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Phil Wahl (far left) with Kale Me Crazy delivers healthy treats to the staff at Wellstar North Fulton Hospital.


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When It Comes to Your Health Every Second Counts By Tara Gary


ave you or someone you know experienced the common symptoms of a heart attack—such as chest pain, pain in the left arm or shoulder, and shortness of breath? How about symptoms of stroke—such as numbness or the inability to move parts of the face, arm, or leg; slurred speech, confusion, headache with vomiting, or difficulty with vision? I recently spoke with Dr. Vikram Reddy, Chief Medical Officer for Wellstar Kennestone and Windy Hill Hospitals. We discussed the importance of reacting quickly when you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. The clock starts at the first sign of either and keeping the reaction time to a minimal is of utmost importance. The sooner treated, the better the outcome. This message is one that has been stressed in the past, and Dr. Reddy wanted to affirm it has not changed. Dr. Reddy explained that since the COVID-19 pandemic, Wellstar—as well as other hospitals nationwide—has seen a Vikram Reddy, M.D. dramatic decrease (4050%) in heart attack and stroke victims. He attributes the decrease to the lack of willingness for many to visit emergency rooms, for fear of contracting COVID-19. Dr. Reddy asserted the risk of contracting the virus is significantly less than the complications of

PUBLISHER Mark Penstone mark@thecurrenthub.com

HEAD WRITER Tara Gary tara@thecurrenthub.com

EDITOR Brandy Rixey editor@thecurrenthub.com

Send submissions to: events@thecurrenthub.com editor@thecurrenthub.com

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tiffany Cox tiffany@thecurrenthub.com

not responding quickly enough to the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Do not If you do not seek immediate care, the risk of your heart or brain hesitate to call 911 being permanently damaged or seek the nearest rises significantly. Again, every emergency room if second counts. His message you show symptoms was clear, do not hesitate to of a heart attack or call 911 or seek the nearest emergency room should you stroke. encounter such symptoms. Wellstar is taking every precaution, practicing proper social distancing methods, wearing masks, and sanitizing their facilities. The outstanding, personalized care Wellstar provides its patients “hasn’t changed,” he said. One practice they have implemented is VirtualCare— virtual health visits for patients over the phone or through video conferencing. This is a form of value-added, personalized care from the comfort of your home. The tailored treatments patients have come to expect from the world-class healthcare teams of Wellstar. Telehealth not only keeps patients from having to leave their homes during this time, it makes the entire process more efficient for both patients and physicians. I appreciate Dr. Reddy taking the time to speak with me about the importance of seeking medical attention if the time should arise. It is comforting to know that even during this pandemic the professional healthcare providers at Wellstar are there waiting and ready for you. So please, I encourage you to heed the advice of Dr. Reddy, and at the first sign of a heart attack or stroke—call 911. Do not hesitate for fear of this pandemic. Remember, the clock starts as soon as your symptoms arise. Time is of the essence, and the right call could save your life.l

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Di Chapman Joe Duffy Geri Laufer Brandy Rixey

SOCIAL CHICK Tricia Morris tricia@thecurrenthub.com Main Phone Number 678-524-8414 thecurrenthub.com

The Current Hub 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. Publisher has the privilege to reject any advertising. Advertisers are responsible for full content of advertisements provided and responsible for any claims made therein.

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at the movies

Steven Spielberg presents—BACK TO THE FUTURE—a Robert Zemeckis Film 35th Anniversary “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need… roads!”


s movie theaters are temporarily closed around the country, I wanted to highlight and recommend a great iconic movie to stream and watch at home. It’s the 35th anniversary of Back to the Future and a time to celebrate it again—the clock tower, the DeLorean, the flux capacitor, 88 miles per hour, two flaming tire tracks, 80s songs by Huey Lewis and the News, and of course the perfect casting: Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly), Christopher Lloyd (“Doc” Brown), Lea Thompson (Lorraine “Marty’s Mom”), Crispin Glover (George “Marty’s Dad”), and Thomas Wilson (Biff Tannen).

Poster image courtesy of Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures.

by Britt Argo

When Marty helps Doc load the plutonium, he is wearing a yellow hazmat suit and ends up wearing it when he crashes into a barn in the 50s. The farmer’s son mistakes him for a space alien out of his sci-fi comic book. Later when he needs to convince his sci-fi aficionado dad to date Lorraine, he wears the yellow “space suit” ordering him to comply as Darth Vader from Planet Vulcan. In 1985, Marty and his band tried out for the school talent show. The prudish judge tells them they are “just too darn loud.” That prudish judge is actually played by award-winning musician Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis and the News—who in real life wrote and recorded the very song they were playing, “The Power of Love.” When high-school bully Biff brings his gang, one of them is played by a young Billy Zane (Titanic fame). He never gets a speaking part, but I never realized until now that he was in the movie.

What It’s About Taking place in 1985, high-schooler Marty McFly meets his eccentric, science inventor neighbor, Doc Brown, in the Twin Pines Mall parking lot to video record his biggest breakthrough—a DeLorean Time Machine. To power his machine, Doc swipes plutonium from Libyan terrorists. When they find and shoot him, Marty’s escape in the DeLorean sends him back in time to 1955. Back to the day Doc had thought up the time travel “Flux Capacitor” and back to the day Marty’s parents first met. Marty bumps into his dad and accidently takes his place—getting hit by a car and finding his mom swooning over him instead of his dad. Stuck in 1955, Marty must get a 30-year younger Doc to quickly figure out time travel, in order to send him back. He must get his parents to fall in love at the “Enchantment Under the Sea” dance or he and his siblings will never be born. Plus, he has a run in with his dad’s bully, Biff and his gang, and becomes the new target of their revenge. Doc realizes the only power source strong enough to fuel the car in 1955 is lightning. Luckily, Marty kept a “Save the Clock Tower” flyer and knew the exact day and time that lightning struck the town’s clock tower. If Doc can harness the lightning at the precise moment and Marty can reunite his parents, then he can finally get “Back to the Future!”

Now on Netflix “Great Scott!” Netflix is adding the entire Back to the Future trilogy this month... “your kids are gonna love it.”l

The Hidden Gems In the opening sequence, we catch a glimpse into Doc’s home with all the gadgets and clocks. One of his clocks has silent film star Harold Lloyd hanging from a clock face—a foreshadowing of the big climatic scene when he is dangling from the clock to reconnect the wire.

Britt Argo, an avid movie fan for 30 years, sees an average of 150 movies a year in movie theaters. She is the marketing cooordinator at Area 51: Aurora Cineplex and The Fringe Miniature Golf-5100 Commerce Parkway in Roswell. 770-518-0977. auroracineplex.com & a51fun.com.

Why You Will Love Watching It Again Your favorite scenes. Remember these: • Marty at the diner trying to order “Tab” and “Pepsi Free” or saying everything is “heavy.” • Marty on a makeshift skateboard, hanging onto a truck, and outrunning Biff and the gang as they end up crashing into a manure truck. • The school dance when Marty plays guitar to ensure his parents have their first kiss. He starts fading away when they are separated. Then when they kiss, he comes back fully amped-up. • The big action scene when Doc can’t get the lightning wire to work at the clock tower and there are only seconds to get everything to line up for the DeLorean to return.

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life at 50+

by Di Chapman

The Things We Did... When There Was Nothing to Do


erhaps we’ve been released from our sheltering in place by the time this column appears, so I decided it would be fun to look at some of the things we did when there was nothing to do. Universally, I heard from my family and friends that the time sheltering was used for long overdue cleaning, organizing, and calling our mothers. There was washing the car more than a few times, polishing the high school Captain of the Football Team trophy, and dusting the vinyl collection. There was trying on our jeans from 2017 and contorting our torsos to button them. We all had things we did when there was nothing to do. Before I dive into my humorist take on life in lockdown, I want to give my sincere sympathy to all of you who experienced the tragedy of this virus in family, friends, acquaintances, heroes, coworkers, or so many others who were important to you. They were in your life one day, and gone another; or they will never be the same. They will not be forgotten, nor will your sadness. So here, dear friends, are some of the things we did while there was nothing to do: We dug out our Suzanne Somers ThighMaster, light weights, and step bench. Ladies, those ThighMasters were in the attic, and heaven knows our time of shelter in place reversed plenty of hard body sculpting at the gym. Our sagging thigh skin is right up there with the desperate need for nail visits and hair coloring. We’re all pack rats by nature, and the 1980s and 90s were memorable decades. We ladies waxed poetically about Jane Fonda’s

The Spirit of St. George Village:

Rising to the Occasion With the advent of COVID-19, our residents and staff have come together cooperatively to adapt to all of the policies and procedures we have put in place to keep our community healthy and safe. Within our community, there is so much cheerfulness and creativity in ways to stay physically and mentally active, ways to stay connected with family and friends, and actions that show care and concern for one another. The St. George Village spirit is strong, and we continue to stay active and engaged, even while social distancing and sheltering in place!

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cassette audio tapes. I worked my abs, thighs, and caboose to that lady’s voice commands, “work those buns, hot cross buns,” every day. We reminisced about video cassettes, like Buns of Steel. We pulled out the old boombox, grabbed our girlfriends, audio tapes, and CDs and hit the driveway with social distancing, yoga mats, and jiggle-control spandex leggings. Gentlemen, you weren’t exempt from this. You rummaged through the garage and found those manly barbells, a weight lifting belt, and sweatband. We carried on five different text conversations at once—sending pet pictures to our fellow animal lovers. Pets don’t need to be doing anything in particular because they’re always cute no matter what they’re doing. You have the golden retriever waiting to steal the cat’s treats as soon as they hit the dish. You have the sleeping kitty snoring audibly under the covers. There’s a kitten in the bathroom sink. There’s a cat who has overtaken the dog’s bed, and the big dog who has draped himself across his pet parents’ bed. Or the cat and dog who love sleeping on their backs with their paws in the air. They are so totally fodder for photos and videos all. We’re crazy about our neighbor’s kitty Felix, for whom we’ve become Aunt Diane and Uncle Mark. I snapped pictures of this little guy constantly, sending them out to my sister and every friend I know who has pets. Look, we all know that pets only have so many facial expressions, but it doesn’t stop us from snapping them over and over. We conversed all day long with said pets. I have always found pets to be

Di Chapman is an inspirational author and speaker, and a branding consultant. Di’s latest book is Rekindle Your Purpose: Break through your disappointments, discouragements, and detours to resurrect your purpose and live it!



great listeners. “They’re rewarding company,” a girlfriend once told me. Look, the nutcase that I am has always conversed with pets, and their little faces look at me with such interest. We lost our Miss Kitty last August, but my husband and I developed a close relationship with Felix. I call him our nephew, and we have the best conversations. “Felix, Sweetie, are you enjoying the sunshine today? What do you think about Uncle Mark and Aunt Diane going for a walk later, Felix?” Of course what he hears is “Felix, Conversations with Felix were daily. He’s very engaging. blah, blah, blah, Felix? Blah, blah, blah, blah, Felix.” So he doesn’t speak human. Who cares? We discovered that we have neighbors. Our trails were closed, but all of our beautiful neighborhood streets were alive with walkers, runners, families, strollers, and one, two, and three doggies on leashes. Our immediate neighborhood has always been an amazingly friendly place, but throughout years of walking, we’ve always had surrounding neighborhoods to ourselves. And then, there’s now. We’ve been waving and greeting each other with “Hellos” hollered across tree-lined streets, making way for social distance when we meet others on sidewalks with “Hellos” exchanged again. Hmmmm. We wondered. Where were all these great people? We created new words. Some of us Poindexters on this planet really dig making up words, and I am among them. It gives me a real thrill (clearly, it doesn’t take much), along with smug self-congratulations. Consider two words that could be born out of the shelter-in-place lifestyle: Boredomoniousness. Hohum-osity. Did anyone else think of these? No. Chalk one up for me. A friend of mine talked about her love of playing Scrabble with her sibling, and I mentioned to her that I enjoy creating new words. “I do, too!” she exclaimed. She is a writer herself. Another friend who writes told me the same thing. She plays Scrabble with her daughter. My new words just pop into my head. Perhaps I have something brilliant in common with Einstein. Thank heavens it’s not my hair. I know that as we march forward into the “opening up” of America, I’ll continue with cleaning, hiking, writing, and texting. Felix and I will have our valuable conversations, I’ll circulate pictures of his facial expressions, and I’ll keep chipping away at the blubber on my thighs. And I’ll create a new word or two. In the meantime, check these out on Google: Boredomoniousness. Hohum-osity. They weren’t there because they weren’t words? They are now. Stay safe and healthy everyone.l




Green Scene by Geri Laufer

10 BULLET-PROOF FLOWERS FOR YOUR LANDSCAPE Easy to care for in a wide variety of conditions makes these perennials each a good bet.


o plant is bulletproof, but here’s a list that comes pretty close. These are a few of my favorites. Try some in your landscape.

Perennials for Sun Daylily (Hemerocallis) – Narrow-leaved, sun-loving perennials bloom dependably each year in almost any kind of soil, as long as it drains easily. Look for “reblooming” on the plant label and get several waves of bloom throughout summer and fall. As daylilies expand in size, you can divide them and expand the planting in your landscape. Not only do you increase the number of plants (some to share?), but you also increase the number of flowers by dividing and replanting.

Peony (Paeonia) – A fragrant, romantic favorite, peonies are outrageously beautiful in bloom and sport lush foliage all summer long. Peonies are notoriously longlived (think 40 years). Plant in October or November, when the plants are going dormant, in a generous hole in a sunny spot. Add organic matter and extra compost for years of increasing bloom. Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica) – Siberian iris blooms in late Peonies are outrageously beautiful in bloom. spring and early summer in colors including purple, pink, yellow, and white. Flowers are held above the grassy clump. Siberian iris doesn’t typically need dividing for five to ten years after planting. Lenten Rose/Hellebore (Helleborus x orientalis) – Indispensable for late winter bloom, the dark green leathery foliage looks great year round. This is a tough plant once it gets going in your landscape. Some of the new doubles are breathtaking. Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus) – Dinner plate-size blooms 7 to 9 inches across give this hibiscus a breathtaking, tropical quality from midsummer through early fall. Best performance is achieved with consistently moist soil and full sun. This is a large perennial—plants grow 3 to 4 feet tall—so give it some room. Cut stems back to 3 to 4 inches in late winter, and new stalks will appear about the time you plant tomatoes. Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata) – Colors ranging from dark purple to white (but no yellow) sizzle in the mid- to late summer garden. Sweetly fragrant phlox flower heads attract butterflies and hummingbirds. For the healthiest growth, plant in full sun and moist soil rich in organic matter and look for mildew resistance on the plant label.

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida) – Tough and reliable, black-eyed Susan fills summer with school bus yellow daisy flowers that look good in the garden or a vase. Plants are really easy to grow, just give them average soil in full sun. Clumps spread quickly when plants are happy. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) – Native purple coneflower boasts striking daisy blooms with reflexed pinky-purple petals surrounding a spiky, orange-gold cone. This drought-tolerant perennial beckons butterflies and bees—then in fall, goldfinch feast on the seeds. Shade-Loving Perennials

Hosta (Hosta) – Well known as shade plants, hosta come in hundreds of patterned leaf combinations. Try a few with ferns to lighten up a shady corner. Hosta blooms, in lavender or white, appear in mid- to late summer and attract hummingbirds. Coral Bells (Heuchera and Heucherella) – Brightly colored foliage—ranging from pink, peach, and raspberry to silver and chartreuse—lasts all season long on these hardy perennials, and flowers are an added bonus. Plant them in light shade as companions to ferns and hosta.

Hosta come in hundreds of patterned leaf combinations.

Japanese Anemone (Anemone japonica) – A fragile-looking autumn flower belies the rough and tumble nature of the Japanese anemone. Hope you will try some of these easy to grow flowers to enhance your home landscape. P.S. I know there are eleven, but you try getting rid of one.l Heuchera 'Prince' cultivar, commonly alumroot and coral bells. Geri Laufer’s twin loves are horticulture and garden writing. She’s an Atlanta dirt gardener and her home gardens have been featured in both books and magazines. Her award-winning book, Tussie-Mussies, lead to a 30-city publicity tour and gigs on Good Morning America, NPR, and Home Matters. Tune in to #Herbchat on Twitter (Thursdays at 2:00 p.m.) where you will find her as your host.




By Tara Gary

hat do you do when emergency responders begin to know you on a first-name basis? Retired Lieutenant Colonel Larry White and his wife Shirley were living in a 55+ community in Tampa, Florida when Mr. White started having health complications, resulting in numerous falls and need of emergency assistance. They came to the conclusion that something had to change and decided to seek assisted living options. Larry and Shirley met as teenagers at a Salvation Army summer camp. While Mr. White was attending LSU he was part of the marching band, and later, while in the Marine Corps, he joined the Marine Corps Marching Band as well. Mrs. White was a nurse, Mr. White ran twenty-four adult rehabilitation centers, and both served as pastors in the Salvation Army. Before moving to Tampa, they retired in Atlanta in 2010 and loved it here. After 51 years of marriage (that’s right, 51 years), three children, and nine grandchildren, the couple decided to look for an assisted living community in Atlanta. They chose Inspired Living in Alpharetta. I asked what made them choose Inspired Living, and Mrs. White quickly responded, “the people.”

inspiredliving.care ALC Lic# 000257

She said the staff continuously “goes out of their way” to provide service and quality care. When I asked if there was one exceptional person in particular she would like to name, she chuckled and replied, “There are too many to mention. I don’t want to get in trouble.” I told her that was a great answer, and it was good to know she finds them all exceptional. She added her affection for the facility itself. It has a pool, puppy park, and walking paths, to name a few. She also said she enjoys the view from her windows, “I couldn’t live somewhere without any trees outside,” she laughed. She added the atmosphere was more of a modern atmosphere as opposed to many assisted living communities with “heavy carpet and old pictures on the wall.” I have seen those places, and I agree with Mrs. White. Prior to this pandemic, the couple enjoyed dinner in the dining room, the facility’s theater, Wine Dine Wednesdays, special entertainment, trips out to group luncheons and movies, and much more. Mrs. White said, “I’m not complaining by any means. We have it much better than most,” referring to the consequences of the COVID-19 virus. I congratulated Mr. and Mrs. White on their 51 years of marriage when she said, “It seems like only yesterday.” I asked what advice she could give as to how to sustain a marriage for so long. Her advice, “We made a promise to never go to bed mad at each other.” She giggled and added, “I may have stayed up a time or two a little angry though.” I very much enjoyed my conversation with Mrs. White. It reminded me of my own parents who are retired and live two hours away. They require more from me now as they get older and tasks become difficult for them. I am relieved to know Inspired Living exists. Their commitment to supporting their residents holistically—surrounding them with positivity and quality care—is something all children want for their parents. If and when the time comes, assisted living at Inspired Living is there for you and your family.l

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health& &wellness



presented by Wellstar North Fulton Hospital

COVID-19: Caring for Children J

ust like adults, children may experience stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak. While handling strong emotions is a normal response to the crisis, parents and caregivers can play a vital role helping their children cope. With schools closed and more time at home, it’s important to keep your children healthy, feeling happy and engaged in school curriculum. “While this can be a stressful time for adults, we must also educate children about what is happening in a calm and age-appropriate manner,” said Wellstar Pediatrician Dr. Hebah Sadek Pranckun. “Be honest throughout the discussions while offering reassurance and positivity.” Wellstar Pediatrician Dr. Brandi Lewis also recommended parents be mindful of their actions. “Even during difficult times, children can pick up healthy habits from you and your body language,” Dr. Lewis explained. “Focus on being a good role model for your children in your everyday activities, whether you’re practicing proper handwashing techniques or addressing their worries about the outbreak.” To keep children healthy physically and mentally, the CDC shared these helpful tips: • Lead by example. Be a role model by reinforcing preventative health measures.

Making Time for Yourself In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, “Even during many people may feel stress or anxiety. Many adults are now playing the role difficult times, of both parent and teacher. During children can pick up this challenging time, parents should healthy habits from make time to unwind and take care of you and your body themselves. language.” “As a parent or caregiver, be sure to replenish your own physical and mental well-being.” Said Wellstar Health System Chief Pediatric Officer Dr. Beckford, stressing that parents should take time to recharge and relax. “Replenished parents are best equipped to be great parents.” Set time aside to relax during your day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Finding ways to help you and your children cope with anxiety and stress can help everyone stay healthy and hopeful. If you notice stress beginning to interfere with your or your child’s daily life, please reach out to your healthcare provider. For more information, please visit wellstar.org/COVID-19 or call (770) 956-STAR (7827).l

• Play it safe. Limit your children’s contact with high-risk individuals. • Prepare when going out in public. Have children two years of age and older wear a cloth face-covering in community settings. • Make time to talk. Use age-appropriate language to talk about the COVID-19 outbreak. • Watch for signs of stress. Look out for changes in your child’s behaviors, eating patterns and mood. • Say no to playdates. As a safety precaution, your children should not have group outings or play with children from other households. • Create a flexible routine. Balance the day with both learning and free time for your children. • Make learning at home fun. Incorporate creative activities into the school day like drawing, painting, puzzles and journaling. • Focus on healthy nutrition and stay active. Encourage outside playtime at home and serve healthy meals to boost your children’s natural immunity. • Stay connected. Help your kids make virtual visits to friends and family via phone or video chat.

Brandi Lewis, M.D.


Hebah Pranckun, D.O.



A North Fulton Patient Chronicles His COVID-19 Experience ‘My recovery is a testament to the great care I received’


or Chip Burger, it started on March 11 with an innocent cough. No fever, no flu-like symptoms, just a dry, irritating cough that kept the active, 59-year-old project manager working from home. “I felt fine and thought it was allergies,” said the Crabapple father of two young adults. “But the cough persisted. I moved into another bedroom so I wouldn’t keep my wife, Heidi, awake.” Four days later, Chip had no energy and no appetite, which was very unusual for him. “I tried to eat some cereal, but it tasted like something dug up at Chernobyl – a mix of cardboard, sawdust and mold. My sense of taste had dramatically changed. And I heard a crackly sound in my chest. This was not like a cold or the flu. It was like nothing I’d experienced before.” From Urgent Care to the Hospital

“I was among the walking dead and Heidi was having no more of it,” w said Chip. “She loaded me in the car and we went to Wellstar Urgent anxiety Care near Wellstar North Fulton Hospital. I was impressed with the staff’s professionalism and attentiveness. They almost immediately ild’s suspected pneumonia after measuring my blood oxygenation level, which was extremely all low, and listening to my chest. They sent us to North Fulton’s emergency department (ED). That was the last I saw of Heidi for nine days.” In the ED, weak and tired, Chip felt like he was “circling the drain. The ED staff said my situation was very serious, that I needed oxygen, and that if my blood oxygen level didn’t improve quickly, I would need a ventilator.” Chip, rarely sick, with no underlying health issues, spent nine days at North Fulton Hospital – six in the Intensive Care Heidi and Chip Burger Unit (ICU) – fighting viral COVID-19 pneumonia. “Luckily, I didn’t need the ventilator,” said Chip. “I focused all my energy on breathing as deeply as my crackly lungs allowed and my oxygen level improved.”

A certified divemaster who leads dives at the Georgia Aquarium, Chip fully understands the benefits of oxygen. “I know through our diver first aid training how valuable it is, so I was hopeful it would help me,” he said. He was conscientious about his breathing exercises, working diligently with breathing devices and aiming to meet the daily goals set by his respiratory therapists. Chip would text Heidi, but his exhaustion was so extreme, he would sometimes fall asleep mid-text. After two days in the ICU, Chip felt encouraged. “I ate everything they brought me, drank water almost continuously, and used the breathing devices every 10 minutes,” he said. Admiration for the North Fulton Team By this time Chip felt immense admiration for the dedication and bravery of his caregivers. “They are putting their lives at risk every day for others. I love them. If you’ve ever been on a sports team that clicks, you’ll understand how the North Fulton team works together. There’s a rhythm, a trust. They always took the time to Chip Burger was discharged explain everything to me and keep from Wellstar North Fulton Heidi informed, even though they were Hospital on March 30 after dealing with so much.” spending nine days being Though still on oxygen after six days, treated for COVID-19. Chip was nearing his goal of completely eliminating it. He called the walk from ICU to the medical floor “one of the best of my life. And when I got to the room, I was overwhelmed from just being able to see outside – it was a powerful moment.” But not as powerful as March 30, the day of his discharge. “I know my recovery is a testament to the great care I received at North Fulton Hospital. Thank you to everyone, especially Dr. M. Rabiul Alam, Dr. Absar Mirza, and all the other caregivers who helped me. Their followup is amazing – they continue to call and check on me.” Chip hopes he can “exact revenge on COVID-19” by participating in antibody research, sharing his story and urging everyone to “do everything the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other experts tell you to do. You don’t want anything to do with this virus and you sure don’t want to be responsible for giving it to someone.”l


e time to be

health& &wellness

presented by Wellstar North Fulton Hospital



what’s on tap

by Tara Gary

Canton Street Beer Market: Welcome Y’all


ne of my favorite things to do on a beautiful day is walk down Roswell’s lovely Canton Street. Another one of my favorite things is to drink beer. For the past few months, I had become most intrigued on my walks as to what was moving into the large corner space of the Vickers Roswell apartment building. Taps, taps, and more taps! How exciting, and just around the corner from where I live. I’ve been as anxious as a kid on Christmas Eve. Well, guess what… THEY ARE OPEN for business, at probably the worst time in recent history to open a small business. What should I do? Hmmm. Support them as much as possible, and you should too. Canton Street Beer Market by The Stout Brothers is owned and operated by Brandon King. You may be familiar with the Smyrna Beer Market on West Spring Street in Smyrna, which has been in business since 2012 and is Brandon’s first beer market. Being the southern girl I am, I had to welcome my new neighbor to the neighborhood properly, with a pie or cake. With neither in hand, I really went there not only to welcome him, but for my personal gain of perusing the large variety of beers on tap and also those available on the shelves. I noticed something that got me even more excited. There are 56 taps! I

was a little overwhelmed. What to choose to put in my growler? I decided on a Triple IPA by Tripping Animals Brewing Co. called Smile You Son of A(9.5% ABV). It is a new favorite of mine. The wide variety of beers blew me away. I asked Brandon how he is able to get hold of new releases and beers that are often difficult to obtain. Brandon explained he had been in the food and beverage industry for over three decades. His strong loyalty and commitment to follow through to his distributors, two of which are Modern Hops and Liberator Distributing, is respectfully reciprocated to Brandon—as he has first dibs on new releases. While I was speaking to Brandon, someone called in search of a limitededition lager. Brandon politely told the customer he didn’t have it, but he would find it for her. That being said, he takes requests. I asked Brandon what led him to open the Roswell beer market and he said he had been thinking of it for some time now, considering the walkability and community feel of Canton Street. He also mentioned a few of his Roswell friends and patrons of his Smyrna store were “harassing him” to finally open a location in Roswell. How rude. (Good job guys!) An outstanding trait of Brandon’s, which you too will pick up on once you visit him, is he’s a good guy. You know sometimes you meet a store owner and they seem to be in it for the wrong reasons, just to make a buck or take on the nearby businesses? Not Brandon King. His enthusiasm for not only his

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15 business but their locations is truly genuine— have this cool event space right off the store. all the way down to his branding. During normal times it will be a place to sit Did you know cities have a designated and drink a flight (or two) or host an event. color? The city of Roswell’s is blue. Canton Brandon expects it will accommodate parties Street Beer Market is branded with blue, up to around 25-35 people. It has a nice bar and the Roswell Mill waterwheel is branded with six beer taps and two wine taps, as well. on the inside of the lids of the bottles. How Guests can watch a football game or conduct a thoughtful! It’s no coincidence the Smyrna meeting on the 100-inch plus projector screen Beer Market is branded in green with the while sipping beverages and hopefully not city's jonquil flower. Brandon said he wants to social distancing. It really is a great space to “encompass the feel for the community.” keep in mind for your next event or birthday Being the new kid on the block, he added party. Don’t forget to invite me, please. his desire to complement the surrounding So now that I’ve shared this exciting news businesses, not compete with them. For with you, please go and support our new instance, he will not be carrying California neighbor. Support all of our local businesses. wines in his wine selection as a courtesy to When you meet Brandon, be sure to bring a Deep Roots Wine Market & Tasting Room, cake or pie and mention I had something to do who features California wines and is located with it. Thanks! just down the street. Brandon mentioned You can follow both beer markets on Brandon King, the owner of Canton Street Beer Market and Smyrna Beer Market. Facebook, Instagram, and Untappd.l his affection for many of our local breweries and added that they will be working together collaborating on beers. Where do I sign up to be a taste tester? When not writing, Roswell resident Tara Gary is busy making industrial I know I mentioned the beer, but that’s not all the market carries. There's furniture, charcuterie boards, and local art. Most nights she can be found with a nice variety of wines, tasty snacks, and unique sauces for that BBQ you’ll her friends at local breweries and pubs drinking craft beer. be having once this pandemic passes. Did I mention the event space? They Canton Street Beer Market | 1186 Canton Street | Roswell | 678-694-8793 Smyrna Beer Market | 1265 West Spring Street | Suite D | Smyrna | 770-319-8200 thestoutbrothers.com

local eats



by Joe Duffy

Mambo’s Café Offers Authentic Cuban & Peruvian I

’ve been indulging at Mambo’s Café since they premiered their preceding location in 2006. When I’ve sought to advocate outstanding Cuban restaurants in the region, I often overlook Mambo’s, not because they aren’t deserving, but because ninety percent of the time I order off the Peruvian side of the menu—forgetful that they are a great Cuban option.

Nonetheless, in one of my most recent journeys, I rejoiced in one of the greatest versions of the Cuban staple lechon asado I’ve ever had. This more than solidified it’s a marvelous option for both Cuban and Peruvian food. Appetizers: yeah as I’ve declared previously, I do have a bit of an obsession with the uncomplicated but miraculous dish of ham croquettes. It seems to be the one dish I have to order at every Cuban restaurant. Mambo’s does not disappoint. Speaking of fixations, my daughter reveres all things mussels. So does her dad. The mejillones al vapor—steamed mussels with white wine, garlic, thyme, white onions, and Spanish sausage—is among our top three mussels appetizers we’ve had anywhere, of any cuisine. In fact, mussels and chorizo apparently joins curry and coconut milk as the best savory food duo

Despite a preference for the Peruvian side of the menu, your humble correspondent loves the lechon asado.

of all-time. When well-executed, said twosome (when combined with suitable broth) can lead to dining paradise. Come to think of it, anyone know of a top-shelf place that makes mussels and chorizo in a coconut milk and curry broth or froth? As an aside, chocolate and caramel is the sweet combination by the gods. But every rational person knew that. Moving back to the mussels, we favor this to the cold mussels option of choros (mejillones) a la chalaca—New Zealand green mussels stuffed with diced red onions, tomatoes, corn, and cilantro in fresh lime juice. Mind you, we also appreciate this Peruvian dish. Many Italians emigrated to Peru in the mid- to late 1800s. The influence on the cuisine can be spotted and savored in many pasta dishes on the Peruvian side of the menu, (continued on page 18)

Ham croquettes—simple but excellent.

Chips and salsa may be associated with Tex-Mex, but nobody does this simple snack better than Mambo’s.

Mejillones al vapor is one of the top appetizers in town.

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The Peruvian fried rice is as good as you will ever have of fried rice, any cuisine.

There is no shortage of shrimp dishes, both appetizers and mains.

meshed with the seafood-heavy cuisine impacted by Peru’s massive coastline. In the dozen-plus years of dining here, I’ve had most of the Peruvian dishes with the picante de mariscos and linguini saltado de mariscos high on my list. The former is shrimp, calamari, octopus, and mussels sautéed with garlic, olive oil, Spanish creole sauce, white wine, and saffron rice. Though it translates to spicy stir-fry, I’ve found it humbly zestful. The latter, AKA seafood linguini consists of shrimp, calamari, octopus, mussels, fresh tomato, white and green onions, peppers, and soy sauce sautéed in a fiery wok. This is the perfect dish for Italian seafood dish fans who want to break slowly into the not-so-daunting South American mode of cooking. As alluded to, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a better roasted pork, and I’ve eaten at highly rated Cuban restaurants in Miami, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and environs. Yes, the Cuban sandwich holds their own amongst an impressive list. I’ve certainly been asked about the best spots for fried rice. Not since Xian (also on Windward Parkway, shut down more than a decade ago) does my list include a Chinese restaurant. My always-subject-to-updating answer includes an Indian restaurant, two Thai, and the arroz chaufa (Peruvian-style fried rice) here. I chose steak strips, but it’s also served with chicken. A simple dish—packed with flavor. We know my daughter’s favorite restaurant is O4W Pizza, but pretty sure Mambo’s is her second favorite. Credit her every-trip choice of langostinos a la plancha, which is jumbo shrimp marinated with garlic, olive oil, white wine, and then grilled. Shrimp and mussels are her two most cherished proteins. Though Mambo’s Café executes everything well, shellfish distinguishes itself as a specialization. Longtime fan Maranza Robinson agrees that they get a lot of things right—especially food from the sea. “I’ve enjoyed seafood from both sides of the menu,” she says, while putting faith in one of the experienced waiters for recommendations. It’s high on my list of favorite Cuban restaurants and possibly my preferred Peruvian. The fact they do both so well elevates them further.

Mambo’s Café | 4915 Windward Parkway | Suite 130 Alpharetta, GA 30004 | mambos-cafe.com | 770-753-4354

The pollo al ajillo keeps the author’s wife happy.

Sound Bites Let’s talk about a pair of outstanding first bites. Small empanada and pastry market, suitably called Belén de la Cruz - Empanadas & Pastries recently started in Johns Creek. Beef, pollo, jamón y queso, and two-cheese empanadas were astonishing. As I prefer red meat to poultry, perhaps the fact the pollo was probably my fave is noteworthy. Either way, quite the impressive initial voyage for me. I sampled their coconut dulce de leche, which was also very good. Go!... Blithesome to submit another home run on a first bite. Buon Fornello is a small café of mostly takeout food. I had it on my radar when I first read about it due to the fact I promptly recognized chef/owner from opening three top-Roswell restaurants. I ordered frutti di mare. Excluding college boy son who was away, the four family members in GA all unquestionably and fully approve. Pasta is homemade. I approvingly tried the wife’s lasagna. Winner, winner, Italian dinner. Located in Sandy Springs, not far from Pill Hill, King and Queen buildings, etc. Did daughter even propose permitting me try her shrimp alfredo? Nope, but she was giddy… Campania may be better than ever under their second ownership. They are possibly most well-known for bringing Neapolitan pizza to the area, but they’ve really raised the bar on their pasta dishes… The spectacular Roswell Beer Festival was among the coronavirus postponements. Considered by many, “The Event of the Year” has been rescheduled for September 12. It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for superorganization, the STAR House Foundation—a charity set up to provide atrisk kids a chance at a quality education. With your support, these kids could become doctors, scientists, and nurses someday. l belendelacruz.com buonfornello.com campaniaga.com roswellbeerfestival.com starhousefoundation.org When he’s not eating, which is rare, the author is CEO of Sports Handicapping website OffshoreInsiders.com. His bride’s gift site, DuffyGifts. com is the place to go for gifts of all occasions from My Thirty One Gifts.

Planning Your Next Vacation


By Michael Consoli


here is no better time to make sure you are supporting the small businesses in your community than now. Under normal circumstances it’s the small businesses that truly make a large impact in our local economy and overall well-being. Small businesses bring us together. They provide a better economy by paying for advertising, employing our neighbors, and making contributions to our local schools and various charities. When small businesses suffer, we all suffer the effects in one way or another. I am grateful to be a small business owner for over eighteen years in our community. I attribute my success to my knowledgeable, diligent team and our loyal clients. Not only are we committed to our clients, my team and I extend our loyalty to the community by supporting local high schools, fellowships, and charitable organizations. The relationships, solidarity, and respect we—the residents and business owners—have for one another create this thriving area we call “home.” As a locally owned and operated business, my team and I pride ourselves on providing attentive, uncompromising personal service that helps us build lasting relationships with our clients—all while providing the BEST value. We are committed to ensuring you get the best price and the best service when planning your vacation. That is why we want to help you take advantage of the specials and risk-free cancellation policies the cruise lines and tour operators are offering at this time. Right now is the time to book your next vacation. Many major cruise lines are waiving penalties for customers wishing to change, postpone, or cancel their trips due to the current situation. They are pushing back final payments and offering risk-free cancellations up to twenty-four hours in advance. Not only are they diverting from their typical policies, they are offering persuasive incentives. My team and I have inner access to these deals. During this advantageous time, we can help you navigate the best way to select a trip, benefit from the best savings, and show you how to protect it—ensuring your investment will be safe. We can even help you work through the new policies provided by the cruise and tour operators as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so you can save now on the trip you book for the future. You can trust we have insider knowledge of how cruise lines are masters at dealing with unforeseen developments. Cleanliness and sterilization are routine and standard for a cruise line. Rest assured, when the time comes to reawaken your senses and renew your inner travel cravings, they will be prepared to pamper and indulge your needs while keeping your safety and health a top priority. Don’t make travel plans on your own when you can trust us, your neighbors at Cruise Planners—Michael Consoli & Associates, to take care of all your travel needs. As travel advisors, we know the ins and outs of the travel and cruise industry and can help ensure your travel investment is responsibly planned and protected. Let us help save you time, money, and the frustration of planning a trip. Our clients don’t pay for our services, the cruise line or tour provider does—so there is no cost to you. Whether it be today, tomorrow, or next week, we will eventually return to normalcy. It is important to look forward to the many things, like travel, we may have once taken for granted and know we will be able to enjoy them once again, perhaps with a sense of greater appreciation.l


BEST PIZZA IN TOWN DAILY SPECIALS PIZZA BY THE SLICE 1605 Mansel Road I Suite 190 Alpharetta, GA 30009







hen the coronavirus pandemic first started changing our lives, someone said to me that now is when we will see people’s true colors. This is a very true statement. After 9/11, I remember communities coming together. We were more cohesive and united. For the first time in my generation, we experienced something catastrophic and evil on American soil. This reminds me of that time. For the most part (as I expected), people are supporting one another, and I’ve heard and read about some truly touching stories as a result of this difficult situation. In no way do I think this catastrophe is a good thing, but I do believe it takes something unimaginable to wake us up and realize we can’t control everything. Believe it or not, yes, we are vulnerable. But we can work together to get things done. You may see it differently, but I’m a glass half full kinda girl. Have you seen the videos of the little girl arriving home to her neighborhood after her last chemotherapy treatment? The streets lined with cars full of families holding up posters wishing her well and clapping as she was slowly driven home. The smile on that child’s face! Or the first responders in NYC holding parades with fire trucks and police cars (sirens blasting) to thank the medical workers who have tirelessly given everything they can. One of my favorites is the elderly woman in Italy with her window open being serenaded by her neighbors singing “Happy Birthday to You.” It’s the gestures—big and small—of human kindness that make me able to tolerate such a horrible event in history. When I collaborated with my team here at The Current Hub as to what the cover story should be about this month, we collectively concluded it should pertain to the good deeds going on in our community. We reached out to a few people, and before you know it, my email and phone were bombarded with story after story. I would assume nothing less, and it’s gratifying to see my assumption proven. Many businesses are struggling to stay afloat, and yet, I hear of many of them giving back. Kale Me Crazy is helping with their Feed the Front Line

Healthcare workers enjoy Maple Street Biscuit Company's Hero Biscuit Boxes.

program. You can donate via their app, website, or in-store. For every “Wrap Donation” you order they will deliver one wrap and one immunity shot to a local hospital's doctors and nurses—who are bravely working nonstop on the front lines. What a great way to keep them going, with healthy meals! I love this concept. The doctors and nurses don’t have time to go out and get a meal, let alone a healthy meal. What better way to say, “thank you.” Crave Pie Studio has a Pie It Forward effort. So cute and clever. Customers can sponsor a Cristy Thomas—co-founder of the School Meal Program and mini pie to be delivered Kindergarten Special Education teacher in Roswell—picking up another to someone on the frontbatch of meals from Big Oak Tavern for the students of lines of the crisis or even Esther Jackson Elementary. to nursing homes. Now that’s sweet! Maple Street Biscuit Company’s Biscuits For Heroes offers you the opportunity to purchase “Hero Biscuit Boxes” online (which includes one biscuit sandwich, signature side, dessert, and bottled water) to send to a hospital, medical facility, or first response unit. For orders over $100, they’ll also send you a gift card in the mail for ten percent of the purchase. El Porton Mexican Restaurant (all Georgia locations) is giving free meals on Mondays from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. to medical professionals, police, and firefighters dressed in uniform. I think that’s a fantastic and well deserved “thank you.” Mike and Cristy Thomas (owners of the recently closed Wild Slice Pizzeria) teamed up with local restaurants to execute an idea Cristy recently came up with—School Meal Program. They are asking for customers to purchase gift cards, which supports our local businesses, and donate the value to the school meal distribution program. This keeps children fed who otherwise depend on school lunches as their main source of nutrition. “Since the meal program began six weeks ago, we have been able to generate an estimated $45,000 in revenue for our sixteen restaurant partners. That revenue has allowed us access to 7,500 meals for our local students who are on the Fulton County meal program. Currently we are servicing two learning communities bringing meals to children from eight different schools, “ said Mike. They have plans to establish the School Meal Program as a non-profit

Nan Harman-Dempsey Milton, Georgia

NANCARE For years, Nan Harman-Dempsey has loved practicing law in the community where she was born and raised: Alpharetta. But when her mammogram revealed breast cancer, even she was surprised to find such high-tech care less than five miles away. At Wellstar North Fulton Hospital, Nan was a candidate for intraoperative radiation treatment, or IORT. During her lumpectomy, Nan’s medical and radiation oncology surgeons worked side-by-side as one removed the tumor and the other gave Nan radiation therapy, seamlessly in one fell swoop. Instead of weeks, her radiation took moments. After her fast-tracked treatment, Nan’s newest love is her care team at Wellstar. No two people named Nan are exactly alike, and at Wellstar, we would never treat them that way. wellstar.org/peoplecare



22 initiative—continuing to use local restaurants to support food insecure students through the summer and holiday breaks. For more informaAlone we tion about the program, go to mikethomasgroup. can do so little; com/restaurant-school-meal-program. Great job guys! together we can Carol and Janet at Lilly Sage Apothecary do so much. have kept their doors open to provide their customers and community with the wonderful –Helen Keller all-natural soaps, lotions, and potions they make. I have a few of their products, and I can tell you they are beautifully handcrafted, made to last, and the scents are phenomenal. Carol said that not only are customers buying more soap and hand sanitizer, they frequently purchase their candles—invoking peace of mind for those who need that emotional balance during this stressful time. Carol has enhanced their already amazing Howlite hand sanitizer. She told me she has added a great deal more witch hazel to intensify the antibacterial and antifungal hand sanitizer since the pandemic started. The spray can also be used as a surface disinfectant or room spray. When Carol and Janet learned that a local restaurant was providing free meals to those in need, they delivered one-hundred bars of their soap. The soap was given out with the meals. Carol and Janet hoped those needing a free meal would appreciate being able to wash their hands with a beautifully scented long-lasting handmade soap. Which leads me to the local restaurant giving free meals: Roswell’s Table & Main is offering hot meals for food insecure families, no questions asked. Owner, Ryan Pernice began the program Table & Aid in March. On their first day they served eighty-seven meals, and as of now, over 2,750. What a generous and kind contribution to the community! Jamie Lee at A+ Alterations has made over two-hundred face masks and is donating them to Emory Healthcare. She will continue to make masks and can be reached at 678-833-7007. Thank you, Jamie. That is sew nice of you. The Chattahoochee Nature Center is donating produce from their Unity Garden—including lettuces, kale, and turnips—to the food pantry of North Fulton Community Charities. One of their trips to the pantry yielded 340 pounds of produce. That’s a lot of salad! Roswell FireLabs has partnered Jamie Lee at A+ Alterations donates masks to with Atlanta Beats COVID (ABC) and healthcare workers. Atlanta Face Shields (a collaborative effort of makerspaces, community organizers, and individual contributors in the metro-Atlanta area) to 3D print, sanitize, and distribute components for protective equipment, in a group effort to help address shortages in the medical industry. I wonder what 3D toilet paper would feel like? Bagel Boys, Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, and Alpharetta First United Methodist Church have been feeding the healthcare heroes at Wellstar North Fulton Hospital. What a blessing! The Visit Roswell Georgia team has been working with local hotels to offer discounted rates for medical workers who are in need of a place to stay, and also for those who are choosing to isolate away from their families. Those

hotels include Best Western Plus, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Holiday Inn Express Alpharetta-Roswell, InTown Suites, and Home2 Suites by Hilton (after soft opening). Frontline medical workers deserve a nice pillow, with a wrapped chocolate, to rest their heads. Great idea, Visit Roswell Georgia! I know that this too shall pass, and when it does, we may all see things a little differently and hopefully never forget to be thankful and smile. If I were sitting in typical Atlanta traffic I may just smile, because that means things were back to normal. If I were in the midst of a restroom visit, I may sigh and smile when I run out of toilet paper—knowing there is more in the linen closet and more available at my local grocery store. If I met a peculiar stranger at one of my favorite watering holes, I may give them a nod, and I may just smile because I knew I could be amongst the general public again—without social distancing. If I were standing in line at the grocery store (within a few inches of someone peeking over my shoulder to see what I was texting), I may just smile knowing we are back to normal. That smile would most likely turn into disgruntled words, but… I may just smile anyway. If I were running in the park and a couple with three dogs walking extremely slowly took up the entire path and I couldn’t pass, I may just smile because the parks are finally open. If I had to sit at Joe’s Pizzeria (which I LOVE), but sit in-between two men teasing one another with opposing bad jokes, I may just smile because I knew I was amongst friends again. If I were chosen for jury duty and had to report, I may just smile (but then act a little crazy). Just kidding. I would love to fulfill my civic duty. (Nope, just kidding.) If the lead band at a concert showed up thirty minutes to an hour late (as always), I may just smile to be at a concert again. If my alma mater’s football team lost to our biggest rival (I can’t lie), I would be livid—I’m southern. But… I may just smile seeing my team on the field again! If I had to drive around for ten minutes to find a parking space on Canton Street, I may just smile. If I were walking down Canton Street on the third Thursday of the month to attend Alive in Roswell, I would definitely smile because I love Alive in Roswell. One thing that keeps my spirits high and a smile on my face is seeing my community react to this situation with heartfelt diligence. Giving back to the community keeps all of us strong. Thank you everyone for doing your part! Share Who’s Making You Smile Next month I would like to include stories from you—our readers—of people, neighbors, whomever, who have done a good deed. Let’s recognize them for their kind gestures. Don’t forget to include photos if you have them. Whether a child made a card for someone or a neighbor ran to the store for you, any good deed—big or small. Hopefully, the response will be huge, as I assume it will. I will make every effort to include all of them, but no promises. Let’s see what happens. Email your stories and photos to me at Tara@thecurrenthub.com.l When not writing, Roswell resident Tara Gary is busy making industrial furniture, charcuterie boards, and local art. Most nights she can be found with her friends at local breweries and pubs drinking craft beer.

kalemecrazy.net |cravepie.com | maplestreetbiscuits.com | elportonmex.com | lillysageapothecary.com | tableandmain.com | aplusalterations.net chattnaturecenter.org | roswellfirelabs.org | atlantabeatscovid.com | atlantafaceshields.com | btcatholic.org | afumc.org | visitroswellga.com

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Profile for The CurrentHub

The Current Hub May 2020  

Read about the wonderful organizations giving back to our community. Joe Duffy writes about authentic Cuban and Peruvian food, and Tara Gary...

The Current Hub May 2020  

Read about the wonderful organizations giving back to our community. Joe Duffy writes about authentic Cuban and Peruvian food, and Tara Gary...