Issue 13.94 | March 11, 2014
GwinnettForum.com 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.
PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga., March 11, 2014 -- Citizens for Simpsonwood Conservancy, LLC (CSC), a grassroots neighborhood group, has filed a motion in Gwinnett County Superior Court seeking to set aside the Aug. 14, 2013, order that removed Ludie Simpson's charitable intentions from her deeded gift, in trust, to the Trustees of the North Georgia Conference of the Methodist Church, Inc. (NGCMC).
That ruling declared "all restrictions upon plaintiffs' use and alienation of the property have lapsed and are of no further force and effect." Additionally, the court ruled that "plaintiffs may freely use and/or convey the property free of the restrictive covenants," allowing the NGCMC to subdivide and to sell the 227-acre Simpsonwood property - contrary to Miss Simpson's intentions. Simpsonwood is now on the market for sale.
In 1973, two years before her death, Ludie Simpson, a retired Norcross school teacher, entrusted her property to the NGCMC in return for its written promise to hold it "intact" and to "preserve its natural beauty" forever. The court's ruling effectively terminated the charitable trust and invalidated Miss Simpson's primary charitable purpose.
The public and those interested in the estate of Ludie Simpson were not adequately represented during the court proceedings. The community's desire to preserve this property intact forever-as Miss Simpson intended-is captured in a CSC petition currently signed by more than 2,600 people.
The CSC feels that Peachtree Corners is lucky to have this magnificent parkland. We acted because no one else was standing up for the public's interest, and there is too much at stake to look away and do nothing.
Attorney Grace Evans Lewis filed the motion on behalf of the CSC and 11 adjoining or nearby landowners who have a special interest in the preservation of Simpsonwood intact in perpetuity.
CSC welcomes the public to a Community Forum on March 25, 2014 at 7 p.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 5575 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners.
The North Georgia Conference of the Methodist Church is comprised of 930 churches, 1,500 clergy, and more than 360,000 lay members. It is the largest United Methodist Conference in the United States.
Overseen by Bishop B. Michael Watson from its Simpsonwood Retreat headquarters, the conference seeks to develop Christian leaders, inspire young people, and provide opportunities to serve and fulfill the church's mission. For more information, visit www.ngumc.org.
The Citizens for Simpsonwood Conservancy (CSC) is a group of concerned Peachtree Corners neighbors with the passion and willingness to take a stand to keep the Simpsonwood Retreat property intact and in its natural state. To continue its efforts, the CSC depends on the public's contributions to its legal fund. Checks payable to Citizens for Simpsonwood Conservancy may be sent to Citizens for Simpsonwood Conservancy, 6050 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 240-200, Peachtree Corners, Ga. 30092.
MARCH 11, 2014 -- It was an incident in history of World War II that somehow I knew nothing about.
The time was the middle of 1940. Germany had overrun the low countries, and was aiming at conquering France.
Britain, meanwhile, after the miracle rescue of 338,000 soldiers at Dunkirk, was bracing for an expected invasion by Germany.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, as he writes in Their Finest Hour, the second of his six-volume history of World War II, was in diplomatic talks with the French government, urging them to fight on against Adolph Hitler. The French government, however, was split about what to do, some wanting to capitulate and save France from wanton destruction, while others wanted to move its government temporarily to Africa, and continue to fight against Nazism.
France had what was then the world's fourth largest naval fleet. Churchill, while talking to the French, continued to urge the French to send its Navy to either British ports for safekeeping, or even across the ocean to the then neutral United States. More than anything, Churchill was concerned that France might fall and their naval fleet would spill into German hands, to be used against the British under German supervision.
Diplomatic traffic went back and forth across the British Channel, with Churchill himself several times flying to France to meet directly with the French, often within earshot of the artillery. By then, the French had moved their government from Paris to Bordeaux, in fear of Hitler occupying Paris.
Two of the key figures for France were Marshal Petain, the head of the French government whom Churchill came to call a "defeatist minister," and Admiral Darlan, who was the military overlord of the Navy. The Admiral had "created" (Churchill says) the French Navy, which had been under his control for 10 years. He repeatedly assured Churchill that his fleet would never fall into German hands.
When the Admiral was made the Minister of the Navy, as such, he had a change of mind as a governmental official. He would not allow his fleet to be moved. On July 1 the French government moved to Vichy and broke relations with Britain on July 5, 1940.
The Brits took a hard line as France became the Nazi-backed Vichy government. The British gave the French two alternatives: sail its Navy to safe ports and continue to fight the Germans (and Italians), or if they failed to sail or either scuttle their ships, the British would use "whatever force necessary" to prevent the French ships from falling into German hands.
The upshot was that the French did not sail, and shortly, the Brits opened fire against French ships at several ports in the Mediterranean. One French battleship was blown up, another ran aground, and other ships, including an aircraft carrier, were put out of action. Escaping to Toulon, France, was a French battleship and several cruisers, but these ships never fought the Brits. Several French ships in English ports were taken over by the Britain.
Meanwhile, this decisive action against France by the Brits showed the rest of the world that the British were tough, even against their former ally, the French. England had been "counted out," with the world expecting Hitler to invade Britain. Yet now it was clear that the British meant business, and were willing to fight alone if necessary.
The British action against France may have served to impress Hitler of the toughness of Britain, causing him to turn his attention toward Russia on the Eastern Front. For Hitler never invaded England.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's underwriter is The IMPACT! Group, a full-service housing assistance agency based in Norcross. The IMPACT! Group provides a range of housing assistance services, including foreclosure prevention, homebuyer education, financial education, and transitional housing to the residents and military veterans of Gwinnett County and greater Atlanta. In the past year alone, the agency operated approximately 60 percent of the transitional housing units available to homeless families in Gwinnett and provided over 5,000 of your neighbors with housing counseling and education. Awarded the 2010 D. Scott Hudgens Humanitarian Award by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, The IMPACT! Group is able to provide all of its services in both English and Spanish. If you or a loved one are facing a home foreclosure or are looking to access down payment assistance to buy a home, The IMPACT! Group may be able to help. All IMPACT! housing counselors are HUD-certified and all homeowner counseling sessions are kept confidential.
Editor, the Forum:
Almost all Republican state representatives are ensconced in safe gerrymandered districts with loads of money from right-wing organizations such as ALEC, and don't have any worries of being booted out of office. The headlines for the top elected officials in the state are making them vulnerable from challenges in either the primary or general election.
We start with our ethically-challenged governor, unable to shake the ethics violations, plus the turmoil in that department. Above all else, there is the complete abdication to insure that the vulnerable have health insurance and prevent thousands of Georgians from dying. We should also mention his poor judgment regarding the winter storm and the resulting traffic debacle.
We jump to the secretary of states office where we have the continued incompetence of that office. A recent headline reads: "State employee's error leaves 739 nurses out of work."
Then we move on to the labor commissioner who has persisted in ignoring strong anecdotal evidence of widespread violations of the laws governing 1099 contract labor and his refusal to partner with the federal government to stop these practices. This is especially relevant and true in the following fields: truck drivers, gyms-personal trainers and construction workers.
The insurance commissioner continues to avoid any leadership on implementing the Affordable Health Care act and continues to be nothing but a political hack and a mouth piece for the insurance companies.
The attorney general's office bungled the trial of a prominent Republican state senator accused of double dipping on his expense accounts. Was it deliberate?
These are just snippets but I have plenty more examples and I shall go into more details later. It just adds up to Georgia's continued downward spiral with the party of Guns, Ovaries and Prayer (GOP) or if you prefer Grand Old Platitudes (GOP).
Rant, rave and send us your opinion
The Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute is hosting "Opportunity Lead," a two-hour workshop specifically designed to encourage and train emerging community leaders in effective board leadership. Scheduled for Thursday, March 27, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Cultural Arts and Community Center in Historic Downtown Norcross, this program presents the role of board governance from a practical viewpoint, with real-life scenarios and examples. The focus of this workshop will be effective board operations, expectations of board members, governance, financial and legal roles and responsibilities of board members, and finding the right fit.
to a study by the national consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton, there
are more than 1.2 million "vacancies" on nonprofit organizations'
boards of directors in any given year in the United States. In Gwinnett
County, most of these vacancies occur at smaller and medium-sized nonprofit
organizations that desperately need strong board governance and support
Organizers say anyone who currently serves on a board or is interested in serving in a volunteer leadership role within a nonprofit organization will gain great benefit from attending. Ellen Gerstein, executive director of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, says: "The primary purpose for this workshop is to help Gwinnett's social service and civic organizations perform at their highest level. We encourage our partners and others to participate in this valuable training."
The workshop's main presenter is Terri Theisen of Theisen Consulting LLC, with more than 35 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, who is a nationally-acclaimed consultant, speaker and trainer, with special emphasis on strategic planning and nonprofit board governance. Co-presenter is Keith Fenton, a 23-year veteran of the nonprofit sector and current chief development officer for Annandale Village.
There is a $15 per-person fee for GNLI alumni and $20 per-person fee for non-alumni to help defray the costs of the facility and catering. To register or for more information, call Miranda Marlowe (770) 995-3339 or online at http://www.gnli.org.
Hudgens Center offers varied camps, workshops for all ages
Center for the Arts has tons of classes, workshops and camps for this
spring and summer for both adults and children to enjoy!
Gwinnett Capital Campaign has exceeded its expectations, campaign leaders
report. For the first time in its nearly 30 year history, Leadership Gwinnett
launched a capital campaign, and in a eight months it ran past all expectations,
raising more than $900,000. Leaders look upon the success as a testament
to the organization's remarkable commitment to develop action and solution
oriented leaders for Gwinnett County and the region.
Good Samaritan Health Center making progress in relocating
The Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett continues to move forward with plans for relocation to larger facilities in order to launch the county's only full-time charity dental clinic. To date, they have raised $475,000 in cash and pledges for that purpose.
Gregory Lang, executive director, says: "We are grateful to North Point Ministries and a generous family foundation who have recently provided matching grants totaling $200,000 for our new facility. We have quite a distance to go yet, but are very thankful for the gifts already received and promised. Having nearly a half-million dollars at this early stage of our campaign sends a powerful message - the community supports our plans and is behind us in the endeavor." The non-profit's fundraising goal for the new facility is $5 million to open the doors, $12 million over five years to fund all acquisition and operating costs.
Lang notes that the facility has had "A 225 percent growth in demand for our service; we provided more than 10,100 healthcare appointments during 2013. We simply have no more room in our current space to accommodate additional growth in demand for charity medical care, and we certainly have no room for a dental clinic. Our non-profit partners refer to us much more often than in the past and the number of self-referred uninsured residents in Gwinnett who turn to us continues to increase."
As the health center moves forward in its expansion plans, it also continues to expand its board of directors. Mrs. Leticia Willis, president of Willis Mechanical, Inc. has joined its board of directors. Her firm is a Norcross company specializing in mechanical systems and HVAC Maintenance and Service. Mrs. Willis also serves on the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce board, and the Gwinnett County Advisory Board of BB&T Bank. She is a graduate from the Executive Training Program, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.
The Good Samaritan recently entered into two collaborative agreements with other non-profit organizations serving Gwinnett County, NSpire Outreach and Gwinnett Community Alliance. NSpire Outreach is focused on the issue of homelessness in Gwinnett County. Gwinnett Community Alliance works to improve the quality of life of residents within the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District. Good Samaritan now has 23 collaborative partners in the greater Gwinnett area.
Pacolet Milliken donates 16.8 acres to Brenau for athletic field
South Carolina-based Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc., has donated to Brenau University a 16.8-acre tract of land for the development of a multipurpose athletics park at the site of the historic New Holland textile mill village, about two miles northeast of the university's main campus.
The land, which lies along Jesse Jewell adjacent to the Milliken and Company mill in the unincorporated Hall County community, will be the site of a $4.4 million project that includes development of "home field" facilities for the Brenau Golden Tigers intercollegiate soccer, softball, and track and field programs.
The site plan also incorporates walking and jogging/walking paths and others available for public use and special programs, like "movies on the green" and other entertainment and family recreational opportunities for those in New Holland, Gainesville and the surrounding region. The first phase of the project will begin as soon as possible so the softball facilities will be ready for home games in the spring of 2015. The initial phase will include the site development, a softball field and bleachers, parking, and a field house.
Snellville firm pouring caissons for new bridge across Lanier
Department of Transportation (DOT) announces that two of the twelve concrete
caissons are poured and curing now for the new Georgia Highway 284 Bridge
over the Chattahoochee River portion of Lake Lanier.
This $8.7 million construction project was awarded to E. R. Snell Contractor Inc., of Snellville. The project will build a new bridge for Georgia Highway 284 over the Chattahoochee River portion of Lake Lanier at the Lake Lanier Olympic Center. The new bridge will have 12 feet wide lanes and an 8 feet wide bike-able shoulder in each direction. The project also builds a new pedestrian tunnel under SR 284. The project completion date is December 31, 2015. The existing bridge was built in 1958 and does not meet current design standards.
This novel is an excellent model of a subtly disturbing psychological thriller. The tale details a dysfunctional marriage as the very foundation of the union transforms into inevitable chaos. Harrison allows the reader to empathize with the main characters, in spite of their opposing viewpoints, by offering a first person perspective of their thoughts. This intimate access to personal motive permits an uncomfortable allegiance with each of the characters, an allegiance that leaves the reader with a feeling of culpability to the couple's destructive actions.
(From previous edition)
G. Lombard Kelly's principal task during his first years as dean was to regain the school's accreditation, which had been withdrawn in 1934 by the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges. At that time the school faced being closed or moved to Atlanta. He set out to build the finest faculty possible, recruiting superior professionals in the United States and Canada; to increase the volume and quality of research; and to establish new departments and enlarge the school. Thanks primarily to his efforts, the school's accreditation was restored in 1937. From 1936 to 1941 Kelly served both as dean of the medical school and as superintendent of University Hospital, a position he had pursued with the goal of achieving optimum conditions for students performing clinical work there.
In January 1944 Kelly, right, was granted leave of absence from the school to spend six months as the first executive secretary of the newly established Council on Medical Service and Public Relations of the American Medical Association in Chicago.
While superintendent of University Hospital and in the years that followed, Kelly was faced with harmful political interference in the operation of the hospital; by 1945 its management had fallen to an unacceptable level. Kelly devoted considerable energy during these times to resolving serious problems in relations with the city of Augusta and to improving the hospital. By the fall of 1945 the situation at University Hospital was much improved.
In the 1940s Kelly had striven for the medical school to become an independent entity within the University System of Georgia; in 1950 this change was approved. The Medical Department of the University of Georgia became the Medical College of Georgia, and Kelly's title changed from dean to president. In 1951 another of Kelly's related goals was achieved when the Georgia legislature approved construction of the Medical College of Georgia's own hospital.
Kelly retired from the Medical College of Georgia in 1953, becoming president emeritus. He spent a few years in private practice, specializing in marital relations and related health problems, a field in which he had published a number of successful books. After closing his practice in 1960, he served for several years as medical advisor to the Veterans Administration office in Columbia, S.C.
An avid writer since his medical school days, Kelly wrote short stories, children's stories, and news articles, and he collaborated with other professionals on numerous medical papers. Kelly died on October 24, 1972, of arteriosclerosis. He was buried at Westover Memorial Cemetery in Augusta.
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Which of These Two Buses Will You Catch?
"There'll be two buses leaving the hotel for the park tomorrow. The two o'clock bus will be for those of you who need a little extra work. The empty bus will leave at five o'clock."
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
The Lilburn Community Garden is expanding by adding 25 new plot rentals which will be available for the 2014 growing season. Gardeners of all ages and skill levels are invited to apply for space in the garden. The Garden is located near the Lilburn City Park on Main Street. Plots are available in two sizes, 4 x 8 and 4 x 12 feet. Applications are now being accepted. For more information, visit this site or call Mandy McManus at 678-207-9614.
Plant Sale Orders will be taken by the Gwinnett County Extension Service, through March 11. A variety of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, figs, apples, native azaleas and other landscape plants will be available. Order forms may be obtained from this Web site or calling 678-377-4010. All orders must be prepaid and picked up at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville on Wednesday, March 19, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Business After Hours of the Buford Business Alliance, (BBA) Tuesday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Make It Loud Web Design, 2828 Buford Drive, Suite 300, in Buford. The BBA is a forum for ideas to promote and improve Historic Buford. The Buford Business Alliance meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. Info: www.visitbuford.com/.
(NEW) Taste of Lilburn is set for Saturday, March 22, at Lilburn City Hall from 3-5 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 p.m., with tickets priced at $15 each or two for $25. Samples from six of Lilburn's restaurants will be provided. The restaurants include 1910 Publich House, Bambinelli's, Oyster Barn, Spiced Right BBQ, Taqueria Los Hermanos, and Three Blind Mice. Proceeds will benefit the Wynne-Russell house and grounds.
(NEW) Snellville Historical Society meets again on Sunday, April 6, at 2:30 p.m. at Snellville City Hall. Speaker will be Glyndia Norton, retired teacher from Snellville, speaking about "The Snellville Middle School in the Old Rock Building." Membership dues are $15 for individuals and $25 for families, and may be mailed to the Society at 2350 Oak Road, Snellville, Ga. 30078. The society's office is open from 10-noon Mondays and Fridays at the City Hall.
Photographic exhibit by Lawrenceville's Frank Sharp will be open at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History through August 24. The show is entitled "Birds of Bali." Admission is $13 for adults; $12 for seniors, students.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
CONTINUING OBJECTIVES FOR GWINNETT
Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.
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