Category: Commentary

Worth Knowing: Exercise pro takes her fitness students to the water

Do you ever wonder why some people seem naturally impervious to aging? To find out, I recently spent time with Marlene Colon, a seemingly ageless local fitness instructor. If you’ve taken an aerobics or dance-based fitness class at any of the top fitness clubs in Dunwoody or Sandy Springs during the past 30 years, you’ve probably encountered her. Certified in Zumba and LaBlast, both dance-based high-impact forms of exercise, Colon was trained by “Dancing with the Stars” fan favorite and fitness expert Louis van Amstel. She also studied adaptive physical education at Georgia State University and has worked as...

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Robin’s Nest: I’m optimistic that we’re all optimists

I am a victim of my own optimism. That’s what I thought as I scrutinized the unlabeled, undated plastic container of frozen brown gunk that I found in the bottom drawer of our freezer. That’s what I think every time that I slide into a meeting 10 minutes late, due to the fact that I was sure that I could do just one more thing before I left and still arrive on time. That’s what I think when I’m still wide awake at 3 a.m. because I drank that after-dinner cup of coffee anyway. Optimism brings with it an...

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Around Town: From the Marines to mastering art

William Makepeace knew it was time for a change. He was in his forties, getting a divorce, and after years in the financial industry, he wanted to work with his hands. So the ex-Marine and father of two decided to become a sculptor. “I hit the reset button,” the 50-year-old Buckhead artist said one recent afternoon, sitting in his sculpture studio and surrounded by things he’d made since his change of direction in 2015. “I 100 percent hit the reset button.” He believed he could handle his new direction. He felt it was in his DNA. For generations, he...

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Commentary: Looking into the political crystal ball for 2020

What does the new year – and new decade – have in store for local communities? We asked local leaders to dust off the crystal ball and predict the biggest local issues in 2020 and how they might play out. Here’s what they had to say. Andy BaumanSandy Springs City Council We will continue to face many consequential local and regional issues in 2020, including the impact of countless infrastructure projects, managing growth, and, for many, rising cost of living (particularly housing and healthcare). In my view, however, the biggest challenge will be the political polarization, tribalism and incivility...

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Commentary: Police cameras are always watching

More than 10,000 cameras are watching Atlanta for 24 hours a day and on every day of the year, according to the Atlanta Police Foundation. The foundation says the cameras, through a video surveillance program called Operation Shield, allow police “to prevent crimes before they happen and quickly solve them when they do.” Meanwhile, surveillance cameras have become a target of protests in such places as Hong Kong. We asked Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the foundation, a half-dozen questions about Operation Shield and camera surveillance. Here are his answers. Q: How and where does Operation Shield gather...

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Around Town: An activist and grandmother writes her memoir

Sherry Frank wears a small gold necklace. The unobtrusive chain displays a single word: bubbe. It means grandmother, or, more specifically, a Jewish grandmother. “I wear it every day,” Frank said, smiling when the word draws notice. “Bubbe fits me.” Others may see the 77-year-old Sandy Springs grandmother as an energetic activist who has lived a very public life. But her jewelry proudly proclaims she’s also the kind of woman who likes to bake cookies for her grandkids. Still, she’s no homebody. She served 26 years as executive director of the Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee. She...

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Robin’s Nest: The thrill of the last-minute Christmas tree

If it’s Thanksgiving weekend and you’re reading this by the glow of your Christmas tree lights, then you won’t understand. My family is not one to eat the turkey and trim the tree in the same weekend. We like to push the envelope around here. We have our own tradition, which is that is that we wait until the Christmas aisles in the drugstore are packed up to make way for boxes of Valentine’s candy before we finally pick out the tree. The thing is, we’ve always chosen it together. We’d drive home with the tree strapped to the...

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Worth Knowing: Sandy Springs resident joins the ‘Georgia Gang’

The table on the set of the state’s longest-running TV issues show, “The Georgia Gang,” now has a new occupant of the middle seat: Sandy Springs resident Janelle King. As anyone who has watched the 37-year-old Sunday morning talk show on FOX 5 knows, the panel consists of two commentators from the political left, two from the right and a moderator. King, 35, joined the show in August and, as the show’s youngest panelist, offers a youthful perspective. An avowed Republican political activist and President Trump supporter, she seems reasonable and thoughtful, perhaps because of how she became a...

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Letter: DeKalb Schools’ Austin redistricting process is dividing communities

As most Dunwoody residents are aware, the opening – and subsequent redistricting – of Austin Elementary has been top of mind as we move through the 2019-2020 school year. Through several rounds of “community feedback” sessions, the leadership of DeKalb County School District has drafted and presented several maps outlining potential redistricting options for the children of the Dunwoody school cluster. It is – to put it mildly – not going well. DCSD has not approached this process in a way that is thoughtful or considerate to the community. With each map presented, emotions run high. Communities are divided,...

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Letter: If college athletes get paid, reward teams, not just superstars

Thank you for publishing the commentary “Amateur sports are worth saving” by Alan Chadwick in the Reporter. I appreciate your paper sharing a local football head coach’s perspective on a national topic. I agree that the “pay for play” policy by the NCAA could open up many issues and problems for many college athletes. I most agree with the quote included in the commentary from Tim Tebow, that the game will become only about each individual player, instead of the team as a whole. A better idea, I think, is to pay a reward to the whole team, not...

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Robin’s Nest: In and out of the Facebook conga line

I have a November birthday. You may not know this, but Facebook does, and if you follow me on FB, you’re bound to be given that information because my name will pop up in your inbox next to a birthday cake and a cheery reminder to let me know you’re thinking of me. People often note that one thing Facebook gets right is birthdays, and it’s true that this particular social network provides ample reminders to its users of the birthdates of fellow users. But, as Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben once said, with great power comes great responsibility. Once...

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Commentary: A legislator and a coach on whether paying college athletes is fair or foul

The rules appear to be changing when it comes to who benefits financially from college sports. The National College Athletic Association’s board of governors has decided to allow college athletes the chance to be paid for the commercial use of their images, names and likenesses. The board adopted the change Oct. 29 after California lawmakers adopted new law called the “Fair Play To Play Act.” Under that law, California would have become the first state to allow college athletes to be paid for use of their images or identities in commercial ventures such as video games or if they...

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