Category: People & Places

Sandy Springs native Livi Birch stars in ‘Tulsa’

Sandy Springs native Livi Birch attended the premiere of a movie in which she starred as “Tulsa” was shown at Atlantic Station on Aug. 21. The 11-year-old has been attending school remotely, like many of her peers, but she’s grown used to it. Making movies has kept her far from home in recent months and required her to do her coursework remotely even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced many students to study from home. “She goes to a private school which has both options,”  said her mother, Joanna Birch, “but she is pretty adept at doing remote [work] since...

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Around Town: Buckhead resident helps Georgia Audubon spread its wings

When Esther Stokes moved into a new home in Brookwood Hills a couple of years ago, the yard sprouted many familiar flowering plants with roots in foreign places. Now those imports are disappearing. Stokes is replacing her azaleas and camellias with Joe Pye weed, cardinal flowers and other types of greenery that grew up here in the wild. With her new plantings, Stokes, a landscape designer by trade, is going native. Why? Because her garden is for the birds. It’s a bit for the bees, too. Also, the bugs, to tell the truth. But it’s mostly for the birds...

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Photos: Confluence Bridge makes its Buckhead trail connection

The Confluence Bridge has made its long-awaited connection across Buckhead’s Peachtree Creek. The 175-foot-long pedestrian span was placed via crane on Aug. 21 over the creek at a spot along the west side of I-85, behind the Lakeshore Crossing apartments off Piedmont Road. The roughly $2.5 million project by the South Fork Conservancy connects that group’s trail systems with Buckhead’s PATH400 mulituse trail along Adina Lane. Ultimately, the bridge is intended to connect those trails with the Atlanta BeltLine and an extension of the Peachtree Creek Greenway, the first disconnected mile of which recently opened in Brookhaven. “Our goal...

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Dunwoody Nature Center’s new green roof provides space for native pollinators

Buzzing is now a constant sound at the Dunwoody Nature Center building as colorful flowers bloom above visitors’ heads. The nature center at 5343 Roberts Drive completed a green roof on top of its eco-classroom building this spring to help birds, bees and other pollinators and to provide environmental education for the community. Native flowers were planted on the building for the pollinators to enjoy. The roof was designed and installed by Mary Ann Uhlmann of Urban Horticulture Consulting. “There is no greater joy for me than to be on a roof and see butterflies, bees and birds,” Uhlmann...

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Around Town: New leader of Sandy Springs Conservancy helms park expansions

Here’s one way old suburbs are changing in the 21st century: parks. When Boyd Leake was growing up in Sandy Springs and Buckhead a half-century ago, neighborhood playgrounds could be hard to find. There were the big parks salted across the map — Chastain Park in Atlanta, Hammond Park up north of the Chattahoochee River, Murphey Candler Park over in DeKalb County — but not a lot of little neighborhood parks that a kid could easily walk or bike to. Kids played in their yards. “We were lucky living in a suburban area,” Leake said. “Everyone had a big...

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Judith Schonbak is remembered as artist, writer and naturalist

Judith Schonbak revitalized the Reporter’s arts coverage in recent years as part of a long career in writing and the arts for which family, friends and colleagues are fondly remembering her. “She was an artist, a writer and a naturalist to the core,” said a family obituary for Schonbak, who died Aug. 2 at 79. “She loved her family with a fierce passion and she was deeply connected to the natural world, tending to birds, trees and flowers of all kinds with a keen eye and protective heart. She had a way of bringing beauty to the world and...

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Sandy Springs founder joins privatized city-state project in Honduras

The chief architect of founding Sandy Springs as a largely outsourced government has revealed his even more ambitious privatization plan: helping to create a new Caribbean island “city-state” called Próspera. Inspired by such independent cities as Hong Kong and Singapore, Próspera is rising on the island of Roatán in Honduras, with funding from a venture capital firm and oversight by a corporate-appointed council that signs contracts with all residents and businesses. Oliver Porter got involved because of his role in the founding of Sandy Springs and now sits on the council. “They looked to Sandy Springs as the basis...

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Brookhaven’s Lynwood Park seeks historic recognition as city discusses race

Amid the city of Brookhaven’s plans to continue a conversation about race because of nationwide protests, Lynwood Park resident Barbara Shaw said she just wants some recognition for her historically Black neighborhood. Shaw, who also grew up in the neighborhood and helped integrate DeKalb schools in the 1960s, said she thinks Mayor John Ernst could do a better job in including and supporting Lynwood Park, though she appreciates the support of Councilmember Linely Jones, whose district includes the neighborhood and who has helped recognize the history of the area. “He doesn’t put enough ‘oomph’ in helping us when you...

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U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Civil Rights icon, dies at age 80

Civil Rights icon and Congressman John Lewis has died at age 80 after a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Lewis served as the U.S. representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District — which includes parts of Brookhaven and Buckhead — for 36 years after a stint as an Atlanta City Council member. His death, announced July 18, was confirmed by a family spokesperson. Memorial arrangements have yet to be announced. Before becoming a lawmaker, the Democrat was already a revered member of the Civil Rights movement.  A friend and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis was an organizer and...

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Former American Medical Association president to speak in Buckhead Rotary virtual meeting

Dr. Patrice Harris, the immediate past president of the American Medical Association, will speak at a Rotary Club of Buckhead virtual meeting July 20. Harris, an Atlanta psychiatrist, continues to chair the AMA’s Opioid Task Force, addressing the national opioid addiction crisis. In her time as AMA president, she and the Chicago-based association attracted controversy for endorsing former U.S. Rep. Tom Price of metro Atlanta’s 6th Congressional District as President Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services, with many members complaining of his policy goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Price was forced out of the job after...

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Around Town: A Buckhead neighborhood advocate steps aside

Signs of change show up all around Gordon Certain’s north Buckhead home. Newer, bigger houses have replaced older, smaller ones. New tall buildings loom nearby. There are more people, more cars, more of just about everything else, except maybe trees. “Everything has just mushroomed,” Certain said. When Certain moved into his ranch home on North Ivy Road in 1975, there was a dance hall across the street. It was surrounded by acres of forest containing more than 500 mature trees. A developer bought the place and now suburban homes cover that land. These days, the view from Certain’s steep...

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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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