the DeKalb FRIDAY, FEB. 24, 2017 • VOL. 19, NO. 47 • FREE

Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, Stonecrest and Tucker • A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

how to make
On Feb. 14, Clarkston Community Center hosted Georgia Loves Refugees, a six-person panel discussing refugees and how
they benefit communities. From left, Paedia Mixon, Frances McBrayer, Heval Mohamed Keli. Kareem Ahmed, Beena Dahal and
a perfect fit

Feeling the love
Med Sod Paw. Photos by R. Scott Belzer

Clarkston Community Center hosts Georgia Loves
Refugees on Valentine’s Day
by R. Scott Belzer “We also give them opportunities to give things
Paul Summons readies to drill a bowling

back to the community in terms ball at Striking Results Pro Shop inside
or one hour on Feb. of foods, hospitality and things Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment
Center in Stone Mountain. Photo by Gale
14, six individuals that may help bridge gaps,” Horton Gay
spoke at the Clarkston McBrayer said.
Community Center Emory Univeristy cardiology
(CCC) on behalf of groups of fellow Heval Mohamed Keli, by Gale Horton Gay
people who—until recently—are a Syrian refugee, shared his
often forgotten by government, story of fleeing Syria in 1996. He may be a bowler’s best
media and community officials. After staying in German refugee friend.
CCC spent part of camps, he and his family made Paul Summons understands
Valentine’s Day 2017 hosting their way to America just before the intricacies and mechanics of
Georgia Loves Refugees, a six- Sept. 11, 2001. what helps bowlers to meet their
person panel of refugees and “I lived in Clarkston,” Keli marks.
people who work on behalf of said. “I remember the first few Summons is a technical ball
refugees in the metro Atlanta days, we didn’t leave our home, fitter and driller, which means he
area in partnership with the great stories we know about but 10 members of a local determines where the holes go on
Coalition of Refugee Service Georgia’s refugees. We believe church came and welcomed us. a new bowling ball to custom fit to a
Agencies (CRSA). that Georgia is not only good for I worked as a dishwasher for bowler’s hand.
The event, at which CRSA’s refugees but that refugees are 30 hours a week to support my Summons is with Striking Re-
Paedia Mixon was master of good for Georgia.” family. I now work in cardiology sults Pro Shop, which operates out
ceremonies, allowed officials CRSA chairperson Frances about one block away from the of Stars and Strikes Family Enter-
time to explain what they do McBrayer, who also works restaurant; I now care for the tainment Center on Mountain Indus-
and refugees to share their with the refugee resettlement same people I used to make trial Boulevard in Stone Mountain as
stories. program Catholic Charities, sandwiches for.” well as six other Stars and Strikes
“There’s a lot of said her agency offers Keli said he, like many metro Atlanta locations. However,
misinformation out there English classes, partners other refugees, loves America understanding where to drill and
about refugees and refugee with welcoming communities, and works to make the country ensuring a good fit requires more
resettlement in Georgia,” Mixon rents apartments, informs better. than just knowing how to operate
said. “Our organizations know refugees about ethnic grocery “About 25 percent of the the drill. Summons said his job is to
firsthand how refugees benefit stores, provides access to United States’ population “measure the hand and try to make
Georgia’s communities. We public transportation and other is immigrants and about 50 the bowling ball fit like a glove.”
want [the public] to know the services.
See Refugees on page 5 See Bowling on page 5

LOCAL DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 • Page 5

Understanding the technical aspects
of measuring a hand is one of the keys
to making a good fit, according to Paul
Summons. Photos by Gale Horton Gay

This slice of a bowling ball shows its core.

Continued From Page 1

Clarkston city councilman Dean Moore presented a formal proclamation to Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies He first looks at the bowling hand
(CRSA) member Paedia Mixon on Feb. 14 that proclaims the day as Clarkston Loves Refugees Day. Photo by R. Scott of the client to ascertain the size and
Belzer. shape of the fingers, determines if there
are any physical considerations such
REFUGEES Continued From Page 1 as arthritis, then places the hand on a
fitting ball, makes measurements down
percent of them work in the medical field,” Keli Clarkston High School graduate and Agnes to 1/64th of an inch and marks the ball
said. “One in every 10 doctors in America is Scott College student Med Sod Paw shared with a pencil. Next the drilling begins.
a Muslim. Think about it—there are 10 million her family’s story of fleeing Burma (Myanmar). Summons said a good fit helps to
Muslims here.” Though she was born in a refugee camp in avoid wrist and arm injuries as well as
Former Iraqi Air Force general turned Thailand, she is now a Gates Millennium aiding a bowler in controlling the ball.
business manager Kareem Ahmed said he scholar, receiving one of the most sought after He said his clients fall into two cat-
came to the United States as a refugee in scholarships in the country. egories: serious bowlers who know how
2009. He now manages property, renting She said she faced cultural and language they want the ball to react and want it
to refugees and employing them at every challenges when arriving in America in 2007. drilled to perform in that way and more
opportunity. He said the worldliness, language “Going to school, making friends and casual bowlers who are generally look-
skills and experiences of refugees make them understanding the teacher was very hard for ing for a fit that will be comfortable.
valuable assets to the community. me,” Paw said. “I did not speak any English and “You really have to know the techni-
According to Ahmed, crime has decreased I was shy. I had many people who supported cal aspects of measuring somebody’s
on the property he manages as refugee me and I joined many organizations. The hand,” he said.
populations increase. mentor program at the Global Village Project He’s been drilling balls for 13 years
“They’re the best employees and tenants in guided me through time in high school, helped and said he gets tremendous satisfac-
my area,” Ahmed said. “Refugees are human me apply for scholarships and to Agnes Scott tion when he drills a ball for clients, the
beings. Some have high skills, some have low College. It brought me to different events and fit is exactly what they need and they
skills. Before they became refugees, they were helped me understand America.” come back and tell him they’ve bowled
owners, leaders and residents of a land. They Paw said she plans to become an educator their highest game ever.
left their houses, cars, everything. They feared and return to her home country, where she “I have a passion doing what I do,”
for their lives and have come to a land where hopes to teach and build a school. he said.
they know nothing. Their goal is to reach a land Clarkston City Council declared Feb. 14, Summons had been hanging
where they can start life again.” 2017 as Clarkston Loves Refugees Day at its around a pro shop in Dallas when the
New American Pathways employee and meeting Feb. 7 through an official proclamation. owner asked if he was interested in
former refugee Beena Dhal works as a parent “Greater than 70 percent of refugees in learning how to drill bowling balls.
educator. Dahal shared her story of spending Georgia resettle in DeKalb County with the “And the rest is history,” he said.
17 years in a refugee camp in Nepal after greatest number finding a home in Clarkston,” Summons is no slouch when it
fleeing Bhutan and becoming an American the proclamation reads. “Over 60 languages comes to connecting the ball with the
citizen after eight years, astounding many are spoken in Clarkston and 31.8 percent pins. He’s been bowling since he was
attendees. of Clarkston’s population is foreign born. 10, even bowled competitively since his
“I met many people from churches, many Refugees and immigrants in Clarkston open days in the Navy. He said he averaged
friends of refugees,” Dahal said. “I became a businesses, lease apartments and own homes, 219 before a shoulder injury put him on
citizen in 2014. This is my first citizenship in build and maintain places of worship, and the sidelines more than two years ago.
my whole life. In America, I had the chance to generally contribute to our sense of home and In addition to fitting balls, Striking
become a citizen. This year, I had the chance community. The city of Clarkston encourages Results also sells balls, bags and shoes
to go to the presidential election this year—it residents to welcome refugees today and all as well as offering services such as re-
was a very, very good experience. I love my days into their community and to celebrate the sizing, polishing and resurfacing bowl-
country.” diversity that makes our city great.” ing balls.
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 • Page 6

Let the Falcons’ Super Bowl loss be a life lesson
It’s taken me quite a while fight to the bitter end. • The competition doesn’t
to get over the Atlanta Falcons’ want to see you win and
34-28 loss to the New England • Just because you’re on top will use everything in their
Patriots in Super Bowl LI. and everything seems to arsenal to defeat you.
My team’s defeat was be going your way doesn’t
stunning, dramatic and Gale Horton Gay mean events won’t occur to • Tomorrow is another day
heartbreaking. While I can’t bring you down. and eventually the sun will
claim to be a die-hard fan, I shine.
• It’s crucial to minimize
was seriously rooting for the mistakes that can be
Dirty Birds to go all the way this outcome of the game. If we’re
unexpectedly costly later on. Whether it’s football or
time. The fervor in metro Atlanta wise, we should take something
another sport, politics, business,
was contagious and for a short away from this disastrous • As hard as one might want community affairs or school
time it was wonderful to feel the experience that can be helpful and prepare for something matters, the above applies.
oneness of spirit and excitement. in our personal lives and share it that enthusiasm doesn’t The ups and downs of life
We wanted the same thing and with the younger generation. negate that others are can be exhilarating as well as
felt that victory was within our Here are what I think we wanting it and preparing for devastating. While it’s certainly
team’s grasp. We were pumped! can learn from the Falcons’ it even harder. not easy to cope with loss and
Now that the sting of the takedown:
• Early success is no reason disappointment, it is a part of
Patriots come-from-behind win is life. The sooner we walk away
easing and the depression that • Miraculous things can to ease up and not keep
pushing hard each and having learned something from
followed has lifted, I realize there happen when you continue
every moment. it, the better.
are important lessons in the to believe in yourself and

Subscribe to The Champion Newspaper
To subscribe, visit or call 404.373.7779
OPINION DEKALB FREE PRESS Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 • Page 7

That wall will cast a pall
The Rio Grande has its includes several hundred miles Texas, followed by the loss
headwaters in the mountains
of Colorado, just east of the
‘One Man’s of unsecured shoreline along the
Great Lakes?
of what are now the states
of Arizona, New Mexico and
Continental Divide. Flowing Opinion’ How will we prevent illegal California during the Mexican-
south, the river forms the borders immigration via the waters of American War in exchange for
of Texas and Mexico, running for Bill Crane the Gulf of Mexico with cargo $15 million in reparations and the
nearly 900 miles through desert, containers by the thousands assumption of just more than $2
range and mountains. Multiple coming into U.S. ports? There is million in debt. The United States
legal crossings and checkpoints also the possibility and likelihood took roughly half of their nation. 
exist in Texas, but the river is dams, levies and canal systems of immigrants tunneling under It wasn’t too long after that
also the site of many illegal could be repaired or saved by remote locations of a 2,000-mile we bottled and dammed the
crossings. The bulk of this border these same funds? wall. Colorado River, turning one of
territory is privately owned and Given conservative support As our sun rises in the east, Mexico’s most fertile farming
offers often gorgeous views, for property rights and much and sets in the west, a 50-foot regions into a virtual desert.
broad vistas and a diverse of the land along the border wall will also cast quite a long Perhaps our government
ecological landscape. not being owned by the United shadow on land not owned should reassess how and where
As millions across our States, how are we going to by the United States and we our monies are to be spent and
country cheer the idea of handle property acquisition? certainly will not be able to build where we fight our battles.
pouring concrete footings and a Condemnation? Much of the the wall on the Mexican side of
50-foot steel and mortar wall— border is open ranch land with the border.  Bill Crane also serves as a
concocted purely from one the longest natural aspect of the A drone flight or short political analyst and commentator
candidate’s imagination—here border being the Rio Grande walk through one of several for Channel 2’s Action News,
are a few serious questions to which is nearly half the length of U.S. border checkpoints WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and
ponder: the Texas-Mexico border. easily demonstrates the stark now 95.5 FM, as well as a
Given the projected and Considering that every differences in quality of life of columnist for The Champion,
growing costs of $25 billion to “great wall” in history has been those living on opposing sides of Champion Free Press and
$50 billion to construct a nearly overcome—including the Berlin the border as well as the serious Georgia Trend. Crane is a
2,000-mile wall, how many truly Wall, Great Wall of China and potential consequences of illegal DeKalb native and business
needed infrastructure repair and/ our more than 600 miles of border crossings. owner, living in Scottdale. You
or replacement projects of critical border fencing—how do we Mexicans have never really can reach him or comment on a
bridges, railroad tunnels and plan to address the increasingly forgotten that starting with the column at bill.csicrane@gmail.
overpasses, interstates, aging porous Canadian border which loss of the Commonwealth of com.

the DeKalb
Publisher: Photographer: STATEMENT FROM THE
John Hewitt Travis Hudgons
Chief Financial Officer: Staff Reporters: We sincerely appreciate the
discussion surrounding this and any
Let Us Know What You Think! Dr. Earl D. Glenn Carla Parker issue of interest to DeKalb County.
SEND LETTERS TO EDITOR, R. Scott Belzer The Champion was founded in 1991
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions Production Manager: Horace Holloman expressly to provide a forum for
The DeKalb Free Press, discourse for all community residents
from its readers. Please write to us and express your P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Kemesha Wadley on all sides of an issue. We have no
views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain Send email to desire to make the news only to
FAX To: (404) 370-3903; Phone: (404) 373-7779. The DeKalb Free Press is published each Friday report news and opinions to effect
the writer’s name, address and telephone number for Deadline for news releases and advertising: by ACE III Communications, Inc., a more educated citizenry that will
verification. All letters will be considered for publication. Thursday, one week prior to publication date. 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 ultimately move our community
forward. We are happy to present
Phone (404) 373-7779. ideas for discussion; however,
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions we make every effort to avoid
of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. DISPLAY ADVERTISING (404) 373-7779 x 110 assumptions penned as fact.

Related Interests