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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, AUG. 10, 2012 • VOL. 15, NO. 20 • FREE
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Avondale Estates resident makes the French connection—frequently
by Kathy Mitchell Jane del Monte’s daughter called to ask her a rather routine question, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?” The followup question, however, was completely unexpected: “How would you like to spend it in Paris?” That was a few years ago and del Monte, who was living in Washington, D.C., at the time, recalls not being especially excited, but thought, “It beats anything I might be doing here at home.” Weeks later, as she walked down a Paris street she was struck suddenly and forcefully by a feeling. “It was like being hit by cupid’s arrow, except I fell in love with a city. I knew this was where I belonged,” she recalled. Her attraction to Paris was so strong that soon after she returned to the United States she started taking French lessons and looking for opportunities to work in the City of Lights. The former owner of a stained glass studio, del Monte already had a background in the arts. She took a job in Paris with an international auction house, whose training sharpened her knowledge of antiques and art pieces. In Paris, del Monte earned a postgraduate diploma in French Fine Arts and Decorative Arts from the Renaissance to the 20th Century from Christie’s Education, Paris, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge. After completing that program, she remained in Paris and continued her studies in decorative arts at Druout Formation, the Université Paris – Sorbonne, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. She is now qualiﬁed to advise clients on the pur-
Jane del Monte
HYIS SHE HAPPY ?
chase of art. someone wants to go see Today, del Monte lives a battleﬁeld, that’s OK,” part-time in Paris and part- she said, noting that Paris time in Avondale Estates. has such a vast and varied She uses her extensive array of points of interest knowledge of Paris to arthat it’s impossible to run range custom tours for out of things to do. “The those who want to visit problem is narrowing your the French city, especially list down to the thing you those who want to focus really want to do. As many on its rich arts heritage. As times as I have gone to director of Arts in Paris, Paris, there’s still a lot I del Monte offers personal- haven’t seen.” ized tours with à la carte Her current venture is a options, accompanied tours mid-September trip for the to purchase art, antiques Biennale des Antiquaires, and collectibles, access to a biennial antique dealers’ docents who are specialfair she said is “a gathering ists in their ﬁelds, off-theof the greatest French and beaten-path itineraries and foreign antique dealers, Paris on New Year’s Eve access to sites and events decorators, jewelers and normally closed to the book store owners.” public. The exhibition, ﬁrst She also offers travel held more than 50 years planning and concierge ago, is “a venue where services for independent elegance, prestige, and travelers. “Many people celebration would await a are so accustomed to inhost of art lovers and colternational travel that they lectors,” she said. This don’t need their hands year’s creative director is held. They just need a designer Karl Lagerfeld. knowledgeable person to She promises that the arrange the speciﬁc things schedule includes amthey want to do.” ple opportunity for those Because she her news updates online from the The Champion. Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. Del Monte said that gets on the tour to experience Because although she specializes she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. And you can too! Follow us. France’s highest art form in arts-related tours, her — l’art de vivre (the art of tours are customized to living). www.facebook.com/championnewspaper the client’s interests. “If A ﬂorist shop near a Paris Metro station www.twitter.com/championnews ews updates online from the The Champion.
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WHYIS SHE SO HAPPY ?
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
New Scott Candler Library opens Aug. 20
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com
Another new library will soon be open in DeKalb County. The 12,000-square-foot Scott Candler Library is scheduled to open Aug. 20 following a grand opening ceremony Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. The library, located at 1917 Candler Road, will have a 30,000-volume inventory, a 90-seat meeting room, designated areas for children and teens, 27 public access computers and self-checkout stations. “This is a great achievement for the community and I am pleased to have voted to approve the construction of this state-of-the-art facility,” said Commissioner Larry Johnson. Designed by the Sizemore Group architectural firm, the new branch is part of a mixed-use development that also will eventually include a new senior center
The old Scott Candler Library in south DeKalb has been replaced with a 12,000-square-foot facility that will house 30,000 volumes. The library is set to open Aug. 20. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
and senior housing. The contract for the construction of the new senior center is expected to be up for review by the Board of Commissioners at the Aug. 14 meeting. Operating hours for the new facility will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. The Scott Candler Library will be the seventh new library facility constructed since 2009. Three libraries opened last year
including facilities at Stonecrest, Salem Panola and Hairston Crossing. The funding for the library construction comes from a $230 million bond referendum passed by county residents in November 2005. Of that revenue, approximately $54.5 million was allocated for library construction and improvements while the remainder was set aside for transportation improvements and parks and greenspace acqui-
sition. The library is part of Johnson’s renaissance initiative for the revitalization of Candler Road. So far, the area has a completed streetscape project with benches, sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly lighting. A McDonald’s restaurant, located on the corner of Candler and McAfee roads, was built to conform with the overlay district standards in the area.
NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC OF REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS
August 9, 2012 DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330 Decatur, Georgia 30030 Telephone (404) 286-3308 TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, GROUPS AND PERSONS: e DeKalb County Hunman and Community Development Department gives notice that it will submit a request for release of grant funds and an environmental certi cation pertaining to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 15 days following this publication. e request and certi cation relate to the following projects. Project: HOME Program: Brookside Apartments Location: 3661 North Decatur Road, Decatur GA 30032 Purpose: e purpose of the project is to acquire and demolish the existing vacant and abandoned Brookside Apartment complex, located at 3661 North Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30032. Once the existing development is demolished, the property will be redeveloped as a passive recreational park containing green and open space, walks, benches, play areas, possible canopies, and trails. project will remove an abandoned, dilapidated, and blighted apartment complex and create green space and recreational opportunities that will serve the local community. FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT (FONSI)
It has been determined that such request for release of funds will not constitute an action signi cantly a ecting the quality of the human environment and, accordingly, DeKalb County has decided not to prepare Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190). e reasons for such decision not to prepare such Statements are as follows: An Environmental Assessment has been made for the project which concludes that all adverse e ects will be minor, and any short-term impacts will be mitigated by either the requirements of the construction contract documents or by the requirements of applicable local, state or federal permits and environmental ordinances. e positive e ects of providing activities that augment and substantially improve the County’s e orts towards supporting a ordable senior housing in the targeted areas of the County outweigh any potential negative impacts. is project is consistent with the goals and objectives of the DeKalb County Community Development Department, approved Consolidated Plan. e Environmental Review Records, respecting the proposed projects, have been made by DeKalb County which documents the environmental review of the projects and fully sets forth the reasons why such Environmental Impact Statements are not required. e Environmental Review Records are on le at the DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 and is available for public examination and copying upon request between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. No further environmental reviews of the subject project are proposed to be conducted prior to the request for release of Federal funds.
All interested agencies, groups, and persons disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments for consideration by DeKalb County to the Human and Community Development Director. Written comments will be received at 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia on or before August 24, 2012. All comments received will be considered and DeKalb County will not request the release of Federal funds or take any administrative action on the proposed projects prior to the date speci ed in the preceding sentence. At least one day a er the termination of the public comment period for the FONSI, but not before comments on the FONSI have been considered and resolved, DeKalb County will submit a Request for Release of Funds (RROF) and certi cation to HUD. By so doing DeKalb County will ask HUD to allow it to commit funds to these projects, certifying that (1) it has performed the environmental reviews prescribed by HUD regulations (“Environmental Review Procedures for Title I Community Development Block Grant Program” - 24 CFR part 58), and (2) the Certifying O cer, Chris Morris, Director, DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department, consents to accept and enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental reviews or resulting decision-making and action. e legal e ect of the certi cation is that by approving it, HUD will have satis ed its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act, thus allowing DeKalb County to commit CDBG funds to these projects. HUD will accept objections to its approval of the release of funds and the certi cation only if it is on one of the following basis: (a) that the certi cation was not in fact executed by the Certifying O cer; or (b) that the applicant’s Environmental Review Record for the project indicated omission of a required decision, funding, or step applicable to the project in the environmental review process. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance to HUD at the Regional Environmental Branch, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 40 Marietta Street N.W., 15th oor, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-9812. Objections to the release of funds on basis other than those stated above will not be considered by HUD. No objection received a er September 10, 2012 will be considered by HUD. Chris . orris,H irector D M DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 Date of Publication and Dissemination of Notice August 9, 2012
Public Comments on FONSI
NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS (NOI/RROF)
Objection to Release of Funds
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Judge gives high-school girls firsthand glimpse at legal system
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Southwest DeKalb High School student Bria Cooper said her favorite thing about DeKalb County Judge Stacey Hydrick’s mentoring program was visiting the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) crime lab. Cooper, who will be a senior this fall, is interested in science and even though she doesn’t want to be a lawyer, she decided to enroll in the judge’s program anyway. “My friend just told me about it,” Cooper said. “I was kind of hesitant because I’m not going into law or anything like that. When I really think about it though I do kind of like the law.” This is the first year Hydrick has held the program, which was attended by 10 high school girls, ages 1418. Hydrick said she fashioned her program much like the Leadership DeKalb program, which focuses on bringing together diverse leaders from throughout DeKalb County. “They got a behind-thescenes process and look at the system that they never would have gotten otherwise,” Hydrick said. Throughout the six-week program, which was held each Friday, the girls visited, or were introduced to, a variety of departments and people working within the DeKalb County court system such as District Attorney Robert James, Solicitor General Sherry Boston, and officials from the GBI, medical examiner’s office, and county social workers. “We accomplished a lot in six weeks,” Hydrick said. She explained that in addition to having guest speakers, the group also went on field trips to the DeKalb County Jail and to the DeKalb County Magistrate and Juvenile courts. Hydrick said the idea came to her after she spoke at Voices of Faith Church in Stone Mountain. She said a group of young girls wanted her to speak about bullying and afterward, many of the girls’ parents asked if she had any type of mentoring program in place. “No, but that doesn’t mean I can’t,” Hydrick told them. Soon after she started SMILE, which stands for Summer Mentoring Initiative in Legal Education, and Hydrick said she is going to do it every summer. Next year, those interested in attending the program will be required to fill out applications and have letters of recommendation. “I’m going to have a GPA requirement and make it a little competitive,” Hydrick said. Cooper’s mother Sandra said the program was enlightening for her daughter. She also said it exposed Cooper to aspects of the criminal justice profession she hadn’t thought about before, such as forensics and prosecution. Hydrick also required the girls to read Cupcake Brown’s memoir A Piece of Cake, which Sandra said was inspiring to Cooper. The book details Brown’s struggle with her mother’s early death. Brown was forced to live in foster homes, where she suffered both physical and mental abuse. The novel also describes Brown’s later life as a prostitute living on the streets and how she overcame drug addiction, graduated from law school and became a top prosecutor at one of California’s largest law firms. “It was a very inspiring story to Bria,” Sandra said.
Fifteen-year-old Moriah Wilson is ﬂanked by family members and the DeKalb Board of Commissioners which recognized her community service during a July 24 board meeting. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Lithonia girl wins Olympic trip with handmade pillows
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com Homemade pillows for hospitalized kids have earned a Lithonia teen a trip to London this summer. Moriah Wilson, 15, of Lithonia, has earned the distinction of being named a McDonald’s Champion of Play Junior Ambassador for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Wilson, a student at Pace Academy, was recognized with a proclamation by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners July 24 for her award. Wilson won an allexpenses paid trip through the Julie Foudy “Choose To Matter” contest for her community service project of making and distributing the pillows in 2011. The idea for the pillows started seven years ago when Wilson and her sister Victoria founded Lil Hearts of Love, a nonprofit organization to make handmade pillows for hospitalized children. “We used to make heartshaped pillows with messages on them,” Wilson said. “This time I decided to do square-shaped pillows with a handle and a pocket in them with a board book.” With the help of the her family, Wilson made 175 pillows and distributed them people,” Wilson said. “I’m very proud of both of them,” said Freddie Wilson, their father. They really enjoy community service so we have tried to point them in that direction. We’re real proud of what they’ve accomplished. “They have always been real passionate about helping people,” Freddie Wilson said. “We saw that in them, so we started getting them involved with volunteer work.” Accompanied by mother Ruth, Moriah will be in London Aug. 8-12 to attend an Olympic event and tour Olympic venues and other parts of the city. “You just have to be there for your kids at all times and just see that they can be dedicated to something positive,” Ruth Wilson said. “Always impress on them to go the extra mile in whatever that they are doing academically, politically, [or] whatever they like to focus on.” Moriah Wilson, who is considering becoming a pediatrician after college, said students interested in volunteerism should “get out there and just try different things and eventually you’ll find something that you’re really passionate about.”
to children at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, Grady Memorial Hospital, Scottish Rite and St. Jude’s hospitals. “It was to provide a comfort item to the kids in the hospitals,” Wilson said. “They could be…a distraction.” Commissioner Lee May said, “This prayerfully, gives them some level of comfort while they’re going through their issues as they’re in the hospital.” Wilson said she and her sister have “always been involved in volunteering and doing service.” “This was a way to do something in our home and to affect lots of different
Opinion The Newslady
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
David vs. Goliath victory
future. Proponents of the new tax raised some $8 million for their slick propaganda campaign. There were phone calls, television, radio and print ads, mailers, buttons, t-shirts and anything else the “vote yes” logo could be painted on. Opponents had no such war chest. Their resources amounted By now it is old news that the T-SPLOST referendum was soundly to little more than David’s slingshot. But when the dust settled on defeated in the July 31 election primary. Voters in DeKalb and through- Tuesday, July 31, the common folk prevailed and that giant called Tout metro said NO to another penny sales tax to fund road improvements SPLOST came crashing down with a thud that reverberated around the and transit initiatives. Voters have state. had enough of the political panderWhat is news is that this was ing and squandering of our tax dolnot just a defeat of a referendum. It lars. It was not because voters didn’t want promised jobs, decreased traffic was a rare show of solidarity among or cleaner air. It was a matter of trust. taxpayers of all stripes. It was a Voters, especially here in DeKalb stunning setback for a number of politicians who hung their fortunes did not trust government to make on passage of the measure. But in good on its promises. DeKalb residents have been promised rail in the an historic and unprecedented coming together, Blacks and Whites of I-20 corridor for decades. With an divergent ideologies joined forces in opportunity to make good on that a taxpayer revolt the likes of which promise with the T-SPLOST, the have never been seen before here in powers that be offered us more the Southeast. The NAACP, Sierra crumbs from the table in the form Club, Tea Party, Common Cause, of “speedy” buses as a “down payAngry Taxpayers and many other ment” on rail at some point in the grass roots organizations sang from the same hymnal. Despite their differences, they had one common purpose—no new taxes on empty promises. In DeKalb, we would have been paying another penny on top of the one we already pay to fund MARTA. A penny doesn’t sound like much, but when one does the math, it amounts to a whopping 16 percent tax increase. My argument against the referendum all along was very simply three things: Governance, lack of I-20 rail and treatment of MARTA. With the defeat of the referendum the real work begins. CEO Burrell Ellis, county commissioners, DeKalb legislative delegation and citizens, we must begin in earnest today strategizing on how we make rail a reality in the I-20 and Clifton Corridors. GDOT must be held accountable for the tax dollars already given them. Projects that would have been funded by the TSPLOST were already on GDOT’s priority list. We need to make certain those projects are completed. Finally on another note, congratulations are in order to CEO Ellis and Commissioners Kathie Gannon, Lee May and Sharon Barnes Sutton on their re-elections. Now that Brookhaven cityhood is a reality, it is even more imperative that the CEO and the commission exercise maturity and cooperation for the greater good of the county. Much is at stake. An estimated $25 million in revenue will be lost to the county with Brookhaven pulling out. But rather than concentrating on the loss we must be very diligent in focusing on ways to mitigate the loss. Brookhaven must understand that county services are gone or they will pay a premium for them. Pick up your own trash. Clean your own parks. Get your own police and fire departments, prepare your own taxes. Mr. CEO and commissioners there is an African proverb that says: “When the house is on fire, there is no time to argue.” Our house is on fire! Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Opinion One Man’s Opinion
We B.A.D.D. is good!
internet, or the growth of big box retailers, but with effort, effect and promotion you can change buyer behavior, build community and solidify your local economy. Consumers make purchasing decisions every day—some are impulse decisions, others are practically required. But even shopping at the local Walmart keeps sales tax dollars local and provides funds toward the employment of the workers in that local store. The auto sales industry in DeKalb County has all but vanished, excluding the Nalley cluster of dealerships on Church Street in Decatur and a similar grouping along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard near the DeKalb/Gwinnett County border. An extra penny of sales tax might have previously driven buyers into Gwinnett or even on to South Carolina, but making that decision on a new $25,000 car removes at least $1,750 at a 7 percent sales tax rate back into the local economy. That last penny saved comes to $250. Would you rather pay higher property taxes, have better schools? Spend the penny and buy the car locally. Whether locally owned and operated, franchised or even corporately owned, DeKalb County has thousands of restaurants employing local chefs, waiters, waitresses, bartenders and hostesses. The service staff are primarily compensated with tips and in cash—and that money also is much more likely to be spent back locally, if “locals” and regulars help fill the tables each night. By year’s end We B.A.D.D. will be up and running with the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce’s membership of 600 local businesses being among the first to sign up. Local businesses become We B.A.D.D. merchants, offering discounts and special savings events to We B.A.D.D. local consumer members. A tracking system and card will be set up, along with a website and social media outreach to keep customers up to date on the best deals and savings opportunities. Professional services will also be added in early 2013. “Buying locally keeps dollars in our county and 10 cities, grows our job base and helps locally owned businesses better compete with the big boys,” said Rep. Drenner, who was recently re-elected without opposition. Buy local campaigns require consumer education on the benefits. Folks who circle a parking lot to find a space closest to the door will not drive the “extra mile” to shop locally, if they do not perceive a tangible benefit and value. And even if you are shopping at the local Kroger or Best Buy, that purchase is better for the economy than one made without sales tax, online with a few clicks on the web. We B.A.D.D. also plans to establish a system of rewards for local buyers, which will help track and document an estimated $1 billion in economic impact resulting from buying local in one year. Two of the largest customers in DeKalb County are the DeKalb County School District and DeKalb County government. The co-founders of We B.A.D.D. are hopeful that the DeKalb County commission and school board will soon adopt ordinances and purchasing guidelines to better spend taxpayer dollars, whenever possible, with business locations and enterprises owned or operated in DeKalb County. So, as we get closer to back to school sales and even the Georgia sales tax holidays, expect to be hearing more about We B.A.D.D. and start making plans now to support this common sense plan to make good, build goodwill and do good to help us all build a better and stronger DeKalb County again.
“I have come to a resolution myself, as I hope every good citizen will, never again to purchase any article of foreign manufacture, which can be had of American make...be the difference of price what it may.”— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), third American president. Buy local campaigns are not new—perhaps surprisingly though, they can and do work. State Representative Karla Drenner, (DAvondale Estates, District 85), recently has proposed the establishment of a We B.A.D.D. campaign across DeKalb County. That stands for We Buy and Dine DeKalb. The first known organized “buy local” initiative was co-founded and established in 1998 in Boulder, Colo. At least 150 such groups have since sprung up across the country, with that number roughly doubling since 2005 and the beginnings of this never ending recession. We can’t reverse the consumer trend away from shopping on the
Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We sincerely appreciate the discussion surrounding this and any issue of interest to DeKalb County. The Champion was founded in 1991 expressly to provide a forum for discourse for all community residents on all sides of an issue. We have no desire to make the news only to report news and opinions to effect a more educated citizenry that will ultimately move our community forward. We are happy to present ideas for discussion; however, we make every effort to avoid printing information submitted to us that is known to be false and/ or assumptions penned as fact.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Grabbing bigger slices of pie
New research shows that we shouldn't swallow conservative claims about taxes.
by Sam Pizzigati What happens when nations cut taxes for their richest citizens? Economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two of the world’s most respected authorities on the incomes of rich people, have a straightforward answer: In nations that slash tax rates on high incomes, the rich significantly increase their share of national income. Here in the United States, for instance, the tax rate on income more than $400,000 has dropped by half, from 70 to 35 percent, since the 1970s. Over that same span, the households that comprise the “1 percent” have more than doubled their share of the national income, to 20 percent. In many European nations and Japan, by contrast, tax rates on the rich didn’t fall as fast or as far. And rich people’s slice of the income pie increased “only modestly,” note Piketty and Saez in a new analysis they co-authored with researcher Stefanie Stantcheva. This phenomenon doesn’t trouble conservatives. High taxes on rich people, they claim, do terrible economic damage by discouraging the entrepreneurship that makes economies strong. Lower taxes on the rich, this argument continues, encourage entrepreneurs, who invest and create jobs when lower taxes let them keep more of the income they take in. Yes, conservatives freely admit, the rich can and do amass plenty of money in a low-tax environment. They’ll even increase their share of national income. But the rest of us shouldn’t worry. Thanks to the rich, right-wingers argue, we all benefit from a bigger and better economy. Piketty and his colleagues put these claims to the test. If the conservative argument reflected reality, they point out, nations that sharply cut tax rates on the rich should experience much higher economic growth rates than nations that don’t. In fact, the three economists note, reality tells no such story. Nations that have “made large cuts in top tax rates, such as the United Kingdom or the United States,” they explain, “have not grown significantly faster than countries that did not, such as Germany or Denmark.” So what’s going on in countries where the rich all of sudden face substantially smaller tax bills? In countries that go soft on taxing the rich, top business executives don’t suddenly — and magically — become more entrepreneurial, more “productive.” Instead, they suddenly find themselves with a huge incentive to game the system, to squeeze out of their enterprises every bit of personal profit their power enables. The more these executives can squeeze, the more they can keep. The result? The 1 percent in nations that cut taxes on high incomes proceed, as Piketty and his fellow authors put it, to “grab at the expense of the remaining 99 percent.” Millions of us know this grabbing first-hand. We’ve seen corporate execs routinely outsource and downsize, slash wages and attack pensions, cheat consumers and fix prices. How can we start discouraging these sorts of behaviors? Piketty and his fellow analysts have a suggestion: raise taxes on America’s highestincome bracket. Raise them as high as 83 percent. This suggestion, the three scholars acknowledge, may right now seem politically “unthinkable.” But back between the 1940s and the 1970s, they remind us, the notion that we ought to raise taxes on the rich to reduce the incentive for outrageous behavior rated as our conventional wisdom. In those years, policymakers — and the public at large — felt strongly that pay increases for the wealthiest Americans reflected “mostly greed or other socially wasteful activities rather than productive work effort.” Is this mid-20th century perception about pay at the top now about to make a comeback? Piketty and friends certainly think so. Let’s hope they have that one right, too. OtherWords columnist Sam Pizzigati edits Too Much, the online weekly on excess and inequality published by the Institute for Policy Studies. OtherWords.org
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Synthetic drug manufacturer raided in Chamblee
Dear Gresham Resident, I have been ﬁghting these drugs for almost a year through my volunteer work at To The Maximus Foundation (http://www.2themax.org). I have called in several places selling this drug in Dekalb County, but the police never seem to act. I am disgusted by the way in which Dekalb County is ignoring this horrible problem. How many kids have to be hospitalized, how many kids have to die before the Dekalb County Sheriﬀ ’s Oﬃce acts? We need to demand some accountability from our sheriﬀ! –Michelle posted this on 8/5/12 at 6:36 a.m. As a resident of south dekalb one can only hope that before long this same attention to this awfull substance will begin in east and south dekalb. Our neighborhoods are not safe now and this crap for sale all around sure does not help. We pay taxes too, mr dekalb district attorney and get the least in police protection one could imagine. – gresham resident posted this on 8/4/12 at 9:07 p.m.
Burglars ransack disabled man’s home
Tim is correct. The people who do this are animals, sub-humans. The best ﬁrst defense is to put as much distance between them and you as possible. Second defense is to heavily arm yourself. – Don Vito posted this on 8/5/12 at 9:18 a.m. The town is 65% of a race that is notorious for crimes described in this article. It is no wonder he receives no support from that community. He needs to relocate to a friendly town....a White town. – Tim posted this on 8/5/12 at 8:39 a.m. Voters support Brookhaven cityhood Good luck and my best wishes to the citizens of Brookhaven. A great community with lots of nice people. Who could blame you for wanting to get out from under DeKalb Government. Not the model county it once was. Can the City of Gresham Park be far behind ? We would get a WalMart, South DeKalb Mall, other businesses on Candler Rd and most of all WE WILL GET A POLICE DEPT! – gresham resident posted this on 8/1/12 at 8:41 p.m
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Voters say ‘yes’ to new city, ‘no’ to transportation projects
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com DeKalb County voters weighed in on two contentious issues during the July 31 general election, whether to fund transportation projects throughout metro Atlanta and create the city of Brookhaven. Residents of the Brookhaven area voted “yes” to allow the area to incorporate. Elections for the city have been scheduled for Nov. 6. The elections will be for a mayor and a city council, which will consist of four members. Qualifying will start Aug. 13 at 9 a.m., and continue until Aug. 15 at 4:30 p.m. Each term lasts until 2015. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 18. “This is about your neighbors making decisions about your local government services,” Rep. Mike Jacobs said. Jacobs was a vocal proponent in the creation of the city and authored the bill that allowed Brookhaven to incorporate, which passed through the General Assembly earlier this year. The cityhood referendum passed with 54.66 percent voting in favor and 45.35 percent against it. Although the cityhood vote was only available to those in the Brookhaven area, many think creating the city will affect DeKalb County as a whole. University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute released a study that stated the creation of the city was feasible and would result in a $135,000 surplus for the proposed city. Since the results of that cityhood study were released however, county officials and various special interest groups have sprung up, some in support of the city and some against it. An analysis released by DeKalb County June 19 said if created, the city would start out with a deficit rather than the surplus mentioned in the Vinson Institute study. Jacobs said the county’s analysis is inaccurate because it doesn’t include increased Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) collection and said the additional HOST funds would equal approximately $1.3 million. “It was an unprecedented turnout for a primary election and 55 percent is a solid majority,” Jacobs said. “However, it’s also clear that there were [residents] opposed to cityhood and the time has come bring together the proponents and opponents and build something great.” Additionally, DeKalb voters rejected a one-penny sales tax that would have reportedly brought hundreds of jobs and revenue to DeKalb County. The Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or T-SPLOST, received 51.3 percent of votes against it with 126,221 ballots cast. The tax would have funded $6.14 billion of regional transportation projects selected by the Atlanta Regional Roundtable which represented Clayton, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties and the city of Atlanta. For DeKalb County, there was $1.1 billion to fund proposed projects such as a $700 million Clifton Corridor MARTA rail that would run from Lindbergh Center to Emory University and a $225 million I-20 park-and-ride bus system. Other proposed projects included interchange improvements at I-85 North at I-285, a bridge replacement
See Votes on Page 9A
Champion of the Week
home and sob every night then get up and go the next day,” Hunter said. FODA’s goal is to transport at least 50 animals each month. Herron said sometimes they don’t meet the goal and other times they exceed it. Last month the organization transported more than 200 animals and has moved approximately 1,500 since its inception. “We’re an all-volunteer organization. It’s about $175 an animal to take care of everything,” Herron said. Currently Hunter works at a new veterinary hospital in Roswell, where she is always looking for ways to help FODA. She said the hospital has very good animal rescue rates and is going to let her keep a digital picture frame at the reception desk of some of the animals available for adoption in DeKalb County. Hunter also said FODA will have a booth present at the hospital’s grand opening. Hunter is glad to have had an opportunity to help so many animals but there are still many more to help. “I never feel totally happy and fulfilled because there are just so many but I’m just so proud to be a part of all of it,” Hunter said. “So many animals come in that are abandoned and from cruelty cases, I wish there would a paradigm shift in the way people treat animals.”
Caroline Hunter, 28, will be getting married next year but she and her fiancé won’t be getting any gifts. Instead, they’ve asked that their friends and family donate to Friends of DeKalb Animals (FODA) and the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides aid to wounded military service members. Hunter began volunteering with FODA when the organization started in 2010. Co-founder Lynn Herron said since then, Hunter has helped the nonprofit by working on FODA’s past three fundraisers and fostering dogs. When she first started volunteering, Hunter went to the DeKalb County Animal Shelter and walked dogs. “I’m very passionate about helping animals,” Hunter said. FODA raises funds to transport animals out of the DeKalb County Animal shelter to other shelters around the country, so they won’t be euthanized. “DeKalb really stood out with me because the shelter was so horrendous. I would go and then come
If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at kathy@DeKalbchamp.com or at 404-373-7779, ext. 104.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Increased security and intersection improvements are two of the ways the Stone Mountain Community Improvement District is hoping to attract new businesses to the office park. The CID has a goal of creating 2,000 jobs by the end of 2013. File photos
Stone Mountain CID seeks economic development ideas
jobs into the area. The Stone Mountain CID is working with Georgia Piedmont Technical College, DeKalb County School District, DeKalb County’s economic development and planning departments and Georgia officials to develop the plan, Morsberger said. The planning process, which began in June and will be completed in November, is addressing three areas of interest to the CID. The first area is physical improvements to the infrastructure of the industrial park, Morsberger said. The group wants to fix “roads and intersections where a large tractor trailer can’t get around a curb without jumping the curb or running into somebody,” Morsberger said. When many of the roads were constructed in the 1970s, tractor trailers were 60 feet long, Morsberger said. Now, they are 80 feet long. “Intersections built 30-40 years ago don’t accommodate tractor trailers that are built today,” he said. The CID is also looking to streamline county processes for acquiring business licenses, certificates of occupancy and proper zoning “There have been a lot of businesses that have left our area because of county process problems,” Morsberger said. “If you want to expand your company, and it takes a year to get the zoning to do that, then you are probably going to be expanding your company into a new location in Gwinnett County,” Morsberger said. “You are not going to wait a year.” Morsberger said the community improvement district is working with the county address the red tape in county processes. “It is also cumbersome to get business licenses in the county, “Morsberger said. “If it takes too long to get a business license, you’re going somewhere else,” he said. “We’re finding that we have lost businesses because it is too much hassle to work with the process.” The CID wants “to improve the processes so that we keep our existing companies growing and attract new companies,” Morsberger said. “That’s the only way we’re going to get those 2,000 jobs.” Morsberger said the CID is also studying how to best market and improve the image of the industrial park “to makes people want to locate in the Stone Mountain CID.” The strategic plan being developed will be the road map that the CID actually follows, Morsberger said. “A lot of times consultants just get paid to produce
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org The Stone Mountain Community Improvement District (CID) is seeking public input on a plan to create 2,000 jobs in the business park by the end of 2013. “Our goal is to fill…empty buildings in our area to create those jobs,” said Emory Morsberger, president of the CID. “We’re creating a plan that will cause the results that we’re seeking.” The group is developing its strategic plan as part of its participation in the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Livable Centers Initiative and will gather public input about the plan during a meeting Aug. 15. Grants from the ARC and DeKalb Development Authority have been used to hire Jacobs Engineering and Market Street Services to craft a vision that attracts investors, businesses and new
studies and then the study sits on the shelf,” Morsberger said. “We’re not going to create a plan that can’t be done. We’re creating a plan and we’re going to do it. “If we have to change DeKalb County in order to succeed, that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “We’re not working against the county. The county wants us to succeed. This is a team effort.” The CID’s economic planning kickoff event will be Aug. 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Eagle Rock Distributing – 1375 Beverage Drive, Stone Mountain. To attend the meeting, contact Amanda Hatton at email@example.com or (678) 333-0476.
DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS OF DISABLED STUDENTS
The DeKalb County School District, Department of Special Education, announces its intention to destroy records that were developed to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in DeKalb County Schools. This notice is in compliance with the federal, state and local policy. Records will be destroyed on October 1, 2012 based on the following criteria: Students who graduated with a high school diploma in 2011. Students who became twenty-two (22) years old between June 1, 2010 and June 1, 2011. Special Ed. Students born during 1987 who graduated with a Transition Diploma, Certificate of Performance or reached maximum age of 22. Students who became deceased between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. These records will be destroyed as they are no longer needed for educational planning purposes. The parent, legal guardian or the student (18 years old or older) may request records prior to destruction by contacting the Special Education Records Office at 678-676-1802. You will be required to produce identification or provide verification data to acquire these records.
Judge denies bond for Decatur molestation suspect
A former Georgia Tech computer technician who has been arrested three times for alleged child molestation has be denied bond. Sami Deen, 43, of Decatur is charged with five counts of child molestation and 25 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. The incidents that led to allegations against Deen took place over a period of 16 months. He was originally arrested in November, according to court documents, and was released on $75,000 bond and ordered to live with his parents in Avondale Estates. However, investigators allegedly found child pornography on Deen’s computer and he was ordered back to jail and subsequently released a second time on $30,000 bond, court documents stated. Investigators eventually hundreds of illegal pictures on his computer and he was jailed again. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gail Flake heard arguments last month to allow Deen bond. Prosecutors asked Flake that he remains there, citing his danger to the community. According to information on Georgia Tech’s College of Computing’s website, Deen has a bachelor’s of science degree in computer sciences from Georgia Tech and lived in Kenya, Cyprus and the United Kingdom, as well as Wisconsin and California, before relocating to Georgia. Flake agreed with prosecutors that Deen was a flight risk. Deen remains in the DeKalb County Jail where he is being held without bond.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
School board promotes employees, hires new public relations firm
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org The DeKalb County School Board voted to move several employees into consolidated central office positions but decided to freeze their pay raises, pending a review later this year. Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson asked the board to promote three department directors to executive directors of their departments, which would give them increased responsibilities in the newly structured positions. The board voted to appoint Sherry Everette, former director of the curriculum and instruction division, to executive director of her department; and Dan Drake, the former director of forecasting and planning in the operations division, to the executive director of transportation and planning of operations. Joyce Wimberly, formerly the director of school nutrition, will become the executive director of school nutrition; and former facilities, planning and construction director Joshua Williams will serve as the executive director of facilities management. In late 2011, the district approved a plan to streamline and restructure the central office, which is expected approximately $5 million. In the process, also district officials expects to lay off 70 central office employees. Board members didn’t oppose the promotions but several, such as Nancy Jester, voiced opposition to any promotion that included a pay raise and suggested the board focus on “the schoolhouse” instead. “I’m not inclined to approve a move internally that comes with a pay raise,” Jester said. However, board members approved the promotions after member Paul Womack made a compromise and suggested that they approve the promotions but freeze their pay at the director level pending further review by the end of September. Additionally, the board approved the hiring of a new public relations firm beginning Aug. 1 and continuing through Dec. 31, at a cost of $96,000. Dickerson Communications will manage internal and external communications for the district. The board also hired Cynthia Bricston as a regional superintendent. Bricston currently serves as an assistant superintendent in the Greene County School District in Greensboro, Ga.
Sheriff’s Office staff members at the Arizona CALEA conference are, from left, Chief Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Mann; Special Projects Coordinator Melissa Manrow; Director of Administration and Legal Affairs Xernia Fortson and Sheriff Thomas Brown. Photo provided
Sheriff’s Office receives fifth CALEA accreditation
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) has awarded reaccreditation to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, marking the fifth time that CALEA has accredited the agency. The award follows an on-site assessment held April 22-25 and accreditation hearings and training during the CALEA conference held July 18-21 in Scottsdale, Ariz. “This award demonstrates our continuing commitment to the highest standards of operation. It reaffirms our dedication to maintaining this agency’s status among the best run and respected law enforcement organizations in the country,” Sheriff Thomas Brown said. “It is a privilege to advise you that your agency has met the requirements of a highly regarded and broadly recognized body of law enforcement standards,” CALEA Chair Louis Dekmar and Executive Director Sylvester Daughtry announced in a letter to Sheriff Brown. “[Reaccreditation] represents your agency’s ongoing acceptance of the obligation to continue the quest for professional excellence….” The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office achieved its initial CALEA accreditation in July 2000 and was first reaccredited in July 2003. It was the fifth sheriff’s office in the state to attain this symbolic badge of honor. CALEA evaluated three divisions of the sheriff’s office: field, court and administrative Services. The field services division is law enforcement arm and consists of several units: The uniform section serves criminal warrants and enforces laws and county ordinances. They also assists other agencies in carrying out their law enforcement duties The fugitive unit apprehends and extradites fugitives from justice. Fugitive unit deputies serve felony warrants for murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, kidnapping, child molestation, rape and other crimes. The Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) is involved with the apprehension of suspects charged with acts of family violence and serves temporary protection orders issued by the Superior Court. DVU deputies also provide emergency transportation to shelters for battered women and their children and provide safety assists in court-ordered domestic violence spousal evictions. In addition, the field division is responsible for transporting inmates to jails, medical, mental health and detention facilities. This division aggressively maintains the county’s Sex Offender Registry through a Sex Offender Registry and Tracking Unit. These deputies are responsible for making sure offenders register and abide by the laws in accordance with their offense. The court services division provides security for the DeKalb County Courthouse complex and for superior, probate, juvenile, recorders and magistrate courts. Court division deputies protect more than 30 judges in the various courts, as well as citizens and employees who enter the buildings. Annually, court division employees process and serve more than 8,000 civil processes/documents generated by DeKalb County’s courts, U.S. district courts and superior Courts throughout the United States. This division also monitors the activities of bonding companies serving DeKalb County. The administrative services Division provides five areas of support to the overall operations of the Sheriff’s Office, including human resources, fiscal affairs, supply, information systems, and mail processing. The International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs’ Association, and Police Executive Research Forum created the accreditation commission in 1979. Their purpose was to establish and administer an accreditation process through which law enforcement agencies could demonstrate voluntarily that they meet professionally recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.
Votes Continued From Page 7A
on Clifton Road and pedestrian improvements on Buford Highway. Much of the opposition to the proposed tax in DeKalb came from south DeKalb residents who unsuccessfully campaigned for an I-20 rail system that would have connected Indian Creek MARTA station with Stonecrest Mall in Lithonia. DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May said the results of the T-SPLOST vote proved more needs to be done to court DeKalb voters. May said one of the reasons the tax failed was DeKalb voters didn’t see enough projects on the list that are worth the tax burden. “Today, working families need rail more than ever to reduce their transportation costs and a MARTA rail line extended to south and central DeKalb should be a part of that plan,” May said. “Once the decision was made to not fully fund the I-20 rail line in the lists of projects, the prospects for success of this referendum were slim.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
A sense of place, a sense of tradition
Doraville’s Northwoods neighborhood is a community with a historic past and—if resident and Georgia State University student efforts prevail—a historic future.
by Bob Kelley Part one: From farmland to neighborhood Northwoods subdivision in Doraville, has aged gracefully over the past half century. Located one block east of Buford Highway and just inside I-285 and I-85 where thousands of cars travel daily, the sleepy neighborhood with its winding curbed streets, canopy of trees and original mid-century homes is in the final stretch toward earning its greatest recognition yet. By early 2013, Northwoods could join other Atlanta-area communities such as Inman Park, Avondale Estates and Grant Park on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Register. The designation effort was launched two years ago when Richard Laub, director of the Heritage Preservation Program at Georgia State University, issued the challenge to his graduate students and the project was born. Their findings revealed that 89 percent of Northwoods’ 1,000plus homes, combined with the community’s architectural and historic pedigree, fit the bill. A mid-century time capsule Flash back to post-World War II America. Thousands of servicemen were returning home to their sweethearts, eager to get married and start families. DeKalb County’s population was exploding and it was quickly becoming one of the fastest growing counties in America. In Doraville, the construction of the General Motors manufacturing plant in 1947, along with other new commercial and retail businesses opening their doors, had drawn a massive number of workers to the area. And all of these new employees and their families needed a place to live. With Northwoods’ proximity to downtown Doraville’s fledgling business corridor—Buford Highway— it proved the ideal place to purchase a home. Local contractor Walter L. Tally recognized this and the influx of new residents helped shape his vision for the 500-plus acres of farmland he had purchased. Breaking ground in 1952 on what would become one of the first planned unit developments in Georgia, Talley had no idea he was creating a community that would retain its vitality 60 years later. Hoping to transform the gently sloping farmland into a model neighborhood, Talley had the foresight to hire two new Georgia Tech architectural grads to design and build the planned development—Ernest Mastin and John Summer. Planned unit developments, a new concept gaining popularity across America at the time, followed a specific blueprint—residential homes, churches, schools, parks, an adjoining shopping center and a professional building; a veritable “city within a city.” “Mastin and Summer were among the first to pioneer the contemporary ranch style in Georgia,” Laub said. “Their approach was to customize homes for each homeowner rather than offer the traditional cookie cutter smaller ranch home. This proved extremely popular since this was a luxury usually financially out of reach for first time buyers.” The young architects designed six model homes that could be built on spacious lots in Northwoods for an affordable starting price of $10,000. With innovative open floor plans, the new homes also included amenities that were formerly considered “extras” such as fireplaces and built-in appliances. Also daring for the time, and very Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired, were floor-to-ceiling windows that gave the illusion of glass walls, allowing the outdoors inside. “Wright had lectured at Georgia Tech and I was very fond of his mid-century design style,” recalled Mastin, now 87 and still designing buildings from his Marietta office. “John Summer and I visited California where the contemporary style was extremely popular. It was a hard concept to sell to Talley at first; he just wanted the conventional ranch style home floor plan. We promised him that if he would let us build the first six homes in Northwoods using our archi-
Ernest Mastin, left, partnered with the late John Summer 60 years ago to design Northwoods’s six basic model homes that were initially offered to new home buyers (rendering of one model shown lower right). Still active in architectural design at age 87, his current projects primarily feature airport terminals and industrial business parks. Northwoods’ yards have been judged for their landscaped beauty for six decades, a tradition that continues today. In the upper right photo, one lucky homeowner’s yard in 1955 has been designated “the best.”
tectural designs, John and I would buy the first two.” Their offer worked. Additionally, John Portman, a classmate of Mastin and Summer, was hired to design the two main schools in Northwoods: Carey Reynolds Elementary and Sequoyah High School (known today as Sequoyah Middle School). Portman would go on to achieve worldwide acclaim for his architectural work, including much of modern-day downtown Atlanta. Throughout the 1950s, as the core neighborhood grew to include adjacent parcel developments with names such as Gordon Heights, Gordon Hills, Fleetwood Hills and Sequoyah Woods, the community took on a mid-century atmosphere. The unique winding streets gave a more pastoral feel than the standard straightlined, crisscrossed grid layout common to other subdivisions of the day. Oak, pine, pecan and magnolia saplings, many donated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, dotted each plat of land. “We would give suggestions to people on ways they could landscape then left it up to the individual buyer to landscape their own lot,” Mastin added. Over time, residents and visitors became accustomed to the fragrant aroma of decorative plants such as roses, tulips, forsythia and daffodils wafting over fresh cut lawns. Children played hopscotch, knocked baseballs about, or wriggled about wildly playing with the new toy sensation, the hoola hoop. Northwoods residents, without really realizing it, were creating a nostalgic time capsule reminiscent of Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. Families grew up, sons and daughters went off to college or the military, backyard barbecues were the norm and homemakers devoted their spare time to the local garden club beautifying the neighborhood parks, entranceways and yards. Life was good in Northwoods and it has stayed much the same for six decades. This is part one of a two-part series on Doraville’s historical Northwoods community.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
DeKalb County goes back to school
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com DeKalb County residents are gearing up for the start of the school year, which begins Aug. 13, and some think the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) faces an uphill battle in coming years. This past year the district has undergone changes such as the hiring of Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson, dealing with a massive budget shortfall, staff reductions and reorganizing the central office. “There’s definitely a budget issue,” said David Schutten, president of the Organization of DeKalb Educators. “The board thought there was a $30 million reserve but they’re actually in the red.” The DeKalb school board passed its final budget June 21 after weeks of meetings where board members had to approve $85 million in cuts such as paraprofessional and media clerk layoffs, in addition to cuts to employee health and dental subsidies. Additionally, the school board voted to increase class size and the millage rate. “This year it’s going to be an adjustment for the teachers to have bigger class sizes, and teachers and schools have to do more with less,” Schutten said. According to district officials, increasing class sizes by two students saves a reported $14 million. The millage increase of 1 mill will save an estimated $14.8 million in additional revenue. However, it’s a move the board hasn’t taken since 2003 and it brings the district’s local millage rate to 24 mills—the voter-approved limit is 25. DeKalb schools district spokesman Walter Woods said the tax increase amounts to a homeowner with a $200,000 property paying approximately $80 more each year in taxes. Schutten said another challenge teachers and administrators have to deal with is making sure children come to school in the first place but said a new program put in place by Solicitor General Sherry Boston will help. Boston’s program will help track attendance and hold parents accountable if their child is absent but not sick. Parents could even face criminal charges in some cases. One new school board member was elected July 31– Marshall Orson in District 2. Orson replaces incumbent Don McChesney, who was elected in 2008. There will be a runoff election for District’s 4 and 6 to be held during the general primary runoff Aug. 21. “The school board has to learn to work together and get behind the superintendent to make those changes or else I don’t think anybody is going to want to go to the DeKalb County School District,” Schutten said. City Schools of Decatur, which began Aug. 1, hired several new officials including such a Finance Director Susan Hurst and Special Education Coordinator Latasha Brantley. Hurst said CSD remains on a stable financial outlook for the coming year and has not taken the hit due to declining property values that other metro areas have. CSD has been steadily growing over the last several years and this year school officials projected a 12 percent enrollment increase. Associate Superintendent Thomas Van Soelen said several factors contributed to the increase including the growing number of tuition students that enroll in the district and students enrolling from expanding areas such as the Oakhurst. Superintendent Phyllis Edwards said CSD doesn’t have any “bottom-line specific” projects outlined yet but one idea proposed to address projected student population increases is to convert the old Westchester Elementary building, which now houses the system’s central office staff, into a new school.
DeKalb County Wants to Hear From You Regarding the Proposed Franchise Agreement Renewal with Comcast Cable Communications
Send your comments and/or concerns regarding Comcast’s current performance under the current franchise agreement and/or the future cable-related needs and interests of your community to www.dekalbcountyga.gov.
The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Scat'd T-storms High: 91 Low: 72
Aug. 9, 2012
Today's Regional Map Weather History
Aug. 9, 1878 - The second most deadly tornado in New England history struck Wallingford, Conn. killing 34 people, injuring 100 and destroying 30 homes. The tornado started as a waterspout over a dam on the Quinnipiac River. It was 400 to 600 feet wide. Aug. 10, 1980 - Hurricane Allen came ashore above Brownsville, Texas, dropping 15 inches of rain near San Antonio and up to 20 inches in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Tidal flooding occurred along the south Texas coast. Hurricane Allen packed winds to 150 mph. Dunwoody 89/71 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 90/72 90/72 90/72 Snellville Decatur 91/72 Atlanta 91/72 91/72 Lithonia College Park 92/72 92/72 Morrow 92/72 Union City 92/72 Hampton 93/73
In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see partly cloudy skies with a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms, high of 91º, humidity of 66%. West wind 5 mph. The record high for today is 101º set in 1980. Expect mostly cloudy skies tonight with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Scat'd T-storms High: 88 Low: 69
*Last Week’s Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 88 73 89/71 0.18" Wednesday 94 73 89/71 0.00" Thursday 96 72 89/71 0.00" Friday 91 70 89/71 0.00" Saturday 83 73 89/71 0.00" Sunday 90 71 89/71 0.00" Monday 84 72 89/71 0.00" Rainfall . . . . . . .0.18" Average temp . .80.7 Normal rainfall . .0.96" Average normal 80.0 Departure . . . . .-0.78" Departure . . . . .+0.7
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport
Partly Cloudy High: 87 Low: 68
Mostly Sunny High: 90 Low: 69
Partly Cloudy High: 88 Low: 69
Mostly Sunny High: 90 Low: 68 Last 8/9
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 6:55 a.m. 6:56 a.m. 6:56 a.m. 6:57 a.m. 6:58 a.m. 6:58 a.m. 6:59 a.m. Sunset 8:30 p.m. 8:29 p.m. 8:28 p.m. 8:27 p.m. 8:26 p.m. 8:24 p.m. 8:23 p.m. Moonrise 12:08 a.m. 12:46 a.m. 1:29 a.m. 2:15 a.m. 3:06 a.m. 4:01 a.m. 4:59 a.m. Moonset 2:11 p.m. 3:04 p.m. 3:56 p.m. 4:46 p.m. 5:32 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:55 p.m. First 8/24
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 5:46 a.m. 7:25 p.m. 3:32 a.m. 5:30 p.m. 12:01 p.m.11:20 p.m. 2:02 a.m. 4:07 p.m. 12:14 p.m.11:38 p.m. 10:43 p.m.11:04 a.m.
Mostly Sunny High: 92 Low: 70 New 8/17
Local UV Index
National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms today, widespread showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 93º in Marion, Ill. The Southeast will see scattered thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 95º in Winter Haven, Fla. The Northwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 99º in South Big Horn, Wyo. The Southwest will see isolated thunderstorms today, mostly clear skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 116º in Bullhead City, Ariz.
What are waterspouts?
0 - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+
UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High 11+: Extreme Exposure
Answer: They are tornadoes that form over water.
StarWatch By Gary Becker - Perseid to Party
One of the great astronomical joys of the summer is the anticipation of Perseid meteors glittering through the starry heavens. This shower blossoms annually when the Earth passes near the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle and encounters the debris left behind by this interloper which passes near the sun every 130 years. When the moon is favorable, like this year, it has been a tradition for me to lie out in a comfortable sleeping bag on a ground tarp and enjoy the show. Serious meteor observing isn’t for the fainthearted. It involves being vigilant over numerous hours of time, recording the frequency of shooting stars every 10 minutes, and refraining from distractions like music or intense conversation. However, you don’t have to be a serious observer to enjoy the Perseids, although a little bit of insomnia won’t hurt. This year, the activity maxes on Monday morning with rates of about 60 meteors per hour, but Saturday night into Sunday morning will also produce enjoyable numbers of speedy, bright meteors. There is no need to go outside right after it gets dark. Before midnight, meteor events are like raindrops splashing against the back window of a moving vehicle. Most drops miss the glass. After midnight, however, the Earth spins into the Perseid swarm and our local view becomes more exciting, similar to looking through the front windshield of a car moving through a downpour. Meteor can pop. If you are going to host a Perseid party, make sure that when the observing begins, cots and sleeping bags face northeast. Lie back and watch the sky overhead because normally that is where it is the darkest. At midnight, meteors will seem to radiate skyward from low in the NE, but by dawn, the constellation of Perseus the Hero will be much higher in the sky, allowing observers to catch meteors diverging from all directions. A map locating the Perseid radiant is online at www.astronomy.org.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Whooping cough cases increase Healthy locally Whooping cough, also habits known as pertussis, has recently increased in the eight-county metropolitan Atlanta area of can help Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Newton prevent and Rockdale counties, according to the Georgia Depart- diabetes in ment of Public Health. As of July 28, 95 cases of whooping your future cough have been reported,
compared to 51 cases during the same time period last year. “Though we have not seen a substantial increase in the number of whooping cough cases statewide, the increase in whooping cough cases in highly populated metro Atlanta is of concern,” said state epidemiologist Cherie Drenzek, D.V.M. The increase is similar to national trends, as the United States appears to be headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades. Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported nationally so far—more than twice the number seen last year. Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. It affects people of all ages, but is most serious in infants, especially those too young to be vaccinated or who are not fully protected. Whooping cough brings coldlike symptoms followed by a long, severe cough that can last for weeks or months. Sometimes a “whoop” sound occurs while gasping for breath during a coughing episode. However, the sound is not always present. Adolescents and adults often get a much milder case of whooping cough and may not realize they have the disease, though they can still spread it. “This disease can be very serious for young babies, who often get whooping cough from adults and other family members. Most infected infants must be hospitalized,” said J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., director of health protection. Whooping cough vaccines are recommended for all children and adults, as the shots children receive wear off over time. Everyone age 11 and older should get a whooping cough booster, called Tdap. It is especially important for those in close contact with babies younger than 12 months. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, healthcare providers and child care providers.
History of gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that is found for the first time when a woman is pregnant. If you had gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, you and your child from that pregnancy have a lifelong risk for developing diabetes, a serious disease that can lead to health problems such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease and amputations. The good news is there are steps you can take to prevent or delay diabetes and lower that risk for yourself and your child. “Women with a history of gestational diabetes can lower their chances for developing diabetes by taking steps to reach and maintain a healthy weight, making healthy food choices, and being active,” according to Judith Fradkin, M.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Keeping a healthy lifestyle as a family is good for everyone.”
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Keep up healthy habits — even after the baby is born.
Many women who have gestational diabetes see a dietitian or a diabetes educator to guide them in developing healthy habits during pregnancy. But what many women don’t realize is that it’s just as important to keep up with those healthy habits even after the baby is born. If you are a woman who had gestational diabetes, it is important to get tested for diabetes six to 12 weeks after your baby is born, and at least every three years after that.
It is also important to ater, your office, etc. reach and maintain a healthy • Get your friends and famweight by making healthy ily involved. Set a regular food choices, such as follow- walking date, such as after ing an eating plan lower in dinner. Or do something fat and calories and high in that all ages can enjoy — fiber, and being active for at shoot hoops, take a bike least 30 minutes, five days a ride, or just dance around week. Even if women do not the house. reach their “goal” weight, • Take a walk during your research shows that maintain- lunch break or push the ing a healthy lifestyle can baby’s stroller around the help reduce risk. mall. • Don’t just watch the kids at the playground–play Busy? Build physical with them. activity into your day • Deliver a message to a coone step at a time. worker in person instead of by email, and take the Physical activity is an stairs instead of the elevaimportant part of maintaining tor. a healthy weight and prevent- • Exhausted from a busy day ing type 2 diabetes. Set a and just want to plop on the goal to be active at least 30 couch in front of the TV? minutes, five days per week. Use the commercial breaks If you have not been active, to stretch, take a quick walk start slowly, building up to around your home, do some your goal. Take small steps sit-ups, or march in place. to include physical activity in your day-to-day routine. For more information, Busy moms can use these visit the National Diabetes tips to get started: Education Program (NDEP) • Park your car farther away at www.YourDiabetesInfo. from the store, movie the- org/GDM.
Women who develop gestational diabetes have high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels during pregnancy. Immediately after pregnancy, 5 to 10 percent of women with gestational diabetes are found to have diabetes, usually type 2. All women with gestational diabetes should be tested for diabetes six to 12 weeks after their baby is born. In many cases, their blood glucose levels show they are no longer considered to have diabetes at this time. But what many people don’t realize is that having gestational diabetes increases a woman’s future chances of developing diabetes by 35 to 60 percent. Any woman who had gestational diabetes should get tested for diabetes and pre-diabetes at least every three years. This follow up testing is very important and usually consists of a simple blood test. Women with a history of gestational diabetes should also talk to their health care provider about earlier screening for gestational diabetes in future pregnancies. Children born from a mother who had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for obesity and diabetes, so it’s a good idea for mothers to let their child’s doctor know that they had gestational diabetes and take steps to promote healthy habits for their child.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Growing popularity of contemporary Christian music raises concerns
by Nigel Roberts Music is tearing some congregations apart. Praise teams, accompanied by drums and electric guitars, increasingly lead worship with music that sounds and feels like R&B dance music—but with religious lyrics. The heavy rhythmic music, which inspires worshipers to sway and bob their heads to the beat, leaves those who prefer traditional spiritual music to sigh and sometimes seek a new church. According to a study reported in USA Today, nearly 50 percent of Protestant churches now say they use electric guitars or drums in worship—up from nearly 35 percent in 2000. Increasingly, congregations are neglecting traditional hymns and spirituals. Ready or not, worship music is changing—and rapidly. “What people call praise and worship [music] now is just what we always did in the early Black religious experience!” Emory’s Chandler Theological Seminary Professor James Abbington writes. This upbeat musical expression has long been a part of the Pentecostal experience, the musician and scholar of church music and worship explained. Now, many other denominations in the Black church are adopting that culture “because they think if you do not have a worship team then you are not relevant,” Abbington writes. Historically, the spiritual was the heart and soul of the African-American religious music experience—an experience that Abbington said congregations should rediscover. “Unfortunately, it is probably the most neglected part of our heritage,” he stated. “In terms of indigenous African-American music, the message, the historical struggles, the understanding of the Bible—all these are hidden in spirituals.” Traditional hymns are also an integral part of the traditional music experience in Black churches. Abbington conducted a study that yielded a long list of hymns used in African-American churches. But interestingly, he discovered that most congregations sang only 20 to 25 of those hymns. “It is important to note that many hymns that found their way into African-American churches were not written by African-Americans,” he underscored. Abbington joked: “Try to convince an African-American that Fanny Crosby, who wrote Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior or Blessed Assurance or Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, is not Black. Those hymns were adopted because they related to the experience of African-Americans.” Today, it is gospel music that stands atop the list of the genres most commonly heard on Sunday mornings in Black churches. From
“The church today has an overabundance of gospel music that most scholars would agree has been influenced by commercialization.”
– James Abbington
its inception, gospel music has incorporated elements from the popular music of its day: ragtime, jazz, blues, R&B and hip-hop. Consequently, it has crossover appeal in the secular world. And some of its artists have become stars in the entertainment world. “The church today has an overabundance of gospel music that most scholars would agree has been influenced by commercialization. The Grammys now have a gospel category,” he commented. But the reality for many churches is that their survival depends on attracting and keeping younger members who have a preference for upbeat musical worship. But critics fear the devil is infiltrating the church through contemporary gospel, gradually leading hearts and minds away from the sacred to the secular. This concern is not limited to contemporary gospel and the Black church. Indeed, the popularity of Christian rock raises concerns among many conservatives in the evangelical movement. “There is an intense war being waged today for the heart and soul of Bible-believing churches, and one of the devil’s most effective Trojan horses is music,” warned pastor David Cloud, according to USA Today. Cloud leads a movement of Independent Baptist Churches in North America that pledge strict adherence to Christian doctrine and bans contemporary religious music. Ministries are also using the internet to broadcast their concerns about Christian rock. Dial The Truth Ministries, for example, posted the testimony of an 18-year-old student who said Christian rock contributed to her spiritual shallowness and made it easier to get into secular rock. “Rock is wrong and addictive,” she testified, “and has contributed to my moral failure.” Abbingdon said he is concerned about the future of music worship in the Black church. As he observes the landscape, he finds fewer church musicians can effectively play hymns, and they know very little about the theology and history of the church’s tradition. Increasingly, African-American students at the college level have less interest in playing piano and organ, he lamented. “I am concerned about who will teach music worship,” Abbingdon added. At the same time, he is optimistic that numerous “committed Christian musicians” are preserving the Black church’s musical heritage and are not “allowing the world to dictate their style, standards and substance.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Georgia Piedmont Technical College announces new president
Jabari Simama has been named the next president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College Simama (GPTC), after the retirement of former president Robin Hoffman. Simama begins his tenure as president Sept. 1. Simama has been the chief of staff for DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis since 2010. He was the county’s deputy chief operating officer of development from 2009 to 2010. Additionally, Simama was the vice president for community development and external relations at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., from 2005 to 2009. Before that, he was the executive director of community technology for the city of Atlanta from 2000 to 2005 and served as the city of Atlanta’s chief of marketing and communications from 1998 to 2000. His career in higher education includes teaching positions at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Clark Atlanta University, Morgan State University, University of Cincinnati and Atlanta Junior College (now Atlanta Metropolitan College). Simama held elected office as a member of the Atlanta City Council from 1987 to 1993. He also served as an appointed member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority, which provided financial oversight for the Atlanta Olympic Games Committee’s $2 billion budget.
Caitlin Hewel has skipped her senior year of high school and will be attending Bard College at Simon’s Rock this fall as a freshman. Bard College was founded in 1966 and is the only stand-alone, fully accredited college that is developed for the sole purpose of earlyentrance learning. Photo provided
Lakeside High student skips a grade and goes to college
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org On Aug. 18, former Lakeside High School student Caitlin Hewel will travel to Great Barrington, Mass., to attend Bard College at Simon’s Rock, but unlike most college freshman, Hewel never completed the 12th grade. “It’s really surreal and it’s happening really fast,” Hewel said. Hewel applied to Bard College late in April, and was surprised to be accepted. Her mom went to college in Boston and she heard about Bard College from several of her mother’s friends who attended it during the 1960s. “A year ago I actually searched for schools like Bard College at Simon’s Rock and I think there’s only one school that does something similar,” Hewel said. Bard College is unique in that it offers students as young as 16 a chance to enroll at a higher learning institution if they’re ready. Steve Coleman, director of admissions at Bard College, said the school was founded in 1966 by a woman who had been a headmistress of a private boarding school for many years. Coleman said the woman noticed that many students were just marking their time during their junior and senior years and were ready, both socially and intellectually, for college. “The main idea behind the school is that not every student is ready for college at the same time,” Coleman said. “It’s not so much to push them through their education faster but to bring them what they’re searching for—that kind of deeper education when they’re ready for it.” Hewel currently lives in Atlanta with her mom and stepfather but her dad lives in Boston. She said he isn’t the main reason she chose to attend the college but being close to him will be a plus. “The nice thing about Bard College at Simon’s Rock is it’s such a small school I’m going to know everyone but don’t know anyone yet, so I’m going to get a fresh start,” Hewel said. Bard College’s current enrollment is approximately 450 students Coleman said each class consists of an average of 10-12 students, with a maximum of 15. He said about half the students transfer after two years with an associate’s degree. Additionally, the school is one of the only colleges of its kind—there are 17 early entrance college programs in the United States, including Bard College. However, it is the only stand-alone, fully accredited university that is developed for the sole purpose of early entrance learning. “This is a very rigorous program and it’s the same kind of courses that students take in any college,” Coleman said. “The students that transfer go to places like Brown University and the University of Chicago, and the students who stay for four years go to the best law schools, med schools and graduate schools in the country.” Coleman also said he and his colleagues think it’s great if a student chooses to transfer to a larger institution after two years. He said the type of student Bard College looks for varies but that Hewel stood out because of her strong community involvement. “Caitlin is a good, strong student, but what is really special about her is that she really sees beyond herself and is very active in her community and has done a lot of leadership and community service,” Coleman said. Since she was 10, Hewel has been volunteering with Children’s International Summer Village (CISV), a nonprofit international peace education organization that sends community volunteers around the world. She said her work with CISV has enabled her to travel the world. Even though she’s never visited Bard College and will be seeing it for the first time during freshman orientation, Hewel said she’s not worried about having to try too hard to fit in. “I’m really glad that I’ve had the opportunity to do that because it has shaped my personality and who I am today,” Hewel said of her travels. Additionally, Hewel said one of her favorite things about the college is that she is able to pick all of her classes and doesn’t have to take courses she won’t ever use. This fall she said she is taking Arabic, which she wouldn’t have been able to do had she remained at Lakeside. “I have to declare a major by my junior year,” Hewel said. “My real passion is architecture but they have a page and a half of literature classes too, so we’ll see what I choose.”
Farm mobile comes to Oglethorpe
The Riverview Farms’ farm mobile recently added Oglethorpe University to its schedule and will be present at the university every other Friday 3-5 p.m. in the loop between Lupton and Hearst halls. The mobile is a farm store that offers fresh-grown food. The event is open to the public. Visit www.grassfedcow. com for more information.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
DeKalb seen as favorable location to host family reunions
Accessibility to Atlanta, parks and network of vendors among positive factors
by Matt Amato Family Feud-style question: Name six things associated with summer? Did “family reunions” make the list? Ask the same of local printers, hoteliers and event planners and it would be No. 1–higher than cookouts, Braves games and 4th of July parades. The county hosted “over 200 reunions this year and provided over 1,100 room nights for our DeKalb hotels,” said Carol Murray, a group sales manager for the DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau (DCVB). Those figures don’t include August, one of the busiest months for these events. With family reunions typically ranging from 50-100 people per event, it equates to lots of food, T-shirts and park space for gatherings to unfold. All of which, said Will Johnson, the owner of event-planning company Pleasur 1, gives the county a distinct advantage over its neighbors. The city of Atlanta is crowded and it’s difficult for families to move around,” he said. “DeKalb has lots of accessibility.” Johnson estimates that each reunion pumps, on average, $4,000-$5,000 into the local economy, and that the current economic climate has not hurt business. Rather, it may have helped. Trips to Disney World and the Caribbean for family reunions cost a family approximately $1,600 whereas each family pays about approximately $150 for a local family reunion, Johnson said. Reunions generally last three to four days, with cookouts, banquets and trips to Stone Mountain Park and the King Center among popular itinerary items, Johnson said. That brings significant revenue for T-shirt-print vendors like David Dawes, who credits the reunion trade with making up 40 percent of the entire annual business for TExpressions. “I’ve been doing family reunions throughout the U.S., and summer is our busiest time of year because of these reunions,” he said. “It’s a pressure cooker,” Dawes said. On a decent summer we do between 80 and 100 reunions, with
the average family reunion [ordering] about 50 to 60 shirts.” Keen to keep DeKalb a reunion-friendly destination, the DCVB regularly hosts workshops and seminars for local businesses. “If you go to some of the [local] hotels, they’re packed solid,” said Dawes, whose business also caters to Black college events in the fall, such as homecoming and rivalry football games. “That’s revenue that the county needs.” As an event planner in the area for more than 25 years, Johnson believes the trend of family reunions within the Black community has grown in the past two decades. He partly attributes that to a general rise in awareness
of family and ancestral roots. Another local advantage is DeKalb’s proximity to Hartsfield Jackson Airport, which is served by many budget airlines, while more vendors and hotels have catered to reunions, making them more cost effective.
“[Local locations of] the Marriott found that is where they need to go,” Johnson said. “ [Families] are pumping in $4,000 a weekend [into a hotel] during the summer, and they’re using banquet facilities.”
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
WIGS to tell women’s stories Women’s Imaginative Guild of Storytellers (WIGS) presents A Decade of Dames, a celebration of 10 years of stories for and about women, at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center Saturday, Aug. 11, at 10 a.m. The event will feature rich stories, light refreshments, music and door prizes, with a special appearance by Carmen Deedy, in Callanwolde’s indoor courtyard. Tickets are $15 per person; $135 for a table of 10. Reservations are recommended. For more information, email email@example.com or call (404) 982-0523 or (404) 982-9652. Writers group to meet Writing With Intent will meet at Charis Circle Monday, Aug. 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The facilitated group is open to writers of ﬁction, poetry, and creative non-ﬁction who want a serious group to provide constructive criticism, motivational exercises and interpersonal accountability to keep their writing on track. Writers are encouraged to bring copies of their work to share for critique. Those attending for the ﬁrst time are asked to just bring a pen and paper and an open mind. For more information, contact Elizabeth at Elizabeth@Chariscircle.org. This event is part of Charis Circle’s From Margin to Center Literary Program and there is a suggested donation of $5. Charis Circle is located at 1189 Euclid Ave., NE, Atlanta. U.S. as children and meet other key guidelines may be eligible, on a case-by-case basis, to receive deferred action if they are in the country as undocumented citizens. For more information about the process visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website at www.uscis.gov or the Chamblee Library’s website at www.dekalblibrary.org/branches/ Chamblee. owners through its Community LifeLine program. This active outreach initiative is designed to help pets in the metro Atlanta area stay healthy and help dog and cat owners by providing services they might not otherwise be able to afford. Representatives from DeKalb County Animal Services, Ahimsa House, Frogs To Dogs, and the Best Friends Feral Freedom (cat) program will be on hand. In addition, Pet Buddies Food Pantry will be at the event to provide complimentary pet food from their food bank to area dog and cat owners. More than 200 vouchers for free spay/neuter surgeries will be available for pet owners whose pets have not yet been fixed. These surgeries will be performed at one of LifeLine’s Spay & Neuter Clinics (Avondale Estates or College Park). Free transportation for pets to and from the clinics is available on a limited basis, and owners can get information at the event. Free educational materials on pet health, pet overpopulation and dog bite prevention will also be available for pet owners. For more information, call Rebecca Guinn at (404) 272-2305. Exchange Recreation Center to host annual back to school bash The Exchange Recreation Center will host its second annual Back to School Bash Aug. 12, 2-6 p.m. at 2771 Columbia Drive, Decatur. The Back to School Bash is a free family-friendly event that promotes a healthy start to the school year. Citizens are invited to enjoy health screenings, a college fair, food and entertainment. The goal is to give away 1,000 book bags, 50 school uniforms and 50 haircuts to children ages 5 to 18. Residents are encouraged to donate school supplies at the following locations Aug. 10: The county government’s Maloof Building, Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center and various recreation centers around the county. For more information, including Back to School Bash vendor opportunities and a list of donation sites, call Nicholas Clark, recreation center director, at (404) 687-3430. Decatur offers streaming video of city commission meetings The City of Decatur has launched streaming video for the Decatur City Commission meetings. The option has been in the pilot testing phase and went live Aug. 6. “This feature is part of our ongoing commitment to offering a variety of ways to access our City Commission meetings and information,” Mayor Bill Floyd. “We hope that those who have an interest will take advantage of this new service.” To access the streaming video option, visit www.decaturga.com and click on the city government link. On that page click on the city commission link, then streaming video. Once the service moves out of the pilot testing phase at the end of August, there will be a button from the front page of the city’s website that will take viewers directly to the streaming video page. The city commission meetings will continue to be broadcast live on Comcast Channel 25 in addition to this new service. For more information or to offer feedback and suggestions during the testing phase, contact Linda Harris at linda.harris@decaturga. com or (404) 371-8386 or Meredith Roark at Meredith.roark@ decaturga.com or (404) 370-4102.
Decatur BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass Festival The 12th Annual Decatur BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass Festival will be held at Harmony Park in Decatur August 18, from 4-10 p.m. The festival, hosted by the Community Center of South Decatur, the Oakhurst Neighborhood Association and the Decatur Active Living Division, features live music food and beer from local vendors. This year’s musical lineup features acts such as Mama’s Blue Dress, Deja Bluegrass, Heather Luttrell, Roxy Watson and The Electromatics. All proceeds from ticket sales will be invested directly back into the Decatur community. Children 10 and under are admitted free. For more information, visit www.decaturbbqfestival.com. Healthy Pets DeKalb event offers free care Aug. 11 DeKalb County Animal Services and LifeLine Animal Project are sponsoring “Healthy Pets DeKalb” on Aug. 11, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Shoal Creek Park II, 3643 Glenwood Road, Decatur. Free rabies vaccinations will be provided, along with free distemper/parvo shots for dogs and feline distemper shots for cats. Licensed veterinarians will be on site to administer vaccines to pets. The event is open to DeKalb County residents only. LifeLine Animal Project, a nonprofit leader in low-cost spay and neuter services in the state of Georgia, routinely aids pets and pet
Lithonia road remains closed South Stone Mountain-Lithonia Road between Marbut Road and Chapman Road will remain closed until Sept. 2 at 9 p.m. The closure extension is required to complete sewer main replacement. Existing road closure signs will remain in place to advise motorists of construction work and local traffic restrictions around the area. For more information regarding this road closure, contact Robert Dean, project superintendent, Gary’s Grading and Pipeline Company, Inc., at (770) 780-2013.
Chamblee Library offers seminar for immigrants The Chamblee Library is offering a free program hosted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services August 22, from 2-3 p.m. The program titled “The Wrong Help Can Hurt: Beware of Immigration Scams” will include information about the recently approved Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process. Those who came to the
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
The Stephenson Jaguars. File photo by Travis Hudgons
Stephenson preparing for season opening Gridiron Challenge
by Mark Brock The Stephenson Jaguars step onto the national stage to open the 2012 high school football season as they take on Pine Forest High School of Pensacola, Fla., in the second of three games in the National High School Gridiron Challenge hosted by North Gwinnett High School on Saturday, Sept. 1. The game is set for a 3 p.m. start and will be aired live on WSB Channel 2 in Atlanta and over 13 states by Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) as well as being broadcast on 680 The Fan in Atlanta. The Jaguars hold a string of 12 consecutive playoff appearances (13-11 overall in the playoffs), including a 2005 appearance in the Class AAAAA state semifinals at the Georgia Dome. Stephenson is 135-48 (0.738 winning percentage) under its only coach, Ron Gartrell, since the school began football in 1996 with a 1-9 season. Gartrell (170-95 overall at Shamrock and Stephenson) elevated the Jaguars to perennial playoff contenders beginning in 2000 to start the 12 consecutive playoff appearances. During this 12 year run the Jaguars are 109-24 (.820), including six seasons of 10 or more wins including 12-1 in 2002 and 12-2 in 2005. The Jaguar players also have performed well in the classroom as 80 athletes signed college scholarships over the past three seasons, including 29 of 32 seniors off the 2009 squad. Twenty-six followed in 2010 and 25 off this past season's team. The Jaguars, which lost 18 senior starters this past season, are led by three seniors already committed to colleges heading into the fall. Linebacker Rashad Payne (Howard University), quarterback Justin Holman (Central Florida) and defensive back Ali Groves (South Carolina) are being looked as leaders in 2012. Senior defensive end Jonathan Wynn returns following a 51-tackle season that included five sacks and 10 tackles for a loss to help lead the Jaguar defense along with junior defensive back Jared Tucker (58 tackles, 4 interceptions), Payne (35 tackles) and Groves (19 tackles, one interception and three pass break ups). Holman returns to lead the offense after passing for 739 yards and eight touchdowns and rushing for 91 yards and two more touchdowns for the Jaguars. Pine Forest is a three-time state champion in Florida and holds one national championship. Since 2000 the school is 102-38 (.729) overall on the field. Jerry Pollard is the head football coach at Pine Forest who is 64-21 in eight seasons. The Eagles went 14-0 in 1988 winning the Florida Class AAAAA state title and the USA Today National Championship. They won the Class AAAAA state title in 1987 and the Class AAAA state title in 2000. Pine Forest traveled to Georgia last season and defeated DeKalb's Columbia High School 20-14 on the way to an 8-3 season in 2011. Senior quarterback Rashard Lee leads the Eagles after rushing for 1,019 yards on 107 carries (9.5 yards per carry), 15 touchdowns while passing for 835 yards in 2011. He is joined in the backfield by senior running back Lorenzo Long, who rushed for 869 yards and nine touchdowns a year ago. North Gwinnett's Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium plays host to the event, in which Valdosta, which leads the nation with a record 829 wins, takes on North Augusta, S.C., which is 35-6 over the past three years with two consecutive (2010-11) state semifinal appearances, to open the Gridiron Challenge at 12 noon. Host North Gwinnett enters its matchup with AC Flora of Columbia, S.C., at 6 p.m. coming off a region championship in 2011 and a national ranking. Flora has won its region two of the past three years and is 22-4 over its last 26 games including the Lower State Championship this past season.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Jonathan McCrary (2) is flanked by his teammates at DeKalb County’s high school football media day. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Led by quarterback McCrary, Cedar Grove looks back for bright future
by Matt Amato t’s the stuff of Friday Night Lights dreams. Down five points, seconds left, game on the line, 40 yards from the end zone, and one play to make it happen. In DeKalb, the safest hands in that situation belong to quarterback Jonathan McCrary, who is expected to eclipse the county’s all-time career-passing record this season–and maybe take Cedar Grove into another postseason odyssey along the way. The Saints are regarded by some as one of the most exciting local teams, and led by their passer who has verbally committed to Vanderbilt University, are a throwback to times when the football traveled by air as much as by ground. “It’s not something you see a lot of, but in Texas you see a lot more of it than in Georgia,” said Cedar Grove coach Ray Bonner, a longtime figure on DeKalb’s football scene. “When I was at Columbia [High School in 1982], we had a passing game.” Taking the retro approach has helped pull Cedar Grove from mediocre records and occasional playoff
appearances. That changed with the introduction of McCrary, along with a coaching philosophy that supplemented his talent. Now the Saints have justified optimism.
record. He’s currently 2,701 shy of breaking the current county record of 8,098 career-passing yards. “Jonathan is just a natural-born leader to me. If his work ethic and
‘Our goal every year is to win the state championship and we feel like we have the young men to do it.’
– Ray Bonner Cedar Grove head football coach
Cedar Grove finished last year with a 5-1 record in Region 5BAAA, earning a playoff spot and making a narrow first-round exit at the hands of Troup County. McCrary was prolific in 2011, passing for 2,643 yards, 165 completions, with a 68.5 completion percentage– a DeKalb County single-season how he approaches the game and school carry over, we’ll be all right,” Bonner said. “Our goal every year is to win the state championship and we feel like we have the young men to do it. We just need to not get caught up in the hype and do our job.” An indication of how serious Ce-
dar Grove is in achieving that goal will be evident from opening night, when the Saints face current state champ Tucker in a non-region encounter. “It gives us a good look at where we’re at,” said Bonner. “We prepare the same way for whoever we play.” Another determinant of Cedar Grove’s–and McCrary’s–success will be how the program overcomes losing 10 starters from last year’s offensive line to graduation. While it’s a frustration for Bonner, he believes the caliber of talent coming through the ranks will keep its mixed offense ticking. “We have the kids that have been in the program and waited their turn. Hopefully they can fit in with those guys and keep what we have going,” he said. If McCrary is adequately protected, the Saints’ will be looking to keep defenses second-guessing their game plan. “If you go back and look at last season’s stats, it’s a balanced offense–we throw the ball to run,” Bonner said. “Jonathan’s the best I’ve coached and one of the best I’ve been around [within college circles].”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012
Decatur youth participates in Ryder Cup Junior Academy
Sarah Kuranga of Decatur was one of two youth who represented the Georgia PGA Section at the 2012 Ryder Cup Junior Golf Academy. The other was Miles Bizzle of Atlanta. The academy was originally developed in response to recommendations from past United States Ryder Cup Team Captains, and part of the 2010 Ryder Cup Outreach program. After a successful debut, the academy returned in July to the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance in Port St. Lucie, Fla. A total of 84 juniors participated. “We had a tremendously successful first year of the Ryder Cup Junior Academy,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “I was able to see firsthand the impact this had on a special group of junior golfers from across the country. I am sure that this year will have the same positive impression on the future of our great game.” The Ryder Cup Junior Academy is a week-long program that emphasizes a variety of skills, including playing and competing in both stroke- and match-play formats, swing mechanics, competitive course management, as well as fitness and physical assessments. The initiative is designed to expand the outreach of the Ryder Cup and provide aspiring young players an opportunity to experience an elite player development academy, while targeting those who may not have the resources or means to attend. It will also offer the juniors expert instruction from past U.S. Ryder Cup captains and awardwinning PGA Professionals. As part of the 2010 United States Ryder Cup Team’s charitable commitment—which has already impacted U.S-based charitable organizations and students at colleges and universities nationwide—the team designated a total of $650,000 to create and support the Ryder Cup Junior Golf Academy. Each of the 41 PGA sections nationwide was given the opportunity to nominate one boy and one girl, with the remainder of the juniors selected through an at-large process. Also receiving invitations were boy and girl participants from the Notah Begay III Foundation, Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation, Bill Dickey Scholarship Association, Pan-American Golf Association, and the AJGA Ace Grant Program.
Dow Finsterwald, left, and Billy Casper ﬂank Sarah Kuranga with the Ryder Cup trophy during the Ryder Cup Junior Academy dinner at the PGA Education Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America)
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