Category: People & Places

Flight attendant recalls Vietnam War R&R service

In 1968, international jet travel was still a glamorous adventure, and Joan Policastro signed on as a Pan American World Airways flight attendant to get her taste of it. She soon got adventure in a risky, historic form — four years of flying “rest and recuperation” flights with U.S. troops in and out of the Vietnam War, sometimes with bombs going off outside the base. “I liked it. I liked them,” said Policastro on a recent afternoon as she sat at her kitchen counter in Sandy Springs, reminiscing over a photo of her serving young soldiers on one of...

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AJC editor talks newspaper future, City Hall scandal at Buckhead event

The editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke about the changing newspaper industry, President Donald Trump’s media attacks and recent City Hall investigations at an Oct. 22 Buckhead Rotary event. The print business model is changing, Kevin Riley said at the luncheon at Maggiano’s Little Italy. Advertisers used to bring in 80 percent of newspaper revenue, with subscribers contributing the rest. Now, that must flip, bringing more accountability to the newspaper industry in terms of responding to and satisfying customers on pricing and value, he said. “That is a big challenge,” he said. The future of the AJC, which is headquartered...

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Exceptional Educator: Paula Boston, E. Rivers Elementary

Paula Boston, media specialist at E. Rivers Elementary, a public Buckhead school, is working to make the library the star of the school, transforming it from a quiet space to a place of collaborative information. Boston, who was nominated as “Exceptional Educator” by school Principal John Waller, has also partnered with a group to bring in trained therapy dogs for students to practice reading aloud. The activity is hoped to make any student a more confident reader, Boston said. Trained therapy dogs are used because they have been screened for behavior and temperament. She’s implemented “maker space” activities, which...

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Battle against Tesla CEO is latest high-profile case for local libel lawyer

A dramatic rescue of a dozen boys from a flooded cave in Thailand this summer was followed by a bizarre sideshow: a world-famous billionaire inventor groundlessly smearing one of the rescue advisers as a pedophile. On Aug. 28, Tesla CEO Elon Musk doubled down, taking to Twitter to ask why cave expert Vernon Unsworth hadn’t sued him over the slur. “@elonmusk should check his mail before tweeting,” came a prompt reply illustrated with a photo of an intent-to-sue letter. That mic-drop tweet came from the fingertips of L. Lin Wood, a Buckhead attorney who has become one of the...

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Dogs get their day at Buckhead’s Blue Heron Nature Preserve

Blue Heron Nature Preserve’s third annual “Doggie Daze” on July 14 welcomed pets into the green space on Buckhead’s Roswell Road. Events included “Doga, aka Doggie Yoga,” a creek walk, pet fashion show, dog wash and dog adoptions. Photos by Phil Mosier. Safina Jamal does the stretching work while her dog Diesel takes a break during the “Doga aka Doggie Yoga” segment. Spencer the dog, held by owner Katy Callaghan, sports a pink crown in the doggie fashion show. Dogs and their humans join in a walk through the nature preserve. Reta Keppler and Poe, left, join Haley Kaplan...

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Walking tour showcases Buckhead’s Civil War battlegrounds

A walking tour that snaked through southern Buckhead near Atlanta Memorial Park showcased the remaining signs of the Civil War that was fought there over 150 years ago. The March 11 walking tour began just outside of Buckhead at The Defoor Centre, a likely antebellum home, and continued along the war’s “Outer Defenssive Line,” including visits to Old Mt. Zion Church, the Embry Plantation, Howell’s Mill, the Peachtree Creek ravine, Tanyard Creek Park, the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center and Loring’s Hill, ending at Tanyard Creek Park. “When you ride in the car you don’t get the feeling of what...

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Buford Highway group to compile residents’ stories

We Love BuHi is beginning an oral history project to collect the stories of people living and working on Buford Highway as one way to preserve the history of the corridor that is known regionally for its diversity and international restaurants. Marian Liou of Brookhaven, founder and executive director of We Love BuHi, said her organization is teaming up with Georgia State University Library Special Collections and Archives and the Asian American Journalists Association of Atlanta to “collect, record and preserve the stories of Buford Highway’s immigrants, refugees, and their descendants.” “We’re not looking for answers. We just want...

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Buckhead conservation group scores win in saving endangered amphibians

A Buckhead-based conservation group says it has scored a win in its effort to save a native species of newt that is in danger of going extinct. The Amphibian Foundation this month was able to successfully breed the striped newts for the first time, founder Mark Mandica said. “This is really our first native, captive breeding success,” he said. The newt has been bred in at least one other facility in the past, but the foundation has been working to breed the species for less than a year, he said. The success is “a huge step towards that goal”...

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Dunwoody Driving Club brings together auto enthusiasts

When Chuck Wing founded the Dunwoody Driving Club in 2011, he had one mission in mind: “We are in it for the fun.” The club got its start in 2011, when Wing and some of his friends in Dunwoody with an interest in sports cars and exotic cars got together to socialize and to talk about things automotive. “We were a bunch of guys sitting around saying, ‘Why don’t we have a car club where we can talk about what cars we had, what cars we wish we still had, what car we’d like to have?’” The others turned...

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Brookhaven model train enthusiast shares his love of tiny worlds

Enclosed in a glass-covered cabinet in his basement is one of Riley O’Connor’s first model train sets, wooden block figures on a small track circling a pair of scuffed baby shoes. His love for trains — real and model — flourished over the years into O’Connor’s profession. Now, a massive, 28-foot-long model railroad, titled “Amstetten” after the station that is the centerpiece, is laid out on specialty cabinets above that tiny wooden set, a project O’Connor has worked on, and played with, since the mid-1990s. “When I was two or three, I got my first wooden trains. And it...

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Park in Buckhead’s Pine Hills gets a name

Volunteers and public officials held a naming ceremony Feb. 24 to establish Indian Creek Park in Buckhead, which was developed under the placeholder names Pine Hills Park and Lenox Park. Neighbors and Atlanta Classical Academy students helping create the park were joined at the ceremony by the city of Atlanta’s Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong, District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook and Shook’s policy advisor Sally Silver. The 4-acre park is located at 3148 and 3162 Lenox Road on two former residential lots about a quarter-mile south of the Lenox MARTA Station. The name Indian Creek was chosen because...

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Local hotel concierges work to be the tourists’ tourist

Janice Dempsey likes to think her job includes being a tourist in her own city. As a concierge for the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta in Buckhead, one of her tasks is setting up itineraries for visitors who want a real Atlanta experience during their stay. Many of the places, events and restaurants she recommends are places she visits herself to see the venue for herself, taste the flavors of the menu and gauge the experience to determine if it is more fitting for a family with small children or a solo traveler. “You can’t just sit at a desk and...

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