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FEST-OFF: Duluth's 32nd Fall Festival missed bad weather. Lots of people enjoyed the Festival, including Photographer Frank Sharpe, who took several photos of the activities.

  • To see more photos of both humans and canines, see Lagniappe below or click here now.

Issue 14.53 | Sept. 30, 2014

:: Move around more

:: Stop women bashing

On military relief

Visiting ERs, more

Highway done early

:: Gwinnett Medical Center

:: Just Pretend You're Dead

:: Defining PC

:: On saltpeter

:: Guardian angel

:: GGC honoree, Fest photos


ABOUT US is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

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Stretch, move, walk around ... instead of sitting at work all day
Special to GwinnettForum
| permalink

BUFORD, Ga., Sept. 30, 2014 -- The realities and consequences of our sitting all day become obvious… yet overlooked… except to our bodies.


Actually, our bodies emerge as the brave soldiers here, now doing what they were never designed to do: SIT. Hour after day after week… too bad our IRA's are not accumulating assets like this.

Sitting is sometimes compared to smoking. Is that legit? Well, yes and no. Yes, from the standpoint that the ultimate cost of sitting: obesity, problems associated with poor circulation, head, neck, shoulder and back problems, etc., will far exceed that of smoking. We have to sit---because that's the nature of work today. We could blame technology for the gradual decline of our bodies. But nobody, certainly not our employers, will abandon technology this five minutes.

With that in mind, any time spent not sitting……helps. Think in terms of "movement moments." The computer doesn't need breaks, but your body does. Getting up and simply walking around a bit won't remedy the situation when we still have six more hours of sitting.

So instead, there must be a method to your movement. For starters, think in terms of random movement. Examples are: lightly shaking out your body, randomly moving your joints around, raising your arms over your head, and shifting your weight back and forth while standing. After a minute of this, you will experience an amazing phenomenon - your human instinct to stretch.

Helping the instinct to stretch is best exemplified by watching infants, toddlers, and pets when they first wake up. What do they do? They stretch. But it doesn't look like yoga, does it? Or calisthenics. It's more organic, individualized and random - not likely repeated exactly the same way each time.

So stand up, move away from the desk, and look out the window, which also gives your eyes some much needed range of motion. Start to lightly shake your body. You see, vibration is the key to fluidity. Fluidity is the opposite of rigidity which is the outcome of sitting.

Also, change your workstation from being static, i.e., sitting in the chair the same way all day, to doing some work standing up. Move the monitor position. Use voice software and generate copy while getting up and moving around. If you talk on the phone a lot, use a headset. This allows your body freedom of movement.

You can get movement even while still sitting. Grab any area of your desk or chair with one or both hands and while keeping them fixed in place, gently move the rest of your body. Reaching behind your chair with one or both arms is a way to gently stretch.

When we teach these simple "movement moments," people are amazed at how much activity their body can generate simply while sitting and/or standing at their desk. Consider setting a timer as a reminder to get up and move around, only now you'll move with focus and a purpose. And if the timer goes off while you're closing the biggest deal of the year or finishing the great American novel, well, I guess it can wait a little while.

But not too long. One way or another, no matter how successful you are, however measured, you'll appreciate having a pain-free functional body to enjoy that success.

Let's ostracize those who bash women and act with unruliness

Editor and publisher |

SEPT. 30, 2014 -- The recent exposure of athletes with cruel off-field activity---bashing of women, overwrought disciplining of children, spousal abuse and other bad behavior, is causing more people to question such behavior. It's also raising more questions particularly about the National Football League (NFL).


Athletes are being looked at more closely. Even the "above-it-all" NFL is being questioned if it is really looking out for the best interest of its players, or merely trying to protect its franchises, or protect the league itself.

People, and not only women who have been fans for years, are now wondering why they owe their allegiance to the NFL, or even to football in general. The physical outcomes of players later in life are being raised. Head injuries in baseball, and most recently more attention to concussions in soccer from headers, opens this field even wider.

What it all amounts to is that a new questioning seems to be pervasive from many fans of sports teams. But it goes farther than just in sports.

Coming under the nation's microscope is unbecoming conduct by a wider scope of figures in public life. An Alabama federal judge's behavior is being analyzed after an altercation with his wife in an Atlanta motel.

Routinely, every few years, come other political figures, whether it is a county commissioner, or a senator, or even the governor of a state, with outlandish ethical standards being examined. It's to the point that the public might even question you if you say you are going to be away for a few days walking the Appalachian Trail.

Certainly Hollywood figures are being looked at with new eyes, as they should. Lurid details of wild parties, including abuse of alcohol, drugs, and marriage vows, from the Glamour Set, get more examination than ever before.

Why did we Americans look the other way at any of these antics all these years?

Perhaps we are just fed up with these machinations. Perhaps total disclosure is today's need. It should be. We must now castigate these outlandish people who we have in the past looked up to. These drug heads, those who seek to scurry around the law, those who feel they are above it all routinely violate our trust. We shouldn't take it any more.

Recognize and ostracize those who either thumb their nose at us, or those who violate moral principles. And though we see distasteful reports of these people in the media, we should give even more power to open reporting of their shenanigans. We need to know and demonize them and not turn our eyes and reward them.

Are conditions today any worse today than in days of old? Probably not, as any country surely has their share of lizards. But you don't really want to idolize them and reward them with our awe. We owe it to an open press for reporting their lurid tales.

We recognize that all of us have our foibles and problems. But not so many of us are essentially bad, or carry distasteful activities as far as some in the public eye.

A return to the basic values may never happen. We all may be headed for the cliff.
We hope there will always be clear-headed among us who can recognize good and bad behavior, and champion the straight and positive way and make sure the scumbags are recognized.

We may not ever get to perfection ourselves…..but we can try.

Gwinnett Medical Center

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring to you at no cost to readers. Gwinnett Medical Center is a nationally-recognized, not-for-profit healthcare network with acute-care hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth. Offering cardiovascular, orthopedic and neuroscience specialty care as well as a full continuum of wellness services, GMC's 4,500 associates and 800 affiliated physicians serve more than 400,000 patients annually. Through services like the Concussion Institute and Strickland Heart Center, GMC is continuing to meet evolving community needs.

  • For a list of other sponsors of this forum, go here.

Remembers when American military has sent in relief before

Editor, the Forum:

You said: "The military men will always advise on sending in the troops. They are trained to recommend no other way."

I say: Wow!...I served and I know it is not true.

You said: "Should President Obama want to send relief for natural outbreaks, such as the Ebola virus, or an earthquake, or other disasters, perhaps our country could be of service there. Even our military might lead the way."

I say: Wow!...You make it sound like we have never done any of these types of things. This country has done all of these things over and over. I remember Talking Heads criticizing President Bush for sending an aircraft carrier to the Indian Ocean for tsunami relief. He was called ignorant for sending a weapon of war to a disaster. This was ignorance to the highest degree. An aircraft carrier has tremendous resources that make it the most logical thing to send to a disaster...

And we did not send them a bill for services rendered.

-- Alex J. Ortolano, Duluth

Dear Alex: Good comeback. My focus was better to come with relief than trying to conquer the world through fighting with our military might. -eeb

Wants USA to stay out of civil wars between other countries

Editor, the Forum:

Your article on policing perils is right on the money and makes a lot of sense. Bravo!

Love reading the Gwinnett Forum twice a week. I pray to God our leaders in this great country will do make right decision and stay out of these civil wars between countries.

-- Helen Rocquemore, Auburn

Rant, rave, send us a letter

An invitation: We encourage readers to submit feedback (or letters to the editor). Send your thoughts to the editor at We will edit for length and clarity. Make sure to include your name and the city where you live. Submission of a comment grants permission for us to reprint. Please keep your comments to 300 words or less. However, we will consider longer articles (no more than 500 words) for featuring in Today's Issue as space allows.

Now you can schedule your emergency room visit from home

Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) has a new service, ER Express, that allows people to reserve a spot at the emergency department from your home. This new service is available at the hospital's emergency departments in Duluth and Lawrenceville and at the Children's Emergency Center at GMC-Lawrenceville.

ER Express allows patients with non-life-threatening illnesses to go online and reserve a spot at the emergency department. This service is especially helpful to:

  • People with children who need to arrange for someone to care for them while at the emergency department;

  • Those who are assisting the elderly, who might require more time to get to the hospital; or,

  • For those who might live further away and wish to reserve a place in line while driving to the hospital.

Reservations are made at The web page shows the next available time to be treated at GMC's emergency departments so allowing the patient to select the best time and location. An email will be sent, confirming the emergency department time. ER Express is complimentary to all patients of GMC.

Director of Emergency Services Freda Lyon at GMC-Lawrenceville says: "Most patients who use the ER Express service will be seen within about 30 minutes of their scheduled time, but our emergency department staff must treat patients based on the severity of their illness or injury. Should a patient with a life-threatening condition arrive when you do, your time may be delayed, however, we will do everything we can to see you as close to your reserved time."

This service is for non-life-threatening emergencies only. If you or a loved one is experiencing chest pains, signs of a stroke, or other life-threatening emergency, immediately dial 911.

New coffee house now open on Grayson Parkway

Officially opened on September 19, the Grayson Coffee House reflects a labor of love and the entrepreneurial spirit of partners Cindy Bruce, Allison Grier and Kerin Fraunfelder.

Grier, who has worked and been an active volunteer in the Grayson community for years, contacted Gail Lane, Grayson's DDA Manager, who suggested they look at a little house on Grayson Parkway that had recently become available for lease.

With all the charm of the turn of the century, and much of the infrastructure still intact from that era, Bruce, and Fraunfelder agreed it would be the perfect home for the Grayson Coffee House.

The Grayson Coffee House at 502 Grayson Parkway serves the Jittery Joe's brand of coffee as well as iced coffee and freezes, teas, and smoothies, along with baked goods provided by Graft and Totally Baked. Through the month of September, their hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and they are open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Norcross DDA to hold Holiday Tour of Homes on Dec. 6

Six houses from yesteryear and today will dress up in their holiday finest as they open their doors to visitors and neighbors for a Historic Norcross Holiday Tour of Homes on December 6. The Norcross Downtown Development Authority hosts this event.

Shuttles will drop sightseers off at each of the stops including: the Bottoms House,
Ashford Place, the Born House, the Davenport House, Adams Vineyard and the Johnson House.

Additional treats await individuals at the Cotton Gin and Santa's Workshop and
Marketplace at the Rectory. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the Tour of Homes. This price includes the Day Tour from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and the Candlelight Tour from 6 until 9 p.m.

Georgia Highway 347 section completed ahead of schedule

The newly widened Georgia Highway 347 from I-985 to McEver Road is now open, more than two months ahead of schedule! The outside lane of the road westbound from the railroad bridge through McEver Road will open Monday after bridge work finishes this weekend in that lane.

Brent Cook, Georgia DOT district engineer, says "We are excited to complete the widening of this section of SR 347 so far ahead of the November 30 contract completion date. Thank everyone for their patience through the construction process."

The 1.7 mile long widening of SR 347/Lanier Islands Parkway from I-985 to McEver Road is under contract to C.W. Matthews Contracting, Inc. of Marietta for $11.6 million. The original contract completion date is November 30, 2014.

The widening of Highway 347 from I-985 east to Georgia Highway 211 in Braselton continues and is on schedule for its January 12, 2016 completion date.

Jackson EMC returns $6 million to its customers/members

At the 75th Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) Annual Meeting recently, the Board of Directors announced that in December the cooperative will mail $6 million in margin refunds to more than 207,000 members who received electric service in 1989 and/or 2013. The median rebate for customer is $13.05.

Board Chairman Otis Jones of Lawrenceville notes: "Jackson EMC is a not-for-profit cooperative. The board of directors is able to return a portion of the revenue left over after all the bills are paid, funds which we refer to as 'margins', to our members at the end of each year. After this December's refund, Jackson EMC will have returned nearly $102 million in margin refunds to its owner/members since the cooperative was founded in 1938."

After reporting the year's highlights to cooperative members, Jackson EMC President/CEO Chip Jakins told the audience that the Residential Customer Satisfaction Survey completed in late 2013 had yielded an overall satisfaction score of 94 percent, a record for the cooperative and one of the highest customer satisfaction scores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), which tracks such companies as Walmart and Coca-Cola.

Just Pretend You're Dead
By Jason Brooks

Grayson author Jason Brooks, known for his community-focused website Grayson Local, released his latest book last week, Just Pretend You're Dead (And Other Parenting Insights). It is the fourth book from Brooks, but is his first on the challenges of parenting. With essays on pregnancy, potty training, and the heartbreaking reality of his daughter's first day of school, Brooks writes with humor and thoughtfulness.


The unorthodox title actually comes from the book's longest essay. "My wife, Rachel, went out of town for a week to help her family," Brooks says. "Being naïve, I assured her I could handle the kids - who were five and two at the time - by myself. Three days in, I was so exhausted that one morning when the kids came in and tried to wake me up, I just pretended like I couldn't hear them. After ten minutes, they left me alone and I thought, 'What a great parenting strategy: just pretend you're dead.'

-- Gail Lane, Grayson

  • An invitation: What Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus what book you plan to read next. --eeb

Confederates made their own gunpowder from Georgia saltpeter

When mixed in proper proportions with sulfur and charcoal, saltpeter- or potassium nitrate-forms gunpowder. The ability of early colonists to procure their own supplies of this essential substance enabled them to successfully fight the Revolutionary War (1775-83) despite blockades by England. As did the Confederates during the Civil War (1861-65), the colonists depended on a secure source of gunpowder, and Georgia proved to be an important producer.

Caves within the Appalachian Mountains were the most significant source of saltpeter, pictured at right. Earth from the caves was mined and carried in bags or wheelbarrows to be processed either outside or, in many instances, inside the cave. Large wooden hoppers, or vats, were constructed to hold the excavated soil. Water was then poured in and allowed to stand for several days to take into solution the nitrates present in the soil, which was stirred often with wooden paddles. The water would then be collected by troughs at the base of the hoppers.

This aqueous solution was next boiled in large cast-iron kettles to extract the mineral, a process known as lixiviation. Since the nitrate obtained was actually calcium nitrate, wood ash was added during the lixiviation to convert the substance into potassium nitrate. Once the water boiled off, the remaining precipitate was bagged and transported to gunpowder factories, such as the Confederate Powder Works in Augusta.

The work of the "peter monkeys," as the miners were known, was an extremely tiring and dangerous task. Laboring for long hours in the cold and dark environment of a cave, dimly lit with torches that gave off noxious smoke, the workers often crawled into small passages to extract the earth. They also felled many trees to provide wood for the hoppers and to fuel the fires used for boiling. If the processing was done within the cave, all of this material was carried underground. If a water source was not readily available, logs were hollowed out to provide piping for its transport. Wages were low, and often either slaves or conscripted soldiers were employed in the operation.

Several caves in Georgia served as mines for saltpeter. The most prominent was Kingston Saltpeter Cave in Bartow County. The cave was located far enough south of advancing Union forces in 1864 that, while other saltpeter operations farther north had been overtaken, Kingston survived until late May. Mined for nitrates as early as 1804, Kingston was a privately owned site at the outbreak of the Civil War but was taken over by the Confederate Nitre Bureau in order to increase production. While none of the saltpeter works are in evidence there today, records attest to the large quantity of material processed from the cave before its destruction by the Union army.

Another lighthouse?

Aha! We stumped the readers again in last issue's Mystery Photo (below, at right). It came from Paige Havens of Lawrenceville. It is the status "Guardian Angel" and can be found overlooking the Central State Hospital in Milledgeville.

In the late 90s, the Georgia Consumer Council adopted the cemetery memorial project as a tribute to those who faced mental disabilities in a less enlightened time as an effort to reduce stigma and promote more community awareness and education about mental illness. The Consumer Council has made significant strides through the years in restoring this old cemetery. This guardian angel stands at the back of a quiet forest of Georgia pines overlooking the graves of thousands of former patients who were laid to rest and have long been forgotten.

CLUE: Now let's turn to another mystery photo. Hmmmm. Looks like a lighthouse, and it doesn't appear to be on the Georgia coast. But where is it? Send your idea to and include your hometown.

* * * * *

By the way, we found out who sent in a recent photo: Holly Daniell of Suwanee. She writes: "I am catching up on my emails from last week and came across the GwinnettForum with the Castle Stalker picture. It was me who sent it in! It's one of my favorite pictures from my second trip to Scotland! It's not a very big castle and looks like it would be hard to get to unless in a very small boat! Hopefully someday soon I will be able to make my third trip to Scotland and provide you with more interesting pictures! It's a land that just calls my name!'

Another winner, Fall Festival photos

Gao Chia Vang, center, of Lawrenceville receives the Georgia Gwinnett College 2014 Outstanding Student Employee Award from Chase Goodwin, Student Government Association president and Dr. Stas Preczewski, GGC president. Vang was one of nine students among the faculty, students and staff recognized at GGC's 2014 academic convocation ceremony.

MORE FROM THE FESTIVAL: And finally, here are three more photos from Duluth's 32nd Fall Festival by photographer Frank Sharpe.


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2014, Gwinnett Gwinnett Forum is an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

Here's Another Way To Define Political Correctness

"Political correctness is a war on noticing."

-- Journalist and Movie Critic Steve Sailer (1958 - ), via Marshall Miller, Lilburn.




Paid advertisement

The 32nd Duluth Fall Festival has come and gone, and was the most successful in its history. There were more vendors than ever before, with 375 booths. We had 160 sponsors for a total of about $158,000 from sponsor income alone.

The weather, though threatening, turned out fine. The 400 volunteers were on the spot in their blue festival shirts, and most showed up exactly when and where they had signed up online to be. There were more people attending than we have ever had! The booths and carnival were busier than ever, and a fun and enthusiastic feeling was everywhere.

Thanks to those who attended and enjoyed this amazing weekend! In the meantime, the Festival for 2015 is organizing for next year. Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris was the leader this year, and Sheldon Greenwald and Wayne Herman will lead next year. So put Saturday and Sunday, September 26-27, 2015, on your calendars now, and make your plans to be attend the 33rd Annual Duluth Fall Festival!

Market Extension: The Lilburn City Market on Main is extending its season until September 30. The market is opening evenings on Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. in the Greenway parking lot across from City Hall. For more information, contact Rozalyn Schmitt, City of Lilburn event coordinator, 770-638-2225.

(NEW) Manufacturing Growth Education Series at Gwinnett Tech continues October 2 at 11:30 a.m. at the Busbee Center. The speaker will be Ed Murphy, strategic business manager at the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Georgia Tech. Cost is $15 and includes lunch. Registration information here.

Snellville Historical Society meets Sunday, October 5, at the Snellville City Hall. The program will be presented by Kathryn Parson Willis with the topic "A history of the Gwinnett Health System." For more info, send email here.

Southern Wings Bird Club Auction will be Monday, October 6 at 7 p.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Items to be on sale will be for birds, the garden, the home, the tummy and even a knick-knack shelf. More info.

Redevelopment Forum for 2014: Thursday, October 16, 7: 30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Studio Movie Grill, Duluth. Topics include maximizing re-development, financing and opportunities through Public-Private Partnerships. Keynote speaker will be Ellen Durham Jones of Georgia Tech, talking on "Sustaining vibrant communities." To register, click here.

Exhibit of eight artists continues through December 2 at George Pierce Park Community Center in Suwanee. Eight female artists will showcase their talents, including watercolor, acrylic, oil, color pencil, mixed media, collage, and pen and ink with color pencil. For more information, call 678-277-0910.


9/26: Policing peril, disasters
9/23: Scottish referendum, more
9/19: Gwinnett's special weekends
9/16: Four legacy candidates
9/12: Remembering Jim Cowart
9/9: DeKalb to offer Sunday voting
9/5: The 2014 elections
9/2: Police personnel raids

8/29: Little Free Library
8/26: Buford's Michael Brown
8/22: Oh, for Braves of past
8/19: Good idea about Olympics
8/15: Churchill and battlefronts
8/12: New Duluth manager
8/8: On corporate moves
8/5: Club recognizes bus drivers
8/1: On better candidates

7/29: Good week for Atlanta
7/25: Can GOP keep control?
7/22: Peachtree Corners update
7/18: On election runoffs
7/15: Gwinnett's water use
7/11: Georgia Guidestones
7/8: 40 years in Gwinnett
7/3: Primary runoff endorsements
7/1: About the shining sun

6/27: A busy Congress
6/20: Property mystery solved
6/17: Civil War, tanning, more
6/13: On cleaning your plate
6/10: Fairness cuts several ways
6/6: Obama's carbon emissions plan
6/3: "Community Through Diversity"


9/26: Buchanan: Keeping out the sun
9/23: Nichols: Hudgens Prize judges
9/19: Hendrickson: Great Days of Service
9/16: Paul: Recent visit to Israel
9/12: Hassell: Land Trust
9/9: Varga: Peace Corps novel
9/5: Szabo: Solicitor's caseload
9/2: Foreman: Phone hacking

8/29: Waters: Consider liberalism
8/26: Swanson: On an internship
8/22: Stewart: Dog-tethering law
8/19: Sever: Road timing improves
8/15: Brill: Helmet sensors
8/12: Light: Cannon heads GTC
8/8: Fenton: Corporate Games
8/5: A. Brack: Summers to be hotter
8/1: Starnes: Enjoy writing

7/29: Lail: House fire, part 2
7/25: Lail: House fire, part 1
7/22: DeWilde: Suwanee's Cinderella
7/18: Zaken: Glance Gwinnett
7/15: Callina: Gift card scam
7/11: Cochran: Closed meetings
7/8: Lang: On health care act
7/3: Miller: Leukemia grants
7/1: Andrews: Sugar Hill's EpiCenter

6/27: Georgia Cup criterium
6/20: Gross: L'ville's 4th
6/17: Gardner: Senate bid
6/13: Adcock: Clinic openings
6/10: Wilson: GGC's top athletics
6/6: Waters: Leadership Gwinnett
6/3: Myers: GA-PMOC graduation


Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.

  • Development of a two-party system for county offices
  • Moving statewide non-partisan judge election runoffs to the General Election
  • Light rail for Gwinnett from Doraville MARTA station to Gwinnett Arena
  • Extension of Gwinnett Place CID area to include Arena and Discovery Mills Mall
  • Banning of tobacco in all Gwinnett parks
  • Making Briscoe Field a commercial airport for jet-age travel
  • More diverse candidates for political offices and appointment to local boards
  • Physical move of former St. Gerard's Catholic Church in Buffalo, N.Y., to Norcross
  • Creative efforts to support the arts in Gwinnett
  • Advancement and expansion of city and Gwinnett historical societies
  • Stronger regulation of late-night establishments with alcoholic licenses
  • Requiring the legislature to meet once every two years.
  • Development of more community gardens.

ABOUT US is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

:: Contact us today
:: Subscribe for free
Buy the book on Gwinnett's history


2001-2014, Gwinnett is Gwinnett County's online community forum for commentary that explores pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

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