Author: Reporter Newspapers

Amy’s Party: A holiday gift for 500 children

By Ellen Fix It’s hard not to be swept away with the excitement and flurry of last-minute preparations for Amy’s Party. “I need four people to help me get 40 pizzas out of someone’s car and into the kitchen.” Immediately, four youthful volunteers, wearing special Amy’s Party t-shirts and donning red Santa caps, rush to assist Carly Blaiss, one of Amy’s friends. Other volunteers are cutting pieces of cakes and putting them on paper plates, filling bowls with snacks, arranging gifts by age group in the ‘toy store, checking the decorations, dressing up as Santa’s elves and stationing themselves at arts and crafts and game tables. Soon, the guests would arrive at the Weber Jewish Community High School on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs – nearly 500 children from 25 metro Atlanta shelters and two foster care systems. That was Sunday, Dec. 9, a memorable day for the children and the volunteers. It’s obvious this was to be no ordinary Christmas party. And Amy Sacks Zeide, who founded the annual holiday event 13 years ago when she was 13, is no ordinary person. You might say Amy, a Sandy Springs native who still lives in the area with husband Aaron, has an innate sense of social justice. And it was nurtured by a family that integrated giving back to the community as part of her upbringing. Amy’s father, Dr....

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New city driving program is aimed at saving teenagers’ lives

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@sandysprings.org While every graduating class of Leadership Sandy Springs completes a group community project, the results of last year’s class effort has the potential to save lives, especially those of teenagers. Leadership Sandy Springs, which gathers local leaders for community action and improvement, has partnered with the Sandy Springs Police Department and the Safe America Foundation to form the first SafeTeen Georgia affiliate in the city. The program will include 30 hours of classroom instruction at Apostles Lutheran Church on Glenridge Drive. In addition the course fee will include six or 10 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction taught by SafeTeen instructors. The inaugural classes will be held during the upcoming winter break from school. The first session will be held Dec. 26 to 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The second session will take place Jan. 2 to 5 during the same time period. The program is designed to fulfill the requirement set forth by the newly enacted Joshua’s Law. As of Jan. 1 of this year, all 16-year-olds are required to complete a driver’s education course approved by the Department of Driver’s Services to obtain their Class D driver’s license. The teens, as was the case prior to Joshua’s Law, must also complete a cumulative total of at least 40 hours of other supervised driving experience, and six of those training hours must be completed...

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Kudos to city for quick trash pickup

To the editor: Gratitude and kudos to the city of Sandy Springs for the quick response and thorough cleanup of the garbage tsunami that struck Roberts Road between Davis Academy and Northridge on Wednesday, Nov. 21. The city of Sandy Springs was notified of the disaster, and within 24 hours the debris was cleaned and the environment returned to normalcy. This was an avalanche of trash! Coincidentally, Waste Management Systems picks up residential refuse in the area on Wednesday morning, and the incident had all the visual indicators of trash bags blown from a refuse vehicle. The city of Sandy Springs is missing a revenue opportunity by assigning a clean-up crew to the waste site without sending a forensic “garbologist” as well. Is it not illegal to litter? Why should taxpayers shoulder the burden of cleanup without compensation from the violator? In this case, a culprit could have been identified immediately. The city of Sandy Springs can easily justify the salary expense for enforcement of litter and sign ordinance violations by the revenue garnered from fining the perpetrators: $25 for every intersection or telephone pole sign, $100 and more for documented littering incidents. This could add up to some real money. And consider this, an estimated 95 percent of the sign and litter violators are not residents of Sandy Springs!! Trash...

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New boss, same as ol’ boss

To the editor I want to thank community activist Alison Harris and the Sandy Springs Reporter for their unwavering coverage of our dog park saga. The Reporter’s article in the Nov. 30-Dec. 13 issue was very enlightening. While the quest for a community dog park that we can call our own may not be our most pressing issue, it is something many of our fine city residents feel adds to our quality of life. Furthermore, although I am disappointed that a Sandy Springs dog park may be further delayed, I am even more disappointed in the actions of our city council who submit and cater to the wishes of a vocal minority, instead of the concerns of the greater good. I am further incensed that Councilwoman Ashley Jenkins thinks that we have to feel grateful and that our concerns are interpreted as “…constantly complaining about everything….” Ms. Jenkins, take a reality check. You represent the taxpaying citizens of Sandy Springs. Our vocal concerns are not whining. After all is said and done, it’s tragic that our newborn, or are they toddlers now, representation appears more and more like our old Fulton County representation. Like The Who said in “Won’t Get Fooled Again”: “Meet the new boss, same as the ol’ boss.” Jeffrey...

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Is it school redistricting or gerrymandering?

All schools in Sandy Springs should be supported by our mayor and certain city council members. It is hard to believe that our officials have been swayed by the biases of the High Point Community Association (HPCA) and the High Point Ridgeview Coalition for Better Schools. We can all agree that High Point Elementary School has suffered from significant overcrowding. This is not unique to High Point. All elementary schools have experienced overcrowding in recent years mainly due the resurgence of Sandy Springs as a community. High Point has taken the brunt of the overcrowding in recent years. One key reason: The population density in the immediate geographic area surrounding High Point is greater than other areas of Sandy Springs. This density is inherent with apartments that line Roswell Road. The High Point attendance zone suggested by HPCA and the coalition and supported by Mayor Eva Galambos, council members Jenkins and DeJulio, is reminiscent of the efforts of governor of Massachusetts Elbridge Gerry in 1812. The governor’s surname and salamander provide the portmanteau: “gerrymander.” Moving attendance zone boundaries is akin to voting lines to support to political aspiration of a few. Gerrymander sure has a negative connotation to me. HPCA and the coalition have called for all areas west of Roswell Road, currently within the High Point attendance zone, be shifted to the new Lake Forrest Elementary School. This...

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