Insert your email for free automatic delivery

guest commentary | elliott brack | feedback | archive | about | our sponsors | home
Issue 10.19 | Friday, June 4, 2010 | Forward to your friends!

Such cute foxes! These wild animals may seem just like playful creatures, but they could be trouble. More and more cases of rabid wild animals are being reported in the Metro Atlanta area. A fox in Cobb County was found to be rabid just this week. The animals have returned again to the home of Lou Cameiro south of U.S. Highway 78 near the Yellow River, and he counts at least 10 in his yard. Be careful. Rabid foxes and raccoons are much more tame than normal. Be safe and keep your distance.


:: New garbage, waste hauling to start

:: Parade for returning Guardsmen

:: What to tell the kids?

:: On Prop 14

:: Art camps, picnic, stream clean-up

:: Big grant, clean-air campaign help


_:: IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Meet a sponsor

_:: RECOMMENDED: Video on oil spill


:: TODAY'S QUOTE: On national parks

_:: ARCHIVES: Read past commentaries





New garbage, waste-hauling for county residents begins July 1
Communications director, Gwinnett County government
Special to

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., June 4, 2010 -- A new garbage and recycling program begins on Thursday, July 1, 2010, in unincorporated Gwinnett County. City residents are not affected by this new plan. Gwinnett County is mailing letters to all residential property owners on May 28 with details about the new plan, the assigned hauler and new garbage and recycling pickup day.

The base service fee will be $17.86 per month. The base rate is guaranteed for 18 months, through 2011. The County will bill charges for the remainder of 2010 and all of 2011 with the property tax statement mailed this summer and due in the fall (total of $321.48).

As part of the new program, Gwinnett County has contracted with five private haulers that will each serve a designated area of unincorporated Gwinnett. Residents can visit to access a tool to find out which company will collect their garbage and recycling.

Gwinnett County's new solid waste program offers several benefits, including more efficient and cost-effective solid waste service and cleaner neighborhoods through a reduction in illegal dumping, neighborhood truck traffic, and wear and tear on the streets. The plan will also be good for the environment because it greatly increases recycling opportunities. The State of Georgia requires all its counties to update solid waste disposal plans every 10 years and to work toward reducing the solid waste deposited in landfills. This plan will accomplish that goal.

The new base service includes weekly trash pickup of household waste, 35 types of recyclables, bulky items (old furniture, mattresses, etc.) and white goods (stoves, refrigerators, etc.). Residents should contact their assigned hauler to schedule pickup of bulky items and white goods. Yard waste collection is an elective service that residents will subscribe to directly through their hauler.

Cart and bin delivery will begin as early as June 1. Information about trash carts and recycling bins will be included in the countywide mailing and at

Residents with questions about the new garbage and recycling program should contact the Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recycling Division Call Center at 770-822-7141 on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Questions about solid waste pickup service should be directed to the assigned hauler.

Saturday parade honors returning National Guard unit
Editor and publisher

JUNE 4, 2010 -- After serving slightly less than a year in Afghanistan, a Lawrenceville National Guard unit is to be recognized in a parade Saturday morning and ceremony at the Fallen Heroes Memorial in front of the Gwinnett Courthouse.


At 9 a.m. Saturday, A Company, First Battalion of the 121st Infantry Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will march on Pike Street from just east of the Historic Courthouse to Langley Drive, then march toward the current Justice and Administrative Center to halt at the Fallen Heroes Memorial.

There a brief ceremony will memorialize two of the unit's own who lost their lives within the last year in Afghanistan. The men lost were First Sergeant John David Blair of Plainville, and Staff Sergeant Alex French IV of Milledgeville, both members of the Lawrenceville National Guard unit.

Sergeant Blair was killed on June 20, 2009 in Mado Zayi, Afghanistan, when a rocket propelled grenade hit the turret of the vehicle where he was a gunner in a convoy of several vehicles. He is buried in the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton. He was age 29 years old. Prior to military service, he was a sheriff's deputy in Gordon County.

Sergeant French's death came on Sept. 30, 2009 near Kwhost, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive. He was 31 years old at the time, and is buried in Scenic Memorial Gardens in Milledgeville. He is survived by his wife and three children. Prior to his activation, he was also a sheriff's deputy, in Bibb County.

* * * *

For A Company, this was the second recent tour overseas. It arrived in Afghanistan in May of 2009 and returned to Fort Stewart, Ga. in April, 2010, for de-activation from overseas. There are approximately 150 members of the unit, composed of non-traditional soldiers, though only about 100 were overseas recently. The unit is commanded by First Lt. Aaron Anderson of McDonough. The first sergeant is David Osborne of Macon. The Saturday parade is their first time together since returning home.

Earlier, the unit was activated in December, 2004 for five months training at Fort Stewart and at Fort Irwin, Cal. The unit served first in Kuwait in 2005, crossed into Iraq, and was stationed near Baghdad International Airport to provide security for a main supply route. It returned home from Iraq in April, 2006.

The 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team itself dates back to 1825. Its members saw service in the Civil War, when it was part of the Confederate Army. Under different structures and units, its members saw service in the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, in Desert Storm, in the Gulf War, and in Bosnia.

Today it is headquartered at the National Guard Armory, located on East Crogan Street in Lawrenceville.

We urge Gwinnettians to turn out Saturday to welcome their troops back home.

* * * * *

As an aside, a personal note: For two years, I was a member of the greater unit being honored Saturday when I was in college in Macon. It was then known as Headquarters Company of the 48th Infantry Division. We were never activated, serving our summers in hot, steamy Fort McClellan, Ala. We're proud of our service in this unit and elsewhere, as we logged four years in the Guard and Reserves and 3.5 years on active duty. But that's another story.

Hayes Family Dealerships

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Hayes Family Dealerships with Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, and GMC. Mike, Tim and Ted Hayes of Lawrenceville and Gainesville with Terry 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 38 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: or or

What to tell your children?

Concerning Prop 14 to be voted on next week in California

Editor, the Forum:

I couldn't tell for sure, from what you wrote about California's possible changes to their voting process, whether you were simply intrigued by the proposal or that you were enamored with it. However… after lengthy thought, (20 or 30 seconds) I came to the realization, based upon your political proclivities, that you probably were favorable toward whatever it took to maybe help "your side" regain elected office(s) in this now quite RED state.

Seriously, does Georgia really want to mimic ANYTHING that California does? Especially any ideas coming out of their elected class REGARDLESS of party? I think not.

On the issue of those that claim to "vote for the person, not the party," I had to snicker. As someone that has been quite public about my political affiliation for 20 years now, I have had many a person throw out that they "vote for the person, not the party," in an attempt to sound somehow intellectually superior to those of us that wear our politics "on our sleeve," if you will.

What I've found, however, is that the vast majority of these individuals that want to show their superiority…. can't name anyone that they voted for… even within a week or two of the election! They can't name their Congressman or both Senators, let alone their State House or Senate representation or Commissioners! Tell me how does one "vote for the person, not the party" if they don't know the person's name?!

The bottom line is that the California idea is stupid. "Nuff said."

-- B.J.Van Gundy, Norcross

Dear BJ: Ever consider part of the communicator's job is to inform people? I realize that you are impulsive. Some thoughts are floated, so that you can think at length if you really want to adopt a new idea. Now if that proposition really would empower people of the world, and promote democracy, why not? --eeb

We encourage readers to submit feedback or letters to the editor. Send your thoughts to editor at We will edit for length and clarity. Make sure to include your name and city where you live. Submission of a comment grants permission to us to reprint. Please keep your comment to 200 words or less. However, if you write 500 words, we'll consider it for Today's Focus.

Hudgens Center to offer series of summer arts camps

Summer art classes for adults and for children start the week of June 7 at The Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth. There will be several types of classes for adults and children, all open to the general public. Complete descriptions of classes and online registration are available at

Classes offered this summer include wheel-thrown, handbuilt and raku pottery; creative and realistic drawing; painting in oils, acrylics and watercolors; jewelry making in silver, copper and brass with stone setting and casting and twisted wire; fiber arts with weaving and non-woven techniques; and digital photography courses. Most classes last eight weeks, meeting once per week.

For children, The Hudgens offers classes in beginning, intermediate and advanced pottery, oil pastels, cartooning, fiber arts, and multi-media, as well as a special 'storytime studio' class for young children ages 4 to 7 to attend with a parent or other adult. One-day workshops for adults include sessions in bookbinding, composition, all-natural soap making and hand lotions and toiletries making.

The Hudgens also offers Summer Art Camps for children 5 to 12 years old. Each camp session focuses on a different theme, and campers will rotate through four different fine art classes every day, including drawing and painting, multimedia, ceramics, and drama, culminating in a dramatic production and art show on the final day of camp.

Camps go from Monday through Friday from 10 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.

Gwinnett Sierra Club plans picnic June 17, stream clean-up

The Gwinnett Sierra Club is planning its annual group picnic on Thursday, June 17, at 6:30 P.M. at McDaniel Farm park in Duluth. For questions or directions, contact Tom Morrissey at or call 404-513-4069.

Then on June 19, a Saturday, the Club will have its monthly Suwanee Creek monitoring event following its meeting. Rain or shine, it's anticipated to begin at 11 a.m. This is a learning opportunity and fun for families to learn about the importance of maintaining the health of our local streams. For more information and to attend, contact Michael Hallen at 678-200-0455 or Lynn or Michael Beach at 770-985-5135

Hope Clinic gets $500,000 grant from Strickland family

A half million dollar donation to the Hope Clinic in Lawrenceville will enhance the service of the local non-profit clinic. The donation came through the Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia from Sandra and Clyde Strickland, who have been donors to the Hope Clinic for several years.

Principally, the Strickland donation will fund the completion of a new location at 121 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville. This location more than doubles the clinic's current space making it possible for expanded patient programs and services. A portion of the money will help to augment current medical staff and equipment.

Pam Martin, executive director of the Clinic says: "The Stricklands have been such valuable friends to the Hope Clinic. This donation will take us a very long way in completing the new building and growing our current services."

Founded in 2002, the Hope Clinic is a non-profit primary care practice servicing the 5,000 needy patients annually. Patient costs are based on household income instead of actual expenses of providing the care. Donations to the clinic are used to fund the difference between the cost of providing care and the amount charged to the patients. As a primary care preventative medicine model, the clinic seeks to facilitate a broader awareness about the impact, socially and economically, of effective preventative medicine. For more information about Hope Clinic, visit

Gwinnett schools rank high in helping in Clean Air Campaign

This recent year has been a spectacular year for many schools in Gwinnett County because of the advocacy efforts many have taken to clean the air. The Clean Air Campaign works with 49 schools in Gwinnett County to find solutions to reduce both traffic congestion and air pollution.

Because of the high participation rate (39 percent) of schools, Gwinnett ranked second of the 'Top Five Counties' in the Clean Air Schools programs. Students worked enthusiastically to make a difference for the environment by promoting no-idling initiatives and alternative modes of transportation. As a result of their efforts, Gwinnett County has witnessed a significant decrease in smog-forming emissions, with Gwin Oaks Elementary and Snellville Middle School having the greatest reduction of idling vehicles on school grounds.

Nearly 200 schools across the state have taken action to be part of the solution to improve Georgia's air quality. Those who would like to learn more about Clean Air Schools and how the schools in each county continue to be an advocate for environmental change, should call the Clean Air Campaign at (404) 419-9232.

Gwinnett Clean Air Schools include:

1. Arcado Elementary
2. B.B. Harris Elementary
3. Beaver Ridge Elementary
4. Berkeley Lake Elementary
5. Berkmar Middle
6. Bethesda Elementary
7. Brookwood High
8. Buice School
9. Camp Creek Elementary
10. Centerville Elementary
11. Chattahoochee Elementary
12. Chesney Elementary
13. Corley Elementary
14. Couch Middle
15. Discovery Point #3 - Child Development Center
16. Dr. M. H. Mason Elementary
17. Duluth Middle
18. Duncan Creek Elementary
19. Five Forks Middle
20. Fort Daniel Elementary
21. Gwin Oaks Elementary
22. Henry Partee Elementary
23. J.C. Magill Elementary
24. J. G. Dyer Elementary
25. Jackson Elementary
26. Kanoheda Elementary
27. K.E. Taylor Elementary
28. Lanier Middle
29. Level Creek Elementary
30. Margaret Winn Holt Elementary
31. McKendree Elementary
32. Mulberry Elementary
33. Norcross High
34. North Gwinnett High
35. Notre Dame Academy
36. Parsons Elementary
37. Pinckneyville Middle
38. Puckett's Mill Elementary
39. R.D. Head Elementary
40. Rosebud Elementary
41. Simpson Elementary
42. Snellville Middle
43. Sugar Hill Elementary
44. Sycamore Elementary
45. The Monarch School
46. Twin Rivers Middle
47. Walnut Grove Elementary
48. Twin Rivers Middle
49. Walnut Grove Elementary

Computer model shows Gulf spill to impact Atlantic

A just-released computer model by a Colorado research group supported by the National Science Foundation shows oil from the Gulf spill likely will be pushed by currents into the Atlantic. See the study.

Computer modeling for the study was done by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is supported in part by the National Science Foundation. “I’ve had a lot of people ask me, ‘Will the oil reach Florida?’” according to NCAR scientist Synte Peacock, a scientist quoted on the NCAR release about the study. “Actually, our best knowledge says the scope of this environmental disaster is likely to reach far beyond Florida, with impacts that have yet to be understood.” Read the full release.
  • An invitation: What Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus what book you plan to read next. --eeb

Ironclad CSS Savannah was strong ship, saw limited action

(Continued from previous edition)

The final ship to carry the name, the CSS Savannah was one of six ironclad rams built by the Confederacy. Although the ship saw limited action, its presence was a significant deterrent to Union plans to invade the coastal region of the Savannah River. The ironclad was constructed by F. Willink at the Savannah Shipyards. Its iron plates were manufactured in Atlanta, then transported to Savannah, where they were cut, drilled, and mounted. With a length of 172.5 feet, a 34-foot beam, and a 12.5-foot draft, the Savannah featured a conventional hull and casement with single screw, with four inches of iron armor over 22 inches of wood.

CSS Savannah explodes

The Savannah 's armament included two seven-inch rifled cannons and two 6.4-inch Brooks guns. The engines, built in Columbus, were significantly underpowered. Although considered among the best ships built by the Confederacy, the Savannah boasted an estimated top speed of only six knots. It took almost 30 minutes to make a 180-degree turn. The crew consisted of 180 officers and men.

Launched on February 4, 1863, the ironclad Savannah was transferred in June to naval forces under Flag Officer William Hunter on the Savannah River. The ship remained on the river and did not engage in battle until Union General William T. Sherman approached the city of Savannah in December 1864, at the end of his march to the sea. Unable to prevent the city's capture, the Savannah remained on the river for two days to protect William J. Hardee's withdrawal across an improvised pontoon bridge, built with the help of the Savannah's crew.

On December 20, 1864, the ironclad engaged in a spirited daylong artillery duel with Union guns, becoming the last ship of the Confederacy to fight in Georgia waters. When the Savannah attempted to escape, the ship was trapped by the South's own torpedo mines, leaving it a "trapped lion," in the words of General Sherman. On December 21 Tattnall ordered the Savannah to be burned to prevent capture. The ironclad was run aground on the South Carolina shore and set afire. The ensuing explosion was reported to have lit up the night sky for miles.


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.

© 2010, Gwinnett 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.

Questions why national parks have long wait for reservations

"Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong."

-- Comedian George Carlin (1937-2008).


8/17: Civility and society

8/13: Good ole boys got pick

8/10: GGC opens new facilities

8/6: Sophisticated scam

8/3: Howington celebrates

7/30: Humor in books

7/27: Runoff endorsements

7/23: Looking beyond primaries

7/20: What price freedom?

7/16: Early voting concerns

7/13: UGA headline-maker

7/9: On Bannister incident

7/6: On classic movies

7/2: Malcolm Gwinnett

EEB index of columns


8/17: Morrison: Artistic collaboration

8/13: Pirello: Culinary center

8/10: Mock: Sharing worthwhile

8/6: Sherman: Opp zone

8/3: Morrison: Brenau's plans

7/30: Heaven: Federal tax info

7/27: Nelems: Media surveys

7/23: Urrutia: Fish vaccines

7/20: Paul: Norcross group

7/16: Stilo: Aurora's 15th season

7/13: Jackson: PCOM's new school

7/9: Jones: Energy audit

7/6: Callina: Vacation rentals

7/2: Williams: Gwinnett Place


Interested in modern history involving Gwinnett? Go here to order this great book by Elliott Brack, or buy it at a local bookstore shown on the site.

The books are available at:

  • Books for Less in downtown Snellville and Lawrenceville (Highway 20 near the Braves park);
  • Labaire Pottery, downtown Norcross


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 770-497-1888, or email to

ABOUT US 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.


We encourage you to check out our sister publications:

Georgia Clips offers a similar daily news compilation for the scores of newspapers in Georgia's 159 counties.

SC Clips -- a daily news compilation of South Carolina news from media sources across the state. Delivered by email about the time you get to work every business day. Saves you a lot of money and time. -- an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Charleston, S.C.

Statehouse Report -- a weekly legislative forecast that keeps you a step ahead of what happens at the South Carolina Statehouse. It's free.


© 2001-2010, Gwinnett 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.

PHONE: 770.840.1003

Site designed and maintained by
The Brack Group.

guest commentary | elliott brack | feedback | archive | about | our sponsors | home