|Issue 9.95 | Tuesday, March 9, 2010 | Forward to your friends!|
DAFFODIL INDICATOR: You think the last two month's winter weather has been difficult for you? What if you were a daffodil trying to burst out? One or two of this clump finally made it out of the furls of the greenery, but others are still trying to absorb enough sunlight to break through. Note the leafless trees in the background, still without buds themselves. And it's nearing mid-March in Gwinnett, when it's supposed to be warmer! Luckily, Monday morning was the first day with no freezing temperatures in weeks, and the forecast is warmer this week. Look for daffodils enriching your area these days, with the promise of Shelly's Ode to Winter ("If winter comes, can spring be far behind?) perhaps finally signaling the warmer climes.
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Ga., March 9, 2010 -- March is the month when French speakers and Francophiles
from around the world unite to celebrate the French language and the diversity
of francophone cultures. It is a time when they come together to celebrate
their shared heritage. It is the Francophonie Festival, says Pascal Le
Deunff, Consul General of France and Spokesperson for the Atlanta Francophonie
occasion, the Atlanta Francophonie Committee invites Atlantans to take
part in the celebration March 19-25. From a Francophone Film Festival
at the High Museum of Art and the Midtown Arts Cinema, to a Friendship
Sunday brunch at Carlyle House in Norcross on March 21 at 12:30 p.m.,
and a business breakfast on "Doing Business with Francophone Countries"
at Emory University, there'll be something for everyone. Tickets for the
Norcross brunch are $35, available at the consul website (below).
will be held at Alliance Française, 1197 Peachtree St. in Atlanta.
Tickets are available through the web site at http://www.afatl.com/EventListing.htm.
For a detailed program of the Francophonie Festival, visit www.afatl.com.
MARCH 9, 2010 -- Gustave Flaubert, in his masterpiece, Madam Bovary (1857), describes the scene at a French county fair, back in the 1850s, when a county official was speaking to those attending the fair, among them servants:
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We ask: just how far has our own nation advanced in providing protection for today's aged servants, humble domestics and others who toil on in their service to others? Or for that matter, what about the vast middle class, who themselves labor industriously all their life, being the very picture of a good citizen, only to see rising inflation, economic reversals, and other problems virtually wipe out their hard-earned life savings?
In the United States, all this, of course, is played against the background of perhaps the most aggrieved system for medical delivery in the world, often controlled by those in high positions at insurance companies and medical facilities. The hospitals and medical industry seeks to deliver high quality services, yet find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place, somewhat at the mercy of the "system," largely controlled by the insurance companies.
More and more, it's becoming clear to this corner that the problem of delivery of medical services doesn't so much center in the doctors and hospitals, as it does in the insurance industry.
T.R. Reid, in his book, "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care," points out that in many countries of the world, the insurance field is not run as a for-profit industry like in the United States, but one run as a non-profit entity. The insurance industry in many countries is principally a central operation for the payment of medical services. Insurance companies in these countries do not determine whether a person should have a certain medical care. In these systems, that is the focus of the doctors, who determine what care their patients will get. The insurance companies only pay the doctors, that's all.
The reason that medical delivery works in Japan, Germany France and many other countries is because the citizens of these countries are required to enroll in the insurance plan. That includes enrolling many healthy people, who in effect, help support those who are not so healthy.
It's not unlike the Social Security system in the United States. The younger participants by law help support those getting benefits. It's very much similar to insurance systems in other countries, where the big numbers of enrollees enable everyone to get served adequately.
Now President Obama is pushing for quick passage of a new medical program. It's overdue. But it is also overdue for the insurance companies to get their wings clipped, since they impede proper medical care in the United States.
Create a new cooperative insurance system, a non-profit entity in the United States. Allow the doctors to take control of the health of their patients, and halt today's mega-insurance firms from botching up today's most advanced country's health care. It would make a prophet out of Gustave Flaubert.
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OUTLANDISH CREATIVITY: We couldn't pass up commenting on this one. Did you see where a Tennessee legislator wants to impose a new tax, that on the free breakfast that many hotels provide? Talk about creative taxation! A tax on something free! How will they ever establish the new tax on what you didn't buy?
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Editor, the Forum:
Although the decennial census is required by the Constitution, many view this as an intrusion or have some fear that it might impact them negatively.
The following is an overview to help address some of these concerns.
Do your part by filling in your answers to these questions, to ensure as accurate a census as the United States can get. You will be helping your government with these answers. It's your duty as a resident of the United States.
Feels that we have far too much local government
Editor, The Forum:
When will Government stop? Enough is enough!
Yes, we need to dispose of garbage correctly. But do we need government to force us to use a particular service? NO! Government mandates always and only lead to price increases.
And you are right about the politicians: Maybe we can get rid of the anti-freedom-minded politicians who believe that government is the answer to all our needs, and begin to focus on personal responsibility.
Maybe, just maybe, people are waking up and we can get rid of the Big Government/Big Brother minded politicians.
Samaritan Health Center gets refreshing letter
of the Center's patients, Ms. C. came to our center during a difficult
financial time in her life and needed affordable healthcare services to
manage her diabetes. The high cost of health insurance premiums and her
modest hourly wage made health insurance unfeasible at the time
Ms. C goes on to write, "I want to thank you and your staff for all that was done and for the friendly faces and smiles. God is good. Enclosed is a donation to say thank you and God bless you all as you serve Him." Ms. C.'s experience is a testimony to the fact that the account of the Good Samaritan parable told in Luke 10 is still happening on a regular basis here at the Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett.
Visit our Web site (http://www.goodsamgwinnett.org) to learn more about volunteer opportunities or to make a donation to provide quality medical care to the uninsured in our community.
for fine art classes for adults and children is now open online at The
Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts. Classes begin as early as
Tuesday, March 23. The Hudgens offers a very wide variety of classes and
workshops, on different days of the week and times of day, which makes
finding something to fit busy schedules quite easy.
available are classes in drawing, painting in oils, acrylics and watercolors,
digital photography, multi-media, pottery wheel, clay handbuilding, fiber
arts, jewelry-making and even Feng Shui. There is a daytime pottery wheel
class specifically for homeschoolers as well.
workshops for adults include sessions in portrait drawing, studio lighting
for photography, watercolors, and all-natural soap and lotions making.
Registration for Summer Art Camps for children 5 to 12 years old is now open online. Each camp session will focus on a different theme, and campers will rotate through four different fine art classes every day, focusing on drawing, painting, ceramics and drama, culminating in a dramatic production and art show on the final day of camp.
Camps run Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with Before and After Care available for an additional charge. Art Camp dates and themes are: In the Forest, June 7-18; Go Global, June 21-July 2; Art Story, July 12-23; and Green Extreme, July 26-30. Two week sessions are $350 for members, and the one-week session is only $175 for members. For a full list of all classes and workshops, and to register online, visit the education pages at www.thehudgens.org.
Braves to hold audition for national anthem singers
Braves are holding National Anthem auditions on Saturday, March 20 at
Coolray Field at 10 a.m. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and is limited
to the first 100 singers. Those who are 2010 season ticket and partial
plan holders for the G-Braves will have preferred auditions.
BusinessWeek Magazine has named Duluth among its Best Affordable Suburbs
in America for 2010. Duluth wins the distinction in Georgia. The magazine
says: "Affordability is among the most important factors when selecting
a place to raise a family, but it is far from the only consideration.
In too many regions, low prices also translate to substandard services,
poor schools, and high crime rates."
those towns that offered both affordability and good quality of living,
BusinessWeek evaluated 863 communities according to a range of metrics
developed with New York-based real estate data company Onboard Informatics.
These include living expenses, income, crime rate, schools, commute, local
economy, racial diversity, and green space.
attributes in Duluth, as one official put it: "Duluth has so much
to offer. Combining great shopping, dining, entertainment, schools, housing,
and that community bond you just don't find everywhere else. You get big
city amenities with a small town atmosphere."
Lynn of Duluth named Georgia City Clerk of Year
City Clerk, Teresa Lynn, center, has been named Clerk of the Year by the
Georgia Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association. She has been
city clerk for 17 years, and is a native of Alston, and was an employee
of the City of Hazlehurst for 15 years, starting as a water and sewer
bookkeeper. She is a graduate of Brewton Parker College, and attended
Georgia State University. She lives with her husband, Steve, and has one
daughter, Stephanie. She is currently treasurer of the Clerks and Finance
Officers Association. Shown on the left is Susan Hiott of Smyrna president-elect
of the Association, while Denise Jordan, current president from Gainesville,
is on the right.
Lilburn's new logo and slogan: Small Town. Big Difference.
of Lilburn continues its centennial year with a new city logo and theme
line that celebrate Lilburn's past history and future promise. The new
City of Lilburn logo features a stylized burst of colors combined with
a unique, hand-lettered "Lilburn." The new theme line "Small
Town. Big Difference." appears below the new logo.
Lilburn's Mayor, says: "We chose a design and theme line that captured
the energy and vibrancy that is truly Lilburn today. This is a community
that both honors the past and welcomes the future, and we wanted an identity
that felt friendly, inclusive and true to our roots."
new identity was officially unveiled at the Council meeting on March 8.
The City plans to incorporate the new identity into signage and online
and print materials that support initiatives such as this year's upcoming
Deep Shah gets another honor: Soros Fellowship
Deep Shah of Duluth, who was one of the University of Georgia's two Rhodes Scholars in 2008, recently added to his honors by winning the nationally competitive Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans that will cover up to two years of graduate study in the United States. He is currently in his first year at Harvard Medical School after earning a master's degree in comparative social policy at Oxford University.
The Soros, who are originally from Hungary, established the fellowship program in 1997 with a $50 million charitable trust. The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities for "New Americans"---those whose country of origin is not the U.S. or whose parents immigrated to the U.S.---in attaining their goals and becoming leaders in their chosen fields. Shah's parents came to the U.S. from India and settled in Gwinnett County where he grew up.
Primerica Financial Services helps families achieve financial independence by providing solutions for income protection, debt management, asset protection, and asset management. In 2003, from its international headquarters in Duluth, Primerica's staff of nearly 2,000 employees supported a base of six million clients and a sales force of some 100,000 representatives. Primerica distinguished itself in the life insurance industry with its "Buy Term and Invest the Difference" philosophy, a concept crucial to the company's success since it began operations in 1977.
Established by Arthur L. Williams, a former high school football coach and insurance businessman from Columbus, the A. L. Williams Company (ALW) sold term life policies to middle-income families, expanding operations nationwide in the 1980s. Throughout its history, the company has embraced its role as the underdog in an industry once dominated by conventional insurance companies. ALW grew rapidly during the 1980s, breaking ground for its Duluth headquarters in 1984, the same year the company sold $38.3 billion in life insurance, more than any other company in the United States. ALW continued to prosper, merging with Primerica in November 1989.
The new Primerica venture realized large gains in the 1990s, and in 1998 it became part of Citigroup, the world's largest financial services company, with more than $1 trillion in assets. At the start of the 21st century, Primerica stands as an industry leader, with more than $450 billion of term life insurance in force and an expanded international presence serving Canada, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Today, in addition to its mainstay term life insurance products, Primerica also sells securities and lending products.
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If you have delayed ordering the history of Gwinnett published in 2009, there are only five copies left. Most fast to secure your copy of Gwinnett: A Little Above Atlanta. Call 770 840 1003 to reserve your copy!
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