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|Issue 9.32 | Tuesday, July 21, 2009 | Forward to your friends!|
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DULUTH, Ga., July 21, 2009 -- Sixteen top Gwinnett restaurants will participate in the fourth annual Gwinnett Restaurant Week from Monday, July 27, through Thursday, July 30. Featuring a three-course menu at a fixed price of just $21.21 plus tax, this is "our way of showcasing our restaurants, and letting visitors and residents know what fantastic dining options can be found in our own backyard," explains Lisa Anders, GCVB Marketing communications director.
Anders notes that in the tourism market, great food and great value are often what travelers remember best about a meeting or a vacation. "We are promoting Gwinnett Restaurant Week not only to our visitors but to our locals as well. So many of our visitors stay with friends and family, and we want our residents to keep it local and feel confident with their great local dining options."
Many of Restaurant Week restaurants are paving the way for change in Gwinnett's dining scene, specializing not only in good food and customer service, but featuring live music, scratch kitchens, wine tastings, organic produce, award-winning chefs and eclectic and adventuresome menus. Three newly opened restaurants - Sperata on the Square, The Thorn Tree Restaurant and SAB American Bistro - will also be participating this year.
Anders is confident that Gwinnett Restaurant Week will introduce these restaurants to a new audience, one that appreciates customer service, quality and independence. "One of the other reasons we created Gwinnett Restaurant Week, and have been so gratified by the positive response we've received, is that it really solidifies what our visitors and residents are calling and e-mailing us about. They want destination dining and not the same old thing - they are tired of cookie-cutter restaurants."
While Atlanta is known as a restaurant town, and many cities/counties have an annual Restaurant Week, Anders notes that Gwinnett's is the least expensive Restaurant Week, with other area dinners costing $25 or $30.
Anders recommends that diners make their reservations early, as many restaurants will sell out, and have limited promotional seating. Reservations are made by contacting the restaurants directly, but all Restaurant Week menus can be viewed online at their official website.
JULY 21, 2009 -- People like Paul Hemphill don't come down the pike every day. He was an original, a tremendously gifted writer who was able to impart his own longings and love of the South and its ways to a much wider world. He died recently at the age of 73 after a two-year bout with cancer.
We had read Hemphill in the newspapers and at the start of his freelance writing career. I had met him when Paul and I were visiting professors of journalism in 1973-74 at the University of Georgia. He and I had next-door offices, and often discussed the joys and the frustrations of seeking to impart wisdom to college students, while keeping their attention.
Through the years since then, we maintained a loose connection, and kept up with what he was writing, seeing each other at functions and occasionally talking.
Meanwhile, we appreciated his production, particularly of books. Our favorites were Long Gone, a thinly-disguised autobiography of his failure as a second baseman in the lowest of the minor leagues; and The Nashville Sound, a major work on country music. One of his finest of works was Lovesick Blues, the story of Hank Williams Jr. His many other books all appeared to critical acclaim. The New York press, in general, considered Hemphill a true voice of the South, constantly praising him. Perhaps that's because he took his own advice, "Writing about what I know." He did it well.
Like many writers, Hemphill was always facing the dreaded deadline. As I was leaving the office at UGA one afternoon in the winter of 1974, Hemphill stopped me: "Which way you going home?" he asked. "Like normal," was my reply. "Can you drop this by the post office?" "Sure, what is it?" I asked about the thick oversized envelope.
"It's the last chapter in my new book, and I am only three weeks late," he said. He published The Good Old Boys in 1974, writing about the people he knew: the country singers, stock car racers, evangelists, truck drivers and politicians.
People who were close to Hemphill know that he had a tremendous "ear" for conversation. But they may not realize that this "ear" could be so adept. One helicopter pilot, who was out all day with Hemphill during the Vietnam War, later said that "Hemphill never took down a note during the entire day but in articles about that trip, he quoted conversations verbatim. His voice was so accurate."
Though he often taught, when asked if writing could be taught, he answered negatively on his web site, as he wrote: "No. One of my favorite quotes is from Harry Crews: 'I went to [college] not to be taught how to write, but to learn how to make a living while I taught myself how to write.' I teach, and I try, but all I can do is stir the talent that might lie there; show how hard it is, teach some tricks, scare the hell out of 'em. You learn to write by doing three things: reading, writing, and living so you'll have something to write about."
Paul James Hemphill Jr.: 1936-2009: may you rest in peace.
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.
Partnership Gwinnett Community and Economic Development Summit will be
held July 23 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Gwinnett Tech's Scientific Atlanta
auditorium. It is Gwinnett County's premier event for reporting on the
year's business development successes while focusing on the core elements
that support positive change and business growth in the community. Highlights
from leaders in the economy, business, education, quality of life and
marketing offer a snapshot of the year's most noted achievements in these
key areas of focus for Gwinnett and the metro Atlanta region.
Town of Braselton getting $300,000 sewer improvement grant
Regional Commission (ARC) has approved a $300,000 grant to the Town of
Braselton to upgrade an industrial park's wastewater system. This expansion
will support the creation of 230 new jobs and leverage $25 million in
private investment. The announcement came from the office of U.S. Rep.
infrastructure that serves the 275-acre Braselton Business Park is aging
and in need of being replaced. The equipment has limited capacity and
cannot accommodate any significant flow increases that would be generated
by new development projects. Two major employers will be locating to Braselton,
necessitating improvements to the site's wastewater system. This development
will enhance the Braselton gateway corridor of Interstate 85 and Georgia
Highway 211 as a new hotel and conference center is completed and a 450,000
square feet distribution center becomes available for occupancy.
Historical Society invites attendance, seeks artifacts
The Duluth Historical Society invites people to come and experience an expanded museum at the Historic Strickland House, 2956 Buford Highway. Preserving the history of Duluth and the surrounding area has been the goal of the Duluth Historical Society since its inception in late 1999.
Exhibits include newly acquired pieces and photographs from homes of former Duluth physicians. Do you have pictures or artifacts you would like to share? Contact a member or come by the museum.
There is also an exhibit in progress featuring Duluth merchants, pictures or articles about other businesses when they first opened.
The Duluth History Museum is open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children. Tours for groups can include the museum, city hall and information on the Calaboose (old jail) and downtown. These are priced individually. The Historic Strickland House and grounds are also available for your next event. Call us at 770-232-7584 to arrange it. The websites is www.duluthhistorical.org.
Shawn Mullins returns for fifth time to courthouse concert
makes his fifth return for the Moonlight and Music Concert Series on the
lawn of the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse on Friday, July 24 at 8 p.m.
artist Shawn Mullins is a multi-instrumentalist who plays over 200 performances
a year. His music isn't defined by a singular genre, but is a unique blend
of folk, blues, country and rock. His well-known song "Lullaby"
reached number one on national pop charts and more recently his song "Beautiful
Wreck" has reached number one on both the AAA and Americana Radio.
The Northeast Georgia Down Payment Assistance Program has generated significant job and tax revenue at a time of economic stress, according to data released Thursday. The IMPACT! Group, a local nonprofit housing agency, has found that the program generated some $8,717,150 in property sales and $94,000 in new property taxes since it began in October 2008.
Tom Merkel, president/ executive director of The IMPACT! Group, says: "These numbers indicate that this program is providing a widespread benefit to our community. We're not only making homeownership more attainable for local residents, but we're helping to raise the tax base for localities and stabilizing neighborhoods with long-term residents."
The Northeast Georgia Down Payment Assistance Program was created to build a generation of educated, sustainable homeowners at a time when foreclosures have dominated the news. The program has provided an average of $6,588 in assistance to each household that has completed the program, and has distributed $283,264 to homebuyers over a nine month period. At a time when those employed in the housing sales and construction industry have been especially hit by the economy, the program has also generated approximately $528,029 in realtor commissions, based upon a six percent commission rate.
The program is generating tax income for localities as well. By the end of the program's first 12 months, IMPACT! estimates that approximately $132,000 in new annual property taxes will be generated by the occupancy of these homes in the program without raising tax rates or creating new government bureaucracy.
The Northeast Georgia Downpayment Assistance Program was developed under a partnership by the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, the Brand Banking Company, and The IMPACT! Group. The program provides potential homebuyers with down payment assistance after completing a comprehensive homebuyer class taught by the nonprofit IMPACT! Group. The class gives clients the basic financial knowledge and real-life skills needed to navigate the homebuying process and become successful, sustainable homeowners.
For more information about The IMPACT! Group or to learn more about the Northeast Georgia Downpayment Assistance Program, visit the agency online at www.theimpactgroup.org.
Georgia Gwinnett College breaks ground for student center
Groundbreaking for the new Student Center at Georgia Gwinnett College was held last week. The $17 million facility is being built by Potts Construction and will open in the summer of 2010. At the ceremony were State Sen. Don Balfour; GGC Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs Stas Preczewski; Renee Byrd-Lewis, GGC Board of Trustees; Brittany Dertz, vice president-elect of the GGC Student Government Association; GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman; Ken Higa, principal at Lord Aeck and Sargent Architecture; Adam Sterritt, director of student activities and leadership programs; Mike Potts, CEO of Potts Construction and GGC Vice President of Business and Finance Eddie Beauchamp.
"Atlanta resident and Wall Street Journal Bureau Chief, Douglas A. Blackmon, recently won the Pulitzer for his 2008 book, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II (Doubleday, $29.95). Based on a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history: laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, with tens of thousands of African Americans arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. With no means to pay these 'debts,' prisoners were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries and farm plantations."
A branch of Orthodoxy found in Georgia is the Eastern Catholic Church, which seeks to maintain the worship style of Eastern Orthodoxy but which acknowledges the authority of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. St. John Chrysostom's Melkite Church was formerly the home of Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler. The converted church houses an altar made from marble quarried from Pickens County and is located at 1428 Ponce de Leon Avenue in the Druid Hills section of Atlanta.
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