Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Milton Officers Keeping Open Road Neighborhoods Safe.


Within the last week, has received emails and also witnessed Milton Police Officers patrolling the open road neighborhoods of Milton and enforcing the speed limits in these residential nodes.

As one Milton Mom shared, "Please thank the MPD for pulling speeders over in front of my home; I worry so about my kids checking the mail..." We couldn't have said it better!

Great job MPD!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Which Mulch Is Best?

With Spring around the corner here in Milton Georgia, readers have asked us to post information regarding gardening and landscaping. Thanks to "Steel Magnolia", we have the following article and video on mulch types. Courtesy goes to .

Red mulch, black mulch, brown mulch aren’t they all the same?

No, they are not all the same. So I will explain how they vary and where and how you should use each one. My favorite mulch is hardwood bark mulch. To better explain this I made a movie for you.

Pine Bark Mulch.

In the movie I did not mention Pine Bark Mulch. I Didn’t have any handy! Pine bark mulch makes a good mulch for mulching planting beds and it’s also a great additive or can even be used as the base for a good potting mix. Pine Bark mulch doesn’t break down as quickly nor does it contain the nutrition that hardwood bark has, but it’s still a great mulch to use for growing and potting soil. Actually here in Ohio pine bark is hard to find unless you buy bags. But the local nursery growers here like it so well as a potting mix they actually have it trucked in from North Carolina 90 cubic yards at a time.

Shredded Hardwood Bark Mulch.

Shredded hardwood bark mulch is made from 100% tree bark, and not ground up wood. Therefore it contains a great deal more nutrition for your plants and as it decomposes it greatly improves the soil in your gardens. When the logs of hardwood trees are arrive at the saw mill one of the first things that happens is the logs are put through a de-barking machine and all of bark is removed from the logs before they are cut into lumber.

The bark is the shredded and often times it’s shredded two or three times. That’s what they mean when they say double or triple ground. But the most important thing for you to know is to confirm that you are indeed buying mulch that is made 100% from hardwood bark. Because . . . there are a lot of mulches that pretend to be hardwood bark mulch and they are not.

The Impostors!

Red Mulch Black Mulch and Brown Mulch that has been dyed to obtain the brown color.
All of the impostors are dyed to get their color.

The impostors, as I call them, are mulches that are made of ground up wood, usually pallets. These mulches contain little to no bark at all and are 100% wood. Wood might be okay as a mulch to keep down weeds, but not only do wood mulches contain no nutrition for your plants, they actually pull nitrogen from the soil and the wood decomposes. Once the pallets are ground up to look like mulch, the ground material is dyed so it has a deep color. Today a lot of people like these mulches because they are red or black in color because of the dye.

Thats fine, and using this kind of mulch to mulch the beds around your house is okay. I don’t like these wood mulches for several reasons. One, the mulch floats out of the beds too easily and is always all over the sidewalk. Plus these mulches really don’t break down all that well. I want a mulch that is going to improve my soil, not pull nutrients from the soil. But as a mulch they are okay. In potting mix they would be disastrous!

Wood Chips from the Tree Trimming Company.

Tree trimming service produce tons and tons of wood chips and they are often looking for places to get rid of all of this mulch so they offer to drop a load off at your house free or charge. Wood chips from a tree company are okay for mulching pathways in your garden, but that’s about all I would ever use them for. They contain a great deal of ground up wood, leaves and twigs. It takes this material a long time to break down and as it does it will pull nitrogen from your planting areas.

But more importantly, wood chips contain no nutritional value therefore really do your garden more harm than good. If allowed to rot for a period of many years, they might be okay. But they are not something I’d ever use in a planting area around my home or in my nursery. They’re great to use over a muddy path. For that they are wonderful.


Many supply yards that sell mulches also sell compost. Compost can vary considerably from supply yard to supply yard. For the most compost materials are great for the soil. They really don’t make the best mulches because they are really fine textured and contain enough nutrition that weeds will grow right in the compost.

So compost materials shouldn’t be used as a mulch, but they are great for adding additional organic matter to a landscaping bed. Most compost materials are made from leaf compost, maybe mushroom compost, and sometimes the include material from sewage plants. It’s important to know for sure what’s in the compost that you are using. Should the compost that you buy contain any material from a sewage plant you should not use it in your vegetable garden.

I hope this helps! -Mike McGroarty

Monday, February 27, 2012

Please Welcome McDonald's to!

2011 Road To Safety Winner; 2nd Place!


We continue to share the wonderful top three Road To Safety videos for 2011 with readers!

Our Second Place Winners were also from Johns Creek High School. Beck Heigl abd Evan McGillivray put together this fast paced and exciting video about the dangers of jaywalking and not being aware. With second place, these creative teens took home $250.00 in cash and prizes! Great job!

Milton extends 'pill mill' ban.

Courtesy Jonathan Copsey; The Milton Herald

February 24, 2012
MILTON, Ga. – The city extended its moratorium on pain management clinics - "pill mills" - to Aug. 8 in an effort to head off any potential problems in the city.

"Pill mills" are associated with increased crime and narcotic distribution, said City Attorney Ken Jarrard at the time the moratorium was initially enacted in May of 2011. They are not legitimate pharmacies, he said, instead catering to people who claim they need medication immediately and without doctor prescriptions.

The ordinance explains that the typical pain clinic "has little or no interest in treating pain or the symptom of pain, but is interested in only dispensing prescription pain medication with little or no diagnosis of the patient."

The moratorium was necessary, explained Jarrard at the time, because of a ruling in Broward County, Fla., which found the number of pain clinics in south Florida exploded from 66 to 176 between August 2008 and November 2009 and that over nine million doses of Oxycodone were prescribed during that time, the vast majority of which were in Broward.

Between 2005 and 2007, the number of Americans using non-medical prescriptions for opioids or analgesics increased over 50 percent, and was particularly prominent in young people.

The moratorium is to remain in place until the state legislature comes up with regulations dealing with the businesses. The legislature has taken some action on the issue, opting to create a statewide database of those with prescriptions. This database is several years away from being enacted.

The moratorium was initially imposed May 2, 2011 after national trends showed an increase in the abuse of prescription medication.

"It's a real and growing problem with respect to addiction," said Jarrard of the clinics.

There are no pain clinics in Milton, nor are there applications for any. City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said this was a proactive effort to head off any applications.

Final Highway 9 planning meeting set for March 7.

MILTON, Ga., Feb. 27, 2012 - Attention residents who want to be heard when it comes to the future of Highway 9: The fourth and final meeting of the City of Milton's Ga. 9 Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) study will take place March 7 at Milton's City Hall.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m., said City Planner Michele McIntosh-Ross.

"This meeting will bring to an end the public workshop process of this study," said McIntosh-Ross. "If you have not made it a priority to attend one of these meetings, this is your last chance before the draft plan is created."

McIntosh-Ross said the draft plan containing public input from each of the four meetings will be presented to City Council at its work session March 12. There will be a subsequent public hearing where residents can provide public comment on the draft plan April 9. Staff will request the plan be adopted with revisions from the previous two meetings April 23.

This is the fourth and final public workshop held as part of a planning study of the Ga. 9 area from Bethany Bend in Milton to Mayfield Road in Alpharetta and the areas east of Ga. 9 to Ga. 400, which includes Deerfield Parkway. The study is funded by a $100,000 LCI grant (with a $25,000 city match) awarded to Milton by the Atlanta Regional Commission in February 2011.

The LCI grant program provides funds for small area studies to determine strategies that link transportation improvements with land-use development. Ultimately, these studies aim to help improve the livability and sustainability of the area.

After the completion and adoption of the plan, the areas become eligible for additional money to implement the transportation projects identified in the study.

For more information on this meeting, please contact McIntosh-Ross at 678-242-2538 or

Post February 22 City Council meeting wrap-up.


1. RZ12-01 - To Amend Article VI, Division 2 - AG-1 (Agricultural District) as it Relates to Allowing Structures Housing Animals within the Front Yard and Fencing Along Public-right-of-ways.

(Agenda Item No. 12-033)

(First Presentation at the February 6, 2012 Regular Council Meeting)

(Discussed at February 13, 2012 Work Session)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)

Motion to defer until the March 19, 2012 meeting approved 6-0
Note: Councilman Burt Hewitt was absent

2. RZ11-17 - To Amend Article XVI of the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 64 of the City Code) - Signs.

(Agenda Item No. 12-012)

(First Presentation at the February 6, 2012 Regular Council Meeting)

(Discussed at February 13, 2012 Work Session)

(Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)

Approved 6-0 with conditions


1. Approval of a Resolution Imposing a Limited and Temporary Moratorium Upon Issuance of Business Licenses to New Pain Management Clinics Within the City of Milton.

(Agenda Item No. 12- 049)

(Ken Jarrard, City Attorney)

Approved 6-0

2. Approval of a Resolution Supporting Modification to the City of Milton Public Buildings and Facilities Authority Act.

(Agenda Item No. 12- 050)

(Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)

Approved 6-0

3. Approval for Correction on Listing of Positions Document Presented in FY 2012 Budget.

(Agenda Item No. 12- 051)

(Deborah Harrell, Chief of Police)

Approved 6-0

4. Approval of Reclassification of Community Outreach & Policy Coordinator to Accreditation Manager.

(Agenda Item No. 12- 052)

(Deborah Harrell, Chief of Police)

Approved 6-0

5. Ratification of an Agreement for Sale of Realty between the City of Milton and Saradan Properties No. 2, LLC for the Purchase of 3.82 Acres Known as Fulton County Tax Parcel No. 22-4880-0534-007-1.

(Agenda Item No. 12- 053)

(Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)
Approved 6-0

Arborists in town for city tree inventory.


If you see people climbing trees in Milton, don’t worry – it’s their job.

A team of arborists from Davey Resource Group will be in Milton this week to collect data for the Milton Tree Inventory, Assessment and Management Plan project, said City Planner Michele McIntosh-Ross.

The arborists will be surveying the city’s trees along roadways in the Ga. 9/Deerfield Parkway corridor, Arnold Mill corridor, Crabapple area and in the city’s parks.

This project is funded by the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program and is the first step towards getting the information needed for a tree management and maintenance plan, said McIntosh-Ross.

For more information, please contact McIntosh-Ross at 678-242-2538 or

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rabies case confirmed in Milton.

By Patrick Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fulton County Animal Services has announced that a dead raccoon discovered in the Freemanville Road area of Milton has tested positive for rabies. Health officials are asking residents to avoid approaching any wildlife in the area and to make sure that domestic pets have a current rabies vaccination.

They also ask that residents report any wildlife that appears sick or wounded to 404-613-2163.

Alert: Raccoon with rabies found on Freemanville Road.

Fulton County Animal Services (FCAS) is encouraging residents in the Freemanville Road area to be aware that a dead raccoon discovered in the area has tested positive for rabies.

The raccoon was tested by FCAS services after a resident contacted them for assistance. The City of Milton was informed of the animal by the county.

Please do not be alarmed: rabies periodically affects some areas, especially more rural areas like Milton. However, there are precautions residents can take to protect themselves, their families and pets from the disease.

1.Please sure that any domestic pets have a current rabies vaccination.
2.Neither Adults nor children should approach or handle any wildlife in the area.
3.If your domestic pet (dog or cat) has any unexplained wounds or is ill in any way you should immediately take your pet to a veterinarian.
4.If you have observed any wildlife in the area that appears sick or wounded you should contact FCAS at 404-613-2163.
For more information on rabies, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by clicking here. For more information on this specific incident, contact Fulton County spokeswoman Jolene Butts Freeman at 404-612-2209, 404-234-8945 or .

Senator Albers To Host Town Hall Meeting In Sandy Springs.



Natalie Dale, Director

Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist


ATLANTA (February 23, 2012) – Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) will host a Town Hall meeting in Sandy Springs on Saturday, February 25, 2012, to discuss legislative updates and priorities. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session. Sen. Albers will also be joined by fellow legislators Sen. Judson Hill and Rep. Wendell Willard.

WHEN: Saturday, February 25, 2012
10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Sandy Springs City Hall
7840 Roswell Road

Sandy Springs , GA 30350
# # # #

Sen. John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton County. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Poll Up.


We have a new poll up. It asks:

"Should Milton Officers' salaries be competitive with boarding municipalities?"

Have your say today in the right margin!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Changes to riding rings, business signs possible.

by Jonathan Copsey; The Milton Herald

MILTON, Ga. – The Milton mayor and city council discussed proposed changes to the city's laws regarding animal-related buildings in front yards.

Currently, the law allows uncovered riding areas in front yards of residential areas and only in commercial areas that have properties of more than 10 acres.

"That means that if you are a non-residential and have 9-and-a-half acres, you can't have one," said Kathleen Field, the city's community development director.

Covered riding areas – rings that have bleachers and lighting as well as some sort of overhead structure – are forbidden in residential areas but allowed in non-residential, again only if the property is more than 10 acres.

But why would a horse-riding ring be permissible in a residential area but restricted only to very large non-residential areas?

That's one of the reasons council asked staff to clean up the law.

Along with that, discussion involved allowing barns in front yards and whether they should be limited to just horses or all livestock. The current law also does not distinguish between housing horses and other animals.

Field said Milton's laws on barns have been tailored to force owners to locate them in their back or side yards. There are strict limits on placing them in the front of a property.

Residential fencing

Council also discussed forcing residential neighborhoods to add decorative fencing along their right-of-way.

In the past, only commercial properties were required to build a white 3-or-4 board fence along their roadway, but residential areas were exempt.

"This is to enhance the equestrian look of Milton," Field said. "We felt that every property, regardless of use, should all be mandated to have this fence."

Relaxed sign laws

Milton's sign ordinance will be relaxed, Field said.

"We looked at the entire sign ordinance," she said. "We had a lot of input and we have suggested modifications to the ordinance."
Specifically, she said the limitation on the percentage of window space that can be covered with signage has been relaxed from 5 percent to 20 percent per framed window.

Also, large balloon-type signs or spotlights used to advertise a grand opening could be allowed for a limited amount of time around the event. Right now, they are forbidden.

Field said staff will return before council at the Feb. 28 meeting with suggested changes to be approved.

Two fundraising events to benefit Cambridge High School.

by Katie VanBrackkle; The Milton Herald

MILTON, Ga. – The new Cambridge High School (CHS) at the corner of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Road in Milton will open its doors to more than 1,000 students in August. Two special events planned for March will bring together the new Cambridge High School community and raise funds for important school enhancements.

While Fulton County provides the new high school building and very basic supplies, donations from parents and community partners are needed for everything from science lab equipment and start-up athletic gear to landscaping and stadium flags.

Dr. Ed Spurka, CHS principal, has targeted a list of items he would like to have in place when students first enter "Bear Country" this summer. He said he is very excited about the new school and hopes that parents and the community will attend the following two fundraising events.

The Cambridge High School Gala and Silent Auction will be held on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Manor Golf and Country Club. Tickets are $80 per person or $150 per couple, which includes dinner, drink tickets and live entertainment by Red Head Blonde, a local band whose members are proud dads of future CHS students. Live and silent auctions will feature enticing items such as vacation and golf packages, pro sporting event tickets, home design services and more. Register online at .

The Cambridge High School Golf Invitational will be held Monday, March 19 at the Alpharetta Athletic Club's East Course (Crooked Creek) beginning at 10 a.m. Supporters will enjoy a beautiful spring day on the links with other Cambridge Bear fans. Various sponsorship levels are offered for interested parties. Register online at .

Registration now open for special needs camp.


Registration is now open for Camp Joyful Soles, Milton's special needs day camp for children age 12 to 18.

Additionally, the city is hiring three camp counselors to help staff and run the effort, said Tom Gilliam, Milton's recreation programs coordinator.

"For the second year, we will offer this camp for children with mild disabilities as a partnership with the City of Alpharetta,"
said Gilliam. "Last year was a great success, and we had overwhelming support from parents looking for options after Alpharetta's Camp Happy Hearts."
To register for Joyful Soles, click here to download the form. It may be filled out online, then mailed or dropped off at Milton's City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 107 Milton, GA 30004 Please make sure if mailing to clearly mark the contents are for Tom Gilliam.

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Second Annual Road To Safety Event Gains Traction.

Program receives Recognition from Fulton County and State of Georgia.

Pictured L to R: Johns Creek Students Beck Heigl, Bryan Washington, Evan McGillivray, Johns Creek Principal, Buck Green, FCBOE Area Superintendent, Dr. Sam Taylor, Video Instruction Teacher Johns Creek, Jamie Chuven center, Johns Creek Students, Winners David Burgh and Christina Schmitt.


The cold rain didn’t keep competitors and supporters away from the 2011 Road To Safety Event. This year's program was held in the Alpharetta High School Auditorium on February 1st and ran from 6 to 8pm.

The "Road To Safety" (RTS) competition allows local high school students to compete by submitting a two minute video advocating safe driving. Competing this year were the following 7 North Fulton County high schools: Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, Centennial, Roswell, Chattahoochee, and Northview. Over 120 people were in attendance.

Many local families from our community donated money for the awards, and local business sponsors also stepped up to the plate including Shane’s Rib Shack, Music Matters in Milton, Oasis Vending, Men At Work Construction Services, LLC., Katy's Car Wash, Bloor Family Dentistry, BHG-Leslie Harper of Metro Brokers, and Ray Of Light Media. Total monetary donations raised were $900. Other donations given for first place were a Fender Electric guitar, amp package and free guitar lessons from Music Matters in Milton, along with Defensive Driving courses from DriveSmartGa/Johns Creek Driving Schools for First, Second and Third place winners. Monetary scholarships were awarded to the winners, 1st place $500, 2nd place $250, and 3rd place $150.

The Road To Safety program was inspired by the unfortunate deaths of two young men from Milton, Patrick Enloe and Parker Jackson, and this year’s program was dedicated to the memory of both of them. Their tragedy’s are what sparked this program and the idea to challenge high school students to use video to send a message to other teens and students educating them on the dangers of teen driving. Here is this years winning video by Johns Creek High School students, Christina Schmitt and David Burgh, please watch!


The evening revved up with 2 song performances by Music Matter's RockU Program band, “Vitality”. The band consisted of two 11 year olds and two 12 year olds. Claire McCoy, Vocalist, JoJo Manzo, Lead Guitar, Jordan Marchese, Bass Guitar and on Drums, Dalton Cauley. The opening finished with a beautiful rendition of” The Star Spangled Banner" by Claire McCoy.

From there, invited Guest Speaker, Bo Jackson, father of the late Parker Jackson, spoke eloquently to the crowd about the privileges of driving and the importance of being aware at all times behind the wheel.

Then it was off to the races with the viewing of over 20 videos competing for the coveted 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards. Topics ranged from drunk driving to jay walking, texting, inexperience, and everything in between. Once the videos made their debut, and prior to the winners being announced, two Resolutions were read from Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the Georgia State Senate. The first was from Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann, “The Board of Commissioners of Fulton county salutes and recognizes the important role of the Road to Safety Program in keeping young drivers safe in the community and does hereby proclaim Wednesday, February 1, 2012, as “Road To Safety Appreciation Day” in Fulton County, Georgia." The second was from Senator John Alber’s Cheif Of Staff, Steven Waugh, and it read "Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate that the members of this body recognize the dedicated efforts of the Road to Safety Program to save lives by educating teenagers on the dangers they face as new and inexperienced drivers and extend their most sincere best wishes for the future."

The winners were announced by special Guest FC Commissioner Liz Hausmann. First Place, Johns Creek High School, Students were Christina Schmitt and David Burgh with a real to life video showing the aftermath of a crash resulting from texting. Second Place was also Johns Creek High School, Students, Beck Heigl, Evan McGillivray and Third Place, Alpharetta High School, Students, Kailey Monahan, and Victoria Panasyuk . Both videos will debut on in the coming weeks.

Next year the program intends to repeat with the same 7 schools. As for what the future holds, the ultimate goal would for this program to expand the rest of Fulton County then throughout the state, however, the focus currently is on affecting our immediate communities and making a difference right here.

For more information, this years winning videos, pictures of the event, a list of sponsors, and how to get involved for next year, please visit .

Monday, February 20, 2012

Time To Laugh.

Support Liberty's Law.


Meet Liberty, a thirty year resident of Bethany Road.

Until about six years ago, Liberty would graze her pastures without worry. Today, she will not enjoy the lush green grass without a family member by her side. The reason? Liberty has been shot with paint balls, fireworks have been shot at her and thrown in her pasture, kids have screamed at her, and engines have been reved- all with the focus to scare her.

The City of Milton has clear evidence of the guilty party, but has done nothing.

Volunteers are currently working on an ordinance called "Liberty's Law" which would not only educate citizens of the proper behavior around horses and boardering properties but also to strengthen the current animal abuse laws on the books.

If you would like to be a part of this process, please email Tim Enloe at or call direct at 770 653 0552.

The History of President's Day.


Presidents' Day is intended (for some) to honor all the American presidents, but most significantly George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. According to the Gregorian or "New Style" calendar that is most commonly used today, George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. But according to the Julian or "Old Style" calendar that was used in England until 1752, his birth date was February 11th. Back in the 1790s, Americans were split - some celebrated his birthday on February 11th and some on February 22nd.

When Abraham Lincoln became president and helped reshape our country, it was believed he, too, should have a special day of recognition. Tricky thing was that Lincoln’s birthday fell on February 12th. Prior to 1968, having two presidential birthdays so close together didn't seem to bother anyone. February 22nd was observed as a federal public holiday to honor the birthday of George Washington and February 12th was observed as a public holiday to honor Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

In 1968, things changed when the 90th Congress was determined to create a uniform system of federal Monday holidays. They voted to shift three existing holidays (including Washington's Birthday) to Mondays. The law took effect in 1971, and as a result, Washington's Birthday holiday was changed to the third Monday in February. But not all Americans were happy with the new law. There was some concern that Washington's identity would be lost since the third Monday in February would never fall on his actual birthday. There was also an attempt to rename the public holiday "Presidents' Day", but the idea didn't go anywhere since some believed not all presidents deserved a special recognition.

Even though Congress had created a uniform federal holiday law, there was not a uniform holiday title agreement among the individual states. Some states, like California, Idaho, Tennessee and Texas chose not to retain the federal holiday title and renamed their state holiday "President's Day." From that point forward, the term “Presidents' Day” became a marketing phenomenon, as advertisers sought to capitalize on the opportunity for three-day or week-long sales.

In 1999, bills were introduced in both the U.S. House (HR-1363) and Senate (S-978) to specify that the legal public holiday once referred to as Washington's Birthday be "officially" called by that name once again. Both bills died in committees.

Today, President’s Day is well accepted and celebrated. Some communities still observe the original holidays of Washington and Lincoln, and many parks actually stage reenactments and pageants in their honor. The National Park Service also features a number of historic sites and memorials to honor the lives of these two presidents, as well as other important leaders.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friends, family hold balloon release in honor of slain teen.


To view wsb's video segment on this event; please click here=>

Funeral Viewing For Alex Koser.


The funeral viewing for Milton Teen Alex Koser will be Tuesday, February 21 from 4 to 8pm at Northside Funeral Home On Crabapple Road in Roswell.

The actual funeral will be held Wednesday February 22nd at 11am. The ceremony will be held at Woodstock First Baptist Church on Woodstock Road in Woodstock.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Windward Kroger To Have Ceremony For Teen.


The Windward Kroger Grocery Store located at Highway 9 and Windward parkway will have a memorial today at 5pm in memory of Milton teen Alex Koser who lost his life earlier this week.

A balloon sendoff will be part of the rememberance.

In speaking with Kroger Management, local schools and citizens are encouraged to attend.

Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sen. Albers Hosts Town Hall Meeting Series.

Courtesy Shawna Mercer; Senate Press Office

ATLANTA (February 14, 2012) – Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) will host a Town Hall Meeting Series throughout the months of March and April to offer constituents with a brief update on the General Assembly’s business at the State Capitol.

“I encourage the constituents of the 56th Senate District and surrounding areas to participate in one of my upcoming Town Hall Meetings,” said Sen. Albers. “One of the greatest privileges of being a state senator is the opportunity to meet face to face with the constituents who elected me. These informal meetings provide an excellent opportunity for constituents to become actively engaged in the legislative process and ensure I am driving legislation that truly reflects the will of the people.”

Sen. Albers will host Town Hall Meetings in the following locations:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

WHAT: Sandy Springs Town Hall @ 10:30 a.m.

WHO: Sen. John Albers, Rep. Joe Wilkinson and Rep. Wendell Willard

WHERE: Sandy Spring City Hall
7840 Roswell Road

Sandy Springs , GA 30350

Sunday, March 11, 2012

WHAT: Mountain Park , GA Town Hall @ 1:00 p.m.

WHO: Sen. John Albers
WHERE: Mountain Park Community Building
100 Lakeshore Drive
Mountain Park , GA 30075

WHAT: Woodstock Town Hall @ 2:00 p.m.

WHO: Sen. John Albers and Sen. Chip Rogers
WHERE: Woodstock Library

7735 Main Street
Woodstock, GA 30188

Saturday, March 24, 2012

WHAT: Roswell Town Hall @ 10:30 a.m.

WHO: Sen. John Albers and Rep. Jan Jones

WHERE: Roswell United Methodist Church
814 Mimosa Blvd.
Roswell , GA 30075

Sunday, April 15, 2012

WHAT: Woodstock Town Hall @ 2:00 p.m.

WHO: Sen. John Albers and Sen. Chip Rogers
WHERE: Woodstock Library

7735 Main Street

Woodstock , GA 30188

Saturday, April 21, 2012

WHAT: Johns Creek Town Hall @ 10:30 a.m.

WHO: Sen. John Albers, Rep. Lynn Riles and Rep. Mike Dudgeon

WHERE: Johns Creek New Town Community Club
3115 Old Alabama Road
Johns Creek , GA 30024

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

David Shannon named to Milton Parks and Rec board.

Courtesy The Milton Herald
February 13, 2012

MILTON, Ga. – Local horse farm owner David Shannon, left, was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board by Mayor Joe Lockwood.

In a unanimous vote, the council approved Shannon

Hwy 9 planning meeting tomorrow night.

Don’t forget that tomorrow night planning for the future of Milton’s most populated district will continue at Milton’s City Hall as part of the Ga. 9 Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) study.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m., said City Planner Michele McIntosh-Ross. Click here for directions to City Hall.

This is the third of four public meetings held as part of a planning study of the Ga. 9 area from Bethany Bend in Milton to Mayfield Road in Alpharetta and the areas east of Ga. 9 to Ga. 400, which includes Deerfield Parkway. The study is funded by a $100,000 LCI grant (with a $25,000 city match) awarded to Milton by the Atlanta Regional Commission in February 2011.

Click here for more information.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Everything Is Relative...

Time to look out for our own.

By Tim Enloe;

Recently, I had the honor of enjoying another "ride along" with one of Milton's Police Officers. I was assigned to fifteen year veteran officer Lt. John Borsey for a few hours. His shift would run from 5am to 5pm.

As we patrolled the city, discussion would take us to Lt. Borsey's career. He started in Hapeville in 1997. From there, he transferred to Woodstock in '99 and then jumped over to Kennesaw in 2003. He decided to come to Milton in '07. While his knowledge is vast, his main area of expertise is traffic and fatality investigations. For those Milton families who have lost a loved in one of Milton's open road neighborhoods, Lt. Borsey was most likely the lead investigator.

I was also surprised that Milton typically has only four officers on duty for our 35,000 plus population. Earlier this week, our home town suffered a great tragedy when a father gunned down his teenage step son. According to authorities, all four officers on duty rushed to the scene. Those scheduled for the following shift had to be called in early for coverage purposes. However, during that brief moment of exchange, our citizens were left in great jeopardy as the rest of the city was unprotected. Before the end of 2012, our elected officials must guarantee six or more officers per shift. This would
insure one officer in each of our three zones remain when emergencies take place.

Our officers typically work over forty hours a week. When an emergency takes place, the last thing I want are first responders who are exhausted. When seconds equal years, these men and women need to be as well rested as possible so that they can perform their important tasks clearly with extreme focus. Again, more officers are needed.

With citizens having the honor to employ such a credentialed hero, I had to ask myself what can we do to keep Lt. Borsey, Sgt. Kiel, Officer Hayes and others like them here? Much like thousands of industries throughout the US, all are looking for the better deal to provide the best life for loved ones and themselves-including police officers.

There is quite a bit of overlapping from city to city in North Fulton. Johns Creek residents go to Alpharetta for various things, Milton residents go to Roswell for the same and vice versa. Our communities are interlinked via many routes.

One such commonality is the pursuit of good professional officers with offerings of competitive pay and benefits. So how does Milton's offering stack up against it's neighbors? Some elected officials past and present have claimed that our officers were either on par with "similar municipalities" or above. As stated earlier, North Fulton is a community within itself, but I digress...

It is time to expose the truth of the matter.Ranks included here are Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain.

For starters, let's take a look at the typical patrol officer. Milton's yearly average is $35,956.23, while Alpharetta sits at $51,450.00, Roswell at $44,289.00,
and Johns Creek at $47,788.80.

In regards to the rank of Sergeant, Milton is the only municipality amongst these cities to carry this level. The average here is $49,223.87.

Next we have the rank of Lieutenant-Milton; $51,936.29 , Alpharetta; $66,150.00 , Roswell; $65,435.00, and Johns Creek at $67,433.60.

And finally, Captain. Milton; $64,298, Alpharetta; $79,150.00, Roswell; $72,142.00, and Johns Creek at $70,699.20.

Our compensation is dead last across the board. In a city where local leaders past and present have boasted that Milton "is the second wealthiest city in Georgia", shouldn't our officers be some of the better paid amongst the state? After all, everything is relative. Our tax monies should be spent in a priority fashion. On the top of that list should be the protection of family, friends, and property and so on. Rest assured, an old house on a hill isn't going to come to your aid in time of great perile.

Not only does adequate policing by experienced officers keep our loved ones safer, it also has a positive impact on property values. There is a reason why we are told to stay out of a "bad area"; the primary reason being not enough officers on hand to insure a safe community.

In conclusion, it is time to look out for our own. Milton's officers are willing to lay down their lives for us. The least we can do is contact council and demand that our officers are paid aggressively. Tell them that more officers of the highest caliber and experience are needed to properly protect our Milton and tell them the time to act is now. Otherwise, we run a higher risk of danger and the reputation as the last place any good public servant would want to serve.

If you would like to contact the mayor, please click here and the council can be reached here.

Volleyball evaluations to be held Feb. 18.


Player evaluations for the City of Milton/Overkill Volleyball co-ed recreational volleyball league will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 at Hopewell Middle School.

The evaluations for children ages 7 to 18 will last from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and be split into separate age groups. For the complete list of evaluations by age group, click here (Link is for desktop site only. If you are a mobile device user, choose desktop site, then visit Your Government > Parks and Recreation > Programs and Activities > Youth Volleyball).

Participants will receive jerseys at evaluations. After your child’s evaluation, you will receive an e-mail confirming your coach and practice day and time.

Registration for the league will be taken during evaluations. However, to sign up online at Overkill Volleyball’s Web site, click here. After filling out the registration, click here to pay online.

Click here for more information.

Boy Scouts, MGG collect paint to recycle.

Courtesy City of Milton

This Saturday, Feb. 11, BSA Troop 3000 from Birmingham United Methodist Church held a paint recycling event at their campground on the church grounds.

Despite the cold weather, the boys, joined by volunteers from the Milton Grows Green Committee (MGG), collected more than 3,500 cans of paint from more than 240 residents. That means more than 8 tons of paint were saved from landfills.

For more information on Milton’s environmental efforts through MGG, click here.

Police: Man Shoots 16-Year-Old Stepson.


Police: Man Shoots 16-Year-Old Stepson:

Reported By JULIA REYNOLDS/myfoxatlanta

MILTON, Ga. - Police in Milton have charged a 46-year-old with shooting to death his teenage stepson after an argument.

Milton Police Capt. Shawn McCarty says Eric Brandon was arrested on Sunday and charged with his 16-year-old stepson's killing.

McCarty says the teenager was shot three times with a 12-gauge shotgun after an argument with his stepfather at a townhouse in the north Atlanta suburb. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene.

McCarty declined to release the victim's name and wouldn't immediately release further details.

Brandon is in police custody and is expected to be questioned by Milton investigators.

Man charged with murder in stepson's death.


To view the video segment of this story, please click here=>

MILTON, GA (CBS ATLANTA) - A Fulton County man is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday at 11 a.m. in the shooting-death of his stepson.

Eric Brandon, 46, is charged with murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office identified the victim as 16-year-old Alex Koser.

"I don't understand why he would shoot him. I just feel sad for the family. Rest in peace to him," said neighbor Dillon Chance.

An argument between the two apparently sparked the deadly shooting according to Milton Police spokesperson Captain Shawn McCarty.

The stepfather shot his stepson at least three times Sunday afternoon at their home on Genesis Way off Alpharetta Highway, just north of the Webb Road intersection.

Koser was a student at Alpharetta High School.

Brandon remains at the Fulton County Jail.

MILTON | Man charged in teen stepson's death.


MILTON, Ga. -- A Milton stepfather surrendered to police Sunday afternoon after his stepson was shot to death in an apparent domestic dispute.

Milton Police Captain Shawn McCarty says officers responded to a 911 call on Genesis Way, just off Alpharetta Highway, at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The suspect told the operator he had just shot his son.

When police arrived, 46-year-old Eric Brandon came outside and surrendered.

The 16-year-old victim, later identified as Alexander Crozier, was found dead of three gunshot wounds inside the townhouse. Another young boy was in the home as well. He told investigators that a fight broke out between the stepfather and stepson shortly after the boys' mother left to buy groceries.

Brandon has been charged with murder. McCarty says additional charges are pending.

Police: Teen shot, killed by stepfather in Milton.


To view the video segment on this story, please click here=>

A man shot and killed his 16-year-old stepson in Fulton County on Sunday afternoon, police said.

Milton police said Eric Brandon, 46, fired three shots with a 12-guage shotgun at his stepson Alexander Koser at point-blank range.

Police said Brandon called 911 himself from their townhome on Genesis Way around 2:30 p.m.

Milton Police Capt. Shawn McCarty said Koser was dead at the scene.

“Alex was like my son and this hurts, it hurts real bad,” said the teen’s mentor, Rodney Cook.

Brandon did not resist arrest and was taken to the Fulton County Jail.

Cook said Brandon has been married to Koser's mother for five years or more.

"They called Eric dad. He wasn't their biological father, but they called him dad," Cook said. "This is really devastating to the family."

Koser was a student at Alpharetta High School.

Police initially reported the teen was Brandon's son.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cops: Milton dad shot son, 16, to death.

By Russell Grantham
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A 16-year old died Sunday afternoon after he was shot several times by his stepfather with a 12-gauge shotgun in their Milton townhouse, Milton police said.

The shooting occurred during an argument at about 2:30 p.m. at 3153 Genesis Way, said Milton Police Capt. Shawn McCarty. The son was dead at the scene.

No other family members were present when the shooting occurred.

Police did not provide the identifies of the father or the son. The Associated Press reported that Eric Brandon was arrested Sunday and charged with killing his 16-year-old step-son.

Police have not released details about what triggered the argument or shooting.

On his Facebook profile, Brandon, 46, said he began working at UPS about 10 years ago after working six seasons as a park ranger in North Dakota and serving six years in the U.S. Army in the 1980s.

During his years in the Army from 1984-1990, Brandon said, he served as a doorgunner in the 82nd Airborne Division’s Combat Aviation Battalion, and as a peacekeeper in Egypt’s Sinai desert.

He listed few details about his family, but listed the National Rifle Association and the Wounded Warriors Project as interests.

Milton police spokesman McCarty said the father was taken into custody after he called police, and is being questioned by detectives at the Milton police department.

The small townhouse complex is near the Deerfield Place shopping center, northeast of Alpharetta.

Please check back for updates.

Police: Teen shot, killed by father in Milton.


A father shot and killed his 15-year-old son in Fulton County on Sunday afternoon, police said.

Milton police said the man fired several shots at his son at a home on Genesis Way around 2:30 p.m.

The man is in police custody.

Boy killed in domestic incident.


A boy is dead from what appears to be gunshot wounds in an alleged domestic incident in Fulton County.

According to Milton spokesman Jason Wright, a suspect in the boy's death is in custody.

Wright did not disclose the boy's name or the relationship he had to the suspect.

Check back with and watch Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m. for more information

Horseowners Worried Over Possible Zoning Changes.


To view the complete video segment, please click here=>

February 13 City Council special called meeting and work session notice.

Monday, February 13, 2012 Special Called Meeting Agenda 5:45 p.m.



3) PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE (Led by the Mayor)

4) APPROVAL OF MEETING AGENDA (add or remove items from agenda)

(Agenda Item No.12- 040)



1. The purpose for the Executive Session is to discuss land acquisition.

(Agenda Item No. 12- 041)


(Agenda Item No. 12- 042)

Joe Lockwood, Mayor

Karen Thurman
Matt Kunz
Bill Lusk
Burt Hewitt
Joe Longoria
Lance Large

Monday, February 13, 2012 Work Session Agenda 6:00 p.m.

1. Discussion of North Fulton County Voter Registration Initiative in the City of Milton.

(Presented by Sam Westmoreland, Esq., Interim Director, Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections (DRE); William Riley, Esq., DRE Board Member & Julia Beatrice "JB" Reed, Esq., DRE Voter Education Specialist)

2. Discussion of ARC Green Communities Certification.

(Presented by Michele McIntosh-Ross, City Planner and Cindy Eade, Sustainability Coordinator)

3. Discussion of RZ12-01 - To Amend Article VI, Division 2 - AG-1 (Agricultural District) as it Relates to Allowing Structures Housing Animals within the Front Yard and Fencing Along Public-right-of-ways.

(Presented by Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)

4. Discussion of RZ11-17 - To Amend Article XVI of the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 64 of the City Code) - Signs.

(Presented by Kathleen Field, Community Development Director)

5. Discussion on 12540 and 12500 Arnold Mill Road and Owners Purchase of Sewer Taps from Mountain Park, Georgia.

(Presented by Chris Lagerbloom, City Manager)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Need For Liberty's Law.


With the City Of Milton's official website covered with numerous photos and borrowed logos of horses, one would think that special ordinances would be in place to protect
these beautiful animals and their owners.

Unfortunately, that is not currently the case.

Liberty, the horse shown in the picture above, was born on a small seven acre farmette in 1981. She enjoyed life and loved people for many years. That all changed about six years ago. Since that time, this innocent arabian has been shot with paint balls, fireworks have been thrown and shot into her pastures, and she has been screamed at on a regular basis and engines revved- all with the focus of scaring and harrassing her.

Hard evidence was presented to certain council members as well as the Milton Police.
Nothing was done.

It is due to this and other situations regarding Milton's horses that the ordinance we are calling "Liberty's Law" is currently being crafted. If you would like to participate in putting this law together and submitting it to council, please contact Tim Enloe at or call direct at 770 653 0552.

It is time for the city to put action behind words.

On A National (And International) Note...

EDITORS NOTE: There is good and bad in everything.I myself have had
the honor of working with some fantastic young people in Milton that I would put up against any. Then again, there have been experiences on the opposite end of the spectrum as well. With that understanding, Melissa J was kind enough to send the following editorial for discussion.

Why American Kids Are Brats.

And their parents might be getting just what they deserve.

By Judith Warner /

Amidst all the talk this past week about Pamela Druckerman’s new book, Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, there was one phrase that immediately lodged itself in my mind. It was in a sidebar that ran with the Wall Street Journal adaptation of her book, “Why French Parents Are Superior,” and it said this: “Children should say hello, goodbye, thank you and please. It helps them to learn that they aren’t the only ones with feelings and needs.”

That statement points directly to what I see as one of the most meaningful differences between the French and (contemporary) American style of parenting. I don’t happen to believe, as the Journal pushed Druckerman’s argument to say, that French parenting is necessarily superior, overall, to what we do in America. I don’t think French children are, overall, better or happier people — such generalizations are silly. But it is true that French kids can be a whole lot more pleasant to be around than our own. They’re more polite. They’re better socialized. They generally get with the program; they help out when called upon to do so, and they don’t demand special treatment. And that comes directly from being taught, from the earliest age, that they’re not the only ones with feelings and needs.

I say all this based on many years of extended hanging out time with French families, both before and after my own girls — who, like Druckerman’s children, were born in France — came along. In fact, that experience — and the contrast with the American way of parenting I discovered when I moved back to the States — inspired my book Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety, the main argument of which Druckerman recapitulates at the very beginning of Bringing Up Bébé. (Fuller disclosure: she interviewed me for the book as well.)
Like Druckerman, I’ve often noted wistfully how French children know how to handle themselves in restaurants. I’ve envied how French children eat what’s put in front of them, put themselves to bed when instructed to, and, generally, tend to help keep the wheels of family life moving pretty smoothly. But the difference that struck me the most deeply, when my family moved to Washington, D.C., from Paris and my older daughter began preschool, was how much more basically respectful French children were of other people. Indeed, how much emphasis French parents put on demanding they behave respectfully toward other people. And how that respect helped make life more enjoyable.

In the years when I was gathering wool for, and then formally researching and writing Perfect Madness, I was disheartened time and again by the ways parents in the U.S. often did just the opposite. American parents assiduously strove to make sure that their children’s wants and needs came first, no matter what. This sometimes had a name — “advocating for your child” — and was clearly predicated on the belief that if you didn’t yourself do it, didn’t teach your child to “self-advocate,” no one would, and in the great stampede for resources and rewards your child would get left behind in the dust. In my preschool-mom world back then, this took the form of letting kids step all over the feelings of other children if their own feelings so compelled them, as when a mother in suburban Maryland explained to me that she let her little girl cancel playdates right up to the last minute because she “couldn’t force her” to engage in social commitments that now bored her. It never seemed to dawn upon the mother that her child’s passing boredom was less important than the other child’s potentially hurt feelings; and that teaching her daughter to think of the other child’s feelings would, in the long term, be better for them both.

This lack of parental empathy was brought home to me much more recently, when a mom in my then eighth grader’s class complained to me about an incident in which another girl in the class had had a panic attack — a full-blown panic attack — just as the doors closed on the bus that was to take the class on a camping trip. Without a word of sympathy, the mom vented to me, “Like [my daughter] really needed to see that.”

This lack of compassion and empathy, I’ve found, is rampant in today’s hypercompetitive parenting culture in which almost every child is eternally being groomed to look out for No. 1, cheered on by parents who view other children more as potential impediments to his or her full flowering than as comrades-in-arms — or friends — united in the difficult task of gracefully growing up. As American parents, we parrot a certain amount of knee-jerk politeness, urging our kids to say “please” and “thank you,” but I don’t necessarily have the sense that all this is aimed at doing anything more profound than making our kids (and ourselves, by extension) look good.

A more deeper understanding of courtesy — that we do things like make eye contact and say hello and goodbye because such behaviors convey to other people that they matter and are worthy of respect — is all but entirely absent from our parenting culture today. It’s far more important to us that our children be in touch with their feelings and true to themselves than that they create good feeling around them through “superficial” good manners.

An old-fashioned French online guide to proper comportment shoots down that very modern way of thinking, which many view as an encroaching threat in France as well: “Philosophers may say that politeness is the greatest form of hypocrisy,” it states. “But if saying hello, apologizing, thanking, helping those in need, being attentive to others, are signs of hypocrisy, then we accept that epithet, and can offer no defense.”

To read the complete article and others on, please click here=>

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

NF mayors want to stand together in sales tax negotiations.

By Joan Durbin and Angela Abbamonte; Neighbor Newspapers

The mayors of cities in north Fulton want to present a united front in negotiations with Fulton County on how sales tax revenues should be distributed. But consensus on their preferred methodology has yet to be reached.

On Feb. 1, the North Fulton Municipal Association held a special called meeting in Sandy Springs. Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood, the group’s chair, said the meeting was an executive session, preventing reporters from covering what was said behind closed doors.

Reached after the meeting, Roswell Mayor Jere Wood confirmed that the Local Option Sales Tax, or LOST, revenue was topic number one.

Every 10 years, the county and the cities revisit the formula used to distribute the LOST money, raised by a penny sales tax, among the various jurisdictions.

This is the year for a new agreement, which would take effect in 2013, and the mayors are hashing out their approach to negotiations. The current formula is based on population, but other factors can be considered, such as where the taxes were paid, how much debt a jurisdiction carries or the amount of services it provides.

The county is getting around 15 percent of the money now, but used to get a bigger cut before Milton, Sandy Springs and Johns Creek incorporated.

“The concern was now that Fulton County is getting such a small share there would be no incentive for them to enter into negotiations,” Wood said.

An attorney himself, the mayor said he has identified a clause in the state statute that would seem to address that possibility. In essence, he said, if a majority has signed on to an agreement, any party that hasn’t signed is entitles to a representational share based on population.

Wood said the mayors are getting opinions from their legal teams about this interpretation.

Sales tax revenues are extremely important to cities, Wood said. “Cities have become dependent on this. Property taxes would double if we didn’t receive this sales tax.”

Right now, Roswell has $19 million in LOST revenue in its current budget, but the city has gained some residents in the past 10 years.

“If it was a straight population split next year, it would be around $21 million,” Wood said.

Lockwood said the city of Milton would benefit from a population-based tax distribution, but they are not budgeting for that extra money just yet.

“It’s not like we’re loosing money if we don’t get it,” he said.

Lockwood said either a population-based or property value-based distribution would benefit Milton most. Distribution based on point of sale, however, would not be as good for the city.

If extra money does come through, he said it would be up to the council to decide what it’s used for.

“Our budget is fine as-is,” he said. “We’re not going to count our chickens before they hatch.” It’s not just about one city, though, and Lockwood said he wants to see something that would not hurt anyone else.

“We want to work with the rest of the cities to come to terms with all the other cities,” he said.

Milton’s budget year starts in October and Lockwood said they would be able to plan for a change in money flow depending on this decision.

Johns Creek follows the same budget calendar, but Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker is not as optimistic that the issue will be resolved by then.

“I fully expect this to go to litigation and it probably won’t be resolved until 2013,” he said.

Bodker said only three cities would benefit from distribution based on point of sale: Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Alpharetta.

Johns Creek is still evaluating what venue they want to support. Population has grown from 62,000 at incorporation to 76,000, but Bodker pointed out growth alone does not mean anything.

“It’s all relative to the other cities,” he said.

He also said no single factor – population or point of sale for example – would end up being the sole component to the new distribution.

Like Lockwood, Bodker recognizes the need for partnership among the cities.

“The parties in north Fulton – and south Fulton I believe – are very friendly to each other so they will work it out among themselves,” he said. “It’s just a matter of what the county will say.”

Sen. Albers Elected to Serve on Board of Directors of the World Chamber of Commerce.


Natalie Dale, Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist
GA Senate Press Office

ATLANTA (February 8, 2012) – Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the World Chamber of Commerce.

“It is a great honor to be elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the World Chamber of Commerce,” said Sen. Albers. “In my capacity as a state senator, I believe it is my duty to increase Georgia ’s visibility in the global marketplace and engage nations from around the world to choose Georgia as their next home to do business. I look forward to working with members of the chamber in our efforts to foster strong relations among the international business community.”

The World Chamber of Commerce (WCC) nominating committee held elections to name their new chairman, president and board of directors at the Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Dinner at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta , GA on Thursday February 2, 2012.

As vice chairman of the Senate Finance and Science and Technology Committees, and as an active member of the Senate Economic Development Committee, Sen. Albers has gained extensive experience developing partnerships and working with the international business community.

“On behalf of the World Chamber of Commerce, I look forward to Sen. Albers joining our Board of Directors,” said Solange Warner, founder of the World Chamber of Commerce. “I expect that Senator Albers will contribute his leadership experience to assisting the World Chamber of Commerce in meeting its goal of promoting international commerce and global economic activity.”

The World Chamber of Commerce is a public charity and nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering international business, cultural and social exchange in the international arena. As part of its functions, the chamber organizes and supports events promoting international business, educational, cultural and humanitarian goals.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Sen. Albers Recognizes Crabapple Middle School at the Capitol.

Courtesy Natalie Dale, Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist
Senate Press Office Staff

ATLANTA (February 7, 2012) – Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) presented Crabapple Middle School with a resolution on the Capitol steps last week to recognize them on being named to the Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch list.

“It was an honor to recognize students from Crabapple Middle School in the Senate Chamber last week,” said Sen. Albers, “I am proud to have such an upstanding school in my district which prides itself on being a center of academic excellence.”
Students and teachers watched from the Senate Gallery as Sen. Albers recognized Crabapple Middle School on becoming the first middle school in the nation to be named to the Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch list for the third time. In addition, Sen. Albers presented Crabapple Middle School with a resolution on the Capitol steps to recognize Crabapple Middle School as one of only 16 middle schools in the State of Georgia to receive this outstanding recognition.

“The opportunity for our eighth graders to be recognized by Senator Albers for the school’s third designation as a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch was truly an honor,” said Nathan Buhl, Principal at Crabapple Middle School . “As a principal, it is so encouraging to have such strong levels of support from our local and state leaders.”
The Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch operates in partnership with the Georgia Middle School Association and is a part of the larger National Forum Schools to Watch program. Since 1999, the national forum has sought to identify the highest performing middle schools from throughout the nation. Lighthouse schools are evaluated by the following criteria: academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational structures and processes.

Sen. John Albers represents the 56th Senate District which includes portions of North Fulton County . He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Power Of Words.

Time To Laugh.

YMCA youth soccer comes to Milton.


Spring soccer registration lasts until Feb. 18.

MILTON, Ga., Feb. 6, 2012 - Thanks to a new partnership between the City of Milton and Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA, spring soccer will be available for children and teens ages four to 13. In addition, three year olds can join in a "Mini-Kickers" program that introduces them to the sport.

Registration is currently underway and will end Feb. 18, though late sign-ups will be accepted until teams are full. To register, visit Use the online ID's in the flyer below.

"We're extremely excited to partner with the Y for this spring's soccer leagues," said John Rebar, Milton's director of parks and recreation. "The quality of the Y's programs and coaching is well known in the area, and we're glad to bring that expertise to Milton residents."
Practices begin the week of Feb. 20 at Crabapple Crossing Elementary and Hopewell Middle schools thanks to partnerships between the YMCA, Milton and Fulton County Schools. Saturday games will be played at the schools starting March 3 and last until May 5.

Cost for U6 to U14 recreational soccer is $110 for Milton residents, $165 for non-residents. An additional fee of $30 is added for a uniform.

Cost for Preschool Mini-Kickers is $75 for Milton residents and $112.50 for non-residents. A T-shirt will be provided. The program is split into two sessions: March 3-24 and April 14 through May 5.

Please note that all participants must have a current Y Facility or Program membership. Family Program memberships are $35 per year.

"We are excited that Milton residents will have convenient access to quality Y soccer programs," said Gayle Battersby, Y executive director. "Through sports, the Y is committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility."
The Y's Striker Academy/Select soccer program for more skilled and ambitious players, including competitive league opportunities, will be available fall 2012, said Battersby.

If you have questions about this program, contact Jessica Tucker, Y sports director, at 770-663-3532 or You may also contact Tom Gilliam, Milton's programs coordinator, at 678-242-2519 or


The Y is a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn grow and connect. Visit or call 770-664-1220.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Man killed in Alpharetta wreck.


By Mike Morris
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A motorist was killed late Wednesday in a fiery single-vehicle wreck in Alpharetta, police said.

Alpharetta police spokesman George Gordon said a Toyota Corolla that was eastbound on Cumming Street near Clairmont Avenue shortly before midnight left the roadway, struck a utility pole and caught fire.

Responding officers pulled the male driver from the vehicle, Gordon said. He was taken to North Fulton Hospital in critical condition, but later died, according to Gordon.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office identified the man killed as Jason Dapice, 36, of Alpharetta.

North Fulton's hidden homeless.

Courtesy Jonathan Copsey; The Milton Herald

January 25, 2012

NORTH FULTON, GA. - “Mary” lives in Roswell with her three children, where she works as an office manager. Originally from Ohio, Mary left shortly after high school to come to Atlanta, where her then-husband was attending university. While she currently lives in a Habitat For Humanity home, her family was homeless just a few years ago.

In 2005, she and her young children – ages 3, 5 and 9 – were living in an apartment in Roswell. Every morning, Mary would take her children to either school or daycare, then would head off to work. However, even though she worked a full-time job, it just wasn't enough to make ends meet.

“I got caught up with the childcare bills, rent – those were the two most stressful bills,” Mary said. “I just couldn't get caught up.”
After holding out for a few months on the edge of disaster, Mary finally got her eviction notice. And just like that, she was homeless.

“I don't think anyone was as shocked as me that you can be a full-time worker and be homeless,” she said. “I thought I had everything together trying to make things work.”Mary and her children had to live with friends in Norcross or – sometimes – sleep in their car. For three months they either slept on couches or car seats while Mary tried to get her family back on their feet.

“You feel ashamed,” she said. “I was evicted and now need all this help.”
Even though she knew she needed a lot of help, the shame of being homeless stopped her from contacting family or even telling her boss.

According to Rose Burton, executive director of Homestretch, an organization that provides shelter to families that have fallen on hard times, most of those who are homeless, like Mary, in North Fulton are considered the “hidden homeless.”

They are not the shopping cart-pushing hobo, panhandler or person sleeping in a cardboard box; instead they stay in their car or room with friends, so they often have roofs over their heads.

“It's really tough,” Burton said. “Especially when you get into the holidays. It's a time for families and when you have extra folks it create extra tension.”
This is especially difficult for families with children, who Burton said make up one of the largest demographic of homeless.

“It's a meaningful number,” she said. “A greater percentage [of homelessness] is single moms with children.”For Mary, her daughter's school eventually caught on to the family's problems and they suggested Homestretch. There, Mary was given temporary housing for her family as well as lessons on financial and life skills. It culminated in her family moving into a Habitat house.

“I never thought that I would have that much in common with someone who's homeless,” she said.

Not-so-hidden homelessness

Following a narrow path through the woods along Foe Killer Creek in Alpharetta, near North Point Mall, you come across evidence that people are living there – cans, bottles, clothing and the general debris of human occupancy can be found everywhere. It's here that several people call home. They are North Fulton's homeless.

In previous years, Alpharetta Officer Terry Joyner has kept contact with the many homeless people who lived throughout his city in camps or tent cities. This year, however, he said most have moved on.

“There are still some here,” he said.

Joyner said most were not the stereotypical down-on-his-luck person, but instead had stable jobs and only chose to live in a tent in the woods.

“This was a lifestyle choice,” he said. “A lot of them had jobs and they chose to live out there.”There used to be a collection of tents in the woods. At its height last year, there were as many as a dozen tents, although not all were occupied.

Now, the “tent city” has moved to a different area and, instead of tents, there are small plywood shelters up on cement blocks. According to Jeremy Golem, a man who was living there, these shelters were built by a local church.

Homeless for several years now, Golem said there were about three people living in the clearing, although due to the transient nature of homelessness, that number varies. People come and go.

In North Fulton, Golem, who has on-again-off-again work, is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to homelessness.

Changing demographics of homelessness

Burton said that homelessness is still a problem in North Fulton, but it is often under the radar. And the economic slump of the past few years has changed the demographics of families she deals with.

“Originally we had clients that had ... minimum wage salaries,” she said. “We're starting to see that homelessness is affecting people not just at the lowest income levels. Now we're seeing college educations and entry-level management.”
She said the numbers of people in the area who can count as homeless has been steadily increasing in the past few years. The metro Atlanta area had more than 20,000 home foreclosures last year alone, which she said will only add to the problem.

“We've been at capacity all year long,” she said. “Homestretch has people waiting.”
Congregations give helping hand

To help with the problem, several charity groups have formed, including the Drake House, a Roswell-based nonprofit care center that houses homeless women and their children and helps them become self-sufficient. They help about 50 North Fulton families each year.

Religious congregations, which have traditionally been helpful in providing food, clothing and other necessities, are also taking a more active role.

Beyond such acts of charity as Golem's plywood home in the woods, several churches and synagogues have recently banded together to offer shelter and help to homeless families.

Called “Family Promise,” about a dozen religious congregations of several faiths to house a family for several weeks, offering them free food and shelter while they get back on their feet. The children still go to school, the parents still go to work or look for jobs, but they have the benefit of not worrying about bills for at least a little while.

Sometimes that's all they need to get back on their feet, said Rabbi Bradley Levenberg of Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs.

“Homelessness is a growing problem in North Fulton and North Atlanta,” Levenberg said. “Figures were released that demonstrate that 294 children in Fulton County Public Schools were classified as homeless, a number that has grown with the start of the 2011/2012 school year. Combine that with the figures from The Drake House, where more than 40 percent of their clientele list their last address as Sandy Springs, and one can see that homeless is, in fact, a problem in our community.”