|Issue 8.87 | Friday, Feb. 6, 2009 | Forward to your friends!|
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SUWANEE, Ga., Feb. 6, 2009 -- Quantum National Bank has made an unconventional
and strategic choice for its new president and CEO. Rather than selecting
a traditional banker deeply ingrained in the ways banks have operated
for years, the company made a strategic decision and opted for a candidate
with a strong knowledge of business and the local community who can better
address the serious challenges of today's market.
Bryan Cohen, the new head of Quantum National Bank, has spent the last
17 years as the president of Touchstone Homes, an award-winning Suwanee-based
home builder and residential development company. Under Cohen's leadership,
the homebuilder won prestigious recognition as America's Best Builder
in 2007, among other awards and industry acknowledgements.
FEB. 6, 2009 -- Any athletic coach will tell a team losing at halftime that they can win best if they come out strong in the opening moments of the second half.
Gwinnett County Republicans seem to have absorbed the defeat in the national political races intent of not going sour locally. In a message from four former chairmen of the Gwinnett Republican Party this week, they outlined their immediate strategy to remain strong in the county. "Our dedication to the party remains critical today as Barack Obama is inaugurated. Democrats control Congress, and two additional Democrats head to the state legislature from Gwinnett."
They told their party faithful: "We need your help at this critical time." It's obvious that the Gwinnett GOP is not only miffed about the recent election, but now look to make things happen differently!
The party is holding local precinct mass meetings on February 7 in five districts. For more information, go to www.GwinnettGOP.org. Delegates will be chosen at the precinct meetings for the Gwinnett County Convention, set for March 14.
* * * * *
There's every reason to anticipate that as Gwinnett continues to change, the virtual stranglehold that the Republicans held on the county will get much weaker. Returns from the 2008 General Election showed Democrats running much stronger in all contests than in previous years. It's become increasingly obvious that the GOP can no longer expect to automatically win every race just by putting a Republican candidate up for election.
Coupled with a new vigor and new faces in the Democratic Party, it appears that indeed, the times are changing. The reinvigorated Democrats are themselves getting a little feisty.
Republican activities are also changing the minds of some voters. After the approval of a garbage transfer station by the all-Republican county commission this week, one guy was heard to say: "That does it. I'll never vote Republican again."
Couple that with efforts by the Legislative Republicans to continue to push for a shift in the way taxes are collected. The GOP keeps asking for a sales tax for essential tax monies, when such a move would clearly shift taxes away from property owners and fat cats, and tax those on the lower end of the income spectrum. Democrats in the Legislature should raise a hue and cry out of this, pointing out how the Republicans seem to always push for benefits for the wealthy.
Meanwhile, talk about your bad timing! Coming at a time when the economy
is bad, and sales tax collections are falling so sharply so as to greatly
impact tax collections, how in their right mind can the Republicans propose
a shift to sales taxes with a straight face? It would be disastrous. Yet
Republicans, apparently themselves unharmed by the poor economy, fleece
the poor while helping the rich.
* * * * *
On the national scene, the withdrawal of Tom Daschle from a cabinet nomination looked bad for President Obama, who took the blame.
Yet in the long run, the president will now not have the yoke of Daschle and others who cheated on their taxes around his neck. These replacements should be lily-white-clean and more in keeping with the high standards Obama wants, and especially in cabinet posts.
Not only that, but Daschle, as an example made millions in recent years working for the firms that he would have regulated had he become a cabinet members. Now the president can be proud that it won't be the same old aura of favoritism and cronies of lobbyists on his team to get the changes the promised. We think removal of tarnished Cabinet nominees was a good move for our country.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's featured underwriter is Gwinnett Community Bank of Duluth, member, FDIC. Tom Martin is the CEO of this bank, which has its main office in Duluth on Buford Highway, near the intersection of Rogers Bridge and Old Peachtree Road. The Duluth office number is 770-476-2775. There is also a Suwanee location at 3463 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in Suwanee. The phone number for the Suwanee branch is 770-497-5252. Gwinnett Community Bank also has a third branch at 2715 Hamilton Mill Road in Buford (770 271 2715.) The web site is http://www.gwinnettcommunitybank.com.
From our archives by Bill McLemore:
Editor, the Forum:
With the exponential rise in gasoline prices, much of our attention is properly focused on the new breed of gas-sipping hybrid vehicles. For 25,000 simoleons, a Toyota Prius can be yours!
Depending on commuting miles and the trade in value of your current vehicle, you can probably realize a positive return on investment in a few years. But before you run to the Toyota store and shell out your hard earned cash, let's ask ourselves, are there other alternatives?
Certainly the train provides an excellent traffic-bypassing commute.
With the new rules allowing cyclists to bring their bikes on the train,
you can get to work and back for $3.50 a day and get fit in the process.
But wait, for those of us in Gwinnett County is that really an option?
While cyclists appreciate the buses with those new fangled bike racks
on the front, it's a challenge if the bus comes to your stop and the rack
is full. The only alternative is to wait for the next bus and hope that
the rack has an empty slot. Many cyclists would prefer to bypass the bus
and ride straight to the train station in any case. That way, you can
use your bike on the other end of the journey and ride over to the office
as well. It also adds a level of predictability to your commute.
The lack of bike lanes and routes into a major commuting center like
Doraville Station is appalling. Cities around the U.S. and abroad are
falling over themselves to reduce traffic and promote healthy commuting
alternatives. The City of Portland is a bike commuter's paradise. The
whole city looks like a park. Yet here in Gwinnett what few bike lanes
we have aren't connected to anything as meaningful as a train station!
Reiterates wanting IE2 to create opportunity for all
Editor, the Forum:
Your recent note to my response (January 30 Forum) prompts me to explain that I was not attempting to get anyone. I truly do think the school board plan is a perspicacious way to show school improvement and actually produce said improvement.
We have too long pandered to the lower echelon of our student body to the detriment of the kids that are capable of attaining much greater heights. I know this may sound heartless, but the comments I heard from teachers since my child entered public school over 13 years ago were equally heartless. ("Don't worry about him. He is very smart and will do ok.")
With a child of well over the norm in intelligence, I found those comments offensive. Doing "ok" isn't quite the same as reaching ones full potential. Teachers attempted at times to take advantage of his skills to assist other students rather than helping him reach his potential.
Our public school systems must eventually come to the realization that while all students can learn, they do not learn the same things by the same methods in the same time-frame.
If in fact Gwinnett has accepted that premise and plans to utilize the IE2 plan to create opportunity for students that are capable of doing much more, I salute them and praise their efforts. However, the improvement issue needs to be pointed out so that parents of all students will be able to look out for their children's best interest and make informed choices to assure those interests.
Personally, I am hopeful that our school system has actually taken the first steps in recognizing that all students are not college material and that we will move forward in assuring those that are not are provided with an education and skills that that will help them become productive members of society through skills and job training types of programs.
The 2009 Gwinnett Senior Golden Games are set to take place between April 15 and May 13. Competition will be held in more than 20 different games, with winners advancing to the state games. Activities include from bocce ball to tennis, horseshoes to darts and cycling.
Bob Giselbach of Buford, president of the board of directors of the games, says that the opening ceremonies will be held April 15 at Rhodes Jordan Park in Lawrenceville. The closing ceremonies are also to be held at the same park on May 13.
However, competition in the various events will be held in different venues all across Gwinnett. For a look at detailed information about the games, go to this web site: www.gwinnettseniorolympics.org.
The entry fee for the games is $15. Varying fees apply for different venues. The deadline to register for the games is March 1. Other details are on the web site.
The purpose of the games is to provide senior (age 50 and above) with an opportunity to participation in a variety of sporting and leisure activities; to meet new people, and learn leisure skills.
Other officers of the Games include H.D. James, vice chairman; Marie Hickman, secretary; Chris Moore, treasurer; Susie Dodson, historian; and Dana Dow and Cleo Davis, at large. The Games are sponsored by local firms and are in partnership with the Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Department.
Duluth's Chocolate Perks eatery to open in February
A new establishment, Chocolate Perks, will open soon in downtown Duluth, across from the City Hall. The establishment will offer light lunch and specialty chocolates. Chocolate Perks is located at 3160 Main Street.
Marsha Anderson Bomar and Shane Weaver are principles in the firm, which will offer soups, salad, sandwiches and pastries. The Chocolate Perks website, www.chocolateperks.com, allows viewers to see the menu, including daily specials, before arriving.
Library announces logo contest for 2009 Reading Festival
Gwinnett Reading Festival 2009 Committee announces a public logo design
contest for the official annual design of the Gwinnett Reading Festival,
which will be held in October 2009. The winner will be honored at the
Gwinnett Reading Festival.
On the heels of the County's release of another year of double digit
reduction in crime for Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District
(GVCID), a new dedicated private security firm will soon be providing
patrols in the area. It is to be Phase 4 of its Targeted Enforcement Zone
This initiative is an additional arm to Gwinnett Village CID's ongoing
TEZ program. For the past two years, the CID contracted with Gwinnett
County and Norcross Police to provide an additional layer of police coverage.
With the rollout of the private security patrols, the CID has budgeted
$450,000 for all three phases in 2009.
Jason Chandler has been named president of the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. He previously was at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., where he was senior director of development.
Prior to joining Belmont, Chandler was in various development positions at Emory University for over seven years. His last position at Emory was as director of development for the Department of Medicine. He and his family lived in Snellville while he was at Emory.
Chandler holds a masters of arts in philanthropic studies from Indiana University and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Monica, have 2 children, both born at Gwinnett Medical Center, Olivia, 7, and Jacob, 4. His first day at GMC will be Monday, February 23.
Lawrenceville student first at UGA to win Hughes honor
Opeoluwa Fawole, a sophomore microbiology major at the University of Georgia, has been selected to participate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Exceptional Research Opportunities Program this summer. Fawole, who is an Honors student from Lawrenceville, is the first UGA student to receive this honor.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a non-profit medical research organization and one of the largest philanthropies in the United States, seeks ways to advance biomedical research and strengthen science education through its various initiatives. The EXROP program was created in 2003 to encourage and support outstanding undergraduate researchers by providing them mentored research opportunities with leading HHMI scientists.
Fawole will be conducting biomedical research for approximately ten weeks at her HHMI research mentor's home institution. She also will have the opportunity to participate in academic and cultural activities during her visit. In return, Fawole will present her research project during a poster session of next year's EXROP meeting. As an undergraduate researcher at UGA, Fawole currently participates in the Apprentice Program of the Honors Program's Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO). She is investigating the genetic behavior of Plasmodium falciparum, a mosquito-transmitted parasite that can cause the most severe cases of malaria in people.
Working in the infectious diseases laboratory of Dr. David Peterson since her freshman year, Fawole is currently focusing on placental-associated malaria to find how the malaria parasite survives in the face of the developing immune response. Fawole, a member of the 2011 Class, would like to attend medical school and one day travel to underdeveloped countries to offer her medical services.
County buys acreage for future greenway connection
By buying almost 54 acres of undeveloped land along the Alcovy River, Gwinnett commissioners have added significantly to a future greenway connection between two large parks as envisioned in their long-range master plan.
The $1.1 million purchase includes 1,670 feet of river frontage that adjoins another 14 acres of county property to protect more than a mile of the riverbed. The newly purchased property is located east of Lawrenceville between the 715-acre Tribble Mill Park and the 290-acre Palm Creek park site.
The soprano Jessye Norman, a Georgia native, has performed at all the world's leading opera houses. She is renowned for her powerful and expressive voice, her wide-ranging repertoire, and her commanding stage presence. Norman was born in Augusta in 1945. to Janie King and Silas Norman. Her mother, a homemaker and teacher, played piano, and her father, an insurance broker, was a soloist at their church. At 16 she won a full scholarship to Howard University in Washington, D.C., and graduated cum laude. She continued her studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the University of Michigan.
In 1968 Norman won the female vocal division of the International Music Competition of the German Broadcasting Corporation in Munich, Germany, and she made her operatic debut in 1969. In 1972 she made her La Scala debut, in Milan, Italy, made her U.S. debut at the Hollywood Bowl as Aida, and made her British debut at London's Royal Opera House. For several years she left grand opera to concentrate on recordings and concerts, giving her voice the opportunity to develop and mature outside the demands of an extensive opera repertory.
In 1983 Norman made her New York Metropolitan Opera debut during its 100th anniversary season, a production that was broadcast on PBS. Norman's voice has been described by critics as a palpable physical presence and a "force of nature," crossing the ranges of soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto, and she speaks and sings fluently in English, German, French, and Italian. Norman's concert and recorded repertory has expanded to embrace jazz, popular music, and spirituals.
In 1997, at the age of 51, Norman became the youngest recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor. In 1996 the city of Augusta renamed the Riverwalk Amphitheater and Plaza in her honor. She was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1999 and has been awarded more than 30 honorary doctoral degrees by universities across the country. The government of France has awarded her the Legion of Honor. She has also received four Grammy awards. After more than 30 years on stage, Norman no longer performs ensemble opera, concentrating instead on recitals and concerts.
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