|Issue 9.56 | Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009 | Forward to your friends!|
WEEKEND FESTIVAL: Make plans for the ninth annual Sugar Hill Fall Festival October 17 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. It will be at E. E. Robinson Park, rain or shine. There will be a Chili Cook-off contest, moonwalks and rides for the kids, with over 80 Arts and Crafts vendors with displays. Also on display will be booths promoting local businesses, sporting groups, and services plus a wide assortment of food booths offering a variety of meals and treats. Live music on the main stage will feature local bands. This year the classic and custom car show will be expanded and be featured at the park entrance.
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., October 13, 2009 -- I am the founder and head of the newly created Guatemalan American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) in Metro Atlanta Ga. The GACC has the advantage and privilege of being under the umbrella of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GHCC).
The GHCC has been successfully serving the Hispanic community in Georgia for 25 years, and the GACC automatically inherits its standings.
The objectives of GACC is to offer Guatemalan businessmen, entrepreneurs and importers/exporters opportunities, including business networking and coaching seminars, plus social activities. The GACC provides members a unique opportunity to engage with prominent international business partners and leaders in government who are trailblazing global market success.
The GACC also develops strategies and programs that enhance the economic development of all business throughout the entire community.
The specific mission of the GACC is to promote and support the domestic and international economic development of Guatemala owned business; and to serve as a link between the Guatemala and Georgia trade market.
Our newest project is to promote the Savannah port. I am in touch with the Georgia Port Authority to see how we can work together to promote cargo coming from Guatemala and Central America to Georgia instead of Miami. This is a long term project but we all are very excited and will continue until we get results.
In the near future we have plans for expos plus sending invitations to speak to the secretary of economics, and to tourism and trade commissioners.
To me this is a dream come true, that through the Chamber I can help my two countries the best way I know how, through marketing, economic development, import/export and lots of networking.
my services through the Guatemalan American Chamber of Commerce with full
understanding of challenges ahead.
OCT. 13, 2009 -- Gwinnett's current financial crunch stems primarily from the tough economic times that the entire nation is facing. The virtual halt of the construction industry for both homes and commercial property, the drastic reduction of the county tax digest, and the resultant drop in tax revenues are stifling for a county government and school board which have grown used to growth fueling expansions.
Couple that with some bad decisions by those in leadership positions, and county government is being limited by a financial crunch that no one around here has seen in their memory.
Earlier governments, when the growth was beginning, were not as big, and did not provide the services, that the county government currently does, and its residents have grown to expect. Gwinnettians now have modern key services, such as fire and police protection, an enviable library system, ease of auto tag purchases, and other high quality government services that many counties do not have. Up until now, this has been achieved without acrimony on the part of the citizens and the elected public officials.
As bad a shape as Gwinnett currently finds itself in, and while it doesn't help to say this, at least we are not in the even harsher conditions that plague some areas, notably the state of California. In the past, unusual approaches of government have come out of this state, items that once were looked upon as progressive, but which in recent years have turned sour. Specifically, the way Californians (and a few other states) can amend their Constitution through voter initiatives which sometimes override the Legislature, has been a practice which has limited government, and made it difficult to administer the state. This process of citizen initiatives is an unusual experiment in democracy, and is proving to be, at the least, difficult.
No less a figure than the chief justice of the California Supreme Court is now speaking out about this issue. In what was called a rare rebuke this past weekend, Judge Ronald M. George, has criticized the method by which the state relies on a referendum process which he says is rendering "our state government dysfunctional."
He feels the widespread process of referendum to change the state's laws and Constitution is not only unusual, but prohibits the Legislature from amending or repealing laws without voter approval, which is nothing less than hamstringing the government.
Perhaps the onerous effort of these initiatives has been a limitation on elected officials on how they may raise and spend revenue. Judge George says this has put the state in a fiscal "straight jacket." For instance, in California the Legislature must have a two-thirds majority, which was instituted by citizens voting in a referendum, before the Legislature can raise taxes. This populist control helps explain why California is in such tight budget constraints.
What this means essentially is that the experimental referendum process is coming home to roost, and rule, in California. While the Georgia Legislature (or even Gwinnett commissioners) may find it painful to raise taxes, at least Georgians do not have to attain a two-thirds vote to do so. (However, of course, to pass such a local measure, Gwinnett commissioners must do it by at least a 3-2 vote, or 60 percent measure. But it is within a deliberative group of a commission, where horse-trading can usually gain victory.)
So yes, we are in bad economic times. We can only take solace that we may not be quite as bad as some areas of the country. Local officials should reject populist rantings opposing higher taxes.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Fifth Third Bank is one of the largest and most reputable banks in the nation. It's been helping people build financial confidence for 150 years. Now, it has come to metro Atlanta and Gwinnett to help make all your hard work today mean more for tomorrow. We are often asked "Where does that name come from?" Our name is a result of a history of growth and expansion. We trace our origins back to the Bank of the Ohio Valley which opened its doors in Cincinnati in 1858. In 1871, that bank was purchased by the Third National Bank. With the turn of the century came the union of the Fifth National Bank and the Third National Bank and we eventually became known as Fifth Third Bank. With four Gwinnett County locations and plans to grow, we hope that you'll stop in and visit us in person or at www.53.com. Call Karen Rosenberg, senior vice president, retail executive, at 404-279-4540 for more information. Fifth Third Bank - Member FDIC.
selection to feature T.R. Reid's book (The Healing of America).
I finished it a few weeks ago and have been sharing insights from it since.
We as a country decided it was morally and fiscally important to provide
universal education. That decision has done more to create a classless
society then any other.
Feels wasteful spending often associate with health care
Editor, the Forum:
due respect, I could not tell if you were doing a book review of The Healing
of America, or making a political statement. I think very few Americans
would want to go to France to have their health needs taken care of, and
the author's selective use of statistics is disingenuous. The whole health
care debate has become so partisan: for example, leaders will not even
listen to some logical changes that should at least be discussed, for
example, being able to buy insurance across state lines, and tort reform.
Instead, the proposed new health care bill proposes to penalize doctors
if they order more tests than 90 percent of all doctors, even if the patient
improves. This is insane. Some doctors have sicker and older patients
Knox Summerour remembers UGA Professor Fred Mills
Editor, the Forum:
September 7 saw the sudden end to the life of an international legend in music: William Frederick Mills, 74, professor at the University of Georgia. He was also an unofficial ambassador since 1996, one of the most influential trumpet players this century in any genre, who spent 24 years with the Canadian Brass Quintet.
He recorded more than 40 albums with them and influenced thousands of musicians across the globe. He died shortly after a single-car accident. True to form and always on the move, he was en route from the Atlanta airport to his home in Athens, having just spent 10 days in northern Italy performing and teaching at a music festival.
The story of his passing was carried by every major Western newspaper; you can read one story here. Google him to learn about his professional life. I will not attempt to re-cover his life; rather, I'd like to tell you a bit about the man I got to know in the last 11 years; the mentor, teacher, and my friend Fred.
Fred was, for lack of a better term, my musical grandfather, and a professional mentor to the max. Being a pupil of Fred's was equivalent to being a nascent pupil of Red Sox great Ted Williams, except Fred hit well over .400 with ease.
The outflux of information and inspiration never stopped flowing from his lips--musically and verbally. A quirky, hilarious presence in any room, Fred would often, in the middle of telling a story, interrupt himself as another idea or story popped into his head. The human brain was simply not equipped to hold at one time all of the knowledge and experience Fred possessed and wanted to impart to his friends, colleagues, and students. And though he had every right to, Fred never grew conceited or jaded. His body was 74; his enthusiasm never passed 25.
As a friend, few come as loyal. Being a bachelor with a large house in Athens, Fred's guest quarters came with a revolving door; I was fortunate to rotate through and live as his only housemate for two years during UGA grad school. I remember many a late-night conversation and music-listening session in front of the stereo. And beyond pupilship, a friendship was born that continued to grow until his final day with us. Christmas dinner with my family in Duluth had become an annual tradition, and Fred had become a true family friend. Having no children of his own, Fred undertook interest in the lives of the students and friends closest to him, and for the people he cared about, there was nothing he wouldn't do.
I would call myself fortunate to have been just a student of William Frederick Mills. I will call myself blessed to have been Fred's friend.
(For a video of the September 20 Memorial Concert held in Athens, go to http://www.music.uga.edu/memorial.php. You will also find information on contributing to the W. Fred Mills Award scholarship fund.)
The merchants of downtown Historic Buford are hosting a Fall Festival and Car Show Saturday October 24 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Experience a day filled with antique cars and fun fall festivities for the whole family. Enjoy pumpkin decorating, a kids' scavenger hunt and local artists showcasing their art in outdoor booths. Buford's many downtown merchants and restaurants will offer fall specials. Make plans to tour Historic Buford and explore the Buford Museum to learn about history of the area.
Historic Buford was developed and put on the map as the world leader in leather tanning and production, primarily due to the efforts of the Allen Family who operated the country's largest tannery, as well as the world's largest horse collar factory. Today art galleries, quaint shops, upscale restaurants, and music venues are just a few of the delights Historic Buford has to offer.
Historic Buford is located just two miles from the intersection of Interstate 985 and Georgia Highway 20 in the northeast corner of Gwinnett County. For additional information about Buford visit www.visitbuford.com.
Suwanee seeks nominations for "Swan-ee" Awards program
The City of Suwanee is seeking nominations for projects with a "wow factor." The Swan-ee Awards program is the City's way of recognizing folks who've achieved excellence in creating aesthetically attractive facilities that benefit the entire community.
The annual awards will be presented in December to individuals, businesses, and organizations who have created architectural "swans." Recognized projects may include, but are not necessarily limited to, new construction, renovated buildings, landscaping, sustainable/long-term developments, "clean-up" projects, and public art.
Nominated projects must be located within the Suwanee municipal limits, have been completed within the last two years, and include exterior/façade improvements.
The Lilburn Community Partnership reached $105 million in property value with the addition of two Home Depot stores. They were the locations in Lilburn and the Jimmy Carter location at U.S. Highway 29 and Jimmy Carter. The goal to attain to form the district is $437 million, with work "on target" to reach that goal.
media event will be held on Tuesday, October 20 at 10 a.m. at The Home
Depot in Lilburn. The Lilburn Community Partnership, Home Depot, the Lilburn
Business Association, along with city, county, and state officials, are
invited to this media event.
County finds refinancing water bonds helps save $3.1 million
County Water and Sewerage Authority in conjunction with Gwinnett County
Government sold $260 million worth of revenue bonds last week. The proceeds
of this bond sale will be used to refinance variable rate debt that was
issued in 2004 and provide $150 million of new bond funding for capital
EMC customers should watch out for bogus meter readers
An incident in Hall County of a man pretending to be a Jackson EMC field service representative (a meter reader) has prompted the cooperative to issue a warning to customers about allowing strangers access to their homes and property.
Jackson EMC vice president for Customer Service Jim Crawford said: "This individual wore a shirt bearing a patch with 'Jackson EMC' written in red script and told the homeowner that he was there to cut the power off," said. "It's possible that he was looking for an opportunity to burglarize the home or collect money from this customer. Fortunately, the homeowner had a large dog and the man left the property without incident."
Crawford said customers should always look for the Jackson EMC logo on employee shirts and vehicles, or the logo for TruCheck, a contractor for the cooperative, on vehicles that will also have magnetic signage saying work is being done for Jackson EMC. Customers may also request that an individual who says they are a cooperative employee produce a Jackson EMC photo identification card.
If customers don't see the appropriate identification cards, logos and signage and are unsure about an employee purporting to represent Jackson EMC, they should immediately call their local office to verify that someone has been sent to their home.
writer who has received much recognition for her gripping, insightful
Durban was professor of creative writing at Georgia State University
from 1986 until 2001, when she moved to the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill. Some of her earliest fiction bears the imprint of the
time she spent as a textile worker in Atlanta in the early 1970s and of
her interviews with residents of the community.
has written several highly acclaimed short-story collections and novels,
including All Set About with Fever Trees and Other Stories (1985), The
Laughing Place (1993), and So Far Back (2000), which won the Lillian Smith
Book Award in 2001. During the course of her career she has won numerous
literary awards and honors, including the Townsend Prize for Fiction (1994),
the Whiting Writer Award (1988), and the Rinehart Award for Fiction (1984).
Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Tri-Quarterly,
Crazyhorse, and the Georgia Review.
Durban was born March 4, 1947, in Aiken, S.C. Her educational background
includes a B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
(1969) and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa (1979).
to 1975 Durban was affiliated with the Atlanta Gazette as an editor and
writer. She later began an academic career, teaching creative writing
at the State University of New York at Geneseo, Murray State University,
Ohio University, and Georgia State University. Durban was also founding
coeditor (along with David Bottoms) of the prize-winning literary journal
Durban's fiction has a southern setting, and her writing is infused with
an understanding of the customs and traditions unique to southern culture.
So Far Back (2000), chronicles the inner growth of Louisa Hillard, a Charleston
society woman who, through the discovery of an antebellum journal written
by a slaveholding ancestor, comes to a greater understanding of her family
history and race relations in the South.
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"The erosion of capitalism in our country is not due to the socialists that the right wing frets so much about, but rather to corporate predators who convert perfectly healthy companies into their own piggy banks."
>> 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:
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