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MONROE, Ga., June 9, 2009 -- Proposed legislation on carbon emissions will likely put a big hole in consumers wallets and throw family budgets into a quandary.
Under the plan, which masquerades as a federal tax, the government will require electric utilities to purchase credits to offset carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants.
Some experts predict $50 per month or more will show up as a direct charge on your electric bill. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that cap-and-trade legislation will raise the cost of living of an average household by $1,600 a year.
The 946-page bill by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) doesnt only put a cap on emissions through fees; a provision establishes an auction system to trade carbon credits, opening the door for speculators to participate in the market. This adds another layer of unnecessary costs. They dont have emissions to cut; they have commissions to make, says a Washington Post article.
As carbon limits tighten each year, utilities will be forced to buy more credits to be able to produce power. By 2020, carbon levels will have to be 17 percent below 2005 levels. By 2050, the levels will have to be 83 percent lower.
The formula for divvying out these carbon credits found acceptance into the bill without being reviewed by the bills authors. It will lead to higher costs for certain groups, namely co-op and public power consumers and those living in the South and Midwest.
What that means in the real world is money is going to go from the South and Midwest to the Northwest and those areas that have a heavy component of nuclear power, says Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.). It is an unfair windfall.
At the same time theyre being hit with carbon taxes, consumers will also begin paying for fossil fuel plants to be retrofitted to produce less carbon (technology thats not yet available) or for old plants to be decommissioned for totally new zero-emission plants.
But thats not all.
While all this is going on, renewable energy mandates come into play. Utilities will be required to produce 20 percent of their electricity by 2020 from sources like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal or other similar technologies.
like Georgia, well likely buy that energy from other parts of the
country at a premium, since we have limited wind and geothermal resources
to harvest, the two most economical renewables to produce.
You must act now. Speaker Pelosi has set a June 19 deadline on the eight House committees with shared jurisdiction over the Waxman-Markey bill. This makes a floor debate possible before the end of the month.
ingenuity can tackle the challenge of protecting our environment while
meeting our energy needs. There is no doubt that same ingenuity can accomplish
the goal without burdening our families, businesses and economy with a
stifling new tax.
JUNE 9, 2009 -- Carla Carraway told me: Randall (Dixon) can see you at 9 a.m. Then she added, and you will get to see the bear.
Bear? What bear?
So I arrived at Precision Planning the other morning, at Dixons engineering, planning, surveying and architecture firm in Lawrenceville, and was ushered into the hallway leading to Randalls conference room and office ..and wow! There was a 10 foot three inch brown bear towering over us. What a monster! we told a grinning and pleased Randall. He had shot him last May in Alaska, and the bear had arrived recently from being stuffed and mounted.
His claws alone are four inches long. Why, they could easily tear a gash in you, if not rip your arm or head off. Its weight was estimated at 1,400 pounds.
How close were you when you shot him? we asked, realizing the danger involved. Happily for Randalls safety, we learned it was a tremendous shot: About 330 yards. When I shot him, the guide said You hit him. I told him No, I killed him. I shot him in the right lung, and it was a perfect shot. The veteran guide said none of his clients had ever killed a bear at that distance, and most bears were shot under 200 yards. Randall credits the good marksmanship to practicing long shots at 500 yards range on his hunting preserve in Hancock County. He has also been hunting for white-tailed deer in Texas, shooting some at 500 yards.
I realized it would take a high caliber round to drop such a specimen. His weapon was a 416 Remington Magnum, with a 400 grain bullet. (As a comparison, military rounds are normally 55 grain.) He had a shooting muzzle on the gun, to take some of the recoil out. Randall admits that the recoil is worse than a shotgun.
Randall and the guide were camping in Alaska near Sand Point, about halfway down the Aleutian Island chain for 13 days on this trip. Our airplane landed on the beach, near where the bears come in to feed off the salmon coming to spawn in the islands. They saw several bears, but Randall was waiting for a big one. When they first saw the one he killed, on a hill some 330 yards away, the guide said it would take several hours of rough hiking to get near him.
So the next question: how did you get him out? The guide had these expandable bags, and we skinned the bear there, and stuffed the skin and heads into the bags. It ended up weighing about 200 pounds. It was two days before the plane could land to get us out.
Dixon has been a fixture in the business community in Gwinnett for years, with his firm paralleling the countys growth. A hunter and fisherman all his life in his native East Tennessee, he is the youngest of 11 children, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He first came to Atlanta to work, but didnt like city living, moving to Gwinnett in the early 1960s to work for Higgenbotham and James, then one of the few engineering firms in the county. He started his own firm in 1982.
The trip to Alaska last spring was his first. He has routinely hunted in Canada over the years. If youre headed for Precision Planning, plan to be overwhelmed by a 11 foot bear in the hallway.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. The Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District was formed in mid-2006, and is a self taxing revitalization district that includes just under 500 commercial property owners with a property value of over $1 billion dollars. Gwinnett Village CID includes the southwestern part of Gwinnett County including properties along Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Buford Highway, Indian Trail, Beaver Ruin, Graves, and Singleton Road. Gwinnett Village is the third CID to be created in Gwinnett County and is the largest of all 13 CIDs in the state. Gwinnett Villages mission is to improve property values through increased security, a decrease in traffic congestion, and general improvements to the curb appeal of the area. For more information visit www.gwinnettvillage.com or call 770-449-6515.
to the local legislation that applies only to Gwinnett, there are Georgia
statutes which require advertisement of the presentation of the proposed
budget and its availability for public review. State law requires
a public hearing on the budget and specifies requirements for advertisement
of the budget hearing, as well as public notice of the Commission meeting
in which the budget will be adopted.
other hand, the millage rate cannot be set until the Tax Assessors Office
can provide a fairly accurate preliminary tax digest to the county for
use in calculating a projected millage rate and anticipated rollback,
if applicable, for increased values from reassessment. This preliminary
digest is also used in preparing the five-year digest and tax revenues
history which must be advertised in connection with setting the millage.
It is typically at least May before such a preliminary digest is available
and can be later depending on the level of assessment changes and other
activity related to determining property values for the year.
digest is submitted annually to the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR)
for approval prior to issuing tax bills based on the digest. Documents
relating to calculation of the millage rate and the process by which it
is set must be submitted also. These documents are reviewed for compliance
with state law and DOR regulations. If the tax digest submitted to DOR
for approval is different from the preliminary digest used to meet advertisement
requirements, then DOR will reject the digest and require the county to
repeat the millage rate setting process. (A very small variation is allowed
for insignificant estimation and rounding differences.) Thus, the county
cannot risk using an estimated digest to actually set the millage earlier
in the year.
Typically, a preliminary millage rate is identified in connection with consideration and adoption of the proposed budget. The only difference between this rate and the millage actually set historically has been the rollback resulting from digest value increases from reassessment.
Watching an It Takes
A Village moment in Lawrenceville
Editor, the Forum:
afternoon just outside my office window, a little girl (5?) was standing/playing
all by herself on the sidewalk, along a very busy Pike Street in downtown
Back for a second year, a one-of-a-kind festival of plays by different theatre companies will be held at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville starting June 11.
Aurora Theatre will host a benefit performance on Thursday June 11, at 8 p.m. Longtime Town and Gown actors, Jeff Evans and Cindy Nason, will present Love Letters by A. R. Gurney. The Gwinnett theatre community was rocked two months ago as Town and Gown Players, the oldest community theatre in the state, learned that three of their veteran members were killed in an act of senseless violence. This presentation will be a memorial to their stage performances.
This years other festival performances will feature:
prices are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. However, a
Festival Pass allows people to attend as many performances at the festival
for $25 ($20 for seniors and students), but does not include the Tribute
performance for Town and Gown Players.
Gwinnett Symphony plans Duluth Concert-on-the-Green
Starting off the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Symphony on the Green summer concert series is a classical concert on Friday, June 19 at 7:00 p.m., at the Duluth Amphitheatre.
Featuring the talents of pianist Huu Mai and coloratura soprano Marielle Coleman Mai, the opening Symphony on the Green concert will include selections from Saint-Saens, Brahms, Donizetti, Puccini, Borodin and Beethoven in a full-length symphony concert.
Huu Mai is a pianist, violinist, teacher, conductor and composer. In addition to performing as a solo recitalist, collaborative artist and chamber musician, he frequently performs as guest-soloist with orchestras such as the GSO. He has received the Steinway Foundation's John Innes Grant, and a personal invitation to perform for President George W. Bush.
Mai has also served as guest lecturer and Composer-in-Residence at the Kennesaw State University School of Music. He has had students recognized both locally and nationally in performance and composition. Also a Yamaha Certified Instructor, Mr. Mai currently serves as the auditions chair for the Cobb County Music Teacher's Association.
Coloratura soprano Marielle Coleman Mai is a KSU graduate in Vocal Performance. Marielles performance credits include Monica in Gian-Carlo Menottis The Medium with the Capital City Opera Company, Birdie in Marc Blitzsteins Regina and Carmela in Menottis The Saint of Bleeker Street for the Georgia State University Harrower Summer Opera Workshop.
by the City of Duluth, the free concert series will take place on Fridays
throughout the summer, on June 19, July 17 and August 21, at 7 p.m. The
Duluth Amphitheatre is located in the heart of downtown Duluth, at 3578
West Lawrenceville Street.
Technology Forum to hear medical device doctor on June 16
Dr. Jay Yadav with CardioMEMS of Atlanta will be the speaker at the June 16 Technology Forum at Gwinnett Tech at 7:30 a.m.
CardioMEMS is a medical device company that has developed and is commercializing a proprietary wireless sensing and communication technology for the human body. Its technology platform is designed to improve the management of severe chronic cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and aneurysms.
There is no charge to attend the Forum. Register by sending an email to heather@GwinnettChamber.org for planning purposes.
258 parking spaces will be added to the Park and Ride lot on North Brown
Road at Discover Mills to accommodate an increasing number of transit
riders, carpoolers and vanpoolers. The addition will bring the total number
of spaces to 814. Gwinnett Transit alone has averaged 684 daily boardings
at the lot during the first four months of this year.
Gwinnetts Rodatus to head Georgia Juvenile Court Council
Judge Robert V. Rodatus of Gwinnett Juvenile Court has been elected president
of the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges to succeed Judge Steven
Teske of Clayton County.
becoming presiding judge in 1991, Rodatus served as chief judge of the
Gwinnett County Recorders Court. He has also been a senior district
attorney in Gwinnett and has worked in private practice and as a law clerk
here. As part of his duties as president he will serve on the Georgia
Judicial Council. The Council is composed of representatives of all classes
of Courts and develops policy to improve the administration of justice
Elizabeth Lichtenstein (or Lightenstone) Johnston was a fervent Loyalist who lived through the upheaval of the American Revolution (1775-83) in Georgia. At the age of 72, she wrote graphic recollections of her experiences, providing the most detailed firsthand account of the ways in which the Revolution affected women in colonial Georgia.
Johnston, an only child, was born beside the Little Ogeechee River on May 28, 1764, to parents who reflected the diverse roots of Georgia's earliest immigrants. Her father, Johann Lichtenstein, had emigrated from St. Petersburg, Russia, and was employed as a scout-boat pilot by the royal government. Her mother, Catherine Delegal, was of French Huguenot stock. Her tranquil country life on her fathers Skidaway Island farm was brought to an abrupt halt by the death of her mother in 1774, and she was sent, reluctantly, to be schooled in embroidery by an elderly aunt in Savannah.
Johnston held bitter memories of the oncoming Revolution, describing how the rebels (including some of her teachers) were a "ragged corps" and how "everywhere the scum rose to the top." At the age of 12 she was violently separated from her father, who, with the assistance of his slave, fled to the safety of a British warship, The Scarborough. Johnston was indignant at the treatment of Loyalist women and children, some of whose lands were confiscated. She was terrified during the siege of Savannah in 1779. British occupation of the Lowcountry between December 1778 and July 1782 brought some limited respite for Johnston and her fellow Loyalists, while Patriots, in turn, suffered confiscations and depredations.
At 15, she was courted by officers in the Tory militia and married 25-year-old William Martin Johnston (a captain in the New York Volunteers) in 1779. The Johnstons, like thousands of other Georgia Loyalists, were forced to evacuate Savannah and begin the search for a new home upon Britain's defeat. Elizabeth would bear ten children, seven of whom survived beyond infancy, and their places of birth pay testament to her repeated upheavals: Savannah; Charleston, S.C.; St. Augustine, Fla.; Edinburgh, Scotland; Jamaica; and finally Nova Scotia. Little wonder that she signed her letters to her husband as "your once truly happy, tho' now afflicted wife."
While her Recollections are unique in the historical record, there were many women of strong character, clear intellect, and deep religious and political convictions on both sides of the conflict. They profoundly influenced the course of the Revolution in Georgia and how that war would be remembered by subsequent generations.
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MODERN HISTORY OF GWINNETT
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