|Issue 9.24 | Tuesday, June 23, 2009 | Forward to your friends!|
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NORCROSS, Ga., June 23, 2009 -- My name is Brooke Nebel and I'm running for State Representative in Georgia's House District 51. I was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn. After graduating college, I moved to Atlanta, got married and moved to Peachtree Corners 15-plus years ago. I settled here because I knew that this area has always been committed to providing good schools and a safe environment. I'm running for office because I want to give back to the community that has given me so much over the years.
As your state representative, I want to continue and strengthen the good qualities that are prevalent throughout our district. I will do this by attracting many large and small businesses to come here by offering a range of tax incentives, safer neighborhoods and competitive schools.
While our national economy has been dealing with its challenges, District 51 has had its share of economic hurdles. If I become your representative, I will fight to keep our successful businesses here, while helping to create new jobs by working with my fellow representatives on both sides of the aisle in the Georgia Legislature.
I enjoy living in District 51 because its people are involved in the community. Many of our residents give so much of their time and effort through volunteerism. I'm impressed with their selfless devotion. As their representative under the Gold Dome, I will work to inspire those dedicated individuals to carry on with their efforts and attract more Georgians in our district to volunteer.
If I'm elected to the Georgia House, I will put transportation at the top of my priority list. I believe that if we are to have a thriving economy, we must do everything in our power to alleviate gridlock in our area through an improved road system, smarter technology and shuttle/bus services where needed.
I believe that we are fortunate to have strong schools in District 51. As your state representative, I will make sure that we remain dedicated to excellence in our education system. As a mother of a daughter who will be attending Pinckneyville Middle School in the fall of this year, I know how important it is for every child to receive a great education. All of the schools in this district need to make our children competitive as we move towards an even greater competitive global marketplace. That is why I will work closely with school district leaders, principals, teachers, parents and guardians to ensure that their child will receive the necessary tools to reach his or her full potential.
District 51 is a great place to live, work and play. If I become your representative, I will put community first and operate in the interests of the people. I believe that when citizens go to the voting booth next year, they will be hiring someone who will represent them. I always felt that our politicians should work for the people. If I am given the honor to serve the public, I will be committed to that vision.
(Editor's footnote: District 51 is currently represented by Tom Rice (R).-eeb)
JUNE 23, 2009 -- "Suicide!"
The very word strikes fear in us all. Most of our families, over the years, have experienced someone close to them who has taken their own life. My own family experienced it recently.
Almost always, we come to these situations with one question on our mind, as Dr. Jacob Malone of the First Baptist Church in Augusta did recently when presiding at the funeral of someone who had committed suicide. We found comfort in the minister's words.
"I, like you, find myself asking "Why?" he started.
We suspect most of those in that nearly-full large sanctuary had this question in their mind as they attended that funeral. The victim was a young professional man, an Army doctor who had graduated from West Point. He has seen tours of duty in the war zones, but had returned safely, and was on the staff at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, Ga.
Dr. Malone continued: "Our minds are filled with the question of "Why?" But there is no answer to that question." He then shifted us from that question of "Why?"
"The question "Why?" is a one-way street with no exit. We cannot go there. There are very few answers to most of life's 'Whys?'
"A better question to ask, is 'What?'
"I have tried to help you begin to answer the "Whats" by telling you a little of what kind of man the deceased was. Only you can answer the questions of what you have learned from him, what you gained from your relationship and what do you do now. What you may find is that these are answers developed through memories, and experiences, and through deepening relationships both old and new."
There was more, but the momentary essential question had been re-addressed. There may be no easy answers for the living after a suicide. Yet we should examine if we are asking the right question. Dr. Malone wants us to celebrate the life of the deceased by addressing the "What?" instead of the 'Why."
* * * * *
We wondered about suicide rates in general, and went to the Internet searching. What we found was for us surprising, in that there is a distinct pattern in suicide, at least for the most recent figures we could find.
The Western states have a far higher rate of suicide. In fact, the 11 top states for suicide rates are all in the West. Georgia ranks among the lowest states. You may be surprised, as I was, at this chart (above, at right).
* * * * *
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Editor, the Forum:
The Livseys of Gwinnett are recognized by Gwinnett County Historical Society as being one of only a handful of pioneering families to help settle our county. Since 1840, the Livsey families have been a backbone of Gwinnett.
There are black Livseys and there are white Livseys'. After over 170 years, with the help of both sides, the Livseys' are now one powerful family.
My father, Thomas and I, owners of the Promised Land, (the oldest surviving plantation in Gwinnett County), were researching our family tree a few years past. Initially, we made great strides putting our genealogical puzzle together. However, when we tried to go past the 1870's, we ran into a brick wall.
You see, we are tri-racial, black, white and Indian. Before 1870, the United States did not include freed blacks, slaves or Indians in the federal census, making the job of tracing the family more difficult.
Frustrated and dejected, I asked my father, "Why don't we call the white Livseys' to see if they can help us?" For years the two families knew about the other, and even on occasions, when they crossed paths, would joke about being related. But they never openly acknowledged the fact.
My father called Jack Livsey of Snellville. Jack told us to call their family historian, Mrs. Annette Livsey Merritt of Decatur. What happened after our call to her was amazing. My dad called her, and she told him that the two of us should come over on a Sunday afternoon. Annette said," I have something to show you".
That Sunday we arrived at her house, like two orphans in search of our lost parents. Anxious and full of anticipation, Annette showed us this huge plat book. It consisted of not only treasured family photos and articles dating back to the early 1800's, but she had articles and information about our side of the family. That day Annette Livsey Merritt welcomed us back in the family fold, and invited our side to their family reunion.
they voted me, Tom Livsey, family president. Last week for just the second
time the two families became one family at a reunion.
My father and I urge other minority and white families to do the same. "With an open mind, love and understanding, we can do great things about America's race relations", says Tom Livsey, my father.
Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the State Road and Tollway Authority
(SRTA) have joined in an initiative---to convert approximately 15 miles
of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes
on the Interstate 85 corridor. The lanes will run from just south of Interstate
285 in DeKalb County to Old Peachtree Road in Gwinnett County. The purpose
of the proposed project is to provide travelers with reliable options
to avoid the daily traffic congestion on I-85 and to get to their destinations
round of open houses was held in March/April to introduce the concept
of HOT lanes to the public and to receive input regarding the applicability
of this type of improvement along the I-85 corridor. For more information
about the project and to see what was presented at this first round of
meetings, please visit the project website at www.dot.ga.gov/I85HOTlane.
Braselton summer reading to feature juggler June 24
Library's vacation reading series continues Wednesday featuring Todd Key.
Suwanee resident Shannon Scheels has been attending the annual Suwanee Day festival every year since her son was born eight years ago. This year she'll have additional motivation to attend the community celebration: Her design has been selected as the official 2009 festival logo.
retro, 1960s-style design was among 81 entries from 62 individuals submitted
through this year's design competition.
A stay-at-home mom of three (ages 8, 5, and 2), Scheels had planned already to begin online design courses this summer through the Art Institute of Atlanta.
"When I entered the contest," she says, "I really did it as a challenge to myself. I never thought that I would win. Winning this contest affirmed my decision to move forward with school and gave me a lot more confidence in my skills. It's such a thrill to be an integral part of this year's celebration of community."
Scheels' Suwanee Day design will be printed on t-shirts provided to Suwanee Day volunteers and available for purchase at the festival. The design also will be used on other festival promotional materials.
Gwinnett Ballet Theatre dancers win honors in Alabama
Young dancers from Gwinnett Ballet Theatre received honors and scholarships at the 2009 Southeastern Regional Ballet Association's annual festival held in Montgomery, Ala. recently. Two young GBT dancers were awarded a "Star Award" and four scholarships were earned by GBT dancers. Twenty companies from around the Southeast participated.
Gwinnett Ballet Theatre was the recipient of two Star Student Awards. Wes Chapman of American Ballet Theatre selected 14 year old Nancy Casciano. Jazz teacher John Virciglio selected Abigrace DiPrima.
GBT also collected four scholarships. Nancy Casciano won a SERBA cash scholarship award which will go towards her summer intensive at the School of American Ballet in New York City where she has already been awarded a scholarship. Nancy will begin Parkview High School as a freshman this fall.
Jessica Kaczor, who will be a junior at St. Pius this year, won a scholarship to the Glenda Brown Choreography Project at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Nicole Ranieri, who just graduated from Brookwood High School, won a full scholarship to the Orlando Ballet. Abigrace DiPrima, who will be an 8th grader at Five Forks Middle School this fall, won a full scholarship to North Carolina Dance Theatre in Charlotte, N.C.
(Continued from previous edition.)
Sacred Harp sings date back to at least the 1860s in the Okefenokee. The "shape-note" singing tradition in Georgia began during the antebellum period as a way to teach congregations to sing. Traveling teachers used "four-shape" tune books with religious lyrics in which different-shaped note heads were assigned to the European musical scale of fa, sol, la, and mi.
Within southeast Georgia, conservative Primitive Baptist beliefs combined with the relative cultural isolation of the Okefenokee to foster a distinctive stylistic variant of Sacred Harp. Characteristics included walking time in a counterclockwise fashion according to the meter of the tune, and the same slow tempos and melodic ornamentation found in the Primitive Baptist meetinghouse.
Primitive Baptist churches, with their unaccompanied, lined hymn traditions, exist in much smaller numbers today, but they have been a major force influencing local culture. The simple wooden meetinghouses of the Crawfordite subsect of Primitive Baptists are a distinctive feature of Okefenokee traditional architecture. Missionary Baptist, Pentecostal, and Methodist churches now dominate the region, however, and tent meetings, revivals, and gospel sings have superseded the Sacred Harp tradition.
Collector Francis Harper documented swamper secular music such as locally composed songs and variants of "Barbara Allen," "The Little Mohee" (or "Lassie Mohee"), and other widely disseminated ballads, a few of which are still sung. Harper also documented hollering or yodeling, a distinctive alternation of head and chest tones sometimes interspersed with song fragments, which was used to call hogs and cattle, to signal that an individual was returning home, or simply to have fun. This tradition is no longer widespread, although a few families maintain the practice. Country western and bluegrass bands have largely replaced old-time frolics and square dances.
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