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Brookhaven Reporter www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Inside

Lighting up the skies

Earlier last call Council discusses bar hours COMMUNITY 3

MARTA matters Station town center planned

DEC. 11 — DEC. 24, 2015 • VOL. 7 — NO. 25

COMMUNITY 6

Capturing holiday spirits

COMMUNITY 21

Lawyer: OK for city councilman to hold school director job BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Wearing matching antlers, Jenni Muserallo and her daughters, Dara, right, and Ellia, donning a Rudolph nose, shows off some photos she captured during the annual “Light Up Brookhaven” event held Dec. 3 at Blackburn Park. See more photos on page 30.

PHIL MOSIER

Brookhaven City Councilman Bates Mattison’s other job as executive director of the Brookhaven Innovation Academy creates no ethical conflicts as long as he stays out of any BIA-related council discussions and votes, according to a legal opinion ordered by Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams. Read more about MattiBrookhaven son said he Innovation Academy in is pleased Commentary, page 8 the opinion shows that “one, I did nothing wrong, and, two, there’s no conflict going forward.” The Nov. 25 opinion from Marietta attorney R. Randall Bentley Sr. also “strongly” recommends that Mattison not receive any fundraising bonus from BIA—a change the school’s board already made shortly after the legal review was announced—and that he comply with financial disclosure laws. “Now, as an employee of the BIA, Mr. Mattison should recuse himself from all matters, including discussions and votes, brought before the mayor and council and the Development Authority regarding BIA,” Bentley writes. “The best SEE LAWYER, PAGE 7

Trails show where walkers really want to go BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Dunwoody resident Rashaud Stockdale walks to work on Cotillion Drive in a rut worn in the roadside grass. The road is a major connector to I-285 and the Georgetown commercial district, but for pedestrians, it’s like rural pastureland. “I’d say it feels dangerous,” Stockdale says of the off-road hike he sometimes has to make in the dark. Meanwhile, in Sandy Springs, Cedron Tigner escorts his visually impaired relative Hershell Horton along Hammond Drive. Instead of a sidewalk, there’s a muddy trail, studded with exposed tree roots and stones, which looks imported from a backwoods park. “Taking a chance every time,” Horton says of his walk to a convenience store. These trails blazed by pedestrians are known as “desire paths” or “desire lines”—or, more picturesquely, “goat

trails.” For decades, Atlanta’s car-centric suburbs left pedestrians to fend for themselves. But that’s changing. Sidewalks are now replacing desire paths on such routes as Buford Highway in Atlanta and Brookhaven. But finding the money can be tough, and public accessibility can still spark debates over keeping desire paths in such places as Buckhead’s Atlanta Memorial Park. Desire paths are “especially common in areas where people have no choice except to walk or use public transit” because they don’t own cars, said Sally Flocks, president and CEO of the Atlanta-based pedestrian advocacy group PEDS. “I think attitudes nationwide are changing. I do think a lot more people want the sidewalks,” Flocks said. SEE ROADSIDE, PAGE 10

JOHN RUCH

A trail on Buford Highway, south of Clairmont Terrace, in Brookhaven.


COMMUNITY

Murphey Candler Park plan praised for big ideas BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

If the reception from Murphey Candler Park advocates is a sign, the city’s sitespecific master plans for 10 Brookhaven parks will be a hit with the community. “Fantastic” and “incredible” were words the 30-member audience used to describe the draft master plan for Murphey Candler unveiled by planning firm GreenbergFarrow at a Dec. 5 meeting at the Lynwood Community Center. Two other draft park plans were presented that day as well, and the rest were unveiled at other meetings, with a final one soliciting general park system comments on Dec. 12 at the Briarwood Community Center. Finsihed plans go the City Council in January. GreenbergFarrow senior project manager Liz Cole said the plans likely won’t be posted online until after the final public meeting, if at all. The city released the plans Dec. 9 in response to a Reporter Newspapers public records request. They can be viewed at ReporterNewspapers.net. Major changes proposed to Murphey Candler drew applause, including a new community center, a boat house, and a new multi-use path and boardwalk circling the lake. However, those would be years away, if the city can afford them at all, said Cole and Mayor Rebecca Chase

Williams, who counseled patience. “You’re looking at a long-range plan,” Cole said, adding that the final plans will include cost estimates that the city can use to set construction phasing priorities. “Of course, our wish list is going to be well beyond what the city can afford,” at least all at once, Williams said. However, Cole said, there is basic groundwork the city can start next year, such as creating uniform signage. Even more basic: conducting land surveys and tree inventories. That hasn’t been done since DeKalb County operated the parks before Brookhaven’s 2012 founding. Technical information—including utility locations and even park boundaries—is out of date and possibly inaccurate, Cole said. In short, improving Brookhaven’s parks will be a step-by-step process taking many years and millions of dollars. But enthusiasm was expressed at the meeting for beginning those steps. Parks have been a main asset and planning focus of the city. Other parks getting site-specific master plans include Ashford, Blackburn, Briarwood, Brookhaven, Clack’s Corner, Fernwood, Georgia Hills, Lynwood and Skyland. Their draft master plans came out of various public and “stakeholder” meetings. At the Dec. 5 meeting about Murphey

Candler, audience members praised both the plan’s content and GreenbergFarrow’s process, which included asking each person in attendance to voice their opinion and ask questions. “I think this is brilliant,” one attendee said. “I’m kind of impressed how [Cole has] negotiated the Middle East peace accords and gotten consensus,” Williams joked about how the plan draws JOHN RUCH together the park’s many The draft master plan for Murphey Candler different users. “This is a Park includes a pedestrian boardwalk tough crowd.” running alongside the park’s lake. “It’s a really good plan,” said David Axelson, presiprovement. All parking would be recondent of the Murphey Candler Girls Softfigured to provide safer pedestrian access ball Association. and more spaces. Some of the parkBuilt around a lake on West Nancy ing expansion would be done by placCreek Drive, Murphey Candler is a coming gravel lots among trees rather than plex park with many different uses, inclear-cutting and paving. “It’s not your cluding paths, a swimming pool and more traditional Kroger [or] Walmart parking than a dozen baseball and softball dialot…A campground is what it ends up monds. The draft master plan by Greenlooking like,” Cole said. bergFarrow and landscape architect Mack A walking and biking path around the Cain tackles both active and passive uses in lake would include a boardwalk alongside ways large and small. the road atop the lake’s dam. The scout The park is notorious for dangerous building on the park’s west side would be traffic and parking problems. A drop-off preserved, but relocated, and possibly used spot for sports-playing kids is one imfor a restaurant.

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Council considers making bars close an hour earlier

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BY DYANA BAGBY Brookhaven City Council on Dec. 1 are located, including XS Lounge and Atdiscussed shutting down local bars and lanta Peachtree Ballroom. Community Declubs an hour earlier after city officials velopment Director Ben Song said that presented information about frequent three more, similar establishments are bepolice responses to the Northeast Plaza ing planned for the shopping center. off Buford Highway. Song’s presentation to the council was The council was divided on the idea part of an operations report on XS Resof an earlier last call, and a representative taurant and Lounge that showed it comof one Northeast Plaza club said it would plies with its 2014 Special Land Use Perhurt business. mit as a late-night establishment. Song “We don’t have to go to bed at midsaid that while XS complies with its pernight, but I do think 2:30 a.m. is an acceptmit, the city is concerned with the police able time,” Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams resources needed there and at other nearsaid, adding she was concerned for overall by businesses. The incidents are not spepublic safety. cific to XS Lounge, he But Councilman added. Bates Mattison asked “There are a lot of “The fact is that certain whether the police de[police] resources behours attract certain partment would face ing expended there,” the same kinds of inhe said. “And it’s not types of businesses cidents even in bars just a single officer and what we want is to closed earlier. “I don’t there providing secuseparate ourselves from think rolling back rity, but they are askthe different cities.” hours is going to ing for backup. This change anything,” he is additional time taksaid. ing officers away from – BEN SONG Williams and being on the streets.” COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Councilwoman LinA representative DIRECTOR ley Jones supported from XS Lounge atclosing late-night ventended the meeting ues at 2:30 a.m. “I’m but did not speak concerned for the safety of our police ofto the council. In a later interview, he ficers,” Jones said. said being forced to close earlier would But Councilmen John Park and Joe cost his business a great deal of money. Gebbia agreed with Mattison, saying XS Lounge, which operates as a restauthey are not sure the earlier closing time rant until 12:30 a.m. and then becomes would solve any problems. a late-night venue afterwards, pays some Currently, last call for local late-night $20 ,000 each month in sales tax and a venues is 2:55 a.m. with closing set at monthly alcohol tax of $2,500, the club 3:30 a.m. Restaurants are also able to representative said. stay open until 3:30 a.m. Closing bars Song said most of the police-call inand nightclubs early has been part of an cidents are taking place about 3:30 to 4 ongoing discussion in Brookhaven since a.m. He recommended discussing rolling at least 2014, with resistance from local back hours. businesses. “The fact is that certain hours attract Breaking up fights, arresting people for certain types of businesses and what we DUIs and disorderly conduct are some of want is to separate ourselves from the difthe recent incidents the Brookhaven Poferent cities,” Song said. “What we are lice Department has responded to in the seeing now is a concentration of similar Northeast Plaza, where several nightclubs uses in one location.”

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COMMUNITY

New Ronald McDonald House to open Dec. 21

PHOTOS RANDY MAXWELL

The new 31-bedroom Ronald McDonald House is located at Peachtree Dunwoody Road and the Glenridge Connector.

BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The new Ronald McDonald House on Pill Hill will begin serving families of ailing children on Dec. 21. The 31-bedroom facility at PeachtreeDunwoody Road and the Glenridge Connector also includes a three-story interior “treehouse” play area for children. It is more than three times the size of the original house that began operations on the site in 1994. “We dreamed big in imagining a modern facility that would meet all the needs of more families coping with sick children,” Javier Goizueta, a board member of Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities and its capi-

tal campaign chair, said in a press release. “We hope it will be a safe haven for healing for those who need it to be their home away from home in the coming years.” Ronald McDonald Houses around the country provide free or low-cost housing to families of children who are undergoing treatment at nearby hospitals. In the case of the Sandy Springs facility, that’s Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. The houses are run by chapters of an Illinois-based nonprofit that is separate from, but heavily supported by, the McDonald’s fast-food company.

The ‘treehouse’ inside the new Ronald McDonald House located on Pill Hill will provide a play area for children when the facility opens Dec. 21.

ARMHC opened an Atlanta house in 1979, followed by the Peachtree-Dunwoody location—originally an 11-bedroom house—in 1994. Both saw heavy demand and wait lists, leading to the construction of new facilities in recent years. The Atlanta house, near CHOA’s Egleston site, was rebuilt with 50 bedrooms in 2008. Efforts to expand the Pill Hill house began more than a decade ago. Fulton County approved the project in 2005, prior to the existence of the city of Sandy Springs. But a lawsuit from neighbors delayed it. The groundbreaking finally came last year. “A larger facility was needed to fulfill an ever-increasing need,” the ARMHC press release said.

The new house is about 53,000 square feet in size and cost more than $15 million. A notable design element is the “treehouse”—a play area designed like a tree that stands three stories tall in a lobby area. All rooms have private baths. The facility includes common areas, a kitchen, a dining room, and arts/crafts and activity room, a laundry and a conference room. In addition, a community room will be available to local organizations. The building will be accessible to people with disabilities and has a LEED Silver certification, a construction industry measure of environmental sustainability. For information on eligibility to stay at the house, call 404-315-1133 or see armhc.org

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DEC. 11 – DEC. 24, 2015 | 5


COMMUNITY

MARTA wants Brookhaven station to be ‘town center’ BY DYANA BAGBY City Council members responded with excitement—and a few concerns—to the proposed Brookhaven/ Oglethorpe MARTA Station redevelopment at a Dec. 1 council presentation. Amanda Rhein, Senior Director of Transit Oriented Development and Real Estate at MARTA, reviewed the agency’s vision of a town-center-style station in the project, which was unveiled in September and slated to begin construction in 2017. Representatives from development partners The Integral Group and Transwestern Development Company attended the meeting, but did not speak. “This is very exciting, a lot of years in the making,” said Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams. Rhein said the goal of MARTA’s plans for the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe station is to make it a destination station and “create a vibrant street level experience” including a park, shops, offices and also apartments and condos. A planned park from Peachtree Road to Apple Valley Road could be the “heart of the community, with retail on

both sides,” Rhein said. There would be programming for the green spaces as well with an emphasis on creating a pedestrian friendly environment. Council members have discussed relocating Brookhaven City Hall to the site and there is even talk of possibly moving the Brookhaven library here. However, nothing is finalized at this point, Rhein said. The Brookhaven/Oglethorpe station area is about 15 acres. MARTA would be meeting with city officials to have the area rezoned to allow affordable senior living spaces, condominiums and apartments. There are also plans for 70,000 square-feet of retail space; 120,000 square-feet of office space; and a 150-room hotel as well as plenty of civic and public space, Rhein said. “I recently met with other mayors in the north suburbs and they are a little more negative about MARTA,” Williams said. “They were trying to say MARTA didn’t need to go through rezoning and contribute to property taxes.” “That is a common misconception we have been made aware of,” Rhein said. “We are fully subject to all local

zoning and do that with the local jurisdictions.” The MARTA land will not be taxable, she explained, but the improvements to the property will be taxable by the city. Whether or not MARTA will come to the city to ask for tax incentives is still being discussed, Rhein said. MARTA’s proposal of town-center-style development One traffic calmat Brookhaven/Oglethorpe station. ing measure MARTA is proposing is a he had spoken with the president of roundabout at the North Druid Hills Oglethorpe University, who told him and Apple Valley Road intersection, she that the distance between the school added. and the station is a problem for stuCouncilwoman Linley Jones raised dents. “This last-mile connectivity is concerns about parking and wanted asan important part with a campus such surance there would be adequate parkas Oglethorpe and a community like ing for those who would drive to the Brookhaven,” he said. MARTA station. There are about 560 Rhein agreed and mentioned MARparking spaces at the station and RheTA recently developed an agreement in said MARTA is looking to develop with Uber to help riders who didn’t plans for shared parking with private want to wait for the bus or were unuses. comfortable riding a bus to get to their Councilman Bates Mattison said final destinations.

Flowerland park plan draws interest, but cost is still the question BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The current owners of the former Flowerland garden say they’re open to the idea on turning the area into a public park. But they and city officials are awaiting a more specific plan and price tag. Architect Andrew Amor proposes restoring Flowerland, a gigantic garden that once stood in what is now the D’Youville condominiums

off Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, as a city park. He presented ambitious design ideas—including recreations of an early settlers’ homestead and a Native American village—to Brookhaven City Council last month. Amor recently presented the idea to the D’Youville Condominium Association board of directors.

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cilman Bates Mattison is among those saying that lack of a budget estimate remains a sticking point. “I loved the presentation that was given…I was really impressed by the thought and vision of that,” Mattison said. But, Mattison added, the city has a tight budget and planned parks improvements that will demand funds. “We’ve got a lot of things people want [in the parks],” he said.

Internal Auditor William J. Mulcahy reported Dec. 1 on his findings of audits he’d conducted of city processes. Mulcahy examined the request for proposals process; the municipal court’s compliance with new laws; and several “weaknesses” previousBR I EF S ly found by other, external auditors, such as purchasing policies. The request for proposal process needs better vetting, he said. But he said contracts are approved by City Council, so this was not a major weakness. However, Mulcahy said he could not find any documents proving City Council approval for a human resources contract that was more than $50,000. Any contracts or purchases over $50,000 must have council approval, he said. Having an audit committee with public input is also a good idea, he said. Mulcahy said the city overall is in good shape and is being a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. “You’re headed in the right direction,” he said.

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“The board is keeping an open mind and is waiting to receive a specific proposal from the city of Brookhaven before making any decisions on how to proceed,” said Adam Langer, the condo association’s president. The Flowerland presentations had no budget estimates and still don’t, Amor said. “I have no additional info on the costs of the visionary project,” he said. The idea has been well-received by local elected officials. But City Coun-

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DEC. 11 – DEC. 24, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Council defers noise ordinance

City Council on Dec. 1 agreed to defer a vote on a new noise ordinance until its Jan. 12 meeting. A new decibel-based ordinance has been in the works for months, but some local businesses and the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce expressed concerns about measurement standards. Councilman Bates Mattison said he wanted the opportunity conduct field tests with new decibel meters being used by the city. Police Chief Gary Yandura said noise complaints are fewer now that the weather is becoming colder and there are fewer outdoor live music events.

BK


COMMUNITY

Lawyer: It’s OK for Brookhaven councilman to hold school job CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

practice would be that Mr. Mattison leave the dais and exit any meeting, conference or forum at which any matter regarding the BIA is before the council or the Development Authority.” “I’m really glad that we have this opinion and I think it will clear the air on any questions that have been raised,” said Williams. “I do think it’s not a green light, but a caution light, to Mr. Mattison moving forward on how he does need to recuse himself… and I hope he does monitor his donor list” for those who might have city business, she added. BIA is a new public charter school started through efforts by City Council. The state approved BIA’s charter earlier this year and the school is in the process of forming. BIA is now an independent nonprofit with a largely private board that also includes Mattison’s fellow City Councilman Joe Gebbia. Mattison, an original BIA board member, was hired earlier this month as BIA’s Interim Executive Director. Mattison’s hiring was not immediately announced and was a surprise to

“I very much hope that it puts the issue to bed. My reading of it is very clear. There were no ethics violations.” – BATES MATTISON BROOKHAVEN COUNCILMAN

his fellow council members. On Nov. 16, Williams ordered an independent legal review of any ethical conflicts, expressing particular concern about Mattison’s BIA contract including a 10 percent commission on funds raised for the school. Bentley’s opinion says Mattison would run into serious ethical trouble if he participated in council votes related to BIA, as that would be “improper and illegal.” But, Bentley notes, Mattison has recused himself from BIA-related discussions at City Council and the city’s Development Authority since late August, well before BIA hired him. He also recused himself when BIA came up at the Dec. 1 City Council meeting, af-

ter the opinion’s release. Bentley notes that Mattison was involved in talks and a vote about the city’s potential purchase of a Skyland Drive office building that BIA was eyeing as a school location. But, Bentley adds, that appears to be moot as BIA board minutes show the school cannot occupy that building by the start of classes. BIA recently approached the council about acquiring land next to the building. Brookhaven city code allows council members to have a financial stake in groups it does business with, if the council member discloses that interest, abstains from votes related to it, and doesn’t profit from private information, Bentley’s opinion says.

“I very much hope that it puts the issue to bed,” Mattison said of Bentley’s opinion. “My reading of it is very clear. There were no ethics violations.” He acknowledged that the review led BIA to realize a commission on fundraising is “frowned upon” within the industry, as well as raising the council’s concerns that he would have to recuse himself often if donors had city business. “I think the change in his compensation was a good move,” said Williams. “That was problematic and has been cleared up.” She said the opinion was “well worth the effort and the modest expense.” Bentley had not billed the city for his work. But Mattison said that, while he consented to the council’s desire for the review, he thought it was a distraction from city business and bad for the city’s reputation. “To an outsider, all they saw was, ‘Brookhaven—ethics investigation,’” Mattison said. “That can be harmful when you’re talking about economic development for a city,” he said, adding that is a main motivation for founding BIA.

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

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Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor Joe Earle joeearle@reporternewspapers.net Associate Editor: John Ruch Intown Editor: Collin Kelley Staff Writer: Ellen Eldridge Copy Editor: Diane L. Wynocker Creative and Production Creative Director: Rico Figliolini Graphic Designer: Isadora Pennington Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Senior Account Executives Jeff Kremer Janet Porter Account Executives Susan Lesesne Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis

Innovation Academy chair: ‘Great amount of work to perform’ before school opens next fall Brookhaven Innovation Academy is a recently approved public charter school slated to open in the 2016-17 school year and serve students in Brookhaven and surrounding communities. BIA will begin with 420 students in grades K-6 and, under its charter, will eventually expand to 540 K-8 students. BIA’s board is now in a fast-paced search for a school building locaJENNIFER tion, and recently hired Brookhaven City Councilman Bates MattiLANGLEY son as its interim executive director, which led to a city ethics review of GUEST COLUMN his dual jobs. Reporter Newspapers asked BIA Board Chair Jennifer Self Langley, who also runs the Buckhead-based JL Events & Association Management, to describe BIA’s current status.

Q. A.

What are the steps in BIA’s process for getting the school open by August 2016? BIA has a great amount of work to perform prior to school opening in fall 2016. Coordinating this essential work needed in an effective and focused manner is one of the key reasons we recently elected to add four highly experienced board members with specialized talents we felt were needed to assist us in opening the school, as well as our decision to hire a full-time executive director. We have also established a committee to review board development and board strategy for the short and long term of BIA. Additionally, we are working diligently to research and secure highly qualified vendors to fulfill the needs of the school.

Q. A.

Has BIA started seeking a head of school?

The board is considering several proposals and options to assist in recruitment of the head of school. Our aim is to have our candidate for the position identified by end of the first quarter of 2016.

Q.

What is the enrollment method and can students get on a registration list now?

A.

We have an intent to enroll form on the “admissions” tab of our website, brookhaveninnovationacademy. com, and have over 200 students who are registered through the form to date.

Q.

BIA previously expressed interest in an office building on Skyland Drive in Brookhaven, but now has a proposal to build a school next to it. Is BIA still interested in the existing building or has something changed?

A.

The board members of BIA are looking for the best location available to create an outstanding school with a focus on utilizing technology to teach our children the job skills required for success in the 21st century economy. Furthermore, a school that will inspire teachers to utilize their talents to their fullest extent, and also develop those talents further over time to create a learning environment to meet and hopefully exceed the standards outlined in our charter provided by the State of Georgia Charter Schools Commission. To that end, we are looking at multiple locations in the Brookhaven region. No location is definitely in or out.

Q. A. Q.

Is there a possibility the school will not open on schedule next August? What happens if it doesn’t? We will open in fall 2016 in either a permanent or temporary location. BIA Interim Executive Director Bates Mattison recently came under an ethics review regarding his other position as a Brookhaven city councilman. Does BIA think that ethics review was necessary and has it affected the process of starting the school?

A.

The BIA board elected to hire Councilman Mattison because of his unique experience in opening the city of Brookhaven as city councilman, as well as his being an instrumental part of obtaining the charter for Brookhaven Innovation Academy. The report was not necessary. However, due diligence is important for any private or public organization or association. We are pleased that the report came back affirming there was no conflict or ethical issues in Mr. Mattison taking the role as the BIA executive director to further assist our efforts to open in fall 2016.

deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors

On the record

Dyana Bagby, Phil Mosier, Allen Rabinowitz

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Read these articles from our other editions online at ReporterNewspapers.net. ““They refused to give in. They fought to preserve the community. A community that is as tough and as committed to an idea as this community was must be saved and deserves the best we can give it.” —Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul speaking on Dec. 1, the city’s 10th birthday, about the residents who led the cityhood effort. “If you build it right, you can actually turn a profit.” —Kim Pedersen, president of the California-based Monorail Society, explaining that a proposed Sandy Springs monorail could not only work, but possibly even be a money-maker. City Planning

DEC. 11 – DEC. 24, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Commission chair Lee Duncan last month raised the idea of a monorail linking Sandy Springs’ downtown area to MARTA stations and other Perimeter Center sites. “I think representative government in general has a tendency of breaking down into factions. I successfully kept our City Council from ever going that direction. Everybody truly stayed with the idea of making decisions based on what is best for the community.” —Outgoing Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis speaking about his accomplishments during his four years in the office. BK


COMMENTARY

A flock of Eagles flies together at Troop 304 Eagle Scouts are supsupportive of each other.” posed to be rare birds. It Baker remembered takes years of work to bewhen a lot of scouts started come an Eagle and scout dropping out of the troop leaders say that only a in middle school. Havsmall fraction of the boys ing a group of friends he’d who take part in scouting known since first grade earn the program’s highest stick with scouting made it rank. easier for him keep going. But this year, the boys “If these people weren’t in in Troop 304 at Lovett it, I don’t know if I could School apparently didn’t have done it,” he said. AROUND get the message. In NoA little friendly compeTOWN vember, Troop 304 gradtition helped, too. “Other uated its own flock of Eaguys getting their projects JOE EARLE gles. This group claimed done ... it’s kind of a kick their Eagle badges in in the butt,” said Freddy numbers usually reserved for eggs or Achecar, whose Eagle project installed doughnuts: There are a cool dozen of posts for displaying signs at Chastain them. Park. “I think we beat the odds,” former Their Eagle projects now pop up Troop 304 Scoutmaster Kevin Link all over Buckhead and a few other arsaid one recent evening as eas. Taken together, their he and some of the boys projects contributed more gathered at Lovett’s Scout than 1,500 hours of comHut. munity service and inThese aren’t Troop 304’s volved more than 130 volfirst Eagles. The Lovettunteers, the troop said in based troop has produced a press release. about 100 Eagles since Griffin Leinbeck refurit was chartered in 1996, bished duck boxes at the Link said. The troop acBlue Heron Nature Centually has twice before ter. Sam Baker worked on awarded more than a dozthe community garden at en Eagles in a single year, Little Nancy Creek Park. with 13 bestowed in 2006 Joe Callaway and Ned Eland 2009. lis did landscaping and Part of what’s unusubuilt picnic tables for the Kevin Link al about the 2015 group farmers market at St. Philis that these guys did it all ip’s Cathedral. together. The path to an Wil Harrison renovatEagle badge takes commitment. Eaed a work shed at Chastain Park. Angle scouts work their way through all drew Link built picnic tables for the other scout ranks, then accumulate 21 Vinings United Methodist Church. merit badges, which each shows a proMaxwell McCrady built a sign for Atficiency in certain lanta First Station areas such as citi26 at Howell Mill zenship, personal and Moores Mill fitness or emergenroads. cy preparedness. EaPatrick McGuire “I think part of it for me gles must also think was there were 11 others; installed picnic taup, organize and bles at a school in I think we were really manage public serJonesboro and vice projects in their supportive of each other.” Hayden Page and communities. Garrett Wright reTroop 304’s dozstored a playground – MATTHEW BOUTTE en Eagles helped and added picnic taone another out bles and a bench at along the way. They a women and chilall joined scouts in dren’s shelter in East first grade and stuck Point. together through their senior year in Page moved to Colorado recenthigh school. “It was a group journey ly, but, in November, he was back and to this point,” new Eagle Sam Baker the entire dozen Eagles assembled at said. Lovett’s Scout Hut to receive their EaThey went to scout camp and on gle badges. scout outings together. They worked Andrew Link said making Eagles on one another’s Eagle projects. “I gave them “a sense of accomplishment think part of it for me was there were since we stuck with it from the begin11 others,” said Matthew Boutte, ning and didn’t quit.” whose Eagle project was to renovate Callaway nodded in agreement. the Columbarium at St. Paul’s Epis“It’s been 12 years of our lives working copal Church. “I think we were really on this,” he said.

Eleven of the dozen new Eagle Schoots in Troop 304 gather at the Scout Hut at Lovett School. The are: front row, left to right, Joseph Callaway, Freddy Achecar, Ned Ellis, Patrick McGuire, Wil Harrison; back row, left to right, Griffin Leinbach, Matthew Boutte, Andrew Link, Sam Baker, Max McCrady, Garrett Wright. Not pictured: Hayden Page.

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PHOTO JOHN RUCH

Sandy Springs residents Hershell Horton (left) and Cedron Tigner are forced to walk in the road on Hammond Drive near Boylston Drive in Sandy Springs.

Roadside trails a challenge for walkers and cities CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

But there’s a big backlog to catch up with. DeKalb and Fulton counties began requiring new developments to include sidewalks in the 1990s, she said, and Atlanta and the Perimeter’s newer cities do as well. Linking those disconnected bits of sidewalk is expensive. “Probably the most important [challenge] is money,” Flocks said. That’s true in Dunwoody, where the city plans to replace part of the Cotillion Drive trail with a paved multi-use path in 2017. The new multi-use path is coming because the city is aware of Cotillion’s obvious pedestrian problem, said Public Works Director Michael Smith. But it’s taking years because new sidewalks cost roughly $250,000 per mile—Cotillion’s multiuse path probably will cost more than $1 million. The city’s overall plan for 20 miles of new sidewalks will cost at least $5 million—or about 16 percent of the city’s $32 million annual budget, if it were all done at once. “It’s not something that can all be done at one time,” Smith said. “We’re trying to chip away a little bit each year.” Cotillion, running a mile along Dunwoody’s southern border between North Peachtree and Chamblee-Dunwoody roads, is a classic environment for desire paths. Smith said it likely was built as part of I-285’s construction in the 1960s or ’70s, when pedestrian structures weren’t automatically included and the area was less developed. Since then, two multifamily housing projects have added disconnected pieces of sidewalk. Even the desire path disappears at the Georgetown end among busy parking lots for gas stations and fastfood restaurants. Jamie Lee lives on one of Cotillion’s sidewalk islands, the Madison Square at Dunwoody condos. She walks for health, but cuts through the parking lots of a near-

by office park to avoid the desire path, which she doesn’t find so desirable. “It’s not as safe because it’s not flat,” she said. “And traffic is so bad here.” Pedestrian safety drove the Georgia Department of Transportation to upgrade walkways along Buford Highway, a state route, starting in 2012. Buford was lined with narrow desire paths along the highspeed, multi-lane road. And it was infamous for pedestrians killed by cars—at least 22 between 2000 and 2009, according to a report in Creative Loafing. GDOT’s recently finished $11.5 million project targeted the Buford corridor from Lenox Road in Buckhead to just south of Clairmont Road in Brookhaven. It replaced desire paths with sidewalks and installed medians and signalized crosswalks. With another round of funding, GDOT plans to extend the improvements north from Clairmont Road into Chamblee, said spokeswoman Annalysce Baker. But that’s not until 2020, so rough desire paths remain in use there. Flocks said the method of getting sidewalk funds can be an issue, too. PEDS opposes metro Atlanta’s tradition of treating sidewalks as something for private property owners to install and maintain, calling that unfair and inefficient. “We’ve said [sidewalks] should be paid for with public funds because it’s a public good,” she said. The burden on private owners can trigger resistance from those who may “want [their land] to have a rural feel. They don’t want people walking in front of their property,” she said. Those issues can spark debate even on public land, such as a current proposal to add sidewalks, as well as paved interior paths, at Atlanta Memorial Park. At a recent community meeting, advocates said paving the existing desire paths along Woodward Way and Wesley Drive is a basic safety and accessibility matter. Opponents worried that sidewalks could damage the environment and attract overuse


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of the park. All of those issues come together at Sandy Springs’ Hammond Drive. In its first decade of existence, the city has installed 20 miles of sidewalks. But Ham-

district. The main reason is strong local opposition to the city’s plan to widen Hammond, which would include adding sidewalks. The widening project still lacks full funding, said city spokeswoman Sharon Kraun. Adding sidewalks to the existing road isn’t in the near future, either. “Proof of pedestrian activity such as desire paths” is one criterion for prioritizing new sidewalks, Kraun said, but added, “In our current list of sidewalks scoring, Hammond is not on that list.” With cities now working under sidewalk expansion policies, paving the old desire paths is probably a matter of when, not if. But patience can be hard for today’s walkers like Stockdale, who sometimes arrives at work with soaked shoes from wet grass and hikes home PHOTO JOHN RUCH on the road’s white line because A trail on Hammond Drive near Kayron it’s all he can see Drive in Sandy Springs. in the dark. “Hey, make mond remains an obvious sticking point, ’em put a sidewalk out here for me!” he lined with a ragged desire path despite called as he trudged home down the Colinking the increasingly walkable Perimetillion Drive path. ter Center and Roswell Road downtown

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Steve Kilby wasn’t sure he was ready event benefitting the U.S. Marine Corps to organize the first Jingle Mingle in Reserve Toys for Tots program. “We 2003. He knew it would take a lot of support their mission,” Kilby said. work to organize a charity fundraisThis year, Jingle Mingle will be held er from scratch, but it turned out to be Dec. 19 at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Peworth the trouble. rimeter at Ravinia, located at 4355 Ash“I somewhat reluctantly did the ford-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody. event, because these things are a lot of Toys for Tots started in Los Angeles, effort, but we were so successful, with Calif., in 1947, when Diane Hendricks 700 attendees,” the asked her husband, Buckhead salesman Maj. Bill Hendricks Do you know someone making a said. of the U.S. Marine That first Jingle difference in our community? E-mail Corps Reserve, to Mingle, an upscale deliver a Raggedy editor@reporternewspapers.net party benefitting Ann doll she had the U.S. Marine made to an organiCorps Reserve Toys zation that would for Tots program, took place at a sports give it to a child. No such organization bar on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. existed, so Bill Hendricks started one, The restaurant cleared out its tables to according to Toys for Tots website. host the event, but the hundreds who As the director of public relations showed up gridlocked Roswell Road to for Warner Brothers Studio, Hendricks the point that Fulton County police arconvinced many celebrities to support rived, Kilby said. Toys for Tots and, in 1948, the Marine The officers likely would have shut Corps Reserve adopted the program on the event down due to the logistical a nationwide basis. Walt Disney then mess, but “when I pointed to the two designed the Toys for Tots logo, which Marines at the front door taking donathe organization still uses today, the tions, and said they were Marines, the website says. officers both looked at each other and Kilby’s fundraising party connected said, ‘Hey, we’re Marines,’ and they to Toys for Tots its first year. turned their attention to managing traf“The Marines were first to answer fic congestion rather than shutting the the phone and we adopted them as our event down,” Kilby said. “It really was a charity,” Kilby said. “They were enthusimagic moment.” astic and excited to hear from me.” Kilby, who had worked with othKilby said the Marines accept toys er nonprofits, started the Jingle Minduring the Jingle Mingle event. They gle after several charity workers he knew take the toys to a warehouse and distribasked him how they could do more. ute them with the help of the United He organized a group called the AtlanWay, which helps determine organizata Two Hundred, which hosts the fortions can give the toys to needy families. mal dinner dance called the Jingle Min“The toys absolutely stay in metro Atgle each year. lanta,” Kilby said. “You don’t realize it, “We’re a rag-tag group of volunteers,” but someone who may look okay [beKilby said. cause he or she] has a car and apartment, He describes Jingle Mingle as the will get some toys. It’s our neighbors — largest metro Atlanta area one-night it’s people right beside us that may be on


MAKING A DIFFERENCE 28 and 32, chosen on the basis of five criteria, the “least of which is looks,” Kilby said. “The angel concept relies on personality and charisma,” Kilby said. “They have to be fit. They have to be professional, accomplished and have a charitable history. Number 5 is looks.” Sara Davis, who has been an “Angel” several times, says her role is to serve as the “face and the inspiration” for the program. The Angels call Kilby the “Toy King,” Davis said. “Our job is to be classy ambassadors for the event and raise awareness of the cause, aiming SPECIAL to reach thousands of people Steve Kilby, founder of Atlanta Two and help over thousands of unHundred, and Angel Sara Davis, derprivileged children to have at a Jingle Mingle event. something under the tree at Christmas,” Davis said. “It is all food stamps or assistance. The toys aren’t about bringing joy to others. It is such going to Bolivia or Tennessee; they stay an incredible rewarding experience.” right here in Atlanta.” Jingle Mingle sold out last year and By 2006, Jingle Mingle attracted Kilby said he expects 2,500 to 3,000 atmore than 4,000 attendees to Grand tendees this year. Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead, Kilby said. When the Atlanta Two Hundred isn’t The U.S. Marine Corp Reserve says on working on its flagship Jingle Mingle its Toys for Tots program website that event, the friends work to benefit the 2006 was one of the biggest years on National Alliance on Mental Illness and record. In 2007, the Marines flew four Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. generals from Quantico, Va., to the Jin“To keep Atlanta Two Hundred acgle Mingle, Kilby said. tive in minds and hearts, we support Now, Kilby uses what he calls “Amother charities throughout the year,” bassadorettes of good will and cheer.” Kilby said. His 15 “Angels” are between the ages of

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the midpoint of the dining room where one’s eyes simply cannot help but gravFor the last 10 years, the occasionitate, no matter what table those eyes al recommendation was dropped on me are sitting at. I guess the flag didn’t get that I ought to have breakfast at OK caught up in the fire. Cafe in Buckhead. Time stands still at the OK Cafe. OK Cafe is an old fashioned diner Call Senior Helpers today at 770-442-2154 It’s predictable, delivering all the comwith reasonably priced meals and good Your local Senior Care Expert since 2006 fort foods of Southern livservice. It had been there ing that this restaurant forever and would be there has perfected over its very forever, so I put it on the • Alzheimer and Dementia • Caregivers Available from many years as an Atlanback burner as a place I’d Care 1 hr./day to 24/7 and Live-in ta landmark. Its familyget to eventually. au friendly atmosphere with However, it was de• Transportation and Errands • Care available in the rant Re kiddos running just a little stroyed by fire before I got • Bathing, Dressing and Light hospital, rehab, wild and its kitschy decor around to eating there. Housekeeping assisted living or home. are just what one wants in a Sunday afI was a little saddened that I didn’t get ternoon get together. to try it out, but hey, time marches on. • Fall Risk Care The lines of folks waiting to get in at When the news came that OK Cafe was this no-frills and no-reservations historbeing renovated, I was eager not to let ic institution always looks excruciatingly my chance at redemption slip away. I Senior Helpers long, but the crowds are actually seated also brought two friends who had eatMatt Fredenberg, quite quickly. My party of four arrived en at the first incarnation of the place, Elizabeth Jackson, at 12:30 p.m. on a Sunday and was seatso they could tell me what has changed ed within a half hour. Most of the servabout it. Pam Hodgson, ers are making a career of it, and being They tell me that literally nothing Hutch Hodgson a little older and wiser than the average whatsoever has changed there. From the restaurant staff members, their warmth layout to the service ware to the light fixand experience shone through at every tures, everything looks exactly as it did Family Owned turn. before. This includes…um…the giant & Managed The service is as golden as the food. Georgia 1956 flag with the ConfederOK Cafe can fry up just about anyate battle emblem framed majestically at thing to perfection. We had the crab and crawfish cakes, held together by a stalwart shell of fried goodness with nary a crumble in sight. We had the fried pickles, their golden crust flexible enough to bend with the wet insides but stable You asked..... We heard.. We have worked with enough to contain them without teara major hearing aid manufacturer to offer the ing. We had the jalapeño fried cheese grits, formed as perfect two-bite nugfollowing Holiday Hearing Aid Extravaganza on gets with only the barest, least offensive a special inventory close out. Up to 60% off with kind of peppery jolt to the taste buds. Let’s not even state the obvious about prices starting at $995.00 per device. the french fries. Aside from the fried, there is plen“We believe hearing aids need to be affordable for ty of delicious color. The black cow was frothy and delicious, served in proper everyone who needs them.” soda fountain style. The potato salad left Joy Pritchett, Doctor of Aud. Owner all the red skin in the mix, for an earthy riff on a classic in need of refreshing. The corn muffins were bursting with actual This Year Hear Your Holidays niblets of corn. The avocado in the omelette was both smooth and startling. Each of us loved the mac ’n’ cheese CALL NOW Limited inventory available! for a different reason, and the burger For your convenience take advantage of our extended was nothing to scoff at. Right down to Dunwoody/Sandy Springs the pecan pie, served warm with a smallhours in our Decatur and Dunwoody locations. 678-500-8185 er nut size so it’s plenty pliable, and the key lime pie, with a proper sour and Decatur/ N. Druid Hills without the neon green, OK Cafe nails 404-963-9904 just about everything that makes a Great American Diner. Lake Oconee/Greensboro Now if they could just take down 706-438-4227 that embarrassing relic of an America that is long gone for good reason, I’d be Lake Sinclair/Milledgeville glad to eat there again next Sunday. 478-607-7576 OK Cafe, 1284 West Paces Ferry Road, okcafe.com. www.HearAtlanta.com Megan Volpert lives in Decatur, teaches in Roswell and writes books about pop culture. | | 14 DEC. 11 – DEC. 24, 2015 www.ReporterNewspapers.net


DINING OUT

Quick Bites

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il Giallo Osteria & Bar is now open in Sandy Springs at 5920 Roswell Road, #118. Chef Jamie Adams, formerly with Veni Vidi Vici, is hand-making pasta in the kitchen for tagliatelle, agnolotti, linguine and more. Visit ilgialloatl. com for more information.

Dolce Italian, located on Peachtree Road in Buckhead, is now open for Saturday and Sunday brunch. Chef Paolo Dorigato’s menu highlights handcrafted pastas, Neapolitan-style pizzas and classic egg dishes. There’s even a spin on the Southern standard, Tuscan Fried Chicken & Waffles. For more information, visCalifornia Pizza it dolceitalianrestaurant. Kitchen has reopened its com. flagship Atlanta restauMeals on Wheels has Chef Jamie Adams rant inside Lenox Square announced that as of Nov. hand makes pasta. in Buckhead after exten9 Charlene Crusoe-Insive renovations. gram, a former CocaCola Company execLuxury chocolatutive, has become the ier CACAO Atlanta organization’s new exhas officially opened ecutive director. She its flagship store at The replaces Jeffrey Smythe Shops Buckhead Atwho served as MOW’s lanta. The store feaexecutive director for tures limited-release 13 years. “I can’t wait collections of handto begin leading an orcrafted chocolates as ganization that I hold well as collaborations Dolce Italian is now open for so dearly,” said Cruwith artists. For more Saturday and Sunday brunch. soe-Ingram. “My iminformation, visit cacaoatlanta.com. mediate goal is to end our wait list of seniors who are hungry and need food. Five Guys has opened its sixth loAnd with the help of my board and the cation in metro Atlanta, serving up its great staff here at Meals On Wheels Atburgers and fries inside Lenox Square. lanta, I believe we can do that.” The new location is offering Five Guys Sprouts Farmers Market will open Milkshakes, featuring 10 different mixits 10th store at 1853 Piedmont Ave. ins to the vanilla shake base including NE in Buckhead on Feb. 3. The combacon, chocolate, Oreos, banana, coffee pany will hire about 100 full- and partand salted caramel. time team members to work at the Atlanta store. Available opportunities Word of Mouth Restaurants has include clerks, cashiers, department opened Vero Pizzeria in Brookhaven, managers and administrative coordinanestled between its sister restaurants tor. Visit sprouts.com/careers to learn Haven and Valenza, at 1441 Dresden more and to apply. Drive. The restaurant offers custom pizzas, small bites, salads and a selection of — Collin Kelley

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out& about

BROOKHAVEN • BUCKHEAD • DUNWOODY • SANDY SPRINGS

KIDS & FAMILY

Music & Movement Tuesday, December 15, 4 - 5 p.m. – Put on your dancing shoes and join the Imaginators for upbeat, fun activities based around geography, culture or sports. This workshop is ideal for children aged pre-K through third grade. The programs combine music, dance and education sure to please your little ones. Free and open to the public. Dunwoody Library, 5339 ChambleeDunwoody Road, Dunwoody, 30338. For more information, call 770-512-4640 or go to dekalblibrary.org.

101 Dalmatians Tuesday, December 15, 6 - 7 p.m. – The

MJCCA Youth Ensemble Junior presents a performance of 101 Dalmatians. The classic animated tale of kidnapping villains and courageous pups has been adapted for a new generation of young performers. Free and open to the public, no registration required. MJCCA Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody, 30338. For more information, go online to atlantajcc.org or call 678-812-4000.

Car Seat Inspection Wednesday, December 16, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. – Sandy Springs Fire Rescue wants to en-

sure that the city’s kids are secure in their car seats. The department is hosting free inspections to make sure that seats are safely installed and provide child safety seat installation assistance for new parents with appointment. Inspections typically take between 30 to 60 minutes per seat and include training for the parents. Recommended

for parents of kids under the age of 8. Schedule your appointment by calling 770-206-1518.

Masquerade Party

EDUCATION

Mental Health Discussion Saturday, December 19, 12 - 2 p.m. – Author Lena G. Clark will speak about her purpose, passions and story. Centered around her relationship with her late husband Norris Clark who suffered from mental illness, her book “An Amazing Mind” is a resource to those also experiencing mental illness within their families. Free and open to the public. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Buckhead Branch Library, Large Meeting Room, 269 Buckhead Ave. NE, Atlanta, 30305. For more information, go online to afpls.org, call 404-814-3500 or email comments@co.fulton.ga.us.

Star Stories Sunday, December 27, 1 - 2 p.m. – Do you have a passion for astronomy? Love learning about

the stars? Well, the Chattahoochee Nature Center has a special event that’s perfect for the stargazers among us. With an inflatable planetarium, STARLAB, the center will offer insight into the stories of Creek and Cherokee people who once lived in this area and how they used the stars in their daily lives. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Two sessions, each 25 minutes long, will be offered during that time. Free to CNC Members and included with general admission for nonmembers; $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+) and students (ages 13 -18), $6 for children (ages 3 -12), and children 2 and under are free. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell, 30075. Have questions? Call 770-9922055 or go online to chattanturecenter.org.

SEASONAL EVENTS

Sunday, December 19, 7:30 p.m. – Me-

della Mental and Behavioral Health, Inc. is hosting a “Father-Daughter-Mother-Son Masquerade Party” at Huntcliff by the River Clubhouse. Medella Mental and Behavioral Health, Inc. is a nonprofit organization supporting families and adolescents diagnosed with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome and mental illness. All proceeds generated from this event will support Camp H.O.P.E., a camp designed for children with disabilities. The event will include an evening meal, beverages, dessert bar and music. Huntcliff by the River Clubhouse, 9072 River Run Road NE, Sandy Springs, 30350. Go online to medellahealth.org for more information and to register.

Family Fun Day Friday, December 25, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. – The MJCCA is opening its doors for a day

of family entertainment and fun. The JCC fitness center, indoor pool and Marcus gym will be open and available all day, and at 11 a.m. Family Fun Day officially begins with a sing-along followed by family-friendly movies. Kids are invited to play on inflatables, ride-on toys, play table tennis, basketball games, indoor pool, and enjoy the playground. Food will be available for purchase at Goodfriend’s Grill from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free and open to the community. MJCCA, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody, 30338. For more information, go online to atlantajcc.org or call 678-812-4000.

Menorah Lighting Sunday, December 13 at 4 p.m. -– Join the First Lady, Sandra Deal, as she hosts the Menorah Lighting Ceremony at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion. Israeli Consulate General Varnai Shorer and Temple Emanuel’s Rabbi Spike Anderson will join other local dignitaries in the Hanukkah festivities. Governor’s Mansion, 391 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, 30305. Have questions? Go online to sandyspringsga.org to learn more.

Merry Monday! Monday, December 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – The

crew at the Atlanta History Center is hosting a Christmas-themed Magic Monday as part of the ongoing program. This monthly series is recommended for kids aged 18 months to 5 years, and engages them in activities that bring history into their play. Catch the Christmas spirit with sing-alongs, dances and crafts. Members get in free, adult admission is $6.50;

$5.50 for children. Discounted rates are available for groups with 10 or more children. For more information, please call 404-814-4110 or go to atlantahistorycenter.com. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, 30305.

Adopt-AFamily Through Thursday, December 17 – The Com-

munity Assistance Center in Sandy Springs is hosting an Adopt-A-Family program that serves local families. It’s easy to sign up as a donor by going online to the CAC website, there you can view family stories as well as children’s wish lists. Donors are asked to spend $50 per child and to deliver the new and unwrapped gifts to the gift distribution site. Gifts will be distributed to families as they are received. If you have questions, email holidays@ ourcac.org or call 770-552-4889. Community Assistance Center, 1130 Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs, 30350.

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Brookhaven’s Birthday Thursday, December 17, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. – The city of Brookhaven is throwing a

birthday party at City Hall. Residents are invited to stop by for a slice of the city’s birthday cake, served up on December 17. Free, open to the public. Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, 30319. For more info, go online to brookhavenga.gov or call 404-637-0500.

Toy Drive Through Thursday, December 17 – The Sandy Springs Police Department is collecting toys this season for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. You can make a difference to a child in need with your gift donations. Toys will be accepted at the SSPD Headquarters, 7840 Roswell Road #301, Sandy Springs, 30328. For more information, go to sandyspringsga.org/ public-safety/police-department or call 770551-6900.

Krampus Xmas Thursday, December 17 through Saturday, December 19 – 7 Stages presents a

performance of Krampus Xmas, a holiday tradition in the community. Paired with music by The Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra and Syrens of the South, the performance includes burlesque dancers, stilt-walkers, aerialists and more surprises. Go online to 7stages.org to see showtimes and purchase tickets, call 404-5237647, or email boxoffice@7stages.org. 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave. Atlanta, 30307.

Let Nothing You Dismay Thursday, December 17 through Sunday, December 20 – Stage Door

Players in Dunwoody present a play centered around two soon-to-be-parents at Christmas time. The couple requests that their family gives them space until they bring the baby home, but a variety of eccentric characters show up despite their wishes. Eight actors play twenty-two characters in this quick witted holiday farce that celebrates families of all shapes and sizes. General admission tickets are $30 for adults, $27 for seniors, $22 for students, and $15 for kids under 12. For more information and showtimes, call the box office at 770-396-1726 or go online to stagedoorplayers.net. Stage Door Players, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, 30338.

Chocolate Nutcracker

ech.edu/ferstcenter for information and tickets. Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, 349 Ferst Dr., Atlanta, 30332. Need more info? Call 404-894-9600.

Gingerbread House Decorating Party Saturday, December 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Making a gingerbread

house is a holiday tradition that has been celebrated for many years. Putting the project together, however, can be timeconsuming and daunting. This year crafters of all ages are invited to this holiday decorating workshop. Participants will be provided with a blank canvas gingerbread house and will be taught how to make a decadent Royal icing, as well as choose from more than 20 candies to accent. Groups are limited to two people per house, and each house costs $35 for supplies. Vino Venue, 4478 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, 30338. Call 770-668-0435 or go to atlantawineschool.com/ shop/gingerbread.

Tales & Green Gifts

during this last day of the market. The Spruill Gallery features unique and locally crafted gifts, artwork, and decor. Spruill Gallery, 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody 30338. For more information, go online to spruillgallery. blogspot.com or call 770-394-4019.

Monday, December 21, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. – The Chattahoochee Nature Center in-

vites the community to enjoy winter break activities and wrap some gifts at the same time. Nature Exchange Points can be used to purchase a nature gift for someone special in your life. Nature-inspired wrapping materials will be hand to prep your gifts for the ocon casion. Free to CNC Members and included with general admission for nonmembers; $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+) and students (ages 13 -18), $6 for children (ages 3 -12), and children 2 and under are free. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell, 30075. Have questions? Call 770-992-2055 or go online to chattanturecenter.org to find out more about this event and others.

Christmas for Kids Through December 25 – The City of Dunwoody Police Department has teamed up again with I Care Atlanta to bring toys and food to those in need this holiday season. Christmas for Kids is seeking donations of new, unwrapped toys and gifts for ages newborn through 15 years. Nonperishable food items such as cereal, flour, sugar, pasta, and oatmeal are welcomed, as well as nonexpired canned goods like tuna, vegetables, fruits, pasta sauce, soups, etc. Donations can be dropped off 24/7 at the Dunwoody Police Headquarters, 41 Perimeter Center E #100, Dunwoody, 30346, as well as at I Care Atlanta, Inc., 5879-B New Peachtree Rosd Doraville, 30340. To learn more, visit dpdchristmas4kids.com.

Holiday Sale Wednesday, December 23, 10 a.m. 7 p.m. – Spruill Gallery invites last-minute shoppers to a day of savings during their Holiday sale. Take 20% off your entire purchase

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out & about HOLIDAY CONCERTS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17

‘Tis the season to treat yourself to our Holiday Open House.

Music of the Holidays

Friday, December 18 and Saturday, December 19 – The Atlanta Young Singers

will perform a holiday tribute to famed conductor Robert Shaw, reliving favorites from their 23 years of appearances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. The Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Tickets start at $12 for general admission and can be purchased online at aysc.org. Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 2855 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, 30329.

side Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. The event will feature the AYS Treble Concert Choir & Youth Chorale, and harpist Dania Lane. Tickets start at $15 for general admission, and more information can be found online at aysc.org. Please note, seating is in pews and is reserved by row but not seat, all individual seats are first come, first serve. Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 2855 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta, 30329.

Coro Vocati Concert Sunday, December 20 at 3 p.m – This musical group is an en-

semble of professional singers based in Atlanta. Coro Vocati serves as a master class for singers and they will present a program of Advent and Christmas music sure to please the whole family. All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 634 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, 30308. For more information go to allsaintsatlanta.org or call 404-267-4264. General admission tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.

Georgia Boy Choir Friday, December 18, and Saturday, December 19, 7 p.m. – Enjoy two eve-

You’re cordially invited to our Holiday Open House Thurs, December 17th • 11:00am-3:00pm Wow! We’ve been busy. We’ve been decorating our community in its “holiday best” and we’re soooo excited to show you. So, if you’ve been thinking about taking a tour of The Piedmont, now may just be the best time ever. And did we mention the holiday goodies? Go ahead, treat yourself to our Holiday Open House and grab hold of some holiday cheer (and maybe a cookie, too).

Please RSVP by Dec. 14th • 404.381.1743

nings of holiday classics performed by the Georgia Boy Choir at the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. This performance is a well-loved community tradition and is a sure bet for getting into the holiday spirit. General admission starts at $20 each, preferred seating is $40 each, and students, seniors, and children are $12 each. To purchase tickets go online to georgiaboychoir.ticketleap.com/christmas2015. Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, 3180 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, 30305.

Atlanta Young Singers Friday, December 18 and Saturday, December 19, 8 - 9:45 p.m. – The Im-

maculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church will host the 41st annual Music of the Holidays. Presented in celebration of the legacy of late famed conductor Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Young Singers 23 years of appearances along-

Messiah SingAlong Sunday, December 20 from 3 to 4 p.m. – Join voices

from around Atlanta for an annual musical tradition. Professional vocal soloists and an orchestral ensemble from the Georgia Philharmonic will join the ranks with organist Tom Alderman and hundreds of other community singers for classic holiday songs. Whether you’d prefer to bring your own score or buy one at the church, guests are welcome to join in the music or simply sit back and enjoy the tunes. Tickets are $10 each regardless of participation. Go to mosingers.com/tickets or call 770-594-7974 to buy tickets and find out more details. Roswell United Methodist Church, 814 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell, 30075.

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out & about

Griffin’s animal portraits showcased in Sandy Springs BY ALLEN RABINOWITZ Although better known for advertising images, music album covers and portraits of business leaders, musicians and other celebrated people, photographer Marti Griffin says her new project, titled “Animalia,” combines her two great loves: photography and animals. The collection of 40-plus images of animals includes domestic and feral cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, amphibians, horses, rabbits and other members of the animal kingdom. The exhibit is on display at the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library-Sandy Springs Branch, through Dec. 30. “Animalia” marks the longtime Sandy Springs resident’s third animalthemed show at the library. Griffin says the library is one of her favorite exhibition spaces, primarily for what she calls the “intelligence factor.” “A lot of intelligent people go in there,” she explained. “They look at the art and enjoy it. Sandy Springs is more oriented toward families and young professionals. The show is geared to anyone who loves animals.” Along with photographs of animals in their habitat and pictures of friends’ pets, many of the images were taken as assignments for clients of her business specializing in animal portraiture. She founded her company in 1999 after she reached a point where, she said, “I was tired of shooting advertising assignments.” “I love photographing people, but I felt more drawn to animals,” she said. Gaining a subject’s trust, according to Griffin, is one of the key elements to a successful animal portrait. “First and foremost,” she said, “you’ve got to gain the animal’s trust, unless you can grab a candid shot like ‘got it and gone’ because they’re skittish. To gain their trust I just try to be myself, but if it gets bad, especially with the cats, I try to have catnip with me and see if that helps. I try to get a bond going and they respond to me.” Although most cats look annoyed, Griffin explained, “That’s just the way

cats are. I found out that it’s hard to find a smiling cat. Especially the feral cats, they never are happy and they mistrust you somewhat. It’s rare where I can get in and actually pet a feral cat.” Dogs, on the other hand, are natural hams in front of the lens. “They seem to relate to the camera more,” said Griffin. “In the right situation, if a cat is comfortable, you can get a relaxed shot.”

“Animalia,” a photo exhibit by Marti Griffin Where: Atlanta Fulton Couty Library Sandy Springs Branch, 395 Mt. Vernon Highway When: through Dec. 30. For more: www.petraiture.com.

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Marti Griffin, with her photos and subjects, ‘D,’ on leash, and ‘Qin.’

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COMMUNITY

Residents light up their homes for the holidays

ELLEN ELDRIDGE

The Talbott home in Sandy Springs, above, displays 22,000 lights and ďŹ gurines set out by Greg Talbot Sr. and son, Greg Talbot Jr., below.

BY ELLEN ELDRIDGE

elleneldridge@reporternewspapers.net

Metro Atlanta neighbors aren’t shy about lighting up their homes for the holidays. Here are a few must-see sites for anyone wanting to see some extraordinary displays. Pragya Singh moved into her Buckhead home at 815 West Paces Ferry Road six months ago. Her husband is Indian Consul Gen-

eral Nagesh Singh, so the family moves about every three years for his job. This year, she decided to decorate for the holidays. Her house now is aglow with hanging lights. A contractor did much of the work around the yard, while Singh served as creative director and strung lights around smaller pillars. Her hol-

iday lights recognize and celebrate the Indian holiday Diwali, which was Nov. 11 this year. The lights were all up by the last week of October and she decided to continue the lightshow through the New Year, she said. “It’s nice to have your house decorated,� she said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

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COMMUNITY

Residents light up their homes for the holidays

ELLEN ELDRIDGE

The Singh home on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead, above, features hanging lights, above. The home was lit in October ahead of Diwali.

The Harris home on Leisure Drive in Dunwoody, top left, displays a toy train, a lighted Christmas tree and, at left, a snowman skating on a frozen pond. SPECIAL

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21

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DEC. 11 – DEC. 24, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

“The festive season started here with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas and then New Year’s, so I thought it’d be nice to have the lights for at least two months since everybody’s worked so hard.” Over in Sandy Springs, Greg Talbott has been decorating his home during the Christmas season since the 1980s. His display of more than 22,000 lights goes up in October. It adds about $175 a month to his electric bill, he said. Talbott said he does it for his two grandkids. “We had three [grandchildren], but we lost one to cancer a few years ago this month,” he said. “She was 9. She was the light of our life.” This year, they added an LED lighted Olaf the Snowman figure, representing a character from the movie “Frozen.” Talbott said it doesn’t shine as brightly as the older figures that don’t use LED lights, but the LEDs save electricity. “Quite a bit” of storage space is needed to house the decorations during the year, Talbott said. “We’ve got a couple of rooms in the basement and we’ve got a shed.” Dr. Gary Gropper also needs a large amount of storage space for his more than 150 inflatable decorations. Year after year he fills his yard at the corner of Winall Down and PeachtreeDunwoody roads with everything from snowmen to Santa Claus to the leg lamp from the movie “A Christmas Story.”


COMMUNITY

State-ordered dam repairs can take years Editor’s note: This is one of a series of articles Reporter Newspapers is publishing about dams in our communities. Previous installments have looked at the location and condition of the 11 local high-hazard dams and the costs of maintaining high-hazard dams. To see previous articles, go to ReporterNewspapers.net.

BY JOHN RUCH

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The goal of the state Safe Dams Program is as simple as its name suggests. But when the program identifies dams—including two in Sandy Springs—as needing safety-related repairs, the process can get complicated quickly and can take years. The local Lake Forrest and Tera Lake dams are in conditions that concern the state, but are still ongoing issues more than seven years after the first notices were sent to dam owners, said Tom Woosley, program manager of the Safe Dams Program. In part, that’s due to issues in identifying and getting cooperation from dam owners; it’s also due to the state’s lengthy review processes. Tera Lake, off Burdette Road, is an example of a “long enforcement process that can go on for years,” said Woosley. And, he said, the dam under the 4600 block of Lake Forrest Drive is “definitely not going like the typical project. It’s taken so much longer.” Lake Forrest and Tera Lake are two of 11 dams in the Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs area on the state’s list of “high-hazard” dams. That means that if the dams failed, the flood likely would kill people. The high-hazard classification is not a judgment about the current condition of the dam. But it does trigger regular state inspections and suggests the stakes involved if a safety problem is discovered. The dam on Tera Lake (also known as Berezney and Lee Lake on some maps), built in 1958, is one such situation. The state placed the dam on the high-hazard list in early 2008 and has had serious concerns about its condition. In 2013, Woosley said, inspectors found “an instability with slope of

Lake Forrest dam also ran into long ownership confusion when Safe Dams declared it high-hazard in 2009. It is partly owned by the homeowners around the so-called Three Lakes the dam creates, but it also runs under a road on the Atlanta-Sandy Springs border. The two cities have agreed to do repairs and split the costs. Trees will have to be removed from the dam, Woosley said. And the cities are in the process of assessing the condi-

tion of an internal pipe, which requires draining the lake. A partial draining— including the removal of fish—was carried out several months ago. But it took until Nov. 30 to get state permission to fully drain the lake, said Sandy Springs City Attorney Wendell Willard, who is supervising the work. “Anytime you touch the structure itself, you need approval of the state,” Willard said. The work so far has cost $98,000, he said.

the dam” and ordered its partial drainage. The dam remains a safety concern because heavy rains could build up the water again. “It would not take much at all for the lake to fill back up again,” he said. But the Safe Dams program had trouble identifying the dam’s owners from the start. In 2008, the state sent dam-operating permit forms to four potential owners, only one of whom responded—with the form declaring the dam’s owner “unknown.” Since then, Woosley said, two owners have been involved in coordinating repairs and maintenance, particularly Marc Pollack. Pollack is the chairman and CEO of the Pollack Shores real estate firm, but the company is not a dam owner, Woosley said. Pollack did not respond to interview requests. The Safe Dams program is scheduled to inspect the dam early next year for the first time since 2013, though the owners have privately-hired engineers examining it as well. The state believes work still needs to be done to stabilize the Tera Lake dam. “It does need upgrading,” Woosley said. “Here we are today and nothing is submitted to us for getting it into compliance. This ofSPECIAL fice is going to have to push them to get moving on it.” Eleven dams in the Buckhead, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Brookhaven areas have been classified as “high hazard” in the Safe Dams Program files.

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at ATLANTA history center CORRECTION The name of the Standout Student that appeared in the Nov. 27-Dec. 10 issue of Reporter Newspapers is Haley Barnes. Her advisor is Angela Morris-Long.

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COMMUNITY

Braves exec: New ballpark to offer better road access DERMATOLOGY ASSOCIATES

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Derek Schiller, executive vice president of the Atlanta Braves, talks to the BBA backed by an image of new SunTrust Park.

Atlanta Braves fans should have better highway access to the new ballpark under construction in Cobb County than they now do to Turner Field, a team marketing official said recently. “The location is really important. Some people are asking, ‘What will the traffic be like?’ We are not solving traffic in Atlanta. That is not the Atlanta Braves’ responsibility,” Derek Schiller, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Braves, told about 50 members of the Buckhead Business Association on Dec. 3. “We are selecting a location that has very strong access. You can get to it many ways.” Drivers will approach new SunTrust Park, located at the intersection of I-285 and I-75 in Cobb County, on interstates from four directions, he said. Once drivers leave the interstate, they will benefit from road network improvements already made in the area by the Cumberland Community Improvement District. Car access to Turner Field is more restricted, he said, because most drivers are coming from the north and must use only a couple of exits to get to the baseball stadium. “It’s a malaise. It’s difficult. It’s a difficult thing to navigate,” he said. “The number one thing that everyone cites is getting to the ballpark. We know this has been an issue.”

Marissa Devito

Improved highway access was not the only reason Schiller gave for the Braves’ decision to relocate to Cobb, a decision some fans have criticized because of lack of MARTA access. Turner Field did not belong to the ball club, he said, but instead was owned by a public agency, with the Braves as tenants. The 20-year-old ball Teen Facial Teen Fa field, built for 1996 Olympics, needed millions of dollars in maintenance, he said. Pregnancy “We are moving 10 miles closer to our Pregnancy Facial fan base,” he told the BBA members gathered at the City Club of Buckhead, which Brightening Facial Brightening is located in the 3300 block of Peachtree Road. “You’re closer to SunTrust Park toTime Saver day as you sit here [than to Turner Field]. Time Saver Facial Buckhead is important to us. We feel we Steam and Extractions Steam and Ex are very connected to Buckhead.” The new park will be smaller than Turner Field – providing room for about From our family to yours. 41,000 seats, as opposed to the roughly Gift certificates available. 50,000 at the existing park, Schiller said. But SunTrust Park will offer more “preWe Are Excited To Offer Are Excited To O 3379 Peachtree Road, Suite We 500 mium” seats, he said, and will offer seats at field level for some fans in the outfield. Peachtree Lenox Building, Atlanta, GA The Cobb property also offered the Braves To Better Serv a chance to develop a housing, office and To Better Serve 404-907-2367 | olanskydermatology.com entertainment complex around the stadium. The new development, called The Battery Atlanta, will include 550 apartments, restaurants, shops, a microbrewery, a hotel and a concert venue named for a longtime Buckhead rock club. “We’re bringing back the Roxy Atlanta [concert hall],” Schiller said. “We’re reinvigorating the Roxy name. Were super excited about that.” at peachtree road united methodist church Schiller said the goal was to build a de12:00 pm First Communion velopment that would be “lively on game 4:00 pm Family Candlelight days or non-game days.” 6:00 pm Family Candlelight “This is a galvanizing project, we believe, for the entire region,” he said. 8:00 pm Festival of Carols Although some fans have criticized the 10:30 pm Festival Eucharist team for moving out of the city of Atlanta, Schiller said the Braves draw their fan base from across north Georgia. “This should not be about Cobb County,” he said. “It should not be about Atlanta. It should be about the entire area.”

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Debra Minkley checks some of the paper tags covered with wishes she has hung on the tree in front of her Buckhead home.

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Dozens of brightly colored paper tags flutter in the breeze. They’re tied to the bare limbs of a dogwood like leaves that haven’t yet fallen for the change of seasons. They record wishes. “The idea is kind of to throw them to the wind,� said Debra Minkley, who started the Buckhead wishing tree in her front yard Thanksgiving weekend. Minkley made the first wish herself. Since then, passersby on Powers Ferry Road have stopped and left dozens more. They fill out tags with colorful Sharpie pens from the roadside display Minkley set up at the foot of her dogwood tree. A small sign instructs a visitor to record a wish on one side of a tag and to record something he or she is grateful for on the other. Visitors leave their wishes in a glass jar. Minkley collects them, laminates them or covers them with waterproof tape and hangs them from the tree. The wishes cover a lot of territory. “Some of them are poignant,� Minkley said. Some seek peace, for the wish-maker, or for others, or for the world. Some ask for improved health or improved love lives. Others are more idiosyncratic: “I am grateful to be here, now.� “I wish for a sibling to laugh and play with.� “I wish all the homeless pets find loving homes.� Another simply expressed gratitude on one side: “for the brothers I share blood with� and, on the other, “for the brothers I shed blood with.� Yet another visitor was grateful for success in business, but added: “Also, please send a good man my way.� “There’s all kinds of different things up there,� Minkley said. “I love that part.� This is Minkley’s first Wishing Tree. She got the idea from a TV news report earlier this year about a similar tree in San Francisco. She looked it up on Facebook and liked what she saw. “It was very touch-

ing,� she said, “but there was something beyond touching that just stuck with me. I just wanted to bring joy into the house.� She decided Buckhead needed its own wishing tree. She settled on the dogwood planted in 1983 in front of her home at 4160 Powers Ferry Road, the year she moved in. It stands right across the street from the Chastain Park golf course. One recent Sunday, passing joggers and strollers and dog walkers admired the tree. A few stopped to read the notes and contributes their own additions. “I love how many people have responded,� said Chumaine Dowdle, who, with her friend Liza Pevehouse, stopped to take a look at the wishes posted on the trees. “We were just staring at it and we were like, ‘Let’s go over there.’� Dowdle picked up a tag and pen and thought about what to record. “I can’t decide what I’m wishing for,� she said. “I want to wish for my family – for my family to get along,� Pevehouse replied. “Family peace,� Dowdle agreed. “Family peace, that is a good one,� Pevehouse said. Minkley says she reads them all before she attaches them to the tree. So far, she hasn’t had to reject any. “I post everything,� she said. She thinks people have responded to the tree, in part, because it’s anonymous. “Think about how we live in a big city,� she said. “People keep to themselves, but you can tell people have that yearning for something more. It is lonely sometimes.� So Minkley has come to see the tree as something larger. “I don’t see it as my tree, as much as the community’s tree,� she said. Some of her wishers seem to agree. “I’m grateful for random acts of kindness and people like you who brighten out days by making us take a moment to appreciate everything,� one unnamed wisher wrote. “It is a lovely tree.�

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At top, Christa Ha, 12, reads from Buckhead’s Wishing Tree. Lindsay Marks, in background, writes out her wish. At center above, Debra Minkley hangs tags as her husband, John, steadies the ladder. Will Marks, 5, in right photo pulls the string to hang his wish from. At center below, jars filled with pens and tags are ready to be used and another jar holds wishes ready to be hung. At left, Mason Marks, 5, glances at a wish. BK

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COMMUNITY

Skyland building cost rises to $3.3 million BY DYANA BAGBY The cost of a Skyland Drive office building the city aims to purchase has risen about $300,000, City Manager Marie Garrett said at the Dec. 1 City Council meeting. The total amount for the bond is $3.3 million, up from the original purchase price of $2.97 million, to cover attorney fees as well as renovations including adding a sprinkler system and some asbestos abatement, she said. The council is expected to vote on Dec. 15 whether or not to approve the bond for the Skyland building, located at 2600 Skyland Drive. The state Vital Records Office will remain in the building most likely until the end of next summer, Garrett said, and pos-

sibly even until the end of next year. The building space then could be used as an interim or permanent City Hall, an expanded space for the Parks and Recreation Department, and the county has also shown interest in a partnership on the space, Garrett said. The mayor noted that the city became interested in purchasing the Skyland building specifically to house the Brookhaven Innovation Academy. At the mention of BIA, Councilman Bates Mattison—who also serves as BIA’s interim executive director—recused himself from the discussion. Garrett said BIA’s needs for a home are much more immediate than what the Skyland building could provide.

NOW EVEN BIGGER!

“They really need to be in a space by February to renovate for the school to open in August. Skyland can’t be vacated any earlier than July,” Garrett said. “I know they are having a tough time finding space. It’s a shame the dates are not lining up,” Williams said. The worst-case scenario is the building is occupied until mid-August and the best case is that it is occupied until the end of the year, Garrett said. “And that time when the building is dark would be the time for the city to do asbestos abatement and … run sprinkler lines. It will be at least a three- to fourmonth process to ready the building for us.” Another option would be to relocate City Hall and the police department temporarily into the Skyland building and save the city several hundred thousands of dollars in rent. The city currently pays

JOE EARLE

City officials hope to buy the Skyland Center building.

$345,000 a year rent for the building it is now located in; the police department pays close to $300,000 in rent a year, she said. “The debt service on that [Skyland] building is $250,000,” she said. “So even if we move the police department in there, it would be a wash,” said Jones. “To me that’s a no-brainer.”

Local Muslim leader condemns recent terrorist attacks A founding member of the Muslim congregation in Dunwoody says members of the group have not experienced any “untoward incidents” in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. Khalid Bashir, a spokesman for the group, said he and the congregation condemn the attacks. “We as humans and, more so, as Muslims, deeply condemn the dastardly act,” Bashir said. “The Quran is very serious and absolute in its declaration that innocent people and civilians of any kind should never be harmed.” Masjid Uthman Dunwoody is “doing OK as a community,” he said. “Our approach has been simple: Be patient, strengthen your connection with God, return any evil action or comment towards you with a good one,” Bashir said. The congregation is raising money for a permanent home in Dunwoody. Mem-

bers are raising money with the hope they can move “two blocks from the current location,” the congregation said on Facebook. “The Facebook [post] and website implies that [we have found a permanent location], but we are far from having made a final decision,” Bashir said. “We are in the process of securing a permanent place, have few options but haven’t finalized it yet.” Masjid Uthman Dunwoody now is located at 1707 Mount Vernon Road in an office park. “Unfortunately, during the heat of all of this in the national debate, Islam and Muslims are under fire for all the negativity and all the good values and high moral standards that Muslims possess and practice and what good Islam advocates is being lost in the noise,” Bashir said. -Ellen Eldridge

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PUBLIC SAFETY

Brookhaven Police Blotter Brookhaven police blotter: Nov. 21 to Dec. 3

from a vehicle were reported; on Nov. 29, theft of parts from a vehicle was reported.  100

block of Town Boulevard—On Nov. 25, shoplifting was reported.

The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen Portal Event Search website and is presumed to be accurate.

 3800

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 25, theft by conversion was reported.

HOM ICIDE block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 28, homicide was reported.

 1900

 3100

 2600

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 30, an arrest was made for murder.

ROBBERY

On Nov. 29, battery was reported.  1800

block of Manville Drive—On Nov. 29, an arrest was made for simple battery.

block of Lenox Park Boulevard— On Nov. 23, a carjacking was reported.

 1000

 1300

 3400

 1000

block of North Cliff Valley Way—On Nov. 25, robbery in the street with a gun was reported.

block of Barone Avenue—On Nov. 30, simple battery was reported. block of Buford Highway—On Dec. 2, an arrest was made for simple assault and an arrest was made for battery.

FR AUD

BURGLA RY  1900

block of Roxboro Road—On Nov. 25, burglary was reported at a residence.

 1800

block of Buckhead Lane—On Nov. 25, burglary was reported at a residence.

 2900

block of Clairmont Road¬---On Nov. 28, burglary was reported at a residence.

A U TO THE FT  700

block of Glen Way—On Nov. 28, theft by taking auto was reported.

 1200

block of Lenox Park Boulevard— On Nov. 28, theft by taking auto was reported.

AS S A U LT block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 21, battery was reported and an arrest was made; on Nov. 22, simple battery was reported; on Nov. 23, battery was reported; on Nov. 24, an arrest was made for family violence and battery; on Dec. 3, an arrest was made for battery and family violence.

block of Buford Highway— On Nov. 21, fraud by worthless check was reported.

 1500

block of Lake Hearn Drive—On Nov. 28, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.

 100

block of West Druid Hills Drive— On Nov. 30, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.

Read more of the Police Blotter online at www.reporternewspapers.net

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road—On Nov. 30, fraud by worthless check was reported.

 3200

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 30, fraudulent activity was reported.

 3700

block of Lambert Lane—On Nov. 30, fraud by impersonation was reported.

THE FT/LAR CEN Y  1100

block of Bluffhaven Way—On Nov. 22, theft of articles from a vehicle was reported.

 4400

block of Memorial Drive—On Nov. 22, an arrest was made for entering auto.

 1800

block of Northeast Expressway— On Nov. 23, simple assault was reported.

 1600

 2100

block of Johnson Ferry Road— On Nov. 25, simple battery was reported and an arrest was made.

 1400

 3200

 700

BK

block of Lenox Block Circle—On Nov. 28, theft was reported.

block of Wayland Circle—On Nov. 24, theft was reported. block of Dresden Drive—On Nov. 24, theft of a bicycle was reported. block of Northeast Expressway— On Nov. 24, shoplifting was reported and an arrest was made. block of Town Boulevard—On Nov. 24, shoplifting was reported and an arrest was made; on Nov. 30, theft was reported.

 1000

500 block of Brookhaven Avenue—On Nov. 30, shoplifting was reported and an arrest was made.

 3600

 1700

 1100 block of Lincoln Court Avenue—

 100

block of North Druid Hills Road—On Nov. 24, financial transaction fraud was reported.

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 22, simple battery was reported.

block of Dresden Drive—On Nov. 28, simple battery was reported.

block of Sylvan Circle—On Nov. 25, theft was reported.

 2200

 3700

 1200

 1500

 3100

 3500

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 28, battery was reported.

block of Park Chase Lane—On Nov. 25, theft was reported.

block of Lenox Park Boulevard— On Nov. 25, theft and theft of articles

AR R ES TS  Skyland

Drive at Buford Highway— On Nov. 21, an arrest was made for DUI.

 2900

block of Mabry Lane—On Nov. 21, an arrest was made for possession of marijuana.

 1000

block of Standard Drive—On Nov. 21, an arrest was made for DUI.

 2600

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 23, an arrest was made for failure to appear in court.

 2700

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 23 and 25, arrests were made for disorderly conduct.

 2900

block of Buford Highway—On

Nov. 29, an arrest was made for DUI.  3000

block of Buford Highway-On Nov. 23, an arrest was made for driving without a license; On Nov. 30, an arrest was made for disorderly conduct.

 3100

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 28, a wanted person was arrested and an arrest was made for possession of marijuana; on Nov. 29, an arrest was made for possession of marijuana.

 3200

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 29, an arrest was made for public intoxication.

 3300

block of Buford Highway—On Dec. 2, an arrest was made for driving on a suspended or revoked license.

 3600

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 24, an arrest was made for possession of marijuana.

 3900

block of Buford Highway—On Nov. 21, an arrest was made for DUI.

 1700

block of Briarwood Road—On Nov. 22, an arrest was made for disorderly conduct; On Dec. 3, arrests were made for no driver’s license.

 Buford

Highway at Shady Valley Road—On Nov. 23, a wanted person was located and arrested.

 1900

block of North Druid Hills Road—On Nov. 24, four arrests were made for trafficking cocaine and other illegal drugs.

 1200

block of Executive Park Drive— On Nov. 25, a wanted person was located and arrested.

 800

block of Glen Way—On Nov. 25, an arrest was made for terroristic threats and acts.

 1900

block of Skyland Drive—On Nov. 26, an arrest was made for carrying a concealed weapon.

rug gallery DID YOU KNOW? At least every 5 years your Oriental RUGS need to be expertly hand washed

SAVE 20%

ON RUG CLEANING with this ad!

Our experienced specialists will do: cleaning, repair and restoration with the lowest price Monday through Saturday, 10am-5:30pm (404) 231-0830 • 730 Miami Circle NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

Amiri RUG Gallery

www.ReporterNewspapers.net |

DEC. 11 – DEC. 24, 2015 | 29


COMMUNITY

City celebrates with annual ‘Light Up Brookhaven’ event

PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

Clockwise from left: Montgomery Elementary School Choir entertained the crowd with holiday songs at the “Light Up Brookhaven” event held Dec. 3 in Blackburn Park; Cassandra Bryant, director of Lynwood Park Recreation Center, decorates a Christmas tree as part of the festivities; Ellia Muserallo, 3, runs in the “Reindeer Run” 1K; the crowd delights in the lighting of the Christmas tree; Caroline Chamberlain, a freshman at Oglethorpe University, volunteers in making arts and crafts with children; Dara Muserallo 1, proudly shows off her antlers; and the end of the night was capped off with a visit from Santa Claus himself.

30

|

DEC. 11 – DEC. 24, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

BK


Home Services Directory Appliance Repair ALL WORK GUARANTEED

Call Kevin 24/7 770.885.9210

• All Major Appliances & Brands FREE Service • Stoves, Ovens, Dishwashers • Refrigerators, Disposals Call with • Washers, Dryers Repair or $25 Service • 30 Years Experience Charge Servicing All of Metro Atlanta

North Georgia Lawn Care Honest Affordable Dependable Free estimates

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

Trash, Junk Hauled For Less

35 – $150

$

per load

Oriental Rug Cleaning

We will pick up appliances, furniture, tree limbs, construction debris, basement and foreclosure clean-outs.

Call James

cell (404) 784-5142 home (770) 455-6237

Antique Repair Specialist • Speciality Care Hand Wash Cleaning (front and back with plenty of water) • No Chemicals Used Air Dried, Scotch Guard • Mothproof, Padding, Storage Appraisal & Insurance Statements • Pickup and Delivery Available

• Most Air-Cooled Models In Stock and Ready To Install • Most Air-Cooled Models In • Automatic Standby Generators Stock Ready To Install • Most Air-Cooled Models In • Automatic Standby Generators Stock Air-Cooled Ready To Install • Most Models In (770) 251-9765 • Automatic Standby Generators

(770) 251-9765

HVAC, Plumbing, Carpet Cleaning, Pest Control, Moving Services & More

YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD ROOFING COMPANY

470-222-4369

housedox.com it’s

your

business

advertise here (404) 917-2200 x110

www.generatorstore.com

404-875-2299 www.imbrexroofing.com

Handyman Services

moving & delivery too! No job too small References Available 470-545-8408 Cell/803-608-0792 Cornell Davis, Owner

Atlanta’s Premier

• Window Cleaning • Gutter Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Family Owned • Licensed and Insured • FREE ESTIMATES

since 1968

www.WindowCleanAtl.com

justTRASHit!

www.generatorstore.com

Fall & Holiday

404.355.1901

(770) 251-9765

Stock Ready To Install www.generatorstore.com www.generatorstore.com • Automatic Standby Generators (770) 251-9765

Pre-screened Providers. Pre-negotiated Rates.

FF

This A d

404-467-8242 • 3255-5 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta GA 30305

On

• Roofing • Gutters • Painting

With

In the heart of Buckhead

poern ou c stom u 0 c $ 5 e per

Call Tony 404-402-5435

15% O

Belco Electric

Commercial & Residential Junk Removal Recycling 770-399-6605 www.justtrashit.com

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

Detail Cleaning Services

The Handyman Can

Licensed Insured

Free Estimates

Locally Owned Since 1997

I will beat ANY advertised price. 770-837-5711 Houses Apartments Offices Plus more Affordable prices Excellent references

770-455-4556

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

• Plumbing • Electrical • Sheetrock • Floors • Tile • Framing • Kitchens • Painting • Roofwork • Concrete • Stained Glass • Antique Door Restoration as well as many other issues...

John Salvesen • 404-453-3438 thehandymancanatlanta@gmail.com

Reporter Classifieds LANDSCAPING SERVICES Tranquil Waters Lawn Care - Pressure washing, aerating, flower beds, trimming, tree/shrubs installation, hauling of debris, etc. Free estimates, Discounts for Seniors & Veterans. No contracts needed. Call Mike 678-662-0767 or Andrew 678-672-8552.

WINDOWS & SIDING Offering vinyl, wood and composite windows – All types of siding. Factorytrained installation. Family-owned, Familypriced. Angie’s List ‘A’ Rated. BBB ‘A+’. 33 Years In Business. Quinn Windows & Siding. 770-939-5634.

CEMETERY PLOTS

YARD SALE

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

Saturday, December 19, 2015 - Brookhaven Baptist Church, 1294 North Druid Hills Rd NE (parking lot behind the church). Sales is between 8:00 AM till 3:00 PM.

Arlington Memorial Park – Two (535-A 1 & 2) spaces in the Calvary section of the cemetery. Plots available for viewing by visiting the cemetery office. Closing will be held at Arlington Cemetery offices. Asking $9500.00 for both spaces. Call 404-2167175. BK

Reporter Classifieds can work for you! (404) 917-2200 x110 www.reporternewspapers.net

STORAGE SPACE WANTED 300 sq. ft. of storage space. Lease for 12 months. Call 404-932-4774.

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

CAREGIVER Caregiver / Certified Nurse Assistant – Specializing in Alz/Dementia. Medication reminder, memory games and activities. Delicious and nutritious meals. Patient, kind and respectful – nonsmoker. Excellent references available. Contact: Zena 404454-6697

www.ReporterNewspapers.net |

HELP WANTED EXCITING! FUN! AND REWARDING OPPORTUNITY! – The Sandy Springs/ Perimeter Chamber seeks an ambitious, commission based sales person to sell memberships. Work from home and engage with businesses that are helping our community grow and prosper. Call Suzanne Brown, Director of Member Services (678) 443-2990 or email suzanne@sandysprings. org. Administrative Assistant: Performs full administrative duties and general support duties to assist the manager and Board of Directors. Proficiency in MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Outlook. Excellent starting compensation with benefits. Sandy Springs area. E-mail resume to: sjankowski@ cmacommunities.com

DEC. 11 – DEC. 24, 2015 | 31


32

|

DEC. 11 – DEC. 24, 2015 | www.ReporterNewspapers.net

BK

Dec-11-2015 Brookhaven Reporter  

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

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