|Issue 9.49| Friday, Sept. 18, 2009 | Forward to your friends!|
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Meet a sponsor
GwinnettForum.com is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA. Contact us today.
NOW ON TWITTER!
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
DULUTH, Ga., Sept. 18, 2009 -- What started out as a single home project for Rudy Bowen in the suburbs of Gwinnett County in 1969, turned out to be not only a career for Bowen, but one he would develop into a family business. This year, 2009, Bowen Family Homes is proud to commemorate its 40th anniversary.
Bowen's rise to the top of building profession is one that was achieved by a lot of hard work and dedication. His very first project included one house that he built in the quiet suburbs of Atlanta 40 years ago. After the house sold quickly, Bowen continued to build a few homes here and there, each time with the same success as his first. By the early 1980's Bowen had forged the reputation for providing quality and value to the homebuyer. As metro-Atlanta grew, so did Bowen's business. As many of his peers started to capitalize on the amount of growth that was taking place in the metro-Atlanta area, Bowen recognized that he needed an edge in his field if he wanted to continue his success.
That edge consisted of him developing his own land. By being able to avoid third-party development costs, Bowen was able to pass the savings onto the homebuyer. After success working on smaller projects, Bowen began building entire communities. These communities earned the same reputation for quality, value and lifestyle as the homes he previously built. By the late 1980s and early 1990s the business had taken off and Bowen needed help. He didn't have to look too far, as he welcomed his sons-in-law, Mike Phelps and Tip Cape, along with his own son, David Bowen, to the Bowen Family Homes team.
David Bowen says: "I know that my dad was pleased that he reached a point in his career that he could bring on his son and his sons-in-law. Everything we do at Bowen Family Homes starts with the family. Having us become a part of the team was very gratifying for him."
Today, Bowen Family Homes remains a leading creator of new home communities in major markets nationwide, including metropolitan Atlanta, Florida and Texas. The company has been honored with numerous distinctions including being named one of America's 100 fastest growing builders and one of the top 50 builders in the nation by Builder Magazine.
Recognized as the 25th largest privately owned builder in the country by Builder Magazine for 2005, Bowen Family Homes is a dynamic homebuilder with operations in Georgia, Florida and Texas. In 2007, Bowen Family Homes was named Georgia Family Business of the Year among medium sized companies by Georgia Trend and the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle ranked Bowen Family Homes fifth among metro Atlanta builders in 2007 and 40th among Atlanta's Top 100 Private Companies for 2007. Bowen Family Homes was ranked 83rd on the 2007 Professional Builder Giant 400 largest homebuilders in the United States list. These successes have been achieved by offering the best new home value in all price ranges.
Earlier this year Bowen Family Homes launched their social media marketing plan with a new company blog, www.bowenfamilyhomesblog.com and presence on several social media outlets. For more information about Bowen Family Homes, call their Atlanta region headquarters at 678-325-4554 or 1-877-MY BOWEN or visit online at www.bowenfamilyhomes.com.
SEPT. 18, 2009 -- What Gwinnett County's current financial bind amounts to is nothing less than a quality of life issue. If Gwinnett residents want to continue to have the high-quality services they have had in the "good growth days" of the past, they will have to ready themselves for higher taxes, at least for the next several years, until more growth returns.
Background: Since 1950, Gwinnett has been on a roll in population, in housing, and thankfully to keep a more-balanced balanced digest, in commercial growth. As a result, the continuing-to-be-higher tax digest has allowed the county treasury to be increased each year, giving our county commissioners the monies to increase services. As the county grew in population, the commission has steadily increased the number of police, fire and other essential workers, while growing the size of the administrative staff, as the operational budget of the county grew. And the tax rate for Gwinnett has continued to fall over these many years of growth.
Compared to other metro counties in the area, Gwinnett has the second lowest tax rate (based on 2008 figures):
So now comes the present county commission lamenting about the economic conditions drying up tax revenues for the county. Like most politicians, they fret and worry about taxes, realizing the county cannot continue to do what it have done in the past with the same size staff and with continuing services. The upshot has been a reduction in staff and services for the county, bringing a lower quality of life for Gwinnett residents.
What type of reduced services are we talking about:
You may be able to cite other ways the county has reduced its budget, and lowered the quality of life. At every step of the way, the county commission has acted as if there is no other alternative to move except this way.
There is another way. The county commission can raise more revenue by increasing the tax rate for operational purposes. Yet the commissioners seem to think that would be suicide should they ever seek county office again. It could be.
Tough decisions should be routine for elected officials. Everyone cannot get everything they want from the public treasury.
Yet the commission seems incapable of understanding that the citizens of Gwinnett demand the high quality of life that they have enjoyed in the past. Citizens don't want these services taken away, while at the same time, t hey want efficient government.
Gwinnett has prospered in the past by providing high quality of life services. For the county to continue to prosper, it cannot reduce these services and expect to attract new industry or residents. In the face of the economic times, the commission must increase taxes to support these essential activities if the county is to continue to see progress in the future.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Hayes Family Dealerships with Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, and GMC. Mike, Terry, Tim and Ted Hayes of Lawrenceville and Gainesville with Robin Haynes of Baldwin and Stan Roberts of Toccoa invite you into their showrooms to look over their line-up of automobiles and trucks. Hayes has been in the automotive business for over 35 years, and is North Georgia's oldest family-owned dealerships. The family is the winner of the 2002 Georgia Family Business of the Year Award. Check their web sites at: www.hayeschrysler.com or www.hayeschevrolet.com or www.hayesgmcars.com.
Editor, the Forum:
How about Congressman Tom Price for president ? John McCain was a loser, a weak candidate, afraid to say anything interesting, allowed the media to set the tone, and was about the worst the Republicans could have fielded. Result: Democrat victory. The media's candidate won.
Dr. Tom Price , who practiced medicine for 25 years or so, knows something about health care. He even has a short video bouncing around the Internet on the subject. I'll bet this could get a little discussion going.
Never believe the "lamestream" media. Remember when those windbags claimed Gerald Ford could win in November but Ronald Reagan could not ?
Insurance firms dictate what many do about health care
former company, I could phone in a prescription refill and pick it up
on the way home---a matter of an hour or so. With these guys, I have to
phone it in and wait at least a day (sometimes two) and take time out
of my work day to go pick it up. They have no locations within 15 miles
of my home.
Feels unfair treatment, and would welcome term limits
Editor, the Forum:
now Elliott! When George W. Bush was president you were the first one
to cry wolf at every single proposal he made, and blamed your actions
on your thoughts that GW had proven to be a liar who could not be trusted
or given any benefit of a doubt as to his intentions.
I find it interesting that, after reading the health care reform, I along with most other thinking Americans who have taken the time to read the proposed legislation find that every one of the President's points in his speech are in direct conflict with the written bill. Obama has and continues to lie about many of his proposals, he tries to push items thru under the cover of darkness, and without notice, and then he cries when he gets caught that the Republicans are not working with him.
I personally feel that either party who has power in Washington, engages in the same tricks and we the people lose every single time. I want to see the people rise up and FORCE term limits on everyone serving in Washington (our state house also). Then we may see government that actually does something good and worthwhile for the country.
vacancy now occurring at Annandale Village at Suwanee
Editor, the Forum:
Many people have tried to access the services of Annandale Village at Suwanee over the years, only to find they could not afford its fees. That's one of the pitfalls of being a private pay organization.
What many people do not know is that Annandale has one 12-unit apartment building on campus, where the residents are eligible to receive HUD assistance, sometimes making it more affordable to live at Annandale Village. For example, depending upon the individual's circumstances, they could be eligible for up to $500 a month in assistance from HUD.
Whatever they receive from HUD is deducted from Annandale's monthly fees and the family is only responsible for the balance. In the 24 years that Annandale has had that building, it has been rare to have an opening, since normally here is a waiting list. Currently, however, there is one vacancy and at the present time, there is no waiting list for that building.
This building, called the Haas Apartments, serves the highest functioning residents who have a modicum of independent living skills. So, if you know someone caring for an adult with a developmental disability who may be eligible for Annandale services or would simply like to know more about this vacancy, they should call Tammy Severino, director of Admissions, at (770) 932-4865, or call me direct.
Approximately 40,000 people are expected to attend the annual Suwanee Day festival at Town Center Park on Saturday, September 19. To help make the festival hassle-free, attendees are encouraged to avoid traffic around the park and take advantage of off-site parking available at three convenient locations.
Free shuttle buses will provide transportation between designated off-site parking areas and Town Center Park from 9 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Off-site parking is available at:
Limited parking for guests using motor scooters or wheelchairs will be available at the Suwanee Police Department (the former City Hall) at 373 Buford Highway, across the street from Town Center Park, except during the parade. Additional parking for those with disabilities will be available at Shadowbrook Baptist Church (4187 Suwanee Dam Road); a wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus will provide transportation to Town Center Park. More information about the 26th annual Suwanee Day festival is available at www.suwaneeday.com.
New London Stage to present Cinderella and Red Riding Hood
Theatre will present Cinderella/Little Red Riding Hood opening
September 18 and continuing through September 27 at its stage in Snellville.
All tickets for this show will be at a special price of $10.
Little Red Riding Hood is a mixed-up fairy tale where she meets seven singing dwarves, a bashful wolf, as well as a confused stagehand on her way to Grandmother's house. And there's only minutes until they turn out the lights!
The show is being produced by Anne Simmons and Joanne Alford and directed by Teagan Eley. It will be performed September 17 at 7 p.m.; September 18-29 and 25-26 at 8 p.m., and on Sundays, September 20 and 27 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased either online or at the theatre box office. Shows are performed at New London Theatre: 2485 East Main Street Snellville.
information, visit www.newlondontheatre.org,
or call 770-559-1484.
Bill Myers is the new Gwinnett County fire chief, effective September 19. He has been with the department for 26 years and replaces Steve Rolands, who retires Friday after 33 years of service to the county. The appointment was made by County Administrator Glenn Stephens. Myers will oversee a department of 800 employees. His annual salary will be $135,000.
After serving in the United States Navy, Myers began his career with Gwinnett County in 1983 and has since worked in every area of the department. He attended the first paramedic program offered by the department and served in some of its busiest fire stations. Myers led the development of innovative fire and medical techniques, employee leadership and career training programs, and the improvement of a work-safe environment.
Myers graduated from the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program and holds a bachelor's degree in safety engineering and a master's degree in public administration. He lives in Lilburn with his wife, Jami. They have two daughters, Jessi and Kadi.
Duluth DAR chapter heads talk about Constitution Week
Linda Bhame, left, spoke recently to the William Day chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. At right is Chapter Regent Betty Lynam. The chapter is located in Duluth. Between them is a display about Constitution Week.
Duluth Historical Society, in partnership with the Daughters of the American Revolution,is having an exhibit honoring our U.S. Constitution throughout the balance of the month of September. The museum is located in the Historic Strickland House, 2956 Buford Highway in Duluth. The Museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children.
Also known as "The Guitar Wizard," blues musician Tampa Red was a master of the slide guitar and one of the most prominent figures of the Chicago, Ill., blues scene during the 1930s and 1940s. Though little known today, he was a popular and influential performer whose recording career extended from 1928 to 1960.
Born Hudson Woodbridge on January 8, 1904, in Smithville, Ga., he was raised in Tampa, Fla., by his grandmother's family, the Whittakers, whose name he adopted. He was already known as Tampa Red when he arrived in Chicago in the mid-1920s, fresh from the southern theater circuit. He worked a day job but played guitar on street corners and in clubs, looking for a break.
It came when he was hired to accompany Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, through whom he met pianist Georgia Tom Dorsey. In 1928 Tampa Red and Georgia Tom recorded "It's Tight Like That." A jaunty, ragtime-influenced number with whimsically bawdy lyrics, it was a national hit on the Vocalion label. Tampa Red and Dorsey recorded several successful follow-up songs as the Hokum Boys, and the "hokum" style became a depression-era fad.
Such early recordings demonstrate Tampa Red's already sophisticated slide guitar technique. Playing a metal-bodied National Tricone guitar and sliding a bottleneck along the strings, he created a clear and pure sound, marked by deft single-string solos. Following the repeal of prohibition in 1933, venues for blues music proliferated in Chicago, and Tampa Red became one of the city's hottest live acts, often with the backing of his band, the Chicago Five. With his close friends Big Bill Broonzy and Lester Melrose, a producer for Bluebird Records, Tampa Red was a leader of the Chicago scene.
His wife, Frances, acted as his business manager, and their home became an informal boardinghouse, booking agency, and rehearsal space, where many newcomers to the city found encouragement and support.
By 1940 Tampa Red had made the transition to electric guitar, and he reached the top ten on the rhythm-and-blues chart several times in the postwar period. His 1949 song "When Things Go Wrong with You (It Hurts Me Too)" became a signature tune for the artist Elmore James. Robert Nighthawk, Fats Domino, and B. B. King also scored hits with cover versions of his songs.
His wife's death in 1953 was a blow from which Tampa Red never recovered. He had always been a heavy drinker, and his alcoholism became acute. Like many of his contemporaries, he was "rediscovered" by a new audience in the late 1950s. He went back into the studio in 1960, but his final recordings were undistinguished. He died destitute in Chicago on March 19, 1981, and was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame the same year. He is buried in Glenwood, Ill.
GwinnettForum is provided to you at no charge every Tuesday and Friday. If you would like to serve as an underwriter, click here to learn more.
Send your thoughts, 55-word short stories, pet peeves or comments on any issue to Gwinnett Forum for future publication.
We hope you'll keep receiving the great news and information from GwinnettForum, but if you need to unsubscribe, click here.
© 2009, Gwinnett Forum.com. Gwinnett Forum is an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
CORRECTION: In the previous edition, a photograph was identified incorrectly. One person in a photo of an article about Constitution Day and the DAR should have been listed as Karen Sokol of Suwanee. We regret the error. -- eeb
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
>> SPECIAL NOTICE TO GWINNETT
Those interested in the history of Gwinnett need to know that the recently published book: Gwinnett: A Little Above Atlanta, has sold fast, with the first editions about sold out. There are less than 50 books remaining unsold. If you want the book for yourself, or to buy for a present for someone this year, you need to take action. Go to www.elliottbrack.com to order, or buy the book at a local bookstore shown on the site.
(In full disclosure, the book is authored by the publisher of this Forum, and this notice is intended not so much to hawk, but to inform, those who have delayed purchase. -eeb)
The books are available at these sites:
MORE RECENT COMMENTARY
ON THE BOOKSHELF
Here are some other good reads that you might want to consider reading:
FOR CHARITY. You can give "A Gift of Laughter," a great book of cartoons by Bill McLemore, to help raise money for Rainbow Village. At just $20, it's a fun way to help. To order, call 770 840 1003, or 770 446 3800, or email to email@example.com.
We encourage you to check out our sister publications:
© 2001-2009, Gwinnett Forum.com is Gwinnett County's online community forum for commentary that explores pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.