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DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018 • VOL. 11— NO. 25

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► Rabbi’s book recalls her silent retreat at a Christian monastery PAGE 21

- JAN. 4, 2018

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BROOKH

Brookhaven

AVEN AT

A path to th e future: Brookhave n’s journey fro m ‘yes’ to Gr eenway City leade rs create a which opened in

► PCIDs emerges with ‘next generation’ master plan PAGE 26

new scho Norcross in ol, 2016.

5

YES

5th Anniver

sary | 5

Commemo rative Special Sec tion YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Pro-cityho voters win, od 2012.

abc

Brookhav en Police Departme nt opens, 2013 .

The Atlanta Hawks anno a local pract ice facility, unce 2016.

SPECIAL SECTION | P5-12

Cherry Blossom Festival debuts, 2015.

$2.5M gift supports City Springs as arts capital The Peachtree

Creek Green way’s cons

truction begin

BY DYAN A

dyanabagby

The first Martin Luth er King Jr. Day celebratio n at Lynwood Park, 2016 .

BAGB Y

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wspapers.net

Five years ago this mont city of Brook h, the new haven began down its own a journey path. It’s been a sometimes rocky road, but marked with major stones, and mileas former mayo rs look ahead they see succe , ss on the horiz on.

During its first five years, the has paved roads new city , improved parks model city for others to a police force, and set up look to,” Mayo and also has John Ernst begun effort r said. “We’r create afford s to e finding ways able housing, be innovative to update zonto ing codes to and showing deal with rapid ways to do the region things bette developmen and to take t r.” the first steps The battle for toward estab lishing the cityhood began long-dream with the form in 2010, ed-about Peach Creek Green ation of a group called tree way trail and izens for North park system Cit“We’re on DeKalb. Then . our way to “Brookhaven the group becoming Yes” was form a their state ed to lobby representa tives, notab ly for-

BY JOHN RUCH

mer state Rep. Mike Jacobs, over desire to have their a local gover nment to take over some services from DeKalb Coun ty. The coun ty governmen t, they argue did not adequ d, ately repre sent them provide servi or ces comm ensurate with the taxes the community paid.

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net Continued on

page 6

A $2.5 million donation. A new musical theater company. A slate of opening arts events that, while still secret, is promised to make jaws drop when it is unveiled in January. The programming for City Springs, the new civic center scheduled to open next year, is coming together fast in a city primed to rebrand itself as an arts capital. The building is progressing quickly, too, with theater seats and outdoor fountains among the recent additions. Byers Theatre will be the name of the new 1,100-seat theater in City Springs, an acknowledgement for a $2.5 million donation that also will

JOHN RUCH

The Byers Theatre in City Springs as it appears from the stage, whose floor was still under construction.

STANDOUT STUDENT Lovett senior wins national service award

s in 2018.

See $2.5M on page 14

... Our small paper stared down a potential lawsuit from former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. The battle reinforced the importance of journalism to me, both as a student and in a larger world. Eddie Samuels Brookhaven resident and an editor at the Tufts Daily newspaper See COMMENTARY Page 18

TSPLOST revenue lower than expected; audit sought BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

OUT & ABOUT

Page 22

Page 28

Celebrating by candlelight

Revenue from the new special transportation local option sales tax continues to remain significantly lower than expected, concerning Fulton County officials enough to call for an audit. Officials say that some businesses may See TSPLOST on page 13

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2 | Community

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CITY’S NAM ESAKE SP R I NG R EDES IG N I S DEL AY ED A Y EA R An elaborate redesign of Sandy Springs’ namesake spring, originally planned to be finished in early 2018, has been delayed a year by permitting issues. The historic spring on Heritage Green, a park between Blue Stone Road and Sandy Springs Circle, is currently hidden under a metal grate and wooden pavilion. The new design, commissioned by Heritage Sandy Springs, would make the spring visible as water constantly flowing over stone, enclosed in a stainless steel mesh beneath an abstract, mirror-roofed canopy, designer Lane Duncan said. “Bottom line, we won’t be building it this winter,” said Heritage Executive Director Carol Thompson, and they can’t build it next spring and summer, either, due to popular wedding rentals. Heritage has raised about half of the project’s $350,000 budget, all privately funded, Thompson said.

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Fireworks would be subjected to city noise ordinances under a bill that Sandy Springs is formally supporting. The state controversially legalized the sale and use of fireworks in 2015 with few limits on their use, regardless of the noise and fire safety differences between rural, urban and suburban areas. Sponsored by state Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs), House Bill 419 aims to cut back on the noise issues by subjecting fireworks to local ordinances, except on Jan. 1 and July 4. The bill also would allow the governor to restrict fireworks use further during drought conditions. The bill passed the House earlier this year and is now awaiting a Senate review. On Dec. 5, the Sandy Springs City Council passed a resolution urging the Senate to pass the bill.

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FO R AD U LT B US I NES S L AW S UI TS , IT’S SU P R EM E C O UR T O R B US T It’s the U.S. Supreme Court or bust for three Sandy Springs adult businesses doing legal battle with the city after a federal court denied a review of one of their lawsuits Nov. 27. The businesses now will try to take the city to the nation’s highest court in two separate cases, according to their attorney, Cary Wiggins. For over a decade, the bookstore Inserection and the strip clubs Flashers and Mardi Gras have been fighting city laws that would force them to close or move by banning alcohol sales and tightening zoning restrictions. The city has won in lower courts, and now the last appeal option is the Supreme Court, which chooses which cases it hears and accepts only a tiny percentage of those submitted. The businesses have several months to decide on the appeal, according to the city.

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Community | 3

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C R OOK ED C REEK PA RK GRA N T SO U G HT, R I GH T OF WAY DISP UTED The city will apply for a $200,000 state grant to jump-start its planned Crooked Creek Park, but the price may be going up in a right of way dispute with a neighboring apartment complex. The intended park is 5 wooded acres at Spalding and River Exchange drives in the panhandle. In October, the city announced it would team with the National Park Service to link its park with a currently inaccessible part of the Chattachoochee River National Recreation Area via a walking trail. However, the proposed trail would run through the property of the Retreat at River Park apartment complex, whose owner has security concerns about the plan, according to City Manager John McDonough. He said he expects more information in time for the next council meeting on Dec. 19. The owner, Cottonwood Residential, did not respond to a request for comment.

Dr. Anita Pandey

R EC Y C L I NG C EN TER EN DS 24/ 7 D R O P-O FF The Sandy Springs Recycling Center ended 24-hour drop-offs on Dec. 1 and now only takes materials during regular business hours. For over 30 years, the center at 470 Morgan Falls Road has accepted after-hours drop-offs of materials in parking lot bins. But now, the center is locked down after hours, including with new gates blocking access to the parking lot. The drop-off site has extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Keep North Fulton Beautiful, the nonprofit that operates the recycling center, said in a press release that 24/7 drop-off has led to several problems: overnight theft, illegal dumping of non-recyclable items, and non-payment for dropping off materials that require a fee. The new hours are: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; closed Sundays and major holidays. The recycling center is open to residents of Sandy Springs and Johns Creek. For more information about the center and the materials it accepts, see keepnorthfultonbeautiful.org.

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4 | Community

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BY JOHN RUCH The Sandy Springs Tennis Center contract award is on hold as the City Council deals with its third bidding controversy in five years. The proposed award of a renewed fiveyear contract to Groslimond Tennis Services, at a rate of $6,000 a month, was deferred by the council Dec. 5 for two weeks. The deferral came after protests from a competing company about unfair evaluations and concerns from the mayor and council itself about a lack of details and metrics in the review process. “I just think it’s vital for us to make sure this process is clean and this process is correct,” said Councilmember Tibby DeJulio, noting that privately contracted government services are the “backbone of the city since its inception” and must be done right. The Tennis Center is a popular, cityowned facility at 500 Abernathy Road. Its current contract controversy is remarkably similar to a 2012 dispute, where a losing bidder threatened legal action, and to last year’s council debate over a one-year, no-bid extension. An internal staff evaluation committee recommended giving Groslimond a new contract, heavily weighing its good work thus far and the stability of keeping the same company. The committee consisted of Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert; Michael Perry, the Parks and Recreation Department director; and city Landscape Manager Michael Barnett. The unhappy bidder this time is Universal Tennis Management, which operates such venues as Buckhead’s Bitsy Grant Tennis Center. UTM partners Tim Noonan and Patti O’Reilly, both Sandy Springs residents, said at the council meeting that the evaluation at first incorrectly reported their price — which the city acknowledged and fixed — and did not contact the company’s references, among other problems. “UTM both scored higher and offered

substantially more money,” said O’Reilly. Noonan said those “oversights unfairly favor Groslimond Tennis,” while another supporter, Allen Capsuto, suggested that all of the city’s requests for proposals for the past five years should be audited. Gery Groslimond spoke at the meeting, simply thanking the mayor, council and “my boss, Mike Perry” for the previous contract and saying he hopes to continue. Mayor Rusty Paul gave some defense of the contract award recommendation by noting that UTM’s bid lacked information about user fees; he asked Perry leading questions as to whether that invalidated the submission, but Perry said it probably did not. But some councilmembers were concerned about the entire process. Councilmember Andy Bauman noted that the situation was virtually the same a year ago, when he complained about the lack of metrics and goals in evaluating Groslimond’s work. And DiJulio repeated his existential concerns that the city could backslide from its outsourcing method of government, which is intended to benefit from competition and avoid corruption. Stability versus competition has been a point of discussion in the city, which in a big change last year gave three-year, no-bid extensions to all of its primary outsourcing contracts to avoid disruption during the zoning code re-write and other major work. “I want the citizenry to feel comfortable we are making the right decision at the end of the day,” said Councilmember Gabriel Sterling, who made the motion for deferral. Paul and several councilmembers said they want more information to make a valid comparison among the bids, such as user fees, maintenance budget and split of capital improvement costs. Paul agreed that the officials need more information to “compare clearly and fairly,” though he concluded, “To accuse us all of being crooks doesn’t help in the evaluation process, I can tell you.”

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DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Brookhaven 5th Anniversary | 5

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BROOKHAVEN AT

A path to the future Brookhaven’s journey from ‘yes’ to Greenway City leaders create a new school, which opened in Norcross in 2016.

5

YES

YES

YES

Commemorative Special Section YES

YES

YES

YES

Pro-cityhood voters win, 2012.

Brookhaven Police Department opens, 2013.

abc The Atlanta Hawks announce a local practice facility, 2016.

Cherry Blossom Festival debuts, 2015.

The Peachtree Creek Greenway’s construction begins in 2018.

The first Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Lynwood Park, 2016.

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Five years ago this month, the new city of Brookhaven began a journey down its own path. It’s been a sometimes rocky road, but marked with major milestones, and as former mayors look ahead, they see success on the horizon.

During its first five years, the new city has paved roads, improved parks and set up a police force, and also has begun efforts to create affordable housing, to update zoning codes to deal with rapid development and to take the first steps toward establishing the long-dreamed-about Peachtree Creek Greenway trail and park system. “We’re on our way to becoming a

model city for others to look to,” Mayor John Ernst said. “We’re finding ways to be innovative and showing the region ways to do things better.” The battle for cityhood began in 2010, with the formation of a group called Citizens for North DeKalb. Then the group “Brookhaven Yes” was formed to lobby their state representatives, notably for-

mer state Rep. Mike Jacobs, over their desire to have a local government to take over some services from DeKalb County. The county government, they argued, did not adequately represent them or provide services commensurate with the taxes the community paid. Continued on page 6


6 | Brookhaven 5th Anniversary

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A path to the future: Brookhaven’s journey from ‘Yes’ to the Greenway Continued from page 5

with the police, that rancor dying down.” For Rebecca Chase Williams, the city’s “I was initially opposed to [citysecond mayor, the first five years “have hood],” said J. Max Davis, the city’s first gone by so fast.” mayor and the chair of the Brookhaven “I look back and see so many accomYes movement. “My inclination was to plishments and have this overwhelming not be in favor for what I thought would sense of pride,” she said. be more government.” “We’ve lowered taxBut when he realized that es, we’ve paved roads, our he and other residents were parks are vastly improved, willing to pay for private sezoning and planning is curity to provide protection done closer to home,” she in their neighborhoods, he said. “All the promises we had an epiphany that tax made, we’ve kept.” money could be used to Williams became mayor fund a city police force. in 2015 after Davis resigned “We weren’t getting the to make an unsuccessful bid coverage from DeKalb police for the seat representing Diswe wanted. The higher-ups trict 80 in the state House of were not assigning officers Representatives. to patrol our area,” he said. “Part of our challenge SPECIAL When a police lieutenJ. Max Davis. is that Brookhaven is alant told him that DeKalb poready a popular and wonlice probably would not be able to provide derful place to live and lots of people the coverage he wanted, Davis felt he had no and developers are coming in,” she addchoice but to support the creation of the city ed. “We don’t want to infringe on the of Brookhaven, he said. “I think that was the great quality of life ... and so there is real impetus to support cityhood for many work to be done in finding that balance people — having real security,” he said. of growth and quality of life.” Creating Brookhaven wasn’t an easy The city’s first five years include some sale, however. In 2012, after state legislators rocky moments. Davis was accused of approved a vote on the new city, residents sexual harassment for allegedly spraying split roughly 55 percent to 45 percent in the aerosol at a female colleague. The city atvote to create Brookhaven. The new city torney was dismissed after some city officame into existence in December of 2012. cials said he tried to help cover up the accuThe city covered some 12 square miles sation against Davis. from I-85 to I-285, where it bordered DunResidents have packed City Hall in woody, another new city set to celebrate red shirts demanding city officials pro10 years of existence in 2018. (After an hibit certain kinds of new development, annexation, Brookhaven now extends including the proposed Brookhavensouth of I-85 into an area where ExecuOglethorpe MARTA transit-oriented detive Park and the North Druid Hills camvelopment (the city did pus of Children’s Healthagree to pause that) as well care of Atlanta are located.) as planned mixed-used deDuring the debate velopments along thriving over whether to create a Dresden Drive (the council city of Brookhaven, heathas approved one and deed “Brookhaven Yes” and nied another; both are cur“Brookhaven No” camrently locked in litigation.) paigns formed. One of When Ernst took over Ernst’s main campaign as mayor in 2016, one of promises when he took ofhis and the council’s first fice in 2016 was to find tasks was to dismiss former ways to unite the two. city manager Marie Garrett “When I got elected, there over a contract dispute. SPECIAL was no ‘Yes Brookhaven’ or Rebecca Chase Williams. Garrett had been with the ‘No Brookhaven,’” Ernst said. city since it was founded. “We are just Brookhaven. We’ve moved on “The whole thing with J. Max was a sad from that and are running a city now.” episode,” Williams said. “And I was sorry to There may be a little bitterness left besee how all that ended with Marie. She was hind. “There’s still one person on Osborne a great city manager for a start-up city.” Road with a ‘Brookhaven No’ sign,” Davis But, Ernst said, he and the council said with a chuckle. don’t look back and only look forward “People of both sides of the cityhood to keeping the promises that were the issues came together really well,” Dafoundation of forming the city. vis said. “In the beginning there was still Police, parks and paving are the “three some of that suspicion ... and there are Ps” many cities and municipalities promstill some negative nellies out there. But ise to spend their residents’ tax dollars I’ve noticed after about a year, especially on, and Brookhaven’s government con-


DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Brookhaven 5th Anniversary | 7

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tinues to make those areas a priority, city continues to work to have its own Ernst said. “Our paving schedule is agschool system and admits disappointgressive. We have some of the best-paved ment that the state charter school known roads in the region,” Ernst said. as Brookhaven Innovation Academy decidThe new Peachtree ed this year to make its perCreek Greenway, a linear manent home in Chamblee park that is expected to conafter not finding a location nect Brookhaven to Chamwithin Brookhaven. blee and Doraville as well “We have to keep tryas PATH400 on Buckhead ing,” he said. “Economic and eventually to the Atlandevelopment is inherently ta BeltLine, is set to break tied to quality education. ground early next year. We didn’t seize on [the The police department new school], but I hope in has bumped up the numthe future we can.” ber of its officers from a Rather than its charter beginning of 54 to 74 now, school, Brookhaven will be SPECIAL and a new citizens’ patrol the home of the new John Mayor John Ernst. is in the works. Lewis Elementary School, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta selectnow going up where Skyland Park was ed Brookhaven as the home for its new once located. A new, smaller Skyland massive hospital complex at the I-85 and Park is being built adjacent to the school North Druid Hills Road interchange, and using the money the DeKalb County promises to invest millions of its own monSchool District paid for the property. ey on traffic improvements in the area. “We got a brand-new park and an exCity officials also praise the “halo tra $1.7 million that we’ve leveraged to effect” CHOA will bring to the surbuy more green space,” Ernst said. That inrounding area, especially along Bucludes 33 acres of former DeKalb-Peachtree ford Highway, where it is expected new Airport land expected to open in January medical-related businesses will pop up. as a city park including walking trails. Across the street from CHOA is Execu“I think a lot of good planning was tive Park, recently purchased by Emory done in the first few years and now we University. Although Emory hasn’t reare in the building stages and moving vealed its plans for Executive Park, city forward to keep those promises,” Ernst officials expect it to complement the said. “We are getting the job done on CHOA medical complex. The area also what we set out to do.” includes a brand new, state-of the-art Atlanta Hawks practice facility that’s a partnership with Emory Healthcare. City Hall is currently located in a leased building on Peachtree Road. Ernst said that finding a permanent City Hall building is not a main priority of his current term, but there are plans to use some $15 million in new Special Local Option Sales Tax funds to pay for a new police department and municipal court, perhaps to remain located on Buford Highway. Williams said she expects the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA station redevelopment to come back before the City Council in the next five years, if not sooner. “And I hope we go forward in a way in which both sides benefit,” she said. All three mayors agree the first five years included a great deal of planning: a parks master plan; a bike and pedestrian master plan; determining a fair way to pave roads; funding the Peachtree Creek Greenway; coming up with an affordable housing task force; a character-area study for residents to discuss how they want to see their neighborhoods preserved; and a citywide zoning rewrite designed to better handle the rapid development of one of the hottest cites in metro Atlanta. “I think the next five years are going to be terribly exciting,” Williams said. “We have wonderful master plans, which was Atlanta a long process. The real challenge is paying for them all and setting priorities.” 275 Collier Road, NW Suite 100-C Davis said when Brookhaven was startAtlanta, GA 30309 ed, there was no guidebook and a lot of lessons had to be learned. He hopes the

CONGRATULATIONS ON 5 YEARS OF CITYHOOD Proud to call Brookhaven home for more than 100 years

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8 | Brookhaven 5th Anniversary

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Happy Birthday, Brookhaven!

Mike Jacobs DeKalb County State Court judge and former state representative I wish to extend my congratulations to the city of Brookhaven on its five-year anniversary as a municipality. Working together as neighbors, I am confident the future of the community will be bright. Kelly Marsh Brookhaven Arts Festival director and real estate agent Currently, Brookhaven is one of the hottest real estate markets in Atlanta. Based on past history, it looks like the number of higher price point (over $800,000) homes will slow in the next five years, making the area more affordable for buyers. Brookhaven will remain healthier than the rest of Atlanta due to the improvements to the parks, roads and the high demand to be inside 285. Positive changes to our schools will take effect in about four years from now, creating movement amongst current residents and those wanting to move into Brookhaven. This will also stimulate the real estate market, giving buyers and sellers great opportunity. As for the Brookhaven Arts Festival, we are building on our most successful year so far in 2017 and I predict that in five years we will offer the highest-quality art in the most easily accessible environment, providing a fun and unique outing for Brookhaven residents and people from far away. Linley Jones Brookhaven City Council member The first five years of our City have been highly successful. The City is up and running efficiently and cost-effectively with top-notch police, community service and public works. Brookhaven has worked closely with citizens to gather feedback and plan for the future. Implementation of many of the City’s plans is already underway. I expect the next five years will see tremendous change and improvement as the City’s resources are directed to plan implementation. From the Ashford-Dunwoody Corridor Study to the Park Plans to the Nancy Creek Watershed Improvement and Peachtree Creek Greenway, our City will see the makeover continue as we tackle challenges like traffic improvement and growth, with citizen input to our grassroots government always critical to the efforts. Aníbal Torres Executive director, Latin American Association Brookhaven continues to deepen its commitment to diversity. In just the past year, it has commissioned an affordable housing task force, become a “Welcoming City,” and hired a public engagement specialist to lead the city’s outreach to Brookhaven’s diverse community. If current progress continues, within five years, Brookhaven will have become a leading example of a city that embraces Latinos, celebrates their culture, and meaningfully includes them in its public processes.

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Gabriel Sterling Sandy Springs City Council member, consultant on Brookhaven cityhood campaign “Like every city that’s been established since 2005, they’re different personalities … and all for the most part have been pretty successful. I agree with others who have said this isn’t Balkanization. This is allowing those areas, those regions, those cities to have a voices that were true. At the end of the day, I’m always going to say Sandy Springs is the best single example of how a city should run. But I think all of them are better than the alternative. With all of the drama and the heartache and the angst, they are better off than when they had been county protectorates.” Lawrence Schall President, Oglethorpe University Let me offer my congratulations to the city of Brookhaven on its fifth birthday. First and foremost, I want to thank the leaders of the city for being such good and thoughtful partners to the university. We have developed strong and collaborative working relationships with the mayor, all the City Council people, the city manager, and many others. Those relationships have grown over time and I certainly expect that to continue as we move forward together.

J.D. Clockadale President of Brookhaven Police Foundation and Zoning Board of Appeals member Our police department will continue to a model of how to build strong relationships with all aspects of our community while effectively ensuring the safety and high quality of life that make Brookhaven such a great place to raise a family. The community itself will continue to reap the rewards of dedicated greenspace, progressive road paving and rebuilt parks infrastructure, as well as boards and commissions served by engaged, committed residents who actively seek to grow Brookhaven in a way that serves our great history and even greater potential.


DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

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Brookhaven 5th Anniversary | 9

Georgia’s destination for pediatric care We’re proud to be part of the Brookhaven community for its first five years, and we look forward to celebrating more milestones together. Coming in 2018, we will be celebrating the opening of two new locations in the area—our first in town urgent care center, Children’s at Chamblee-Brookhaven, and the Center for Advanced Pediatrics. And over the next eight years, we have plans to build a new North Druid Hills campus that will transform the lives of children, families, and Brookhaven citizens with state-of-the-art care. Thanks again, Brookhaven, for working with us to build a better future for our kids and our communities. Visit choa.org/breakingnewground for more information.

©2018 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All rights reserved.


10 | Brookhaven 5th Anniversary

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News DUNWOODY

The changing face of Brookhaven Brookhaven formed as the country emerged from the Great Recession, and like many cities, is now dealing with the plusses and minuses of a development boom, from infill housing to such major concepts as transit-oriented MARTA station complexes. The city has seized the opportunity to massive effect, most notably by annexing Executive Park – bringing Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Healthcare and the Atlanta Hawks to town as major players – and preparing for the Peachtree Creek Greenway park and trail. But it also faces challenges of preserving affordability and diversity, especially along Buford Highway, whose residents have found new activist voices. This map shows the places where the city is likely to change the most in its next five years.

A Executive Park/North Druid Hills Road DORAVILLE

CHAMBLEE

D

BROOKHAVEN/OGLETHORPE MARTA STATION

F E

DRESDEN DRIVE

C

BUFORD HIGHWAY

SKYLAND PARK AREA

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is planning a massive 80-acre campus at the I-85 and North Druid Hills Road interchange, including an 8- story Center for Advanced Pediatrics and a new $1.3 billion hospital. Across the street, Emory University purchased 60 acres of Executive Park that now includes a new Atlanta Hawks/Emory Healthcare practice facility. Emory has not revealed its future plans for the site that is ripe for redevelopment.

B Peachtree Creek Greenway

The “model mile” of the Peachtree Creek Greenway between Corporate Boulevard and Briarwood Road breaks ground in early 2018. This is the first leg of the approximate 12-mile linear park that is expected to connect Brookhaven with Chamblee, Doraville, PATH400 in Buckhead and eventually the Atlanta BeltLine.

C Buford Highway

Redevelopment and gentrification along and near Buford Highway continues with older apartment complexes being torn down for luxury townhomes. Organizations such as We Love BuHi are trying to find ways to preserve and promote the cultural diversity of the international corridor as developers eye properties for redevelopment. City Councilmember Joe Gebbia has talked of wanting to see a performing arts center on Buford Highway.

D Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA Station BUCKHEAD

B

A

PEACHTREE CREEK GREENWAY

EXECUTIVE PARK/ NORTH DRUID HILLS ROAD

The city rejected plans for a transit-oriented mixed-use development at the station, but city and MARTA officials fully expect redevelopment to take place within the next five years on the acres of mostly vacant parking lot.

E Dresden Drive Restaurants and retail continue to thrive on Dresden Drive. One multi-use development, Dresden Village, is currently being held up by a lawsuit filed by a resident after the project was approved by the city, and another multi-use development, Solis Dresden, is also still in the courts after the developer, Terwilliger Pappas, filed a lawsuit against the city for rejecting its proposed apartments and retail project.

F Skyland Park area

ATLANTA

A new, smaller Skyland Park is under construction now and will open in early 2018. The DeKalb County School District is also building the new 900-seat John Lewis Elementary School at the site set to open in 2019, which is expected to alleviate overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster.

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Brookhaven 5th Anniversary | 11

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12 | Brookhaven 5th Anniversary

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BROOKHAVEN AT 5 BY THE NUMBERS Since the city’s formation, Brookhaven’s population has gotten bigger and wealthier, but also less diverse and with more people living in poverty. In terms of the “three P’s” — paving, parks and police — that residents wanted cityhood to improve, green space and the police force have increased significantly and about 29 percent of the city streets have been repaved.

Population

White

Black

Hispanic or Latino (All Races)

Asian

Median Household Income

Population Living Below Federal Poverty Level

THEN

49,000 52% 11.4% 30.2% 5% $56,231 12.2%

NOW

52,444 57% 9.6% 24.8% 5.6% $69,277 15.2%

PAVING

PARKS

POLICE

Out of 120 miles of roads in the city, nearly 35 miles will have been paved from 2012 through the end of 2017.

In 2012, the city had 12 parks and 271 acres of green space. In 2017, the city has 15 parks and nearly 317 acres of green space.

The city had 54 officers in 2013 and has 73 officers in 2017.

Tr a n s f o r m y o u r s p a c e t o f i t Y O U

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+

BUILD]

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KITCHENS I BATHS I ADDITIONS I WHOLE HOUSE I PORCHES I LANDSCAPING I BASEMENTS I NEW HOMES

Sources: U.S. Census (*latest available statistics from 2015), Brookhaven Reporter, City of Brookhaven.


DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Community | 13

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TSPLOST revenue lower than expected; audit sought Continued from page 1 not be charging the newly increased tax. Sandy Springs leaders are repeating their fears that ZIP code confusion is causing their sales tax collections to be misdirected to the city of Atlanta. The Reporter has confirmed another case of such incorrect tax calculation, this time by the giant office supply corporation Staples. The voter-approved TSPLOST, which boosted the Fulton County sales tax from 7 to 7.75 percent, took effect April 1 and was expected to raise more than $100 million for Sandy Springs projects alone, several of which are now underway. City Finance Director Karen Ellis reported in October that TSPLOST revenues were about 30 percent lower than expected at that point: about $5.6 million rather than $8 million. At the time, officials said there was no cause for alarm, but now they are expressing more concern. “TSPLOST is down. It has not gotten any better” since the city’s inquiries to state revenue officials last month, Ellis said at the Nov. 21 City Council meeting. County spokesperson Jessica Corbitt confirmed that TSPLOST revenues are down and that an audit of businesses’ collection practices is likely. “Overall, since TSPLOST began April 1, revenues countywide are approximately 15 percent lower than those projected by Georgia State University,” Corbitt said. And City Councilmember Gabriel Sterling said Sandy Springs’ share is down even more, by about 20 percent. “While we understand that sales tax revenue can be affected by a number of factors,” Corbitt said, “the TSPLOST Citizens Oversight Council anticipates requesting an audit from the Georgia Department of Revenue to ensure that all retailers in the taxing jurisdiction are collecting and remitting the 0.75 cent [additional] TSPLOST sales tax.” The city of Atlanta’s press office did not respond to repeated questions about whether it is having similar problems with its own, separate TSPLOST increase this year, from 8 to 8.9 percent. The state Department of Revenue did not respond to questions about the status of TSPLOST collections.

Staples miscalculates

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul is repeating the city’s longstanding fears that sales tax could be miscalculated or sent to the wrong city due to businesses using software that report sales by ZIP codes. Many local ZIP codes use the preferred name “Atlanta” even when the addresses are actually in Sandy Springs. He said is contacting members of Congress to rename local ZIP codes. The ZIP code issue remains a largely unsubstantiated suspicion founded on anecdote rather than audit, and civic pride and branding are other factors in the ZIP code naming desire. City officials have been un-

able to cite an example of a business sending sales tax to the wrong city. The state Department of Revenue previously said it has a system to check tax collections against city-provided lists of business addresses. Earlier this year, a local Starbucks coffee shop was charging customers the city of Atlanta’s higher sales tax, which it corrected when contacted by the Reporter, but it is unclear whether any of its revenue actually went to Atlanta coffers. In a new case, a Sandy Springs resident provided the Reporter with receipts from a recent online purchase from Staples’ promotional product subsidiary. Staples initially showed a properly calculated 7.75 percent sales tax, which increased incorrectly — and without notice — to the city of Atlanta’s 8.9 percent when the purchase was processed. The resident lives in the 30328 ZIP code, which is entirely within Sandy Springs. Mark Cautela, director of corporate communications at the Massachusettsbased company, apologized and said the customer’s tax overcharge, which was calculated by software, would be refunded in this case. But he declined to answer any further questions, including why the tax was incorrectly calculated and whether Staples will fix the problem.

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14 | Community

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$2.5M donation supports City Springs as arts capital Continued from page 1 fund the new City Springs Theatre Company. The huge donation is thanks to Ken Byers putting his money where his mouth is as head of the Sandy Springs Foundation, a nonprofit that is raising funds for supplement programs at the $222 million civic center. He and spouse Tricia made the landmark gift. The new theater company will receive $500,000 of that gift. Previously shrouded in secrecy, the company was revealed by the donation as a professional musical outfit that will be run by Brandt Blocker, the former director of the Atlanta Lyric Theatre in Marietta Square, according to Mayor Rusty Paul. Byers previously said it will produce “Broadway-style” shows, and its executive director, Natalie Barrow, is a trustee for the Foundation. Paul said Blocker will “set up a true, professional community theater here” that will operate as an “affiliate” of the Performing Arts Center. Blocker resigned from the Marietta theater last year to move with his wife to Hong Kong, according to media reports.

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He could not be reached for comment earlier this year as rumors circulated about his involvement in City Springs. Steven Hauser, a local attorney who is the company’s registered agent in state papers, said its founders have an “exciting story to tell,” but that the city has sworn them to secrecy for now in advance of a publicity campaign. Sandy Springs already has a prominent community theater company, Act3 Productions, which operates just a few doors down on Roswell Road and sometimes stages musicals. Act3 management could not be reached for comment about the possible effects of a new company on their work. The Sandy Springs Foundation, the nonprofit in charge of fundraising and community input for City Springs’ arts programs, got an update on booking and took a facility tour on Dec. 6. Michael Enoch, general manager of City Springs’ event spaces, collectively called the Performing Arts Center, said the January announcement will be about several major events booked for later in 2018. He said managers are starting work on contracts for a two-week schedule of grand opening events, which officials

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Community | 15

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art, fill that venue with plays, fill that venue with performances, fill that venue with speaking engagements, fill that venue with people,” Haggard said. The Byers’ $2.5 million was a big start. The first donation came from Mayor Rusty Paul, who gave $30,000, according to Kraun. For now, any corporations, foundations or individuals interested in donating to City Springs’ arts proSPECIAL gram can contact HagFrom left, Ken and Tricia Byers join Mayor Rusty Paul inside the new theater in City Springs. gard at reedmarketing@bellsouth.net. Future information about donations previously said likely would be in August a major Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta will be posted on a new “Foundation” or September 2018 and involve a wide vafundraiser for October 2018, though offisection of the City Springs website at riety of performance types. cials said the contract is not final. citysprings.com. And contract work is nearing comA “full-fledged fundraising campaign” The City Springs complex — locatpletion, Enoch said, on a June 9, 2018 for the Performing Arts Center — an umed between Johnson Ferry Road and event in the new City Green park. City brella term for all rentable arts spaces in Mount Vernon Highway at Roswell Councilmember Gabriel Sterling previCity Springs — will begin in January, said Road — also includes a new City Hall, ously said that event will be the annual Reed Haggard, head of the foundation’s retail space and housing. It is set to “Food That Rocks” restaurant event, but development committee. Under the sloopen in phases next year, with the houscity spokesperson Sharon Kraun would gan “Art Springs Forth,” it aims to raise ing in January; the park in the spring or not confirm that. Mentioned in passing an initial $7.5 million to supplement and summer; City Hall in the summer; and at the Dec. 6 Foundation meeting, held at subsidize PAC programs. the Byers Theatre in September. Heritage Sandy Springs, was booking of “Our goal is to fill that venue with

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16 | Community

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Lefont movie theater is sold; upgrades planned BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Lefont Sandy Springs movie theater is getting a new owner, a new name and major upgrades in the end of an arthouse era for metro Atlanta — and maybe the beginning of a new one. George Lefont has sold his namesake theater on Sandy Springs Circle and retired after more than 40 years of running well-known art-film cinemas around town. New owner Brandt Gully is an East Cobb resident who brokers entertainment venue funding for a living and is taking his first shot at running his own theater. The new name: The Springs Cinema & Taphouse. “I have significant renovation plans to really overhaul it physically, while maintaining a lot of things that have made it a popular and special part of the community,” Gully said. A full bar, “luxury electric recliners” and a total façade and interior renovation are among the coming upgrades, he said. The new name and related branding likely will launch after the renovations. Staying on as manager, Gully said, is Bill Tush, who had a previous career as a wellknown comedic host and entertainment reporter on CNN and TBS. George Lefont ran several legendary arthouse theaters that were — or still are — important parts of metro Atlanta’s cultural fabric, starting in 1976 with his Silver Screen in Buckhead. Other theaters that he formerly owned include the landmark Plaza Theatre, still Atlanta’s oldest continuously operating theater; the Screening Room; and the Garden Hills Cinema. Lefont Sandy Springs was his last remaining theater. Lefont declined immediate comment about the sale. But in a post on the theater’s Facebook page, he expressed some feelings in classic movie quotes: “Here’s looking at you kid. No business like show business and the show must go on.”

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Brandt Gully, the theater’s new owner, in one of the soon-to-be-renovated auditoriums.


DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

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He also said of Gully, “We wish him all the best success, his success is our success and please continue to support the theater.” The theater is located in the Parkside Shops shopping center at 5920 Roswell Road, but in the rear facing Sandy Springs Circle. According to Gully, the theater opened in 1987 as a General Cinemas, later changing hands and sitting vacant for a time. Lefont bought it in 2004. As Lefont Sandy Springs, it became a staple of local art-film culture, including as an anchor site for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which Gully said will continue to be hosted. Its format includes the option to buy beer, wine and food to enjoy during the movie. Gully’s background is in securing funding for construction and renovation of movie theaters and other entertainment venues, including at the large corporation GE Capital, and working with such major chains as AMC and General Cinemas. In 2009, he started his own business, EFA Partners, to help venues broker funding. Among local companies he has worked with are the CineBistro at Town Brookhaven theater and the Topgolf golf-oriented entertainment complexes. Gully bought the Lefont Sandy Springs himself, not on behalf of any investor, after developing a friendship with George Lefont. He once arranged some renovation funding for the theater, and Lefont offered him some office space there, which Gully occupied for three years. “I saw first-hand what an interesting following” the theater has, Gully said, and he got a taste of the excitement of running a theater. “It’s an exciting time in the area with all the new development, a lot of renovated retail and lifestyle centers,” he said. The theater will add more mainstream, commercial movies to the schedule, but will remain centered on art films, Gully said. The Lefont Film Society, a program that hosted special film screenings and discussions, will end, but similar film programs will be added, he said. The concessions and menu will be updated as well, Gully said. “I’m looking to make it a very neighborhood-type venue,” he said. That includes getting customer input on some of the upgrades; he intends to put samples of various electric reclining seats in the lobby so people can try them and comment on their favorites. Gully is already making some basic repairs. Full renovations will follow the Jewish Film Festival in February. The theater will remain open during the work, which will rotate among auditoriums and spaces, he said.

Community | 17

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18 | Commentary

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Commentary / Cityhood is leading to regional collaboration Across metro Atlanta, citters Initiative grant from ARC ies are making notable proglast year to collaboratively enress. vision the future of the Buford Sandy Springs is transHighway corridor that runs forming a dated shopping through their cities. center into a vital civic and The six cities in north Fulcultural center. Chamblee ton are now finalizing their is reinventing its historsecond North Fulton Compreic downtown as a vibrant, hensive Transportation Plan. walkable place. Dunwoody is With planning assistance improving pedestrian and biSam Shenbaga from ARC, the cities are develcycle access to shopping and Manager of the Atlan- oping a strategy that will help MARTA. ta Regional Commis- improve mobility options for sion’s Community De- residents of each jurisdiction, These ambitious efforts are velopment Group. realizing that what’s good for to be applauded, as they promise to improve quality of life one city is ultimately good for for so many people. all of them. But cities are also realizing that there’s Those same north Fulton cities also only so much they can do alone. Many share ambulance and dispatch servickey issues, from traffic congestion to ecoes, allowing them to save money while nomic revitalization, cross political lines maintaining efficient response times. and require a collaborative approach. And recently, city leaders from across Indeed, a growing number of cities the top end of I-285 met to discuss possiare joining forces to tackle problems and ble transit options in that congested cormake significant improvements. ridor and other ways of improving moA notable example is the Peachtree bility across their city boundaries. It’s Gateway Partnership, which includes likely they will meet again to dig even the cities of Brookhaven, Chamblee, deeper into this critical issue. Doraville and Dunwoody. Collaborative efforts are also taking The group, which formed a few years place elsewhere in the Atlanta region. ago with help from the Atlanta RegionConsider the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alal Commission, is working to build a coliance, which launched a few years ago ordinated trail network and coordinate when local governments, businesses and on a range of issues, from transportacivic leaders near Hartsfield-Jackson Attion planning to branding and marketlanta International Airport came togething. There’s enormous potential, and the er with the goal of making the area a betgroup is just getting started. ter place for businesses and residents. Meanwhile, the cities of Doraville and The alliance worked with ARC to deChamblee were awarded a Livable Cenvelop a long-range vision for the area

called the Aerotropolis Atlanta Blueprint. The group is now working on a range of projects, such as connecting employers to qualified workers and creating a trail network that may eventually link to the Atlanta BeltLine. Other notable programs include Learn4Life, a nonprofit collaborative focused on improving educational outcomes in metro Atlanta, and ARCHI, a collaborative that is working to make the region’s residents and communities healthier. Meanwhile, the region’s transportation agencies — ARC, Georgia DOT, MARTA, and GRTA/SRTA — are working closely with each other and local governments to provide us all with increased mobility options. To reflect the momentum around collective action, ARC chose “The Power of Collaboration” as the theme of this year’s State of the Region Breakfast, held last month. Our executive director, Doug Hooker, told the 1,400 people in attendance that the most pressing issues facing our region are simply too big, and too complex, for any one organization or political jurisdiction to address alone. After all, challenges like traffic, health, and education don’t stop at a city or county boundary. At ARC, we firmly believe that a community that works together is the best way to ensure a stronger, more resilient future for all of us. We encourage individuals and groups to come together around regional issues and start working toward solutions. Sometimes, all it takes is a conversation to move an entire region forward.

Guest Column / A high-profile media clash inspires a student journalist In my semester as one of two managing editors of the Tufts Daily, there’s one constant: everything is always an emergency. Often, I say that sarcastically, but Nov. 21 gave those words new meaning as our small paper stared down a potential lawsuit from former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. The battle reinforced the importance of journalism to me, both as a student and in a larger world.

Eddie Samuels

Brookhaven resident, one of two managing editors at the Tufts Daily newspaper at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He is a 2014 graduate of The Weber School in Sandy Springs.

Monday, Nov. 20: I get into the Daily’s office — three small rooms in a basement in a long-forgotten Tufts building — around 6 p.m. Five nights a week, I and dozens of other students work until the early morning to put together a paper to be distributed to the school community the next

day. In my role as managing editor, most of my night is spent fact-checking, correcting problems our copy editors uncover and doing a final check of our paper before it’s sent to our printer. I get out of the office at 12:28 — a full 32 minutes ahead of our deadline. The day isn’t over, though; I still need to finish an essay my professor had been kind enough to extend past its original Friday deadline. I plummet into bed around 4 a.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 21: I wake up at 10 a.m. and check my phone. Nothing of particular note. We received a new oped from a contributor who had previously written a pair of pieces supporting a petition calling for Scaramucci’s removal from the board of advisors at

the university’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. At noon, I make my typical run to pick up a copy of our paper. I go to grab a bite to eat, mindlessly refreshing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and emails. 12:08: I feel my phone vibrate on the table and reach to check it out. A new email: I’m sure it’s just another random emailing, informing us of some story that’s not a story. The subject line: “Demand to Immediately Retract Defamatory Public Statements and to Cease and Desist from Ongoing Defamation.” This was definitely not a typical email. Our opinion pieces had bothered a certain high-powered alum who spent 10 days in that White House job, before a profanity-ridden rant got him the boot. A brief series of texts back and forth to my fellow managing board members, and I was off to my 1:30 class. My phone never stops vibrating in my pocket and I step out to “go to the bath-


DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Commentary | 19

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room” and see 200-plus missed messages. At 2:45, I get out of class, and at this point we’re in a weird holding position. Tufts is the smallest school with a daily paper, and we are completely selffunded by selling ads. We can’t afford to fight a millionaire in a legal battle, but we’re not backing down. I leave Boston that night, headed to spend my Thanksgiving in St. Louis with family and, for the most part, we have our plan ironed out. We wanted to talk to an attorney from the Student Press Law Center to confirm that our understanding of the situation is right. At dinner one night, I pass my phone around the table as my family laughs at Scaramucci’s letter. By Saturday, Nov. 25, our strategy is set. We’re going to run the letter on our front page, and publish it online at 1 a.m. On Sunday, we’re all back for production, and we’re ready to run the cease-and-desist the following day. Halfway through the night, however, we get an email from the Boston Globe asking for comment. There’s nothing worse than being scooped on a story about your own paper. We end up releasing the cease-and-desist a few hours earlier than we’d intended to, but we got the story up. We expected some attention from

media, but this story blew up in a way that we couldn’t have even predicted, with coverage in the New York Times and Washington Post. The majority of the media frenzy told the story about how we expected. The small, sympathetic, student newspaper won the day. Scaramucci resigned from the board following the incident, describing it as “time to move on,” after a 35-year relationship with Tufts. In publishing an op-ed about the situation, our goal was never to force a resignation, and in fact, we were looking to talk to Scaramucci about the petition. It’s an interesting time to be a student looking for a career in journalism. Cries of “fake news,” whether from a Twitter troll or a politician, are common. This incident, more than ever, proved that there’s a group of people in this country who believe that money and influence give them the right to bully and deprive others of legitimate viewpoints. The incident was terrifying, but it was also thrilling. An attempt to stifle free speech ended up the largest story of the year and the most exciting night in the Daily office I’ve ever seen. These last few months have been frustrating, but rewarding, and this incident confirmed more than ever that journalism is what I want to do.

Letter to the Editor

GOP tax cuts are pure evil Karen Handel’s column that recently appeared in the Reporter amounted to an attempt to put lipstick on a pig when it comes to the Republican tax cut. [“GOP tax reform would help local families,” Nov. 24] In her column, Handel did what Donald Trump does best, which is lie through his teeth. The GOP tax plans amount to a massive giveaway to the wealthy and wealthy corporations. For every dollar of tax relief that benefits the middle class, fully $9 of tax cuts goes to the wealthy and wealthy corporations. This tax ripoff conclusively proves that Republican politicians are slaves of the rich. Favoring the rich is in the GOP DNA. This GOP tax plan will transfer billions of dollars of wealth from the bottom to the top, massively grow income inequality, and blow a trillion-and-a-half-dollar hole in the deficit. The Trump family will receive a billion-dollar windfall from this outrageous tax plan. The GOP politicians are massively cutting taxes on the rich in the expectation that the rich will show their appreciation over the GOP greed grab by showering massive campaign contributions on those GOP politicians who vote for this outrage.

GET$350 UP TO

The GOP congressmen will attempt to pay for the deficit they caused with savage cuts to the social safety net including cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Obamacare. How many seniors will lose their nursing room care? How many Americans will go hungry after they lose their food stamps? It is simply outrageous that the GOP would do away with the Estate Tax, which is only paid by the super-rich, and the Alternative Minimum Tax, which ensures that the wealthy pay something. The Trump tax cut would actually raise taxes of the least of these while savaging the social safety net they depend on. The moral issue of our time is growing income inequality. It is time for a vicious and remorseless redistribution of wealth from the 1 percenters, who own so much of America’s wealth, to the middle-class, working-class and poor. The GOP tax plan is pure evil ... especially given the suffering that will result from this class warfare. Forget the GOP class warfare. It is time for righteous class warfare that would benefit the many and not the few. W. Keith Watkins Brookhaven

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20 | Commentary

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Taking the greeting card challenge If it’s Dec. 23 and I’m not sitting at my used to be my deadline. Then I startkitchen table behind a pile of unposted ed giving myself a grace period, and I greeting cards, then it’s just not Christstretched the deadline to New Year’s mas at my house. Day. When I still couldn’t meet that Suffice it to say that I have not mailed deadline, I got very liturgical, put three my cards yet. What’s more, I have not wise men on my cards, and marked the chosen the card theme, format, font or Epiphany (which arrives mercifully latgreeting, nor have I written my Annuer into January, on the 6th). al Blurb. (I’ve been writing I used the Epiphany deadthis column, instead.) line for a while, until one What I have done is year I tried following the Robin Conte is a writer lead of a friend who sends manage to corral all six of and mother of four who Valentine’s cards. But withmy family members togethlives in Dunwoody. She out the momentum of the er in the same spot long can be contacted at December madness pushing enough to take a group selfrobinjm@earthlink.net. ie, which will serve as the me along, I found myself pephoto for my card this year. tering out, like a balloon that This happened last June, beslowly wilts into a deflated cause the kids all materialand droopy state, waiting ized for a Father’s Day dinfor someone to poke the finer, and I couldn’t let that nal hole and squeeze the rest opportunity pass. of the life out of it. Yes, that The kids knew it was inwas my February-deadline evitable, as their main deself, and I still have a stack terrent to coming home is of Valentine’s-themed cards the threat of a family photo. from 1996 that never made it One year, I found myself to the mailbox. in mid-December still lackOne year I sent Easter ing a group photo, and I greetings, and one year I altook aim at the family treemost sent Fourth of July trimming in a last-ditch effort to capgreetings, but then I figured that Decemture the magic. I badgered the offspring ber was going to roll around again soon for poses and “candid shots” until one enough, so I just waited. son couldn’t stand it anymore. He took a But I never let more than two years picture of our namesake ornaments that pass, because I value the sentiment and were hanging on the tree and told me to the correspondence. More than wishuse that. I did. It worked great. ing people peace and joy and health So for me, The Photo is Challenge A and blessings and all the nice things of the card. that one can wish for at the conclusion Challenge B is Formatting the Photo of a year and the commencement of anonto 1,437 different options on Shutterother, the annual greeting card serves fly or Tiny Prints or Costco until I find to keep our personal connections alive. just the right fit, or deciding to scrap all (I know, I know, there’s always Facethat and format it onto a blank piece of book. But that’s another column.) paper. Truthfully, I only did the latter So if you’re on my list, I can pretty once, and five years later I’m still findmuch assure you that you will not reing drafts of it being used as scratch paceive a card from me by Dec. 25. But you per around the house. know what I look like, and you know Challenge C is The Blurb. that I wish you Merry Christmas and Here, I must provide you with some Happy Holidays. backstory. While I was smack dab And now I’ve told you something, as in the middle of my impressionable well. youth, I overheard my Girl Scout leader make a remark to a friend about holiday greeting cards. She said, “I know what you look like and I know you wish me a merry Christmas, so if you’re going to send me a card, tell me something.” And I’ve been telling people something with my greeting cards ever since. Challenge D is the SPECIAL Deadline. The greeting card snapshot of snowmen ornaments that Robin’s son took to get out of the dreaded family group photo. Christmas Eve

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DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

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Rabbi’s book recalls her silent retreat at a Christian monastery BY JOHN RUCH

– ProsthodontisT Faith – | 21 some cases require a

– ProsthodontisT – and we have one!!

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Ordered by a doctor to rest her voice, a Sandy Springs rabbi retreated into the silent world of a Christian monastery, a religious experience she recounts in a new book called “The Voice of Silence.” Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz of Congregation Or Hadash said her experience three years ago not only regained her voice, but was “revelation” of the power of meditation in an era of noise and distraction. “We live in a very cacophonSPECIAL ic world now, invaded every sinRabbi Dr. Analia Bortz. gle moment of our day,” Bortz said. “Our creative mind is going into filling spaces and time instead of [following] what the Greeks said, which was to admire the world.” Diagnosed with vocal cord strain and polyps, Bortz was advised to go many days without speaking. “It’s like a bird that their wings are cut,” Bortz said of being a rabbi, a professional communicator and counselor, receiving that order of silence. And in the monastery, she said, she found “a rescuer that restores the wings.” The Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Ga., is a regionally famous complex run by Trappist monks who live under a vow of silence and operate popular silent retreats where anyone can share in the contemplation. Bortz learned of it only by searching for retreats on the internet. A Christian monastery might not seem like a natural fit for a Jewish rabbi, and Bortz writes in her book that she was a bit anxious about some “conversion” references in its literature, but she is involved in interfaith programs and found the retreat appealing. “So I was curious. I was excited. I was not afraid,” she said. “I took it as an opportunity, a great opportunity, to learn.” On retreats, guests are given a room and basic supplies, then keep silent as they are free to wander the grounds or join the monks in five daily prayers. Bortz says she avoided the Christian rite of communion, but joined those prayers and some classes that were “very much about humanity and universal values and living an ethical life.” She also enjoyed one sound: the monks’ chanting from the Psalms, a section of the Bible sacred in both religions. “They never even knew I was Jewish,” said Bortz, as the many retreat participants naturally do not speak to each other about their identities or motivations. “I was surprised and very curious about, ‘Where are all these people coming from?’” she said, but instead focused on seeing “the divine spark in every human being, regardless of any religion.” “I found a lot of sound in silence,” said Bortz. “There is so much music that can go through your mind as you remain silent.” She does not mean literal music, but a realization of “the presence of God through nature” and in other people. Bortz has since returned to the monastery for a second retreat after experiencing the personal crisis of her mother falling ill, and says she would like to return again with a group of women for a special retreat. In her book, published in August by WestBow Press and available on Amazon.com, Bortz combines journal-like memories of her experience with advice on how others can experience and benefit from silence and meditation. “Silence may disguise loneliness or solitude,” she writes in her book, “or it can open the endless possibilities of an encounter with God, self, a fellow human, the world. Silence is an invitation to contemplate.”

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22 | Out & About

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BROOKHAVEN

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GET INTO THE HOLIDAYS

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Center admission info: 404-814-4000 or atlantahistorycenter.com.

LEARN SOMETHING CONVERSATIONS WITH AUTHORS Wednesday, Dec. 20, 6 p.m.

CANDLELIGHT NIGHTS AT THE ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER Friday, Dec. 22, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Stroll through the gardens and grounds of the Atlanta History Center, decorated and illuminated by candlelight, where you can shop at a holiday Christmas Market filled with local crafts and experience holiday traditions in three historic houses. Santa visit, puppet show, improv comedy holiday show, storytelling, singalongs and musical performances. $20 adults; $15 members; $10 children. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: 404-814-4000 or atlantahistorycenter.com.

HOLIDAY ARTISTS MARKET

Perimeter North Family Medicine

Through Dec. 23, Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

The Spruill Gallery continues its 24th annual Holiday Artists Market of locally crafted gifts and decor. 4681 AshfordDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info: 770394-4019 or spruillarts.org/gallery.

Welcoming new patients! Perimeter North Family Medicine is proud to serve the families throughout the Atlanta area. Dr. Mithun Daniel provides comprehensive, patient-centered care to patients of all ages, and offers a full range of medical services, including chronic disease management, preventative care, acute illness care, mental health services and specialized care for men and women’s health. We accept most insurance plans and offer a convenient location for the families of the Greater Atlanta area.

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Saturday, Jan. 6, through December 2018, Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sundays, noon to 5:30 p.m.

Our services include: women and children

EXHIBITIONS

960 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30342

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This major exhibition at the Atlanta History Center explores the ways that Latinos are shaping the South and the South is shaping Latinos. Developed by Charlotte’s Levine Museum of the New South in collaboration with the Atlanta History Center and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, “NUEVOlution!” shares personal stories behind the statistics. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. History

The Buckhead Library hosts a “Women Empowerment Conversation” with New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison, who strives to eradicate double standards. Morrison’s son, Jesse Byrd, will also appear at the library in a discussion with teens about his young adult/ teen novels “King Penguin” and “Werewolf in New Orleans.” Free. 269 Buckhead Ave., Buckhead. Info: 404-814-3500.

KIDS AND FAMILIES BOOK SALE

Wednesday, Dec. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friends of the Brookhaven Library will hold a “Mini Book Sale.” To get there, park behind the library and enter at the lower level. 1242 North Druid Hills Road N.E., Brookhaven. Info: 404-848-7140.

FAMILY FUN DAY AT THE MJCCA Monday, Dec. 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

An activity-packed day at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta features family-friendly movies, inflatables and ride-on toys, arts and crafts, table tennis, basketball, indoor swimming, and a community service opportunity. Food available for purchase until 2 p.m. Free and open to the community. MJCCA Zaban Park campus, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org or call Ashley Cohen at 678-812-3861.

GET INTO THE COMMUNITY NEW HORIZONS CONCERT BAND OF ATLANTA Ongoing

The New Horizons Concert Band of Atlanta invites senior musicians, ages 55 and up, to join the band, whether your skills are polished or rusty. New Horizons performs at churches and community events in north Atlanta, often for senior citizens in independent living facilities. Hear the band rehearse Wednesdays at 1 p.m. at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 550 Mt. Paran Road, Sandy Springs. Registration info: AtlantaNewHorizonsBand.org or call 770-978-1287.


DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Out & About | 23

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HOLIDAY BREAK CAMPS BLUE HERON NATURE PRESERVE

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Dec. 18-22, Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-6.

Dec. 21-22, Dec. 26-29 and Jan. 2-3.

Half-day and fullday options are available at this camp for ages 2 to 13. Kids play outside and discover secrets of nature. 4055 Roswell Road, Buckhead. Registration info: bhnp.org.

Kids will study the winter climate’s effect on the animals, plants and habitats of Dunwoody Park. Half-day sessions for 3- and 4-year-olds. Full-day sessions for kindergarten through fifth-grades, with early drop-off and late pickup available. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. Registration info: dunwoodynature.org.

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Jan. 2-5 (for Fulton County).

Camp Kingfisher offers hikes, animal encounters, outdoor games and more summer fun in the winter. Full-day, with free extended-day options. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Registration info: campkingfisher@chattnaturecenter.org or 770-9922055, ext. 222.

Wednesday, Jan. 3, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kids ages 5 to 10 can explore art through drawing, painting, collage or clay projects as they create keepsakes. Extended-day available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Registration info: SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT spruillarts.org.

• Caribbean ~ 10 nts ~ Jan. 3* Deep Caribbean • Caribbean ~ 10 nts ~ Jan. 13* Western Caribbean • Asia ~ 15 nts ~ Jan. 20 Singapore, Bangkok, Vietnam, Hong Kong • Asia ~ 15 nts ~ Feb. 4* Singapore, Bangkok, Vietnam, Hong Kong • Caribbean ~ 10 nts ~ Feb. 6 Deep Caribbean • Caribbean ~ 10 nts ~ Feb. 16* Western Caribbean • Caribbean ~ 10 nts ~ Feb. 26 Deep Caribbean • Asia ~ 18 nts ~ Mar. 24* Tokyo, Vietnam, Bangkok, Taiwan • Caribbean ~ 10 nts ~ Mar. 18* Deep Caribbean * Includes Prepaid Gratuities

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DASH IN & LIGHT UP THE HOLIDAYS

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Healthy Holidays!! 5 TIPS FOR OLDER ADULTS TO STAY ACTIVE AND ENGAGED DURING THE HOLIDAYS • Physical activity: Taking a walk after a hearty holiday meal is a good idea for those of any age, but it is particularly beneficial to seniors. • Healthy diet: Lean meats, such as turkey breast, serve as a healthy alternative to red meat. Other “super foods” for older adults that are beneficial in holiday meals are blueberries, flax seed, carrots, eggs, nuts and salmon. • Sharp minds: Designing holiday festivities around skill-based games such as Scrabble, checkers, backgammon or Wii, not only makes the event fun for party-goers, but it can also help seniors enhance cognitive function. • Social ties: While group activities in family homes or senior centers can be the focus of holiday celebrations, aging adults can also benefit from receiving daily calls or emails to help them feel connected to those they care about.

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26 | Perimeter Business

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Visit us at our location in SANDY SPRINGS Sally Marcus, MD Jeff Hopkins, MD Natalie Metzig, MD Allison Hill, MD Amy Hardin, MD Tiji Philip, MD Adele Goodloe, MD

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johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

More than a year after a massive leadership transition lowered its public profile, the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts is emerging to launch a new master planning process that may be called “Perimeter: The Next Generation.” New Executive Director Ann Hanlon is essentially rebuilding the self-taxing business districts’ organization after longtime leader Yvonne Williams’ surprise resignation for personal reasons in September 2016 left it in turmoil. Hanlon has overseen a nearly clean sweep of the staff — former key members resigned or were laid off — and says the PCIDs need a sharper focus on transportation projects, better intergovernmental relations, and that coordinated master plan, which will be conducted with general public input. “I’m personally committed to make sure the entire community is on board with what we’re doing,” Hanlon said in a recent interview at the PCIDs office in Sandy Springs’ Northpark complex. “I live in Dunwoody and my neighbors are going to fuss at me if I don’t.” The PCIDs are two separate but jointly operated districts in Perimeter Center, one on the DeKalb County side and one on the Fulton County side, whose members voluntarily pay extra taxes to fund local improvements. The PCIDs funds some infrastructure projects — including a $10 million contribution to the state’s I-285/Ga. 400 interchange recon-

struction — and also such programs as Perimeter Connects, which advises employees about alternative commuting options. Most of those existing programs and planning efforts will continue, Hanlon said, though “we’re going to try to do a better job of explaining what we do.” With revenue of around $7.7 million a year, she added, the PCIDs need a master plan to organize and expand those efforts. “We’re going to begin a master plan process, hopefully in the first quarter of next year,” said Hanlon, who had a similar plan in her previous job running the Alpharetta-based North Fulton Community Improvement District. “Generally, [with] $7.7 million a year, we need to have an academic, thoughtful plan for how to spend it.” That may include such small, unglamorous projects as filling in gaps in local sidewalks. But it can include “very large things,” Hanlon said, and a “very compelling” one she has in mind is improving the looks and accessibility of Perimeter Center’s three MARTA stations. Earlier on the day of the interview, she had walked the property beneath the Dunwoody MARTA Station tracks where PCIDs has a long-stalled concept of creating a new park. “I’m coming from [North] Fulton, where we were trying to get transit for years,” Hanlon said, adding that in Perimeter Center “we’ve got [those] crown jewels of the commercial real estate market in our district.” PCIDs also need to adapt to a “new


DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

day” in transportation planning, Hanlon said, with local cities launching new projects and new technology, such as self-driving vehicles, coming along. She said the PCIDs have not been involved in recent cross-city talks about I-285 transit and that it is unclear what role the organization might play, she said, but “we’d champion it.” Perimeter Center directly includes two counties and three cities — Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs — and its projects often coordinate with governments farther afield. Hanlon has hired a dedicated government relations director, Linda Thompson, who previously served as a liaison to Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker and Fulton Commissioner Liz Hausmann. Thompson says she’s well aware that Perimeter Center is the “center for gravity” for the economy of several jurisdictions. One relationship to immediately improve is with Sandy Springs, which is suing the PCIDs over the previous staffs’ paperwork errors on a streetscape project which forced a payback of $2.8 million in federal funds. “That was my first phone call … It’s important that we get that figured out,” said Hanlon, adding that the PCIDs is reviewing the files on all of its federally funded projects. As a local resident, Hanlon is also aware that local cities are more than Perimeter Center. She calls Dunwoody “the tale of two cities,” with her singlefamily residential area distinct from Perimeter Center’s mall and office towers. Within Perimeter Center, another goal is to expand the PCIDs’ membership. The North Fulton CID expanded by 40 percent under Hanlon’s leadership, she said, adding that organizations “should always be in growth mode.” One thing that won’t change is the focus on transportation. “Our strength here is … in building transformational infrastructure projects,” Hanlon said. “That is the lane I see us staying in … It’s what we do.”

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28 | Education

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Editor’s note: Through our “Standout Student” series, Reporter Newspapers showcases some of the outstanding students at our local schools. To recomeryday praying they get something to eat.” mend a “Standout Student” for our series, Jones was inspired to volunteer by his please email editor@ReporterNewspapers. sister’s service accomplishments. net with information about the student and “She really paved the way in introducwhy you think he or she should be featured. ing service to me. There was never realJordan Jones recently won the Gold ly a big epiphany. Service was just somePresident’s Volunteer Service Award, thing that I always made sure to do, not which is awarded for achieving over 250 because I had to, but because I wanted to,” hours of community service — almost said Jones. “Usually, if a service opportuni10-and-a-half days — in one year. ty came about, I’d just decide to do it and The honor is awarded by the federal government for volunteering at qualified organizations. The gold award requires the most volunteer hours. Jones primarily volunteers at Crossroads Community Ministries (CCM), a nonprofit organization located in downtown Atlanta that provides homeless people free meals and other services. Jones said he brings his set of SPECIAL skills and knowledge to Jones and Clyde Corbin, the kitchen director at CCM through many difCrossroads Community Ministries, pose with toiletries collected in a drive Jones organized. ferent activities. “I have done all sorts go with the flow, so to speak. It’s weird, I of things. I have run toiletry and book bag know, but I haven’t really thought that drives, sold fidget spinners to raise money, much of what I’ve done. It was always just made sandwiches for them to serve to the common sense to me.” homeless, and served breakfast early in Jones said his one regret is not getting the morning in their kitchen,” Jones said. more of his fellow students and friends While serving breakfast has been a to volunteer at CCM, but he is working to great experience for Jones, he saw othmake Lovett a certified organization for er community needs where he felt he the President’s Volunteer Service award could help. so hours students spend volunteering for “It is definitely the most fun, but I reLovett organizations can count towards realized I could help out more by doing the ceiving the award. other things I did,” he said. “Looking back, I wish I had gotten Jones made $373 to donate to CCM by more people involved with me,” Jones selling fidget spinners, handheld spinsaid. “However, this year, I am working ning gadgets that have surged in popuwith my service coordinator at school to larity in the past year, to his classmates. make Lovett a certified organization for “It also felt good that it was a money the President’s Volunteer Service Award. donation. I am positive that my friends The intent is to give students the extra moat CCM know where that money needs tivation to not just rack up the hours, but to go most,” he said. rack up the experience of working with In addition to his fidget spinner enterthe different people of our community.” prise, Jones has also organized a toiletry drive for CCM. What’s Next? “I reached out to various private comJones plans to attend college in Georpanies, like my dentist and mother’s health gia. He laments he won’t be able to volunclub, who sent loads of toothbrushes, teer as frequently as he has while in high toothpaste, floss and various other staple school, but hopes others will continue to items that most people don’t think about. volunteer as he has. I couldn’t imagine living without tooth“There is always time to do something paste or soap,” Jones said. “I organized the for someone else,” he said. toiletries myself into plastic bags and then This article was reported and written by gave them to CCM. CCM then distributed Charlie Benedict, a junior at The Westminthe kits to the homeless men, women, and ster Schools. children who walk through their doors ev-


DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Classifieds | 29

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Creative Hospice & Palliative Care of Marietta, Inc. d/b/a Homestead Hospice seeks Certified Nursing Assistant to work under the direction and supervision of an RN, assumes responsibility and accountability for assignments for designated time frame, assisting other nursing staff in providing patient care according to established methods/policies/standards within the scope of Certified Nursing Assistant practice. Licensed CNA with min High School diploma or it foreign equivalent plus one year experience as nursing assistant. 40 hrs/week. Send resume to 1 North Tennessee Street, Cartersville, GA 30120.

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Front Office – Well established psychology practice in Sandy Springs looking for a parttime front office staff/receptionist. Looking for someone to join our team who coordinates closely with clinical staff to meet the needs of our practice, warmly relates to clients, and is resourceful, detail-oriented, and organized. Computer skills required. Please email resume to dr.spencer@bia1.com

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30 | Community

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SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF REZONING Petition Number:

RZ17-0005

Petitioner:

James Beveridge

Property Location:

Parcel # 17 0078 LL0366 (24 The Landing)

Present Zoning:

RD-27 (with conditions from CUP Case # 1979Z-0049)

Request:

Rezoning from RD-27 to RD-27 to modify the front setback.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission January 23, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council February 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

New political eras began in Fulton County and the local state Senate District 6 following the Dec. 5 runoff elections. Robb Pitts will be the next Fulton County Commission chairman after defeating Keisha Waites. And Jen Jordan defeated fellow Democrat Jaha Howard in a race that flipped the Senate district blue for the first time in five years.

Fulton chairman

Pitts, a Buckhead resident, drew 55.03 percent of the vote in the special election to replace John Eaves, who resigned to make an unsuccessful run for the Atlanta mayor’s office. He won 54,072 votes to Waites’s 44,192. Pitts is a former commissioner and Atlanta City Council president who pledged to be an experienced, strong leader. In a previous interview, he said his priorities would be transportation investments, modernizing the county’s criminal justice system and beefing up capital investments in a new animal control facility, the library system’s master plan, senior facilities and Grady Hospital. In precinct-based results, Pitts won most of his home Atlanta neighborhood and southern Sandy Springs, while Waites topped the vote in Sandy Springs’ central and panhandle areas.

Senate District 6

Jordan, an attorney from Cobb County, won 63.9 percent of the vote. She replaces Hunter Hill, a Republican who resigned to run for governor, in the Senate seat, which includes most of Buckhead, parts of central and southern Sandy Springs, and southern Cobb County. Jordan won 10,681 votes to Howard’s 6,017. In Jen Jordan. Buckhead and Sandy Springs, Jordan dominated the vote, with Howard winning only two precincts; it was the reverse situation in Cobb. In a previous interview, Jordan said she hopes to create legislation protecting children’s health insurance coverage; to boost transit funding; and that she will oppose a senior exemption for school property taxes in Fulton County. In the eight-way Nov. 7 general election, Jordan and Howard were the top vote-getters, guaranteeing the district would flip to Democratic representation for the first time in five years, to the surprise of some GOP leaders.

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF USE PERMIT Petition Number:

U17-0003

Petitioner:

Dunwoody Christian School, Inc. (Contact: Bob Baima)

Property Location:

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF TEXT AMENDMENT Petition Number:

TA17-0006

2250 Dunwoody Club Drive (Dunwoody Community Church)

Petitioner:

City of Sandy Springs

Request:

An Ordinance to Amend Article XII, Definitions, Division 12.2., Defined Terms, of the Sandy Springs Development Code

Present Zoning:

RE-2

Request:

Request to operate a private school in an existing building (Dunwoody Community Church building).

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission January 23, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council February 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

Location:

Robb Pitts.

Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

Public Hearings: Mayor and City Council January 16, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 Phone; 770-730-5600


DEC. 15, 2017 - JAN. 4, 2018

Public Safety | 31

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Police Blotter / Sandy Springs Capt. Steve Rose of the Sandy Springs Police Department provided the following information which represents some of the reports filed with Sandy Springs police between Nov. 23 and 30.

6000 block of Rivercliff Drive — On Nov. 24, responding to an alarm around 6 p.m., officers found forced entry to a basement window and two rear porch doors. It appears the burglars left without getting past the basement. „„

B U R G L A RY „„5300 block of Roswell Road

— Between Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, someone attempted to enter an apartment by tampering with the front door lock. It appears the burglar was unsuccessful. „„5600 block of Roswell Road

600 block of Fair Oaks Manor — On Nov. 24, the resident reported someone entered the home by forcing an interior garage door. (The exterior garage door was left open.) A flatscreen TV was stolen. „„

Captain STEVE ROSE, SSPD

srose@san— On Nov. 23, a resident redyspringsga.gov ported that around 8:30 p.m., she called her young son to „„ 100 block of Savannah dinner and, as he walked past a bedEstates Drive — On Nov. 25, a 64-yearroom, he saw a male wearing a mask old resident said a neighbor discovered a with his head sticking into the bedroom broken window on the ground floor. The window. The suspect immediately fled. window appears to have been forced by a Several responding officers combed lawn ornament. the apartment complex area. One officer, parked in the complex, spotted a man „„500 block of Greyfield Lane — On Nov. who appeared to be wearing a hoodie 26, someone smashed a window with a covered in dirt. The man’s story changed hammer and entered the duplex. Officers as to where he was going. The man said found dried blood near the window. The he was at the store and bought some “cigresident said he was out of town for sevarillos,” but had none on him. He was lateral days but arrived home prior to the er charged with disorderly conduct, loipolice response. A PS4 game system and tering and prowling. HP laptop were missing. Blood samples were taken and placed into evidence. „„Nesbit Reserve Court — On Nov. 24, a „„300 block of Winding River Drive — neighbor noticed a garage door open to On Nov. 26, the resident said she woke the home, unoccupied by the resident at at 4 a.m. and found her front door open the time. A window next to the front door and Sonos TV missing. Someone forced was forced and appeared to be the entry a window and then apparently exited point. Inside, the rooms looked rummaged through a sliding door at the back of through. It appeared that jewelry, TVs, and the apartment. a vehicle were stolen, according to the initial report. „„ 500 block of Northridge Parkway —

City of Sandy Springs 2018-2022 Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and 2018 Action Plan Needs Assessment Meeting Wednesday, January 10, 2018 The City of Sandy Springs has qualified to participate in the Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The program is a source of grant funds for the City to make improvements to neighborhoods, provide programs and other activities that primarily benefit low- and moderate-income persons, eliminate slum and blight conditions or meet an urgent community need for which local funds are not available. Federal regulations require that to participate in CDBG, Sandy Springs must develop a 5-year strategic plan, called the Consolidated Plan, documenting community needs that may be funded with CDBG and goals to be achieved over that 5-year period. A needs assessment meeting to gather information from community members of Sandy Springs will be held at the Sandy Springs City Hall located at 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, GA, 30350 on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. City staff will present information on the CDBG Program for attendees and gather information on community needs from attendees that may be funded with CDBG. Information gathered at CDBG needs assessment meeting will be provided to the Mayor and City Council as they consider the future goals for the program at the Tuesday, February 20, 2018, Work Session of the City Council, which will be held at Sandy Springs City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, GA 30350 at 6:00 p.m. All meetings are open to the public. Citizens in need of translation services or materials in alternative formats should call 770-730-5600 seven calendar days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting. Additional CDBG Program information can be found on the City’s CDBG webpage at http://www.sandyspringsga.gov/ city-services/urban-development/planning-and-zoning/planning-and-zoning-resources/ community-development-block-grant-program

On Nov. 27, a 21-year old woman reported she was spending the night with a friend. Her boyfriend texted her, sometime during the night, to say he was sorry, but he was going to break into her apartment— which he did. She read the text when she woke. Upon her return, she found a bedroom window screen removed and patio door unlocked. Several items were taken, including makeup and sheets.

R O B B E RY „„8325 Roswell Road — On Nov. 25, a

rant located directly behind the store.

THEFT „„300 block of River Knoll Drive — On

Nov. 23, the resident left for the holiday with strict instructions to his friend at home, forbidding him to drive his car due to his license being suspended. Our officer was contacted by an APD officer regarding the man, forbidden to drive the car, who was now in the hospital telling the cops his car was carjacked on Parkway Drive, which is just north of Highland Avenue in Atlanta. The car in question, a 2006 Mercury Montego, was documented by APD earlier in the day for a parking violation in which the passenger in the car was arrested for multiple felonies. Bottom line, the guy took the car anyway and it ended up stolen, meaning the owner, who is in California, has to file the stolen car report.

gas station store clerk said a man came into the store at about 9:30 a.m. and handed him a note that he had a gun and to give him money from the register. The suspect produced a bag. The employee said the man did not show a weapon but had his hand in his pocket as if to be holding one, so he placed an undisclosed amount of cash in the bag. The suspect then fled from the door READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT and around towards a restau-

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

SANDY SPRINGS NOTICE OF REZONING Petition Number:

RZ17-0004

Petitioner:

Fulton-Allen Road Associates, LLC (Contact: Jack Misiura)

Property Location:

185 Cliftwood Drive

Present Zoning:

CS-6 (old Zoning: A-L)

Request:

Rezoning to reflect existing conditions.

Public Hearings:

Planning Commission December 21, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Mayor and City Council January 16, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

Location:

Sandy Springs City Hall Morgan Falls Office Park 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500 Sandy Springs, Georgia 30350 770-730-5600

Sandy Springs Assessment of Fair Housing Revision Work Session Meeting Tuesday, January 16, 2018 The City of Sandy Springs submitted its Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on October 4, 2017. Minor revisions to the AFH report will be made by staff and will be presented during the Mayor and Council Work Session meeting on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the Sandy Springs City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs, GA, 30350. The revised AFH document will be submitted to HUD on or before February 2, 2018. The AFH document will be available on January 4, 2018 at the City’s website www.sandyspringsga.gov and can be accessed by selecting CDBG under Urban Development – Planning and Zoning on the City’s webpage. Hard copies of the document can also be reviewed at City Hall or by calling 770-730-5600. The AFH aims at identifying any barriers to fair housing choice by providing a method to identify fair housing issues, determine factors that contribute to the identified issues, and a way to develop a plan to establish fair housing goals that reduce patterns of segregation, eliminates racially and ethnically areas of poverty, reduce disparities to opportunities, and disproportionate housing needs. Those who may wish to provide comments on the Assessment of Fair Housing may email the CDBG Program mailbox at cdbgprogram@sandyspringsga.gov or send written correspondence to the Sandy Springs Community Development Department at the address above. Citizens in need of translation services or materials in alternative formats should call 770-730-5600 seven calendar days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.


32 |

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Adjacent to North Point Mall

Barrett Pavilion I

ALL STORES NOW OPEN SUNDAYS Enjoy the Total Wine & More Experience in 21 States. Find them at TotalWine.com

Visit us online for our holiday hours

ATL-17-1211ROP-TAB

Brookhaven Plaza (next to Stein Mart)

12-15-17 Sandy Springs  
12-15-17 Sandy Springs