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theCurrent December 2012

AVOID health & wellness THE FISCAL CLIFF! presented by North Fulton Hospital pages 19–22

’Tis the Season… for Giving Back The Informed Medical Resolution Meet Dr. Jurgens


Dear Santa, How About Some Love for Roswell? PAGE 6

The Love Investment









Don’t Get Your


TINSEL in a Tangle!


38 PAGE 10





The Year of Food PAGE 34

page 16


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Arts C ULT U RAL SE RV ICES AWARDS The City of Roswell and the Cultural Arts Board (CAB) are pleased to announce the list of organizations that have been awarded a combined $25,000 from Contracts for Cultural Services (CFCS), the first ever financial support program developed for Roswell nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. Outside the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Fulton County Arts Council, this is the only local government-based program for support of arts and cultural


Publisher Tripp Liles

and made its own recommendation for approval to Roswell’s mayor and city council. The winners are: Michael O’Neal Singers, Georgia Regional Girls Choir, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, The Teaching Museum North and the Hillside Elementary PTA. For more info visit

organizations in metro Atlanta. “We are excited to be able to offer support to many of our arts and cultural organizations here in Roswell for the first time through the new Contracts for Cultural Services program,” said Morgan Timmis, historic and cultural affairs manager for Roswell. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the applications we received and have high expectations for the impact these programs and groups will have on our community.” Award recipients were chosen by a volunteer peer review advisory panel of individuals with expertise in the various disciplines reflected in the applications. The panel applied established review criteria to each proposal to ensure that fair consideration was given. The CAB then reviewed the panel’s recommendations

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Editorial & Creative Tripp Liles


Editor/Creative Director

Carrie Kutney

Due to a budget surplus, Cobb County commissioners have approved a pay raise for county workers. Only one county commissioner voted against the raise, which is the first in five years. The raise goes into effect at the end of this year and is coming from a surplus in the wellness program. Additionally the commissioners voted in favor of a slight property tax decrease that cuts a small portion of the increase they voted in last year.


From GET’s critically acclaimed performance of Ring of Fire.


Fulton County officials are contemplating deep cuts to balance the 2013 budget. In a plan presented by Finance Director Patrick O’Connor, most of the county’s offices would be cut 5 percent. The tentative budget totals $569.4 million in expenses, which represents a decrease of 6 percent from the previous budget. The new budget, which does not include a tax increase, is expected to go through substantial changes before final approval in January.

ACENBR AK NAMED NATIONAL AP WA PUBLIC WOR KS LEADERS HIP FELL OW Roswell’s Director of Transportation, Steven Acenbrak, was recently designated a Public Works Leadership Fellow (PWLF) by the American Public Works Association (APWA). As a PWLF fellow, Hansen will mentor public works professionals enrolled in the APWA Donald C. Stone Center for Leadership Excellence (DCS Center) throughout the

Steven Acenbrak, Director of Transportation, Roswell

Art Director

year. He is among 200 public works professionals from across North America who were recently inducted as Leadership Fellows (PWLF). The APWA Donald C. Stone Center’s Program Council determines the selection of recipients for the PWLF designation. Acenbrak has over 30 years of engineering and management experience. In his current role as Roswell, Georgia’s Director of Transportation, Acenbrak manages a team of 63 personnel, as well as a $7 million budget, and an over $8 million construction program for the seventh-largest city in Georgia. Acenbrak is eager to participate in the PWLF program. “With over 32 years of public works experience I want to give back to the profession that has been so good to me,” he said.

FU LTON S C HO O LS FINAL IS TS F O R $4 0 MILLION IN FU NDS Four Georgia school districts have been named as finalists for a U.S. Department of Education funding initiative. The program titled, Race to the Top, started with 372 applicants from districts throughout the country. Should the district win the award approximately half of the money would go to performance management and support of teachers. Additionally, funds would be allocated to mentoring programs, counselors and social workers in an effort to reduce the overall dropout rate. BRIEFS CONTINUED 4

Matthew W. Quinn Associate Editor

Rachel Barre Photography Main Phone Number 770-810-5943

Contributing Writers Michael Hadden Elaine LaMontagne Michael Finch Helen Kelley Tom Bowen Lynette Hoffman Phyllis Barron

Our Mission: The Current aspires to communicate in a way that’s useful, engaging, enjoyable and unique. We strive to reflect the full range of what the area has to offer, also advocating positions that strengthen unity and continuity. We desire to create and maintain a challenging, enjoyable and caring work environment that encourages creativity and innovation. Our rewards are informed, educated readers, very satisfied advertisers, happy employees and profitable growth. The Current is published monthly. Pre-sort standard postage paid at Atlanta, GA. Postmaster send changes to Current Communications, 934 Canton St., Roswell, GA 30075 Publisher has the privilege to reject any advertising. Advertiser is responsible for full content of advertisements provided and are responsible for any claims made therin. The Current is owned by Current Communications LLC

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DEC 2012

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The Drake House received three $1,000 grants from the Wells Fargo Community Partners ‘Days of Giving’ Program. The grants were awarded to The Drake House by Roseanne Nurse, Branch Manager, Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta, Ashley Shempert, Branch Manager, Shallowford Corners, in Roswell, and Iris Cooper, Branch Manager, Magnolia Street, in Roswell. The Drake House mission is to provide short-term crisis housing, assessment, support, and empowerment to homeless mothers and their children in the North Fulton area. Homeless families receive immediate housing and participate in a comprehensive life skills training program. “The life skills program is a key el-

Live reindeer will be making a special holiday appearance at the Chattahoochee Nature Center on Sunday, December 16. At this special event you can make your own reindeer crafts create a thumbprint reindeer to take home and build your own reindeer antlers. Bring can also picnic so you can spend the whole day exploring CNC. Later in

the afternoon, Miss Julia’s Winter Story Time will be held at 3pm. It will be another wacky and wonderful winter story so prepare to laugh and learn as we celebrate winter animals with a story, a song and some unexpected surprises. For more information visit

www Looking for more?

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ement in The Drake House’s commitment to empower homeless mothers to hone their life skills and increase their incomes. Wells Fargo’s partnership in accomplishing this objective will further our efforts to sustain and expand upon this vital component of our overall program. We are deeply grateful for the generous support from the Wells Fargo’s Community Partners Giving Program,” stated Kathy Swahn, Executive Director.

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DEC 2012

Dear Santa… Marietta, Alpharetta, and even Sandy Springs have some uniqueness. How about some love for Roswell? Especially at Holcomb Bridge/400 and Hwy 9 at the river. First off, to eliminate any confusion A Signature Project ◗ Our neighyou may have, we are the Roswell bors have them so why can’t we? without the aliens. This Roswell is a Alpharetta has two, City Center and beautiful place full of great people Avalon. Sandy Springs has their City and lots of nice neighborhoods. Center. Could you maybe bring us a Unfortunately, similar to most U.S. boutique hotel at our square? I feel cities, we have a ton of bad for all the wedding mindless development, runguests that come to our down strip malls, and downtown and then have disjointed subdivisions. I’m to take the freeway back to writing this year to ask for their hotels. a little help. Connective Paths ◗ We’ve been a good city Let’s face it Santa, even this year. We did a master you can’t repair our road plan for our historic network any time soon. It district, passed a hybrid Community Design will continue to be a form-based code, started Matters disjointed system that working on a unified develforces all the cars onto colMICHAEL HADDEN opment code, finished a lector roads and arterials strategic economic developand creates mega traffic. But roads ment plan, finalized our historic aren’t the only way to connect the gateway plan, and passed a bond inicommunity and increase our sense of tiative that will pay for lots of great place. How about we create a infrastructure improvements. We are network of dozens of multi-use paths trying our best to fix our problems like the greenway that connect our but we need a little Christmas magic. subdivisions? Let’s set a goal of Here’s what we want for Christmas creating 50 miles of multi-use paths this year: that transect subdivisions and An Identity ◗ The other Roswell, connect parks and schools within the has aliens. We need something even next 10 years. We could even pay for cooler. Our neighbor to the north is that ourselves; at five miles a year it the technology capital of the South would be about $2.5M/year. (kinda geeky but it pays well). Our Remove the Reversible Lanes ◗ neighbor to the east is the number Okay Santa, you don’t have to use one suburban city in America (not them, but take my word that these the identity we really want). Our things are old and dangerous. The neighbor to the south is a national traffic engineer that designed them model for outsourcing city services should definitely be on the naughty (not everyone likes outsourcing). We list. We need to fix them ASAP have the river, lots of cyclists, lots of before someone really gets hurt. history, tons of weddings, and of More Jobs ◗ I don’t know what course Canton Street. What kind of the unemployment rate is at the identity can we create with those inNorth Pole but Roswell currently engredients? joys one of the lowest unemployment Appealing Gateways ◗ Santa, do rates in Georgia at 6.5 percent. you even know when your sleigh enUnfortunately, many of those jobs ters Roswell airspace? We don’t have are outside of the city. Our residents a single gateway in our city that is commute north to Alpharetta or worthy of being called a gateway. We south to Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, need beautiful gateways at every Buckhead, and Atlanta. Can you major entrance to the city. CONTINUED 26 By Mike Hadden


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DEC 2012

The Love Investment The matrimonial process in our country has become big business! According to the website, the average cost of a wedding in Roswell, Ga. tops $27,000! And, that doesn’t include engagement parties, the honeymoon, and those little extras like swans and doves. Considering the average wedding and reception lasts about four hours, that’s burning through cash at about $6,250 per hour! Seriously? Now I may be an eternal pessimist, but couple this expense with a divorce rate close to 50 percent and you have—statistically—the worst investment known to man! Think about it. If someone tried to sell you any other $27,000 investment that had a 50 percent chance of being worthless, how long would that decision take you? Now, I know kids these days get tired of hearing about “how we did it,” but some Miscellaneous things were Ramblings just simpler MIKE FINCH and more sensible. Compare and contrast for yourself. Our eldest got engaged at the beach while on vacation with her now-fiancé’s family, and Sweetie and I just hosted an “engagement soiree” for the happy couple. In the old days, Sweetie and I got engaged in the cab of a pickup truck and immediately hooked up with friends at Denny’s for a celebratory “grand slam breakfast.” The eldest has selected a “venue” for her wedding and is designing a reception with dinner, dancing, and drinks for a couple hundred of their closest friends. Sweetie and I got married in our church and had a bare essential reception in the parlor room down the hall from the sanctuary. The irony was not lost on me that this was the same room where they also housed casketed bodies during funerals! The way I saw our reception was that a small bowl of

mints and a piece of cake was the only thing standing between me and my new eighteen-year old Sweetie getting to the hotel—enough said! The honeymoon is in a category all by itself. The eldest might possibly be disappointed if her honeymoon

If someone tried to sell you any other $27,000 investment that had a 50 percent chance of being worthless, how long would that decision take you?

By Mike Finch

destination does not require the use of a passport and a translation dictionary. Sweetie and I began our honeymoon by meeting my parents to borrow a reliable car and covertly seize a package of brand new tightywhities. Then, thanks to the generosity of my parents, we headed off for Mexico City. We actually hit all the high spots, France, Italy, Germany, and our favorite dinner spot—Japan! Then we’d hop back on the monorail and head over to The Magic Kingdom to catch the last parade of the day. Everywhere we went, people asked if we were newlyweds. It felt like we were wearing signs or t-shirts that read “Just Married,” but now when I look at the pictures of those two kids on vacation at Disney World, it’s easy to see how simple it was for people to draw that conclusion. Maybe for Sweetie’s sake I should have upgraded the entire matrimonial process and given her the engagement, wedding, and honeymoon of today’s standards, but more than likely I’d take that $27,000 and buy a vintage BMW. Statistically, it’s just a better investment! ❑ Mike Finch can be reached at miscellaneousramblings


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DEC 2012

Don’t Get Your “Tinsel In A Tangle” – Design tips for decorating your tree with such high emotions. Trimming the tree is stressful The Search for the Holy but we hope to take some of Grail! That was what we that stress away with some called our family outing to find tree trimming design tips. the PERFECT Christmas tree. Merry Christmas and let the I find it funny that what is supfamily bonding begin! posed to be the season of Let there be light! Lighting peace and joy can start out the tree is the most important part of your tree design and should be done first before any ornaments are added. We recommend 100 lights per foot of tree. So, if you have a sevenfoot tree, aim for 700 lights. Do your lights go on the tree in circles? Consider this change—put your lights on from the top of the tree to the bottom in a panel. From the top, come down and follow a branch out and back to trunk. Repeat until you get to the bottom branch and head back up the next set of branches. The By Sally Johnson

reason for this is that if a light bulb goes out, you have less wide search area for that pesky broken bulb. It’s Ornamental! Ornaments are the core to setting a tree’s theme. Whatever you are in the mood for this holiday season, you can make it happen with 60-72 ornaments on your seven-foot tree. Bird nests, birds, and cottages will bring Nature indoors this year. Red and gold ornaments of any shape and size continue to create a very traditional tree for your enjoyment. Ornaments with chartreuse green, bright red, sparkles, and less traditional shapes will create a wonderfully whimsical look. Are you hungry for a kitchen tree? Find ornaments of chefs, cakes, kitchen utensils, and

cupcakes for your perfect kitchen Christmas tree. Festive Floral and Fun! Now for some dimension in your tree. Festive floral and decorative components will do just that. Select pine picks with pinecones that add a natural element to your nature tree. How about posable elves that hang throughout the whimsical tree? Do you want to accent a certain color in your traditional tree? Christmas red floral picks can be added to embed the red color into your tree. For a seven-foot tree, we recommend 48-60 decorative floral picks and/or decorative components to show a fluid theme throughout. Top it Off! You are almost done! What would you like for the top of your tree? If you

don’t have a topper that is your family traditional top, let us give you some fun ideas. Again, follow your theme and have the top of your tree be a ‘wow’ factor. On a natural tree, a large birdhouse would be a great accent piece. For whimsy lovers, how about a 12" top hat that lights up? A traditional red and gold tree would look lovely with four or five red floral picks reaching out of the top of the tree. Whatever you decide, follow your theme and have fun! Holiday wishes and Merry Christmas to all from The Chandlery! ❑ Sally Johnson owns The Chandlery located on Canton Street in Roswell. For more information, visit

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DEC 2012

Residents at St. George Village retirement community in Roswell learn how to use an iPad in a workshop conducted by Jane Ratliff of Blue Hair Technology Group.

High-Tech Seniors You’re never too old when it comes to technology thought about how to teach her, breaking it down into simple steps. It’s never too late to learn Now, my mother sends and receives something new, as seniors all over email, has a Facebook page, and the country are proving. According plays a word game online with five of to a recent report by the Pew her friends.” Internet & American Life Study, Workshops like those offered by more than four million Americans 65 Ratliff take the fear out of using elecand over are online, using the tronic gadgets like smart phones, Internet and email, and their social tablets, and computers. Many older networking presence, using services adults are very eager students and, like Facebook and Twitter, is growing once online, love to explore personal by leaps and bounds. interests such as genealogy, Many seniors are discovering recipes, games and hobbies. the joys of “getting wired,” with Seniors can benefit both mena little encouragement from tally and emotionally from being their children and grandchildren. online, said Ratliff. “Using the “While the current senior generaInternet and social media can tion didn’t grow up with help keep older people’s brains technology, there’s no reason for active and alert, connect them them to miss out on the with family and friends, and experiences it offers,” said Jane help them remain independent beRatliff, owner of Blue Hair cause they can find information Technology Group, a nonprofit on their own,” she said. organization whose mission is For more information about educating seniors about technolBlue Hair Technology Group, ogy and the tools available to log on to or them to connect and communicate phone 678-641-1024. ❑ with family and friends. Ratliff started Blue Hair The five top uses of the web by senior citizens are: Technology from personal expe• using email rience, after she and her brother • looking up hobby information gave their mother an iPad on her • seeking financial information 86th birthday. “My mother basically • reading the news shunned technology, so she needed • checking weather reports to learn the basics of how to use her Source: Pew Internet, birthday present!” laughed Ratliff. “I By Helen K. Kelley

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13 DEC 2012

Roswell Donates Fire Truck To Island Park, NY Town’s fire department lost equipment, station to Hurricane Sandy donating this truck,” she said. traveled over 100,000 miles while Although the truck is 21 years old and responding to thousands of calls in 21 ROSWELL, Ga. — After a request from years of service. It had been awaiting fully depreciated, Wynn hopes it holds a national foundation, the city of together as long as Island Park needs it. auction in the depreciation lot since Roswell has donated one of its fire She said from what residents have told April. engines to a town devastated by her, the people of Roswell are proud “We thought it was a great thing to Hurricane Sandy. their city is helping a town affected so do,” Spencer said. Chief Ricky Spencer said the Terry badly by the storm. Spencer’s request received Farrell Firefighters Fund, established “I think it’s a real honor for us to be unanimous approval. Once the engine after 9/11 to collect donations to assist able to help another city who arrives at Island Park, all it firefighters in need throughout the had been devastated by this needs is to be filled with I think it’s a real country, requested help for fire water and outfitted with honor for us to be terrible natural disaster,” said departments in New York and New tools and it will be ready to able to help another Councilman Rich Dippolito. Jersey devastated by Sandy. He described Island Park as go. Spencer said the Island city who had been After receiving the request, Spencer Park Volunteer Fire devastated by this a small town with a single fire asked the Roswell City Council for terrible natural station and a single fire truck, Department’s goal is to disaster… permission to donate a used, both of which were destroyed restore service by the last depreciated fire engine to Island Park, a week of November. by Sandy. The need for a new New York town whose volunteer fire detruck is immediate, but given Roswell Mayor Pro Tem partment lost its equipment and its the time it takes to build a fire truck, it Becky Wynn said it was fantastic that would not be met anytime soon. station to Sandy. Bereft of its equipment, the city could assist Island Park in the Fortunately, the city of Roswell had a aftermath of Sandy. the department cannot service the truck slated for the auction block and “I’m so proud to be part of the city town’s remaining residents. The engine, built in 1991 in Ohio, had council that had no qualms at all about was glad to have the opportunity to help. By Matthew W. Quinn

Dippolito said there were people who came to him with tears in their eyes, telling him how proud they were the city was able to help. On the Island Park Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page, the department expressed its appreciation for the engine. It will be used until a new truck is ordered, which could take up to a year. Once the truck arrives, the department will work with the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund and the city of Roswell to find another city that needs an additional engine. ❑


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DEC 2012

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By Elaine LaMontagne The holiday spirit is in the air, so bring out the decorations and buy the tree— it’s time to entertain and enjoy the merriment! Whether it’s simply for • family, a cocktail party with friends, a girls’ night out, or a corporate gathering, it’s always helpful to plan for some of those little extra details and • ideas that can make an event more memorable and special, which is what this time of year should be about. Peruse some of the following suggestions from two successful area caterers, along with some of my own favorite tips, and grab a couple for yourself for the season!

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Sandra’s Added Touch Catering, located in East Cobb, is a boutique gourmet catering company that specializes in predominantly social events with custom menus. They prioritize being “select and not cookie-cutter” in style. Owner and namesake Sandra Bank offers these tips for your upcoming holiday celebration: • • Lighting is very important, so use lots of candles and dimmers. • Music sets a mood immediately — • make sure it’s on before your guests arrive, so when the door is opened, the party feels like it’s already hopping. • Pre-made drinks are fun, easy, and can be a conversation piece. If it’s your own concoction and your name is Nicole or Matt, call it a • “Nicole-tini” or “Matt-brew.” • Have all the glasses lined up with a berry — think a cranberry or raspberry — already placed inside. • With some beverage recipes, you can dip the rim of a glass in a bowl of corn syrup or lemon and Jello “sugar.” It makes for a visually and literally yummy libation. • Farm-to-table items are hot these

days. If you have your own garden, use something from it, be it vegetables or herbs. Ideally, use locally grown and organic items from stores. Quinoa is everywhere, and for good reason — it’s healthy, textured, uncomplicated to make, and delicious. Serve it! Cheeses are always appetizing. Have at least three options, perhaps one soft, one hard, and one goat cheese. White cheddars and parmesan wheels seem to get gobbled up Sandra Bank, owver of Sanders quickly. Added Touch Catering Hard cheeses are particularly loved because they’re a little less fattening. To accompany cheese, other than the classic crackers and grapes, add some fig preserves, nuts and honey. Send home a small thank-you-forcoming-gift such as a little wrapped bag of either biscotti or homemade cookies. It’s also a nice touch to serve hot apple cider, coffee, or tea in to-go cups, complete with tops for the drive or walk home! Most importantly, try to make your entertaining experience manageable and enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to order in an assortment of different flavored chicken wings or brisket from a great barbecue restaurant and put them on beautiful holiday dishes with a few colorful sauces. Then you’re good to go! Don’t forget lots of napkins, either seasonal or funny…

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15 DEC 2012

Talk of the Town Tips Talk of the Town is a full-service, offpremise catering company based in Roswell that specializes in events in private homes and other venues from seated dinners to weddings, from intimate corporate events to holiday parties. President and owner Chris Archer graciously offered the following tips and reminders when preparing for your holiday affair: • Although most parties in homes highlight a buffet of food in the dining room, it’s festive to have “food action stations” at other locations as well, such as a kitchen island or covered porch. • Don’t forget to remove dining room chairs from the dining room, rather than simply pushing them back to the wall. If necessary, they can be used at other locales in your home. Ideally you want to showcase your actual home furnishings and layout. • Intermingle a lot of Christmas bulbs, whether colorful or monochromatic, with fresh cut garland for your dining table for both the aesthetics and aroma. • If your dining room table has pretty legs, show them! Use a table cloth that does not go to the floor. You can also use large blocks of pretty fabric on a table top in a non-traditional fashion. • Christmas wrapped empty boxes can be ideal and beautiful risers for one’s buffet. • For purposes of ambiance, safety, and protection of furnishings, use LED battery-operated candles. • When having a party that isn’t a seated dinner, the vast majority of times there is not enough seating for all. In that case, heavy hors d’oeuvres needing only a fork and small plate while standing is a convenient way to go. • Consider renting 36” tall round cocktail tables to place drinks and have conversation. They can be used inside or outside. Portable heaters for a porch or around a pool are great additions if you would like guests to flow outside your home. • While at the rental store, consider a coat rack. Old fashioned clothespins with guests’ names attached can be placed on the hangers with jackets and purses for a clever and helpful touch. • Incorporate holiday flavors at your

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bar such as peppermint vodka, cinnamon coffee or spiced teas and punches. • There’s a tendency for guests to actually drink more than eat at parties, so bear that in mind with portion decisions. There are services that provide guests with rides home; they can bring your car home as well. • Order gourmet party platters from local caterers or grocers to make it a less stressful venture. Smoked salmon platters and minisandwiches are especially popular. You can certainly complement such platters with a favorite homemade recipe. • If you decide to entertain in a different venue than your home, Talk of the Town is a big fan of such places as Roswell Founders Hall and Naylor Hall, which they both operate, as well as Fickle Pickle’s Little Backyard Barn on Roswell’s Canton Street, Kimball Hall, Great Oaks, and Primrose Cottage on Mimosa Avenue in Roswell, and Berkshire House in Alpharetta. The atmosphere at each is magically charming and very Southern.

Ideas from Elaine Here are a few of my own personal tips from lots of happy memories at our home: • Pre-select Christmas ornaments that correlate to specific guests at the dinner table and place on the dinner plates as part of the decoration. Let them figure out which ones were picked for them to CONTINUED 26

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After a career that took him to award winning performances at New York City’s legendary Apollo Theater, local musician Clark King is returning to his roots with a Christmas concert at Ragamuffin Music. At first glance you would not guess that King’s voice has a rich soulful tone - but looks can be deceiving. Clark’s mother Maureen King first noticed his musical talent at a very young age. “When he was three, he used to sing on the swing-set,” she said. Clark later performed in the Cherub Choir at Tucker United Methodist Church. It was not until he was 15 years old that he began performing at Ragamuffin. Clark credited his musical leap of faith to Kevin Bales,

the head of the Georgia State University jazz ensemble, who was teaching him piano at the time. “I was just singing in my lesson at the piano and when he heard me sing, he told me the fact I could play and sing could open a lot of doors,” he said. Thus inspired, Clark began coming to Thursday open-mic nights at Ragamuffin. Clark described it as a safe place to perform at any level, since people don’t criticize and aren’t mean. Although he technically wasn’t supposed to do covers, the first song he sang was “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. He also sang blues songs like “The Thrill Is Gone” by B.B. King. He also wrote his own blues, including “Gettin’ On My Nerves” about a girl he liked who, when she started liking him back, became annoying. “It was just a joke song,” he said. “It


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wasn’t supposed to be melodramatic.” Despite this, he kept getting requests for the song. He also wrote “Song in My Heart” as a birthday present for Jackie Whitaker, the founder of Ragamuffin. The song was about finding music and finding Ragamuffin. He said this was because she helped him gain the confidence to perform. Whitaker said when she first heard him sing, she was impressed by his voice. He had so much voice for a 15year-old, although he didn’t know what to do with it. Since then, he has honed it to the instrument it is today. When asked about “Song in My Heart,” she said it was very sweet, touching, and humbling to learn she helped him find his song. It meant a lot to her. One song Clark performed at Ragamuffin, Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” ended up on YouTube. Maureen said Clark was always quiet growing up. She never paid attention to his singing as a child, but when she saw him on stage, it moved her to tears. “It just opened my eyes,” she said. “I knew that was his thing.” Although he began at Ragamuffin, the singersongwriter/folk genre wasn’t really his style. His mother got him in touch with Carmen Bradford, a Grammy Award-winning artist who had recently moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles. He began taking voice lessons from her. “It was just a totally different experience,” he said. “It was like stepping onto the next level of understanding what great music is. She made me cry several times. She’s intense.” Bradford taught him quality vocals and exposed him to great music. Some of these records are still his favorites. During the time he was learning from Bradford, he began performing at R&B clubs and entering contests. At 16, he won the Roswell Rocks teen award after longtime family friend Monica McNeeley saw a flier advertising the contest and called his mother to urge Clark to enter. McNeeley became acquainted with the King fam-

ily in 2005 and after urging from Maureen, came to see Clark sing. “I thought she was just the typical proud mama,” McNeeley said. When she came to Ragamuffin that night, Clark was introduced as a 16year-old white boy with the voice of a 35-year-old black man. “I was blown away,” McNeeley said. “He came out on stage and sang and I said,’ ‘This kid has it.’” It wasn’t just Clark’s voice—he carried himself well and was comfortable in his own skin. At Roswell Rocks, Clark was the only participant who did not sing rock songs. Instead, his set of six to seven songs included the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses,” Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind,” and Alicia Keyes’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” along with his own songs. He was pretty surprised to win the contest. As a reward, he got studio time to record one song and performed at the Roswell Fourth of July celebration in 2007. The first time he performed at a club, it wasn’t in Atlanta. It was Yancey’s, a soul club in Raleigh, N.C. while he was visiting cousins in 2007. “It was different, but I felt much more comfortable,” he said. “I’m kind of a loud singer.” The audience was so responsive. It was then that he realized this was the sort of atmosphere he thrived in. The more his audience cheered, the more he let loose. He compared it to discovering a new source of energy. After that, he found places similar to Yancey’s like the Apache Café in Atlanta or Café 290 in Roswell. In 2008, he won Café 2090’s “Who’s Got That Vibe” contest. While performing there, he was asked to enter a talent search held at Word of Faith, a megachurch headed by Dale Bronner. He was the youngest of 15 contestants and ultimately won $3,000. In 2009, he performed at Showcase of the South at the Rialto Theater and won the Entertainer of the Year contest. During that time, he began working with Raab Stevenson, a vocal coach who worked with Justin

The Apollo Theater invited him to perform at the 2010 Spring Gala…

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Timberlake, Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson, and other well-known musicians. He started recording in a studio with him. In October of that year, Clark and his parents waited for 11 hours on the street for the Apollo Theater tryouts—it was the first time they’d come looking for talent in Atlanta in 30 years. Over 600 people lined up for the opportunity. In February 2010, Clark went to New York to appear on “Another Night at the Apollo.” He took first place in that contest, as well as two more. The Apollo Theater invited him to perform at the 2010 Spring Gala where Aretha Franklin and (posthumously) Michael Jackson were inducted into the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame. “He received a standing ovation led by Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony,” Maureen recalled. After that appearance, a lot of people became interested in Clark and his career. After a few bumps in the road involving different managers and producers, he learned the music business wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be. This slowed his musical career, but did not stop it. During this period, he lived in New York City for six months, working on his music and even recording a duet with Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston’s mother. Those contracts ended in September. Now Clark is returning to his roots with a Dec. 15 Christmas candlelight concert at Ragamuffin with a funk/soul band. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8 p.m. The concert will feature a Christmas repertoire Clark performed at the Nov. 17 Atlantic Station tree-lighting, at a church in Madison, Ga. and at a couple of private parties. “Everybody should come,” said Ashley Harris, who purchased Ragamuffin from Whitaker in 2011. She first heard Clark perform at an openmic night soon after she bought the business. She said he is part of a generation of rising music talents who began at Ragamuffin, including Mandy Gawley, Riley Biederer, and Caroline Aiken. “I think he’s an exception talent,” she said. “He’s got great vocal ability and charisma.” She loves that he got started at Ragamuffin and that he’s returning there for the Christmas concert. This will not be his last Christmas

performance. On Dec. 21, he will perform at a benefit concert for Project Walk Atlanta, a spinal injury recovery center. This concert will be near and dear to his heart—longtime family friend Chris Picard was paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident. “I’m just excited to do it for a good cause,” he said. The concert will be at Old Atlanta Park and Recreation Center in Suwanee at 7:30 p.m. Unlike the show at Ragamuffin, tickets must be ordered in

advance; those interested can call 678200-9559. At present, Clark has hopes that 2013 will bring success. McNeeley is optimistic about Clark’s chances of musical stardom. “He’s definitely got that ‘It’ factor, but it really is a crapshoot,” she said. She hopes Clark gets his big break. If he keeps putting himself out there, eventually the right people will see him and hear him. Unusual voices come along every once in awhile. Even if Clark doesn’t fit the model of Top 40 or hip-hop, he can go far if someone sees his look and hears his voice. She said Clark has a gift that just has to be presented to the right people. Whitaker will attend the Dec. 15 concert. “I think he’s a real performer, a representative of times long past,” she said. She said there are few performers today who give everything they’ve got and work so hard to entertain. She hopes he’ll get everything that’s coming to him. ❑

health & wellness presented by North Fulton Hospital

‘Tis The Season…For Giving Back

North Fulton Hospital Community Calendar

By Debbie Keel, CEO Hospital employees, by their nature, are very giving people. After all, who would choose a career where the entire focus is to take care of people when they are their lowest point and get them healthy and back home? Whether it’s a bedside nurse or a materials management tech preparing supplies for that nurse’s patient, there is but one goal: improving the health of the patient. So in their off-hours, after caring for patients during a 12-hour shift or supplying units with equipment and supplies, you’d think that hospital employees would take some time off from “giving” and maybe do something all about them. While my North Fulton Hospital team members do have fun enjoying families, hobbies, travel and the like, many of them also spend a good bit of their time off giving some more. For example, Shirley Ritchie, RN, a case manager at NFH spends her extra time giving free foot care to diabetic patients in need. Shirley, who always Shirley Ritchie, RN has a smile on her face in the hospital hallways, serves many hours at podiatric clinics serving those patients who can’t afford to pay for foot care, helping them to avoid a complication of diabetes that causes wounds and even amputation. I can look out my office door and see a young lady who loves dogs and uses hers to help others. Amberlee Moore, my executive assistant, has a dog named Oreo who is a certified therapy dog. She brings Oreo to schools and nursing homes and everyone falls in love with him. I’ve seen Oreo calm the kids at Star House, where the hospital staff often volunteers, just by letting them pet him. And he has the same effect with the elderly, almost always sporting his University of Georgia kerchief around his next..

Amberlee Moore and Oreo, a certified therapy dog. Recently, the two employees who run our medical staff office, Michele Fos, the manager, and Sonya Brooks, the credentialing assistant, made a long-term commitment to walk the recent ThreeDay Walk to fight breast cancer. They trained almost every day for more than six months to walk the 60-mile event that started in Stone Mountain and ended at Turner Field. They were both in tremendous physical condition but when I saw them the Monday after the weekend event, they remarked that it was muore challenging, both physically and emotionally, than they thought. But they did it, raising funds to fight breast cancer in the effort. There are many others at NFH that give even after they give all day or night at work. Many of them do so through their churches, through clubs like Rotary or very quietly with neighbors who need their help. Like the women listed above, they come to work and do it all again on Monday. They make me proud to even be associated with them, much less to lead their hospital. They make me realize that the reason NFH is known for its community caring is because of what they do inside the walls for our patients, as well as what they do when they are not here. ❑



Nicotine Cessation Group

Babysitting Workshop

Every Tuesday, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Classroom C. Join with other men and women seeking motivation, education and support to live free of nicotine. The only requirement for attendance is the desire to start the journey.

Saturday, 1/26 and 2/23, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Sunday, 12/2, from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. Teaches children ages 11-14 how to be prepared and responsible babysitters. Bring a doll or stuffed animal and a sack lunch and drink. $30

Look Good, Feel Better

American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR

Wednesday, 1/16, 10 a.m. to noon, Medical Arts Center. A cosmetologist will discuss how to care for skin and hair to combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Free make-up and skin care products are provided. Call Ryan at 404-582-6153 to register.

Saturday, 12/1, and 1/12, 2/2 CPR course for the community. Adult and child CPR, 9 a.m. to noon; $35 Adult, child and infant CPR, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; $45 *You may sign up for the adult/child portion only, but infant CPR will not be offered separately.

Taking Care of Me: Loss, Grief & Resolution Third Wednesday of every month,

Diabetes Self-Management Workshop

Call Beverly at 404-843-6500 for more information.

Caregiver Support Fourth Wednesday of every month. To focus on caregivers’ stress, community resources, and strategies for care giving. Please call Beverly at 404-843-6500 for more information.

Caring, Sharing, and Learning: Breast Cancer Support Group Fourth Tuesday of every month, 6 p.m., Medical Arts Center. Cope and connect with others who are facing the same struggles. Please call Micah Brown, RN, Breast Health Nurse Navigator, at 770-751-2556 to register.

WomenHeart Support Group Second Tuesday of every month, 7:30 p.m., Classroom C. WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, brings support and education to women who are at risk or who already have heart disease and would like to know more about risk factors and symptoms. We will be addressing different topics each month. To register, call Nicki at 404-386-6037.

Ostomy Support Group Third Tuesday of every month, 6:30 p.m., Classroom C. This group is open to anyone who has or will have an ostomy and any friends, family or supporters. The meeting structure is informal with group discussion and guest speakers to be scheduled at various times throughout the year. Call John Dorso at 678-694-8726 to register or to obtain more information.

Saturday, 12/8, 1/26, 2/23, and 3/23 The Diabetes Association of Atlanta (DAA) offers classes at North Fulton Hospital to teach diabetes self-management skills. Call Katie at 404-527-7180 for more information and to register.

Childbirth Preparation Saturday, 12/15, 1/19, and 2/9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Active class consisting of both lecture and discussion/sharing. Topics include anatomy and physiology; nutrition and fitness; discomforts of pregnancy; stages of labor and what to expect; cesarean birth; medications; possible complications; postpartum care; and comfort, relaxation, breathing and coping techniques for labor support. $100 per couple; registration required.

Water Birth Thursday, 12/13, 12/27, 1/10, 1/24, 2/7, and 2/21, 7 p.m. For couples desiring to learn about the option of a water birth delivery. Completion of the class is required to be considered for water birth at NFH. $30.00 per couple; registration required. Call 770- 751-2660 for more information and to register.

Maternity Tours Please join one of our Women’s Health nurses in the hospital atrium on alternating Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. for a guided tour of the Labor and Delivery suites, Mother/Baby Unit and the Neonatal ICU. The tour lasts about one hour. Call 770-751-2660 for the schedule and to register.


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North Fulton Hospital Receives Two American Heart Association Awards Awards recognize North Fulton Hospital’s commitment to quality care for both heart failure and stroke patients Following Get With The Guidelines, North Fulton Hospital has received stroke and heart failure patients are two Get With The Guidelines® started on aggressive risk-reduction Achievement Awards from the therapies while in the hospital. Before American Heart Association: the discharge, they also receive education Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality on managing their overall health, Achievement Award and the Stroke including lifestyle modifications and Gold Plus Quality Achievement follow-up care. Hospitals must adhere Award. The recognitions signify that North Fulton Hospital has reached an to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible exceptional goal of treating heart for the achievement awards. failure and stroke patients according “North Fulton Hospital is dedicated to the guidelines of care recommended to making our care for heart failure by the American Heart Association. and stroke patients among The Get WithThe the best in the country. Guidelines program helps Hospitals must adhere The American Heart North Fulton Hospital’s to these measures at a Association’s Get With staff develop and set level for a implement acute and sec- designated period of The Guidelines program ondary prevention time to be eligible for helps us to accomplish this goal,” said Deborah C. guideline processes to imthe achievement Keel, CEO of the hospital. prove patient care and awards. “This recognition outcomes. The program demonstrates that we are provide hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, on the right track, and we’re very proud of our team.” best practice discharge protocols and According to the American Heart standing orders, along with a robust Association, about 5.7 million people registry and real-time benchmarking suffer from heart failure. Statistics also capabilities to track performance. The quick and efficient use of guide- show that, each year, 670,000 new cases are diagnosed and more than line procedures can improve the 277,000 people will die of heart quality of care for stroke and heart failure. However, many heart failure failure patients, save lives and ultimately, reduce healthcare costs by patients can lead a full, enjoyable life lowering recurrence and reducing dis- when their condition is managed with proper medications and devices and ability. with healthy lifestyle changes. The “Recent studies show that patients AHA also reports that stoke is one of treated in hospitals participating in the American Heart Association’s Get the leading causes of death and With The Guidelines program receive serious, long-term disability in the a higher quality of care and may expe- United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and rience better outcomes,” said Lee H. someone dies of a stroke every four Schwamm, M.D., chair of the Get minutes. Approximately 795,000 peoWith The Guidelines National ple suffer a new or recurrent stroke Steering Committee and director of each year. the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke To learn more about North Fulton Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, visit our website at Hospital in Boston, Mass. “North To get a Fulton Hospital’s team is to be commended for their commitment to free referral to a physician, call 770-751-2600. ❑ improving the care of their patients.”

The Informed Medical Resolution With the end of the calendar year approaching it is important to remember to make any final doctor appointments and assess the specifics of your health plan. Many people have benefits that expire at the end of the year and deductibles also begin anew in January. If you have met your deductable Dr. Jane Zhong now is a great time to schedule any treatment you may have delayed. Also, be sure to take advantage of benefits with calendar limits especially preventive health services. A good check up in December will give you an idea of what you may face next year and if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) you can make any adjustments to money set aside. FSAs expire and cannot roll over so in most cases you need to use that money by the end of the calendar year. Having good knowledge of your overall health can be an important factor in potentially saving you money in the long run.

Know your Condition — A Game of Numbers In planning for a new year, knowing your health numbers is important. The following are some of the key numbers for a healthy lifestyle. By knowing and learning how to correct them could add years to your life. Blood pressure is a very important number. High blood pressure is free of symptoms and can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack or kidney failure. Your normal blood pressure should be 120/80 or lower. A 140/90 or greater is considered high and can be controlled by making healthy lifestyle choices and taking medications when directed by your doctor. You can learn your healthy weight

by doing more than looking into a mirror. Your BMI or body mass index is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. A BMI of less than 18.5 is considered to be underweight; normal is 18.5 to 24.9; overweight is 25 to 29.9; and 30 or greater is obese. Obesity can increase the risk for certain cancers, depression, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Consistent exercise is a great way to lower your BMI. Even a modest weight loss of 10 percent can lower your risk for developing some of these serious conditions. “I usually recommend 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day and diet control with a low carb and low

BLOOD PRESSURE Normal 120/80 or lower

High 140/90 or greater

BMI Underweight 18.5 or less

Normal 18.5 to 24.9

Overweight 25 to 29.9

Obese 30 or greater

CHOLESTEROL Normal Less than 200 mg/dL

Borderline High 200 to 239 mg/dL

High 240 mg/dL and above

GLUCOSE 75-GRAM ORAL Fasting level Normal 60 to 100 mg/dL

One-hour level less than 200 mg/dL

Two-hour level less than 140 mg/dL

Prediabetes Two-hour level of 140 to 200 mg/dL

Diabetes Level over 200 mg/dL


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calorie diet,” Dr. Jane Zhong, Internal Medicine Physician with North Fulton Primary Care, said. “Cut down on sweets and sodas and try to limit your caffeine.” Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is produced by the liver and found in certain foods. It is necessary to produce vitamin

Meet Dr. Mike Jurgens

D and some hormones, build cell walls, and make bile salts to help in fat digestion. Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL. Cholesterol that is 200 to 239 mg/dL is borderline high; 240 mg/dL and above is considered high. Elevated cholesterol can lead to narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup and cause chest pain, heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol can be lowered through lifestyle changes and medications. “With cholesterol it is important to watch the diet specifically. A lot of things we like are not necessarily good for our bodies,” Dr. Zhong warned. The sugar that the body uses for energy is called glucose. Elevated glucose levels can indicate diabetes, a chronic disease that occurs when the body fails to process sugar correctly. Normal results for a 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test would show a fasting level of 60 to 100 mg/dL, a one-hour level of less than 200 mg/dL, and a two-hour level of less than 140 mg/dL. A two-hour level of 140 to 200 mg/dL would indicate prediabetes, and a level over 200 mg/dL would be a sign of diabetes.❑ To schedule an appointment with Dr. Zhong or any North Fulton Primary Care physician, call the 24-hour free physician referral line at 770-751-2600.


ANSWER Our main draw to this area was proximity to our families. This area is perfect for raising children. The suburbs have excellent schools and lots of options for family-centered activities while the nearby city offers professional sports, great restaurants, a convenient airport. We also love the weather here—four moderate seasons.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Zhong or any North Fulton Primary Care physician, call the 24-hour free physician referral line at 770-751-2600.




What started as a keen interest in science, math, and problem-solving as a child has led Dr. Michael Jurgens to his current role as a radiologist, deciphering the puzzle of patients’ conditions with the help of imaging technology. In 2013, Dr. Jurgens will serve as North Fulton Hospital’s Chief of Staff, playing a central administrative role in the coordination of excellent patient care at the hospital.



ANSWER Science and math were always

my favorite classes as a kid and I went to college planning on a future in Engineering or Medicine. I settled on Biomedical Engineering at Duke University to keep my options open. I had a chance to shadow a pediatric heart surgeon during college, which sold me on medicine. It is somewhat cliché, but like others, I was driven by a desire to help people.



ANSWER There are a number of things unique to radiology that were very appealing to me. First, the technology involved with the equipment in radiology was a natural fit for my engineering background. I’ve always enjoyed problem-solving, and radiology is like a never-ending cycle of problem-solving. Hundreds of times a day we are presented with a puzzle—several pieces of information that need to be assembled into one answer. Most every complex medical situation involves imaging. Therefore, the radiologist is involved and aware of every patient coming through the hospital. Radiologists don’t have quite the frequency of direct patient contact that

other specialties have, but we do have direct involvement in the patient’s care and often we are the ones that solve the mystery of what is ailing a patient.



ANSWER I was directly involved with the care of my mother the past 5 years. She fought a very impressive battle against metastatic breast cancer from 2007 to 2011. With my personal knowledge of breast care and the relationships I have built with my physician colleagues, I was certain that she was given the best opportunity possible to beat the disease. Without that information, we might have opted to receive her care at a tertiary center, making it extremely difficult for our family to spend time together. I knew without a doubt that North Fulton Hospital could provide the same quality of care with the additional convenience of remaining close to home. Without a career in medicine, I’m not certain if we would have been able to come to that same conclusion.



ANSWER My family is originally from Holland, and we moved to the D.C. area when I was 5. I still speak Dutch with my father and my relatives in Holland. While I was in college, my parents moved to Atlanta, and I followed them south when I attended medical school at the Medical College of Georgia. That was where I met my wife, Liz, a native Atlantan. After completing our residencies in Florida, we moved back to Atlanta in 2004, so we could raise our family near their grandparents.

ANSWER Most of my free time is spent with my three children. Sophie is 4, Luke is 7, and Will is 10. You can usually find me driving them around to various practices and school activities on my days off. There always seems to be a need for parent volunteers, and I never seem to be able to say no. So, over the years, I’ve coached my kids in soccer, baseball, basketball, and football, as well as being a cub scout leader. When our schedule allows, we enjoy traveling with the family. We enjoy time at the beach, but have also traveled to New York, San Francisco, Park City, Utah, and have even visited family in Holland. When I do carve out some free time, I spend it exercising. I’ve always enjoyed running, and more recently I’ve added biking, and a triathlon to my training. Running has always been a way for me to clear my mind of all the responsibilities of the day.



ANSWER I like most any music. But if I had to pick a few favorites, I’d narrow it down to REM and U2, favorites from high school and college. More recently, I’d add Maroon 5 and Mumford and Sons. I prefer reading nonfiction books. Although I don't have a particular favorite author, two of my favorite books, Seabiscuit and Unbroken, happen be written by the same author, Laura Hillenbrand. Unbroken is a truly inspirational story of survival and perseverance.



ANSWER As a child I took a career

placement test, and it predicted veterinarian well above all the other choices. So I guess that would be a possibility. However, with my degree in biomedical engineering, I’d probably be designing or improving radiology equipment, instead of interpreting the images. ❑


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DEC 2012

Choosing Toys With Safety In Mind December is safe toys and gifts month Dolls, video games, stuffed toys, radio controlled cars, train sets, action figures, scooters, bicycles, trading cards, board games. With so many toys to pick from, the selection can be overwhelming. But a gift-giver’s first priority should always be to ensure the toy is safe. In 2010, the he U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which regulates all toys made in or imported into the United States, reported 17 toy-related deaths and approximately 181,500 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms for children under the age of 15. “At such a joyous time of year, it’s hard to think about something scary happening as the result of an unsafe toy,” said Mike Lipscomb, M.D., an emergency physician and chairman of the Emergency Department at North Fulton Hospital. “But getting the right toy for a special child this holiday season really isn’t that complicated as long as you follow these general guidelines and choose a toy with safety in mind.”

1. Buy the right toy for the right age. Age recommendations listed on toys are based on safety guidelines, not intelligence level or degree of maturity. For infants, toddlers and preschoolers, look for toys that do not have any small parts that might cause a choking hazard, such as marbles or balls that are 1.75 inches (4.4 centimeters) or less in diameter. 2. Select toys that are durable and have tightly secured parts that can withstand pulling and twisting.

Make sure toys made with fabric are flame resistant or flame retardant, and choose plush toys that can be washed. Select art materials that are nontoxic. Crayons and paints should have the designation “ASTM D-4236” on the package, signifying they have been approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Make sure painted toys are covered in lead-free paint. Buy electronic toys with the “UL” label that meet safety standards set by Underwriters Laboratories. Try to avoid older, hand-me-down toys, even if they have sentimental value. These toys may not meet current safety guidelines or have worn-out parts that could break off and become dangerous.

3. Stay away from toys that have sharp edges or points, or toys that are made of brittle plastic that could break easily. 4. Avoid toys with long strings or cords that could pose a strangulation risk. 5. Never give a young child an uninflated balloon (or piece of balloon) because balloons are the leading cause of suffocation death. Remember to discard wrappings from toys after they have been opened. Plastic bags can be a suffocation hazard for young children. If you are buying a bicycle, inline skates, scooter or skateboard for an older child, make sure they are used with a helmet or other safety gear, such as hand, wrist or shin guards. Projectile toys, such as darts or arrows, should have soft tips or suction cups on the ends to avoid eye injuries. Toy guns should be brightly colored with a red tip so they don’t look like real guns. BB or pellet guns are not recommended for children under the age of 16. Choose toys that comply with safety standards. Toys made after 1995 must comply with CPSC standards, which include setting guidelines and labeling most new toys for particular age groups. You should be aware of recent issues concerning lead paint and other hazards being associated with toys made in China. Check the label on the box to see where the toy was manufactured. For more information about toy safety, visit the CPSC website at ❑

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot Yet? In this Season of Giving, there’s one “gift” that is best not given to others, although it is sometimes unwittingly passed along—the flu. If wanting to avoid being miserably sick isn’t enough to encourage you to get your flu shot, maybe these stats will. ◗ As many as one in five Americans get influenza each year. So, be part of the other four! ◗ Depending on the severity of circulating strains, the flu kills between 3,000 to as high as 49,000 Americans annually. ◗ Direct medial costs of a moderately severe seasonal influenza outbreak average more than $10 billion. ◗ Anyone can get the flu—even healthy people. But people that especially need to get the flu vaccination are people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women and young children. ◗ Each flu season from 5-20% of the U.S. population becomes sick with the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. ◗ Don’t believe the myth! The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu virus. The influenza viruses contained in the flu shot are inactivated (killed) which means they cannot cause infection. The nasal spray flu vaccine does contain live viruses but the viruses are weakened and also cannot cause flu illness. ◗ People can pass the flu virus to others before they know they are sick. Adults can infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick ◗ It takes up to two weeks after the vaccination to have full protection. This is why it’s important to get vaccinated as early as possible. Because the severity of the flu season is always changing, there’s no easy way to pick and choose when to get the flu shot. The best way to protect yourself and those around you is by getting the annual vaccination. Schedule yours today! To contact a North Fulton Primary Care location near you, visit❑


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DEC 2012

East Cobb Is Busy This Holiday Season By Phylis Simoni I just love the holidays. The crisp cool air, wonderful foliage and of course plenty of activities for us all. Even though the Thanksgiving holiday has passed, there will be a month-long cornucopia of Christmas-related, and even some non-Christmas, events throughout the area. The following is a list of them. We encourage readers to check our list weekly on our new site at, as the list continues to grow. Jolly old Saint Nick will be making an appearance in the Marietta Square on Saturdays (10am - 6pm) and Sundays (11am – 5pm). Beginning on the week leading to Christmas (Dec. 19 - 21) he will be appearing daily from 10am to 6pm. Word has it that this is in fact the real Santa. In other holiday related activities The Georgia Ballet will present seasonal classic The Nutcracker at the Jennie T. Anderson Theater in Marietta. If you’ve never seen a performance it is a must for the whole family. Also the Georgia Ballet will be producing Swirling Soiree: An Evening of New Dances, Great Finds, and Tasty Eats in January. Beyond the performance, you will enjoy a reception in addition to an innovative and exciting silent auction with items of interest for all ages and budgets. This performance will take place at the Murray Arts Center at Mount Paran Christian School. For more information visit If you are into the arts The Art Place (TAP) and Mountain View Arts Alliance (MVAA) are having a great Holiday Show and Sale at the Artist Attic. All items are handmade by TAC students, instructors and staff. If you are looking for that one

of a kind gift that stands out this is the place. The gallery is located at 3330 Sandy Plains Road in Marietta. For additional info visit their site at If you are looking to make a more meaningful gift to someone E Cubed International is having an Adopt-aSenior for Christmas event. The program will deliver gifts to seniors citizens living in East Cobb Beat Northeast Atlanta PHYLIS SIMONI Health and Rehab with no friends or relatives. Volunteers will be delivering gift bags on Sunday Dec. 16. The cost to adopt a senior is $20 per bag and you can sponsor as many as you like. To donate or volunteer visit Beyond the holiday activities there are other events to be aware of that are also reminiscent of warmer weather. The Marietta Square Farmers Market will be in full swing each Saturday from 9am to 12pm. They have some great seasonal vegetables and fruits not to mention many other wonderful treats—some that would even make great gift ideas. Lets also not forget about the boys of summer or well in this case the boys of winter. The East Side Baseball registration is underway. Sign-ups begin on Dec. 15 and run through Jan. 15 for ages 4 to 18. For more information visit Organizations wishing to add their events to our list are asked to email the information to From all of us at The Current we wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season. ❑

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DEC 2012

Welcome To The Recovery Tales from the front lines of the U.S. economic rebound outgrown our current home? Have our needs changed?” Supply has changed It’s a fact. Houses and cars make or in the Roswell, East Cobb, and break economic recoveries. In the Alpharetta markets. Inventory is down recession of the early 1970s, car and more than 30 percent over this time home sales accounted for half the ecolast year and decreasing monthly, with nomic recovery. Again, in the early current absorption rates being less 80s, they were responsible for a third. than five months in homes under The correlation between home and $600k. Since we have great schools, car sales and a strong recovery is interparks, walkability, nightlife, esting and symbiotic. If you buy a restaurants, and shopping, these areas house, logic dictates that you will also have become hot spots and are in high need a car. Overall, car sales are up demand. Couple that with the historiacross the board, with the exception of cally low interest rates and you have large sized SUVs and trucks. If there the perfect storm — and this time in a are millions of Americans good way. We have entered confident enough to buy a into a seller’s market by the car, then they are also confinumbers. dent enough in their fiscal With all of that being prowess to buy a home. said, that does not mean Especially when interest that homes have jumped rates are this great. back up to pre-housing However, in this recovery, bubble prices. It does howthe residential investment ever mean that if you can has been suppressing sell and break even, realize Real Estate growth. Good news some equity, or in some KIRSTEN RICCI though—that’s changing. cases, bring a check to closNationwide new home ing. You will be better off selling low starts are up 25 percent from last year. and buying low with the lowest Additionally, housing permits are up interest rates of our lifetime. 45 percent over the past year. I have Other factors ◗ Could anything go good reason to believe that this will wrong? Yes of course it could. Here in continue to accelerate. the U.S. we could do everything right, Local movement ◗ In the North even have a Congress that gets along, Metro area, we have a strong sellers’ but Europe or China could fall apart. market. There have been far more peoConflict in the Middle East could send ple looking to buy than sell, and with gas prices soaring. All of these could new inventory not keeping up, a derail our recovery. strong demand is winning the game. But locally, let’s stick to the positive. In late spring 2012, the pent-up deThe housing comeback is the most immand for buyers and sellers to get portant economic story in our back in the real estate market seemed recovery. If the investment in residento burst open. Homes have been flying tial property returns to its long-term off the market in our area. New average, it would add over 1.5 percent construction has not only started to overall growth in 2013. If that hapagain, but the neighborhoods are sellpens, next year will truly mark the end ing out as quickly as buyers can write of the Great Recession. contracts and builders can build. Now is the time, even with the holiSellers who have listed their homes day season approaching, there are and priced them correctly have sold buyers who are out there perched and quickly, in a lot of cases much faster ready for their next home to become than they were prepared for. It is not available… is it yours? Call Roswell uncommon for homes to sell within Realty today—404.631.6333 ❑ days in today’s market. All of this is great news for Kirsten Ricci is with Roswell homeowners who have been Towne Realty and can be reached at wondering, “Is now the time? Have we By Kirsten Ricci



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DEC 2012 6

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bring some local jobs please? High Quality Apartments ◗ Now you might think this is a bit crazy to ask for, but I really want to see some high quality apartments, especially in our most walkable areas. The kids these days just don’t want to buy homes and the apartments in our city aren’t the kind they want. If we are going to diversify and attract the next generation of talent to Roswell, we need some new apartments. I Almost Forgot ◗ Can you bring us an outdoor recreation complex that would have a Major League Soccer stadium, a whitewater rafting center (like the one in Charlotte), an aquatic center and a velodrome all with a hotel and some retail? You could even package them all together 14

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identify their seats—and of course, they get to keep them. Place a box of holiday trivia on the dining table for conversation over a leisurely holiday meal. Contact any cleaning services, including carpet cleaners, landscapers, and pool services, in advance for pre-party (and perhaps postparty) prep. Hose or wipe down any entrance ways, both front and side, where guests might enter so that it’s sparkly upon arrival. No cobwebs at the doorbells! In addition to a mix of Christmas music and other contemporary music playing, have Christmas movies playing on TVs (but muted) to add to the festive feeling. Line your entrance-way with poinsettias (small, medium or large, depending on the number of your guests) as pretty décor, and then have your guests, either individuals or couples, take one as a gift as they leave. Or have a basket with individually wrapped ornaments by the

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in one location and brand it as the outdoor recreation capital of the South (take that Alpharetta geeks!). What’s that Santa? I’m crazy, you say all that can’t fit anywhere in Roswell? Not so fast Santa, you could plop it down perfectly on the southeastern quadrant of the Holcomb Bridge/400 intersection, and you could even fit a MARTA stop there but the people on the naughty list don’t like trains (even at Christmas). Now, let’s get those elves to work! ❑ Michael authors the blog You may contact him at:

door for guests to select as a keepsake. • For a girlfriend gathering—mine was Christmas Bunco—I had a coat rack with colorful short, furry robes. Everyone had to take off their party dress and wear their new robe with little socks throughout the party, like an old fashioned pajama sleepover. The robes and socks were my gift to them. And of course, gift exchanges— sometimes known as Greek Auctions— are always a blast. Have each guest (or couple) bring a wrapped gift of a certain price range, and place under the tree. Then, everyone (or every couple) picks a number out of a container to determine the order. First person selects a gift and unwraps. Next person can either take an unwrapped gift or “steal” one that was already opened. If a gift is stolen twice, it’s safe or unable to be taken again. Everyone leaves with a gift, but there’s lots of laughs (or maybe not!) along the way. Lastly, dear hostesses, wear an outfit you feel fabulous in—let’s face it, it helps! Shoes or boots need to be comfortable—cute, but comfy. MERRY, MERRY TO ALL! ❑

Talk of the Town 770-594-1567 30 Woodstock Street Roswell, GA 30075


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Roswell Rotary Club members Ron Cowan and Becky Wynn help package supplies for the ‘Adopt A Platoon’ campaign.

DEC 2012

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Local officials and guests at the opening of the Mr. Clean Carwash and Tide Dry Cleaners on Holcomb Bridge Road.

Roswell City Council member Rich Dippolito (with ball) shows his strength at the opening of Core Matters Fitness.

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(Left) Owner Dan Weiss with an associate at the opeing of the Red Wings shoes location on Mansell Road. (Top) Officials and guests taste the sweets at the opening of Sweet! in Roswell.

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DEC 2012

A Big Month For Movies



Sept. 28 The Wood Brothers

Friday Nights

By Matthew W. Quinn Local cinema aficionados will have their plates full of movies to see this holiday season. The biggest premiere of the year will be the Dec. 14 release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Set eighty years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, this first of three films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s

Oct. 19 Project 7 Feb. 15 Freddy Cole produced in conjunction with the Atlanta Jazz Preservation Society

Photo: Clay Walker

Dec. 21 & 22 It’s A Wonderful Life: Live From WVL Radio Theatre First-class entertainment right here in your backyard! We’re excited to bring another series of top quality national acts to our beautiful Cultural Arts Center stage. Our “Roswell Presents” series continues this year with five shows, bringing you the best in music, dance, theatre and comedy. You won’t find this kind of lineup anywhere else in the Metro. We’re very excited and hope you will be, too! See you at the shows!

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children’s novel will follow hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman, pictured) as he sets off with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a company of dwarfs to reclaim their homeland of the Lonely Mountain from the greedy dragon Smaug. Meanwhile, evidence emerges that the Dark Lord Sauron, long thought destroyed, has returned to Middle-Earth. Aurora Cineplex, located near the intersection of Alpharetta Highway and Holcomb Bridge Road, will host a midnight premiere of The Hobbit. “We request our guests to arrive two to three hours before the show and receive a wristband,” said Manager Renee Lisgaris. “That wristband allows them to leave or stay and play free mini golf.” The wristband reserves a place in the line, so people need to return thirty minutes before the movie starts. Once

the theater is filled, there will be trivia with Lord of the Rings swag as prizes. Then the show will begin. Peerless Book Store on Holcomb Bridge Road is also celebrating the premiere of the film by providing those buying copies of The Hobbit with movie posters provided by the film production company. The movie company set up a decorated display with copies of The Hobbit and other Tolkien books and provided the posters in October. The store’s used and new copies of The Hobbit sold out in the first week. “As long as supplies last, purchase of The Hobbit gets a free poster,” said coowner George Scott. In addition to The Hobbit, December will have several other movie premieres. Dec. 7 will see the opening of Playing for Keeps, a romantic comedy starring Gerard Butler as a down-and-out soccer player seeking to reconnect with his son by coaching his soccer team—all while avoiding the attentions of amorous “soccer moms.” On Dec. 19, 2001’s Pixar hit Monsters, Inc., which features a child wandering into the realm of child-scaring closet monsters, will be re-released in 3D. Soon after on Dec. 21 will come This Is Forty, a “sort of sequel” to 2007’s Knocked Up starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as the brother-in-law and sister of Katherine Heigl’s character from the first film. Dec. 21 will also see the Tom Cruise action film Jack Reacher, in which Cruise portrays a former military investigator seeking to clear the name of an accused killer. Christmas Day will feature the musical Les Misérables, an adaptation of the legendary Broadway production starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as his persecutor Inspector Javert in 19th Century France. Also premiering on Christmas is Django Unchained, a “southern” (as opposed to a “western”) featuring Jamie Foxx as the slave Django and Christoph Waltz as a bounty hunter who trains him as a gunfighter and joins him in trying to rescue his wife from brutal slaver Calvin Candie (Leonardo DeCaprio). ❑

currentchoices December 2012

Photo by Bill DeLoach Photography.

The Month in Preview >>Holiday

>>Holiday >>Dance

12/9 — 16 Make A Wreath Make A Wish Wreaths donated by individuals and area businesses will be available for viewing and purchase by visitors as they wander through Barrington Hall free of charge. Wreath prices begin at $30 and purchases will benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation. Open House at Barrington Hall in Roswell. 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM.



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12/20 Joy, An Irish Christmas Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Join acclaimed Irish singer/songwriters and recording artists Keith and Kristyn Getty for a celebration of Christmas. Among the preeminent modern hymn composers of this generation, the husband-wife team presents a spectacular evening of beloved carols, modern hymns, and spirited Irish reels. Their Christmas tour grew out of the Gettys’ celebrated album, Joy—An Irish Christmas. After each show, the festivities will continue as band members offer additional live music in the foyer. Best known for their world-renowned hymn “In Christ Alone,” Keith and Kristyn have created a distinguished repertoire of 21st century hymns.

12/21 — 23 The Nutcracker, presented by the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre. Experience the Magic at the annual performance of The Nutcracker by Alpharetta’s premier ballet school. Performance times: December 21 at 7:30 p.m., December 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and December 23 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Beautiful sets, elaborate costumes, and the talented dancers of Metropolitan Ballet Theatre combine to create the holiday magic where a young girl’s gift of a nutcracker comes to life as a handsome prince and whisks her away, through the land of snow. Blessed Trinity HS Theatre, 11320 Woodstock Road, Roswell, GA.

Gifts for Nature Reindeer Day Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Meet live REINDEER and make “magic reindeer food.” Enjoy story-telling, nature crafts to

>>Kids 12/16 Breakfast with Santa The Public House on Roswell Square, 605 Atlanta Street. Two seatings at 10 a.m. and noon. Admission is $8 for kids 10 years and younger and $13 for ages over 10 years. Prepaid reservations are recommended. Food, Fun and Memories. Breakfast Buffet served upstairs. Photographer on site. 770-640-5548.

attract wildlife. Enjoy a fun holiday tradition for families and friends! $6 for Child/$10 Adult/$7 Seniors 65+/$7 Students 1318/Free CNC Members & kids 2 & under.

12/31 Wish Upon A Star Gala—An Evening Celebration for the Entire Family!!


12/14 Candy Cane Hunt Evening begins with a pizza dinner and then it’s off to hunt for all types of candy canes. Bring a flashlight and something to gather your candy canes in. Keep a lookout for a couple of giant candy canes as they can be redeemed for special prizes. 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at East Roswell Recreation Center – 9000 Fouts Road. $12 Roswell residents; $18 non-Roswell residents. Parents and children must pre-register.

December 14–15 Winter Polar Express presented by British Academy of Dance Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest Street, Roswell. 770-578-8272;



FRIDAY, December 7–23 White Christmas presented by Atlanta Lyric Theatre. Every Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre, 117 North Park Square, Marietta, GA 30060. Phone: 404-3779948. See Out and About Calendar for full details.


Sheraton Suites Galleria, Atlanta, GA. Price: $100 - Singles, $175 Couples; $75 total for up to 3 children. Phone: (678) 557-4230. Please join JJ’s Playhouse this New Year’s Eve for an unforgettable party with a purpose! Our inaugural Wish Upon a Star Gala (hosted by WCLK’s Carl Anthony) will feature something for the entire family. Tickets can be purchased at

December 20 – 21 Roswell Presents Series - It’s A Wonderful Life Radio Play. Roswell Cultural Arts Center. $25 adults/$15 children (14 and under). See Out and About Calendar for full details.



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DEC 2012

Out&AboutinDecember Our can’t miss guide to Current events. WEEKENDS & CHRISTMAS EVE DECEMBER 1-24

Beyond Christmas

SANTA ON THE SQUARE Historic Marietta Square. Santa’s Workshop will be open to visitors Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, and 22–24. Be sure to have your picture taken with Santa. Also, plan to visit the shops on the Square for unique gifts and holiday treats. Enjoy hot chocolate or a sandwich at one of the many restaurants. Santa’s hours: Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sundays: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Christmas Eve: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 14-16, 18–19, 21–23

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Directed by Wally Hines, with Brink Miller as Scrooge. Bulloch Hall — Osage Terrace Room. $15 per person; reservations required. 180 Bulloch Avenue, Roswell. 770-9921731 or Performances held at Bulloch Hall in the Osage Terrace Room. A holiday tradition you will not want to miss. Weekday and Saturday performances are at 8 P.M.; Sunday performances are at 7 P.M. Doors open a halfhour before performance; There will be an intermission. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7–23

WHITE CHRISTMAS Presented by Atlanta Lyric Theatre. Every Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre, 117 North Park Square, Marietta, GA 30060. Phone: 404-3779948. Music and Lyric by Irving Berlin, Libretto by David Ives and Paul Blake. Don’t worry about the weather forecast; it’s going to be a “White Christmas” at Atlanta Lyric Theatre! Based on the beloved Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye film, this merry musical tells the tale of two famous song-and-dance men who stage a show in a scenic, snow-topped Vermont inn and end up finding love under the mistletoe with two singing sisters. With laughter, crazy plot turns, Broadway-size production numbers, and the unforgettable music and lyrics of the legendary Irving Berlin, “White Christmas” is a brightly wrapped holiday gift. And, yes, the forecast calls for snow at The Strand in December!

DECEMBER 13 – 16

WEST SIDE STORY Gas South Broadway Series Presents “West Side Story” Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. More than fifty years ago, one musical changed theater forever. Now it’s back and mesmerizing audiences once again. From the first note to the final breath, WEST SIDE STORY soars as the greatest love story of all time. 13 This revival, based on Tony Award-winning librettist Arthur Laurents’ Broadway direction, remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre as “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “Somewhere.” As the Associated Press says, “WEST SIDE STORY remains Broadway’s best dance-driven musical. Five decades have not dimmed the extraordinary choreography or the score that pulsates throughout.” DECEMBER 15 - FEBRUARY 15

GEORGIA NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY WINTER EXHIBITION Visit the River Resource Gallery at Chattahoochee Nature Center to view The Art of the Landscape. It is a juried exhibition of landscape images from the Georgia Nature Photography Association. The photographs in the exhibition will be shown in color, black & white/ monochrome, and digital effects. Included with general admission $10 for adults, $7 for 15 seniors 65 and older and $7 for students 1318, $6 for children 3-12, and free Members and for children 2 and under.www.

at 7:30pm. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $85 which includes a post-show meet and greet, Cake Boss tour MAKE A WREATH – MAKE A WISH laminate, and special holiday surprise. Buddy Valastro the star See Choices, page 31 of TLC’s “Cake Boss” brings a special holiday show the entire family will enjoy. Sharing the holiday traditions and stories from TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 his family at Carlo’s Bakery, Buddy presents an all new show CHRISTMAS HIGH TEAS AT BULLOCH HALL full of holiday spirit and jingle bell rock. Demonstrating the Relax and enjoy this holiday tradition as ladies in period dress techniques that have made him the most famous cake artist in serve a two-course High Tea. The evening includes a tour of the the country, Buddy will share behind the scene stories from his house decorated for Christmas. 4 P.M.; $40 per person hit TV show, answer audience questions, and will bring several (reservations required). lucky members of the audience up on stage for cupcake and cake decorating. Pack up your sleigh and head on down to the TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 show, ‘cause Buddy is coming to town! Phone: 770-916-2800. BUDDY VALASTRO LIVE THE CAKE BOSS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9-16

Go to

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Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Candy canes, carols, and the Cake Boss! Celebrate the holidays this season with America’s favorite baker, Buddy Valastro, appearing at the Cobb Energy Centre in Atlanta, GA on Tuesday, December 11th


SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE The Christmas season is sometimes overshadowed by personal losses or grief. This service provides an opportunity to honor

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31 DEC 2012







As open to musical styles as big sky country, Montana Skies continue to follow their creative instincts far beyond traditional boundaries. With guitar and cello, this obscenely-talented duo tackles Pink Floyd and Rush to Vivaldi, House of the Rising Sun and Bach. Combining elements of classical technique, jazz improv and the power and energy of rock, guitar wizardry and blazing electric cello fuse into a remarkable sound you won’t hear anywhere else. The Velvet Note, 4075 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, GA. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25



The Velvet Note, 4075 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, GA. Oh no–don’t you dare spend Christmas Day alone! Step on out solo or with friends and enjoy an evening with international recording artist and contemporary smooth jazz bassist Sam Jenkins and his band. Trust us–Bassman will keep you cozy and comfortable on this holiday evening with a sultry, yet highenergy show designed to “move you” and groove you.” Shows at 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM. Doors open at 6:00 PM. SUNDAY, JANUARY 6



At 38 years old, Joe Gransden has already performed worldwide and released seven CDs under his own name. Renowned first for the hard bop approach of his trumpet, Gransden’s singing voice has been compared to that of Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra. The Velvet Note, 4075 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, GA.

Queen of Hearts Antiques, 670 N. Main Street, Alpharetta, GA. Only 12 more days until Christmas! Each day find the hidden 12 Days of Christmas ornament at each of their stores in Alpharetta, Buford and Marietta and receive a Queen of Hearts gift certificate! 10-6 PM Monday – Saturday; 12-6 PM Sunday; Thursdays to 8 PM. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14 - 15, 16


Authentic Pub Atmosphere• Award-Winning Food Sunday Brunch • Patio Dining • Live Entertainment (Thur., Fri., Sat., open mic on Sun.) All shows start at 8pm

ACT 1 Theatre, 180 Academy St., Alpharetta, GA. Your favorite Christmas carols weave their way through this classic story of Christmases Past, Present and Future with Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and of course, Ebenezer Scrooge. Check your humbugs at the door!

Sunday Brunch

CELEBRITY CHEF EDGAR HANSEN Edgar Hansen is the youngest Hansen brother on the fishing vessel Northwestern, featured on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” Edgar was awarded the thankless job of being the cook. He did a terrific job of keeping the crew well fed under all conditions and is known for preparing gourmet meals in record time. “When you’re 250 miles offshore, anything on the table that is on time and warm is sometimes considered gourmet to the crew,” said Hansen. Publix at Alpharetta Commons, 4305 State Bridge Road, Alpharetta, GA.

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GLORY OF CHRISTMAS CONCERT Roswell Presbyterian Church. A wonderful and unique evening of music, featuring a festive performance by choir and orchestra. Church Sanctuary. Call or visit the church website for tickets and details.

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East Roswell Recreation Center See Choices, page 31 DECEMBER 15 - 16

2ND ANNUAL HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE This little village of shops and restaurants, Ivy Interiors that includes Mittie’s Tea Café and Tea Room and Twigs and Lace, open their doors for you this holiday season. Christmas décor, galore, food and spirits are all designed to fill your hearts and souls. Church Street Village, 52 North Main St., Alpharetta. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15


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your memories while prayer, scripture, music, and candlelight hold you in the comfort of God’s presence. 7 p.m. at Roswell United Methodist church. All ages.

Lunch Special

Every Sunday from 11 to 3

See Choices, page 31 SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16

MESSIAH SING-ALONG Roswell United Methodist Church 3 p.m. $10 per person. Join voices with hundreds of singers on this community performance of Handel’s glorious masterpiece, MESSIAH.

Weekend Special Half off any pizza after 9pm with the purchase of two drinks Dine in only. Not to be redeemed with any other offer. One per table/group.

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Monday – Tuesday Special: FREE Large 14 inch 1 topping Pizza with the purchase of any 18 inch Pizza and two Drinks Dine in only. Not to be redeemed with any other offer. One per table/group.

Full Bar Live Music Every Thursday and Friday Local Favorite Marty Nickel Every Thursday Outdoor Seating Catering Menu Private Room for special events Drink and Dinner specials Delivery


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ALPHARETTA FIRST UMC CHANCEL CHOIRS REENACTMENT OF MITTIE & THEEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S 1853 CHRISTMAS CONCERT WEDDING Alpharetta First United Methodist Church, 69 N. Main St., Alpharetta, GA. For the 6th year the AFUMC Chancel Choir and Orchestra will present a concert of traditional, gospel and contemporary Christian music. Come early for good seating. This presentation by the 100-plus voice choir and group of fine soloists always fills the sanctuary. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16

THE WORD BECAME FLESH CHRISTMAS CANTATA First Baptist Church of Roswell â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sanctuary at 6:45. A full Cantata by Dan Goeller, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Word Became Fleshâ&#x20AC;? is a musical exploration of the doctrine of the Incarnation. The score is epic in scope and contains a beautiful balance of familiar hymns. Presented by Roswell First Baptist Church Chancel Choir and Orchestra. Free; all ages. Childcare available for children under 4. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18



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Relax and enjoy this holiday tradition as ladies in period dress serve a two-course High Tea. The evening includes a tour of the house decorated for Christmas. 4 P.M.; $40 per person (reservations required). DECEMBER 19 - 21


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Ivy Interiors, 52 North Main St., Alpharetta, GA. For the 3rd year in a row, take the burden off dad and make shopping with the children a bit more fun. Have Mom make a wish list and then Pop packs the kids in the car and heads down to Ivy Interiors, her favorite shop in Alpharetta! Cookies and milk will be served after the holiday gift wrapping is completed. A favorite tradition for the young shoppers! THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20

MENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NIGHT OUT SHOPPING Queen of Hearts Antiques, 670 N. Main Street, Alpharetta, GA. Ladies, fill out your wish list and send your significant other to the Queen during their 3rd Annual Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Night Out Shopping Night. They will serve pizza and beer and offer free giftwrapping at all three stores, including the Alpharetta store. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20

Bulloch Hall, Roswell. 6:30; 7:30; 8:00; 8:30; and 9 P.M. (reservations required). Be a special guest at the historic wedding of Mittie Bulloch and Theodore Roosevelt (Sr.). Little did those in attendance realize this union would produce a U.S. President, Teddy Roosevelt and that Margaret Mitchell would be so enamored with the event she would interview the last living bridesmaid and do an extensive article for The Atlanta Constitution. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20

THE LONGEST NIGHT: A SERVICE OF HOPE IN THE MIDST OF DARKNESS 7 p.m. at Roswell Presbyterian Church. Preparing hearts for Christmas in a quiet, meditative service that acknowledges the hope we celebrate even in the midst of disappointment and loss during this season. All are welcome. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21 - 23

A CHRISTMAS CAROL DIRECTED BY WALLY HINES, WITH BRINK MILLER AS SCROOGE Bulloch Hall â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Osage Terrace Room, Roswell. $15 per person. Performances held at Bulloch Hall in the Osage Terrace Room. A holiday tradition you will not want to miss. Weekday and Saturday performances are at 8 P.M.; Sunday performances are at 7 P.M. Doors open half an hour before performance; There will be an intermission. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21 - 23


CHRISTMAS EVE-EVE WORSHIP Alpharetta FUM Church Sanctuary, 69 N. Main St, Alpharetta , GA. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let travel plans keep you from Christmas worship! Candlelight worship service for all. There will also be traditional hymns and a reading of the Christmas story. MONDAY, DECEMBER 24

CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP Alpharetta FUMC Sanctuary, 69 N. Main Street, Alpharetta. Candlelight worship services with traditional hymns and the Christmas story. The services at 3 and 4:30 p.m. are especially for families with children. The 6 p.m. service is ideal for youth. Communion will be served at the 9 and 11 p.m. services.


Sowmya Reddy, MD

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.


See Choices, page 31


Robert Modugno, MD THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 21

2500 Hospital Boulevard, Suite 290 â&#x20AC;˘ Roswell, Georgia 30076


ROSWELL PRESENTS SERIES - ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S A WONDERFUL LIFE RADIO PLAY Roswell Cultural Arts Center. $25 adults/$15 children (14 and under). This fresh new adaptation of the film is set in the fictional studio of WVL Radio Theatre, which is struggling to stay on the air one snowy winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s night. The professional voice actors are unable to get to the studio but the show must go onso a small but intrepid band of employees manages to create the storyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dozen of characters and scenes.

Roswell United Methodist church. 814 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell. 10 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Worship & Communion in Chapel. 4 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Family Worship in the Sanctuary. 6 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Lessons & Carols in the Sanctuary. 11 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Candles & Communion in the Chapel. MONDAY, DECEMBER 24

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES Something for everyone, inicluding worship for young families, celebration in song and scripture, and a candlelight Communion service. Early arrival recommended for all services. For details call or visit the church website. Roswell Presbyterian Church. 755 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell. 3, 5, 7, 9, & 11 p.m.


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DEC 2012





SINGLES NEW YEARS EVE PARTY-OUR 10TH YEAR Holiday Inn Atlanta/Roswell, Roswell, GA. The Best NYE offering for Singles and Dating Couples. Get the dance, hotel and breakfast in the morning. Expecting several hundred singles 40-65. Price: $30 Cash per person. Phone: (678) 317-0638. DECEMBER 31 – JANUARY 1

WISH UPON A STAR GALA See Choices, page 31 DECEMBER 31

NEW YEAR'S EVE Woodruff Arts Center: Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta, GA. Crooner and pianist extraordinaire Tony DeSare and his trio ring in the New Year with Michael Krajewski and the Orchestra for an evening of great American standards, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Porter and Prince(!). A surprising and thoroughly enjoyable way to celebrate the New Year! DEC 31 – JAN 1

NEW YEAR'S EVE EVENING OF DINING AND DANCING AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL ATLANTA Ring in the New Year with style at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta The evening includes an a la carte menu with the option of a five-course prix fixe menu for $95 with a champagne toast at midnight. The regular Park 75 dinner menu will also be available. A DJ, dancing and a champagne toast will be the perfect way to ring in the New Year! Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, Atlanta, GA. Phone: (404) 253-3840.

550 West Crossville Road Roswell GA 30075 770-594-8118 Family owned and operated since 2007. Serving a variety of dishes including salads, deli sandwiches as well as Roswell’s best pizza. Live music, great food, good times. page 31 •

KEEGANS PUB 4401 Shallowford Rd.,iIn Roswell We offer an authentic pub atmosphere with award winning food the whole family will enjoy. We also have patio dining and live music. Enjoy our Sunday bruch from 11-3. page 31 •

PHISH PHOOD 11255 Woodstock Road Roswell, GA 30075 770-587-4474, Phish Phood Cafe is Roswell’s first Christian Cafe. We offer a unique electic fusion menu for Dine In or Take Out as well as creative and affordable Catering for any event. Believe us when we say “It's not what you think!?”page 33

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES First Baptist Church of Roswell. 710 Mimosa Boulevard, Roswell. 5 p.m. – Child Friendly Candlelight Communion Service. 11 p.m. – Traditional Candlelight Communion Service. 2 Christmas Eve services in celebration of the holy season.


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SHEN YUN Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre presents Shen Yun Ancient Culture Reborn. Every legend has its history. Ancient literary classics extol the compassionate, courageous, and



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580 East Crossville Road Roswell, GA, 30075 770-640-0023 We offer great pizza and Italian dishes and we offer catering services. We also have our own deli. There are daily specials on our menu. page 34 •

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10971 Crabapple Road Roswell, GA 30075 770-643-9553 American, Italian, Mediterranean and Pakistani food all under one roof. WOW! Everything made to order; Kabobs, Burgers, Broasted Chicken, Pizza, Pastas and much more. Monday thru Wed. Kids eat free. page 34


loyal, values embodied by the most memorable characters. Thrill in the triumph of the great General Yue Fei; cheer on the Monkey King as he tricks a stubborn foe; and witness how these values still endure in contemporary China. Shen Yun bridges past and present in an uplifting, inspiring, and indelible performance. Admission: $50-$150 plus applicable fees. Phone: 800-745-3000. ❑


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DEC 2012

My Year Of Great Food 2012 was a great year for the local foodies

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By Frank Mack What a year, my first as a “food” writer. As if I didn’t have enough trouble. Look ma, your boy is a literary genius. So thank you spell checker, thanks to the paper for having me, and thanks to everyone who kills a few minutes reading. It’s an honor. Endless thanks to a host of owners, chefs, servers, bartenders, and dishwashers for making it a blast and welcoming me in. This “thing” is fun, tons of fun. I love being the nosy one, poking into kitchens, shops, food trucks, and dining rooms. And then telling Foodie News y’all out there FRANK MACK what I discover. My first decision in starting this column was that with only one article per month, I didn’t want to be the guy looking to tear someone’s life or business up. That’s not for me. Just because I don’t get it, doesn’t mean I have a right to pan it. Besides, I like searching out and celebrating the good, the delicious, the different and the exceptional. I hunt, I lurk, and I go into and out of all kinds of places. Always hoping to find something I really like, something great, something I can’t wait to tell every one of you about. If you want negative, there are plenty of other media outlets for that. So far this formula is working well. So I am going to stick to it for the foreseeable future. I’ve got a couple of killer suggestions for gifting. If you have anyone on your list with great appetites, likes to cook a bit, drinks for flavor or loves food generally then you must shop at these stores for them. Oli + Ve. It’s on Canton Street, restaurant row across from 9th Street and Table & Main, great big sign. I had no idea how many olive

oils and vinegars existed or that they came in such unique, subtle, sexy, oh my jeepers this is incredible, completely natural flavors. The ladies there are not just any home chefs they happen to be best friends and they know their stuff so trust the advice. Big bottle or little, you bring anyone with a kitchen and an appetite a bottle from Oli + Ve and you are going to be loved and appreciated for months and months after. What they have done for my salad dressings and marinades at home is an inspiration and so easy. Go, you’ll see. Ale Yeah. You have to look for it and it’s worth it. On Hwy. 9, in historic Roswell, next door to Sugo. This is shopping for everyone, who has ever had, or will have, a beer. Outside of hard-core teetotalers, I can’t imagine a body that isn’t going to love something from Ale Yeah. What they sell is loved, is worth loving, comes pre-wrapped, goes under the tree, into someone’s hands, on the table, is fun to put on someone’s desk and will absolutely

I like searching out and celebrating the good, the delicious, the different and the exceptional.

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provide a surprise. Hello, Christmas? Office party? Need something to take and share? Stop in a take a look around. Ale Yeah is leading the growler thing locally with about 30 taps. And that’s cool enough. But they also have shelves full of amazing things to drink that will make great giving. They have one of the most extreme selections of ridiculously cool beers, ales, stouts, and they even have mead. Mead for Pete’s sake! Mostly all small brewed, tons of locally sourced products (think global, buy local), and the different imaginative labeling/packaging is so simply great


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DEC 2012

it’s a shame to open them. Now for some restaurant info I hope is generally helpful at this time of year… A question I am being asked repeatedly is about guests coming, family visiting and where, if I was to pick one place, southern of course, to eat, where would that be? That’s an easy one. Real Easy. Greenwood’s, on Green Street in Roswell. If you know it, you know it. If you don’t, you really should. Trust me, just go. I can’t imagine a month without eating there. And Pie? OMG, if you are going to someone’s house, bring them one of Greenwoods’ pies and you will be an honored guest for life. Speaking of pies and bakeries, add Alpine Bakery in Alpharetta and Theo’s Bakery, also in Alpharetta to your master list of seriously great things to be had locally. Stop by, take home something wonderful. Take something really killer and eye popping to work to share. Stop by a local bakery and shop a bit. They are a great asset to

Ale Yeah! Located next to Sugo in Roswell, offers a wide variety of beers from around the world.

us and our community, so support them! The other question everyone seems to ask is what’s hot, what haven’t they heard of that’s really impressing me. Three little letters V, U, U, and that’s all I am going to say, for now. I am also currently working my way through Table & Mains excellent and extraordinary new menu. It’s southern and classic, it’s distinctive and rare. As a restaurant, it’s also warm, comfortable and uniquely ours.

Ryan (owner) and Ted (chef ) are driving toward Superbville and taking us along for the ride. I should have already written about Table & Main and this paragraph doesn’t begin to do them justice. Goodness knows what they are doing, and I mean everything from kitchen to table, deserves a few pages more. And one last serious get in there recommendation of a place you really need to try out this year. And winner of the odd name award is…

Phish Phood. I’ll leave explaining the name to their website. Names are not the point, the food is. And this is, flat out, hands down, the most incredible sandwich shop in town. I don’t want to oversell Chef Dave and his creations but dang, this isn’t just cooking. These aren’t any old sandwiches. What Dave and his wife Terry are doing with sandwiches and soup is inspired. It has to be seen and CONTINUED 37

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DEC 2012

“It’s A Wonderful Life” Radio Theater Adaptation Coming To Roswell Cultural Arts Center

Will be performed by North Carolina acting troupe over the years. The Immediate Theatre version answers the question of why The Roswell Cultural Arts Center there are so few characters in the radio will put a twist on the Christmas classic version by inventing a back-story that “It’s A Wonderful Life” with the Dec. 21- incorporates the radio station’s money 22 performances of “It’s A Wonderful problems. Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre.” “It’s a chance for the audience to Coordinator Jess Wells said the invest doubly in the stories,” he said. Immediate Theatre Project, which will Having a double story to root for be performing the play, was founded raise the stakes for the audience, which nine years ago by some friends from also assumes the role of the radio Ashville, N.C. Four years ago, they station’s live studio audience within the began performing “It’s A Wonderful story. Life” as a radio drama. The play will retain the elements of This version has a bit of a twist. Set financial distress often left out of other during a snowy night in 1945, the play radio versions. Repoley said the longer tells the tale of how only a few of WVL the play is performed, the more Radio’s voice actors have managed to relevant those seem. When the play get through a blizzard to perform the began in 2009, it became more evening’s radio broadcast of “It’s A essential to incorporate the Depression Wonderful Life.” With the station’s sur- elements, including the run on the vival on the line, the station’s employees have to put on the show themselves using only their voices and “It’s A Wonderful Life: a sound effects table. Producing Director Willie Repoley is Live from WVL Radio Theatre” no stranger to Roswell, having put on December 21 and 22, 8 p.m. Shakespeare productions with $25 Adults Immediate Theatre co-founder Hans $15 Children 14 and younger Myers on the lawn of City Hall. He said Roswell Cultural Arts Center there have been many radio theater productions of “It’s A Wonderful Life” By Matthew W. Quinn


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DEC 2012

banks. These elements of the story cause George’s crisis of faith and are very easy for the audience to relate to now. The play became so popular in North Carolina the troupe has begun touring. Repoley said they’ve been to states like Alabama, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Ohio. “It’s usually a Southeastern tour with a few other stops along the way,” he said. “New Hampshire is the farthest away from home we’ve gone.” Although Wells hasn’t seen the performance in person, he has seen the play on video, spoken to friends, and read reviews. “I think it’s going to play well,” he said. “I think that there’s a large segment of the population that connects to ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ as a holiday touchstone and this is a chance to see ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in a totally different light.” Although the Roswell Cultural Arts Center has hosted a number of Christmas productions produced and presented by other people, this is the first time the center has presented its own production. It will not be too hard to put on—Immediate Theater is 35

NEXT DAY CUSTOM FRAMING! bringing its own sets and it’s a fairly scaled-down production to start with. There are only a few tables and chairs and some sound-effect props. “It’s a very easy production to present because their technical requirements aren’t too great,” he said. “They rely on the magic of theater.” Tickets for the performance can be purchased at ❑

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Food... continued

eaten to be appreciated. Everything is hand made, homemade, and oh so good. Hand-smoked pork, handbuilt soups, handmade almost to the mustard and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that is handmade by Dave too. Thai Blueberry Chicken Wings, Electric Neon Nachos, and Southern Fried Cobb Salad—are you following? This really isn’t about funny names, because it’s all deadly good, adult, completely different and over the top D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. So far I swear by the Zorba, the Dagwood, and the Hasslehoff, but everything looks delicious. They also do a Sunday brunch that is off the hook. Funny name, check. Passionate, hard working owners who really care about every bite, check. It’s hidden around a corner. Just off Crossville Road (92) on Woodstock Road in Roswell. It’s incredibly easy to get to and miss both at the same time and so worth finding. I love it. What do I want for Christmas?

What are the secret desires of people who really like to eat? What do you get someone who is really into food? I have a few ideas for you. How about a gift card at one of our ridiculously good restaurants? Why Not? Give someone a reason to get out and enjoy him or herself. Now that’s a gift! I have complete confidence in all of the restaurants I have written about this year. Oak Street Cafe for anyone who lives eats or works in Roswell. Adele’s, whose new dining room and bar opens very soon, is classic, Cajun and always superb. Sugo, Sugo, Sugo. Little Alley Steaks for pure power dining. Seed in East Cobb, an OTP stunner. Lazaro’s Cuban. Add the names Table & Main and for pure fun try Swallow at the Hollow across from Greenwoods. Whether giving or receiving, I promise, any of these names on a gift card in the stocking says someone really loves you. Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year to all. ❑

We have a fully stocked fine art gallery representing many artists and mediums, over 1500 frame choices, ready made frames ranging from 31/2 x 5 to 36 x 48, a great selection of framed mirrors including ovals and circles, as well as thousands of decorative, hand painted oils to fit any budget.

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see for your more out & about • community • arts • food • finance • business • health & wellness • life

DEC 2012

Last Call For End Of The Year Planning




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any investments you have which have appreciated should be sold now to avoid the higher tax rate. Similarly, for those investments which you are holding at a loss, the question is whether it is better to delay selling them so they can offset sales of profitable securities next year when tax rates go up. Estimated Taxes ◗ If you have earned any income in 2012, which did not have any withholding (such as from a business you own), you should take advantage of quarterly estimated taxes. The final opportunity for 2012 covers the fourth quarter of 2012 and is due in January 2013. Issuing form 1099s – If you own a business and make payments to vendors during the year, you should

Any charitable contributions whether by check, cash or some type of property should be made by Dec. 31.


By Tom Bowen It’s often hard to focus on financial and tax matters when the holiday season is upon us. However, there are a number of things that make good sense to do. Update Your Will ◗ Do a quick read through your will to make sure that no changes are required. Was there a birth, death, divorce, or other event that impacts what your will reflects? Updating your will to keep it current makes sure your wishes are carried out Finance as you inTOM BOWEN tended. Update Your Insurance ◗ the amount and type of insurance you carry should match specific objectives you have. If there have been changes in your situation during the year, make sure those changes don’t require you to also change your insurance. Make Donations ◗ any charitable contributions whether by check, cash or some type of property should be made by Dec. 31. It’s good to donate goods that can be used to help others and get a tax deduction at the same time. However, remember to record what you donate and what its value is in addition to getting a receipt. Review Your Investments ◗ If you use an investment advisor to manage your investments, has there been any change in your investment goals? If so, you need to make sure your advisor knows this and can adjust your investments as appropriate. Did you leave your employer in 2012 and leave behind a 401(k)? It usually makes sense to move the 401(k) to a retirement account outside of your former employer. Capital Gains – tax rates on capital gains are set to go from 15 percent to about 24 percent. As such, it is necessary to determine whether

confirm that none of the vendors receiving payments from you require you to issue a form 1099. There are IRS penalties for failing to timely issue form 1099s. Many of these things are probably not high on your holiday wish list but take a moment to end 2012 on a great note. ❑ Thomas Bowen, an attorney and certified public accountant, is a principal with the accounting firm of Thomas Bowen, CPA, located in Roswell. The firm offers tax and accounting services to both individual and small-business clients.

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Think of us as family...close family. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t predict when or what type of emergency care you may need. But our Level II Trauma Center is always ready with a full complement of medical specialists, including surgeons, ER physicians and nurses. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a minor injury or something more serious, we are your first line of defense. Our emergency team is available 24/7 with life-saving skills to cope with emergencies large and small. Think of us as your extended familyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;there whenever you need us. Like family, we take care of our own.

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The Current Dec. 12  

The Current for Dec. 2012

The Current Dec. 12  

The Current for Dec. 2012