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___________________________ EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Kathy Warren


Kwarren Advertising, Public Relations & Digital SENIOR WRITERS

Tamara Patridge Kathy Warren CONTRIBUTORS

Clayton County Board of Commissioners Clayton County Community Development Clayton County Economic Development Clayton County Film Office Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services Clayton County Library System Clayton County Parks and Recreation Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

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Tamara Patridge

eNOTE from the editor

I am delighted to present the premiere edition of SAGE, a bi-monthly eNewsletter of Clayton County Government. Merriam-Webster defines sage as “wise through reflection and experience.” When used as an acronym, SAGE can embody words that represent us as Sustainable, Accountable, Global, and Experienced, and every issue will highlight ways in which Clayton County Government reflects each of these attributes. In my position as Project Manager and Film Location Scout, I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazingly talented individuals within Clayton County Government. In each edition of SAGE, you will get to look “Inside Clayton” to see how we are working diligently for the betterment of our citizens. Clayton County has caught the spotlight of Hollywood. Our guest blogger, Grammy Award-Winning Musician and Actress Ann Nesby, will share her experiences on filming in Clayton County. We will also place you directly on the movie set with Academy Award-Winning Actor Denzel Washington during the filming of his newest release, Flight, in Clayton County. On behalf of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, I would like to extend best wishes to you and yours this holiday season, and I hope that you will enjoy getting to know Clayton County a little better through SAGE!


Tamara Patridge Editor-In-Chief Twitter: @sagenews

SAGE GETS SOCIAL Hey SAGE readers, be sure to friend and follow us today and become a Clayton County insider!

/SAGEnews /SAGEnews11

REALLY? Delta Air Lines flight 295 to Tokyo-Narita, Japan, was the first flight to depart Concourse F at the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and the first arrival on the new concourse was Delta flight 177 from Dublin, Ireland.

/SAGEnews 2

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on the Cover

Clayton County’s gem, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, is not only the world’s busiest airport, but according to CNN Travel, it is also one of “five airports with art worth seeing.” The trend and creation of mini art museums throughout airport terminals across the globe began as a way to appeal to the more cultured traveler while helping to relieve some of the stress associated with flying.

NZUZU (WATER SPIRIT) Nicholas Mukomberanwa 1940 - 2003 Buhera district, Zimbabwe

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport began an Art Program in 1977, when a city ordinance was enacted, designating one percent of capital construction budgets to public art. Since then, the gallery that spans the Airport’s seven concourses and main terminal has featured numerous commissioned artists works, permanent collections, rotating exhibitions, performing artists, and Georgia youth exhibits as a result of artists’ collaborations, museums, galleries and private collectors.

MADORA (MUPANI WORM) Nicholas Mukomberanwa 1940 - 2003 Buhera district, Zimbabwe

The Airport has invested in a series of permanent art collections including “Zimbabwe: A Tradition in Stone,” which debuted in May of 2012. It is located in the pedestrian corridor of Transportation Gates T through A, and is one of the largest publicly owned and exhibited collections of its kind. The permanent collection of twenty contemporary hand-carved stone sculptures from Zimbabwe features works by twelve of Zimbabwe’s top artists, who were chosen by a seven-member panel of art experts. Within the artwork are creatively woven themes of family, nature and spirituality. No tools were used to create these extraordinary sculptures, as the pieces were carved by hand, and wax applied to create contrasting textures. The Airport Art Program was launched for the new Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal in May 2012. A selection panel comprised of representatives from the Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition, Georgia State University School of Art and Design and renowned local artists was formed, and resulted in Hartsfield-Jackson’s opening the terminal with more than $5 million worth of sculptures and artwork. Included in the Airport Art Program are three Youth Galleries where Georgia students (K12) can have their artwork professionally exhibited to the millions of travelers who pass through the airport each year.

KISSING LOVERS By Edronce Rukodzi Born 1952 Guruve District, Zimbabwe

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So, next time you fly out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, be sure to enjoy the Airport Treasures.



in Action

Strategic Plan To Guide Clayton County’s Future Economic Development The Clayton County Board of Commissioners is supporting the development of a new strategic plan intended to guide the county’s future economic development efforts. The eight-step planning process is being facilitated by the Georgia Institute of Technology. Once complete, the plan will recommend ways the county can take advantage of its many economic development strengths including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and a burgeoning tourism and film industry. “What stands out about Clayton County is its strong future potential,” said Jason Chernock, project manager with the Community Innovation Services group at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. “The county has all of the physical pieces for economic development, but it needs a unifying vision, strategic plan and consensus on how to implement it,” he said. A steering committee is guiding the effort, led by co-chairs Larry Vincent, Chairman of the Development Authority of Clayton County, and Yulonda Beauford, President and CEO of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce. The committee includes representatives from each of the county’s municipalities, as well as numerous private and publicsector entities that will play a role in the county’s future economic development. The planning process also provides an opportunity for Clayton County residents and business owners to give input through two public forums, which are slated to take place over the next two months. For more information, contact

New State-Of-The-Art Library To Open In Clayton County Clayton County is building a new 16,000 square feet library in Forest Park, which is slated to open in December 2012. Located in Commission District 2, it is approximately one block west of the existing library that has served the citizens of Clayton County for over four decades. The new library sits on 1.4 acres of land, and will be the largest branch in Clayton County. This state-of-the-art facility has the shelving for 64,000 books and library materials, and seating capacity for 250. The Forest Park Library will offer a variety of resources and services to its users including 36 general use public computers, 22 youth computers, a computer lab, teen room and homework center. Additional information about the library may be obtained by visiting


November/December 2012 | SAGE

Inside Clayton

New Initiatives to Make County Navigation Easier and Improve Customer Service The Community Development Department is launching two new initiatives in January, ONESolution and Land Resources Management System, in an effort to make it easier for citizens to conduct business with Clayton County. ONESolution is a new computer software program that will help to improve the permitting and licensing processes. Community Development is responsible for handling a variety of services including business licenses, permits, building inspections and planning and zoning. In addition, all construction, commercial and residential development requires approval as well. Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a division of Community Development, is in the process of building a Land Resources Management System (LRMS) to organize and document land features and infrastructure. LRMS will help to improve processes and service delivery strategies to departments, constituents, and stakeholders. Its viewer is an intelligent tax map of Clayton County that can identify and display addresses, property ownership, zoning, land-use, voting information and most political districts. LRMS extensions will be customized to address user departmental needs. For more information, e-mail

Free Access To On-Demand Virtual Tutoring Need help with math homework? Want someone to review your resume? Practicing for the SAT or GED? The Clayton County Library System is offering free access to Brainfuse for residents with a Clayton County library card. Brainfuse offers live on-demand online tutoring for students in 3rd grade through college. Trained professionals are available to assist with a variety of services from 2 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week. It offers Instant Academic Assistance with math, writing, English and science. Also, for students desiring Regularly Scheduled Instruction, they can receive tutoring in math, science, writing, social studies, economics and English. Other services include Pre-arranged Sessions, Sick Day Service, Quest Gifted Program Assessment, Test Preparation and In-Person Tutoring. Virtual tutoring provides parents and students another option to in-person tutoring, and live help is available throughout the week, on-demand, at the times when students need it the most. For more information, contact Terran McCanna at (770) 473-3852 or visit

November/December 2012 | SAGE


Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services, under the direction of Chief Jeff Hood, established Clayton Fire Charities in 2012. It is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support local and national causes. Past recipients include Clayton County Division of Family and Children Services, Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Rainbow House. Through Clayton Fire Charities, Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services has created a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, which includes selling a uniquely designed T-shirt priced at a donation of $20. A portion of the proceeds will benefit area cancer treatment facilities. For more information contact

Inside Clayton

Clayton Fire Charities Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

Lovejoy Recreation Center To Create New Jobs Clayton County’s Lovejoy Recreation Center is currently under construction, and is scheduled to open in December 2012. There will be several new jobs created to staff the facility. According to Clayton County Parks and Recreation Director Detrick Stanford, these new positions will include full-time, part-time and seasonal opportunities in the areas of management, life skills development, fitness and Karate. Located in Hampton, the new recreation center is approximately 60,000 square feet and will include two full court gymnasiums, mezzanine walking track, fitness center, aerobics room, dance studio, computer lab, multi-purpose room, locker rooms, meeting rooms, catering kitchen, an outdoor swimming pool and a splash pad. The infrastructure also includes a police precinct. To obtain additional information regarding the new positions, contact Clayton County Human Resources at (770) 477-3239.


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By Tamara Patridge Before Hollywood would descend upon her home and change her life, it was just another ordinary day for Patty Hall Keahey Mask, a lifelong resident of Clayton County. While on a tractor cutting grass, Patty was approached by a stranger who indicated there was an interest in filming a movie on her property. Several scenes for the newly released feature film, Flight, starring Academy AwardWinning Actor Denzel Washington, were filmed on her farm. Denzel is cast as lead actor “Whip Whitaker,” a middle-aged pilot, with a penchant for partying, who works for a commercial airline based in the south. Patty’s property is the setting for Whip’s family farm, to which he retreats after an airplane he is piloting crashes. Crews spent nearly a month building a house for the scene on Patty’s 250-acre farm. Like any well-mannered host, Patty welcomed the special guests with her famous homemade lemon pound cake, and included a note of appreciation for Denzel Washington’s presence on the farm. After receiving the gift, Denzel gave Patty a “big hug,” and told her that no one had ever done anything so gracious for him before. The kind of hospitality provided by Patty and her family is what makes film crews’ experience in Clayton County so memorable and desirable. Clayton County Police Officers were hired to provide security, which is one of the many ways the film industry is helping to boost Clayton County’s economy. Despite the flurry of A-listers on-set, which included Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, Academy Award-Winning Director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump and Cast Away), and famed Hollywood Producer Jack Rapke, only a couple of incidents of paparazzi could be spotted. Otherwise, everyFlight Director Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington on set in Clayton County

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thing remained under control, with the celebrities and crew members freely walking around set. Patty and her family were gracious hosts and volunteered their assistance in several ways to ready the set for filming, which included bush hogging a section of her farm and removing a barbed wire fence. “We worked hard to accommodate the crew, and there was no way I was going to allow them to pay for something I could do,” Patty said. The Mask family, who is replete with licensed pilots and many years of aviation experience, provided much more than southern hospitality to their guests. It’s a Director’s dream to have access to so many technically sound people on the set. Patty, who learned to fly in the early 1970s, is a licensed private pilot along with her son, Jody Keahey. Her youngest son, Jeff Keahey, a licensed commercial pilot, learned to fly under the tutelage of his older brother, Joey Keahey, who is a licensed Airline Transport Pilot and certified FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor. He received his first official flight lesson in 1976 from his father who was also a commercial pilot and flight instructor. Joey is currently the Director of Aviation and Chief Pilot for an Atlanta-based corporation. His vast aviation experience and a set of unplanned circumstances would eventually lead to him provide technical expertise to the film. Director Robert Zemeckis and his staff approached Joey and began asking a series of questions regarding various types of aircraft that could operate in and out of the family’s grass strip runway. Those discussions led to Joey becoming somewhat of an unofficial technical advisor to certain aviation-related aspects of the film. “It was purely circumstance, but at some point in the pre-production phase, I was asked to research and locate a certain aircraft that would fit a scene,” Joey said. The Director selected one of Joey’s submissions for inclusion in the film, which was a late 1950’s model Cessna 172. The owner of the plane was located, and provided consent for it to be used in the film. Getting a plane to a movie set proved to be more involved than Joey could ever imagine. The plane was undergoing a very extensive inspection along with substantial cosmetic work, and there were only a few weeks before the scheduled shooting. The maintenance crew kicked into high gear, and worked at a feverish pace to get the plane ready for its first starring role.

Host Family L to R: Jody Keahey, Gallixy Keahey, Caleb Keahey, Joey Keahey, Patty Hall Keahey Mask - Photo Courtesy of Robert Zuckerman

The hangar at the family’s grass strip has a large post and support beam smack-dab in the middle of the front door, which presented a real challenge. The initial plan was for the production company to rework the front of the hangar and remove the post that was partially blocking the entrance. However, there was a major setback because they learned the initial plan was not going to work and filming was to begin in just days. After exploring several other options, they came up with a novel idea that would require getting the plane to the set continued on pg. 9


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Denzel’s Layover in Clayton first. Due to safety concerns, the flight was delayed on the morning the plane was scheduled to arrive, because of the morning dew on the grass. Under normal circumstances it would have been less of an issue. However, the large house that was built on the property, as part of the set, stood nearly 30 feet tall and was situated on the end of the already short runway. Flown in by one of Joey’s friends, Neal Baker, and accompanied by the plane’s owner, the plane arrived the next day without incident. Now, the only thing remaining was getting the aircraft into the hangar, which involved some simple tools and creative thinking. Neal and Joey came up with the winning idea of using car dollies to move the Cessna, which proved to be more useful than imagined. When the Director called for the plane to be moved several times during filming, this process made it quick and easy to maneuver. Joey found himself getting further involved with the production of Flight, as filming continued. At one point, the movie director shared the film’s opening scene with him and Joey offered some technical advice. Zemeckis, a pilot himself, turned to the lead actor and said, “Hey Denzel, you need to meet this guy,” which began a series of discussions between Joey, Denzel and the film’s screenwriter, John Gatins. “To be able to have a friendly discussion with an award-winning actor, an award-winning director and the script writer was an honor and a fantastic experience,” Joey said. As if meeting the Director and Denzel Washington wasn’t reward enough, on the first morning of shooting, famed Hollywood photographer Robert Zuckerman introduced himself to Joey. He has worked with celebrities such as Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his work includes films such as Training Day, Transformers and The Pursuit of Happyness. Zuckerman was also asked to be the personal photographer for the family of Malcolm X. “While filming the movie, Robert and I talked daily, frequently ate lunch together and shared many stories,” said Joey. “He and I became friends, and maintain regular contact today,” he said. Joey also offered advice that would make the film more accurate. The story called for the lead character, Whip, played by Denzel Washington, to be the son of a crop duster, but it needed a tie-in for how the father became a pilot and ended up owning a crop dusting operation and a farm. Joey recommended to the Director’s staff that they consider making the father a former Tuskegee Airman and that became the basis for the character’s connection with aviation. For his technical advice and assistance, Joey was offered a small part in the film, playing an Atlanta Police Officer who checks Denzel’s credentials before he is allowed entry into a hangar. In addition, Joey’s wife Gallixy and his sister-in-law, Tara (Jeff’s wife), were cast as extras in the film, playing the role of media reporters in a scene also shot at the family farm. Additionally, Jeff was an extra, cast as an inmate in a prison scene. “To have been featured in a scene with one of my all-time favorite actors was something I didn’t expect,” Joey said. “It was truly a rewarding and thrilling experience,” he said. Patty Hall Keahey Mask’s generosity seems to have no limits. On the final day of shooting she offered a crew member, who was saddened by the recent loss of her pet, a friendly stray cat that had made a home on the farm. As the film wrapped and sets were being dismantled, the tiny feline was seen in the middle of the set, gently tucked away inside a pet carrier on its way to a new home. Despite the total disruption of their daily routine, the Mask family will always cherish the heartfelt memories from the filming of Flight on their farm in Clayton County. Paramount Pictures’ Flight is in theatres now, and playing at AMC Southlake 24, located at 7065 Mt. Zion Circle in Morrow.

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Impact of TV and Film Productions on Clayton County As a singer and actress, nothing feels greater than having the opportunity to do what I love: perform. As a resident of South Metro Atlanta, the ability to go to work close by--from local recording studios, or on-set for a TV commercial to film--is a an absolute godsend.

Guest Blogger

Ann Nesby

The impact of TV/film productions in Clayton County goes further than entertainment and marketing. For me personally, my work with Southern Regional Medical Center’s Heart Month cam-

paign was near to my heart. As a former patient, I jumped at the opportunity to lend my celebrity as their spokeswoman. With the production of the heart campaign’s TV commercials shot entirely in Clayton County by Jonesboro based Real2Reel Studios, not only did the campaign employ a local film crew, but it left an indelible mark on the importance of health in Metro Atlanta. South Metro Atlanta is home, and I think that Clayton County is a hidden gem that will continue to draw the lights of Hollywood. Shine on!

What Would You Say? How do you feel about Hollywood coming to Clayton County? “All of the new filming taking place here will bring Clayton County a new reputation, lots of attention and definitely more businesses who are interested in getting a piece of the action.” - Khoa Vuong Restaurant Owner, VN Pho Morrow “I think it’s simply awesome that motion pictures and TV shows come to Clayton County for their various location needs. Southern Regional has served as the location for an array of films since 2010 thanks to the support I receive to green light projects from our CEO, James E. Crissey. When productions film at the medical center, they contribute to our organization’s foundation. To date, over $115,000 from film projects have been directed to our hospital’s foundation, and these funds are used to enhance medical technology at Southern Regional. You could say that Hollywood’s presence indirectly advances medical care to the citizens in Clayton County, and that’s a good thing.“ - Justin O. Cooper PR/Marketing Specialist “The idea of Hollywood coming to Clayton County has been an amazing new outlet for hidden talent. Many times it is not the common career actor that grips the eye of a director or film producer, but it is an ordinary individual with natural projections that engages the audience. I have found that Hollywood is looking for real-feel prospects to help bridge the gap between movie magic and reality. This is what Clayton County has provided in the form of people, environments, atmosphere, and most of all, hospitality.” - Gregory Williams Musician/Actor 10

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Scene Around Town

Clayton County Gets Reel

The Clayton County Film Office serves as the official liaison between film industry representatives and the community. It is an invaluable resource for film industry professionals, assisting in identifying suitable venues and locations in Clayton County, as well as helping to find crew, equipment, housing and a wide variety of production suppliers and support vendors. A division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office reports that Georgia-lensed productions generated an economic impact of $3.1 billion in the state during FY12 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012), which is a 29 percent increase from FY11. More than 30 projects have signed up to use Georgia as a filming location in 2013, which means the Clayton County Film Office will be busier than ever. The Clayton County Board of Commissioners proudly welcomes and supports the film industry in Georgia.

Flavors of Clayton

There are many ways to take advantage of jobs in this booming industry. In addition to numerous crew positions, all films use background actors and no prior acting experience is necessary. To get a piece of the action, be sure to check announcements from the websites and Facebook pages of several major casting agencies in the metro Atlanta area. Visit the Clayton County Film Office at claytoncountyfilmoffice.

Flavors of Thailand has been in business for 15 years, and is a favorite among Clayton County employees, locals, and Metro-Atlantans alike. Aside from the wonderfully delicious and authentic Thai dishes, owner Sida Cordoba treats her customers like family.

Flavors of Thailand 847 Georgia 138 Jonesboro, Georgia

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Always in traditional Thai dress, Sida’s beauty, charm, and incredible cooking keeps customers like Charlie Pugh, a Veteran’s Employment Representative at the Georgia Department of Labor’s Clayton County facility, coming back time and time again. While in the military, Charlie had an opportunity to spend a year in the beautiful country of Thailand where he experienced the delicious cuisine and friendliness that brought back wonderful memories of Bangkok. “The authenticity of the meals at the restaurant is genuine, and gives a real taste of Thailand,” said Charlie, who can be seen on any given day testing out his Thai language skills on Sida and her staff. From traditional dishes like Pad Thai and Panang Curry, to Spicy Catfish or Thai Angel Noodles with Shrimp, the extensive menu is sure to please any palate. Whether you like your dishes mild or Thai hot, the food will not disappoint, and Sida will customize any dish to your particular taste. 11

November/December 2012 | SAGE

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