Category: People & Places

Photos: Dunwoody car parade celebrates Independence Day

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of the 4th of July Parade that annually draws tens of thousands of spectators to Dunwoody. But it couldn’t stop the Independence Day spirit, as about 20 drivers joined in a July 4 car parade instead. Organized by a resident who city officials said wants to remain anonymous, the parade traveled roughly 3 miles from the Crema Espressor Gourmet coffee shop on Mount Vernon Road to the City Hall and police headquarters on Ashford-Dunwoody Road. The flag-waving vehicles ranged from household cars to classic models. For an update on the current activities of...

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Buckhead CID leader to become new Buckhead Coalition president; staffs to merge

In a major shakeup in the neighborhood’s business and civic organizations, Buckhead Community Improvement District Executive Director Jim Durrett will become the new president of the Buckhead Coalition. Both group’s staffs will merge, and combine offices with two other key groups, Livable Buckhead and the Buckhead Business Association. Durrett will retain his role as Buckhead CID executive director. At the Buckhead Coalition, he replaces founding president and former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell, whose retirement after 32 years, effective June 30, prompted the reorganization. Durrett already has another prominent role as the main proponent of “HUB404 Atlanta GA,” a proposed...

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Massell to leave Buckhead Coalition June 30; successor to be named next week

Sam Massell’s retirement as president of the Buckhead Coalition, made in a surprise announcement early this year, will become official June 30. A successor is scheduled to be named next week, he said. Massell, 92, served as Atlanta mayor from 1970 through 1974. In 1988, he became the founding president of the Coalition, a 100-member, invitation-only group of community leaders that works on local advocacy and charitable campaigns. While Massell is well past the typical retirement age, his announcement at the Coalition’s Jan 29 annual meeting came as a surprise, as many locals expected him to remain in the...

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North Buckhead Civic Association president steps down after 20 years

The president of one of Buckhead’s most influential neighborhood associations has stepped down after 20 years. Gordon Certain had led the North Buckhead Civic Association since 2000. He stepped down in May, according to the organization’s website. Robert Patterson, well-known on the NBCA board for his public transit advocacy, is the new president. Founded nearly 50 years ago, the NBCA represents one of Atlanta’s largest neighborhoods, extending from the central Buckhead business district in the south to the Sandy Springs border on the north, and stretching east-west between Roswell Road and Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. In an email announcement to members,...

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Worth Knowing: Sisters in arms find an online home in Georgia military women group

If you picture a typical military veteran, is your image male or female? If it’s male, you’re not alone. “When we tell people we’ve served, they think we’re the spouses of service members, not that we have served,” said retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Tanya Smith of Dunwoody. “When I first started making civilian friends and told them I had jumped out of airplanes, they would go, ‘What?’” said Carmen Morales of Brookhaven, the first woman in the Georgia Army National Guard to reach the rank of command sergeant major, the highest an enlisted soldier can achieve. These are...

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Chattahoochee national park’s temporary leader steers through pandemic

The temporary boss at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area took on her duties just as the park was about to close for health reasons due to the pandemic. “We’ve dealt with natural disasters and government shutdowns,” said Acting Superintendent Ann Honious, “but nothing that is health-related and pandemic. And that is a different response.” Honious came to Georgia from the nation’s capital, where she serves in her permanent posting as the deputy superintendent at National Capital Parks East in Washington, D.C. Her 120-day temporary posting began in mid-April and ends in mid-August. She’s filling in temporarily for the...

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Group aims to preserve PDK, Naval airport history in new Air & Space Museum

A nonprofit organization is raising money to preserve photos, records and memorabilia from the former Naval Air Station in Atlanta in hopes the materials eventually will go on public display at an aviation museum at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. The Inspire Aviation Foundation hopes to eventually create an Atlanta Air & Space Museum at PDK, which once was the NAS Atlanta. For now, it seeks to raise $3,500 to help preserve the history of NAS Atlanta by digitizing materials assembled over the years by members of the Naval Air Station Reunion Group, according to the foundation’s website. The archives feature photos,...

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COVID-19 at ‘critical point’ in Georgia, expert warns at Latin American Association awards

The COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia appears to be in a “steady state,” but also a “critical point” where precautions must remain to prevent it from growing, a prominent expert told the Brookhaven-based Latin American Association at its May 21 annual awards event. Dr. Carlos del Rio is a professor of infectious diseases at Emory’s School of Medicine, chair of the Department of Global Health at its Rollins School of Public Health, and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research. He has appeared frequently in local and national media commenting on COVID-19, recently expressing caution about Georgia’s reopening of...

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Brookhaven author wins $1,000 prize for COVID-19 e-book

Brookhaven resident Kevin Poplawski and illustrator Michael Rausch won $1,000 and an honorable mention prize for a picture book intended to provide children ages 6-9 with information about the COVID-19 pandemic. The duo wrote “Together: Living Life During COVID-19.” They won $1,000 from Emory Global Health Institute, which sponsored the COVID-19 Children’s E-Book Competition. The aim of the books was to reassure the children it’s OK to feel upset and reassure them that they are safe. Poplawski and his wife Elizabeth both work in healthcare. He’s a physical therapist at Emory Healthcare Orthopedics/Sports Medicine and she’s a physician at...

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Around Town: Catching up with catchball

It looks a lot like volleyball when it’s being played. Two teams of six women each line up on either side of a net dividing a court laid out on a gym floor. The players send a brightly colored ball back and forth above the net, continuing until the ball hits the floor and a point is scored. Players can spike the ball to the floor or block shots at the net. The game differs from volleyball because these players don’t hit the ball back and forth. Instead, they catch it and then throw it. That’s why this young...

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Worth Knowing: In the pandemic era, locals plant ‘victory gardens’

During World War I, patriotic Americans planted victory gardens. They were so popular during World War II that home, school and community gardens produced 40% of the nation’s fresh fruit and vegetables. In the coronavirus pandemic, victory gardens are back — and many residents of Dunwoody and Sandy Springs have planted one. Their reasons vary from worrying about job security and the stability of the nation’s food supply to having time on their hands and wanting to teach their children important values. Many are first-timers with small gardens consisting of neat rows of raised beds, containers of varying sizes,...

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In pandemic’s hairy situation, some local officials grow ‘quarantine beards’

In the hairy situation of a global pandemic, some local city officials have joined the trend of cultivating “quarantine beards.” Brookhaven City Manager Christian Sigman is among those who have appeared in grainy Zoom videos with a suddenly hirsute style that, depending on the wearer, may range from the professorial to the piratical. Michael Starling, Dunwoody’s economic development director, has switched between shaved and bearded looks over the years. But at a Dunwoody Development Authority virtual meeting this month, he appeared in a particularly whiskered condition and vowed, “I’m not going to shave until this thing is over.” “You...

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