|Issue 9.64 | Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009 | Forward to your friends!|
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Nov. 10, 2009 -- With Lawrenceville, a "main stage" for Georgia, the city has continued to impress visitors and locals as well as state economic developers and the destination marketing industry.
A city already rich with history and small-town hospitality, Lawrenceville has generations of residents, dedicated new investors, and local development and marketing boards continuously maintaining, revitalizing and promoting its unique sense of place.
The 2009 restoration of the 1893 Mayor Jule Oakes House, the new Lawrenceville Visitors' Center, is an example of city partnerships for progress. To further help visitors and citizens better navigate Lawrenceville, the city is producing a city-wide, way-finding program from gateways to pedestrian kiosks. Implementation is underway for the signage to be erected in 2010.
In ten years, Lawrenceville has seen close to $94 million invested in new construction, rehabilitation, or beautification projects. Whether fresh building facades with new awnings, the City's updated downtown with faux brick, parking deck, or upkeep of landmarks and landscape, Lawrenceville's welcoming appearance is just the book's cover to an interesting community of families and fun.
The town, founded in 1821 and the oldest city in the five-county Metro Atlanta, remains a vibrant commercial and entertainment hub with spokes leading to the core historic area boasting a district of service industry businesses, retail shopping, and unique restaurants. One-of-a-kind eateries include choices of rooftop dining, romantic restaurants in historic buildings, fresh seafood, sandwich bistros, coffee stops, dessert selections and even excellent grab-and-go menus. Annually, first time visitors and family tradition come together for seasonal events to share in the enjoyment of live entertainment, arts, holiday happenings, and culinary fests.
One main attractor for experiencing the City's downtown district is Gwinnett County's only professional theatre organization, The Aurora Theatre. Any Aurora Theatre production serves as a great anchor or starting point to any number of visitor interests or itineraries.
The Lawrenceville experience also comes with an opportunity for permanence at "Cornerstone on the Square". This new development offers the small-town charm in an exclusive community of condominiums, townhomes and courtyard residences. Creating a chance to reside in an in-town setting weaves once day-trippers into the local fabric.
The domino effect of economic development includes newer major attractions such as the AAA Gwinnett Braves Stadium located between Lawrenceville and Buford, and the Medieval Times Castle of Dinner and Tournament, between Lawrenceville and Duluth. Educational additions include Georgia Gwinnett College, which has currently more square footage under construction than now in use. The GGC Grizzlies' campus now has on-campus living, student center and a library under construction and all sporting hard hats! New facilities at Gwinnett Medical Center and the forthcoming Open Heart Unit have also moved regional healthcare to new levels in the area.
own relaxed hustle and bustle is a scene of industrious commercial activity,
Gwinnett County's only true square retail district, the seat of the government,
a hub of education and healthcare, the home of the Aurora Theatre, the
metro area's home of the Atlanta-owned Gwinnett Braves, and central grounds
of continuous live entertainment and festivals. So "Welcome to Lawrenceville,
Georgia ---The Main Stage" in Gwinnett.
NOV. 10, 2009 -- Georgia's history is coming to haunt us when it comes to bank failures. Headlines in recent days note that Georgia leads the nation in the number of bank failures during this economic downtown. That's true. There have been 26 banks that have gone under in 2008-2009, more than anywhere in the country.
But set all this in perspective. Two other states, Nevada and Oregon, have a higher percentage of their banks closing than Georgia. And five states exceed the total assets of the assets of banks that closed in Georgia. These states are Nevada, California, Alabama, Texas and Florida.
And the reason Georgia has so many bank failures, besides the poor economic conditions? It goes back to our geography and our history.
Remember that Georgia has 159 counties, more than any state except Texas. In older days, the thoughts were that there had to be a bank in every county, no matter the size of the county. Pride insured that no self-respecting business or even the county government would do business with a bank in another county! So in these counties, Georgia had many smaller banks.
Add to that a Georgia law that had been written to protect the smaller banks: no bank could branch outside its own county until the mid 1990s. This gave rise to significant larger banks in neighboring states like North Carolina and Florida. The rise of the North Carolina National Bank, Wachovia, First Union, BB&T and others out of North Carolina gave them tremendous banking power, eventually allowing these banks to purchase stalwart Georgia banks like C&S, First National of Atlanta, Georgia Railroad Bank out of Augusta, and others. Before it was over, these Georgia bank headquarters moved to Charlotte, and Georgia lost its natural banking advantage.
The late Jack Embry changed this. He branched across a county line in the mid 1990s, causing the state of Georgia to sue him. But Jack won, and soon there was a big push by the big banks (especially in Metro Atlanta) to have locations in all the growing counties.
Big banks growing bigger gave rise to another opportunity: the creation of more smaller community banks to serve those people who did not want to deal with the big banks. These smaller banks often had as their best customers developers and builders involved with the construction boom. Bankers were loaning money to the construction industry since it was the biggest and best sector of their area. All was well, bankers were profiting, some were selling out (and often soon starting new smaller community banks.)
Then the precipitous falling off of the real estate and home construction markets. Even smaller banks throughout other parts of Georgia were heavily invested in the Atlanta real estate boom. The upshot has been bank failures. Here in Gwinnett, we have had several banks go under: The Community Bank of Loganville, Haven Trust of Duluth, Security Bank of Gwinnett in Suwanee, and American United Bank of Lawrenceville. They fell victim to economic conditions, some bad choices and perhaps some overzealous FDIC officials. People who invested in these banks lost heavily.
Yet these Georgia banks who have failed are not massive banks, but for the most part community banks. The total assets of all the failed Georgia banks pales in comparison with big bank failures, like Washington Mutual.
Georgia might not need more banks any time soon. If nothing else, it'll be hard to get a charter from banking officials.
The best medicine for banks for recovery will be a healthy economic climate. Customer loyalty is vital, and safe, with FDIC protection. Or else, we might see even more Georgia bank failures.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. The Georgia campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, on Old Peachtree Road N.W. in Suwanee, is now in its fifth year and continues to expand its healthcare educational opportunities. The branch campus began in 2005 offering only a four-year osteopathic medical degree. A year later, both a certificate of graduate studies and a master's degree in biomedical sciences were added. Now, PCOM is accepting applications for a four-year PharmD degree program with enrollment set for August 2010. PCOM has also partnered with Brenau University in Gainesville, to offer a five year Physician Assistant degree. Call 678-225-7500 for additional information. More: PCOM.
Your item comparing Georgia and Florida license plates isn't apples to apples. For starters, the estimated population of Florida in 2008 was 18,328,340 according to the Census Bureau. The same period for Georgia was 9,685,744.
While the tags you report are 480,361 in Florida to 61,281 in Georgia, you are dealing with twice the population size in Florida. Also you state those figures were reported in Florida over the last five years. You don't state what time frame the Georgia numbers come from. This story from you seems like a stretch even to me, a diehard Bama fan!
Gwinnett County will host the annual Veteran's Day ceremony on Wednesday, November 11 at 11 a.m. at the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial in Lawrenceville. The observance will pay tribute to the county's military veterans and honor two servicemen who were killed in the line of duty this year.
Board Chairman Charles Bannister and County Administrator Glenn Stephens will lead this year's ceremony. Honor guard units from the Gwinnett County Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Corrections and Sheriff's Departments and the Lawrenceville Police Department will also take part in the event. The keynote address will be given by Col. Aubrey Garner, chief of operations for the Third Army, based at Fort McPherson.
Two names will be added to the memorial under the Global War on Terrorism heading, those of First Sergeant John David Blair and Staff Sergeant Alex French IV. Blair and French were both assigned to the Army National Guard unit in Lawrenceville and were sheriff's deputies in their respective counties, Gordon and Bibb. Blair was the gunner on an armored vehicle that was attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade in Mado Zayi, Afghanistan, which resulted in his death on June 20. Blair was credited for saving a fellow soldier's life during the attack. French was killed on September 30 in Kwhost, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised-explosive device.
The Veterans Day Ceremony will be televised at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 on TVgwinnett, channel 23 or 25 depending on the cable provider.
The Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial, located on the grounds of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville, honors all Gwinnett residents who died in the line of duty in military or public service. The memorial opened in 2003 and was built with funds from private donations and Gwinnett County government. For additional information about the memorial, visit www.gwinnettfallenheroes.com.
Barbershop Chorus to present Vets' Day programs
Veterans Day week is the perfect time to honor those who have served in our nation's armed forces. It is also a time when the Stone Mountain Chorus celebrates its 29th year of delivering four-part harmony to the metropolitan Atlanta area.
Two programs will be on Friday, November 13 at 3 and 8 p.m., and another on Saturday November 15 at 8 p.m. will be at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center (www.gwinnettcenter.com in Duluth.)
The 60-man Stone Mountain Chorus (www.stonemountainchorus.org) will present a wide variety of close, four-part harmony singing. Tickets may be ordered from at www.stonemountainchorus.org or they may be requested by calling the chorus information line at 770-978-8053.
Chamber Success breakfast to hear NCR's Bill Nuti
The chairman of NCR, William (Bill) Nuti, will speak Thursday, November 12, at 8 a.m. at Sugarloaf Country Club as part of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's "Success Lives Here" program.
Nuti, chairman and chief executive office) of NCR Corporation, has a knack for achieving and finding success. Nuti's ability to find success is what led him to relocate and expand the global technology company's headquarters to Gwinnett County.
Nuti was recently quoted on the relocation of NCR by saying that the decision to consolidate functions in Georgia and build a technology-focused corporate headquarters campus is right in line with their business strategy to drive growth, improve their innovation output, increase productivity and continually upgrade their focus on the customer.
Special event at Recycling Bank of Gwinnett Nov. 14
On Saturday, November 14, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful will host America Recycles Day in Gwinnett from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett, located at 4300 Satellite Boulevard in Duluth.
This year's event will honor and thank recyclers for their efforts to save energy and improve the environment. Recyclers will have a chance to register and win one of two $100 dollar prizes. Also, every hour during the event, two recyclers will have a chance to win a special T Shirt or gift.
Individuals and groups are invited to bring their newspapers, magazines, junk mail, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, steel cans, telephone books, cardboard boxes, glass bottles and jars to the Recycling Bank and learn more about how their actions are making a difference.
Visit www.gwinnettcb.org to learn more about recycling in Gwinnett or how to help the environment.
Work on re-structuring U.S. Highway 78 between Snellville and Stone Mountain is on schedule and should be completed by the project's November 30 deadline, weather permitting. The project involves removing the reversible lane on the road and providing three lanes in each direction.
Crews still must place the final layer of asphalt, designed to be smooth, for a good ride and to be porous so rain drains through readily. Crews will also be completing the construction of the raised concrete median from Fountain Drive to State Route 124.
Digital Bookmobile coming to Suwanee Library Nov. 13
Gwinnett County Public Library will host the Digital Bookmobile, an immersive download experience inside a 74-foot, high-tech tractor-trailer, on Friday, November 13 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Suwanee branch library at 361 Main Street in Suwanee.
Readers of all ages are invited to engage in digital downloading through interactive demonstrations at this free event. Attendees will be able to experience the library's audiobook, eBook, music and video download service. Library card holders can also check out and download digital titles anytime, anywhere by visiting www.gwinnettpl.org. The Digital Bookmobile is a service of Gwinnett County Public Library and is operated by OverDrive, Inc.
Bookmobile is housed inside an 18-wheel tractor-trailer. This 74-foot
community outreach vehicle is a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile
that has served communities for decades. Interactive learning stations
give visitors an opportunity to search the digital media collection of
The setting for generations of pirate lore and tales of buried treasure, coastal Georgia's Blackbeard Island has had a compelling history for at least 200 years, including a period when it was the largest federal marine quarantine station on the south Atlantic coast.
The 5,618-acre island, northeast of Sapelo Island in McIntosh County, was named for Edward Teach, best known as "Blackbeard," a pirate who conducted raids on merchant shipping in the region in the early 18th century. It was called Blackbeard Island as early as 1760, when the island was delineated as such on a survey map compiled by William DeBrahm and Henry Yonge. The legend that Teach buried his pirate loot on the island has persisted over the years, although no treasure has ever been found. Teach and his cohorts almost certainly frequented the area around the island. Tidewater Georgia, with its labyrinthine creeks, inlets, and secluded marsh islands, provided ideal cover for their illegal operations.
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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. Get yours before they're gone. Go to www.elliottbrack.com to order, or buy the book at a local bookstore shown on the site.
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