookhaven Yes and I am proud that our city continues to do a great job with our original mission. However, the recent “nondiscrimination ordinance,” which can shut down a business for ‘misgendering’ customers, is over the top and patently unconstitutional. We could also do a better job really listening to our constituents on neighborhood issues. On balance, Brookhaven still does most things very well and I am extremely proud to have been the first mayor of Georgia’s best place to live.J. Max Davis | Brookhaven’s first mayor
It has been exciting to see the many things that have been accomplished since our founding on Dec. 17, 2012. I am especially proud of our police department. The partnerships with the diverse areas of Brookhaven as well as the leadership and quality of our officers is truly the gold standard. As with any new venture or new city, we have hit a few bumps in the road. But the city of Brookhaven will continue on a positive trajectory.
Brookhaven has active, engaged residents, a proactive Chamber of Commerce and wonderful organizations like The Latin American Association, The Peachtree Creek Greenway, numerous civic associations, Murphey Candler groups and the Brookhaven Police Foundation. We also have a thriving, engaged small business community and the Cherry Blossom Festival, both of which make Brookhaven a destination to live and play. I am proud to be a part of this great city.
J.D. Clockadale | Co-founder and president of the Brookhaven Police Foundation, and commissioner on the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven, which helped set up city institutions before the first election of City Council members
July 31 Voters approve creation of new city of Brookhaven.
Nov. 6 City holds first election for mayor and City Council. More than two dozen candidates seeks office.
Dec. 4 In runoff, voters choose J. Max Davis mayor and elect Rebecca Chase Williams, Bates Mattison and Joe Gebbia to join Jim Eyre on the first City Council.
Dec. 17 City of Brookhaven opens for business.
We know a thing or two about celebrating. Congrats, City of Brookhaven! The Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina is proudly in Brookhaven, GA Be on the lookout for the return of Jazz Brunch on Sundays at Villa Christina!
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Congratulations on 10 years of cityhood, Brookhaven!
Petite Violette is Atlanta's premier, family owned and operated French Restaurant.
Check out these special events on our books: Fridays and Saturdays in December (2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, and 30) Hollymark Presents: A Holiday Countdown to Murder. Come help us unwrap this mystery with Murder, Mystery and Mayhem!
December 19 22 Boars Head Feast with the Madrigal Singers The two glass, four course dinner features musical performances between courses. The evening begins at 6:15PM
Brookhaven has changed a lot under the new officers in place. There has been construction all around the street where I live. Water saturation is awful -- no drainage -- so the water on heavy rainy days remains in our yards until the ground dries. It’s a main street, so no one has made any attempt to correct the drainage unless there’s a complaint. Several of my neighbors complain to each other, but hardly none attend the council meetings. I am not a jolly citizen right now. I assume that we have to complain a lot to get things done. There have been several meetings concerning our neighborhood, but most are delayed or placed on a back burner. We have been waiting several years for one. Certain events gets the city’s full support and some partial or maybe none. Why? It’s our neighborhood. Why are we still waiting? We had a large amount of funding, but a very slow completion. I have lived here seen the changes, but very slow action of completion.Barbara Shaw | Long-time Lynwood resident and neighborhood activist
As a 30-year member of the Brookhaven business community, I witnessed the formation of a unique city. Brookhaven maintains the small town charm of quiet residential enclaves with nearby exciting shopping destinations and night life. Brookhaven attracts a wide variety of residents and patrons but unique as it retains and celebrates its diversity. Brookhaven’s leadership since its formation through innovation and determination has established Brookhaven as a leader in the metro Atlanta business market place. Its leadership has been comprehensive and compelling towards economic growth and development. Over the last 10 years, commercial, residential, health care and it’s chef-driven hospitality industry has blossomed. The Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce has played a vital role in advocating independently owned businesses. With a stellar Brookhaven Police Department, neighborhood parks and green-space, and conservancy services, Brookhaven has evolved as a great place to work and play. If a neon sign hung over the city it would shine “welcome!”Dennis Williams | Chairman, Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce
The Peachtree Creek Greenway opened its first mile in 2019, only six years into its short history. Amazing and incredible! The work began when the stars aligned, and the city was new. The mayor, council members, and the community recognized the value that a multi-use trail would bring to the underserved corridor alongside Buford Highway and I-85. Over time, the PCG will connect Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville, and unincorporated DeKalb County to the BeltLine. But without the City of Brookhaven, the plan still would be languishing on dusty shelves. I’m proud to live in Brookhaven and to have founded the advocacy nonprofit, the Peachtree Creek Greenway, Inc. The work is a marathon, and not a sprint.
‘They’ say that the older you get, the faster the time goes. Even so, it’s hard to believe that 2022 will mark my 69th year of living along a 3-mile stretch of the Nancy Creek basin, and my 10th year of living in the city of Brookhaven. The city that I helped found builds on a heritage of ancient foothills, forests, creeks, and wildlife. As suburbs gave way to cities, it became increasingly apparent that the only road open to us was to move forward by working together. That goal has been realized. Our ancient forests are thriving. Our zoning regulations assure that our homes and workplaces complement their natural landscape. Our commitment to partner as public as public servants with our residents assures our further progress towards a fully realized urban life which keeps past, present, and future in balance.
Tom Reilly | Volunteer for the National Wildlife Federation and member of Brookhaven Tree Conservancy
The year of three mayors
In June, J. Max Davis resigns to
unsuccessfully for a seat in the state Legislature. On June 9, Councilmember Rebecca Chase Williams takes over as mayor. In September, Williams announces she won’t run again because of family health issues. On Nov. 3, John Ernst is elected mayor, the city’s third.
In its first decade, Brookhaven rebuilds and expands parks
When the city of Brookhav en incorpo rated on Dec. 17, 2012, it inherited 11 parks and rec reational facil ities, totaling 270.8 acres, from DeKalb County. Brookhaven has since added parkland and greenspace, no tably the 33-acre Ashford Forest Preserve in 2017.
The city’s primary funding source for park improvements was an allocation from the Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST). In April 2018, HOST was replaced by EHOST (Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax). This change provided additional property tax relief for homeowners, but it also eliminated the funding source for cap ital improvements in Brookhaven parks.
At 2018, Brookhaven voters autho rized up to $40 million in capital improve ments to Brookhaven parks and facilities. Below are some of the major bond projects undertaken with the money. Visit www.
BrookhavenGA.gov/ParksBond-Ref for a comprehen sive list of parks bond proj ects, their costs, and status.
Ashford Park Splashpad
In June 2021, Brookhav en officially opened the new Ashford Park Splash Pad with a little help from throngs of Brookhaven children who at tended the event. Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst and District 2 Council Member John Park kicked off the festivities as a family of patients of Children’s Healthcare of Atlan ta turned on the water jets for the first time.
New Pool for Briarwood Park
Brookhaven’s newly renovated Briar wood Park pool made its debut in Septem ber 2020, just in time for a few final laps before the summer ended. It was the first major construction project utilizing a por tion of the $40 million Park Bond capital improvement funds.
Brookhaven Park Improvements
Improvements to Brookhaven Park be gan immediately after the city acquired the
front half of the park from DeKalb Coun ty in April. The fence along Osborne and Peachtree roads was removed and landscap ing was cleaned-up. Planned improvements include a larger parking lot and new build ing at the dog park that will include rest rooms, pavilion, and a deck with grills like the existing building. Improvements will
also be made to the sidewalks within the dog park. A new, larger playground will replace the current small playground. The new playground area will have restrooms and a small pavilion.
In October 2021 the city awarded $9.25 million for all of the improvements to Lyn wood Park that will transform the histor ic school-turned-recreation center, as well as the surrounding park area, while mark ing its historical significance to the city. Im provements will include a splashpad, new pool, pool house, parking lots, and land scaping Also, the city will install a bronze plaque inside the building listing the names of all recognized Trailblazers and install granite entrance monuments, identifying the neighborhood of Historic Lynwood Park. Granite monuments and historical markers also will tell the history of the area and its role in Brookhaven’s history. . “The Lynwood Park upgrades will be the most the most transformative changes out of all of the Park Bond upgrades, and they will all be happening simultaneously,” said Mayor John Ernst. “We will be wrapping up the Parks Bond projects at Lynwood [in 2023], which is the grand finale.”
Murphey Candler Park
The Parks Bond program includes mul tiple projects for Murphey Candler Park. The Horseshoe Road project was complet ed and opened for public access in July. The project rebuilt the road, giving visitors bet ter access to the park, and added parking spaces for existing pavilions. Nestled with in the Horseshoe Road is the Community Green, which opened earlier this year. The green features a small stage and seat walls and is intended as a gathering and creative space for small groups. After the opening of a trail along Nancy Creek last year, the north boardwalk opened in September, and a trail on the dam is under construction..--ANN MARIE QUILL
Scenes of the city
The Reporter asked Brookhaven pho tographer Donna P. Williams to record images portraying her community. Here’s some of what she found.
Top row at left: Randy Lewis, owner and chef at The Ashford; top right: Sumi and her daughters, Shiva, 2, and Radha, 4, at Town Brookhaven
Middle row: left to right, Oglethorpe Uni versity student Kate Arett, Oglethorpe Mu seum of Art curator of collections John Daniel Tilford; Oglethorpe student Sula Paw; OUMA director Elizabeth Peterson; museum collections manager Druonna Collier; students Ashrakat Hassan and So phia Sobrino
Bottom row: Catherine Schenck, 3, at Town Brookhaven.
BROOKHAVEN AT 10
Council members look ahead
I project bright days ahead for Brookhaven! In our first 10 years, we did the hard work of creating a city, responding to citizens, pre serving greenspace, improving parks and establishing an identi ty that supports our motto, “You Belong Here.” In the next 10 years, I expect that Brookhaven will continue to take great care of the newly improved parks, acquire additional greenspace, provide top-notch city services, and ensure public safety thanks to our topnotch Brookhaven Police Department. Brookhaven will continue to tackle the metro-wide challenges of traffic and development in order to ensure the best quality of life for our citizens. Most im portantly, I expect Brookhaven will cement its reputation as a great place to live, work, play and achieve!Linley Jones Brookhaven City Council, District 1
Over the next 10 years, I believe Brookhaven will continue its legacy of sustainability and ecological conservation. The cura tion and cultivation of Brookhaven’s tree canopy will be one of the things that other cities will be modeling over the next decade. Brookhaven will continue to lead the region in alternative transit options. In 2032, Brookhaven City Hall will be the centerpiece of a transformed MARTA development, providing a true live-workplay community. The entirety of the city will be better connected through a burgeoning network of multiuse paths. The Peachtree Creek Greenway will be complete and connected to the Atlanta BeltLine. Charging stations will be as ubiquitous as gas stations as electric cars become the popular option to combustion engines, for those that still choose to drive at all.John Park
Brookhaven City Council, District 2
What an exciting time to live in Brookhaven! Our first 10 years have seen significant growth, improvements, and community in volvement. I look forward to the completion of upgraded devel opment at Brookhaven Park and Langford Park, which will com plement our already fantastic parks system. A new City Hall for public use and engagement will beautify Peachtree Road and all our city has to offer. Brookhaven is such a special place to live, work and play and we will only get better in the next 10 years!Madeleine Simmons
Brookhaven City Council, District 3
Brookhaven since its inception has excelled in creating a city that is welcoming and inclusive for all. The continued success of the city of Brookhaven over the next 10 years will heavily rely on the “place-making” concept commonly used in the city and ur ban planning profession. Placemaking is the process of creating quality places where people want to live, work, play and learn. Brookhaven is a great city with great bones, and it will only get better as the policymakers, the leadership and the citizens continue to enhance greenspace and parks, economic development, trans portation, affordable/workforce housing, and public safety. These areas will contribute to the outcome of a successful community and the vision of a worldclass city to engage, inspire, and connect all citizens.John J. Funny
Brookhaven City Council, District 4
5 questions for Police Chief Emeritus Gary Yandura
Gary Yandura, the first chief of Brookhaven’s Police Department, now serves as chief emeritus of the city’s police force. Yandura started the Brookhaven department in 2013. He plans to re tire Jan. 1.
Q. What do you think is the chief accomplishment of the Brookhaven police over the past 10 years?
A. I feel our main ac complishment is our re lationship with the com munity in providing the law enforcement services needed and expected by them. We’re very proud of our response times on priority calls which have exceeded national standards along with us receiving an award for being the safest city in Dekalb County a few years ago. While everyone’s criminal activity has increased due to multiple rea sons, our department has also had a betterthan-average clearance rate in resolving our crimes. All of these efforts could only be ac complished with the support of our city ad ministration and council, who have contin
uously supported our initiatives and efforts.
Q. What are you the proudest of?
A. First, I’m most proud of our depart ment members that deal with our com munity every day and, once again, the rela tionship we have with our community. In ad dition, I’m very proud of the technology we’ve initiated in our area to enhance our law en forcement services.
This would include our license plate readers (LPRs) installed throughout the city, which has enabled us to solve many crimes that have occurred both inside and outside of our limits. We were the first department to ini tiate a LPR partnership with Georgia Power. Other programs that have been very success ful which were some of the first in our area were our First Responder Drone Program, our Mental Health Co-Responder Program and most recently the implementation of a “Live911” program which allows our officers to hear live 911 calls as their answered by our
911 center. This allows them to prepare and respond to serious calls in a safer, more effi cient manner. Many of these programs were the result of ideas brought about by our very own staff members. I’m also very proud that we’ve hired and mentored two members who became police chiefs in other jurisdictions, one of whom is now a state commissioner.
Q. What is your biggest regret?
A. The only regret I have is wishing I was younger when starting with the city of Brookhaven. The experience I’ve gained in three previous cities during my first 37 years of law enforcement prepared me for Brookhaven, but it’s now time to pass on the torch to a well-prepared younger command staff that I’m sure will carry on our depart ment’s partnership with our community.
Q. What has been the hardest thing for the department to accomplish over the past 10 years?
A. The hardest thing for our department to accomplish over the last 10 years can actu ally be narrowed down to the last few years, when retention and recruitment has been an issue, not only for our department, but across the nation. Our city administration and government has always been very sup
portive of our police department, as well as our entire community, but the overall law enforcement environment throughout our country does have an impact on every law enforcement member and their families. Our city has continually provided every thing needed to maintain and recruit good officers, but we still struggle with fewer ap plicants interested in law enforcement ca reers. This has been slowly changing during the past year, enabling us to reach our autho rized strength soon.
Q. Will the city’s new police headquarters and law enforcement center change policing in Brookhaven? If so, how?
I don’t believe our new police headquarters will change policing in Brookhaven, as this is engrained in our members already doing a great job in policing. The new building will enhance our ability to recruit and retain our members with a new working environment which will now include a fitness center, bet ter training facilities, and an overall better work environment than our current build ing, which was rented and retrofitted as our first police facility.
5 questions for Police Chief Brandon Gurley
Brandon Gurley is chief of police for the city of Brookhaven. Gurley was one of the first officers hired after Brookhaven’s department was created in 2013. He has held a variety of positions in the department. He was named chief in September.
Q. What do you think is the Brookhaven Police Department’s biggest accomplishment over the past decade?
A. Our relationship with our community is our biggest accomplishment. Our officers continue to work very hard in building and maintaining relationships throughout our community that has led to stronger trust. Our community welcomes and supports our innovative approach to the use of technolo gy in policing. This would not be possible without the support of our city administra tion and council, along with the hard work of the men and women of the Brookhaven Po lice Department.
July 31 Police department opens with Gary Yandura as chief.
Q. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the depart ment over the next 10 years?
A. Hiring and retention will be our biggest challenge moving forward. We were used to seeing a waiting list of applicants who wanted an opportunity to work at our agency. Over the last three years, we have seen the attitudes and climate toward policing shift in a negative way. The negative views of policing highlight ed in the media have impacted the interest we once saw in others who wanted to become police officers. Crime continues to rise, but the number of police applicants needed to serve our community has decreased.
Q. What new directions, if any, do you hope to lead the department?
A. I am excited to lead this department into the next 10 years. We will renew our focus on forward-thinking and innovative approaches to public safety. It will be important to recog nize the staffing challenges and find new and innovative ways to meet the demands of pub lic safety for the city of Brookhaven. I will
promote this “out of the box” approach and en courage staff to look to the future to identify ways in which we can lead the nation in pub lic safety.
Q. Brookhaven of ficials have long said the city’s most popular department is police. How can you main tain that popularity over the next decade?
A. We have a strong sense of partnership with our residents because our internal com munity engagement with our staff is strong. Our officers mirror how they are treated in ternally with their interactions in the commu nity. We can’t expect them to treat the pub lic with respect if they do not feel respected in the workplace. Our sense of community starts within. This type of relationship and
The city starts construction on a new $15 million public safety headquarters being built along the Peachtree Creek Greenway. The 34,000-square-foot headquarters will house the police department and municipal court.
partnership with the community will main tain our popularity and respect that we are able to enjoy.
Q. Will the city’s new police headquarters and law enforcement center change policing in Brookhaven? If so, how?
A. Our staff are looking forward to relocating to the new building. The new facility will provide opportunities for us to leverage with recruiting and hiring while af fording a more productive work environment for our staff. Our new building will feature a fitness center and state-of-the-art training fa cility while being strategically located on the Peachtree Creek Greenway. We look forward to the renewed focus this will allow us to take on our health and wellness initiatives.
Chelette: CHOA is ‘racing toward completion’ of new hospital in 2024BY SAMMIE PURCELL
In 2017, Children’s Healthcare of Atlan ta unveiled plans for an expansive cam pus at the interchange of North Druid Hills Road and I-85. The campus would cov er 70 acres and include the then already-underconstruction Center for Advanced Pediatrics, acres of green space and a new state-of-the-art hospital.
The project originally was to be completed by 2026. Today, the Center for Advanced Pediatrics is open, and the new hospital –dubbed the Arthur M. Blank Hospital in 2020 – is expected to be completed by late 2024.
According to CHOA, the donation from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation was the largest in the organization’s history. The
hospital is expected to have one 19-story tow er with two wings, op erating rooms, special ty bed and diagnostic equipment, and will be connected to an 11-story medical office building.
Chris Chelette, Chil dren’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s senior vice president of facili ties services, recent ly answered questions about the progress of construction and what the new facility means for the city. This inter view has been edited for length and clarity.
Q. Can you give an overview of construction?
A. 2016, that’s when we started construc tion on the [Children’s Healthcare of Atlan ta] Center for Advanced Pediatrics, so we’ve been six years – almost approaching seven years – in construction on our North Dru
id Hills Campus. We started the Arthur M. Blank Hospital in February of 2020. We celebrated topping out in May of this year, about 2 1/2 years into the project. That real ly signifies the about halfway mark with con struction. We are racing now towards com pletion for fall of 2024. We’re extremely excited about that.
Q. That’s a little bit earlier than expected. A. It is. We’ve been pushing very hard. It’s a long, complex construction project, but we have been very, very lucky with a great rela tionship with the city, great contractors, and great subcontractors here in the market that we’ve been able to accelerate construction and open fall of 2024.
Q. What’s been complex about it?
A. Just the scale of the hospital. I mean, it’s what I would consider a mega project, be ing valued over $1.5 billion. So, it’s the scale of it, number one, but any hospital is just a complex undertaking.
Q. What kind of challenges do you come across when you’re designing and con structing a project that won’t be used
until years later, as far as technologi cal or medical advances are concerned?
A. We started designing around 2017. So, you know, five years ago we were in design. We open in the fall of 2024, so I mean that’s seven-plus years. You start to design around something from a medical equipment stand point … all that infrastructure, we just try to approximate what’s going to be in the future. Then we try to delay the buy. We don’t typ ically want to buy our medical equipment until the very end. We don’t want to buy our computers and our audiovisual equipment and all the patient engagement and every thing else until the very end.
The challenge that we have in this market is with the microchip shortage globally, we’re having to move up the buy. So, we started buying, at a pretty accelerated pace, all of our medical equipment, all of our computer systems, all the network equipment, just to make sure that we can actually get it in time of us opening. It’s been an interesting chal lenge that none of us have really ever seen be fore in the market.
Q. What are some of the fea tures or aspects of the upcom
ing building that make it unique?
A. I think the biggest thing is the environ ment that we’re trying to create. This is a re placement hospital for Egleston, which sits on seven acres in the heart of Emory’s cam pus – very concrete, just not a lot of room, right? We’re moving to a campus that has over 78 acres, of which we’re reserving 20 acres specifically for green space. I think that in itself has made this such a transformation al healthcare project. Not just for Children’s, but really for what we see here across the state and throughout the country.
Having that much land and then having the 20 acres of greenspace reserved for gar dens, and the ability for people to go outside is pretty big. We’ve got three miles of walk ing trails that will be on our campus, which is connected to the Peachtree Creek Green way through some sidewalks that we’ve been working together with Brookhaven to create.
Just that aspect alone is incredible, but then bringing that nature feel into the building through architecture, through interior de sign, through selection of materials and our sustainable approach to the campus, I think that is something special.
Q. What sort of im pact will this proper ty have for Brookhav en once it’s completed?
A. Brookhaven has been such an incredible part ner through this jour ney with us – and it re ally has been a journey, starting with annexa tion into the city, and then working through a very large campus expan sion, and being able to partner with them and with several state agen cies – the Atlanta Re gional Commission, the Georgia Department of Transportation, and oth ers – to create a holistic approach to the campus.
Traffic is a huge con cern in this area … [We’re] bringing to the table traffic and infra structure improvements that are really going to transform what would be the southern gate way into Brookhaven. I think that’s just going to be a game changer, not just for us but for the city as well. Improvements at North Druid Hills Road and I-85, which are coming soon through GDOT, that’s going to be pretty special.
Q. Brookhaven has Children’s Health care of Atlanta and Emory’s Execu tive Park right across the street. How do you think the city is going to evolve as a market in the healthcare industry?
A. You know, it’s hard to say what the fu ture looks like. I think for us, having the 78 acres here, this is a 100-plus year campus. Children’s is planting our flag here at North Druid Hills. Same thing with Emory. I think it’s only natural that you’ll see a tremendous amount of development that starts to hap pen around this area – Brookhaven, DeKalb County, and out from here. Will it be med ical, will it be medical offices? Who knows what it will be. But I think we’re about to see. There’s all kinds of talk and there’s all kinds of planned developments already hap pening, but I think there’s going to be a fairly large amount of growth that starts to happen around our campus, as well as the Emory campus.
April The Atlanta Hawks announce they’ve teamed up with Emory Healthcare to build a 90,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art practice and sports medicine facility in Executive Park.
Jan. 11 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta begins work on a massive medical complex on more than 70 acres at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road.
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A festival blooms in BrookhavenBY ANN MARIE QUILL
It started small, but it kept growing. Conceived in 2015 by the late mayor and former District 1 Councilwoman Re becca Chase Williams, Brookhaven’s first Cherry Blossom Festival originally offered road races, arts and crafts. The Pet Parade and a show headlined by rock ‘n’ roll leg ends The Coasters and The Drifters.
“There’s truly something for everyone,” Williams said at the time.
It attracted a few thousand fans. But in the years since, the acts have gotten big ger, and the crowd has grown to more than 40,000. That puts Brookhaven’s hometown music-and-arts fest among the metro area’s big players.
“I can’t turn on the radio without hear ing a song by some one who’s played at the Cherry Blossom Festival,” Brookhav en Mayor John Ernst said.
International ly known acts such as Smash Mouth, the Spin Doctors, the Wallflowers and the Romantics have ap peared at the festi val. In 2021, after two years of festival can cellations due to the COVID pandem ic, the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival Summer Block Party filled the Brookhaven MARTA Sta tion parking lot with concertgoers clam oring to see acts such as Better Than Ezra, Rick Springfield and Collective Soul.
This past spring, with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts as headliner, the 2022 Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival drew an estimated 40,000 concertgoers and was the second biggest music festival in Geor gia, behind only Shaky Knees. “And that’s just because they had one more day than we did,” Ernst said jokingly
In 2018, the city began contracting with Splash Festivals to run the artist mar ket, a move that expanded the arts portion of the festival from a handful of vendors in a grassy area of Blackburn Park to more than 100 artists’ tents lining Rebecca Wil liams Way, which winds through the park. A second partnership put the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival music lineup on the concert map in the Atlanta area. “Our partnership that began with Live Nation in 2018 was the linchpin,” Ernst said.
Ernst said when he thinks about how concerts can bring people together, he goes back to a New Year’s Eve party in 1999. “I was at a private party where Duran Duran played,” he said. “I remember thinking: ‘it’s not outrageously expensive to hire some of these acts. Doesn’t everyone deserve to see them without going broke?’”
Ernst said he saw the Cherry Blossom Festival’s potential in 2017 when the head liner was The Sweet Tea Project, a side band
led by Ed Roland of Collective Soul. Ernst contacted concert promoter Peter Con lon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, who agreed that Live Nation would book acts for the festival pro bono along with Andrew Hingley, a Live Nation talent booker and co-owner of Eddie’s Attic.
Hingley, a Brookhaven resident, said the Cherry Blossom partnership is a symbiot ic relationship. While Live Nation may not charge the city a booking fee, he said, the arrangement helps the company as it ar ranges artist’s tours. “There are certain pe riods of the year when artists may be look ing for somewhere to play, but everything’s booked,” he said. “It’s great to have the Cherry Blossom Festival to offer them; it
helps build a relationship with those art ists.”
The festival, Hingley said, now is firmly on the concert map. “We now get calls from acts wanting to be in it. It’s been such an evolution, and the last few years have just been home runs.”
Ernst agrees. “I think Rebecca would be proud. She was a believer in doing things the right way, and I think we’ve hit the mark with the Cherry Blossom Festival,” Ernst said. “Besides, at the Summer Block Party, Ed Roland referred to his band as the ‘house band.’ What other young festival in a young city can say that?”
Don’t consider Oglethorpe a ‘hidden gem’ any longerBY LOGAN C. RITCHIE
In the heart of Brookhaven sits Ogletho rpe University, a four-year, private college nes tled into a tree-filled, 107-year-old campus featuring stone Gothic buildings and steeped in history and transformation. Oglethorpe President Dr. Nicholas Ladany just asks that you don’t consider it a “hidden gem.”
“I’m used to a strong ‘town and gown’ re lationship,” he said. “Brookhaven is a great place to connect. We serve as a community place for residents to walk across campus, visit the coffee shop, and experience the beauty of our park-like settings and buildings.”
The university and the community plan to collaborate in new ways, too. In April, a community event called Sip Brookhaven at Oglethorpe is to be held on campus green space. The event will feature wine and cock
tails with sommeliers and mix ologists. More details will be available in January.
In his third year at the uni versity, Ladany – a psychol ogist serving as Oglethorpe’s 17th president -- said he wants Oglethorpe also to change in other ways. He wants to in crease the diversity of the fac ulty, staff, and student body, and to create a multi-pronged approach to mental wellness.
The makeup of the student body already is growing more diverse. Of the 403 incoming freshman in 2021, 34 percent were first-generation stu dents and 64 percent identified as people of color, the university reports.
Ladany said he intends health and well
ness to be a “centerpiece” of his administration. “What do we need to do to enhance health and wellness in our communi ty, our students, but also our faculty and staff?” he asked. “Helping enhance mental health on campus, particularly after the pandemic, is critical.”
Oglethorpe already has opened the university’s coun seling center to offer unlimit ed services for all students. “It’s the way we’re taking care of them as members of our com munity, members of our family,” he said.
The college also reaches out to students in new ways. From the incoming class of 425 students, more than 300 requested a peer mentor to help with the transition to college.
Within a month of launching the mentor ing program, he said, more than 5,000 texts went back and forth between the mentors and mentees.
Ladany said his goal is that in 20 to 30 years, the campus is aesthetically and physi cally in good shape, the student population remains diverse, and the non-traditional de gree program is thriving.
“We are a place where we can have dia logue, we don’t limit speech, we try to make sure that everyone can have a free and fair conversation and feel respected in those con versations,” he said. “One example would be from one end of the political spectrum to the other. We’re the place where you can come and have those discussions and do so in a re spectful and affirming manner, without feel ing canceled, without feeling dehumanized.”
Army veteran opens UPS store in BrookhavenBY SAMMIE PURCELL
An army veteran has opened a new “The UPS Store” franchise in Brookhaven, hoping to pave the way for others to do the same.
Derrick Long, 49, opened the doors to his UPS Store franchise on June 28 after moving down from his native New York.
His sister, Mechele Days, also moved down to Atlanta from Philadelphia to offer her support. She now serves as his operations manager.
“Without her help, this would not be pos sible,” Long said. “She’s amazing with people, with management, and helping me get orga nized and getting us up and running.”
Finding the right people and employees to help support him has been imperative to Long’s business strategy. In his hiring prac tices, he has tried to reflect Brookhaven’s di verse population – one of the aspects of the city that drew him to it in the first place. He has employees that speak Spanish, and even one that speaks Arabic.
Long also said he wants to make sure that other veterans, especially minorities and women, are aware of the opportunities that await them after service. He said he hopes to continue to open more stores, but the most important thing to him is educating others.
“I just always liked Atlanta,” Long said during an interview at his store at 3408 Clair mont Road. “It’s a southern city, but it has such a big city charm to it.”
Long retired from the service in Septem ber 2020, after spending just over 23 years in the United States Army. He retired with the rank of colonel and worked primarily in the intelligence field in special operations.
The son of parents who worked in New York law enforcement and the oldest of eight siblings, Long said the military felt like the right path for him. Throughout his career, he lived in different places around the world, from Monterey, Calif. to Korea.
“I just had the inclination to serve,” he said. “It just kind of melded with my person ality. It worked for me, and it was a great op portunity for me to learn about myself, see the world, but also serve.”
As the oldest, Long said he’s always been motivated to take care of his people. That ten dency followed him through his military ca reer and continues to be something he strives for running his UPS Store.
“People depend on me for their livelihood. Even though it’s not a life or death situation, it’s a livelihood situation,” Long said. “Having a successful business means that you have to make sure they’re successful because they have family to take care of.”
Starting his own business wasn’t easy, and required a lot of help from different people. He became aware of The UPS Store as an op tion through his sergeant major, who retired right before he did. The sergeant major and his wife had opened up a UPS Store in the Seattle area, so Long decided to look into it for himself.
It was a natural fit. At the time he decided to open a store, Long said UPS was offering incentives for veterans who wanted to fran chise. Just this year, The UPS Store waived the $29,950 franchise fee for the first 10 eligible U.S. veterans to qualify between April 29 and Nov. 11. The whole application and opening process took Long about a year.
“We kind of think we’re limited in our op tions,” he said about veterans looking for a path after the military. “I find that to be the opposite. There are businesses out there that need our skill set. And you can start your own business like I did.”
Ho l id ay A r t is t s M ar ket
A unique market featuring high quality, hand-crafted gift and décor by Georgia artists NOVEMBER 16 – DECEMBER 23
OPENING NIGHT: Wednesday, November 16, 6–9 pm, First look with wine and light bites
FEATURED ARTISTS GIFT BAZAAR: Saturday, December 10, 11 am–3 pm, A market within a market to meet select artists and shop new items
HOLIDAY TASTING & LATE-NIGHT SHOPPING: Wednesday, December 14, 6–9 pm
NOVEMBER HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM Closed Thanksgiving Day
DECEMBER HOURS: Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM Sunday, 12 – 5 PM
Atlanta’s continuing failure to save its treesBY SALLY BETHEA
When we needed it most –during the high ly stressful mid term election season – nature gave us a spectac ular gift: brightblue skies, cool temperatures, and vibrant col or in tree leaves. I can’t remember an October as gorgeous as the one Atlanta just experienced.
Every tree in my Intown neighborhood seemed to peak at the same time in shades from scarlet and burnt orange to gold and russet. Now, our yards are lit tered with the shriveled remnants of these beauties – ready for a rake (my choice) or leaf-blower to move them to disposal bags or, preferably, to compost piles to enrich soil and help retain moisture in gardens.
Urban Forest at Risk
As I rake the crumbling leaves in my yard, remembering the beauty of October, I think about Atlanta’s declining urban forest.
The number of healthy trees lost to devel opment rose by 100% from 2021 to 2022. How is this intolerable trend possible? City residents repeatedly and overwhelming sup port tree protection.
The enormous benefits that trees provide – free of charge – are well known: shade and water vapor to counter deadly rising temper atures in cities, removal of air pollutants, re duction of storm runoff and flooding, high er property values, sequestration of carbon to combat climate change, improved men tal health, and aesthetic beauty. What a list and all for free! Yet, we (read: our elected of ficials and bureaucrats) are allowing develop ers to toss mature, healthy trees to the curb, literally.
As one tree advocate told me: “Anyone with a computer and a bulldozer can down load plans from the internet for a few hun dred dollars and scrape land bare to erect massive structures. For convenience and speed, they grade entire lots.” Developers pay a pathetically-small fee established de cades ago ($100 plus $30 per diameter inch for trees greater than six inches in diameter) and plant a sapling in its place that may or may not survive. Having dealt with our re gion’s pro-development (at any cost) mind set for most of my career as an environmen tal advocate, none of this really surprises me, but it sure leaves me angry.
Kicking the Can
scribed as being, “so dense it’s been nick named ‘the city in a forest.’” Pro-growth boosters brag about our tree canopy, while they are often the same people opposing meaningful improvements to the city’s tree protection ordinance.
The Greater Atlanta Home Builders As sociation is particularly vocal in its oppo sition to tree protection efforts. Its leaders complain about red tape and citizen appeals, while declaring they will experience eco nomic hardship – that development in the city will stop—if any trees are protected. I’m still laughing. We do not have to choose be tween trees and homes. We can and must have both.
More than twenty years ago, the Atlanta City Council passed a tree ordinance to pro tect our city in a forest, that source of civic pride. Since at least 2014, if not before, it’s been clear to anyone paying attention that this ordinance is not working. For the past eight years—under three city administra tions – citizens, tree advocates, developers, bureaucrats, and elected officials have met, argued, and drafted proposals to overhaul the tree ordinance, currently little more than a pay-to-play operation. There has been no progress toward greater protection.
recently listed At lanta as the “best place to live in the U.S.,” it noted, among other assets, the city’s treelined streets and its arboreal canopy, de
Tree advocates tell me that homebuilder representatives have routinely roadblocked efforts to develop consensus, yet offer no constructive suggestions. Kicking the can down the road is a favorite ploy of those who simply want to continue business as usual and avoid taking responsibility. Atlanta’s tree ordinance “can” is so dented from delay and obfuscation that it’s barely kickable.
The Dickens Administration
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has been in office less than a year and his plate has been full. He largely inherited this embar rassing failure to conduct what should be routine administrative work: fixing a city or dinance that governs a program essential to Atlanta’s brand and prosperity.
Since Dickens was inaugurated, his staff has secured agreement on a half dozen tweaks to the ordinance, currently before the city council. This is a good step that should be supported, but it’s only a baby step. To quote Martin Luther King, Jr.: “This is no time to… take the tranquilizing drug of in crementalism.”
Dickens recently appointed Jaynee Prince to head the city’s planning department. With her past connections to the development community, she may know the players in the tree protection landscape, which could be helpful. Prince should reach out to Chan dra Farley, the city’s new chief sustainabili ty officer, to engage her department’s exper tise in climate solutions for drafting a new tree ordinance.
The biggest question for me, as I continue to rake the falling leaves, is whether Atlanta’s elected leaders will finally take responsibility. Are they willing to pass a strong, enforceable measure to save more of our leafy compan ions? Or, will they join their recent predeces sors as a “nod squad” for developer rule?
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Holiday Events Galore!
From theatre and concerts to shopping and Santa, the festive season is
a.m.-5 p.m. And photos with Santa will be available Friday, 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, 12-3 p.m. For further info, call 770-423-1330 or visit piedmontchurch.tv.
Ponce City Market
The Roof at Ponce City Market has be come a winter wonderland. Now through Jan. 8, visitors can purchase tickets to get on the 3,500-square-foot ice rink and Skate the Sky. Reservations include 50 minutes of skating, skate rentals and unlimited game play at Skyline Park.
now through Jan. 16. It’s ready for action, weather permitting, on weekdays, 4-10 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sun days, 12-8 p.m. The free Celebration at the Station is a light and snow show that’s hap pening now through Jan. 3, every hour from 5 to 9 p.m. Go to the Events page at atlan ticstation.com to find more.
Atlanta Children’s ShelterBY KATHY DEAN
The holiday celebrations are back in full force, and everyone is ready to get out and get together for a good time. Here are some of the area events, shows, concerts, and par ties that will get your holiday spirit burning bright.
Family Fun and Shopping Buckhead Village
The Veranda Jewel Box welcomes guests into an immersive jewel box with stainedglass wrappings, satin ribbons, and jew el-toned structures. Fire Pits will be in place next to the Veranda, and s’mores will be served there during the Holiday Shop & Strolls every Saturday, 12-6 p.m. Oth er Shop & Stroll experiences include orna ment and cookie decorating, and holiday performances and appearances from Styl ish Santa, the Tinseltone Carolers and bal lerinas. Now through Saturday, Dec. 24, the German Christkindl Market is open daily, 12-8 p.m., at the corner of East Paces Fer ry and Peachtree Road. It features more than 50 vendors offering German food — schnit zel and brats — and beverages — mulled wine and cider — as well as German hand crafts, ornaments, and other items. Details and more events are found at buckheadvil lagedistrict.com/happenings.
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
The Winter House at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center will be open Dec. 1-4 and Dec. 8-10. Daily activities include live music and dance, board games, workshops and visits from Santa. The gallery will transform into an Artist Market with paintings, pottery and jewelry available for purchase. Admission is free and ticketed workshops start at $15. Find all the details at callanwolde.org/win terhouse2022.
The 2022 Christmas at Piedmont Church Arts & Craft Show brings unique arts and
craft exhibitors to Marietta on Dec. 9, 5-9 p.m., and Dec. 10, 10-5 p.m. Admission, parking and activities are free. There’ll be fes tival food and local entertainment through out the weekend. Guests can ride on the 50foot Snow Tube, presented by C&S Paving, Friday, 6-9 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Petting Zoo is open Saturday, 10
Private, heated Sky Igloos are located along side the skating rink and at 9 Mile Station. They can be reserved for all-age and 21+ par ties of one to six, based on time and day. For skating and igloo prices, details and reserva tions, click on poncecityroof.com. Other no table Ponce City holiday features in Decem ber include Fireside Roasting and Toasting Pods on the Yard, Holiday Tree Market in the Courtyard and Misfit DIY Wrapping events. Check out poncecitymarket.com/ events for dates, times, and more info.
Enjoy metro Atlanta’s largest ice rink at Atlantic Station. Skate the Station is open
The 2022 Holiday House supports the At lanta Children’s Shelter in its efforts to help homeless, formerly homeless and lowincome parents provide holiday cheer for their families. It’ll be open Dec. 12-16 in the auditorium North Avenue Presbyteri an Church in Atlanta. Volunteers, organiza tions and donations are encouraged to help out. Get info at acsatl.org.
The Grove Terrace has transformed into the North Pole at Colony Square, a win ter wonderland set inside a festive igloo. The holiday speakeasy, for guests 21+ only, is open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 5-11 p.m., now through Dec. 23. A free two-day cel ebration that benefits Children’s Healthcare
While winter has the tendency to make our skin look and feel dry and dull, Balk Aesthetics is here to help get your skin in tip top shape this holiday season!
of Atlanta is Dec. 2, 5-7 p.m. with live mu sic, Santa and the Lighting of the Christ mas Tree. On Dec. 3, the Children’s Holly Jolly Celebration will be held 10 a.m.-12 p.m. between 14th and 15th streets with performances and roaming characters. Fes tivities on the Square will continue the fun in the Front Loop and the Plaza from 12-3 p.m. Also on Dec. 3, the Smiles for the Season Breakfast is planned 8-10 a.m. at 5Church Midtown. The breakfast buffet will be attended by favorite characters and there’ll be a special visit from Santa. Get additional info on all these events at colo nysquare.com.
City of Sandy Springs
On Dec. 4, Sparkle Sandy Springs kicks off the holiday in Sandy Springs, starting 4 p.m. at City Springs, with a traditional me norah and tree lighting, food trucks, a fes tive concert featuring the Rupert’s Orches tra, the Sparkle Holiday Gift Market and a parade that starts at 6 p.m. The monthlong display of six-foot-tall decorated and lit houses, Sparkle Village, will also begin Dec. 4 on the City Green. A Snow Day Matinee celebrates the start of winter on Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. The afternoon paja ma party and movie matinee for children features “Frozen 2” and includes a chance to meet the characters, enjoy hot choco late and take home a goody bag. While the event is free, registration is required for all family members who wish to participate. Get details and register and purchase tick ets at sandyspringsga.gov/events.
The synagogue has sched uled free events featur ing Menorah Lightings at North Highland Park in Vir ginia Highland on Dec. 18 at 4 p.m. and Atlantic Sta tion on Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. If you miss those, don’t worry. There’s another at Decatur Square on Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. Find more events at chabad intown.org.
Ponce City Market
Chabad Intown joins with Ponce City Market to present a traditional Menorah Lighting ceremony to celebrate the Festival of Lights. It will take place on Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. at The Yard, and there will be music, live entertainment and re freshments. Get details at poncecitymar ket.com.
Marcus Jewish Community Center of At lanta
Everyone in the community is invited to celebrate Hanukkah at Light Up the JCC on Dec. 20, 5-5:30 p.m., in the courtyard at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta in Dunwoody. There’ll be a me norah lighting, Hanukkah songs, perfor mances and free hot chocolate and dough nuts. Go to atlantajcc.org for more info and events.
Lights and Decorations
Atlanta Botanical Garden The much-loved Garden Lights, Holiday
Nights brings back favorite features and adds a few new twists to the light show at Atlanta Botanical Garden, now through Jan. 14. Don’t wait to visit the website and get tickets, as most dates sell out quickly. On select Saturdays and Sundays in De cember and January, the Holiday Ride-on Train makes a trip around the Great Lawn. Tickets are $3 for member and $5 for nonmembers. A delightful display of Holiday Model Trains is on the Alston Overlook now through Jan. 14. Holiday songs will fill the air with Carols in the Garden when the Tinseltones visit on Dec. 3, 10 and 17, 10:45 and 11:45 a.m. Keep up with all the events at atlantabg.org.
Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Tra ditions Around the World is back at Fern bank for its 13th year as a special exhibit, now through Jan. 6. It spans two floors of the museum and showcases different deco rated trees and displays that recognize var ious celebrations, events and cultural tra ditions from around the world. “Winter Wonderland” is included with general ad mission at Fernbank and with CityPASS. Learn more at FernbankMuseum.org.
A neighborhood Tour of Lights kicks off the Virginia Highland Winterfest on Dec. 9. The next day, Dec. 10, starts with a race, the Jingle Jog, followed by a Holiday Pa rade. The fun continues with an in-town holiday market and live music. Find all you need to know at virginiahighlanddistrict. com/winterfest.
More Santa Sightings
The 25th Annual Santa at Rhodes Hall will be held on the weekends, now through Dec. 11 at Rhodes Hall. This annual fun draiser for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation offers personal appointments and photos with Santa at Atlanta’s “Castle on Peachtree.” The $50 family admission includes a 5x7 photo. Guests may bring their own camera or video recorder for an additional $20. For available times and to reserve an appointment, visit GeorgiaTrust. org or call 404-885-7812. Reservations are required; spaces are limited and usually sell out.
Santa’s annual stop at Zoo Atlanta gives fam ilies the opportunity to enjoy Cookies with Santa on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. Tickets, $25 for zoo member and $30 for non-members, in clude a personal visit, professional photo and take-home To Go Kit with hot cocoa fixings,
cookies and more. Advance reservations are required and can be made at zooatlanta.org/ event/cookies-with-santa.
The St. Regis Atlanta
Reservations are open for select days now through Dec. 24 for Tea with Santa at The St. Regis Atlanta. The afternoon treat in cludes sweets and a visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and a mischievous elf. Polar Express at the Best Address is a Christmas Day brunch with live music, entertainment, de lectable food and an open bar. Prepaid res ervations are available for parties of 1 to 15. Visit exploretock.com/stregisatl for info and to make reservations for both events.
Traditional and New Shows
The Georgia Ballet presents The Nutcrack er at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre in Mar ietta, Dec. 1-4. This beloved Victorian-era holiday ballet features Clara, the Nutcrack
er Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Tickets start at $25. Go to georgiaballet.org/season for tickets and additional info.
Three holiday shows are on the schedule at OnStage Atlanta this month — and two of them are versions of A Christmas Car ol. One retelling of the classic Dickens tale is by Patrick Barlow, writer of the hit “The 39 Steps,” and runs Dec. 2-18 on the Web ber Stage.
The other Christmas Carol, set for Dec. 7-17, is a Special Event adapted by and star ring Stuart W. Schleuse. A Queer Carol, Dec. 8-21, is also OnStage Special Event. Tickets are $20-26 for all three shows and are available through onstageatlanta.com.
A Christmas Carol will be staged by the Al liance Theatre for the 34th time. It’s also the second year the Alliance production features
its reimagined staging and set design as well as new costumes, live music and puppetry. The play runs through Dec. 24 on the the atre’s Coca-Cola Stage. Tickets, show times, cast list and more is available at alliancethe atre.org/christmas.
Two Nutcracker shows will grace the stage at Fox Theatre this December. Hip Hop Nut cracker, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m., is a contem porary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s music. Tickets start at $49. The more tra ditional Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet features puppets, acrobatics and stars of the Ukraine ballet. There’ll be two show ings on Dec. 23, 3 and 7 p.m.; tickets start at $34. Visit foxtheatre.org for tickets and details.
The cast at Dad’s Garage has rehearsed the traditional Scrooge play, but Invasion: Christmas Carol brings a surprise guest to
disrupt everything. Past invaders include Young Frankenstein and The Harlem Glo betrotters. The show runs Dec. 2-30. Go to dadsgarage.com/ixc for info and tickets.
There are three holiday shows at Variety Playhouse this season. A Very Countess Christmas, features actress, singer and au thor Countess Luann on Dec. 10, 8:30 p.m. The 11th Holiday Hootenanny, a benefit for Habitat for Humanity, is a barnstorm ing concert set for Dec. 18, 7 p.m. This year’s show features young acts in the world of bluegrass and jamgrass. On Dec. 19, the “Pope of Trash” visits Atlanta to present hol iday jeers with his A John Waters Christ mas. Get additional info and tickets at vari ety-playhouse.com.
Center for Puppetry Arts
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, based on the classic holiday TV show, is recreat ed at the Center for Puppetry Arts now through Dec. 31. Tickets include the show, admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Muse um and a Create-a-Puppet workshop. Go to puppet.org to find out more.
Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse
The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse trans ports its audience to Scrooge’s London counting house for Dicken’s classic A Christ mas Carol, presented Dec. 3-23. Food and
drink are available 75 minutes before ev ery show. For info on special performances and to get tickets, click on shakespearetav ern.com.
Holiday Concerts and Music
Local bands reinterpret the 90s classic hol iday album “Merry Christmas” by Mari ah Carey. The Atlanta Collective show is set for Dec. 17, starting 9 p.m., at Aisle 5 in At lanta. Local pop songstress Prisca will curate the lineup of music. Get more info and tick ets through atlcollective.org.
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus
The AGMC Annual Holiday Concert re turns to the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlan ta as the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus takes the audience on a holiday journey through laughter, tears, goosebumps and nostalgia on Dec. 2, 8 p.m., and Dec. 3, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. This year, the Chorus will be accompa nied by a chamber orchestra and feature the cathedral organ. For tickets, info and more, click on voicesofnote.org/agmc/.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Spend Christmas with the ASO for a musi cal evening filled with holiday carols, hymns and more. It’ll be presented Dec. 15, 16 and 18. On Dec. 17 at 8 p.m., the voices of Celt ic Woman: A Christmas Symphony will ring through Symphony Hall with arrange ments from the Irish all-female group’s holi day album “The Magic of Christmas.”Check out aso.org for more holiday offerings.
Rialto Center for the Arts
A tradition in Atlanta for 25 years, the An nual Gala Holiday Concert will ring out at Rialto Center for the Arts with holi day cheer on Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. The evening brings together talented student and faculty performers from the Georgia State Universi ty School of music. Tickets start at $14.45. Go to rialto.gsu.edu to reserve your ticket.
Cathedral of St. Philip
A Holiday Concert will be performed with the Atlanta Symphony Brass members on Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Phil
ip in Atlanta. The selection includes beloved standards from the symphonic orchestra rep ertoire and traditional holiday carols. Tick ets range $10-$150. On Dec. 18 at 4 p.m., A Christmas Festival of Lessons and Car ols will be presented. Modeled on the King’s College, Cambridge Christmas eve carol ser vice, the choral service is the church’s most popular. Admission is free. Find out more at cathedralatl.org/worship/music/concerts.
State Farm Arena
Bobby Brown, XSCAPE, Dru Hill, 112, Silk and Shai will take the stage at State Farm Arena for the Atlanta R&B Music Expe rience: Holiday Edition on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. Other holiday concerts at the venue are IHeartRadio Power 96.1’s Jingle Ball 2022, a star-studded musical event on Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m., and the V-103 Winterfest 2022 on Dec. 16, 8 p.m., with Grammyaward winner Maxwell as headliner. Get de tails and tickets at statefarmarena.com.
New Year’s Celebrations
Ponce City Market
The annual Noon Year’s Eve Celebration on the Roof will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 31 at Ponce City Market. Skyline Park will host an all-ages, family-friendly cel ebration centered around a countdown to noon. All-access tickets of $25 include ad mission and gameplay; ages 3 and under are free. Ice-skating can be added day-of for an additional $10 and is based on availability. Go to poncecitymarket.com to pre-order tickets and learn more.
NOV 12–DEC 24
One of Atlanta’s most treasured holiday traditions.
City of Sandy Springs Ring in 2023 at the New Year’s Eve Swin gin’ Party at the Byer’s Theatre in Sandy Springs on Dec. 31, starting at 8 p.m. Tick ets start at $40 to enjoy the music of Geor gia Music Hall of Famer Francine Reed and Sandy Springs native Joe Gransden and his 16-piece band. Keep the good times rolling after the concert at the Swing in the New Afterparty. Reed and Gransden will move to the Studio Theatre for dancing, light bites, desserts and a toast at midnight. Afterparty tickets are $55 and sold separately from the concert. Find out more and purchase tickets through sandyspringsga.gov/events.
On Dec. 31, Georgia Aquarium will host an adults-only New Year’s Celebration, starting at 8:30 p.m. Attendees enjoy afterhours access to the main galleries, cocktails and food, live entertainment and a midnight champagne toast. General admission tickets are $125; VIP tickets are $195. All proceeds benefit the aquarium’s research and conser vation efforts.
The annual Peach Drop was slated to return to Underground Atlanta in Downtown to ring in 2023, but no details on entertain ment were available at press time. Visit un dergroundatl.com for updates.
Immersive Monet, ‘Star Wars’ experiences open in DoravilleBY COLLIN KELLEY
The new Exhibition Hub Art Center in Doraville is kicking off with a double dose: “Claude Monet: The Immersive Experi ence” and “The Fans Strike Back: The Star Wars Fan Exhibition.”
The Claude Monet immersive is a digi tal art event that uses video mapping tech nology and 360-degree digital projection to bring more than 300 of the master’s paint ings and sketches to life.
Cast over a 20,000-square-foot, two-sto ry space, attendees can literally step into the classic artwork.
The event is wheelchair accessible and open to all ages. Attendees should expect the visit to take approximately an hour.
Time slots are available every half hour. For more information, visit monetexpo. com/atlanta.
For something completely different, the “Star Wars” exhibition features memora bilia assembled by fans and collectors from around the world.
“The Fans Strike Back” showcases more than 600 unique” collectible items includ
For December, we’ve prepared a quick guide to some of Atlanta’s musthave artisan food items paired with the perfect wine. Fortunate ly for us, there are many local pro visions to choose from throughout the metro Atlanta area. Whether you’re snagging some at your local grocer or stocking up during your neighborhood farmer’s market haul, these quick and easyto-make meals will give you a few extra hours back during this busy holiday season.
Bella Cucina’s Pestos & Spreads: Noth ing says efficient entertaining more than a dip. Bella Cucina is known for its natural artisan, thoughtful spreads and sauces that are made from locally sourced ingredients. Owner, Alisa Barry’s elegant and artful ap
proach to “everyday items,” as she puts it, will elevate any quick snack or dinner party. The Artichoke Lemon Pesto, as seen on Oprah’s “favorite things” show and an “O” list maga zine pick, is a must-have always, but definite ly during the holiday season when you might be in a pinch for something quick. Insider tip: Be sure to ask for the Warm Artichoke Dip recipe.
Suggested Wine Pairing: 2019 Domaine de la Noblaie Chenin Blanc, Chinon, Loire Valley, France. Average bottle price: $27
Stop Think Chew Cauliflower Bolog
nese: A brand that will always reign su preme for their grab-n-go items. Whether you need a pint of creamy hummus to serve alongside pita or crudité, or truffle chick en salad for lunchtime lettuce wraps, Stop Think Chew will surely be a household fa vorite. Julia Kesler, the brainchild of this ho listic food company, works alongside local farmers to bring healthy, quality meals to your table. Be sure to check out their Cauli flower Bolognese. This popular sauce is a glu ten-free, vegan blend of organic cauliflower, San Marzano tomatoes, Calabrian chili, and other vegetables and herbs. Serve this on top of fresh pasta, and you have a meal in un der five minutes. Stop Think Chew’s provi sions can be found at their café, Daily Chew, located in Piedmont Heights. They can also be purchased throughout the city at your lo cal farmer’s markets or even delivered right to your front door. Insider tip: Stop Think Chew will make the most gorgeous, creative, show-stopping grazing table for your up coming event. Our favorite rule of thumb is “what grows together goes together,” so pair the Cauliflower Bolognese with a nice bot tle of Chianti.
Suggested Wine Pairing: 2019 Collazzi I Bastioni Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy. Av erage bottle price: $28.
Anna Bell’s Mac & Cheese: This side dish has officially dominated Atlanta’s athome macaroni and cheese scene. The per fect amount of cheesy, smoky, and creamy is what makes Anna Bell’s the best in town. We’re so grateful that owner Kevin Mobley spent the last 15 years tirelessly perfecting his great-grandmother’s mac and cheese rec
ipe that he remembers from growing up in her home in South Boston, Virginia. Now we all get to enjoy this southern classic in our homes. Anna Bell’s can be found frozen in markets and butcher shops throughout At lanta and can also be shipped to your home. We love pairing Anna Bell’s mac and cheese with a richer white wine that still has gorgeous acidity to balance the creaminess. Insider tip: Anna Bell’s comes in an assortment of sizes. Never purchase just one size. Get all of them. They are a lifesav er when you need to bring a side, or you can’t make a grocery run.
Suggested Wine Pairing: Domaine de la Solitude, Côtes du Rhône, France. Average bottle price: $22.
The Spotted Trot ter Nduja: We can’t rave enough about their Ndu ja, a Calabrian-style, spicy, spreadable pork salami that is packed with flavor. One cannot make a charcuterie and cheese board without in cluding this Atlanta sta ple – it’s essential. The Spotted Trotter is a bou tique charcuterie and butcher house known for its flavor, price, and sus tainability. Don’t forget to grab a fresh baguette
while you’re there. You’ll need it! While you’re there, be on the lookout for their slice bresaola. It’s life-changing. In sider tip: Preorder a restaurant-style ten-person or more charcuterie and cheese platter served on their custom wooden boards for your next event.
Suggested Wine Pairing: 2021 Macanita Touriga Na cional Em Rosé, Douro Valley, Portugal. Av erage bottle price: $21.
El Ponce Tamales: The quick and easy dinner that you never knew you need ed. El Ponce makes traditional Oaxa can-style tamales wrapped in banana leaves. Choose between pork, chick en, or vegan mushroom and poblano and it’s always served with housemade salsa verde. You can also purchase a frozen assortment and reheat them as needed. When you’re not dining in El Ponce, you can find their tamales at the Freedom Farmers Market on the weekends. Having an office holiday party? They also cater as well! In sider tip: El Ponce, hands down, makes the best salsa in the city. Not only are we wine lovers, but we’re also salsa enthusi asts. Trust us.
Suggested Wine Pair 2020 Finca Torremi lanos Ojo Gallo Claret, Ribera del Duero, Spain. Average bottle price $37.
We hope this short, yet mighty list will free up some time for you to spend with your friends and loved ones this holiday season.
If spending Christmas in the kitchen isn’t your idea of a good time, then make a reservation at one of Intown’s restaurants offering holiday dinner. Be sure to visit OpenTable.com to find even more dining options and make your reservation early to get your preferred time and table.
The Midtown steakhouse will be offering Christmas specials and an a-la-carte menu for dine-in and takeout. Reservations at stk steakhouse.com.
Nan Thai Fine Dining
Let Chef Nan Niyomkul do the cooking this Christmas Day with a full menu of Thai dishes. Find out more at nanfinedin ing.com.
Hard Rock Café
For something a little more musical and ca sual, Hard Rock Cafe in Downtown is also serving a Christmas feast. Visit hardrockca fe.com/atlanta.
Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft
Chef DeeDee Niyomkul will be preparing a Thai feast if you’re ready to ditch the usu al ham and turkey. More details at tuktu katl.com.
Fogo de Chao
If you want to fill your belly with meat, then the Buckhead and Dunwoody restau rants will fit the bill. Make a reservation at fogodechao.com.
Chai Yo Modern Thai
The standard menu will be available, along with several specials for the occasion at this Buckhead favorite. Make a reservation at chaiyoatl.com.
Enjoy the flavors of Spain, Mexico, and the Mediterranean for the holidays. Find out more at eatbotica.com.
The Cheshire Bridge Road is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, so a doubledose of festivities as you dine on hibachi on Christmas. Reservations at nakatorestau rant.com.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
The steakhouse has restaurants in Down town at Centennial Park and in Buckhead, both open for Christmas Day dining. Make a reservation at ruthschris.com.
Put a steak on your holiday wish list at this modern Italian eatery in Buckhead. Reser vations are available at theamericanorestau rant/atlanta.
Head to Virginia-Highland for Mediterra nean flavors at the Turkish restaurant. Find out more at truvahighland.com.
Whether you’re a guest or not at the Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown, you can enjoy a swanky Christmas meal or cocktails here. See the menu and make a reservation at barmar gotatl.com.
Head to the Waldorf Astoria in Buckhead for a menu of French-Southern-inspired food. Reservations at brassicaatlanta.com.
Have a steak at this upscale restaurant at Peachtree Center before a stroll to look at the
Downtown lights. Reservations at mortons. com.
Steak and seafood are on the menu at this Pe rimeter Center restaurant in Dunwoody. Get a reservation at delfriscos.com.
Put sushi on your Christmas menu at this
Dunwoody Japanese restaurant. Make a res ervation at takijapaneseatl.com.
Have Southern food and craft cocktails in Sandy Springs for Christmas. Get details at tupelohoneycafe.com.
Atlanta’s Civil and Human Rights Center gets major boost from Woodruff Foundation
Still, Savitt was fo cused on the job at hand.
“We have $13 mil lion to go,” she said while thanking Wood ruff, the Georgia Pa cific Foundation and the Zeist Foundation for their recent gifts. The major donor to the capital campaign so far is the Arthur M. Blank Family Foun dation, which has giv en $17 million towards the project.
The goal is to com plete the expansion with the two wings by June 2024, the 10year anniversary of when the Center first opened.
Reporter Newspapers has partnered with Saporta Report to provide local business news from one of Atlanta’s most respected journalists, Maria Saporta. saportareport.comBY MARIA SAPORTA
When the National Center for Civil and Human Rights held a ground-break ing ceremony for its expansion on Oct. 14, it had only raised $27 million of the $50 million project. The expansion, which will include the building of the East and West wings, will add another 20,000 square feet to the 42,000-square-foot facility. Thanks to an $8.5 million grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and a few other
gifts, though, the Center has raised $37.3 million.
That means the Center likely will build both wings of its proposed expansion dur ing this capital campaign. At one time, it seemed as though it would have to phase the two wings.
“The Woodruff grant makes us feel con fident we can build both wings,” said Jill Savitt, president and CEO of the Center said during a Monday interview. “It was not a sure thing. Now we think we can build it all.”
Atlanta is what it is because we were the epicenter of the Civil Rights movement,” said Russ Hardin, pres ident of the Woodruff Foundation. “We must remember that story and tell it well. The Center does just that.”
The $8.5 million gift is in addition to a $1.5 million grant the Woodruff Foun dation made to the Center following the murder of George Floyd. The foundation provided that grant so the Center could develop two training programs – human rights training for law enforcement agen cies as well as diversity, equity and inclu sion training for corporations and major employers.
Both training programs will generate $1.1 million in new revenues in 2022, half of which will be net proceeds.
“NCCHR provides world-class pro grams for corporate employee groups and for law enforcement professionals,” said Hardin, who added both training programs are getting traction.
A.J. Robinson, president and CEO of Central Atlanta Progress, and former At lanta Mayor Shirley Franklin began nurtur ing the vision and development of the Cen ter more than 15 years ago.
The initial project for the Center was launched at the time of the 2008 recession, which ended up having to scale down the plans. Then the campaign for two-wing expansion was launched in October right when there was talk of another recession.
“This expansion really fulfills our orig inal vision from back in 2008,” Robinson said at the ground-breaking for the two wings. “We do a lot of things right, but tim ing is not one of them.”
In a follow-up interview, Robinson said the Woodruff grant greatly enhances the
Center’s ability to finish the campaign.
“We are all much more optimistic that we will be able to close the gap in the next couple of months,” Robinson said. “This institution, because of its location and be cause of the work it does, captures the past, present and future identity of Atlanta in a way that we should all celebrate.”
Robinson mentioned several key mo ments during which the Center helped de fine Atlanta’s identity.
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns spent two days at the Center to get in spired. The Women’s March gathered at the Center on Jan. 21, 2017, before heading to the State Capitol. On the Thursday night before the 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta, Ar thur Blank held a special dinner for NFL owners at the Center.
Most recently, when a site selection team for the 2024 Democratic National Conven tion came to Atlanta a few weeks ago, they met at the Center.
“Speaker after speaker talked about how important the Center is to Atlanta,” Robin son said. “We have become a relevant part of Atlanta’s eco-system, and we are only eight years old.”
U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath agreed.
“Since its founding in 2014, the Nation al Center for Civil and Human Rights has been a beacon for change,” McBath said at the ground-breaking. “I want to con gratulate the Center for inspiring every day Americans, especially the young people who might not know the history of the civ il rights movement.”
Andrea Young, who serves on the board of the Center, credited the “dynamic duo” of Robinson and Franklin for getting the development off the ground. Franklin has chaired the Center’s board since its incep tion.
“No place tells the story better than the National Center for Civil and Human Rights,” said Young, who added that the goal is to inspire people. “This is also an an chor of brand Atlanta and its tradition of inclusion, diversity and tolerance. It helps keep the spirit of civil and human rights alive.”
For Savitt, the Woodruff grant is an “en dorsement” of the Center’s work. “It says the project has been vetted and that they believe we are ready for this growth,” she said. “It sends a message to the community that this is a project worthy of investing in.”
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, a longtime supporter of the Center who loves bringing young people to learn about the city’s special history, said it best when he said: “The Center really does represent the best of our city and how to move Atlanta forward.”
Your Next Home Could Be In… College Park
Nouveau Bar & Grill, The Real Milk & Honey, Brake Pad, Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen, and The Breakfast Boys. The city has four parks, a municipal golf course and is also home to Gateway Center, an arena that hosts the Atlanta Hawks NBA G League, the College Park SkyHawks. College Park is also known for its strong connection to the hip-hop and rap scene, including being the birthplace of Ludacris, 2 Chainz, Jermaine Dupri, Mon ica, and many more.BY COLLIN KELLEY
Where is it? If you want to be close to Downtown and the airport, then College Park is ideal. Just eight miles southwest of Atlanta and with a busy MARTA rail station located in the center of town, you could permanently park your car.
What’s the history? Originally known as Atlantic City, then Manchester, before set tling on College Park in 1896, the town was built around the Atlanta and West Point Rail road depot. The name of the town honored Cox Collge (now the city hall building) and Georgia Military Academy (now the location of Woodward Academy private school). To continue the theme, the east-west avenues in the city are named after Ivy League colleges, while north-south streets are named for some of College Park’s most prominent residents. What about shopping, dining, and things to do? Historic Main Street has under gone a renaissance over the last few years and is home to shops and restaurants, including
What about homes? One of the most desired areas is the historic district, which is listed on the Nation al Register of Histor ic Places and features a mix of Queen Anne, late 19th/early 20th century Revivals, and Craftsman bungalows. You can expect to pay over $500,000 to $1 million+ in this area, depending on its need for renovations. There is also new construction ranging in the $400,000 to more than $700,000 range. The city has worked with HartsfieldJackson on noise abate ment issues, but keep in mind you’re still living adjacent to the world’s busiest airport.
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