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DEC. 23, 2016 - JAN. 5, 2017 • VOL. 7 — 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

Council questions delays in ambulance response BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

On a recent night in Dunwoody, parents called 911 to help their 18-month-old baby, who suffers severe seizures. It took nearly 30 minutes for a DeKalb County ambulance to arrive. That sort of delay outraged the Dunwoody City Council, which called for improvements at its Dec. 12 meeting. American Medical Response (AMR), the private contractor that provides ambulance service, promises fixes are coming soon. “We just can’t have someone waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance,” said Councilmember Lynn Deutsch. “That’s mind-blowing.” “By the end of March, you will see improvement in Dunwoody,” said AMR Regional Director Ken Simpson. At the council meeting, members called on the carpet Simpson and Chief Darnell Fullum of DeKalb Fire & Rescue, which conSee COUNCIL on page 10

State Rep. Taylor doesn’t raise hopes on independent schools bill BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

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

State Rep. Tom Taylor painted the City Council a dim picture of the chance the Legislature this year will pass his bill to amend the state Constitution to allow for independent school districts. He said DeKalb school officials plan to fight the proposal every step of the way. Taylor warned the council at its Dec. See STATE on page 3


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A peek inside the new City Hall BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

A recent tour of the building that soon will house Dunwoody’s City Hall shows an expansive space with numerous offices, conference rooms and plenty of cubicles. In its approximate $8 million purchase this year of the 48,000-square-foot building at 4800 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, the city also purchased much of the furniture located in the building that was once the site for the Community & Southern Bank. The building will house the city’s administrative offices, police department, Municipal Court and City Council chambers and offices. The expected move-in date, after renovations and repairs, is early 2018. The main front entrance opens up into a sizable lobby space. To the left, where

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Top left: From left, City Manager Eric Linton, Assistant City Manager Jessica Guinn, Councilmember Pam Tallmadge, Citizens on Patrol volunteer Wayne Radloff and Communications Director Bob Mullen in the front entrance lobby. Top right: City Manager Eric Linton shows where the City Council chambers are likely to be in the new City Hall building. Above: Linton and Tallmadge check out one of the conference rooms. Below: Mullen tests the vault door.

the bank once was located, is likely to become City Council chambers and Municipal Court, City Manager Eric Linton said. A dais, once used by bank professionals, already is located in the area. There are also conference rooms and offices. And there is a small vault, complete with a hefty steel door. Linton isn’t sure how the vault will be used. To the right of the main lobby at the front entrance is an office space where a former hospice facility was located. That will become the police department. The area is filled with office space and cubicles. The second floor of the building, with a balcony overlooking the front entrance lobby, has numerous sizable offices and conference rooms as well as cubicles. There is also a large lobby space that will be more welcoming for visitors who go to City Hall to meet with staff for such things as permits. Tenants currently housed in the building include a law office, a physical therapy practice, a real estate group and the building management office. The city is currently negotiating with the tenants to find them new offices. An MRI practice also is located in the building. Moving it will be more complicated than moving the other offices due to health-care laws and the size and needs of such a business, city officials say. The city is working with industry experts to explore potential relocation options for the MRI business, said Bob Mullen, city spokesperson. “Since it is positioned at the back of the building, with a dedicated door access, and only taking up 2,500 square feet, it is unlikely to be disruptive to any city business and will not cause space constraints, at least within the first year of the city’s building occupation,” Mullen said.

DUN


Community | 3

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

State Rep. Taylor doesn’t raise hopes on independent schools bill Continued from page 1

that this will happen the first week.” School officials, however, deny that 12 meeting that the DeKalb County Lindsey or Dentons has been hired, at School District has hired former state least so far this year, to fight against lawmaker Edward Lindsey and the Taylor’s bill or any other bill. powerful Dentons law firm to fight his “The DeKalb Counbill, known as HR ty School District has not 4. The proposal has hired or signed a contract languished in comwith anyone, any business, mittee for three or any organization to inyears. fluence, advocate or op“[Lindsey] pose existing or proposed moved from his legislation in the Georgia firm to Dentons General Assembly for the to work on this. upcoming session. Neither He’s very good at have we paid nor are we what he does ... and paying anyone for such serhe’s being paid big vices,” said DeKalb schools money out of our spokesperson Quinn Hudtax dollars to do son. this,” Taylor said. The school district did “It’s all about hire Dentons in January turf. School sysand that contract expired tems are the largest in June, Hudson said. Acemployers,” Taylor cording to Dentons websaid to the council. site, Lindsey came on board “I will keep fightwith the firm in July. The ing the fight. But I STATE REP. TOM TAYLOR January 15 through June 15 don’t want to raise any expectations contract was for $99,900,

It’s all about turf. School systems are the largest employers. I will keep fighting the fight. But I don’t want to raise any expectations that this will happen the first week.

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according to a memo from Dentons to Supt. Stephen Green. School Boardmember Stan Jester, who lives in Dunwoody, said the district has hired Dentons to do legislative lobbying in the past, but no contract to hire Dentons to do any lobbying during the upcoming session has so far come before the board or been discussed. The school board and administration did hold a recent legislative lunch with legislators and discussed their legislative agenda. Specific items the school district is opposing: 1. Legislation leading to the erosion of the local tax base and any attempts to usurp the authority of local boards to determine how local funds are used. 2. Any expansion of the programs that directly or indirectly use public funds to pay private school tuition. 3. The erosion of state revenue base through exemptions from sales and use taxes, income taxes and other taxes. Jester, who opposes the school district’s legislative agenda, said DeKalb school officials will fight any bill they see as taking revenue from the district.

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That would include a bill such as Taylor’s independent school districts bill, he said, but to date school officials don’t see HR 4 as a serious threat. “DeKalb schools is not publicly taking a stance on this bill,” Jester said. Taylor told the council he will continue to fight for the bill because his constituents want the city to have their own city school system. But with a whole slate of new legislators and cosponsors of his bill in the past no longer serving in the General Assembly, he said, it will be difficult to find support. The proposed bill would amend the Georgia Constitution to allow the creation of new school districts in cities started since 2005 and cities adjacent to them. The bill would affect 16 cities, including Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Brookhaven, Taylor has said. Much of this year will be educating legislators about the bill with the help of Georgians for Local Area Systems, or GLASS, Taylor said. Taylor needs 120 votes in the House, or a 2/3 majority, necessary to pass a constitutional amendment.

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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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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.

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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

SPECIAL

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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Council questions delays in ambulance response Continued from page 1

provide ambulance service. At the time, AMR promised their average response times would be 8 minutes, 59 seconds or less on 90 percent of their calls. tracts out the ambulance service. The council wanted to hear explanations of how they plan According to data provided to the council, AMR responded to 1,026 calls in Dunwoody to implement faster response times, specifically ambulance response times, to Dunwoody. between January and November 2016. Average response time was 10 minutes, 45 seconds. “You are missing it big time in our community,” said Deutsch. “You have multiple calls For all of DeKalb County, AMR responded to 82,851 calls between January and November that are more than 30 minutes and far more calls in the 20-minute range. That’s just ridicwith a 9 minute, 26 second average response time. ulous. We need to get this fixed.” But mixed in those numbers are numerous 20- and 30-minute wait times, said council Deutsch said she and Councilmember Jim Riticher were contacted in November by the members. upset parents of the 18-month-old daughter who suffers seizures. “This is a chronic, persistent problem,” said Councilmember Terry Nall. The DeKalb fire department responded quickly, and so did the Dun“This needs to be addressed or we will be forced to look at other options. woody Police Department, but the family and other emergency personnel We are not getting served well today.” were “waiting and waiting” for There are three DeKalb fire stations serving Dunwoody: an ambulance to transport the Station 12 at 5323 Roberts Drive, Station 18 at Barclay Drive in Chamgirl to the hospital. Only ambublee and Station 21 at 1090 Crown Point Parkway. lances can transport a patient Between April 1 and Dec. 5, Station 12 had 554 calls with an average reto the hospital, not firefighters sponse time of 7 minutes, 58 seconds; Station 18 answered 3,594 calls with or police officers. an average response time of 7 minutes, 27 seconds; and Station 21 had Simpson of AMR explained DEKALB COUNTY the ambulance driver in that in- DeKalb Fire Chief Darnell Fullum. 3,232 calls with an average 7 minutes, 46 seconds response time. Total calls served in Dunwoody, including some areas in unincorporated DeKalb, cident for some reason did not were 7,380 with a 7 minutes, 44 seconds average response time. follow directions to the home of the sick child. Fullum informed the mayor and City Council that the department monitors response Another ambulance was dispatched but it took times on a monthly basis. close to 30 minutes to get an ambulance to the “I hear you loud and clear,” he said of the complaints and promised the department is home. The driver of the original ambulance has bringing on new firefighters in March to help ensure quality service to the entire county. since been fired, Simpson told the council. Simpson said AMR is recruiting more paramedics and EMTs and is paying employees Deutsch said DeKalb’s emergency response overtime and working on getting more ambulances to be near Dunwoody at all times. He times range sometimes from 20 to 30 minutes. added that one cause of slower response times is hospital emergency rooms taking longer to Simpson said AMR is continuing to figure out sign in patients from ambulances. That means slower turnaround for ambulances, he said. where to best place ambulances throughout the TERRY NALL. Buying more ambulances is also in the works. county based on need and also studying changCOUNCILMEMBER Deutsch said in an interview that she believes AMR is short of personnel and equipment. ing and congested traffic patterns. DeKalb Fire contracted with AMR in 2013 to “There may be a way to add ambulance services to the county, but it will cost us,” she said.

This is a chronic, persistent problem. This needs to be addressed or we will be forced to look at other options. We are not getting served well today.

D U NWO O DY S EEKI NG INP UT TO UP DATE TR A NS P O R TAT I O N P L A N The city of Dunwoody is currently updating its Comprehensive Transportation Plan which outlines the community’s transportation objectives and funding priorities and is seeking input from residents in on online survey. The city last completed a Comprehensive Transportation Plan in 2011. The primary purpose of the five-year update is to review and refresh the recommended project list and work program as well as explore enhancements to plan components such as pedestrian and bicycling facilities, according to a press release. To take the survey, visit facebook.com/CityofDunwoody.

PUBLIC NOTICE The City of Sandy Springs has completed construction plans for Windsor Meadows Park at 835 Windsor Parkway. The design for the 4.6 acre site includes landscaping, fencing, a bicycle rack, three picnic tables, three benches, three swing benches, a pervious slatescape trail approximately 1,500 linear feet long,two trash receptacles, and an informal gravel parking area for three cars. The park will be located within parcels that once held residential properties at 825, 835, and 845 Windsor Parkway. Pursuant to FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program deed restrictions, Section 1.a. allows for “parks for outdoor recreational activities…”. The public is invited to participate in identifying and analyzing any impact this proposed project may have. Interested persons may obtain information about these actions or this specific project by contacting Ward Alexander, Project Coordinator for the City of Sandy Springs at walexander@sandyspringsga.gov. Comments should be received within 30 days of the date of notice: January 6, 2017. DUN


2016

Community | 11

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

YEAR IN REVIEW TOP STORIES

BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

The mayor and City Council saw plenty of ups and downs in 2016, from being forced to settle a federal lawsuit to a brief but bitter battle with the Dunwoody Homeowners Association over conflicts of interest for members serving on cityappointed commissions. There were plenty of high points as well, including the purchase of the city’s own City Hall building and the opening of a new park in Georgetown. Here’s a look at some of the top stories in Dunwoody during 2016.

DHA vs City Council

A battle brewed for months between the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and City Council after Mayor Denis Shortal on June 17 enacted a directive made in executive session forcing DHA board members who also served on city boards to resign from one or the other. The reasoning? Possible conflict of interest and the potential for lawsuits against the city. The DHA fought back, hired its own attorney who determined such a policy gave a “Star Chamber” feel to city government. The city also hired its own outside attorneys to back up its city attorneys who opined there was a definite conflict of interest for a DHA board member to also serve on, say, the Planning Commission, because developers often appear before the DHA before submitting proposals to the city. Backlash forced the City Council to quickly back off enforcing the policy. The State Attorney General’s Office ruled in September that City Council violated the Open Meetings Act during the June 13 executive session, when the policy was discussed. In the end, it was determined the mayor appoints people he wants to city boards and can simply not appoint DHA members.

A new City Hall

You can’t fight City Hall if you can’t find it. Now residents will have a much easier time locating the home of city government at its soon-to-be new home at 4800 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, on a main road corridor near Perimeter Mall. The current City Hall is at 41 Perimeter Center East, tucked into an expansive office complex that some say is hard to find. Cost for the new building is right at $8 million. Plans are to relocate to the new site in early 2018 after renovations and repairs are completed. The city first announced the purchase in May of the two-story, 45,000 square-foot building that has housed Community & Southern Bank and other businesses. Four businesses remain in the building while city officials negotiate to find them new locations. The building will house City Council’s chambers, administrative and staff offices, and the police department.

RABUN COUNTY JAIL

State. Rep. Tom Taylor was arrested in Rabun County and charged with DUI.

State Rep. Tom Taylor arrested for DUI

State Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) made headlines in April after he was arrested in Rabun County and charged with DUI. Taylor was stopped April 7 for driving 72 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone with four juveniles, all exchange students, in his SUV. His blood alcohol content was .225; the legal limit is .08. Taylor did not fight the DUI and was sentenced to community service. He issued a statement saying he regretted the incident. Taylor was opposed in the GOP primary by Tom Owens, a political gadfly, but the incumbent easily defeated his challenger. Taylor faced no opposition in the November election and was easily reelected to his third term in the Legislature. DUN

DYANA BAGBY

Dunwoody City Hall, above, prepares for a 2018 move to Ashford-Dunwoody Road.

State Farm receives $34 million in tax breaks

The Dunwoody Development Authority approved $34 million in tax breaks for State Farm, which plans to build two more high rises at its regional headquarters on Hammond Drive in the Perimeter Center and adjacent to the Dunwoody MARTA station. State Farm had originally sought a $15 million tax abatement for the building now nearly completed, but backed off after bad press and questions from some authority members. State Farm said it needed the tax incentives so it could begin construction on the new buildings in 2017, rather than the original start date of 2019. The authority also gave preliminary approval to a tax abatement to Transwestern to build an office highrise across the street from State Farm on a small unused portion of Perimeter Mall’s parking lot. City Council only approved 16 stories for the building, rather than the requested 20 stories. No word yet on what Transwestern will do, according to city officials.

SPECIAL

Stained glass windows were saved at the Brook Run Park theater.

Theater at Brook Run Park demolished

After years of debate and efforts by activists trying to save it, the theater at Brook Run Park finally came down. City Council voted in July to demolish the theater and, in September, the council approved spending $227,000 to bulldoze it. The years-long effort to save it came to an official end in October, when the building was razed. Danny Ross and the Brook Run Conservancy pleaded with council members at numerous meetings throughout the year to give them time to raise the millions of dollars needed to renovate the building and transform it into a performing arts and community center. Council members responded by saying the Brook Run Conservancy had had years to raise the money, but had failed to do so. A dramatic last-ditch effort to save it occurred at an October meeting with some 20 supporters donating more than $114,000 in checks. The council voted to save the historical stained glass windows that were located in the chapel. The theater was once part of the Georgia Retardation Center, which closed in the 1990s.


12 | Community

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2016 DYANA BAGBY

Mayor Denis Shortal shows off his 2011 convertible red Corvette at a recent Caffeine and Octane car show.

PHIL MOSIER

Sophia Hamilton, 7, gets some love from “Gwynie,” her family’s foster dog, at the “Rescue Dog Olympics” held in March in Brook Run Park.

YEAR IN REVIEW BEST PHOTOS

Santa gets an earful from Brandon Speir, an Austin Elementary School kindergartner, at the Cheek Spruill Farm House in Light up Dunwoody’s Christmas Village, sponsored in November by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association.

COVER CAPTIONS

PHIL MOSIER

PHIL MOSIER

Demolition of the Brook Run Park theater began in late October.

JOHN RUCH

Brookhaven Public Works Director Richard Meehan, at right, examines a model of Owens Transit Group’s proposed monorail at Perimeter Business Alliance meeting in May.

Top: WWII veteran Hilbert Margol, U.S. Army, 42nd Infantry “Rainbow” Division, salutes during the presenting of the flags at the Dunwoody Veterans Day ceremony. (Photo by Kate Awtrey) Inset: Just about to graduate from Dunwoody High School are, from left, Josh Palgon and Harrison Whately, talking with Kyra Perry, who decorated her cap. (Photo by Phil Mosier) Bottom: Maggie Bass, a senior at Dunwoody High School, pushes up the flag for the start of Dunwoody’s 4th of July Parade. (Photo by Phil Mosier) DUN


2016

Community | 13

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

YEAR IN REVIEW TOP STORIES

Pernoshal Park opens

On April 29, City Council members and residents gathered for a ribbon cutting for the opening of the city’s newest park. At approximately five acres, Pernoshal Park is the largest newly-built park created since the city’s incorporation. In addition to a multi-use trail, the park has a centralized pavilion/restroom facility, 162 parking spaces, passive and active open areas/fields for sports, and basketball courts with a pickleball court overlay. Plans for the park date to 2012 when the city began Project Renaissance, a public-private partnership to develop some 35 acres in the Georgetown area.

Austin Elementary and baseball fields

CITY OF DUNWOODY

A rendering of the baseball fields to be built at Peachtree Charter Middle School. At right, a rendering of the new field’s concession building.

City Council voted unanimously Nov. 14 to enter into an agreement to swap Dunwoody Senior Baseball fields to the DeKalb schools for Austin Elementary and $3.6 million in cash. The vote was the culmination of nearly a year of negotiations between the city and the DeKalb County school district to find a place to build a new Austin Elementary School to help ease the overcrowding in the district. The city will use the money to build two new baseball fields at Peachtree Charter Middle School. The fields will be used by the school and Dunwoody Senior Baseball league. The new Austin Elementary School will be built in Dunwoody Park, adjacent to the Dunwoody Nature Center and where the current baseball fields are located. The city will get the land where the school now is located and plans to renovate it into a park space.

Crown Towers withdraws development plans

A proposed mega-development (rendering, right) including four towers and hailed as the “gateway” to Dunwoody was pulled from City Council’s agenda May 23 when representatives for the developers said they were uncertain their rezoning request would be approved. The mixed-use development included a 35-story residential tower and 29-story hotel for a total of 380 residential units and 150 hotel rooms at the former Gold Kist site. There were ongoing disagreements with developers and city staff about how many of the residential units would be owner-occupied and how many would be rentals.

City settles police lawsuits

The city in March settled for $135,000 three federal lawsuits that claimed Dunwoody Police Officer Dale Laskowski conducted unconstitutional searches, including the use of a Doraville K-9 unit against three men during traffic stops in 2013. The city denied any wrongdoing. A fourth lawsuit was filed against the officer in August by a man also alleging an unconstitutional traffic stop in 2014. That suit still is pending. None of the four FILE men were arrested or charged with any infraction. DPD Officer Dale Laskowski. The department changed its policy to require an officer to get a supervisor’s approval before requesting a K-9 unit. The department also now follows a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states, “absent reasonable suspicion, police extension of a traffic stop in order to conduct a dog sniff violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures.” Laskowski remains on the force. DUN

Manget Way case ends

City Council voted 5-2 on July 10 to settle for $850,000 a pair of lawsuits brought by the Center for Discovery over denial of the company’s planned treatment facility on Manget Way for teen girls with eating disorders. The city’s insurance covered $600,000 of the settlement. In 2014, The Center for Discovery purchased a house on Manget Way that was approved by a city official as a “family personal care home.” Many neighbors fought the facility and convinced the Zoning Board of Appeals in June 2014 to reverse the decision, leading to the lawsuits.


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.

DUN


Community | 15

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

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

2

1 Dunwoody teen dies in Pullman Yard accident State Farm hiring 1,500 new employees in metro Atlanta

4

2016

YEAR IN REVIEW TOP ONLINE STORIES

Online readers’ favorite stories Brookhaven, Dunwoody join new 4-city planning partnership

7

3 DeKalb Board of Education agrees to pay $3.6M to Dunwoody in Austin Elementary land swap State Rep. Tom Taylor says he regrets ‘serious mistake’ after DUI arrest

5 6

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

Hollywood comes to the ‘burbs: Filmmaking in Perimeter on the rise

9

10 DUN

Many proposed Perimeter Center towers may not happen

16-story office building planned for Perimeter Center in Dunwoody

High Street project in Dunwoody plans to break ground in early 2017


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.

The Babcock Dermatology Family wish you and yours a happy and healthy 2017 Procedures Performed: • Skin Cancer Surgery Specialist (Mohs) • Dermatologic Surgery

• General Dermatology • Chemical Peels • BOTOX® Cosmetic

• Cyst Removal • Mole Removal • Restylane®

Same Day Appointments Available • Free Parking

4890 Roswell Road, Suite B-10 • Atlanta, Georgia 30342 (404) 835-3052 • BabcockDermatology.com

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

Stoney Green & Steve Arroll, Owners 1710 Chattahoochee Ave., Atlanta, GA 30318

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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5505 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Suite 412 | Atlanta, GA 30342 (404) 459-9177 Office (404) 389-0400 Fax | www.perimeterdermatology.com


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

Home Services Directory

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110

n utpomoer co 0 cus r 5 e $ ne p

Around the Clock Cleaning Services

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• Most Air-Cooled Models In Stock and Ready To Install

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www.generatorstore.com

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Belco Electric

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Trash, Junk Hauled For Less

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Tranquil Waters Lawn Care Hauling of Debris Yard Cleanup Installation Aeration Leaf Blowing

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Atlanta Paint Pickup & Recycling

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22 | Public Safety

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

B U R G L A RY „„2000 block of Perimeter Trace — On

Dec. 15, an apartment was broken into after damage to the front door. Jewelry and electronics, worth about $10,000 together, were stolen. „„1400 block of Drexel Point — On Dec. 15,

an apartment was broken into after damage to the front door. Jewelry and a laptop, worth about $17,000 together, were stolen.

L A R C E N Y / S H O P L I F TING/ THEFT „„500 block of Ashwood Parkway — On

Dec. 11, in the evening, a Mercedes was reported stolen from a parking lot. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 11, in the afternoon, four pairs of sunglasses were shoplifted from a sunglass business. „„1800 block of Cotillion Drive — On

Dec. 11, a woman reported a theft of two packages that were left at her front door. „„ 2200 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

On Dec. 11, in the evening, a laptop, a jacket, alcohol and $200 were removed from a car parked at an apartment complex. „„4600 block of Peachtree Place — Over-

night into Dec. 12, a Dodge truck was stolen.

„„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 12, a woman was arrested and charged with attempting to steal perfume from a clothing store. The next day, a woman was arrested and charged with trying to steal lotion from the same store. Also on that day, notorious jewel thief Doris Payne was apprehended and charged with trying to steal a diamond necklace from the store. „„ 4300 block of Ash-

„„4500 block of Ashford-

ford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 13, a woman arrested for shoplifting.

Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 12, employees reported the theft of a wallet, a belt and a scarf from a store. A shoplifter was identified and arrested on Dec. 13.

„„ 200 block of Perime-

ter Center Parkway — On Dec. 13, a rental car was stolen from a hotel.

„„1200 block of Ashford

Crossing — On Dec. 12, an employee at an ice cream shop reported the theft of the key to its business. „„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 12, a man was charged with attempting to shoplift underwear from a department store.

„„ 4300 block of Ash-

ford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 14, police responded to an employee theft report from a department store. A person was arrested. „„4500 block of Chamblee- Dunwoody

Road — On Dec. 14, a license plate was stolen from a car. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 14, a woman was arrested on a charge of felony shoplifting from a clothing store. „„4900 block of Summerford Drive —

On Dec. 14, a woman was swindled, over the phone, of $4,000 in gift cards. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 14, a woman was arrested and charged with attempting to steal five pairs of sunglasses from a sunglass business. „„1200 block of Ashford Crossing —

Between Dec. 14 and Dec. 17, a laptop, a charging cord, a Kindle, and headphones were stolen from a parked car. „„2200 block of Dunwoody Crossing —

Overnight into Dec. 15, items were stolen from a vehicle. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 14, a woman was stopped by loss prevention employees at a clothing store for trying to take a perfume tester bottle. She was arrested. „„4500

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 14, in the evening, a suspect took off with almost $10,000 in merchandise from a department store.

„„4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On Dec. 15, a man was arrested for shoplifting at a discount department store. „„7000 block of Perimeter Place — Over-

night into Dec. 16, several items were stolen from a car parked in a parking garage. „„7300 block of Madison Drive — On

Dec. 16, Christmas presents were removed from a parked car. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 16, due to suspicious activity in the Perimeter Mall parking lot, two occupants of a car were charged with “snatch and grab” activity at a department store and a clothing store. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 16, two women were arrested on felony shoplifting charges at a clothing store. One also possessed marijuana. „„1400 block of Dunwoody Village Park-

way — On Dec. 16, a wallet containing several credit cards and keys was stolen from an office. „„4700 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On Dec. 16, a juvenile was caught trying to steal thousands of dollars worth of Xbox games from a discount department store. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 17, two women were arrested on a charge of shoplifting. „„4400 block of Ashford-Dunwoody

Road — On Dec. 17, police responded to an attempt to enter into a car. „„4400

block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road — On Dec. 17, a lamp was stolen from a parked car. „„4500 block of Ashford-Dunwoody Road

— On Dec. 18, a juvenile was caught in possession of various stolen items from department and clothing stores.

A S S AU LT „„100 block of Perimeter Center — On

Dec. 11, in the early morning, a driver for a ride-sharing business reported that his passengers took him off route and then assaulted him at the end of the trip. „„1400 block of Valley View Manor – On

Dec. 11, in the morning, police responded to a domestic dispute. Police had to respond again to the couple on Dec. 17 regarding a civil dispute.

READ MORE OF THE POLICE BLOTTER ONLINE AT

www.ReporterNewspapers.net

DUN


Community | 23

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

911 NO W A C C EP T S T EX T M ES S AG ES

A rendering of the ballfields at Peachtree Middle School.

SPECIAL

Dunwoody council approves contract for design of Peachtree Middle baseball fields BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Dunwoody’s mayor and City Council voted Dec. 12 to award the design contract for two new baseball fields at Peachtree Charter Middle School to Skyline Engineering and Construction for a total of $98,000, including contingency funds. The design contract was originally for $81,890 and included a 10 percent

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contingency fund for the project, not to exceed $90,000. Some council members said they were receiving emails from residents wanting to overlay a girls’ softball field on one of the baseball fields. The council approved adding on another 10 percent contingency fund of $8,000 to specifically be used to examine and determine if such an overlay will work. The council also agreed that artificial turf will be used on the fields that

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 Brookhaven, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs, where the text option also is available. will be utilized by Dunwoody Senior Baseball and also the middle school. The council voted unanimously Nov. 14 to swap the ballfields that had been used by Dunwoody Senior Baseball to the DeKalb schools for use as a site for a new Austin Elementary School building. The school district also paid $3.6 million in cash. The $3.6 million is expected to cover the construction costs of the two new fields. As part of the agreement, the city will construct two new baseball fields

on about 8 acres at the middle school. The fields will be used by the school and Dunwoody Senior Baseball league, which mostly serves middle school boys. The school district will then build a new 900-seat Austin Elementary where the current baseball fields are located in Dunwoody Park and adjacent to the Dunwoody Nature Center. The city will then get the property where the current Austin Elementary is located to rebuild into a park space.


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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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Site-specific parks plans cost nearly $28 million

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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

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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

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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

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“[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

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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

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Heritage Sandy Springs plans future of historic site

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Silver Strong

By Isado

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on page 4

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12-23-16 Dunwoody Reporter