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DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 • VOL. 8 — NO. 26

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► Bike/pedestrian tunnels suggested for I-285/ Ga. 400 rebuild project PAGE 8 ► Local leaders offer their forecasts for 2017 PAGE 18

2016

YEAR IN REVIEW

GIFTS, DECOR MAKE MEMORIES | P20

Teachers leave after disputed claims of Trumpinspired threats BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Two teachers have left Cross Keys High School following complaints that they made anti-immigrant comments inspired by Donald Trump’s election. The teachers deny the allegations and say they are victims of “hysteria” or misunderstanding. Meanwhile, DeKalb Schools has released its investigative report detailing alleSee TEACHERS on page 10

Council approves deal to buy airport land for park BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net Brookhaven city officials now will have to wait for the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners decision on whether the city may buy about 30 acres of wooded property across from the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport for $5.7 million. City Council on Dec. 13 approved a contract between the city and county to buy the land and to preserve it as green space. The board is expected to take up the vote in January. The $5.7 million price was set by the Federal Aviation Administration as fair market value, according to city officials. City Manager Christian Sigman told the council during a work session that the chance to buy the green space, once a “runway protection zone” for the airport, is a “once in a lifetime opportunity.” Financing through a loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Author-

F O R MO R E O F T H E Y EA R ’ S BEST PH OTOS, SE E PAG E 12

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Dresden Village developers lower project’s density BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The developers for a Dresden Drive mixed-use project where the current DeKalb tag office is located have lowered its density and are working with new partners. Connolly Investment and Development was working with Fairfield Residential on the approximately $60 million project known as Dresden Village at the 3-acre site on the corner of Dresden Drive and Caldwell Drive, but is now handling the multi-family proposed development itself. “In an effort to revamp the project to meet the expectations of the community, we hit the reset button after the August City Council meeting,” said Brian Fratesi, vice president of Development & Acquisitions for Connolly. “At that time, we took over control of the multi-family component of the project and hired new architects and engineers.” In August, the City Council voted to defer the vote on Connolly’s rezoning request for the mixed-use development at 1336, 1342, 1350, 1358, 1364 and 1370 Dresden Drive and 2562, 2552, 2544, and 2536 Caldwell Road. The newest version of the proposed development is slated to go before the Planning Commission on Jan. 4 and then to the City Council Jan. 24. Connolly CEO J.R. Connolly said at a Dec. 14 community meeting they had shrunk the density from 194 apartments to 169, going from about 60 units per acre to 45 units per acre. The development also now includes 10 for-sale townhomes with rooftop decks. In the very first proposal from nearly a year ago, developers were seeking to build 206 apartments with no for-sale townhomes. The buildings are planned to be four stories over one story of retail. The townhomes are expected to sell for $700,000 to $800,000 and the one- and two-bedroom apartments to rent for between $1,400 to $2,300. Several residents at the meeting asked for even fewer apartments and suggested shrinking the project to 35 units per acre due, in part, to concerns of even heavier congestion than already exists on Dresden Drive, Peachtree Road and North Druid Hills surrounding the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA station. “This is not feasible at 35 units per acre,” Connolly said. If that happens, “we go away” he said, and noted the property is already approved for nearly 49 units per acre. Part of the appeal of the location is its proximity to MARTA, Connolly added, and Dresden Village is intended to help the “pedestrian experience” planned as part of the

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Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District. Residents shared concerns of the height and the feeling that Dresden Drive, a two-lane road, would feel like a “concrete canyon.” Connolly said their intention is to give an organic, valley feel to the neighborhood. “It’s a small stretch of Dresden that has some height, we think it will be OK,” Connolly said. Commercial square footage is also down, from more than 20,000 square feet to about 18,000 square feet to make room for more green space, Connolly said. All the commercial space would front Dresden Drive and would likely include two sit-down restaurants with patios on either end with boutique and service stores in between. The proposed plan includes the construction of Dixie Moon, a two-story, 2,500-squarefoot restaurant that has been planned for several years to go where the “Little White House” was located at 2536 Caldwell Road. Connolly said his company is in negotiations with property owner Fritz Rybert to buy the property. The townhomes are designed to be a buffer as well as a transition between the mixeduse development of Dresden Village to the single-family homes on Caldwell Road, Green Meadows Lane and the surrounding area. There would be a full-access point into the development from Dresden Drive, and a new full-access driveway on Caldwell Road, aligned with Green Meadows Lane. Another full-access driveway on Parkside Drive would be used only for loading and deliveries. The driveways would lead into the development where a six-level parking garage would stand surrounded by the residential and retail buildings. There are 485 parking spots planned for the entire development and 180 will be open to the public for shopping and for Dixie Moon diners. If the rezoning request receives council approval, Connolly said construction on Dixie Moon and the townhomes would begin in the fall of 2017 with the entire project taking about 24 months. The parking garage could not be built until the tag office is relocated and that could happen in November 2017, Connolly said.

Brookhaven council approves Woodcliff Drive annexation BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

“Welcome to Brookhaven.” Those were Mayor John Ernst’s words to residents from the Woodcliff Drive area who were annexed into the city in a unanimous vote from the City Council at its Dec. 13 meeting. The annexation takes effect Jan. 1. The residential area, covering about 19 acres and located adjacent to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Office Park, will add about 200 people living in townhomes and condominiums to the city’s nearly 52,000 residents. “Geographically, we already feel like we are a part of the city,” said Rick Bennett, HOA president for Executive Park Townhomes, in his presentation to the council. The annexation petition was submitted to the city in October by residents living in the Executive Park Townhomes on Woodcliff Drive and residents living in Executive Park Apartments on Briarcliff Road, the Executive Park Condominiums on Executive Park Lane and two single-family homes at

1705 and 1721 Woodcliff Drive N.E. The single-family homes have been purchased by Minerva Homes, which plans to redevelop the property into nine townhomes valued at $450,000 to $500,000. The city is expected to pull in about $30,000 a year in taxes from the residents. There is no significant cost required for police protection or services from the city’s public works department, according to the city. Bennett said the residents wanted to be annexed by the city because of its “exceptional” police force and the way the city responds to residents. The property had been drawn into annexation maps by the city of Atlanta and La Vista Hills. The failure of La Vista Hills to become a city left the area in unincorporated DeKalb County waiting to be annexed by someone, Bennett said. “We want to pick our future,” Bennett said. Councilmember Joe Gebbia, who will represent the area, said he had been in talks with the residents for about two years. “Welcome aboard,” Gebbia said. BK


Community | 3

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Council approves contract to buy PDK green space for $5.7 million Continued from page 1

BK

also explained that the deal is specifically between two government entities, ity at 0.89 percent interest rate with a meaning the purchase does not have to $500,000 loan forgiveness also makes go out to a public bid process. Straying this a prime opportunity to purchase from that agreement could cause trust the property, he said. The $500,000 issues between the county and city, he said. Councilmember John Park, who represents the area where the green space is located, noted that two years ago the land was valued at $3 million. In 2015, the City Council amended its comprehensive plan to make buying this piece of property a priority. The city has also made it part of its parks master plans to up its current 5 acres of green space per 1,000 residents to 8 acres per 1,000 residents. This purchase, he said, will bring those figures closer to a realFRIENDS OF PDK AIRSPACE/REBEKAH GLOVER OWINGS ity. “This is just a conLast year, the county put up “No Trespassing” signs around the PDK Airport land to keep the public from using its trails. tinuation of our goals Should the purchase of the land go through between the city as a city,” Park said. and DeKalb County, the land would be reopened to the public. “We spent two years publicly debating this and four months loan forgiveness expires for municipallooking for funding and vetting it. This ities this year, he added. The GEFA is fits with our policy.” expected to vote on whether to approve The council voted 3-1 to approve the the loan next month. deal. Councilmember Bates Mattison Sigman also said the city would be cast the lone “no” vote. Mattison asked using the $2.4 million the city is receivfor a 30-day deferral, but his motion ing from the county as part of the Skyfailed for a lack of a second. He said land Park property purchase for a new City Council was neglecting its fiduschool to help cover costs for the airciary duty by not exploring options to port land. The $2.4 million was specifmonetize the property, including allowically set aside to purchase green space. ing BIA to locate at the site and pay to Should the commissioners and the cover the $5.7 million price. Mattison is loan be approved, the city would buy a former executive director of BIA. the land and reopen it to public use. “We have unanimous support to A last-minute push by Brookhaven preserve this as green space. The only Innovation Academy parents and a forquestion is funding … how we are going mer city councilmember did not disto pay for it?” Mattison said. “There are suade the majority of the council to, as ways we can monetize … including BIA they stated, follow through on the city’s as a participant. They could pay for the promises to purchase and preserve amortization of the $5.7 million. But more park and green space. this contract stops all of these options Parents of BIA students were hopdead in the water.” ing a portion of the PDK Airport land Councilmember Joe Gebbia, who could be used as a school site and pleadhelped start BIA and sat on its board ed with the council at the meeting to of directors at one time, said his “heart delay the vote until that option could breaks” that the school is not currently be explored further. BIA is currentlocated in Brookhaven. ly located in Norcross. School officials He said he didn’t understand why could not find a suitable location withthe BIA board and parents did not apin Brookhaven for the school. proach DeKalb County about the site Sigman explained during the counsince they are the seller of the land. cil work session prior to the council He also questioned the last-minute atmeeting that as part of the agreement tempt to stop a plan that has been years between the county and Brookhavin the making. “You can’t wait until the en, no development is allowed on the eleventh hour,” he said. property. City Attorney Chris Balch While the city helped found BIA, the

two are now separate entities. Former Councilmember Jim Eyre said he wanted his tax dollars to go toward “paving, parks and police” and not the purchase of green space. “If you want to do projects outside [paving, parks and police], put together a list and put it out to a referendum,” he said. “We did not vote for obscure funding for pet projects of a councilman.” Eyre added that the land could be used for a soccer complex or a school. He also again accused Park of benefiting from the purchase because his home is adjacent to the airport land. Park did not address the accusation at this City Council meeting, but denied any conflict of interest raised by Eyre at a September meeting. Developers have been eyeing the property for years, according to city officials and past comments by airport officials. Several people spoke in favor of the land purchase. Marianna Yates presented the council with a petition of 1,100 residents who supported the deal. Lissie Stahlman, a former school teacher, questioned BIA’s desire to be located across the street from a busy airport and questioned if it was a safe location for children.

During the work session, Mattison argued that investors could buy into the land and promise it won’t be developed and that the property could be transferred to a private company to sell bonds on the free market. “If they [investors] don’t add value to the property [through development], it is against IRS rules or a Ponzi scheme,” Sigman told Mattison. “That is flat-out inaccurate,” Mattison answered. “This is the most one-sided contract I’ve seen in my life,” Mattison said. “We’re going to allow the county to tell the city you can’t do anything with this property.” “When they’re the seller, we have to listen,” Mayor John Ernst said. “We can blow by this option again, but it’s going to cost us.” After the City Council vote, BIA board chair Jennifer Langley said the board will continue to search for a location in Brookhaven or the surrounding area. “I think they [the council] made, I won’t say ‘a mistake,’ but they certainly left something, as Councilman Mattison said, left opportunities to actually fund the land off the table, one of those being Brookhaven Innovation Academy,” she said.


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Pavilion project on Pill Hill goes back to the drawing board BY ARIELLA PHILLIPS Plans for an urban-style, mixed-use development near the Medical Center MARTA station are on pause amid traffic concerns. The Sandy Springs Planning Commission on Dec. 15 unanimously approved the withdrawal of plans for the proposed Peachtree Dunwoody Pavilion redevelopment project. The developer, Simpson Organization, plans to reapply for permits in the summer, said Carl Westmoreland, lawyer for the developer. “We didn’t see it going forward,” Westmoreland said. Plans for the 20-acre site at the intersection of PeachtreeDunwoody Road and Lake Hearn Drive have been in the works since March. In recent months, the proposal to redevelop the office park on Pill Hill drew community support, but city staff expressed doubts about the plan having too many parking spaces and generating too much traffic. A traffic report completed in August recommended extensive changes

An illustration of the Peachtree Dunwoody Pavilion project presented at a March meeting.

to many nearby intersections. The commission recommended deferral of the project earlier this year. Since the plans have been withdrawn, zoning and traffic reports will have to be redone, if the developer chooses to reapply in the summer. Most notably, the traffic report rec-

ommended lanes be converted or built at Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Johnson Ferry Road, Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Lake Hearn Drive, and Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Hammond Drive. Extra lanes to the I-285 exits on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road were also recommended.

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Totaling just over 1 million square feet, the large-scale plan would have had lower density than allowed under its current zoning, which helped the developers gain support from the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods. The mixed-use development aimed to bring an urban feel to the area with a bike path and street-front shops and restaurants surrounding the lake. A hotel and a multi-family housing development would join existing office buildings in the Medical Center area. A hotel would have included over 300 rooms. The development would have had access to nearby Medical Center MARTA station. At a planning commission meeting in July, the developer announced many of the structures in the large-scale project would be getting even larger. A 9-story parking garage nearly doubled in the number of spaces. A multi-family housing development added 85 units. Three existing office buildings, totaling 340,000 square feet, will be renovated. The withdrawal was approved quickly, without public comment. The Buckhead-based developer owns many prominent local properties, including the office park where Sandy Springs City Hall rents space and the Sterling Pointe office complex in Dunwoody. The Pavilion is the second massive mixed-use project on that stretch of Peachtree-Dunwoody to gain community support only to withdraw after city planning staff objections. A similar plan for housing, restaurants and a hotel in the Concourse Center at Peachtree-Dunwoody and Hammond Drive was returned to the drawing board after city officials warned the apartment component likely would not be approved by City Council.


Community | 5

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Latest dam inspection reports show minor issues BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The latest state inspection reports for several “high-hazard” dams in the area appear to show only minor issues with their conditions. Gaps and long delays in issuing the reports also shows staffing challenges for the Safe Dams Program, the state agency that monitors dams. Some reports were only recently completed for inspections conducted in February; others are for inspections dating to May 2015, but only recently became available in state files. A few dams still don’t have reports available at all. The state keeps a database of dams and categorizes 11 local ones as “high-hazard,” meaning that if they failed, the resulting flood likely would kill people. There are 474 high-hazard dams in Georgia, many of them privately owned, which can make condition and repairs hard to track. No high-hazard dam in the state has failed since the 1990s, and the Safe Dams Program aims to keep it that way, but it has only 11 staff engineers to conduct inspections and issue reports. The local dams were inspected in two rounds of visits in early 2015 and early 2016. Only one report from those inspections was previously available, for Brookhaven’s Silver Lake Dam, which showed it to be in good condition. Reports recently provided by the Safe Dams Program did not include the findings for three dams: Capital City Country Club Lake in Buckhead; Murphey Candler Lake in Brookhaven; and Tera Lake in Sandy Springs. Safe Dams officials did not respond to requests for those reports. Tom Woosley, head of the Safe Dams Program, has previously said Tera Lake needs repair work. Also missing was a report for Dunwoody Club Crossing Dam in Dunwoody, but that may be because the owners are appealing its high-hazard classification, the Safe Dams Program previously said. The inspection reports are brief technical descriptions of the dams. They do not include an overall comment on a dam’s conditions or what work might need to be done on them. That information comes in a separate letter the Safe Dams Program issues to owners, and those letters are still in process for this year’s inspections, Woosley said. The reports also do not necessarily include all of the concerns that the Safe Dams Program may have. One example is Lake Forrest Dam, which runs beneath the 4600 block of Lake Forrest Drive on the Buckhead-Sandy Springs border. The inspection report notes some issues, such as trees growing atop the dam. But it does not go into details about the ongoing private inspections, jointly conducted by the cities of Atlanta and Sandy Springs, to investigate possible water leakage within the dam’s embank-

ment. That controversial and expensive effort, spearheaded by Sandy Springs, has gone on for years. The private inspections are expected to determine the fate of that dam sometime next year. Options range from dam repairs to building a retention pond upstream to breaching the embankment permanently to make it a culvert instead of a dam. Recent survey work for Lake Forrest inspections drew a complaint from Buckhead resident Todd Rinck, who said in an email to Sandy Springs city officials that a surveyor entered his property without permission. Sandy Springs City Attorney Wendell Willard said in an email that studying the

possible dam alternative “requires survey work within the vicinity of the lake and topography of surrounding and adjacent properties to the lake. This will be used to determine what effect the level of lake water will have on adjacent property, based upon the various alternatives.”

Safe Dams Program engineer Bobby Sauer inspects Powers Lake in Sandy Springs in February 2016.

JOHN RUCH

TH E F OL LOWING ARE WHAT THE L AT EST STATE REP ORTS SAY AB OUT S O ME O TH ER LO C AL H IGH -H AZARD DAMS .

Scott Candler reservoir, Dunwoody

May 2015: Some minor areas of erosion to address and some seepage to monitor. One area had a crushed culvert pipe and some debris blocking drains.

Cherokee Country Club, Sandy Springs February 2016: “Significant erosion” on part of one slope. Inspectors could not find the principal outlet for the dam, writing, “It may have been submerged or buried.”

Lake Northridge, Sandy Springs February 2016: “Significant erosion” on a side spillway, not the main one, and some seepage.

Peppertree Lake, Sandy Springs

Feb. 2016: Erosion in several places and “shallow sloughs” on both slopes. Continuing concerns about brush and trees encroaching on the waterway.

Powers Lake, Sandy Springs

February 2016: Minor seepage and some animal-type holes on the slope.

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Sandy Springs author releases her ‘ode to Georgia’ chicken cookbook BY JACLYN TURNER

er’s fried chicken and her other grandmother’s luncheon chicken specialties. Graubart says her interest in food stemmed from experimentation and no formal training. “The real nucleus of my passion was self-driven,” Graubart said. “My mother was not a good cook. She had limited cooking skills, and I would come home from school with a pound of ground meat thawing on the counter, and that was my signal to turn it into something for dinner— usually a meatloaf or spaghetti.” During her college years at the University of Georgia, the passion amplified when she was introduced to new flavors and foods and cooked for her friends. Upon graduating with a degree in journalism, Graubart went on to be an independent television producer at Georgia Public Television. In 1985, she helped get on the air a cooking show starring chef Nathalie

Dupree. “New Southern Cooking” was the first nationally Books appear to cram every inch of syndicated program to come wall space in cookbook author Cynthia out of the state of Georgia. It Graubart’s Sandy Springs home. Inalso was where Graubart realcluded in that collection are more than ly started to learn about cook4,000 cookbooks. They fill her home ing. office and living room. “I never knew that there Graubart uses these for was a technique to cooking,” inspiration, to learn othsaid Graubart. “I thought, oh ers techniques and for great, I don’t have to be a bad research. cook; there is a technique to While she already this I can learn!” may be able to call herWith two grown children, self an author, a cook, Graubart collaborated with an instructor, a mothDupree on the James Beard er, and a James Beard Award-winning cookbook award recipient, Grau“Mastering the Art of Southbart now can consider ern Cooking,” published in herself an authority on 2012. a food the world knows “The challenge for writand loves: chicken. ing recipes is writing a recThis household ipe as fool-proof as possimainstay held a special ble, so it can be duplicated place in her heart growby almost any cook in their ing up in Jacksonville, own home,” she said. “I keep SPECIAL Fla., she says. In the introduction to her in mind the challenges that Cynthia Graubart, author of “Chicken.” newest cookbook, “Chicken,” part of the all home cooks have such as “Savor the South” cookbook series pubtime, availability of ingredilished by University of North Carolina ents.” every occasion, with seven dedicated Press, she recalls discovering the differThe recipes in “Chicken” work for to mastering the Georgian mainstay ences in her country-cook grandmothof fried chicken, or what Graubart referred to as her “ode to Georgia.” All 53 of the book’s recipes were created and tested in her Sandy Springs home, in a basic kitchen. “I’m a home cook, writing for home cooks,” she said. Her cookbook provides recipes for everyday dishes and holiday roasts and explores subjects as varied as the history of the chicken to consumer information about the many ways to prepare it. “I wanted to introduce people to the many techniques of making chicken,” Graubart said. She sees her audience as two main groups of readers: the new cook trying to figure out life in the kitchen and those who don’t have time to cook and want to try new things in the kitchen. She says her favorite everyday recipe is “Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs and Sweet Potatoes” because it involves tossing everything onto a sheet pan. She also pointed out the “Country Captain” recipe, a curry dish that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would eat when he visited Georgia. For the holiday season, Graubart From our Family to yours suggested more people experiment have a Happy Holiday Season more with fennel, and to add chicken thighs with fennel and lemon to our celebratory menus. “I give a lot of thought to special-occasion meals. I want the food to be apPlease call or come in to see how we can be of assistance for your loved ones. proachable and familiar, and as unforgettable as I can possibly make it,” 690 Mount Vernon Hwy. NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Graubart said. “For the winter holidays, it’s usually a beef tenderloin and

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Community | 7

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

C H I C K EN TH I GH S WI TH F EN N EL AND LEM O N “There are practically no words to describe this dish,” wrote Cynthia Graubart in her cookbook. “The kitchen while it bakes is heavenly.” Makes 6-8 servings

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Ingredients: ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon 1 tablespoon fennel seed 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup olive oil 2 fennel bulbs, cut into 6 or 8 wedges each 8 bone-in, skin-on thighs 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar ½ cup dry white wine 2 lemons, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds, optional

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Combine the lemon juice, mustard, tarragon, fennel seed, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a large resealable plastic bag. Add the fennel and chicken thighs, seal the bag, and turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

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When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350°. Transfer the chicken to one or two large, shallow baking dishes or pans so the chicken rests in a single layer. Scatter the fennel wedges around the chicken. Pour the excess marinade evenly over the chicken. Stir together the sugar and wine in a small bowl and pour the mixture over the chicken. Arrange the lemon slices around the pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the thickest part of a chicken thigh reaches 175° on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the chicken and fennel to a serving platter. Tent with foil to keep warm. Pour the sauce from the baking dish(es) into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce is reduced in volume by about half; pour it over the chicken. Top the finished dish with fennel fronds, if using, and serve hot.

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Serve with rice or crusty bread, for dipping.

a leg of lamb, but I will also cook chicken.” At home, those holiday meals can include from six to 30 guests. But on a typical morning when both Graubart and her husband Cliff, owner of The Old New York Bookshop, are home together, they have established a routine that divides the kitchen labors. “Cliff is the master of breakfast,” said Graubart, praising his scrambled eggs. Graubart, her writing career in high gear, is always working on her next project. While keeping up her speaking engagements and cooking demonstrations, Graubart has two more cookbooks in the works. One offers recipes for Jewish interfaith families and particularly highlights holiday foods. She also is researching the history of community cookbooks for a book honoring the causes and important cultural contributions these books have made in Georgia “I don’t want them to go unnoticed or unappreciated in history,” she said. “There is so much we can learn about what people were eating across the decade, and I have thoroughly loved getting involved with the research.” “Chicken: A Savor the South Cookbook” (UNC Press, hardcover, $20) is available now at local retailers and Amazon.

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Tunnel, bike lanes suggested for I-285/Ga. 400 project

The rough plan for two tunnels (yellow arrows) and a side path (green arrow) in the forthcoming Abernathy Road/Ga. 400 diverging diamond interchange as shown on Joe Seconder’s Bike Walk Dunwoody blog page

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Advocates are pushing for better bicycle and pedestrian facilities on Sandy Springs streets altered by the upcoming I-285/Ga. 400 rebuild project—with at least bike lanes, and possibly bike/pedestrian tunnels under highway ramps on Abernathy Road.

SPECIAL

Joe Seconder of Georgia Bikes raised the tunnel idea in a Dec. 6 meeting with Georgia Department of Transportation officials — ncluding I-285/Ga. 400 project manager Butch Welch — and he says they were willing to think it over. It’s a big idea, but there is precedent in GDOT’s agreement to build part of the PATH400 multi-use trail through the in-

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terchange, also a request by Seconder’s set up, and Seconder says it can scare or group and other advocates. But the clock discourage cyclists and pedestrians. is ticking, as GDOT’s contractors are slated “We don’t see pedestrians walking to finalize the design of the project and to across Ashford-Dunwoody … It’s just not a start construction in February. friendly, inviting place,” Seconder said. “The idea is definitely, who has the priDallas isn’t as critical — “It’s OK,” he ority? What is the greater safety for everysays of the Ashford-Dunwoody interone?” said Seconder. change — but agrees that it can be diffiOfficials from GDOT and other organicult for first-time users to understand and zations involved in street planning, includlooks like it would take longer to cross than ing the Perimeter Center Improvement it does. Districts and the city of Sandy Springs, did A recent Reporter visit found a pedestrinot have comment on the proposals. an crossing at Ashford-Dunwoody to take While the I-285/Ga. 400 project is largeless than three minutes. Less attractive ly about those highways, it also affects were damaged street signs that indicated some city streets and its work actually will that cars frequently drive onto the pedesstart, in February, with two of them in Santrian islands that are part of the system. dy Springs. One Seconder is a reconstrucand Dallas said tion of the Mount their basic reVernon Highquest for the way bridge over Abernathy diGa. 400. The othamond is adder is reconstrucing 5-foot bike tion of the Aberlanes. That will nathy/Ga. 400 be safer for “exintersection into perienced” cya “diverging diclists, but could amond interstill discourage change,” where everyday comtraffic switches muters, SecondSPECIAL to the other side er said. The existing diverging diamond interchange at Ashford-Dunwoody Road and I-285 in of the road beLate in the Brookhaven and Dunwoody, from the Perimeter tween traffic sigDec. 6 meetCenter Improvement Districts website. nals to speed veing, Seconder hicle flow around highway ramps. tossed out a new idea he has seen in othDiverging diamonds are a relatively er states: tunnels under the Ga. 400 ramps new concept; an early local model, built in that would allow bikes and pedestrians to 2012, is the Ashford-Dunwoody Road/I-285 pass alongside the interchange instead of interchange between Brookhaven and taking the twisting path through it. He said Dunwoody. That Ashford-Dunwoody diGDOT officials did not dismiss the idea. verging diamond is on a bridge over the “They said, ‘Let us know. We got a highway; the Abernathy version will go becouple months,’” he said. neath a highway overpass. What they wanted to know about For two years, bike and pedestrian adwas cost and feasibility. Seconder said vocates have met with GDOT about better he got a rough estimate from the PATH accommodations on those streets. Joining Foundation, which funds multi-use Seconder in recent meetings was Bob Daltrails, for $7,000 per linear foot to build las, a Dunwoody resident who chairs the such tunnels, which would mean milAtlanta-based pedestrian advocacy group lions of dollars for two, 200-foot segPEDS. Seconder noted that GDOT has a ments under the ramps. “Complete Streets” policy requiring many But Seconder believes local corporanon-highway projects to accommodate all tions whose employees would benefit types of roadway users. from easier commuting via the nearby Seconder and Dallas said GDOT Sandy Springs MARTA Station might agreed to one basic request: 5-foot bike be willing to pony up funds. lanes on the Mount Vernon bridge. Dallas said the tunnels are an “intriguGDOT is considering a further request ing idea.” He cautioned that cost and right to separate the bike lane from vehicle of way could be major challenges. lanes with some type of amenity rangBut he also noted that all current Peing from reflective bumps to plantings rimeter Center planning is “very pedestrior a low curb, Dallas and Seconder said. an-focused,” and the I-285/Ga. 400 projects The Abernathy diverging diamond are“50-year improvements that will be here has bigger challenges. Seconder said the long past when we’re gone.” current plans lack any bike lanes and “The Abernathy interchange is a very have an unusual pedestrian crossing: key one,” Dallas said, noting that Mercedestwo separate lights to cross the ramps, Benz USA is building its new headquarters with pedestrians then walking on a mealong Abernathy in part due to that MARdian before making a double-crossing TA access. For that reason, “pedestrian and to exit again. The current Ashford-Duncycling improvements ought to be of the woody diverging diamond has the same highest order” in that area, he said.


Community | 9

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Three local residents have joined the ever-growing ranks of potential candidates for Tom Price’s Sixth Congressional District seat, which covers parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. They include a former state senator, a former mayoral candidate and a movie prop-maker. Price is nominated as president-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services. His nomination still must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and he has not yet resigned his Congressional office. But the possible race has drawn several candidates, with state Sen. Judson Hill (R-Marietta), whose district includes parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs, as the first to formally announce and file paperwork.

Donnie Bolena

Donnie Bolena of Sandy Springs said he will run as a Trump-inspired conservative Christian Republican. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2009. “I’m the outsider,” Bolena, 51, said in a phone interview. “I’m one of the people. I’m one of them. I’m not an elitist.” He cites a better, more competitive national health insurance market as a domestic priority, and fighting terrorism as the top global issue. DeSPECIAL scribing himself as a “deplorable” — Hillary ClinDonnie Bolena ton’s infamous insult for some Trump supporters — Bolena also uses Trump-style “hard language,” slurs and talk of beating up political opponents in his social media, which he said he would tone down if elected. Bolena is self-employed in trading stocks at his Sandy Springs home and sometimes does motivational speaking; he also sells self-published inspirational books with such titles as “Master Manipulator.”

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Alexander Hernandez

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Alexander Hernandez

Alexander Hernandez, a Dunwoody resident who works as a property crafts person in the film and TV industry, launched an exploratory committee for a potential run on Dec. 12. “I look forward to continuing to talk with my fellow Georgians to determine the best way we can meet challenges ahead,” said Hernandez, who would run as an independent, in a press release. Hernandez said he was born in Illinois and grew up in Indiana. He completed his studies in Florida where he received a bachelor of science in film. He moved to Dunwoody this year.

Ron Slotin

Ron Slotin, a former Democratic state senator in the 1990s, lives in Sandy Springs and works there as well in marketing for the staffing firmer BrightWell Talent Solutions. Slotin said he’s running to “improve the quality of life for people in the district,” including traffic, schools and environmental protection. In a press release, he used the campaign slogan, “Votin’ for Slotin–Fiscally Smart and Socially Progressive.” SPECIAL “On the national front, we need a progressive Ron Slotin voice in Washington who will fight to protect the progress we have made on many issues, including a woman’s right to choose; affordable healthcare coverage, including covering pre-existing conditions; protection of Social Security; and care for our growing number of senior citizens and marriage equality,” Slotin said in the release. “I will work to bring people together.”

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Three locals consider running for Price’s Congressional seat


10 | Community

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Teachers leave after disputed claims of Trump-inspired threats Continued from page 1 gations that the teachers, Diane Clark and Susan Petre, threatened students with deportation. Cross Keys is a school with a large immigrant population. The report alleges that Clark threatened to call immigration authorities on misbehaving students and that Petre touted her support for Trump and the need to “protect our borders.” “There was hysteria among the students,” Petre said in a phone interview. “They accused me of being a racist. The opposite is the truth.” Clark said in a separate phone interview that her official reason for leaving Cross Keys was retirement. She declined to comment further beyond saying she is consulting a lawyer. In the DeKalb Schools report, she denied threatening anyone and said she actually spoke in support of students. Petre expressed shock in the interview that the DeKalb school system released the investigative report with her name included. She said she was told by school authorities her official record would only show that she resigned for personal reasons. According to memos from the DeKalb schools Office of Legal Affairs, both teachers were given the choice to leave their jobs or be fired. Petre said in an interview she said she chose to resign due to the stress of being in the school after the complaints that, she stated, were lies. “I chose to resign because the rumors so maligned me. This is a horrible injustice,” she said. Both teachers also signed statements that said as part of their resignation and retirement they were no longer eligible to teach in the DeKalb County School District. To see the reports with the teachers’ full written statements, visit ReporterNewspapers.net.

Clark complaints

The investigation into Clark began Nov. 10 when a parent called the DeKalb school’s superintendent’s office and said her son told her that Clark told students if they continued to misbehave in class “she would be making a call to the Department of Immigration,” according to the memo from Principal Jason Heard to the DeKalb County Schools’ Office of Legal Affairs recommending Clark be terminated. A statement from a student alleges that Clark on Nov. 9 told her class of a student from years back who asked for her assistance to not be deported. Clark allegedly said because she has a law degree she has to be honest to the judge and was able to tell the judge that the student was well behaved and did her work, so the judge ruled in favor of the student and the student “was able to stay in the USA with her family.”

Another student alleged the day after the election, Clark warned of Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] raids at the school. One complaining student said in the report that Clark’s comments appeared to be in response to Trump’s election. An October allegation from another student said Clark became angry with the class “and even turned red” when telling students to stop talking or she would call immigration authorities. Clark denied any wrongdoing in a Nov. 11 statement to Heard and said she believed her students misunderstood her statements. “During class that day (after the General Election), I repeated to each of my classes what I have said many times before. I stand with the students of Cross Keys High School and will assist them during this trying time for many of them as best I can,” Clark stated. Clark said she told the students the best thing for students to do to avoid potential deportation was attend class regularly, study every day, participate in class discussions and ask questions. “Several of the first period young men suddenly stated that I was frightening them. I replied I didn’t mean to frighten them, and that I was simply repeating what I had stated in the past. This is based on the fact that as recently as last year, I had been [sic] written statements twice to immigration regarding student performance at school,” Clark wrote. “In both instances, there were no problems because the students had excellent attendance, studied, and asked questions in class or at tutorial. One student barely spoke English, but we made communication between the two of us work.”

portations and also that it was their parents fault for deportation fears because their parents brought children illegally to the U.S. A Nov. 11 statement from another teacher also alleges that Petre was cursing in the hallway in front of students and staff after a meeting with the principal. Other complaints were made anonymously and not confirmed by other sources. Petre said in the interview she told students that undocumented people break the law by moving to the U.S., but she also told her students she would always advocate for them. In a written statement to Principal Heard, Petre said her intention was to reassure her students in the wake of Trump’s election that they or their families would not be immediately deported. “What might have been misinterpreted was that I also stated we are a nation of

laws and that undocumented people who came here broke the law,” Petre wrote in a statement to the principal. Petre said that telling her students she was voting for Trump was a mistake. “I should never have done that. All of this is based on the fact I was supporting Trump,” she said in an interview. “I never made any threats. I taught them to advocate for themselves. The day after the election I told the students I would help them write a letter asking for amnesty. Amnesty was the word of the day. Then they spread horrible rumors about me,” Petre said in the interview. Petre also said in the interview that she “never, ever threatened anyone with deportation. I said only criminals should be deported, period.”

In stating my opinion, I sa id that I was planning to write a letter to him and all other relevant Congressmen to ask for amnesty for everyone who is here and undocumented so THAT THERE WOULD NOT BE DEPORTATIONS of undocu mented people who are here, law abiding, paying taxes, etc. -- Susan Petre

Petre complaints

Teachers made several allegations against Petre the day after the election, with one teacher saying she heard Petre yelling at students “to get their ass to class.” Another teacher said on the day after the election one of Petre’s students told her that Petre told her class that their parents are to blame for the “problems and fears” students have about de-

the Generr e ft (a y a d t a During class th y classm f o h c a e to d epeate al Election), I r fore. I e b s e m ti y n a said m es what I have eys High K s s o r C f o ts n stude stand with the this tryg in r u d m e th t l assis School and wil I can. t s e b s a m e th f ny o ing time for ma -- Diane Clark BK


2016

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

YEAR IN REVIEW TOP STORIES

BY DYANA BAGBY johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

The Atlanta Hawks came to town. MARTA continues to make its case for redeveloping its property. Residents rally to fight back against overdevelopment along Dresden Drive. Plans for the Peachtree Creek Greenway are approved and the purchase of 30 acres of green space next to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport appears to be closer to a reality. And Buford Highway booms with news as more people continue to learn about the renowned corridor and developers eye opportunities. Here’s a look back at some of Brookhaven’s top stories for 2016.

Brookhaven City Manager Christian Sigman

FILE

Community | 11

MARTA, MARTA, MARTA

In February, MARTA officials held the first of many community meetings with residents to discuss the agency’s proposed transitoriented development at the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe station, where a mostly empty parking lot now is located. Throughout the year, crowds of skeptical residents questioned the density of the mixed-use project on about 15 acres that borders Apple Valley Road, Dresden Drive and North Druid Hills Road. MARTA’s proposed development included a 125-room hotel, 547 residential units, nearly 56,000 square feet in retail space, 200,000 square feet of office space and a small town center park. MARTA’s developers scaled down the project in response to community input, but not enough to meet the demands of many. City Council in October deferred voting on MARTA’s rezoning request until Jan. 24, 2017.

‘Lynwood Integrators’ honored

The city honored the ‘Lynwood Integrators’ at the Lynwood Park Community Center in January as part of the city’s first Martin Luther King Jr. event. The Lynwood Park Community Center was once the elementary and high school in Brookhaven’s historic African-American community. In 1968, more than a decade after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision pavPHIL MOSIER ing the way for integration Jamie Chatman was one of the students who integrated of public schools, the LynCross Keys High School nearly 50 years ago. wood school was shut down and students were sent to Cross Keys High School and Chamblee High School.

DYANA BAGBY

Jen Heath founded We Are Brookhaven to fight rapid development.

Tapping brakes on development

Residents rose up in force throughout the year, at community and city meetings, to fight against increasing traffic and rapid development. Proposed projects included hundreds of apartments, many of them to rise along twolane Dresden Drive in the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay District. While close to the MARTA station, Dresden Drive is also surrounded by residential neighborhoods. In August, Mayor Ernst called for, and the council approved, a six-month moratorium on rezoning requests. The city conducted character area studies on neighborhoods with input from residents and “We Are Brookhaven,” a group of passionate homeowners, was formed. The council voted to put out bids for a citywide zoning review and also a review and rewrite of the overlay district.

City manager ousted, new one hired

Mayor John Ernst started his administration off with a bang as the City Council voted Jan. 12 to suspend Marie Garrett as city manager. Plans were to fire Garrett, but the council agreed to enter into mediation with her before finally approving a $225,000 settlement agreement in exchange for her resignation. Garrett was appointed in 2013 as the city’s first city manager and had a $214,000 annual salary, which was considered the highest of any city manager in the state. Police Chief Gary Yandura served as interim city manager while the city conducted a national search. In May, Ernst selected Christian Sigman, the former administrator for Hamilton County, Ohio, for the job and City Council voted May 24 to approve the appointment. His salary is $180,000. BK

DYANA BAGBY

Brookhaven officials, at the announcement of an Atlanta Hawks/Emory University training facility coming to their city. From left are Council Member Bates Mattison, Police Chief Gary Yandura, Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, Mayor John Ernst, Council Members John Park and Linley Jones, and state Rep. Taylor Bennett.

Atlanta Hawks come to town

The Atlanta Hawks announced in April they teamed up with Emory Healthcare to build a 90,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art practice facility in Executive Park. The facility will combine the Hawks’ training facility and operations department with 30,000 square feet dedicated to Emory sports medicine facilities. As part of the deal to come to Brookhaven, the city’s development authority granted a $36 million tax abatement to the Hawks. In return, the Hawks will pay $302,900 a year to the authority for 15 years.


12 | Community

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2016 PHIL MOSIER

Stephanie Szalkowski, an alumni of Oglethorpe University’s Class of 1989, puckers up at Oglethorpe’s “Boar’s Head Celebration,” a holidays-launching campus tradition for more than a century. New members of Omicron Delta Kappa kiss the boar’s head as part of their initiation.

YEAR IN REVIEW BEST PHOTOS

PHIL MOSIER

Above: J.D. Clockadale and his daughter Ella, 5, show off their moves at the second annual Daddy Daughter Dance in February at the Lynwood Park Recreation Center.

DYANA BAGBY

Mayor John Ernst, center, celebrates with other city officials announcing the Atlanta Hawks will build a practice facility in Brookhaven.

JOHN RUCH

Below: Cross Keys students Lisa Sims (left) and Johnathan Vargas discuss the Buford Highway Project in their classroom.

COVER CAPTIONS

Top: Judge Mike Jacobs swears in Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst as his wife Monica looks on in a January ceremony at City Hall.

Inset: Dean Werts and his dog “Tease” perform at the second annual “Bark in the Park” event at Brookhaven Park, sponsored in June by the Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Department. PHIL MOSIER

Hannah Nicholas, a junior at Dunwoody High School and a member of the school band’s Color Guard, practices her moves at Murphey Candler Park.

Bottom: From left, Sunday O’Dare and Joanna Griffin check out the Beach AT-11 airplane during the Commemorative Air Force Atlanta Warbird Weekend in September at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. COVER PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER BK


2016

Community | 13

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

YEAR IN REVIEW TOP STORIES

New elementary, high schools planned Brookhaven Innovation Academy opens ... in Norcross

In May, City Council voted to sell Skyland Park to the DeKalb County School Board for $4.7 million so the school district could build a new 900-seat elementary school (rendering above). DeKalb schools also purchased the adjacent property, where the state vital records office sits, and will give that property to the city to build a new Skyland Park. The new school will be named for U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta), a civil rights icon. DeKalb school officials announced in December that the district would build a new Cross Keys High School. The new schools are expected to help alleviate school overcrowding that has plagued the area for years.

In April, Brookhaven Innovation Academy announced it would temporarily open for business in Norcross after organizers could not find a suitable location in Brookhaven in time for the school’s August opening. The new state public charter school opened Aug. 2 with 420 students in grades K-6, Head of School Dr. Laurie Kimbrel said. City Councilmember Bates Mattison stepped down as the executive director of BIA at the end of May after serving six months.

Buford Highway starts buzzing

PHIL MOSIER

BIA board chair Jennifer Langley, left, and Head of School Laurie Kimbrel cut the ribbon on BIA’s first day.

Parks, plans and PDK

BK

The City Council approved a $28 million, multi-year site-specific plan for nine city parks in February. New pedestrian bridges were installed at Murphey Candler Park (pictured) and Briarwood Park in November and lake-bank restoration at Murphey Candler is underway. Work on Clack’s Corner is set to be completed by Jan. 31. The “back portion” of Brookhaven Park was transferred to the city by DeKalb County in October, but the city now awaits federal approval of the deal because a Veterans Administration Hospital was once located at the site. On Aug. 23, the City Council approved a $35 million Peachtree Creek Greenway plan, and also a $19.4 million Nancy Creek Watershed Improvement master plan that will address the repair of a watershed that has been neglected for decades. On Dec. 13, the council approved a contract with DeKalb County to purchase a 30-acre PDK Airport wooded site to preserve as green space. The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on the contract in early 2017.

A “bus crawl” organized by We Love BuHi and the MARTA Army in April brought more than 100 people to Buford Highway’s multicultural restaurants. Experts including Atlanta BeltLine founder Ryan Gravel discussed the corridor’s safety and gentrification. In September, the Business BuHi Coalition formed to “promote the area’s international character and business community” while, also in September, Pulte Homes announced it was seeking to purchase The Terraces at Brookhaven and Northeast Plaza Apartments in order to raze them to make way for $700,000 townhouses and condominiums. To date, no plans for the project have been filed with the city. The city in September formed an Affordable Housing Task Force in part to address concerns about redevelopment projects along Buford Highway that may displace hundreds of apartment dwellers. This summer, La Comunidad de Buford Highway (Buford Highway Apartment Association) started meeting to ensure those living in in apartments in the area have a voice in their future.

Brookhaven becomes a little bit bigger

About 200 residents bordering the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta office park in October petitioned for annexation. The 19-acre area covered the Executive Park Townhomes on Woodcliff Drive and residents living in ExDYANA BAGBY ecutive Park Apartments Rick Bennett is HOA president of Executive Park Townhomes. on Briarcliff Road, the Executive Park Condominiums on Executive Park Lane and two single-family homes at 1705 and 1721 Woodcliff Drive N.E. The single-family homes have been purchased by Minerva Homes who plans to redevelop the property into nine townhomes valued at $450,000 to $500,000. City Council approved the annexation Dec. 13 and the city is expected to bring in about $30,000 a year in taxes from the residents. The annexation goes into effect Jan. 1.


2016

14 | Community

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Alternative transit businesses make their pitches

YEAR IN REVIEW Perimeter Business BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

Business never sleeps in Perimeter Center. But sometimes it changes, drawing in the new industries like video games and short-term housing rentals. And it’s always looking for easier ways to get around, which in turn attracts alternative-transit start-ups. Here are a few of the year’s top stories from the Reporter’s monthly section Perimeter Business.

Wayne Sisco’s map of a proposed “SkyWays” gondola network connecting Perimeter Mall and various corporate buildings in Perimeter Center.

SPECIAL

From Marietta to Massachusetts, companies came out of the woodwork to pitch alternative transit ideas in Perimeter Center. They were drawn by a Perimeter Center Improvement Districts study about possible mass-transit circulator systems in the congested area, which could result in a request for proposals by mid-2018. Some companies dusted off plans dating to the 1980s construction boom and 1996 Summer Olympics; others were trying to break new ground. What they all shared was a cool factor. The companies included Center Perimeter Plus’s network of gondolas running between Perimeter Center parking decks and MARTA stations; Owen Transit Group’s HighRoad monorail; Zagster’s bike rental system; American Maglev Technology’s magnetic-levitation train.

Hollywood and video games pump money into Perimeter economy

The entertainment business is booming in Perimeter Center, enough for local luncheons and conferences to be staged to discuss the bounty from the movie and video game industries. Georgia’s $2 billion filmmaking economy has brought a lot of business to local lumber companies, caterers and antique stores. Oglethorpe University is among the sites often used for filmmaking. Launch Media Network, a prominent video game journalism, marketing and social media company, moved from Buckhead to Sandy Springs as part of an expansion. It organized a conference about the state’s $550 million gaming economy that included Andrew Greenberg, the chair of DeKalb County’s new Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Commission.

PCIDs leader Williams announces surprise resignation

SPECIAL

A collection of screenshots of local short-term rentals offered on the Airbnb.com website.

Airbnb rentals challenge some suburban zoning codes

Short-term housing rental services like Airbnb, best known in urban areas, had a suburban boom notable in Perimeter communities. The services allow homeowners and apartment tenants to make extra cash by arranging online rentals of their homes. But that raises such concerns as absentee owners, misbehaving guests and violations of condo rules. A local example came in May, when an Airbnb rental of a Buckhead mansion turned out to be cover for a midnight hip hop concert where a guest allegedly flashed a pistol. The cities of Atlanta and Dunwoody said their zoning codes restrict such shortterm rentals, while Brookhaven and Sandy Springs had no regulations.

LISA LARSON

Oglethorpe University students majoring in film production work behind the scenes at their college, an attractive location for filmmakers.

JESSICA MCGOWAN/PCIDS

Yvonne Williams

In a surprise move, Yvonne Williams resigned after 17 years as the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts’ first and only president and CEO. The PCIDs, two jointly operated, self-taxing business districts, took three weeks to announce her resignation and have yet to hire a new staff leader. “I guess maybe what I did is wear myself out with passion,” Williams said of her resignation, also attributing her resignation partly to time demands of her daughter heading to college and her mother’s health issues. She has remained visible at such local functions as the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange reconstruction project groundbreaking.

Many proposed skyscrapers will never get built, experts say

A sudden burst of skyscraper plans in Perimeter Center — 10 new towers proposed in addition to several already in construction or approved in rezonings — sparked questions for local residents and businesses: How will they impact traffic? Will they change the character of local cities? But some experts said that many of those towers won’t do anything because they will never exist anywhere except on paper. The actual demand for Perimeter Center office space is far lower than the 10 million square feet or more proposed in all the grand plans, they said. The area has a long history of unbuilt skyscrapers dating back to the 1980s, they noted. One developer sure his skyscrapers would rise off the page was Charlie Brown, whose Dunwoody Crown Towers plan had five tall buildings. But a few months later, he withdrew the plan from rezoning consideration with no timeline for its return.

DYANA BAGBY

Charlie Brown, the developer who proposed Dunwoody Crown Towers off Ashford-Dunwoody Road, said he is not concerned about not having enough office space for his proposed project.

BK


Community | 15

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

GDOT: 285/400 interchange work likely to start in October

2 On ‘bus crawl,’ BeltLine creator pitches ways to save Buford Highway

1

4 Brookhaven’s historic Goodwin House being dismantled

Opinion: A vision for Buford Highway Brookhaven considers ‘cut-through crackdown’ in neighborhoods with heavy traffic

BK

Cross Keys redistricting helpful and harmful, some say

2016

YEAR IN REVIEW TOP ONLINE STORIES

Online readers’ favorite stories 6

3

ReporterNewspapers.net, the Reporter website, offers breaking news alongside our regular local coverage. Here are the top 10 local stories as clicked by our online readers.

8

9 Brookhaven Police deputy chief completes counterterrorism training in Israel

5

Buford Highway apartments to be torn down for houses

7 PDK airshow ends in fiery crash; pilot killed

10

Pulte Homes seeks to avoid Buford Highway ‘stigma’ with Brookhaven park access to planned development


16 | Out & About

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ZYDECO YA YA

Saturday, Jan. 7, 8-11 p.m.

BROOKHAVEN

BUCKHEAD

DUNWOODY

SANDY SPRINGS

CONCERTS MATISYAHU

Saturday, Jan. 7 and Sunday, Jan. 8, 8 p.m.

The Grammy-nominated reggae vocalist returns to Atlanta in “An Acoustic Evening with Matisyahu,” presented by the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. The Jan. 7 concert will be at the Morris & Rae Frank Theatre at the MJCCA, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. The Jan. 8 show is at City Winery in Ponce City Market, 650 North Avenue, Atlanta. Tickets range from $45 to $100. Info: atlantajcc. org/pldb-live/an-acoustic-evening-withmatisyahu-32955 or 678-812-4002.

HERITAGE WINTER CLASSICS Sunday, Jan. 8, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Heritage Sandy Springs continues its Winter Classics concert series with CoResonance, a string quartet that blends classical, jazz and pop music. Doors open at 4 p.m. Admission: $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers. Cash bar and complimentary snacks. Eight bistro tables are available for purchase at each concert ($45 for members, $65 for nonmembers) and include seating for four guests and four drink tickets. Reserve tables in advance. General admission tickets are sold at the door. Heritage Hall, 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Reservations: send email to events@heritagesandysprings. org or call 404-851-9111.

GET ACTIVE

Ring in the new year with a band that delivers a true Louisiana dance hall sound with fiddle, accordion and frottoir (a

rub board). Zydeco Ya Ya plays everything from traditional zydeco to swamp pop and Cajun swing. Free dance lesson 7-8 p.m. $18; $5 students, $14 active military. No partner necessary. All ages welcome. Cajun food for sale. Dorothy Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs. Sponsored by the Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association. Info: aczadance.org or 877-338-2420.

FREE WEEK OF FITNESS

Sunday, Jan. 8 to Saturday, Jan. 14, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sandy Springs 5975 Roswell Road, Ste. A-103 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 (404) 236-2114 nothingbundtcakes.com Expires 12/31/16. Limit one offer per guest. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Redeemable only at bakery listed. Must be claimed in-store during normal business hours. No cash value.

Sunday, Jan. 1, 10 a.m.

This Atlanta Track Club event features a 4-mile run for ages 9 and up, a 1-mile run for ages 7 and up and a 50-meter dash for ages 6 and under. See website for entry fees. Registration deadline is Dec. 29 at 11:59 p.m. Start/finish line is at the Brookhaven MARTA station, 4047 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. Info: atlantatrackclub.org/2017-resolution-run.

EXHIBITS

Through Dec. 31

Dec. 27-Dec. 30; Jan. 2-4 or Jan. 2-5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. plus free extended care

RESOLUTION RUN

Children can explore winter survival skills and participate in arts activities and games. Open to ages 3-12; must be potty trained. Full-day camp is for ages 5 and older. Register for one day or an entire week. Pricing and other info: bhnp. org/school-break-camps, send an email to Amy Zvonar at amyz@bhnp.org or call 678-315-0836.

ICHIYO IKEBANA OF ATLANTA

CHATTAHOOCHEE NATURE CENTER

$5 OFF

Dec. 26-Dec. 30; Jan. 2-3, 9 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. half day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. full day

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta invites adults to kick start the New Year with a free week of fitness activities at Zaban Park. Choose from a variety of group classes including yoga, Zumba, indoor swim and and tennis classes. The event is open to the community. MJCCA, Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atlantajcc.org/ events/2017/01/08/fitness/fitness-center-amenities-workoutfor-free-jan-8-14-2017, send an email to membership@atlantajcc.org, or call 678-812-4060.

WINTER BREAK CAMPS

the purchase of $25 or more

BLUE HERON NATURE PRESERVE

The Sandy Springs Branch Library hosts an exhibit of Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement — an art form steeped in the philosophy of developing a closeness with nature. Ichiyo Ikebana adds new interest to traditional asymmetrical forms through a strong emphasis on modern and creative 3-D designs. Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; Sundays from 2-6 p.m. and all other days from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Info: ichiyoart.com.

Live animal encounters, outdoor games, educational hikes and science activities will be offered to kids in kindergarten through seventh grade. Jan. 2-4 camp is for the Cobb County break; Jan. 2-5 camp is for the Fulton County break. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. See registration form for pricing. Info: chattnaturecenter.org/camp-kingfisher/winterbreak-camp or 770-992-2055, SUBMIT YOUR EVENT LISTING WITH US AT ext. 222.

calendar@ReporterNewspapers.net


Out & About | 17

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

KIDS AND FAMILY Melissa Babcock, M.D.

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STARLAB

Saturday, Jan. 7, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Visit the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s inflatable planetarium for a frontrow view of winter constellations. Learn how to locate prominent stars of the night sky and the stories behind some of the most famous constellations. Two, 25-minute presentations. Ages 6-adult. Included with general admission and free to CNC members. Info: chattnaturecenter.org or 770-992-2055.

TOASTY THEATER TREATS

Located at the corner of Roswell Road & Long Island Drive Info: atlantahistorycenter.com/programs/fulton-county-4-h-club-monthlymeeting or 404-332-2400.

Oriental & Area Rug Hand Washing

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE CENTER

Tuesday, Dec. 27 to Thursday, Dec. 29, 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m.

Volunteers high school age and older are needed for inventory. Volunteers are needed in an ongoing basis in the Mini Market Food Pantry and the CAC Boutique retail shop. To sign up: send an email to volunteer@ourcac.org. CAC also seeks volunteers to help others prepare and file their tax returns for free by joining the organization’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) team. No experience necessary, training required. To sign up: send an email to VITA@ourcac. org. General info: ourcac.org.

Monday, Jan. 2 to Saturday, Jan. 7, 11 a.m. to noon.

• gentle •Wash thorough Atlanta's Only Unique safe Submersion & Compressed Air Cleaning

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A DIVISION OF S&S RUG CLEANERS

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TheRugCleaners.com EPA RATED NON-TOXIC & NON-ALLERGENIC Mention this ad for Winter cleaning discounts!

Catch some of the new nature films acquired for the holiday season at the Chattahoochee Nature Center theater. A new film will be shown each day. Included with general admission and free to CNC members. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org or 770992-2055.

Physicians/Providers: Gregory J. Cox, MD, Elizabeth M. Burns, MD, Shaanan S. Shetty, MD, and Pamela M. McElearney, PA-C

FULTON COUNTY 4-H CLUB Sunday, Jan. 8, 2-3:30 p.m.

Monthly meetings, community service projects and leadership training are offered by the Fulton 4-H Club at the Atlanta History Center. Activities include public speaking competitions, weekend trips and statewide summer camps. Meetings are hosted for kids in grades 4-12. Free. Presented in partnership with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service.

RECYCLE

First Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Keep Atlanta Beautiful, Inc. hosts a monthly community recycling and paper shredding event in Buckhead that serves Atlanta and surrounding areas (no residency restrictions apply). Check the website for restrictions on accepted items including electronics, Styrofoam, paint, metals and tires. Most items are free to drop off. Fees apply on some items. Lower parking lot of Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2715 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. Info: keepatlantabeautiful.org/ recycle/#buckhead.

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18 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers 

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

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Opinion/ Looking into the political crystal ball for 2017 As 2016 wound down, we asked local leaders to look ahead and predict major events or issues they see coming in 2017. Here’s what they say we should expect next year.

2017 will mark our young city’s fifth birthday – a significant milestone. We’ll embark upon our first city charter review, implement master plans we have in place, and go to work on our zoning code rewrite. I personally would like the city to invest in more community engagement tools and methods of communication to get more residents involved in city affairs. Our fifth anniversary is also a good time for us to consider playing a larger role in regional affairs that affect our residents, and truly make Brookhaven the place to live, work and play.

Editor-at-Large Joe Earle

The community of Buckhead is in such good shape, the biggest “event” coming our way is the care needed to protect what we have as our Atlanta city government changes through the campaign for the November election. With no less than 19 rumored or announced candidates for mayor, four of whom are vacating City Council seats, plus an unknown overhaul of the Board of Education, we know what we have won’t be the same and must be carefully addressed.

Sam Massell

president, the Buckhead Coalition

The primary interest is to continue enhancing the quality of life for all of our citizens. This translates into consistent improvement of our infrastructure and facilities, and fostering a spirit of community stewardship which brings us together as one family with a common interest.

Staff Writer: Dyana Bagby

Mayor Denis Shortal Dunwoody

Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net

Mayor John Ernst

Brookhaven

Graphic Designer: Soojin Yang Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter Jim Speakman, Janet Tassitano Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Phil Mosier, Ariella Phillips, Clare S. Richie, Jaclyn Turner

Free Home Delivery 60,000 copies of Reporter Newspapers are delivered by carriers to homes in ZIP codes 30305, 30319, 30326, 30327, 30328, 30338, 30342 and 30350 and to more than 500 business/retail locations. For locations, check “Where To Find Us” at www.ReporterNewspapers.net For delivery requests, please email delivery@reporternewspapers.net.

Mobility remains our top focus in 2017. The state’s Ga. 400/I285 project will test our patience, so avoiding the area or taking MARTA for north-south trips will help. Our TSPLOST initiative will target bottlenecks and kinks within our existing road network. A roadmap of 1940s north Fulton County looks just like today’s map because, while some roads were widened, only two new arterials have been added: Ga. 400 and I-285. Modernizing a system of what began as old farm roads will be this area’s greatest challenge.

© 2016 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC.

Mayor Rusty Paul Sandy Springs

I think one of the biggest issues in the state will be the new funding formula for kindergarten-12 education. We also will begin an outside review of postsecondary education (college and technical college) as respects affordability and efficiency. State Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody)

The biggest issues facing the part of Buckhead I represent are crime and traffic congestion, and early in the year I will be engaging the public with specific plans to address each. Howard Shook

Atlanta City Councilmember

In 2017, we will elect Atlanta’s next mayor. Only my constituents living in Atlanta vote in that election, but all metro citizens have a stake in it. Atlanta’s population is less than 10 percent of the metro region, so some think Atlanta’s mayor receives disproportionate press and more influence than the office warrants. But Atlanta’s success is important for all who live, work or play in Atlanta, or whose business depends on a successful core city.

Lee Morris

Fulton County Commission, District 3


Commentary | 19

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Buckhead location Opening Spring 2017

Dunwoody will face decisions on investing in capital improvements at both Brook Run Park and the Dunwoody Nature Center in 2017. I also hope that the city will come to a consensus on their vision for Perimeter Center. This year, we gave huge tax breaks to encourage one set of office towers while refusing permission for two other proposed developments nearby.

Robert Wittenstein

president, Dunwoody Homeowners Association

JINYA Ramen Bar Atlanta Sandy Springs

Next to D. Gellers Jewelers in Lowe’s Plaza

5975 Roswell Rd, Ste 217 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 404-600-6975

There will be a number of big topics that will be on the agenda at the Capitol this year, including healthcare and education. We will also see old issues recycled — such as “campus carry” and the socalled “religious liberty” bills. I will continue to focus on local reform efforts for DeKalb County. State Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta)

Among the fascinating people who

live and work at Canterbury Court: The biggest issue coming to our community is greater economic development and opportunity. Thanks to Gov. Nathan Deal and the leadership in our state to maintain our AAA bond rating, the prudence of our leaders to save over $2 billion dollars in our “rainy day” fund to run our state government, and the wisdom of the Legislature to vote in the transportation funds to initiate 11 Georgia Department of Transportation projects to improve our infrastructure and highways, our community is extremely well positioned to take advantage of the improving economy. I intend to focus on greater educational and economic opportunities for the citizens of Sandy Springs and Buckhead with an eye toward responsibly protecting our environment.

State Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs)

I see two large issues in Dunwoody and DeKalb County that must be addressed ASAP in 2017. 1) Sewer capacity limitation: DeKalb County has a severe sewer capacity crunch at the worst possible time. Economic development in the Perimeter and North DeKalb area continues on an uptick, but sewer capacity is constrained with no significant solution underway. DeKalb County is significantly behind in its sewer progress. Each new project is subject to possible sewer line constraints that may chase away the opportunities and damage our tax base. 2) Emergency Medical Service response times: DeKalb County Fire & Rescue shuttered its EMS paramedic transport units and outsourced EMS transport to American Medical Response (AMR) on August 1, 2013. The county’s AMR contract requires a response time of 8 minutes, 59 seconds on 90 percent of EMS calls (supplemented by first responder arrival of DeKalb County fire engine paramedics). Year-to-date at Nov. 30, 2016 the EMS response times in Dunwoody averaged 10 minutes, 45 seconds. Worse is that response times on 13 percent of Dunwoody’s EMS calls exceeded 15 minutes, with quite a few with response time of as much as 30 minutes. I fully expect City Council to review this more extensively during 2017. Terry Nall

Mattie Hickey-Middleton Exercise Specialist since 2005 Dancer • Swimmer • Exercise Therapist • Teacher Music Lover • Volunteer • Canterbury Court Ambassador

My motto is exercise AND socialize.

IT’S ALL ABOUT HAVING FUN! Running 17 exercise classes each week, plus private sessions with people recovering from injury or surgery, would surely exhaust an average person. Of course, Mattie’s far from average. She’s a bundle of energy who loves to dance, works a variety of music into her classes, and joins Canterbury’s walking club whenever she can, especially when they’re training for the annual Peachtree Road 10k. She says residents and staff are so much like family that she’s always encouraging people to move here.

Mattie invites you to discover her Canterbury Court.

3750 Peachtree Road, N.E. - Atlanta, Georgia 30319 - (404) 261-6611

c an t e r b u r yc o u r t . o r g

Dunwoody City Councilmember

Atlanta’s premier non-profit continuing care retirement community


20 | Commentary

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

A Christmas evolution

THE TASTE OF EXCELLENCE

This December, as I wrestle with my holiday nemesis — the faux green garland monstrosity that I try to whack into submission and hang on my banister each year — I’m reminded of a simpler time when gifts were modest and decorations were tame and filled but one plastic storage container. That time was when we were first married. He gave me wool socks and an inflatable camping mattress pad (are you picking up on a theme?). I gave him a tweed hat. My best friend gave us a pair of mugs painted with a couple that kissed each other when the mugs were arranged just so. We each had a stocking. Mine was quilted and lace-trimmed, a gift from my former roommate; his was Robin Conte is a writer a red felt version purchased from a mall kiosk with his and mother of four who name written on it in tacky red glitter. There was a cryslives in Dunwoody. She tal ornament from my parents that said “Our first Christcan be contacted at mas together.” robinjm@earthlink.net. That was about it. Our family grew and things changed. There came the pregnant lady ornament, the Baby’s First Christmas ornament, the set of Pokémon ornaments. With each child came more stockings, stockings of all kinds from relatives of all sorts. And with each child came more ornaments, ornaments of all kinds from relatives of all sorts. I added angels and nutcrackers to the stockings and ornaments. I augmented with wreaths and stars. I began to feature a nativity scene in every room. Some people have all of their decorations in “the box.” I have accumulated enough boxes of Christmas stuff to decorate the country of Lichtenstein. As our family grew, the gifts changed, too. One minute, I was waving a multi-purpose rattle in front of my infant’s face, and before I knew it, I was standing at the Toys-R-Us in a line so long and studded with security guards that you’d think Bono was at the other end of it. I see the remnants and recall the years. There is the Goofy doll in a Santa suit. It was a gift from the nurses at our local hospital, where my daughter spent her first Christmas Eve with a raging upper respiratory infection. There is, believe it or not, a set SPECIAL Robin Conte, with her kissing couple of encyclopedias lined up neatly Christmas mugs, one of the gifts that on the basement bookshelves, givremind her of Christmases past. en years ago to my first son — who still prefers hard copy, God bless him. There is an old remote wired to the TV, from the year that I was awakened at 6:30 a.m. in mid-December by a phone call from a friend; she had insider information that Costco was getting a shipment of Wii video game consoles. She picked me up and drove us there, where we waited with a small crowd outside the building while clinging to our venti lattes. I remember looking around at the other bleary-eyed mothers and thinking to myself, they weren’t there for the poinsettias. Our kids are getting older, and the day after Thanksgiving no longer marks the beginning of gift-hunting season for me. Still, I’ll find them a few things. One son needs clothes, and he likes what I buy for him. One son wants a Tesla coil, and I do admire that particular, scientific wish. His twin never asks for anything, but he really likes bacon … and I did hear about a “bacon of the month” club. And my daughter has refused to buy herself new shoes for two years, so it’s time for me to intervene. They all still like chocolate oranges, and Santa will still put toothbrushes in their stockings. I look around the house. The faux green garland is clinging to the bannister. My angels are on the mantle, my nutcrackers are on the sideboard, there are stockings hanging all over the place. The kissing mugs are in the kitchen. And after 28 years together, he still wears the hat and I still wear the socks.

Robin’s Nest Robin Conte

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Classifieds | 21

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Reporter Classifieds SERVICES AVAILABLE Home Tending – Regular inspections of your unoccupied property. Call Charles, 404-229-0490. Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or repaired. Masonry, grading, foundations repaired, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe Sullivan 770-616-0576.

Matthew’s Handy Services – Small jobs and chores are my specialties. Shelves, organizers, carpentry, drywall, painting, and plumbing. Member of BBB – 404-547-2079 Email: mwarren8328@gmail.com.

REAL ESTATE Commercial Real Estate Services – Have a Commercial Building to Sell or Lease? Call Rick 678-209-3100. Proven local results.

CEMETERY PLOTS

PETS

Cemetery Plots – Selling two lots at Arlington Memorial Park, Section F, Lot 4C, Blocks 1 & 2. Asking $6,000. Buyer pays closing cost. 502-459-1439.

Good Rascal Dog Training – certified dog trainer. Private training in your home. Positive, Gentle methods. 770-401-7945.

HELP WANTED

Sandra Weider Pet Sitting Service – over 30 years of experience. Have leash will travel. Handle & administer insulin to dogs & cats. 404-966-1526.

Computer/IT – Senior Software Developers, Atlanta, GA. Apply: www.wanderingwifi.com

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22 | Public Safety

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Police Blotter / Brookhaven From Brookhaven Police reports dated Dec. 11 through Dec. 18. The following information was pulled from Brookhaven’s Police-2-Citizen website and is presumed to be accurate.

On Dec. 11, in the afternoon, a man was arrested on a charge of theft by taking. „„100 block of Town Boulevard — On

Dec. 13, a man was arrested on a shoplifting charge.

POSSESSION AND DUI

„„

„„800 block of Town

Boulevard — On Dec. 16, a woman was arrested on a charge of marijuana possession.

ARRESTS

„„3500 block of Bu-

ford Highway — On Dec. 17, in the afternoon, a man was arrested and charged with possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana. „„3000 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 18, in the early morning, a man was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence.

T H E F T A N D B U R G L A RY „„2300 block of N. Druid Hills Road —

2400 block of Briarcliff Road — On Dec. 16, a man was arrested and charged with theft by deception.

„„ 1400 block of Cliff Valley Way — On Dec. 11, a man was charged with public intoxication and consump-

tion.

„„3300 block of Clairmont Road — On

charged with loitering and prowling.

Dec. 11, woman was charged with driving without a license.

„„3500 block of Buford Highway — On

„„2900 block of Clairmont Road — On

Dec. 12, a man was charged with speeding in excess of maximum limits. „„2400 block of Bri-

Dec. 17, in the early morning, a man was charged with disorderly conduct. „„ 3100 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 18, in the night, a woman was charged with making terroristic threats.

arcliff Road — On Dec. 14, a woman was charged with forgery.

A S S AU LT S 1300 block of Brookhaven Circle — On Dec. 11, at night, a man was charged with simple battery. „„

„„3800 block of Granger

Drive — On Dec. 15, a man was charged with keeping a disorderly house with drugs, gambling, and prostitution. „„3600 block of Buford Highway

— On Dec. 16, in the morning, a man

„„ 2700 block of Buford Highway — On Dec. 12, in the early afternoon, man was charged with aggravated assault.

„„3000 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 11, a man was charged in the early morning for disorderly conduct.

911 NO W AC C EP T S TEXT M ESS AG ES

„„3500 block of Buford Highway — On

Dec. 11 at noon, a woman was charged with driving without a license.

The 911 emergency service began accepting text messages as well as phone calls on Dec. 16. The new text service is intended to help residents who are deaf; who have reduced hearing or speaking challenges; or who cannot make an emergency call safely for any reason. Anyone texting 911 will be prompted to make a regular phone call if they can. After that, they can describe their emergency and will have to type in their address, according to a press release. The system will not accept photos or videos. The 911 service is provided by the Chattahoochee River 911 Authority, or ChatComm, a privatized joint program that also serves the cities of Dunwoody, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs, where the text option also is available.

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Published by Springs Publishing, LLC, 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 BK


Community | 23

DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Lighting up Brookhaven for the holidays

A

C

B

D

E PHOTOS BY PHIL MOSIER

A - The Marist School Choir sings carols at “Light Up Brookhaven” on Thursday, Dec. 8, at Blackburn Park. B - Brookhaven Police Department Police Explorers, from Post 514, participated under the leadership of David Snively (center). From left, are Explorers Will Asher, Melvin Platero, Eddie Cano, Jared Cifuentes, Nikol Diaz and Jordi Chinchilla.

C - Members of the Montgomery Elementary School Choir sing carols. From left, are Kayla Langevin, Catherine Hasell, Mali Hemrick [backrow] and Julian Quirk. D - Post 514 Police Explorers (from left) Melvin Platero, Will Asher and Nikol Diaz pass out reindeer headbands. E - Arts and Crafts and Tent.

BK


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Authoriy Development The Dunwood million in to approve $780 ty voted July 28 breaks for property tax bonds to provide projects in Pedevelopment two separate complex and State Farm’s rimeter Center: tower next to planned office Transwestern’s station. y MARTA would the Dunwood the authority Under the deals, to the deand lease them own the properties lower propwould pay much velopers, who 14 See STATE on page

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LOOK FAT? | P9

Council candidates line up for special election

BY DYANA BAGBY

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4

| P21-27

State Farm, Transwestern get $780M in s tax break bond

P18-19

BY DYANA BAGBY

SMITH

10 — NO. 8

e fun ► High altitud

in the hills

Site-specific parks plans cost nearly $28 million

Largest expansion in MARTA’s history now rests with voters

■ w w w . A t l a n t a I N t o w n P a p e r. c o m

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The estimated cost to make all the changes and improvem BY JOHN RUCH ents in Brookhav en’s sitespecific Park johnruch@reporternew Master Plan is just shy of $28 spapers.net million, according to a presentat ion made to City Council At least five candidate on Feb. 9. s are planning run for the open Mayor John Ernst a Sandy Springs acknowledged City Council District 3 seat. tal estimated the tocost was a “big Official candidate number.” fying for the qualiBut the price May 24 special tag was not a election was surprise to due to wrap up city officials, April 15. City Councilw oman Jones said. It is Meanwhile, a third candidate part of a long-term Linley ly filed for the plan. brief“We anticipate House d all along the dropped out within District 52 race, but price tag for world-cla ly as this November. ss parks would Robbie Ashe hours of qualifying be very, very an unusual reopened high,” she said. MARTA Board Chairman in “This is an filing period. PHIL MOSIER aspirational ham McDonald number we can Graand work toward, 12 at incrementalmain the contende Deborah Silcox rely based on the See LARGEST on page Night Out event plans we were rs to succeed 33rd annual National were on hand given.” retiring Rep. Joe Wilkinson Liz Cole, project attending the and Sandy Springs in the May 24 manager camera while page 20. y, Brookhaven PHIL MOSIER lican primary. Repuba remote controlfor Greenber Farrow, photos, go to gts from Dunwood 9, works the city’s departmen consultan Carlos Peters, ip. To see additional The ts on the Aug. 2. Police ty partnersh onnded The field to fill recomme J.D. Clockadale plan, Nancy Creek Park. communi in Little and Perimeter Mall promote the City Council the police hispage cityand daughter survey all parks 14. ►Ella, 5, get on Spring” concert Center representing on to help e seat, determin into the spirit to on Feb. time before the “Bring central Sandy additional photos exact boundari 13. Attendees of things at Springs, 3, gets in a little play and family friendly activities. See were treated es, tree invenin recent days, tory, topograph Hudson Scouten, to a night of snacks,the second annual Daddy-Dau as county Republica grew music, food y and also ghter Dance at music, crafts event featured live PHIL MOSIER leader Suzi Voyles BY DYANA BAGBYternewspapers.net n Party underground and dancing. Lynwood Park utilities before See additional Recreation and former municipa by@repor any work begins. photos on page dyanabag judge im City Manager Larry Young l Inter12.► Volunteers waded declared candidaci is preGary Yandura They join previousl Hooch,” an event into the water to clear debris es. y City Council said it Dunwood sponsored y Thefrom $8 milthe Chattahoo dates Chris Burnett, announced candithe group of volunteers by Chattahoochee Riverkeep See SITE-SPEC chee than PHOTO BY PHIL down more River andcapIFIC on page 14 MOSIER its banks during Brian Eufinger , works to fillpared to plunker on April 9. needed BY JOE EARLE “Sweep the Joe Housema Here, the trash bag City Hall, but and Murray Brown, rs.net n. No candidate he wears at his l who lion for a new waist. s are official to additiona joeearle@reporternewspape See more photos, coordinated until the city ents add up clerk qualifies page 2.► nt Page 5 ital improvem them. of PATH400 g to an assessme Plans for expansions $659,500, accordin Page 10 . See COUNCIL on now feature two of due diligence page 13 through Buckhead done as part of the City Council adding pockets unAlso, the building more small parks, once at 4800 Ashford-D to an area that Page purchase to 17 public green space wants tenants, has four current had relatively little. woody Road pay to reto- Expert praises be required to The two parks could and the city will They businesses, which PATH400 tal about 3 acres. locate for those Page 16 on page 3 $550,000. join a .6-acre park our Procost another comments to is inof Comprehensive Respondents’ Page 18 Old Ivy that also Eric Johnson on the 15 community survey See NEW on page cluded in PATH400 conventions. presidential plans. Page 8 green spaces Sheffield Hale BY DYANA BAGBY One of the proposed BY JOHN RUCH CEO, 13 and Page president 13 TARY dyanabagb johnruch@ Center See COMMEN See PATH400 on page what underway for Plans are well largest funding expancould make for the of MARTA. sion in the history sesof the legislative On the last day Asthe Georgia General sion in March, a relegislation to allow sembly approved Atlanta. tax by the city of tail sales and use legisNathan Deal signed On April 26, Gov. decide way for voters to lation paving the as earsales tax increase on a half-percent

COMMUNITY r Pickleball is popula

Page 16

PATH400 plans include small parks

OUT & ABOUT REPORTER SURV EY rs al offe Festiv President ial & crafts, arts

et food, The past isPrimary gourmtic acous music always more EXCLUSIVE SERI ES complicated than it seems. Atlanta History

Page 10 See COMMENTARY

ES PARALYMPIC GAM have Prepping for Rio The Democrats n’s OUT & ABOUT taken over Reaga EXCEPTIONAL ism. DeKalb schooptim Join the treasure EDUCATOR ols hunt propose movTrump was humanized Lovett School’s ing be and shown to 1,700 students winning bandleade issue. on-point on every r

in Cross Keys redistricting

Is that log suppo sed to be here? Is it serving a purpo se?

Page 18

y@reporternewspape

Hospital | Emory

Saint Joseph’s Hospital

| Emory University

Thank you and Happy New Year from the Springs Publishing staff

BOBBY SAUER JR. INSPECTOR FOR STATE SAFE DAMS PROGRAM

Hospital | Emory

University Hospital

rs.net

About 1,700 students in six north DeKalb schools would move under a plan to try to address overcrow ding in the Cross Keys cluster. The DeKalb County School District announced its staff recomme ndations for redistrict ing overcrow ding at a Feb. 11 public meeting held at Cross Keys See DEKALB on page 15

New Vision for Turner Field page 6 time. Statefirst inspectors take right decision the a look at “high-hazard” Must-Read Books page 32 Cancer doesn’t wait. Make the dams Page 2 re.org/cancercare. at emoryhealthca location near you Pimento Cheese, Please page Find a38 Emory Johns Creek

New City Hall needs $659K in improvements

OUT & ABOUT val Butterfly Festi

Midtown

“[I’m] sad to see the Braves move out of Atlanta, but excited to see a brand-new stadium and Braves experience .” 23-YEAR-OLD ATLANTA

OUT & ABOUT ‘Monarchs & Margaritas’

reporternewspapers.net

Heritage Sandy Springs, the nonprofit dedicated to the city’s history and culture, spends a lot of time preservin g the past. But now it’s also drawing up big plans for its own future as a new major attraction, the City Springs project, rises This year, Heritage nearby. intends to build new facility to a better showcase its centerpiece attraction : the spring that gave Sandy Springs its name. A necting City Springs “Heritage Trail” conand Heritage with local See HERITAGE on page 14

WOMAN RESPONDING TO 1Q SURVEY ON OUR THE BRAVES’ LAST SEASON AT TURNER FIELD

See COMMENTARY

on page 10

Senior Lif e facebook.com

Heritage Sandy Springs plans future of historic site

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JANUARY 2017

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• Vol. 2 No. 1| AtlantaS en

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Silver Strong

By Isado

T

ra Penning

ton

here’s no do is an impo ubt about it, regula rtant par r exercise t of and balan ced life. We living a healthy we we can all rec all when run as fas re kids, when it felt t as the wi nd, and no like you could ever hurt thing cou you ld exactly the . Over time, we lea rn that’s case. If you not they don’t don’t use stick aro your mu un scl added dif ficulty for d. With age comes es, do activities. ing even This is tru mundan e e esp seniors, wh o are at add ecially for atrophy ed risk for and due to ina chronic health pro muscle ctivity. blems Accordin by the Cen g to research con ducte ters for Dis Preventio ease Contr d n ol & older are (CDC), American s 18 and exe before. Fin rcising now mo re an and schedu cial concerns, acc than ever ling are som essibility frequent e of the exe seniors. For rcise can be a cha reasons llenge for tunately, that aim there are programs and approp to bridge the gap between riate exe eld program is SilverSn rcise routines. On ers initiative e such eakers, a that has na tional fitn partnered 13,000 fitn ess classes are ess locations acr with more than oss the cou often cov otherwise ntry. The ere very afford d by insurance, or members hips, which able compared to are for retire most gym es to afford makes them sub stantially . easier Continued

on page 4

BK

12-23-16 Brookhaven Reporter  
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