Category: Commentary

Around Town: His life changed, retiree finds new focus in helping kids

Two moments changed Steve Wadley. Taken together, they convinced him to spend part of his retirement devoting his time, talents and experience to raising money for local organizations that support education in Atlanta’s inner-city schools. The first moment came when Wadley was a boy. He played football then on a team based in Buckhead. His team played in a citywide league and when he and his teammates played away games in poorer Atlanta neighborhoods, he saw that those players had nowhere near the level of support — the new equipment, the uniforms, the practices — that benefited him and...

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Robin’s Nest: I am not a cook

A friend had — as women do — made dinner for our family when we were in a time of need, and her chicken cacciatore was so darn delicious that I asked her for the recipe. She graciously complied. I started reading it enthusiastically but stopped as soon as I saw “pound the chicken breasts.” There are lines in the kitchen that I will not cross, and pounding chicken breasts is one of them. Websites and cooking shows try to entice me into crossing my culinary line by presenting dishes that use just five ingredients, but I am not...

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Robin’s Nest: Canned or classic, Christmas tunes give a jolt of brotherhood

For one season a year, whether we like it or not, we’re all living to the same soundtrack. There might be a million and one different versions of “Deck the Halls” and every conceivable male-female duo trying a hand at “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” but we’re all hearing essentially the same 20 tunes, played over and over again. Stores everywhere have been hammering us with canned carols for months in an attempt to ramp us all up into the holiday gift-buying spirit. But after a few weeks of the pounding, it backfires. After all, there are only so many...

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Around Town: Being a Santa for everyone is more than a job

As Santa Rick sees it, putting on the red suit and the white beard and ho-ho-ho-ing your way through the holidays isn’t just a job. It’s much more than that. “It’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever experience,” Santa Rick said, “And it makes you a better person. … It changes you, and it’s the biggest responsibility you’ll ever have because it touches everybody. It’s not a job.” Santa Rick — the name Rick Rosenthal puts on his business cards and website (SantaRick.com) and the name people called him as the north DeKalb resident chatted over lunch of matzo...

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Brookhaven councilmember tells the Greenway ‘fairy tale’

Editor’s Note: The following speech was delivered by Brookhaven City Councilmember Joe Gebbia during the Dec. 12 groundbreaking for the Peachtree Creek Greenway. Gebbia represents District 4 on the council and serves as the city’s mayor pro tem. Once upon a time, in a far-off paradise known as northern DeKalb County, there lived a tribe of people who had a dream. And their dream was relatively simple. They wanted to create a better life for themselves, their children and their grandchildren. This dream festered for years, until one day they birthed a city called Brookhaven. Oh! These tribesmen and...

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Commentary: Looking into 2019’s political crystal ball

As 2018 wraps up and a new year looms, we asked a dozen local newsmakers to peek into their crystal balls and see what’s ahead. Here’s are their thoughts on 2018 and their ideas for what’s to come in 2019. Sandy Springs City Councilmember Chris Burnett In 2018, our city, state and nation continued to enjoy the benefits of a strong economy and while I expect some slowdown in 2019, I remain optimistic that Sandy Springs and metro Atlanta will continue to thrive, given the significant desirability of our region. Locally, through top-quality performances and culturally intriguing programs, we...

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Letter: Thanks to EMTs, hospital for life-saving help

I shall be eternally grateful to the expeditious DeKalb County emergency medical technicians who braved my rambunctious dogs then adeptly maneuvered I-285 rush hour traffic, and the proficient cardiovascular staff at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, for saving my life Nov. 14 when I suffered subsequent massive heart attacks. How very fortunate are we in Dunwoody to live in a community that has such professional and compassionate heroes to assist us in our personal crises?! Gary Ray Betz...

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Community Survey: Home for the holidays, or heading out?

When it comes to the holidays, 200 local residents say, they’re all about family. But traditions vary widely on how to spend that special holiday family time. Reporter Newspapers surveyed 200 residents, conducted by 1Q.com via cellphone, about their holiday traditions. The results are not scientific. More than half the respondents said they expected to be home with their loved ones this year during the best parts of the holidays. “The key is being with family,” a 44-year-old Atlanta man commented when responding to the cellphone survey of 200 adults who live in communities served by Reporter Newspapers and...

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Around Town: Flying to remember D-Day

World War II fascinated Moreno Aguiari when he was a boy. Growing up in Italy, he saw the results of the war all around him and learned the importance of what had happened there. His grandparents had seen the war firsthand. “My grandmother always told me that if it wasn’t for the Americans, we wouldn’t be free,” he said recently. “So, I have an appreciation for what the Americans did.” As a teenager, he developed his interest in airplanes. He wanted to learn to fly and attended a high school that specialized in aviation, he said. As an adult,...

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Commentary: Officials, activist weigh in on our changing political landscape

The Nov. 6 election brought great changes to the political landscape in Reporter Newspapers’ communities. Veteran lawmakers retired or were defeated and Democrats ousted Republicans in districts that long had been represented by members of the GOP. The Reporter asked several local leaders what they made of the election and how they thought the changes would affect our cities and neighborhoods. Here’s what they had to say. Andy BaumanSandy Springs City Council member First, I want to say that the huge turnout in this past election was a great thing. The more that voters are engaged, the more our...

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Public safety tips: Avoiding the ‘Grandma Scam’

So, let’s set the scene. You’re just about to hop into bed to watch “Seinfeld” reruns when the phone rings. “Grandma, it’s Robby. Grandma, I’m in trouble and I don’t want Mom and Dad to find out. I got into a wreck and messed up the car, this other lady’s car and, well, I’m also charged with drinking and driving.” “Are you hurt?” “No, but I’m in trouble.” So, it begins. The “Grandma” scam begins with a desperate plea from the grandchild for help, but with the promise that Mom and Dad won’t find out. This scam is popular,...

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Robin’s Nest: Wrong Way Robin

I’m what you could call “directionally challenged.” You might think that this is my glib way of telling you that I am very short (which I am), but you would be wrong. Rather, I am divulging my complete and utter inability to find my way anywhere. Seriously. Anywhere. Given the choice between any two directions — north or south, east or west, forward or backward — I will inevitably pick the wrong one. This is true even if the choice is “up or down.” To further complicate matters, I walk very quickly. So when on foot, I get lost...

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