|Issue 9.40| Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Forward to your friends!|
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GRAYSON, Ga., Aug. 18, 2009 -- Energy costs continue to rise, further reducing profits for businesses during troubled economic times. With additional ecological regulations being discussed in Washington, pressure to reduce energy use will increase as well.
In order to reduce their overall energy costs, businesses need to examine their current energy use. Business facilities are often the largest single consumer of energy. Buildings in the U.S., according to the US Green Building Council, use 72 percent of electricity consumption. In addition to this, since 2004, Georgia power rates have risen 27 percent. This is an average increase of seven percent per year. Often, businesses consider this energy use as a fixed requirement since it simply a cost of keeping the doors open or the machinery running. But these costs should not be overlooked as a potential area for savings.
Unfortunately small businesses often pay more for their energy use than larger businesses. A recent report by the Small Business Association found that small businesses pay up to 30 percent more for their electricity than similar large businesses. This combination of fixed use and increasing costs can be frustrating in a good economy, and perilous in a bad one.
We have found that businesses are looking to reduce both energy use and energy costs. That is why we are bringing the Utiliguard-ECP device (www.utiliguard.com) to the Atlanta Market. Reducing energy use has always been a goal of businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint. However, some businesses have been reluctant to spend money to achieve a "green" outcome.
Atlanta Energy Savers believes that businesses should act now to reduce their energy use, which can actually save money. We guarantee in writing a MINIMUM of 20 percent savings on electrical usage.
How can we reduce electrical energy usage by 20 percent? Practically everyone today trusts and usse surge protectors in one form or another, whether it is a plug-in type to protect a computer or a hardwire type. Virtually all of these surge protectors are there to protect you against catastrophic failures. As such, with line voltages of 120 volts, they "clamp" or prevent any voltage from getting through that is above 400-600 volts.
In the meantime, a lot of damage can occur between 120 and 600 volts. Our UtiliGuard ECP clamps at 130 volts! By virtually eliminating all surge activity in your business, our system will reduce the operating temperature of your equipment, which will increase the longevity and reduce maintenance cost. By doing this, our system will also reduce your energy consumption further improving your bottom line.
Picture if you will, a very long hose with thousands of tiny pin holes. Under normal pressure, water does not escape out of the hose. But, if all of the sudden you have a spike in that pressure, you are now losing a lot of water. These spikes or surges can occur 50,000 to 100,000 times per hour in a typical McDonalds!
Businesses today more than ever are struggling to increase profits and reduce costs. Small businesses are finding it more difficult to cut expenditures to stay in business. Now may be the time to find those savings in "green" solutions. What was once only better for the environment, may now be even better for the pocketbook.
For more information about this topic, call 678-878-0370 or e-mail at Ore@atlantaenergysavers.com.
AUG. 18, 2009 -- Recent announcements of early retirements by key Gwinnett officials got my mind working.
Ever have young folks ask you for advice on career paths for their generation? A major tenet of the advice usually centers on education: "Get as much education in the best school you can for your career field," you tell them.
Yet a more basic question: what sector should these people of the next generation seek out for employment?
For years, a basic idea was to join a solid company, preferably a larger corporation, and steadily climb the ladder, work hard, stay out of trouble, and enjoy a retirement with pension plus Social Security and their 401K plan when they reached age 62 or 65.
The changing employment picture doesn't give such answers much credence any more. The gurus tell us that today's new work force might join one firm today, then switch firms several times during their potential career. Couple that with fewer firms offering pensions and retirement plans, and it becomes more of a dog-eat-dog fight to stay ahead.
Early on, my generation learned of another career path, back when the military draft was in force: since you had to join the military anyway, make it a career. If you kept your nose clean, you could retire after 20 years, and even get continuing health benefits. That meant for this generation, people at ages 40-45 were completing their military career, then finding work (often in fields closely associated with their military work), and then eventually drawing a second retirement. "Double dipping," we call it.
My generation also found another element: those going into government work, for instance teaching, found that they could retire after 30 years of service, get their full pension, and keep their health benefits. Many went right back into teaching, even if part time, and made as much money or more than before. What always bugs us is that many of these people are at their prime retirement age .with plenty of productive years left, and sometimes are our best teachers .yet often they leave a teaching career, which is our loss.
While others working for government opt to retire after 30 years service, most private industry doesn't allow such liberal options. They keep many people on until ages 62 or 65, then offer retirement. Compared to drawing a government pension, private industry is not so cushy.
Of course, when government workers in particular get "pay-outs," accumulated vacation and sick time, and other such possibilities, the amount of their retirement compensation dramatically increases. And it's legal.
That's why when the youth of today ask about career fields, you should at least mention working for the government. While the pay may---thought not always---be lower than private industry, the government employees score well in benefits.
And while some private firms are cutting back on their retirement, pension and health plans, have you ever heard of a government agency that cut back on the benefits for their retired personnel? Doesn't happen.
Yes, we are in a far-different world today. The generation of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers must have twirled in their graves when they learned about Social Security, retirement, and benefits for their offspring, something their generations never thought possible.
current retirees are enjoying the fruits that their forebears never felt.
And tomorrow's retirees? If they have worked for the government, they
may be at the pinnacle of retirement benefits.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Georgia Campus-Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM), Georgia's newest medical college, is now in its fifth year. Students in the first class, who, began the program in 2005 received their medical degrees May 17, 2009. The evening certificate and master's degree biomedical sciences program attract talented graduate students. The medical degree program combines the course load of medical school with added emphasis on the relationship between the body's structure and its function. PCOM has also partnered with Brenau University to offer a five year Physician's Assistant degree call 678-225-7532 for additional information or visit online.
F. Wayne Hill, former Gwinnett County Commission chairman, will seek the State House District 98 post representing northwest Gwinnett. Hill ran previously for the post, but lost an election to the current seat holder, Bobby Reese, who has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Congress.
Hill is a native Gwinnettian who was born in a Sugar Hill home near his family's business. He maintained a career in his home community for decades by operating the cabinet shop his father started. Hill also earned the distinction as the county's only three-term chairman of the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners. During his time in office, he handled rising demands for infrastructure and public services as the county's success attracted new industry and residents.
Hill's public service included years as chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission, president of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia and head of the National Association of Regional Councils.
6th annual Norcross Art Fest scheduled for Oct. 3-4
Historic Norcross will be jumping with creative artwork and whimsical displays as more than 100 local and national artists line the streets at the sixth annual juried Art Fest on the weekend of October 3-4.
Frances Schube, Art Fest manager, says: "We have hand-picked the most talented and entertaining artists from around the country in painting, folk art, photography, pottery, jewelry, metalworking and so much more. The result is the best two-day art event in Gwinnett County. Each year, the quality of the art keeps getting better and more enjoyable for shoppers and browsers.
The weekend celebration draws crowds of 30,000 and will feature continuous jazz, bluegrass and live entertainment on Thrasher Park stage, as well as fun treats, fresh baked goods, free tastings and children's rides. The popular Kidz Zone returns under the Pavilion for young artists of all ages to enjoy free arts and crafts projects, and Thrasher Park's expanded playground is a must-see for youngsters and their parents. Historic Norcross boutiques, shops and restaurants will also be open during the event to welcome visitors. Parking and shuttle service are free.
is a non-profit festival hosted by the City of Norcross and presented
by the Norcross Woman's Club and Norcross Lions Club. For details, see
of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved another significant
expansion of academic programs today for Georgia Gwinnett College, giving
students at the new college more choices as they pursue their post-secondary
education at GGC. These are the first of several new majors the college
will be adding to its curriculum since it became accredited in June by
the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and
The Regents approved a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in early childhood education; a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in special education; a Bachelor of Science with a major in exercise science; and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in political science.
the Board of Regents gave their approval for Georgia Gwinnett to offer
a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Bachelor
of Science in mathematics. Each of these majors includes a concentration
in teacher certification as will the college's existing biology major,
which also was approved by the Board. All of the new programs must be
sanctioned by SACS.
As the City of Suwanee's new downtown manager, Catherine Dixon will be busy building connections among business owners and between the two distinct areas that comprise downtown Suwanee. She replaces Jane Keegan, who has left her position with the city.
Economic and Community Development Director Denise Brinson says: "This managerial position cements the City's commitment to a vibrant downtown. Catherine will be working with the Downtown Development Authority [DDA], businesses, residents, and others to ensure that downtown Suwanee, both historic Old Town as well as Town Center, serve as vibrant commercial and community centers of activity."
initial priorities include launching a downtown Suwanee website and finding
a buyer or use for the Pierce's Corner building, which is owned by the
Duluth firm's president recognized by U. of Mass chapter
A Duluth firm's president has won a distinction from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) chapter. The third annual Jane F. Garvey Transportation Leadership Award has been presented to Marsha A. Bomar, president of Street Smarts of Duluth.
The award was named after Jane Garvey to honor her legacy as a pioneer in the field. Jane Garvey presented the leadership award endowed in her name. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration from 1997 to 2002. She had previously worked as a teacher, highway safety administrator, and the director of Logan International Airport. She currently serves as the chairwoman of the Capital-to-Capital Coalition, which works to promote non-stop service between Beijing and Washington Dulles International Airport.
Ms. Bomar has been a pioneer in her own right for women in engineering for 35 years by serving as a role model and mentor to many young women. Ms. Bomar has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Professional Women to Watch by Atlanta Woman magazine and last year, was the honored recipient of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, Southern District's Herman J. Hoose Distinguished Service Award.
Considered a minor author today, Will Harben was one of the most popular novelists in America during the first two decades of the 20th century. Although in his 30 books and numerous short stories Harben portrays the mountaineers of his native north Georgia with authenticity and color, the sentimental romanticism demanded by readers of his day mars his novels, consequently diminishing his position in the world of letters. However his sharp observations of the speech, manners, wisdom, and morality of north Georgia mountaineers are a significant contribution to the literature of the American South.
Nathaniel Harben was born on July 5, 1858, of well-to-do parents in the
small town of Dalton. Harben worked for many years as a merchant in Dalton.
At the age of 30, encouraged by both Joel Chandler Harris and Henry Grady,
he decided to take his chances on writing as a profession. He made his
first mark on the literary scene in 1889 with a melodramatic but extremely
popular novel entitled White Marie, about a white girl brought up as a
slave. The novel's success prompted him to move to New York City, although
he always spent part of every summer in Dalton. He married the South Carolina
socialite Maybelle Chandler in 1896, and the couple eventually had three
were Harben's experimental years. Almost Persuaded (1890), a religious
novel, was so well received that Queen Victoria of England requested an
point for Harben occurred in 1900, when he published Northern Georgia
Sketches, a collection of ten of his best local-color stories. The book
brought him renewed national attention as well as the high regard of William
Dean Howells, known as the "dean of American letters," who became
Harben's mentor and friend. For the next 19 years Harben published at
least one novel a year and many short stories, most of them featuring
the picturesque Georgia hillbillies for which he became well known.
(1917), a Civil War epic could have been Harben's masterpiece had he refined
it further. Although Harben often tackled worthwhile, interesting, and
controversial themes (racism and equal rights, antiwar beliefs, isolation,
religion), he allowed sentimentality to overshadow such themes and weaken
Harben wrote until his death in New York City on August 7, 1919, and was buried in his beloved Dalton.
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