Children's Healthcare honors six Gwinnett
Special to GwinnettForum
NOV. 14, 2008 -- Six Gwinnett county pediatric patients have been
selected as 2008 Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Honor Tree recipients.
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has joined Children's
to honor patients and families of Children's Healthcare.
Students and staff at SCAD have designed and decorated the annual
Honor Trees, paying tribute to the courageous patients and families
at Children's. The trees will be customized to honor each individual
child, as well as share their story of healing and recovery.
The honorees include:
Robert "Bobby" Braswell, 14, is more comfortable
in the water than out. He loves swimming, kayaking and inner tubing.
But in 2007, he was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma, a rare and
highly aggressive form of cancer. After his treatment, Bobby is
cancer-free. He recently went scuba diving for the first time, and
hopes to become certified in the underwater hobby. Bobby's tree
is being designed by Nolan Woodard's Sequential Art students at
Conner Carithers, a three-year-old twin who, unlike his
sibling, has Down syndrome, severe respiratory issues and a rare
form of epilepsy called infantile spasms. Conner always has a smile
on his face. Conner's tree is being designed by Amanda Dumas-Hernandez,
Foundation Studies class at SCAD.
Alexandria "Alex" Davidson, 15, was diagnosed
with Crohn's disease when she was 11. Through all her treatments
and visits to Children's, she has developed a deep bond with the
staff. Alex recently was a bridesmaid in her brother's wedding,
which took place at Children's so Alex could be a part of her brother's
special day. Alex's tree is being designed by Sarah Collins, David
Goodrowe, Tiffany Teague and Jason Bunin's Fashion class at SCAD.
Pamela "Grace" Rawden is from an orphanage in
China, but in December 2006, she was adopted by an American family.
Grace was unable to see with her right eye. After only one month
in her new country, she was diagnosed with an optic pathway brain
tumor and hydrocephalus. Now, Grace is now back at school, dancing
with the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company and spending her free time
drawing cartoon characters. Grace's tree is being designed by Sarah
Collins, David Goodrowe, a fashion class of Tiffany Teague and Jason
Bunin at SCAD.
Lorenzo Ross was diagnosed with biliary atresia when he
was four weeks old. This condition causes bile to build up in the
liver. On Christmas Eve 2007, Lorenzo underwent lifesaving transplant
surgery, but complications required Lorenzo to spend four more weeks
in the hospital before he could come home to his family. Lorenzo
is now thriving and loves meeting new people. Lorenzo's tree is
being designed by the printmaking class of Rich Gere and Robert
Ari Shumbres has a rare birth defect known as VATER, Ari
spent the first 10 weeks of his life at Children's Healthcare of
Atlanta in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Despite his obstacles,
Ari is known for his bright, genuine smile. Ari's tree is being
designed by the interactive designing and game development class
of Gauri Desphande.
Another tunneling project could vastly improve
Editor and Publisher
NOV. 14, 2008 -- Highway and rail tunnels are common in many parts
of the country, usually in the more mountainous regions. Gwinnett
got its first road tunnel when Jimmy Carter Boulevard was tunneled
under the Norfolk-Southern Railroad in Norcross about 20 years ago.
Now with the recent opening of Gwinnett's second tunnel, of Pleasant
Hill Road under both that same railroad and Buford Highway, there
is talk of even a third tunnel.
The new consideration is at an intersection which is one of the
more dangerous in the area, where there are lots of traffic accidents
because of four-way left turns. It is another section of Buford
Highway, this time at Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross. The obvious
success of the Pleasant Hill tunnel moved this new tunnel to the
(If you have not traversed the Pleasant Hill-Buford Highway intersection,
traffic on Pleasant Hill moves without interruption now. On Buford
Highway, there are two traffic lights on each side of the tunnel,
to accommodate traffic from Pleasant Hill entering Buford Highway.
But now, even Buford Highway traffic moves better with fewer interruptions
than previously. This intersection is a vast improvement.)
Proposed Buford Highway looking east
(click picture for
Proposed Buford Highway looking west
Don't expect work on the new Norcross tunnel happening any time
soon. It may take six to 10 years to see it built, at an estimated
cost of $50 million. Construction should take at least 18 months.
The tunnel idea is now being pushed by the Gwinnett Village Community
Improvement District. Chuck Warbington, head of the CID, said that
the idea for the tunnel picked up steam when the Atlanta Region
Commission identified the intersection as a key area for traffic
accidents. The intersection has for more than five years ranked
among the top two areas for both traffic congestion and accidents,
with its traffic count of 97,331 vehicles per day! Wow! No wonder
there are so many calls to police to work accidents at this intersection!
That's why the CID is hoping to make this area a key priority project
to move the tunneling forward.
The main reason for the problems at this intersection now is that
traffic is allowed to make left hand turns in four directions. Add
in the high flow of traffic, and the area is always ripe for accidents.
Proposed Jimmy Carter Boulevard looking south. (large
Proposed Jimmy Carter Boulevard looking north. (large
Major effort has gone into designing the project. The question
was which roadway should go under the other. The decision for Buford
Highway to go under Jimmy Carter Boulevard comes since this concept
would have less of a disruption on traffic. Warbington says: "During
actual construction, with this method, Jimmy Carter Boulevard would
have to be closed less than one day, perhaps overnight. If instead
Jimmy Carter Boulevard went under Buford Highway, the disruption
time would be for a month or more. With the costs on either project
about the same, it's best for Buford Highway to go under Jimmy Carter
A key feature of the tunneling will be the elimination of some
signalization, and more focus on right hand turns. "What signals
we have will all be in one place," Warbington forecasts.
What once started out as a big benefit when Jimmy Carter Boulevard
provided good access from Interstate 85 to the Peachtree Corners
area has become difficult and congested. The new tunneling project
could greatly improve both the traffic flow and the safety of this
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com
to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is First National
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Snellville American Legion Squadron on tour
Editor, the Forum:
I thought this special interest story might interest you, as I
write it, today is Veteran's Day.
I am a member of the Snellville Sons of the American Legion Squadron
232 in Snellville. I am writing you to let you know that I was honored
to be included in a trip to the Dublin, Ga. Veteran's Administration
Hospital with Georgia's high-ranking American Legion leaders.
This two-day trip started in Milledgeville on November 5. We toured
that state veteran's facility. This is the facility that had the
12 percent budget cut by our the government in Washington. It's
a sad situation. Afterward, we proceeded to Dublin that night where
we attended a dinner at Dublin's American Legion Post 71. Mark Wells,
the commander of the Sons of the American Legion State of Georgia
presented the Dublin post with its chapter charter.
We met on Thursday with top officials of the VA hospital. Officials
gave us a report in a two hour session on how this hospital is serving
and caring for veterans. They included information about care, needs
of veterans and what programs the hospital is providing. After the
meeting, we toured the facility. I was pleased to represent a small
town like Snellville, I was in awe to be included in such a delegation.
Let me also mention that Snellville Squadron 232 developed and
runs the Veteran's Museum at the Historic Courthouse in downtown
Lawrenceville. Our display takes up four rooms upstairs at the old
courthouse. This unique place should be a source of pride for all
residents in Gwinnett County. Unfortunately, the majority of our
residents don't know it's there.
-- Tim Thomas, Snellville
Upbeat at first, but
now worried about new garbage contract
Editor, the Forum:
It was with great excitement that I received the news that Gwinnett
County planned to streamline garbage pick-up. There are ten houses
on my street which are served by three different garbage companies.
That means that four out of five days, someone's trash cart and
recycling bin sits by the curb. Not only is this unsightly, but
the wear and tear on our street and the noise and exhaust from so
many trucks is annoying and unhealthy. I also was excited to learn
that the recycling program would massively expand. All this sounded
like good news
until I read in GwinnettForum that the companies had been
selected. Assuming the companies would be familiar names in my area,
I followed the link to Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful and learned
that only two companies would be serving our county and that neither
of them were the local companies that serviced us now. Why weren't
local companies selected?
Currently, my garbage is collected, neatly and competently, by Southern
Sanitation out of Loganville. My cost is low - $15 per month. I
am outraged that, under this new plan, not only will I pay more
per month but Southern Sanitation, a locally owned and operated
company, is facing bankruptcy and closure. Your decision will cause
joblessness and suffering for our local businesses. How is this
helping our county?
I ask the county to please reconsider your decision. Please allow
local companies to resubmit bids and/or proposals that not only
will produce a better garbage collection system but also keep jobs
in our county. In light of our nation's economic woes, please do
not add to the problem and hurt our local businesses.
-- Lois C. Drueke, Snellville
Dear Miss Lois: Hate to be the one to tell you,
but your suggestion won't work. If re-opened, and the same companies
selected didn't get the work they would say that they submitted
their proposal in good faith, and had the rug pulled out from
under them with a re-opening when not justified. You start your
letter positive enough; the new service will be with wider collections
of recyclables, and could even be better, for not much money more
than you are now paying. Overall, this will result in less congestion,
more safe conditions, and we hope for you, still good service.
The latest great cartoon from Bill McLemore:
today to register to hear Dr. Robert Tutterow
One of the nation's economic experts, Dr. Robert Tutterow of Mercer
University will give his predictions for the short term and long
term economy on November 19 at a Gwinnett Chamber meeting.
Dr. Tutterow previously served as Dean of the Mercer's Stetson
School of Business. His analysis of the economic, business and political
environments have been featured in numerous media. He was selected
as one of "Georgia's Most Influential" by James magazine
and by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the "40 under 40"
rising stars in business, government and academia.
He speaks at the 11:30 meeting on November 19 at the Gwinnett Place
Marriott Hotel. Cost is $45 for Chamber members and $55 for non-Chamber
members. Registration deadline is November14.
Stone Mountain Chorus
open house, audition is Nov. 17
The Stone Mountain Barbershop Chorus, led by Director Drew McMillan,
invites all men who like to sing to enjoy an evening of four-part
harmony at a special open house program planned for Monday, November
17, at the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth. The program begins
at 7:30 p.m..
The popular 60-man a cappella choral group is currently auditioning
new singers in all voice parts for its 2008 - 2009 performance calendar.
You will have the opportunity to join members of the chorus as they
prepare to provide holiday entertainment for residents of nearby
senior care facilities in mid-December.
If you are a man who likes to sing, this is your chance to experience
the joy of close, four-part harmony singing in the barbershop style.
You will also learn how your involvement in this hobby can bring
not only personal satisfaction, but also listening pleasure to hundreds
of audience members.
Call the Stone Mountain Chorus information line at 770-978-8053
for additional information or visit the group's web site at www.stonemountainchorus.org.
Suwanee Police offer
two-hour teen driver classes
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among Georgia
teens. Is your child's life worth two hours?
The Suwanee Police Department, in cooperation with the Georgia
Traffic Injury Prevention Institute, will present a two-hour driver
education class for new teen drivers and their parents at 1 p.m.
Saturday, December 6, at the Crossroads Center.
Georgia Teens Ride with PRIDE (Parents Reducing the Incidents of
Driver Error) is designed to help parents model safe driving behaviors
and attitudes in order for their new teen drivers ages 14-16 to
be safer and more confident behind the wheel .
Class space is limited and advanced registration is required. To
download an application, visit the Hot Links section of the www.suwanee.com
homepage or contact Sgt. Elias Casanas at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 770/945-4607, ext. 327. The registration deadline is November
The PRIDE course makes parents/guardians more aware of their own
driving behaviors, assists parents in helping their teens to become
safe drivers, and offers strategies for required supervised practice
driving time. PRIDE is not a hands-on, "how-to" program.
Duluth artist has
solo mixed media show in Atlanta
A solo art show by Duluth resident Kim Schuessler has opened at
the Bennett Street Gallery in Atlanta. Art patrons know that Ms.
Schuessler's last three shows have been sell-outs, and are excited
about her new show. It will remain up during November.
The show, Don't Forget, is a collection of mixed media paintings
focusing on the hurried and tumultuous lives of today's woman. Schuessler,
a mother of three, uses childlike imagery to convey the real, grown-up
issues and struggles of everyday life. Her Don't Forget collection
of over 20 paintings pulls the viewer in with aggressive, electric
color as she recreates simple moments in complex collages of paint,
paper and stenciling.
Bank opens Doraville branch, it's third
Touchmark National Bank has opened its third branch, located in
Doraville. It is in the new Peachtree Pavilion development on Peachtree
Industrial Boulevard at Interstate 285, soon to be anchored by a
Super H-Mart and adjacent to the General Motors property, slated
Bill Short, president and CEO of Touchmark National Bank, says:
"We are excited to open in this vibrant new development in
Doraville. This area is dynamic and diverse, and our bank has made
a significant investment to support the growing needs of businesses
and individuals in this community."
Short says that Vitra Darden, a 25 year banking veteran, has been
named manager of the Doraville branch. Charlene Fang, Touchmark's
Senior Business Development officer, also has her office based at
the new Doraville branch. Both Darden and Fang are career bankers
with longstanding ties to the Doraville community.
Ideas for plants for
your garden to do well in winter
(Editor's Note: We asked Robert Brannen, Extension
Service agent, for names of winter plants that should do well
in Gwinnett over the winter. Here are his suggestions. -eeb)
Mahonia bealei - Leatherleaf mahonia: Soft, fragrant,
sulfur yellow flowers followed by large clusters of electric blue
"grapes". Relished by birds. Course, distinctive evergreen
foliage with sharp spines. Good barrier potential. No serious diseases
or insect problems. Newer cultivars are denser and compact. Shade
to partial shade.
Edgeworthia chrysantha - Paperbush plant: Yellow
winter blooms with a sweet, spicy fragrance borne on twigs are followed
by bluish foliage with silvery undertones in spring. In autumn the
foliage turns rich shades of yellow! Partial shade.
Stick Corylus avellana 'Contorta' - Harry Lauder's Walking
Stick: This deciduous, rounded, multi-stemmed shrub with twisted
and spiraling branches, twigs and leaves. 2-3" long, yellowish
brown catkins. No serious insect or disease problems. Contorted
branches have good accent value. Sun or partial shade.
Cornus stolonifera - Red Osier Dogwood: Red stems
have sensational color in winter. Compact habit. Sun or partial
shade. The dwarf variety reaches 3 to 4 feet. Prefers well-drained,
Callicarpa dichotoma - Purple Beautyberry: Bright,
violet/fuchsia berries surround the twigs from August to January.
Moist to dry conditions. The fruit and seeds are eaten by more than
forty species of songbirds, deer, raccoons, opossums, small rodents.
Full sun or partial shade.
- 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
Original idea of
Fox Theatre was to be Shrine temple
ON THE FOX THEATRE)
Fox was originally intended to be Atlanta's Yaarab Temple, the
meeting hall for the Shriners, part of the Masonic organization.
It was designed by the firm of Marye, Alger, and Vinour to reflect
the Shriners' Moorish theme. Soon after construction began in 1927,
it became apparent that the project was too expensive for the Shriners'
budget, and they formed an agreement with the movie magnate William
Fox, who leased the auditorium as a theater.
Built at a cost of $2,228,670.50, the theater opened on Christmas
Day 1929, just two months after the New York Stock Exchange crashed.
Despite the grim economy, the Fox gave Atlanta a sprightly Christmas
present. For tickets ranging from 15 to 75 cents, the holiday gift
included a concert on the mammoth organ, a performance by the Fox
Grand Orchestra, the Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie, a sing-a-long,
the Sunkist Beauties, Fox Movietone News, and the feature film Salute.
The Great Depression was not an auspicious time to launch such
an ambitious project, however. By 1932 the Shriners were defaulting
on their pledges, and William Fox was bankrupt. Late that year,
the mortgage was foreclosed, and the theater was forced to shut
down, after less than three years in operation. In the late 1930s,
after passing through several hands, a new partnership bought the
Fox and placed it on a sound financial footing.
During World War II (1941-45) the Fox remained open and became
a popular escape from reality to the world of make-believe. The
Fox prospered as one of Atlanta's finest movie houses from the 1940s
through the 1960s, but in the 1970s the heyday of American movie
palaces came to a close. The Fox was reduced to showing second-rate
The mid-1970s was a time of explosive growth for Atlanta, and the
relentless progress almost destroyed the Fox. The telephone giant
Southern Bell (later BellSouth) wanted the Fox's desirable corner
lot for its world headquarters. The city of Atlanta did not want
this prestigious company to move outside the city limits, taking
their employees and their lucrative tax base with them. It looked
as if the Fox would be sold and demolished to make way for Southern
Bell's new corporate headquarters.
(To Be Continued)
A literate president
gives people a more comfortable feeling
"Of course, literacy is not an absolute essential for the
Presidency. So far as I know, it is not anywhere written into the
Constitution as a requirement, but somehow, I do feel more relaxed
with a literate man in the White House."
-- Dean Acheson (1893-1971), secretary of state for President
Harry Truman, via Andy Brack, Charleston, S.C.
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