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Se e O Our nP S ag ect e 1 ion 7

SEPTEMBER 2016

Conversations start here.

HEALTH p 18

SUFFERING SINUSES REAL ESTATE p 11

NEW URBANISM’S PAYDAY ARTS p 14

FIRE AND FLIGHT SCULPTURE COMMUNITY p30

EAST COBB NEWS Original committee member, Sally White, in the new serenity garden at Roswell Area Park. WWW.THECURRENTHUB.COM

Roswell Arts Festival Celebrates 50 Years Of Dedication to Arts & Recreation PAGE 32

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PUBLISHERS

Tripp Liles tripp@thecurrenthub.com

Mark Penstone mark@thecurrenthub.com

Carrie Kutney Art Director carrie@thecurrentplus.com

Tricia Morris (Social Chick) tricia@thecurrenthub.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Frank Mack Di Chapman Jessica Diamond Nancy Wallace Spalding Negron Geri Laufer Beth Nitschke Send submissions & questions: events@thecurrentplus.com Main Phone Number 770-810-5943

Our Mission: The CurrentHub 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 CurrentHub is published monthly. Presort standard postage paid at Atlanta, GA. Postmaster send changes to Current Communications, 1014 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 therein. thecurrenthub.com


>>GO WITH THE FLOW

>>A STRONG SHOW

Montana Skies

Al Strong Quintet

September 11

September 10

Their name, Montana Skies, is a metaphor for musical freedom, and Jonathan and Jennifer continue to follow their creative instincts far beyond traditional boundaries. In concert, these award winning musicians delve into music from Pink Floyd and Rush to Vivaldi, and House of the Rising Sun, as well as their own originals that have been featured everywhere from NPR to the Travel Channel. Combining elements of classical technique, jazz improv and the power and energy of rock n’ roll; Jonathan’s guitar wizardry and Jenn’s blazing electric cello combine to create a sound that is truly remarkable. Whatever you want to call it, rest assured, this ain’t your grannies chamber music. Sundays on the River Concerts at the CNC. For more info visit www.chattnaturecenter.org.

Members of the public are invited to join the City of Roswell and the Roswell Rotary Club on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, as they honor those lost and injured during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The 9-11 Tribute will take place at 1:30pm at the Mike Gann 9-11 Memorial, located near the lake in Roswell Area Park at 10495 Woodstock Road. The tribute will feature the Roswell Fire & Police Honor Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band, the Holcomb Bridge Middle School Chorus, a floating wreath presentation, special guests and commemorations. Atlanta radio legend Moby Carney will serve as master of ceremonies.

>>NEVER FORGET

9/11 Tribute

September 11

Since being introduced to jazz music at the age of 15, trumpeter Al Strong has worked diligently to master and refine his musical passions originally stirred while growing up in the city that created ‘go-go’ music. Raised in Washington, DC, Strong undoubtedly carries an affinity for music of all disciplines, which carries over in his sound and demeanor, and has influenced his debut album LoveStrong Vol. 1, released earlier this year. You can see him upclose and personal at the areas best jazz club the Velvet Note in Alpharetta. For tickets and show times visit www.thevelvetnote.com.

3 SEPTEMBER 2106 THECURRENTHUB.COM

Currentchoices The Month in Preview SEPTEMBER 2016


>>DELICIOUS

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>>WATCH FOR THE COW PATTIES

Chukkar Farm Good Concert Series Eatin’ Great Sept. 30 & Oct. 1 Cause

September 15 The annual Good Eatin’ Great Cause is a culinary tour and competition that takes place at the Cobb Galleria Exhibit Hall and features food from some of the best chefs and restaurants in the metro area. The annual event also features a cooking competition in which local celebrity chefs serve as mentors in a judged team cook-off competition between local law enforcement and fire fighters. The host for this year’s cooking competition is Ryan McKay, of NBC’s Food Fighters.  In addition, celebrity Southern chefs Asha Gomez, Holly Chute, and Ian Winslade will be there as judges for this prestigious culinary competition. For more info visit SafePath.org.

From Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe to the clubs of New York City to the airwaves across the globe, James Casto’s percussive-piano-pop, keyboards, and soulful pop vocals have created a loyal following of fans. Come enjoy an incredible night of acoustic music with some of the best performing songwriters in the country at one of the most scenic venues in Georgia. Casto will be performing with guests Sabrina, Joe, West and JP Williams at Chukkar Farm Polo Club and Event Facility located at 1140 Liberty Grove Rd in Alpharetta.

>>WHY NOT EVERY WEEK?

Alpharetta Restaurant Week

>>SEEING DOUBLE?

Atlanta Celebrates Photography

October 1

September 10 – 17 Alpharetta’s restaurant scene is going to get the chance to show off for a week as part of the 3rd Annual Alpharetta Restaurant Week September 10 – 17. The event, open to all restaurants in the City of Alpharetta, is designed to showcase the best the city’s eateries have to offer as well as giving customers great deals. Restaurants are encouraged to participate by offering coupons on the Restaurant Week Card through sponsorship. For more info and a list of restaurants visit: www.alpharettachamber.com.

Roswell Fine Arts Alliance and Georgia Nature Photographers team up to present “Double Vision,” a gallery hanging that combines photography and painting. Beautiful shots by GNPA members are then painted by the talented artists of RFAA. The exhibit is on display in conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photography, a citywide celebration. Works are available for purchase. This event takes places at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. For more info visit www.chattnaturecenter.org.


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>>JUST ACROSS THE RIVER

Sandy Springs Festival

September 17 & 18 A community tradition for Sandy Springs since 1984, there is something for everyone at the Sandy Springs Festival. Virtually every kind of art imaginable is represented in the juried Artists Market, the Gas South Children’s Park and Teen Territory features huge inflatables, arts & crafts, a petting zoo, and face painting for all ages.  The official start to the Festival is the annual Sandy Springs Lightning 5K/10K, the stages are filled with entertainment and all genres of music, and attendees can nibble on delicious bites throughout the weekend.  Oh, and did we mention the annual Pet Parade? Festival takes place at Heritage Green, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle. >>AH BAKLAVA

Atlanta Greek Festival

September 22–25 All the magic of Athens… Just miles from home! The Atlanta Greek Festival brings all the aromas, sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece to your doorstep. Your admission ticket becomes your passport as you enjoy all the Beauty of Santorini and the Fun of Mykonos. The Annunciation Cathedral and the Atlanta Greek Community are proud to host the Atlanta Greek Festival held at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 2500 Clairmont Road in Atlanta. For more info visit www.atlantagreekfestival.org.

>>WILL THERE BE SUSHI?

Japan Fest

Sept. 17 & 18 JapanFest will feature taiko drum, dance, martial arts, cultural workshops including tea ceremony and contemporary and traditional music.  You can also experience kimono, calligraphy, children’s games, Japanese food, beer garden and bonsai trees. The fest takes place at Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway. For more info visit www.japanfest.org.

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SEPTEMBER 2016 THECURRENTHUB.COM

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( SEPTEMBER THRUSTS US INTO FAST-FORWARD MODE METRO EVENTS

By Jessica Diamond

Even though school starts back in August, September feels like the true transitional month. Summer vacation is over, school orientation is over and things start to settle back into fast forward. This pull, as with many of life’s transitions, can feel as though it’s dragging you along like an inflatable tube behind a speedboat on the vacation you’re still mourning. You, however, are ready to tackle whatever this season and this new school year may bring. Why live to work when you can work to live? We live in a vibrant, energetic, beautiful southern city and you should take advantage of

staple for music lovers of rock, pop, hip hop, country, electronic, and everything in between. And though it’s become a landmark festival, this event is never the same story twice. So get your tickets for the weekend of Sept. 17 and 18 now or you’ll be the only one at the office on Monday without a good story to share. Visit www.musicmidtown.com for tickets and a lineup of this year’s shows. The summer air still lingers, but by the end of September, there is usually a hint of cinnamon and pumpkin spice in the air. That may be because Starbucks has officially extended the pumpkin everything it has to offer. The wine and Netflix will spice season well beyond its original Thanksgiving be waiting for you when you get home. timeline, but nevertheless, fall is beginning to make Relive your glory years as Atlanta’s favorite, an appearance to break the sweltering summer Music Midtown, returns this year with an heat. This change of season is as good a reason as impressive lineup. This two-day event is, as always, any to kick off another circuit of outdoor festivals, packed with big name bands from every major concerts and celebrations. The Duluth Fall Festival genre across four stages in Piedmont Park. covers every base and autumnal desire with an outThousands travel from all over the country to expe- door concert, a carnival, a parade and a Donut rience the energy, over 30 shows, delicious local Dash 5K. This overachieving festival kicks off on cuisine and, of course, one of the biggest parties in Sept. 10 with On the Border performing at the the southeast. This festival has become an annual Festival Center and continues on Sept. 22-25 with

Alabama Shakes at Music Midtown


Marietta StreetFest features the Grassroots Music Festival

nostalgia with a combination of fine antiques, local Georgia artisans, classic cars, and a Marietta Grassroots Music Festival at the 25th Annual Marietta StreetFest. As if that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, this event was recently named a Top 20 Event by the Southeastern Tourism Society. Come enjoy a warm afternoon or two on the historic Marietta Square this Sept. 17 and 18 as you take a ride through time and shop for a bit of comfort to take home with you. Learn more at www.marietta.com/marietta-streetfest. Speaking of traveling back in time, how about spending a weekend in the 1940s? History buffs and gear heads alike will find an unforgettable experience at the Commemorative Air Force Atlanta Warbird Weekend. This immersive experience will not only give visitors the chance to see, touch and possibly ride in famous and rare aircrafts, it will also envelop them in the era and atmosphere of WWII. Those who attend will meet WWII veterans and authors, sit in on a WWII 8th Air Force Fighter Mission Briefing, interact with 1940s Hollywood entertainers, learn from reenactors, enjoy a photography workshop, and attend a dinner symposium with the Flying Tigers. Sounds pretty exclusive, right? Wrong! The entire weekend is free and open to the public. Only the dinner requires a purchased ticket and parking is $10. Enjoy this

unique experience the weekend of Sept. 24-25 at 7 DeKalb Peachtree Airport to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Flying Tigers. Learn more at www.atlantawarbirdweekend.com. September may feel like one of the most hectic months of the year, but we don’t have to let the pace of it intimidate us. Nowhere is it written that a busy life shouldn’t be fun. Or maybe you’re not very busy this month and you’re feeling a bit like the world is whizzing by around you. In that case, jump in! Fill your own dance card with things you never considered. You never know where an opportunity might take you. Go on and find out! ❍

SEPTEMBER 2016 THECURRENTHUB.COM

the carnival, the parade and the 5K. Learn more, volunteer or register for the race at www.duluthfallfestival.org. When things get hectic, as they always do, few things are more comforting than pure nostalgia. Sometimes just the sight of an old childhood book cover or the sound of a familiar song can bring peace like no other remedy. For their popularly attended fundraiser, the Marietta Museum of History will appeal to your sense of

75th anniversary of the Flying Tigers at Warbird Weekend


SEPTEMBER 2016 THECURRENTHUB.COM

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MONEY

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FINANCIAL LITERACY

It’s Now or Never Meaningful Conversations about Money By Robert Fezza and Steve Siders

If we told you that 59% of Georgians lack a rainy day fund that cover three months of expenses in case of job loss or sickness, would you believe us? Would you agree there may be a problem if 19% of GA households spent more than they earned over the past year. (And that doesn’t include the purchase of a home, car or other big ticket item.)

The data supports our hypothesis that young adults are not universally taught money basics—managing a budget, prioritizing wants versus needs, or the time-value of money, for example. Fiscal literacy seems to be is missing. Do you want to see society as a whole making better, healthier financial choices? We do. The data above is from a study repeated by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation in 2009, 2012, and again in 2015* (results were published in July 2016). In summary, they concluded Americans demonstrate low financial literacy and have difficulty making good financial decisions. Here are some additional examples for Georgia: • 36% with credit cards only paid the minimum at some point in the last year • 14% of homeowners owe more than their home is worth (underwater) • 52% did not comparison shop when applying for their newest credit card The good news, if you want to think of it that way, is that the results have

improved in each of the three years (’09, ’12 and ’15) of the study. Also good news, according to the Council for Economic Education’s survey of states, is that in 2007 Georgia set standards requiring personal finance and economic education in our high schools. That’s a good start, but honestly, we would like to see a whole course dedicated to personal financial literacy as a requirement for a high school diploma. What do you think?

happiness ultimately comes from choosing to reduce stresses that can affect your financial plan. Know what you can and can’t control. Peace of mind is priceless. Our purpose for writing this column each month is to educate and inform, to inspire, to encourage action, and to help you make prudent choices through meaningful conversations about money. Life’s a journey.   Navigate it wisely. *FINRA Investor Education Foundation, usfinancialcapability.org

Robert Fezza, CFP® and Steve Siders, CFP® own Odyssey Personal Financial Advisors, 500 Want a Reality Check? Have a high Sun Valley Drive, Suite A-6, Roswell, GA. Their firm specializes in working with school student you know fill out the answers to a 10-question budget at this people who are serious about making progress towards their financial goals. website: www.jumpstart.org/realityOdyssey manages portfolios greater than check and see what their reality is. $500,000. 770-992-4444, Money alone doesn’t buy happiness. www.odysseypfa.com. Securities offered Making good financial choices and through Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, avoiding big mistakes can help, but member FINRA/SIPC.


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GHOST APPEARS AT GEORGIA ENSEMBLE THEATRE By Spalding Negron

Georgia Ensemble Theatre opens its 24th season in September with the Southeastern premiere of Ghost The Musical. This is a new version of the musical based on the film by Bruce Joel Rubin. Romance is front and center coupled with the suspense story of two young lovers Sam and Molly. Torn apart by a tragic crime, psychic Oda Mae Brown facilitates Sam’s journey back from death to help solve his own murder. The story is brought to life with music and lyrics by Dave Stewart (The Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (Michael Jackson’s Thriller). “I am so happy to be bringing to Georgia Ensemble Theatre the Southeastern premiere of a brand new re-imagining of this beautiful musical since its Broadway incarnation with an outstanding ensemble of players and brand new, all-acoustic orchestrations. Ghost is one of the most romantic and memorable stories ever written. You will laugh, cry, and experience a roller coaster of song and excitement that is Ghost the Musical,” said Director Bob Farley. The show features Chase Peacock (Broadway: American Idiot. First National Tour: High School Musical. Bull Durham at The Alliance Theatre) as Sam Wheat and Kylie Brown (Hello Dolly! GET) plays Molly Jensen. Additionally, Kandice Arrington (The Full Monty at The Atlanta Lyric Theatre and A Little Princess at Theatrical Outfit) also debuts as

Chase Peacock and Kylie Brown.

psychic Oda Mae Brown. Performances have limited run dates for three weeks only, from Sept. 15 through Oct. 2. Up next in the GET season is On the Verge, Or The Geography of Yearning directed by Carolyn Cook and will run Nov. 3 through 20, followed by the Topher Payne World Premiere comedy, Greetings Friend Your Kind Assistance Is Required directed by Shannon Eubanks, Jan. 5 through 22, 2017. Rounding out the season is Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters First 100 Years, Feb. 16 through Mar. 5, 2017 directed by Andrea Frye, and the final production, running Apr.6 through 23, 2017, is the mega hit musical Million Dollar Quartet being directed by Brandt Blocker. Georgia Ensemble Theatre is located at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest Street in Roswell. Tickets are available now online at www.get.org.

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THEATRE SCENE

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REAL ESTATE

ity. The boom in prices is not limited to Roswell 11 either. Alpharetta’s downtown area is having a similar change. However, these pricing trends do not extend to all price points. Home sales have slowed in properties priced above $500k—with days on the market increasing in the higher figures. Additionally, the new construction is flat, with price reductions becoming a trend. But if you’re under $400k then there may be a bidding war. The common theme is the closer to the historic district you are the “hotter” your property is. To me this is the market telling us what is important to people. The old way of looking a suburban development is changing and it’s being driven by economics. Those indicators are that people want connectivity, smart sensible development, and yes, a connection to historical elements. Roswell has been in a transformation mode for sometime but now there are a lot of “next steps” being discussed (see page 12). It’s important that as we change we do not lose a connection to the past and remember that building communities is far more important than the actual buildings. Kirsten Ricci is a Roswell resident and a Keller Williams Agent who specializes in residential real estate in the north metro Atlanta area. She can be reached at 678-472-3832, kirsten@roswellrealty.net. Her site is www.klrgrouprealestate.com. ❍ SEPTEMBER 2016 THECURRENTHUB.COM

( NEW URBANISM IS PAYING OFF FOR MANY LOCAL HOMEOWNERS

clear-cut answer. These issues are often divisive so lets remember that in the end a community divided is not the end result we’re looking for. Change is always hard and right now Roswell is struggling with its identity and what it wants to be. New Urbanism is a term often used to describe new projects that have been or will be developed in and around the historic district since the economic recovery began. In the 1960s, the area around the historic district was hot property in what was then the far north suburbs of Atlanta. Just a few years ago these properties had been stuck in the low $200s for more than 20 years. Folks who’ve lived there for decades own many of these homes, so this upward trend is a win-win, as they finally see a significant increase in their investment. Younger buyers are By Kirsten Ricci looking at this area and the term rejuvenation comes Roswell has always been a little to mind—they can refinish an older home to their different. It has a long history of liking. deep-seated neighborhoods The Coleman Road area is an example of this coupled with numerous typical growth and how development in the historic district suburban neighborhoods. is paying off. In 2010 I sold a home off Coleman for However, the charm of small town $232k—now homes in that very neighborhood are life is never far away. Keeping the going in the $400s. I can also tell you that prices in correct balance of growth versus and around the historic area are seeing the same type change is difficult. Like they say—beauty is in the eye of significant increases. This is due to many factors: of the beholder—and what constitutes good develop- new schools; infrastructure improvements; ment is often highly opinionated with no real entertainment options; and, in many cases, walkabil-

LAVIDA MASSAGE –HEALTHCARE AND SPA clients that come in on a regular monthly basis see all sorts of benefits, from improved flexibility and range of motion, to reduced stress, and better sleep patterns,” said Goodwin. After the consultation I spent 90 minutes with LaVida therapist Mistee who made me feel 20 years younger. The term “hurt so good” kept entering my mind while she seemed to hit every spot that’s continuously plagued me over the years. Mistee was conscientious and asked for my feedback to ensure I was always comfortable. This extra TLC reminded me that Julie Goodwin LaVida Massage hires only the best massage therapists who specialize in all the different asLaVida Massage back—I also discovered that the word pects of massage therapy, all designed to address your Johns Creek “massage” has a strong therapeutic context at LaVida specific area of concern. Massage. “What was once considered pampering has evolved “Our massage therapists are trained in multiple into an art and science that provides substantial modalities, including neuromuscular therapy, trigger health and wellness benefits,” said Goodwin. point therapy, myofascial massage, sports massage, It’s been 3 days since my massage and I still feel the Johns Creek East Cobb Alpharetta and stretching techniques. Your therapist will first relief and look forward to continuing my course of 10945 State Bridge Rd 4880 Lower Roswell Rd 12460 Crabapple Rd talk to you to understand why you’re coming in, and therapy. So if you’re going for strictly pleasure or if then will use these different techniques to customize Johns Creek, GA30022 you’re there to address chronic pain like I did then you Alpharetta GA 30004 Marietta GA 30068 your massage to address your areas of focus. Also keep 678.624.9091 770.973.6385 770.740.0654 need to talk with the folks at LaVida Massage, I’m in mind that therapeutic massage is not only great for glad I did. ❍ alleviating any existing pain or discomfort you may be LaVidaMassageAlpharettaGA.com | LaVidaMassageMariettaGA.com | LaVidaMassageJohnsCreekGA.com | PAID PROMOTION experiencing, it’s an incredible preventative. Our By Mark Penstone

“What was ow many of us have just looked at a once massage as something we do purely considered for pleasure versus something we do pampering for our health? I have to admit, to me, a mas- has evolved into an art sage used to be defined as all pleasure, on a and science rare luxury trip to the spa. that That definition changed after a meaningful consultation with Julie Goodwin provides of LaVida Massage in Johns Creek. Through substantial that conversation I not only learned that my health and massage therapist would customize my mas- wellness benefits.” sage to provide relief for my long aching

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LEADERSHIP NEEDED IN ROSWELL’S HISTORIC DISTRICT I agree that “the historic district in Roswell is at a turning In the August issue of the Current Hub, Frank Mack wrote point.” Mr. Mack cites examples of neighboring developments— an article titled “Ain’t No Cure For the Summertime Blues.” including downtown Alpharetta, The piece worried that Roswell’s Canton Street is “losing its Avalon, and Woodstock’s town mojo,” that it “was cooler when it was alone.” center—as examples of our comThe purpose of this response is to contend that Mr. Mack munity’s competition that seem to be outpacing us. misses the point when labeling restaurants as the cause of Fortunately, we’ve already and potential solution to Canton Street’s lack of opportunity. identified projects to build on Having grown organically over the past two decades into the bustling corriwhat’s already so special about dor we residents enjoy today, the historic district now needs help that its our historic district. We must businesses alone cannot provide. A diverse group of entrepreneurs has risked seize these opportunities to ventures on Canton Street’s potential to the best of our ability. Now we need push Roswell towards growth the City of Roswell to respond with leadership, vision, and investment in and positive momentum: the reorder to keep our City’s downtown current with the ever-striving competition. branded “Alive in Roswell,” the I don’t wish to engage Mr. Mack’s opinion of which restaurants are City Green and East/West Alley worthwhile and which are not. (Full Disclosure: I own Table & Main and projects, the purchase of the Osteria Mattone, two of the restaurants he mentioned.) All of Canton Street’s Southern Skillet property. All of restaurants seem to be busy.  Obviously, they’ve found an eager market. these represent potentially positive steps. But, in the face of the surrounding competition, we Ryan Pernice owns Table & Main and Osteria Mattone can no longer be content with restaurants. mere steps. Roswell needs transformative, catalytic leadership for our city to remain competitive with our neighbors. Canton Street alone can no longer be the focus of our future.  We must leverage projects like the City Green to expand Canton Street’s success across our entire historic district, a community asset we alone possess, from the Chattahoochee River north to Woodstock Street. Key issues such as the lack of downtown parking remain unaddressed after years of talk. Projects that we voted on, funded, and discussed at length in multiple “town hall” style meetings languish in studies or committees while progress slows to a drip.  We know what our opportunities are, yet we seem unwilling to do the hard work and make the tough choices necessary to address them head on. No, Canton Street has far from “lost its mojo.” In fact, I think it’s never been a more exciting destination. We scored one killer brewery, Gate City, with another, Variant, on the way. Our restaurants are full and growing, offering an array of options that’s still unmatched by any neighborhood north of Atlanta. Our shops are exciting, interesting, and ready to provide everything from ice cream in a cone to Fresh Cream on vinyl. The business community is poised to bring even more compelling adventures to the crowds that will surely visit a historic district that explodes after the City invigorates and activates our downtown investment.  We’re eager to follow their leadership. Ryan Pernice is Executive Director of the Historic Roswell Business Association. The opinions expressed are his, find him @ryanpernice By Ryan Pernice


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FIRE AND FLIGHT CREATE VISUAL LANGUAGE IN SCULPTURE (

me to develop my skills in a way that worked within certain parameters. I learned practical skills and worked fter laying eyes on one of Michael Dillon’s graceful, with architects and other artists while almost delicate looking sculptures, it’s hard to believe building my business sense. It gave me a real advantage when I moved away that they were forged using monstrously heavy, from making things like customized surprisingly old-school blacksmithing equipment in railings and towards sculpture and frighteningly high temperatures and thunderously loud, public art. I had that shop until ’08. violent strikes of metal on metal. Using a combination of Then I moved into my current studio classical methods and personal improvisation, Dillon uses his by myself and went back to my roots as sculptor full time. I figured, if I’m not experience as a painter, sculptor, blacksmith, and metal artist agoing to make much money, I’m going town of Atlanta after graduation in to create unique pieces that to what I want to do!” showcase his years of dedication 1993. For a few years, Dillon worked a This turned out to be a very good day job to pay bills as he continued to and personal vision. move for Dillon. A self-described “25“Originally, I wanted to be a painter,” build and work in his garage. In ’97, he year-over-night success,” Dillon has Dillon shared. “Along the way, I was in- decided to open his very own shop in created large-scale public art that is Roswell. troduced to sculpture and found that currently featured throughout the “I had that shop for 15 years,” Dillon southeast. One of his sculptures is curfor me, working metal was as easy as said. “It was pretty successful. I learned rently on display in Roswell Area Park drawing.” a lot about business in that time, which as part of the ArtAround Roswell Dillon met his wife while in school and the two artists moved to her home- was good for me as an artist. It allowed sculpture tour. By Jessica Diamond

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ARTS

“Avian” by Michael Dillon.


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Michael Dillon at work. ture wings, feathers, birds, and the like. “I started building my identity as a He enjoys creating kinetic pieces that public artist,” Dillon remembered. “It move with the wind and interact started with a piece for a firehouse in visually with the audience. Charlotte, NC, in 2008. After that, I “I like when the pieces move because did a piece for Nashville, and then Duluth, Milton, and so on. My work is it helps to entice people to discover pretty varied, but most people can tell that movement and interact with the piece,” Dillon said fondly. “It gives the my work apart because of my work personality and they learn how to technique and the tools I use. It’s all speak with it. I think that’s important. very much influenced by my personal aesthetic and my visual language as an It needs to inspire intrigue. By doing artist. Blacksmithing has been around this, I want to create a universal visual language that appeals to everyone so long, there is so much you can do differently, no matter their age or backand create with the fire and the heat. That really piques my interest. There is ground.” As Dillon’s work continues to gain an element of invention to it. If I need admiration and his schedule fills with a tool or a shape, I make it. The great thing about it is that you can start with orders, he has decided to continue nothing and create any tool you want. focusing on public art and advocating This shop is a dream come true for me. for its use as an economic development tool. I’m able to work out of it every single “It’s a good time to be doing this day and work with my hands, think kind of work,” Dillon explained. “And I about how everything fits together. I like that it’s accessible to anyone. These like making connections between things and how they’re made. It’s how I cities are catching onto the idea that art is valuable and that they need it to like to work and how I like to live. Now, I can really focus on the jobs that grow. The studies are in, and each dollar spent on art generates more dollars showcase what I can do.” Dillon’s sculptures are created from for the community. It can be a challenge, to decide what a community materials such as iron, bronze, needs to create that culture and to stainless steel, and aluminum. He figure out how to fund it. But it’s like heats the metals to red-hot infrastructure. It takes hard work from temperatures and pounds them with people who understand it and know industrial hammers. He then uses his forged tools to make marks and create how to engage the community on that level.” shapes. Some of Dillon’s pieces To learn more about Michael Dillon measure as much as 10-15 ft. tall and and his work, visit weigh up to or more than 1000 lbs. Much of Dillon’s work centers on the www.dillonforge.com. ❍ idea of flight. His sculptures often fea-


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COMPRESSION THERAPY: Does it help cure vein disease?

For years, physicians have recommended compression therapy as the cornerstone treatment for vein disease, the root cause of varicose veins, and approximately 80% of all leg ulcers. Sadly, compression stockings have historically been heavy, difficult to put on, and uncomfortable, particularly in the summer, when they can feel unbearably hot, so in some cases it may feel the cure is worse than the disease. In truth, compression therapy does remain an important tool in the treatment of vein disease for people who suffer with tired, heavy, restless legs, but it does not cure the problem; it merely relieves the symptoms for as long as the stockings are worn. The definitive treatment of vein disease remains thermal ablation of the failed veins, using either a laser fiber, or a radio-frequency catheter to actually close the failed veins, using very high temperatures. This revolutionary treatment became commercially available in the United States in 2000, and we at VeinInnovations began doing it in Atlanta in 2002. Going from a palliative type of treatment in which symptoms are relieved to a therapeutic treatment in which the disease is cured is a giant step, but in spite of this, insurance companies often require a 90- day trial of compression (palliative) therapy before allowing thermal ablation (definitive therapy) to occur. Of course, that insurance companies agree to pay for the treatment of vein disease at all is a wonderful thing, but it does underscore the fact that this is not a cosmetic issue, but a medical one, and that as it progresses, it can cause serious and long-lasting health problems. Finally, compression therapy is becoming widely recognized as a very useful tool for the enhancement of athletic performance, even in the absence of vein disease. It is common these days to see athletes wearing brightly colored compression garments at all levels of competition, from professional sports events, to the weekend runner, because the difference in feel and recovery can be quite profound. At VI Active, at our Johns Creek and Midtown offices, we carry a complete line of these sports compression garments, and are happy to measure and fit you for your own performance enhancing gear. ❍ PAID PROMOTION


health&wellness presented by

SUFFERING SINUSES East Cobb specialist helps patients reclaim lives and vacation time

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ou often hear about the benefits of taking time off of work to relax and travel. But many people use their time off for a far less enjoyable reason: chronic sinusitis. People who suffer from chronic sinusitis frequently take one to two weeks off every year because of sinus infections, facial pressure and nasal congestion. “Sinusitis is one of the most common things we see,” said David Weeks, M.D., an ear nose & throat (ENT) specialist who treats patients at WellStar East Cobb Health Park and his office in historic Marietta. “Primary care providers see a lot of people with sinusitis too because it affects so many people. It’s really treatable but people will live with it for years until they can’t stand it anymore.” When patients see Dr. Weeks, he first recommends treatment paths ranging from traditional medicine such as antibiotics and steroids to natural remedies such as irrigating the sinus passages at home with the use of a Neti pot. “We always start with medical treatment before recommending surgery,” he said. “People fear we’ll recommend surgery. But we try everything else first.” Many patients are able to begin enjoying better breathing, better sense of smell, better taste and less congestion, pain and pressure after a

Dr. Weeks at the state-of-the-art Outpatient Surgery Center.

visit to a specialist and the pharmacy. For others with symptoms that don’t improve with these treatments, sinus surgery can help. That’s because structural issues—such as a deviated septum or polyps—are causing the symptoms. “One thing that terrifies a lot of people is how surgery was done long ago,” Dr. Weeks said. Thankfully, sinus surgery has come a long way. The procedure is short, lowrisk and highly successful. Dr. Weeks performs the procedure in the new state-of-the-art Outpatient Surgery Center at East Cobb Health Park as well as the Outpatient Surgery Center at WellStar Kennestone Hospital. “The procedure is performed endoscopically with video cameras inside the nose. There are no cuts. And nasal packing is extremely unusual,” Dr. Weeks said. After the procedure, patients usually

only experience mild pain and no bruising. The nose begins to feel “open” after a couple of weeks. People can start enjoying the little things in life right away and begin to make better use of their paid time off. “When I see them later, they’re not missing work anymore; they haven’t had a sinus infection in a year. They have increased smell, improved taste and even fewer symptoms caused by allergies,” Dr. Weeks said. “If they do get a sinus infection, it can usually be treated without antibiotics. They say, ‘Why didn’t I do this 10 or 20 years ago?’” WellStar Ear Nose & Throat at WellStar East Cobb Health Park is located at 3747 Roswell Road NE. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call 470-956-7815. Dr. Weeks also sees patients at the practice’s 699 Church Street location in Marietta. For appointments there, call 678-355-1620. ❍

Breathe better, look better According to ear, nose and throat surgeon David Weeks, M.D., some patients who need to have sinus surgery to help them breathe better and decrease sinus infections are also interested in changing the appearance of their nose. This may be because of physical changes from an accident or simply because of cosmetic reasons. In that case, Dr. Weeks can perform both procedures together. It’s called a septorhinoplasty. The procedure is performed in an outpatient surgery center and is short, lowrisk and highly successful.

Convenient medication For patients who treat sinusitis with medication, David Weeks, a physician at WellStar East Cobb Health Park, recommends using WellStar’s convenient onsite pharmacies. “I prescribe electronically,” he said. “They can pick up their prescriptions immediately out the door, before they get to their car, usually without a wait.” The free parking at WellStar East Cobb Health Park makes picking up regular prescriptions easy. The pharmacy is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.– 8 p.m. For more information, call 470-956-0170.


SEPTEMBER 2016 THECURRENTHUB.COM

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SEPT–OCT COMMUNITY CALENDAR East Cobb Health Park 3747 Roswell Road NE, Marietta

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SUPPORT GROUPS Free sleep apnea support group First Thursday of the month, 5:30 –7 p.m. A.W.A.K.E. stands for “Alert, Well And Keeping Energetic”—which is what this support group strives to help people with sleep apnea do. Open to adults with sleep apnea, their family members and friends, and anyone interested in learning more about sleep apnea. Registration required; call 770956-STAR (7827). Free breastfeeding support Mondays, 9:30 –11 a.m. Free Mommy & Me group for mothers who breastfeed; lactation consultant is available to facilitate supportive discussions over a variety of topics. No registration required; mothers are welcome to come and go at any time during the session. Call 770-793-8088 for more info. Free diabetes support group Fourth Monday of the month except December, 6 –7 p.m. People living with diabetes are encouraged to discuss their concerns and share their successes regarding the self-management of their diabetes. A social worker and/or diabetes educator from WellStar Diabetes Services facilitates each session. No registration required. Call 770-793-7828.

Understanding Birth Sat. series, Sept. 24-Oct. 1, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Thurs. series, Oct. 20–Nov. 10, 6–9 p.m. Expecting mothers and their partners can choose from a Thursday night or Saturday series of classes to take a journey through childbirth including labor and delivery, breathing and relaxation, hospital procedures and Cesarean birth. Community & Education room. Call 770-956-STAR (7827) to register; cost is $55. Breastfeeding Basics Oct. 8, 9 a.m. –12 p.m. Taught by certified lactation consultants, this introductory class helps you make an informed decision about breastfeeding. It covers the breastfeeding skills and techniques to ensure a successful breastfeeding experience for mother and baby. Call 770956-STAR (7827) to register; cost is $35.

NEW FITNESS & HEALTH

YOGA & QI GONG Yoga Tuesdays, Sept. 6-Dec. 6, Noon –1 p.m. This yoga class will help create body awareness, strengthen and stretch muscles and tissues, improve balance, posture and coordination. Strong emphasis is placed on proper alignment in postures. Breath is incorporated to improve focus and increase energy. Postures and sequencing change from week to week. Appropriate for all levels of students. Community & Education room. There will be no class on: 9/13, 10/11, 11/8. Call 770-956-STAR (7827) to register; cost is $82.50/free for members of WellStar Health Place.

Qi Gong Thursdays, Sept. 15 –Dec. 8, Noon –1 p.m. Qi Gong is a mind-body practice with roots in ancient China. Designed to cultivate the body’s vital energy and flow. Through movement, meditation, and breath, participants learn how to enhance and increase this enCOMMUNITY EDUCATION ergy and direct its flow. Gentle, graceful, reJoy of Parenthood peated movements, sometimes known as Thursday, Sept. 8, 6 –9 p.m. “moving meditations” are the crux of this Expecting parents learn about newborn be- class. Community & Education room. There will be no class on: 11/24, 12/1. Call haviors and care including holding tech770-956-STAR (7827) to register; cost is niques, diapering, feeding, dressing and $82.50/free for members of WellStar bathing. Call 770-956-STAR (7827) to Health Place. register; cost is $30.


Left to right: Monte Wilson, president, WellStar Windy Hill Hospital; Pete Bagley, parliamentarian for WellStar Kennestone Volunteers; Penny Morrison-Ross, executive director, WellStar Foundation; Brenda Castile, Volunteers president; Charlotte Murray, Volunteers treasurer; and Dana Caviness, manager of Volunteers and Support Services. Volunteers at WellStar Cobb Hospital, WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center and WellStar Windy Hill Hospital donated more than $555,000 to the WellStar Foundation for facility enhancements, specialty medical equipment and investments in new technologies. This past year, more than 600 volunteers at the three hospitals raised donations through hospital gift shop sales, partnerships with local venders and personal donations. Collectively, the volunteers contributed more than 100,000 hours to help WellStar Health System achieve its goal of delivering world-class care. “Every day our WellStar volunteers provide tremendous support to the Foundation and the health system as a whole,” said Penny Morrison-Ross, Foundation executive director. “I am constantly amazed by their hard work and passion for our community. Each year their generous donations go toward helping a critical aspect of the health system, and we are incredibly thankful for their continued support.” Donations raised by the volunteers are directly reinvested back into the community through worthy hospital projects and programs. Funded projects are selected from a list of priorities that are best aligned with their hospital and community’s specific needs. As the philanthropic arm to the WellStar Health System, Georgia’s largest healthcare system, the Foundation reinvests 100 percent of every dollar donated toward initiatives that advance the level of healthcare provided to WellStar communities. To learn more or to make a personal contribution, visit wellstar.org/give or call 770-956-GIVE (4483). To learn more about volunteering for WellStar, visit www.wellstar.org and click on “Volunteer/Patrons” midway down the page. For more than 30 years, the WellStar Foundation has been at the forefront of securing generous donations for the WellStar Health System, the largest health system in Georgia. As a not-for profit, donations from individuals, businesses and community organizations are critical for WellStar to achieve world-class healthcare. The Foundation reinvests 100 percent of every dollar donated toward initiatives that advance the level of healthcare provided to WellStar communities through improved patient services and assistance for those in need. To learn more, visit wellstar.org/foundation or call 770-956-GIVE (4483). ❍

19 SEPTEMBER 2106 THECURRENTHUB.COM

( VOLUNTEERS DONATE $555,000 TO WELLSTAR FOUNDATION HEALTH


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HEALTH

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HOSPITAL INPATIENT PEDIATRIC UNIT CELEBRATES ONE YEAR

Dr. Carrie Nalisnick and Merci Moncada, R.N., are part of the pediatric team providing specialized care to children at WellStar Kennestone Hospital. WellStar Kennestone Hospital recently celebrated the one year anniversary of its new inpatient pediatric unit. Previously, Cobb County did not have an inpatient pediatric unit, forcing families to leave their community to receive hospital-based care. The unit keeps pediatric patients and their families close to home. The unit is staffed 24/7 exclusively by pediatric-trained caregivers including a team of pediatric hospitalists who remain on duty around the clock, pediatric nurses, pediatric respiratory therapists and a dedicated pediatric pharmacist. The brightly colored, child-friendly space features 12 private patient rooms for overnight hospital stays, complete with artwork created by local elementary and middle school students. Parents are able to take time out in a dedicated family lounge, which offers refreshments, comfortable seating, computer areas for checking emails and a playroom for young visitors. Additionally, patients benefit from a central monitoring system in each exam room, enhanced security, ultraviolet filters for infection control, and all pediatric-specific and pediatric friendly equipment. The inpatient pediatric unit is part of WellStar’s strategic focus on expanding its level of services for the whole family. WellStar also offers orthopedic pediatric surgery at WellStar Windy Hill Hospital. Kids benefit from pediatric specific lowdose imaging at WellStar Pediatric Center, which also has a rehabilitation area featuring aquatic physical therapy. Parents appreciate the ability to take kids who aren’t feeling well for after-hours care at the Pediatric Center, open evenings and weekends. For more information about any of these services, visit www.wellstar.org or call 770-956-STAR (7827). ❍

WELLSTAR’S NEW WATCHMAN PROCEDURE HELPS PREVENT AFIB-RELATED STROKE Patients living with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AFib) now have access to a new treatment option that significantly reduces the risk of stroke. WellStar Kennestone Hospital is the first non-academic hospital to offer the treatAmar Patel, M.D. ment in Georgia. The WATCHMAN device is designed to keep harmful blood clots from entering a patient’s blood stream which could potentially cause a stroke. AFib is the most common heart rhythm problem and studies have found that a third of people living with the untreated condition experience a stroke. Studies have also found that AFib-related strokes are more frequently fatal and disabling. “Approximately 90 percent of strokes in individuals with AFib originate from blood clots that have formed in the left atrial appendage,” said Amar Patel, M.D. co-medical director of WellStar’s Structural Heart & Valve Program. “The WATCHMAN device plugs off the left atrial appendage (an unnecessary tissue structure in the adult heart), thus preventing clot formation and entry into the bloodstream.” Anti-coagulants or blood thinners – such as warfarin – are often effective at curbing this type of stroke. However, some patients with AFib are unable to tolerate long-term anti-coagulation for various reasons, including previous gastro-intestinal or intracranial bleeding, those who work with heavy machinery or those who are at high risk of falling. In this case, the WATCHMAN device is a highly effective treatment option as an alternative to long-term anticoagulation. “Traditionally these patients have had to make a choice between protecting themselves

from a stroke and increasing their risk of bleeding from the medication,” Patel said. “With the WATCHMAN device, the majority of patients can typically stop using blood thinners after 45 days.” Patients with non-valvular AFib with certain risk factors such as increased age, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, vascular disease and prior stroke are typically considered candidates for the procedure. The 1-1½-hour procedure is minimally-invasive and is performed by a multi-disciplinary physician team including an interventional cardiologist, an electrophysiologist, an interventional echocardiographer, and an anesthesiologist. Because the left atrial appendage is shaped and sized differently in different people, ultrasounds help the team take measurements to choose the appropriately sized device. While the patient is under general anesthesia, the physician team guides the WATCHMAN device into the heart through a flexible tube that travels from a vein in the upper leg. Left Atrial Appendage with WATCHMAN Implant “Folks are typically discharged after only one night,” Patel said. “Patients feel great the next day and are ready to go home. It’s a great thing to see.” After 45 days, there is a 92 percent success rate for patients coming off of warfarin therapy. For the remainder of the patients, it typically just takes a little more time. After a year of healing, greater than 99 percent of patients studied were able to come off of warfarin therapy. “With procedures such as the WATCHMAN, TAVR, MitraClip and Convergent Care, WellStar remains at the forefront in offering the most up-to-date structural heart procedures,” Patel said. For more information about structural heart procedures, visit www.wellstar.org or call WellStar Cardiovascular Surgery at 770-590-4180. ❍


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SEPTEMBER 2016 THECURRENTHUB.COM

MODERN MOM

want to laugh out loud, please watch the YouTube 21 video; you will greatly appreciate it, because it’s so Recently I had a car replacement true! Here we are, cruising our (mostly paved) situation on my hands. We had to North Metro suburban streets in cars that can litreplace our beloved “mom van” of erally be taken off-road. And I am aware of all you nearly eight years due to an accident. At the behest of my oldest intrepid outdoorsmen out there who love nothing child, who will be driving in a year better than to drive deep into the woods for a or two, I was encouraged to not replace the minivan campout, or go muddin,’ but for the rest of us, the silly song truly does delve deep into the question: with another minivan, but to consider an SUV. why don’t we all just still drive station wagons? Her thinking is that the SUV is much sportier Not a political statement. and better to be learning to drive on. And so, we It was refreshing to laugh and sing and talk are the proud owners of an old Ford Explorer, which the kids truly love running around town in. about all those moral life lessons learned from the vegetables of the early 2000s. I’m sure there are Our trips have in fact evoked an old, old family tradition: Veggie Tales. For the uncultured, Veggie many of us with piles of these old DVDs in our Tales is an animated show that features anthropo- basements, and I promise it will at least be fun for morphic fruits and vegetables. The wonderful you to take a look at a few. ‘Silly Songs with Larry,’ (you remember him, And, as a footnote, my oldest has stated that if right? Larry the Cucumber, sidekick of Bob the and when she ever decides to talk to a boy, if he Tomato) had a fantastically corny segment in each isn’t well versed not only in Veggie Tales, but also of the plethora of Veggie Tale movies wherein in many of the Silly Songs, he’ll be kicked to the some ridiculous song was sung by the veggies. curb. She is adamant about this, as though it was “Oh, you and me, in our sport utility vehicles, really a part of her upbringing as a small child. Drivin’ to 7-Eleven for a bag of Frito-Lays. Don’t forget, our beloved Chick-fil-A handed Oh, you and me, in our sport utility vehicles, Larry Boy CDs out in every kid’s meal for years.❍ Let’s slam into 4-wheel drive and pick up a Beth Nitschke is a mother of three, a home dozen eggs!” school mom, and a writer. She lives with her kids If you don’t know this silly song, or you just and their family dog in East Cobb. By Beth Nitschke

LOOKOUT GERMANY

THE COMPETITION IS NOW SWEDISH! PAID PROMOTION

By Mark Penstone

2016 was a historic year for Volvo, their completely redesigned XC90 won the SUV of the year and behind the scenes Volvo was readying for the release of their new first true luxury sedan the 2017 S90. At present there are two different models available, and both have Volvo’s intuitive semiautonomous driving technology as a standard option—making it harder and harder to get into an accident while driving a Volvo. Volvo is well established as a leader in vehicle safety so let’s focus on why the S90 is such a beautiful car. The exterior is lower, wider and longer than the competition, creating a sleek and elegant design that is not only beautiful but functional. Inside, the S90 looks a lot like the XC90 and that’s a good thing because that interior has to be one of the best on the market. It’s plain to see that Volvo has raised the car’s interior to a completely new level by giving it a truly modern Scandinavian makeover, simplistically elegant. When one looks around the cabin you see the use of top grade leather, metal, and wood, giving it a substantial feel. I was hard pressed to see any

to the standard vehicles we’ve been used to. The question now is, will people like me (A 30-year 1570 Mansell Road BMW owner) give this vehicle plastic components that would be in plain sight. Alpharetta, GA the opportunity it truly If you’ve never experienced a nineteen speaker, deserves? I hope so because it’s 1400 watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system then 678-365-0600 definitely earned our considerayou’re in for an amazing treat. The Bowers & Wilkins tion. NorthPointVolvo.com system is by far the best in car audio package I’ve Pricing starts at $47,945, ever heard and is worth the trip alone to North Point priced as tested $62,945. Volvo just to experience it. North Point Volvo is located at 1570 Mansell Rd. Volvo is going directly after the Mercedes-Benz Ein Alpharetta. You can call them at 678-365-0600 or Class, BMW 5-Series, and Audi A6 marketplace and visit online at NorthPointVolvo.com. ❍ in my opinion provides a wonderful new alternative

North Point Volvo


SEPTEMBER 2016 THECURRENTHUB.COM

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LIFE… 50+

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FEELING HOT! HOT! HOT!

By Di Chapman

I’m feeling hot, hot, hot… flashes, that is. Yes, I said it. There is nothing like 98 degrees and high humidity to drive a mature woman to such scary behaviors as threatening mortal consequences should anyone in her household raise the air conditioning temperature above 74 degrees. Husbands and children learn what a few degrees can mean—they touch the thermostat at their own peril.

be described as RED-hot, and my over-50 physique and my attitude are on fire. A few women don’t mind hot flashes, and for the life of me I can’t understand. Most of us agree that hot flashes are like strapless bras, clinching into our torsos like a vice grip, and spandex undergarments that squeeze us like a python in hopes we’ll look one inch smaller around our waists and derrières. If you’re lucky enough to suffer from hot flashes while wearing a strapless bra and spandex all at once, chances are you’re attending an outdoor summer wedding. We’ve all been there and it makes for endless commiseration amongst us. Wearing a I’ve lived here for about five years now and I straight jacket is probably a more comfortable have to say it seems like 90-degree days were rare experience, but admittedly not as fashionable. but now they are the norm. If it was 90 degrees a I’d carry a bazooka on my shoulder right now, few years ago, it was a great topic of discussion. “Do and pronounce myself a neighborhood watcher, but you believe this temperature? It’s HOT!” It was, in- the neighbors have seen me melt down over things deed, considered sweltering. like when my driveway is blocked by visitors. I have But we’ve got the dog days of summer here. no idea why it happens all the time to me and not Come on now. There’s hot, and then there’s HOT. them. So the neighbors already scatter in fear when This summer we’re in temperatures that can only I appear to roust the perpetrators. Said bazooka

BUILDING BRIDGES BETWEEN GENERATIONS

PAID PROMOTION

S

t. George Village is all about building relationships—not only between our staff and residents and their families, but also the fostering of friendships among residents and in building partnerships with our surrounding community. One such partnership brings students in from neighboring schools to participate in activities with St. George Village residents. One of the most beloved partnerships is the Linus Project, on which residents work together with young students from Queen of Angels Catholic School to create blankets to give to homeless children in need. (The Linus concept is based on the Peanuts cartoon character, who carried his trusty security blanket with him everywhere.) Each November, first-graders assist with making the blankets, which they take to the chapel at St. George Village to be blessed by a priest. Afterward, secondgraders help distribute the blankets to local organizations like the Drake House, Ronald McDonald House, and the Catholic Charities’ prenatal program.

St. George Village 11350 Woodstock Rd, Roswell, GA 30075 678-987-0402 stgeorgevillage.com

St. George Village resident Mary Apps, who has worked on the Linus Project for several years, says the blankets have become a treasured tradition at Queen of Angels. “So many of the children have older siblings who participated in the project, so they look forward to working on the blankets, too,” she said. “I think they enjoy it both for the good feeling it brings to do something for someone else and for the fun of partnering with SGV residents.” Another partnership involves students from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, who help out with a variety of activities, such as instructing residents on how to troubleshoot issues with their smartphones and tablets, serving refreshments at parties and as callers on Bingo nights. SGV Healthcare Activities Manager Renee Krosner says she has seen friendships spring up between residents and the teen visitors because of the opportunities these activities present for intergenerational interaction. “Many of these students want to help seniors because they’ve seen what their own grandparents needed. They have that calling,” she said. “So, when they’re here at St. George Village, they do build relationships, many of which last even after the students have graduated.”

Mary Apps (right) shows a first grader from Queen of Angels Catholic School how to tie the edges of a Linus blanket. Come see how relationships are nurtured at St. George Village. Call us at 678-987-0402 for more information or to schedule a tour. You can also find more details about our community, lifestyle and residents on our website, www.stgeorgevillage.com. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest, too! ❍


it would help my husband and keep his temper from flaring up as well. I was impressed that he was as good a sport as he was throughout my experimentation with heat induced serenity. Finally, the heat got the better of me. It was soon a choice between killing someone or cooling the place down. I decided the latter might be better to keep me out of prison. When the AC repair guy arrived I was taught about what can happen in the inner workings of an air conditioning system. Nice to know, buster, but fix it. NOW. I believe it might be a good choice for me to finally become a Southern belle. The kind of woman who embraces and politely endures her discomfort and urge to maim or kill in 90degree heat and humidity. She would never mention them. She rocks her chair on her veranda and fans herself while she “glows,” a genteel way of saying, “sweats.” She drinks ice cold lemonade, tea, or if so inclined, mint juleps. Perhaps on the sly she’s spiking the other beverages as well. With my girlfriends, it’s martinis. We had decided this year that it was time to start having girls’ veranda parties at my place. Perhaps these would channel our inside Southern belles. There are no rocking chairs or porch swings, but we managed to get comfortable. Now I know why builders plant ceiling fans on porches. In no time, one girlfriend admitted, “Ladies, I’m overheated. I’m out of here.” Personally, I’m singing that awesome hit from 1984, “The Heat is On” and busting moves. Sweet cheeks, I’m so there. ❍

Most of us agree that hot flashes are like strapless bras, clinching into our torsos like a vise grip, and spandex undergarments that squeeze us like a python in hopes we’ll look one inch smaller around our waists and derrières.

23 SEPTEMBER 2016 THECURRENTHUB.COM

would no doubt illicit neighbors’ calls to the cops, which wouldn’t be a bad thing. Otherwise, I couldn’t guarantee that visitors’ windshields would survive. These temperatures have been a beast that I’d like to take down and throttle with my bare hands. Most of us agree, hot flashes or not, that we know we’ve been suffering when the temperature falls to 88 degrees and we’re celebrating the “coolness in comparison.” Free at last. Free at last. It was not, however, an 88degree night last month when our air conditioning on the bedroom floor tanked. Our air conditioner, only three years old, had been acting funny for a few days during the height of our worst temperatures. You know, the kind of temps where your cell phone tells you it’s 98 degrees but it “feels like” 102? It would blow cold air, and then blow heat, which had the system running and running and running to try to cool itself down. Realizing that my electricity bill was being run into the stratosphere, I turned off the whole thing. I persevered in my belief that the system would work itself out. We braved bedtime each night, with the ceiling fan on overdrive and standing fans blowing across the bed. My poor husband. His sleeping hours are short. He’s a really, really early riser. The fans were no match for the 98degree beast outside the window. He tossed and turned each night. I will say, though, on my part, I stayed “cool” in sympathy for him. Was I hot? Oh, yes. Was I overcome by hot flashes? Yes, yes, I was, but I’m proud of myself. I kept my internal raging heat under wraps, hoping that


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FALL VEGETABLES AND SPRING BULBS GARDEN

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Geri Laufer lives in Atlanta, where she, graphic designer husband David, and English Coonhound Lily are working on designing and installing a new landscape for their new old house.

Garden tasks as Summer changes to Fall in Atlanta and toss them into the compost pile. Cut up the straggling vines for September is a great month quicker decomposition. If you notice the roots are clubby, to put in a fall vegetable stubby, and knotted, beware! This ingarden that will yield cool dicates root knot nematodes in the season crops for soil. They are microscopic so you can’t see them, but you can see the results Thanksgiving and the holidays. The ground is warm of them invading the tomato roots. In that case, I put the clumpy roots into but the air temperatures are a plastic garbage bag to be hauled away, making a note not to replant milder, causing seeds and new transplants to get off to a tomatoes in the same spot next year, but to plant a block of marigolds quick start. You may wish to instead and to rotate my other veggie leave one tomato plant crops. Collect the remaining tomatoes, growing in an out-of-the-way even if they are green, and set them to location to continue to bear ripen on a cool pantry shelf. This is a while it can. great time to pop excess ripe tomatoes We’ve enjoyed lush home-grown into boiling water to remove the tomatoes and squash all summer, but skins, then cut them up and cook now the vines are sprawling and less down into tomato sauce in a productive. It’s time to yank them out saucepan. I freeze this “last gasp of By Geri Laufer

Our Atherton Place Family

Welcomes You When we speak of family, we include our Atherton Place team members as well. Not only are we part of your everyday life, helping you live each day to the fullest, but we also feel at home here.

Of our 92 team members, the average tenure at Atherton Place is an amazing 12 years. We are particularly proud that 25% of the team has been here for more than 20 years!

When Atherton Place opened in 1988, the concept of Senior Living was brand new. Over time, our commitment to providing a high-quality community with a personal touch has grown and touched many lives. Our residents regularly share that our team members are a key reason in making this a comfortable home. We invite you to join us for lunch, a complimentary tour and an opportunity to meet some of our team members. Call 770-421-7300 for more information.

111 TOWER ROAD NE • MARIETTA, GA 30060 • athertonplace.org

summer” to enjoy in winter. “Cool season veggies” are called that because even if the thermometer dips down below freezing, the veggies will survive and become even more tasty. Some cool season veggies like red mustard, rainbow chard and parsley are pretty enough to be included along with your hardy winter pansies and violas in entrance beds and containers on the deck. September is the best month to buy and begin thinking about planting the Big Three Dutch flower bulbs that will bloom in the early spring and enliven the Tulips add dormant landscape. brilliant color to Yellow daffodils, the garden. jonquils, or narcissus are just about the first in the procession of spring flowering bulbs. The earliest daffodil of all, Rijnveld’s


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Rainbow Chard is delicious, high in antioxidants, and beautiful in the winter garden. Try a quick saute’with olive oil, garlic, salt and a splash of lemon juice.

Early Sensation, blooms in January! Yummy Cool Season Veggies Other favorites of mine are Jet Fire, a to Plant Now short gold and orange beauty, and Ornamental Arugula Stainless, a large pure white. Hyacinths open next, perfuming the Red Mustard Beets garden with fragrance in that early sunOnions Broccoli shine. Colors range from pink and rose, Parsley to dark and light blue, white, yellow and Cabbage orange. I like Delft Blue, a mid range Radishes Carrots blue that seems to last several weeks. Radicchio Tulips are the third of the Cilantro triumvirate of Big Bulbs. There is Rainbow Chard Collards something for everyone, from the small Scallions Endive early species Lady Jane, to the big bold Triumph Tulips. Doubles, singles, lilyShallots Garlic flowered, fringed, multi-flowered, Perennial Herbs! Spinach parrot, giant and late tulips in colors Swiss Chard from white to “black” (actually a deep Kale purple), all colors except blue, and Turnips Lettuce solid colors to striped, flamed, and Mustard two-toned. My favorites are Apricot Beauty Triumph Tulips and Angelique Peony-flowered Doubles, although I love them all. The “Little Bulbs” like Crocus, Grape Hyacinths, Snowdrops and Glory of the Snow are a delight to fill in around the edges of the Big Three. Each fall I buy a new variety that I have never grown before to see how I like it. I shop for bulbs all over: in garden centers, big box stores, and online at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs and Van Engelen, Inc. I shop early for the best selection, and late for the best prices. I plant them underneath the flower beds, with violas and parsley on top. Hardy yet ornamental herbs and veggies with bright OK, so I’m a flower bulb junkie. Hey, blue pansies, violas and wood hyacinths are perfection. there are worse things to be. ❍ Plan now to plant your containers for winter color.


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FOOD

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ALPHARETTA’S DOWNTOWN SCORES AGAIN AND AGAIN

Jodi Cheico (center) with daughter Courtney and chef Francois Duquette By Frank Mack

Alpharetta’s historic downtown has reached a new tipping point. The latest restaurant additions are nudging a tasty, varied and very accessible dining district into a three-way competition. In my eye, those are the three historic districts of Roswell, Woodstock, and Marietta, which are one and all competing with Avalon, The Avenues of East Cobb, and unlimited miles of strip malls. In the end we’ll see whether we go organic and homegrown or the preprocessed world as a way to live, eat, shop and socialize. Maybe we do both. If the food is good enough I could be convinced that piped in music won’t take over my mind if I limit my exposure to a few minutes at a time. I honestly can’t see living that cookie cutter by corporate mentality full time. But that’s just me. I like unique, original, artistic, different and dangerously delicious and I’ve got two, just for you.

Flatlands Bourbon & Bayou There are three keys to a restaurant. Number one is the food; number two is the feeling and third is the facility. I have to say Flatlands (52b N. Main Street, Alpharetta) is hitting on all three big time. Beginning with the facility—It’s a small, sweet set of rooms in a sort of antebellum style house. What I call boutique sized that oozes charm. I’m not sure of the buildings’ history but it has now clearly found its true purpose and best use with the right people. It features a wrap around porch, a koi pond, and its location is tucked back off of Main Street in Alpharetta. Secondly this place feels great. Owner, Jodi Cheico, leads out front. The lady is all charm, taste, business and warm hugs. What matters most to her? It’s people,


fritters; crispy pork belly Bahn Mi; tra- 27 ditional French dip; and the Paleo Bowl with sweet potato, spinach, caramelized onion, avocado, hardboiled egg, and peanut spicy honey mustard. The soups are more than a side and as always Stone takes the best and freshest into her hands and turns out mmmm that’s good food. Plus this is always going to be a hot, see be seen kind of place. Which is fabulous for all. It’s the diversity that Butcher & Brew, downtown in Alpharetta. makes it work, people. For diners, Soon, former general manager at Salt Butcher & Brew Factory, Little Alley Steak, and his chef, shoppers, rubberneckers, and me. Alpharetta’s little downtown is Another have opened a new room right next changing, becoming more muscular, Alpharetta hot door. So Alphy gets yet another Hot defining its purpose and attracting spot called New Opening! scores. Butcher & Brew These guys have more taps than I (3 South Main I love our little downtown revivals. I can count, pouring a huge list of craft, Street) has love what it brings to us all. I love that local and micro beers in a customized recently opened. it’s something better to do than watch space of galvanized urban hip— This is from the seriously cool and fun. Butcher & Brew cable news and get stuck in a same group that is a gourmet sandwich shop with bread depressed state. Ladies and gents, all brought us South made in house and all meat ground or this is there to be used, enjoyed, and Main Kitchen. sliced on the premises. They feature socialize in. It’s a great urban culture. Owner Louis the likes of pimento goat cheese It’s what’s coming, I hope. ❍

should have a Ph.d. in mixology. I can tell you that by sight. Ask for the Smokin’ Sweet Tea. I hope this team stays together for a decade. Who knows what they can become from this delightful and delicious start. Alpharetta’s downtown is working. It’s what you get when politicians work together. From what I can see they are not hesitating to get going and build the needed infrastructure. Then getting out of the way of these incredibly creative businesses and the bloody hard-working genius within them.

Christy Stone, chef at Butcher & Brew

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customers, food and family and everyone falls in behind that. It’s a great system that leads to a homey feeling that is instant and recognizable. Last in this list but always number one in importance is the food. At Flatlands it’s tremendous right out of the gate. Executive Chef Francois Duquette does deep-tasted, days of brining, tousling and tasting, until he creates that Bayou thing that is unmistakably Louisiana. This guy is a stove stud, my friends. It’s a lucky chef whose talent can be unleashed by working with a family of charming steely-eyed entrepreneurs who have the strength and confidence to allow the talent to create, take risks, play and invent. All to our benefit! Congrats to the Chiecos on a stupendous opening. What a team. Trust me. I’ve already sent three picky friends. It’s four of us raving. Also a side note from the only dry restaurant critic on earth—I have to give a nod to the bar. Joe Rampino is a masterpiece mixologist. His creations are just stunning. The man

SO MAYBE A HEALTHY DIET IS A MONEY-SAVER AFTER ALL.

Kale Me Crazy in East Roswell 1570 Holcomb Bridge Rd

reflect the true cost? Consider: • Increased health care costs associated with the prevalence of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. • Tax funded—fast food company, corn, and soy subsidies. • Environmental outcomes of chemically intensive and petroleum -intensive agriculture. • Soil erosion, real water and irrigation costs. • Wildlife habitat destruction and waterway “dead zones”. At Kale Me Crazy, our salads, wraps, smoothies, acai bowls, and cold pressed juices are carefully sourced and prepared from ingredients that are fresh, organic and GMO free. The tuna and salmon in our wraps are wild-caught—avoiding issues related to corn-fed farmed fish. Our chicken and turkey are certified organic and free-range—avoiding antibiotic laden feeds. Fruits, vegetables and lettuce are delivered and

prepared daily, ensuring the peak of freshness—without the worry of pesticides or GMOs. Acai Bowls are created one-at-time by mixing ingredients to-order—not scooped

Call: 678-878-3188 or e-mail roswell@kalemecrazy.net

PAID PROMOTION

Bigger, juicier, saltier, sweeter, crunchier and most of all CHEAP! Bombarded with the $1 Menu, 5 Dollar Foot Long, 2 for 10, the $4.99 Meal Deal and many more... who can resist the instant gratification? We are driven to desire fast, high-calorie foods, to become “conditioned overeaters” and made to believe it’s a real deal. Phil Wahl, owner of Kale Me Crazy in Roswell often hears from people that they don’t buy fruits and vegetables or eat “healthy food” because it’s too expensive. Sure, when you look at the prices of so-called conventional junk food compared with fresh, organic fruits and veggies, on a calorie basis, the junk often wins. Many people assume that it’s the produce or the organic foods that “cost more” than the hyper-processed, fatty, sugary, salty, additive-laden junk food, but what if the price tags don’t

from a pail that contains additives and preservatives. At Kale Me Crazy “We Believe in Real Food” that is healthy and has great value. Today we are paying for a food industry with our health and taxes. Our children will be paying tomorrow with a degraded environment, dirty water, decimated communities and jobs, and denigrated health. We provide an option!

To learn more and to engage in the discussion, come into Kale Me Crazy in east Roswell at 1570 Holcomb Bridge Rd. across from Taquieria Tsunami, next to Starbucks in the Connexion Plaza. ❍


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( A HEALTHY LIFE BEGINS IN THE GARDEN GARDEN

Volunteers prepare plants in the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s greenhouse. By Jon Copsey

Let your garden GO GREEN! Remember, how you maintain your garden or lawn impacts the health of the soil, air, water and the habitats for native wildlife—as well as the human community nearby. When you plant native plants, you’ll be able to reduce your chemical use and save money on water. You’ll be taking important steps to greener gardening, which is better both for animals and your family. “Native plants are easy to grow,” said Lisa Cole, horticulture manager with the Chattahoochee Nature Center. “They are aesthetically pleasing, promote biodiversity, need less water and are already adapted to the climate and are drought tolerant.” That means they need less care, water and chemicals, leading, ultimately, to a better plant. If the plant is an herb or vegetable, the benefits are multiple. “By growing food in your backyard you can monitor how organic you want it to be. With food at the grocery store, you never know what you’re getting, even if it says it’s organic. And being truly farm-to-table, they taste better. There are higher nutrients in these crops that are lost in shipping to stores.” Beyond people, wild animals need to eat as well. Planting native shrubs, flowers and trees is the easiest way to provide the foliage, nectar, Native plants such as the Beautyberry pollen, berries, seeds and nuts that many wildlife (Calicarpa americana), attract plenty of species need to survive and thrive. wildlife and provide a garden with color. “Hawthorn, Viburnum, Beauty Berry and


Essential Elements for Your Monarch Garden Monarchs, like all wildlife, need four things to survive: food, water, cover and places to raise young. Here’s how to provide these elements for monarchs in your garden. Food Monarch butterflies feed on nectar, so plant plenty of native wildflowers and blooming shrubs that collectively provide nectar from spring through fall.

Water Add gravel to a birdbath or create a muddy patch in a corner of your yard to supply butterflies with a shallow place to drink water.

Cover Monarchs need shelter from harsh weather and predators. A dense patch of shrubs, a meadow filled with tall grasses and wildflowers or even just a planting bed with at least 10 plants close together will do the trick.

Places to Raise Young All butterflies need host plants for their caterpillars to eat. Milkweed is the only host plant for monarch caterpillars, and without it, monarchs can’t reproduce. Monarch populations have plummeted due to declines in milkweed, so planting it will help monarchs recover.

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Holly shrubs are great for adding color to attract our feathered friends,” said Cole. “To attract pollinators and butterflies, remember to have something blooming through long seasons. Remember to plant host plants such as milkweed for Monarch Butterflies.” And now is a perfect time to plant. A long, cold winter enables plants to develop dense root systems for strong healthy growth in the spring. Native plants adapt easily, require less maintenance, and exhibit lower pest loads. Different varieties of native plants also go a long way toward getting your yard and garden certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. Many cities around North Fulton—includ- Veggies taste better straight from your garden. ing Roswell and Johns Creek—are NWF certified cities with many certified homes, businesses and gardens included. Getting certified is easy. Make sure your garden includes a water feature, food source, plenty of plant cover, and uses sustainable practices. Habitats go a long way to replenishing resources for local wildlife and along migratory routes. If you just like butterflies and not animals, you can just plant pollinator-friendly plants (like milkweed) to attract them to your garden. By doing this, you can certify your garden with the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Don’t know what plants are native to your area? Ask local specialists or check online sources. A great way to learn more about native plants, and to grab some of your own, is to visit the Fall Native Plant Sale, Sept. 23 and 24, at Roswell’s Chattahoochee Nature Center. A members-only preview sale is Sept. 22. For information on that, including hours and varieties of plants, visit chattnaturecenter.org. For more about using those plants in your wildlife garden, visit nwf.org. ❍


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COMMUNITY

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THE COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK By Tricia Morris

Roswell/East Cobb Local property development is always a hot topic and in September The Roswell Historical Society will allow

you a glimpse of local property long before our suburban enclaves were built. Their Annual Tour Of Homes, showcasing 175 years, will be available Sept. 17 and 18. This event offers a rare opportunity to enter some of the most historic private homes and public spaces to admire special architectural details rarely seen by the public. There are 10 stops on the tour that costs just $20 in advance or $25 day on the of. Proceeds benefit the efforts of the Roswell Historical Society to preserve and share Roswells unique history. For more info and ticket info visit www.roswellhistoricalsociety.org East Cobb opened its first Scooter’s Coffee on Aug. 26 (there is currently a Roswell location, on Crossville). Scooter’s first opened in 1998 in Nebraska and continues to expand throughout the U.S. In addition to premium coffee they also offer blenders, smoothies, and teas (hot and iced) for individuals who like a little variety. And don’t skip breakfast, since it is the most important meal of the day. There is a large selection of breakfast sandwiches or burritos, oatmeal, and more.

Originally from Louisiana, current East Cobb mom, Stephaney Alexander, opened Alex & Paislee, a new childrens boutique that opened in early August in the Pavilion at East Lake Shopping Center. “Growing up a Southern belle in Louisiana, I loved to dress the part—Mary Jane shoes and what not. I loved dressing my own kids that way, and I was always getting compliments, so children’s clothing seemed like a natural niche,” said Alexander. If you’re looking for special occasion children’s wear, baby gifts and novelty items, designer boutique playwear, look no further. There is even a nice selection of monogrammed and smocked apparel. Have you stopped in Keegan’s East Cobb lately? On any Friday night you will find a solo musician belting out tunes that’ll make you forget the week and get ready for the weekend. There are daily specials but on Mondays they have Team Trivia featuring $12 burger and brews and a chance to win house cash. It’s a lot of fun. And lastly on the negative side of property development––the East Cobb neighborhood of Sewell Manor has some very upset homeowners. Realtor, Ray Boyd, who previously ran for Governor and lost, has purchased over five acres of prime property along Lower Roswell and the 120 Loop. He’s torn down old commercial properties, which has exposed the homes of this quiet neighborhood. Homeowners are not having it and are fighting him.


Alpharetta/Johns Creek On October 7 and 8 the Wire and Wood Songwriters Festival returns to Alpharetta. Nationally recognized

singer-songwriters will gather together to perform their original songs giving music lovers a behind-thescenes look at the stories that inspired country, rock, blues, Americana and bluegrass songs. Attendees will experience nationally recognized veteran songsmiths and local up-and-coming talent as music

fills the streets of downtown Alpharetta and Avalon. This year’s lineup includes such notable performers as John Oats (pictured, from Hall & Oates), Emily Saliers (of Indigo Girls), Shawn Mullins and many others. Tickets and additional info can be found at www.wireandwoodalpharetta.com.

Technology Park Linear Park

The Johns Creek City Council approved a resolution that will allow citizens to vote on a parks bond in November 2016 for development of parks, and acquisition of parks and green space. Projects funded by the bond revenue would include development of Cauley Creek Park, Technology Park Linear Park, restoration of Rogers Bridge, construction of an indoor recreation center, and acquisition of park land and green space. The bond referendum will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. The bonds, if approved by voters, would raise an estimated $40 million to implement the Recreation and Parks Strategic Master Plan adopted by the City Council in March. Additionally, The City Of Johns Creek is asking for public involvement on new parks. They are currently working with landscape architects and engineers to program and design the city’s five newest parks: Cauley Creek; Technology Park Linear Park; and the pocket parks at Morton Road, State Bridge, and Bell/Boles. Public involvement is key to the sucess of this new park design project and citizen input will help to guide the planning process. For more info and specifics and the proposal can be found at www.johnscreekga.gov.

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The community is invited to hear Atlanta native and debut author Trudy Nan Boyce speak at the Roswell Library on Sat., Sept. 10 at 2pm as part of the Atlanta Authors Series 2016. Boyce draws on her 30year career in the Atlanta Police Department for her riveting crime mystery, “Out of the Blues,” which takes readers to familiar locations in and around Atlanta. Boyce will talk about her experience, her book, her writing life, and answer questions and sign books for attendees. The Roswell Library is located at 115 Norcross Street, in Roswell. There is no charge, however an RSVP is requested.


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Roswell Arts Festival has contributed to many local projects such as the new Serenity Garden at Roswell Area Park. By Jessica Diamond

Roswell Arts Festival Celebrates 50 Years of Dedication to Arts & Recreation

The Roswell Arts Festival is celebrating its 50th year by remembering its roots and looking back on the progress of the program for which it was first created: the Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs Department. Since its inaugural event in 1966, the Arts Festival has raised well over $1 million and served as the sole fundraiser for the Roswell Recreation Association. The money raised has been used to build the first tennis courts and little league field, purchase most of the current park land, install playground equipment, build two spray grounds, establish meditative gardens, and provide countless facilities and amenities to Roswell residents of all ages and backgrounds. The parks of Roswell are now part of an award winning system that serves as a draw for families moving to the area and an economic recruiting tool for businesses. Of course, the Arts Festival does not only benefit the parks systems and its contributions are more than just financial in nature. The festival was one of the first in the area to promote the arts and support local artisans. Roswell icon


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Left: Emily Dolvin, member of the original committee. (Deceased) Right: Sally White, current and founding member of the original committee.

Sally White was on the original committee for the Arts Festival in 1966 and served as its chair for many years until relinquishing her post and deciding to serve as a committee member under a new leader—her daughter, Valerie Morelli. “The standing joke of this festival is that the only way to get out of the committee is to die,” White said, laughing. “For some of the original members, that was true. We’ve lost a few. But it’s been a long, fun ride with fantastic people. We were the first art show north of the river, and it’s been a wonderful thing to be involved in. We planted seeds that took root and grew. We gave local artists a place to display their work and encouraged other people to get involved. Then we gained craftsmen. Then the parks added things like paint classes and pottery classes, things like that. Now we have the Visual Arts Building and the Arts Center North. Soon we will be dedicating the Serenity Garden at Roswell Area Park. That’s our special 50th anniversary project. Looking back on the things we’ve been involved in and accomplished, it overwhelms me. In a good way, of course. And it sure beats yard sales, I’ll tell you that!” The original committee was composed of a group of Roswell

residents who wanted to create space and activities for young people in Roswell. They tried a number of things in the beginning to raise enough funds to employ the first recreation director. He would come to the local school with tumbling mats and give the kids a chance to play. From there, they raised enough to build the tennis courts. “In 1966, I’d just moved from Alpharetta to Roswell and I was home with two young kids,” White remembered. “This little group invited me to join them and talk about how to raise money. Joan Hilliard was just becoming an artist at the time and she said, ‘Why don’t we have an art show?’ There was nothing like that around at the time, and nothing for local artists north of the city limits. So, we decided to try it. We put an advertisement in the paper, charged a small entry fee, and people came. Artists came. When it was done, our treasurer, Frances McGahee, said that we’d actually made some money! It was a bit of a surprise to be honest. So, we decided to do it again. And then again. And here we are after 50 years.” The festival is now a Roswell staple and has grown too large to be contained on the Historic Roswell Square. It extends beyond the park and to the north end on Continues on page 34

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Frances McGahee and Joan Hilliard, members of the original committee. (retired)


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Sally White and Morgan Rodgers, director of Roswell Parks. Roswell Arts Festival, continued from page 33

Park St. This year, for the first time, it will occupy the space between Mimosa Blvd. and Hwy. 120 with an extra stage for entertainment. The festival has taken on its own culture and identity and serves as both an outlet for the local artists and a family friendly event for visitors. Several years ago, the committee added a large canvas community painting that is open to everyone and typically hangs for a year in the lower level of Roswell City Hall. However, keeping the balance between creative expression and family friendly fun has not always been an easy task. “We are sensitive to the artists, of course, but we learned the hard way that this festival, because it is a family show, is not for everyone’s work,” White said with an amused smile. “We had a situation in which one artist we’d set up on the street level had propped up a huge display with a portrait of a nude man reclining. There he was, bigger than life in all his glory. I had to tell the artist, ‘Look, art is in the eye of the beholder, but this is a family show and might not be best for your work.’ He was very nice about it. But the committee loved watching my face when I saw what was happening. I’ve had to have that conversation a few times, but not many.” Apart from the very occasional meeting, this large, long-running, multi-faceted event is a well-oiled machine that requires little in the way of hierarchy. “We probably meet less than any other community organization,” White said. “Everyone pretty much knows what to do at this point, so that’s pretty

unique for an event like this. A former council member called us the ‘loosest bunch of women’ he’d ever seen, but we do get stuff done.” Of course, the committee doesn’t do it all alone, despite their long established operations. For many years now, the Arts Festival has partnered closely with the Roswell Convention & Visitors Bureau to plan and promote the festival. Executive Director Dotty Etris serves on the committee and has tirelessly dedicated herself and her team to promoting the event, the parks and the arts as assets to local tourism and economic development. “Artists need organized people like us,” White said. “I had no expertise in this area, but it gave me the opportunity to use my skills to give back. I can hardly draw a stick figure, but I can do this. And it has allowed me to get involved with the movers and shakers in Roswell. For me, this festival opened the door to make a difference and meet so many wonderful friends. It has been so worthwhile.” The Roswell Arts Festival will take place Sept. 17 and 18 on the Historic Roswell Square and features dozens of local painters, sculptors, craftsmen, entertainers, and artists. Kids will have the opportunity to create their own masterpieces as adults shop for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces to take home and get inspired. Food and live entertainment will be available throughout the weekend, and as always, proceeds will go to enhancing the parks and recreation programs in Roswell. ❍

www.roswellartsfestival.com


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