LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., June 3, 2011 -- When Georgia Gwinnett College's Alma Mater was performed publicly for the first time at Thursday's commencement ceremony, one graduating senior was listening more closely than the others. Brittany Dertz, a psychology major from Gwinnett County, co-wrote the GGC Alma Mater's lyrics in partnership with Alvina Atkinson, associate professor of mathematics.
Known as one of the most active and enthusiastic students at GGC, Dertz is often referred to as the college's "biggest cheerleader." She has participated in many campus events, initiatives and organizations. Because she sang in her high school choir and has always enjoyed music, she was especially interested in serving on the college's alma mater committee, which was charged with generating a student-centered alma mater for the young college.
The committee developed a process through which students could submit lyrics for one of two tunes composed by Thomas Young, retired associate professor of English, or a melody of their own. The student body would then vote for their favorite submission through the college's Web site.
Dertz remembers: "Alvina and I decided to give it a try. We looked at the GGC mission and vision statements for inspiration and just went from there." The team used one of Young's melodies and spent about five hours on the project, she said. Their lyrics were later chosen to be presented to the student body as one of two final choices, and ultimately won the vote.
Dertz says her distinction as a GGC Alma Mater lyricist was particularly meaningful. "This is a huge honor. What a great way to end my four-year college career at GGC," said Dertz. "To be immortalized this way, after all I've been through and experienced here in the college's first few years, is an excellent legacy for me to leave behind."
Dertz is originally from Chicago and moved to Gwinnett when she was 4. Her parents are Mark and Pam Dertz of Snellville. She graduated from Brookwood High School in 2003. Her immediate plans after graduation are to marry and start a family. She eventually wants to go to graduate school, possibly pursuing an advanced degree in developmental psychology.
A recording of the GGC Alma Mater will soon be available at www.ggc.edu.
JUNE 3, 2011 -- Another new Congressman for Georgia means that there will be a lot of hullabaloo, positioning, trading, pouting and gerrymandering facing Georgians this year. Yet the new boundaries to be drawn up of Congressional districts for Georgia, with the state to get one additional Congressional seat, may not be so important for Gwinnett as it is for other counties.
Here's why: with 805, 321 people populating Gwinnett on April 1, 2010, that is more than enough people to warrant the county's own Congressional seat. With the Georgia population in 2010 totaling 9,687,653 residents, divided by the new 14 Congressional districts, that means that the average district should contain 691,975 people.
So Gwinnett might not only have a Congressional district entirely within the county, but have another 113,346 people to contribute to one or more other Congressional districts.
There's another factor involved: sitting Congressmen. With Rob Woodall having a Lawrenceville address, no doubt he would lobby the redistricting people to give him much of Gwinnett County. He might have to have the redistricting committee lop off certain portions of the county ..areas where he did not run so well in his initial race for the Congress. That way, it would reason, he could strengthen his hold on the district. And with Woodall a Republican, and those in charge of drawing the new lines also Republican, Woodall should carry the day.
Consider another aspect of redistricting. Part of the process is to "balance" the various districts ethnically. With Gwinnett being one of the most diverse counties in the entire nation, other districts which do not have that mix of population may need to absorb some parts of Gwinnett with heavy ethnic populations to give the balance of the other district more diversity. Meanwhile, with more and more of Gwinnett getting a mixture of people within its borders, the district, however drawn, should still be diverse.
So at a minimum, it appears that Gwinnett will have at least two Congressmen representing it, much as it now has with Rob Woodall and Hank Johnson, the sitting Congressmen. And who knows: a third district might include part of Gwinnett, since we have "population to give" to other districts.
It's not bad to have your county represented by at least two Congressmen. That merely gives you two ways to approach the Congressmen when the county has issues that needed to be addressed in Washington. It also helps when those representing parts of the county are in different political parties, as it is now, providing just another means of access.
The real losers in the upcoming redistricting process will be those counties that have lost population, generally speaking, south of Macon. That's because the population growth has been in North Georgia, with more and more people to be represented.
At least the state is getting an additional representative in the Congress. That still won't help the counties in South Georgia, who will find their Congressmen representing a larger geography. It makes their job of knowing and contacting the Congressman for South Georgians a little tougher.
Not only for Congressional representation, but South Georgia will also lose more power in the Georgia Senate and House, as North Georgia will have even more of a grasp on the control of these two bodies.
And yes, here Gwinnett will have more posts in the Legislature, giving the area even more influence.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Gainesville State College has been educating the citizens of Northeast Georgia since 1966 and has an enrollment approaching 9,000. With 1,551 students during the fall of 2010, Gwinnett County is second only to Hall County in the number of students who attend GSC. Of the 871 degrees awarded during 2009-2010, 20 percent were earned by students from Gwinnett. At GSC, students engage in a challenging learning experience in a supportive and nurturing environment. GSC offers associate of arts, associate of science, associate of applied science, certificates, and a limited number of bachelor degrees. Gainesville State College integrates academic and extra-curricular activities in order to emphasize development of the "whole person." GSC is a commuter college where students can enjoy the "total college experience" by participating in student activities such as: intramurals, clubs and organizations, bands, chorus, publications, cultural affairs programs, fine arts offerings including theatre, extended orientation, and international-intercultural studies programs. The Gainesville Campus is located just off of Interstate-985 in Oakwood, and the Oconee Campus is located in Watkinsville. To learn more about GSC, visit www.gsc.edu.
Has anyone in America ever received health care for free? How did Mr. Woodall have health insurance before becoming a Congressman? The clear implication is he has no idea what it is, how to get it, or what it's for.
The raw arrogance necessary to think that his health care plan, the best the world has to offer, is free, when in fact it is paid for by the citizens of his district, is phenomenal. The monumental stupidity of such a statement demands at the least an apology. More to the point, what kind of man could have lived to adulthood in such ignorance?
Remembering the life of late Realtor J.D. Caswell
Editor, the Forum:
Thanks for your comment on the passing of J. D. Caswell. It's fair to say that he is the father of Gwinnett County real estate sales. I know this personally because I placed my license with Caswell Realty in 1987, my first year in the business. The office was in a small two-story brick building off Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross.
Back when the AT&T plant first opened, Gwinnett resembled Barrow County today. It was rural. Indian Trail Road was dirt (seriously). But land was cheap and regulation was light. The newly developing technology industry was providing well qualified home buyers. What resulted can only be called "bonanza." J. D.'s firm had sold over 10,000 homes by the time I came on board.
When J. D. said he was going to his bank, it wasn't like me saying I was going to my bank. In his case, it was his bank; he owned it! But from this abundance came generosity and payback. And many other firms, some of which are still in operation today, were spawned from his company.
Even though Gwinnett is a very different county today, much of what is good about it emanated from J. D.'s influence. I found him to be a good man, fine broker and exceptional citizen. May he rest in peace.
8, Suwanee citizens will vote on mayor, two City Council posts, and whether
or not to permit off-premises alcoholic beverage sales on Sundays.
If approved by voters, packaged alcoholic beverages could be sold in Suwanee by retailers from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Duluth's Railway Museum plans 2 sessions of summer camp
Aboard" for the Southeastern Railway Museum's Summer Camp! Registration
is now open for the Southeastern Railway Museum Railroad Legends! Camp
for ages 4-12. The sessions are daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sessions are
to be held June 20 to June 24 and from July 18 to July 22.
Center plans screening of environmental documentary
10 at 5:30 p.m., the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center Foundation
will host a free screening of a new film called "Green
Fire," the first full-length, high definition documentary film
ever made about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold. The film explores
Leopold's life in the early part of the 20th century and the many ways
his land ethic idea continues to be applied all over the world today.
Cathe Reams, director of Marketing for Siemens One, has been named Rainbow Village's 2011 Volunteer of the Year.
At the announcement, Nancy Yancey, Rainbow Village CEO, shared, "I'm not sure Cathe fully grasps the depth and breadth of her impact at Rainbow Village. She has inspired us to think big and try exciting new things. Cathe has a servant heart and giving is just part of her DNA. She lives a life of great influence and inspires so many around her to engage and leave this world better than they found it."
Cathe has volunteered with Rainbow Village for more than four years. Each year her involvement has grown. Among the highlights of what Cathe Reams has done at Rainbow Village:
As she accepted her award Cathe Reams shared, "I was very lucky to be raised by parents that required us to volunteer and give back. It's just a part of who I am and how I live. I'm also blessed that I've got a great job with a company that allows me to give so much of myself to others. It's the Siemens Community Excellence Awards that make giving local non-profits like this possible."
Lilburn junior has painting in national art competition
A Lilburn student is among talented teenagers that were honored May 31 at New York's Carnegie Hall for the 88th annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Taylor Henry, a 16-year-old student at Providence Christian Academy, has a painting titled "A Certain City With a Certain Name" included in this year's award-winning work, which was selected out of more than 185,000 submissions in 29 categories.
Providence Christian Academy Art Teacher Janet Webb attended the Carnegie Hall Ceremony and describes Taylor Henry as a disciplined student and very teachable. He is strong in his faith and a leader in the classroom. Henry is also talented on the soccer field. His dad, Todd Henry, has been the boys' soccer coach at PCA since 2002. The varsity boys team lost in the state finals.
"Of all the reasons the author gives for the influence of Scots immigrants on the world, there are two over-riding considerations. First is the Scots concept of law, basing their findings on reason, and on older Roman influences (as from Holland and France.)
Brits, you see, base their laws much as the USA does
This allowed the Scots to forge new concepts in their law, and paved the
way toward a more modern judiciary. The second main focus is how the Scots
prevailed in many parts of the world because of the high educational level
of Scots people. Scots, from their early student days, were trained in
the liberal tradition, had high educational attainment as a people, and
therefore, were capable of seeing the big picture, and often ended up
as leaders of industry and government. The book is a bit overstated, but
amazingly insightful, often focusing on key Scots all over the world."
Col. James Walker Fannin Jr. distinguished himself in a number of skirmishes during the Texas Revolution. He commanded the ill-fated group of Georgia volunteers and Texans massacred at Goliad, Tex., on March 27, 1836.
Born January 1, 1804, Fannin was the illegitimate son of a Morgan County plantation owner, Dr. Isham Fannin. He was adopted by his maternal grandfather, James W. Walker, and reared on a plantation near Marion. In 1819, as James F. Walker, he entered the U.S. Military Academy. He resigned in November 1821 after dueling with a fellow cadet. Fannin returned to Georgia, where he became a merchant and married Minerva Fort, with whom he had two daughters, residing in Twiggs and Troup counties successively. In 1828, he moved to Columbus. In the autumn of 1834 Fannin and his family moved to Velasco, Tex., where he became a planter and managing partner in a slave-trading syndicate.
1835 Fannin was appointed by an assembly of prominent Texans seeking independence
from Mexico, to solicit funds and supplies from sympathizers in Georgia,
as well as to influence former colleagues at West Point to join him in
Texas and lead volunteer and regular armies. Captain Fannin fought alongside
the Brazos Guards in the first battle of the revolution against Mexico,
held at Gonzales on Oct. 2, 1835. On October 28, he led Texas forces in
the Battle of Concepción. On December 7 he was commissioned a colonel
in the Texas regular army.
Fannin was later elected to command a regiment consisting of the Georgia Battalion and the Lafayette Battalion (composed of men from Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee). By February 12, 1836, Fannin had marched his regiment to Goliad, about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
14, 1836, Fannin was ordered by Texas president Sam Houston to withdraw
to Victoria, but he delayed until the 19th. As Fannin's regiment withdrew,
it was surrounded by a Mexican force under General José de Urrea.
Fannin unsuccessfully engaged the Mexican army at the Battle of Coleto
Creek and was forced to surrender his entire command. Wounded, Fannin
capitulated on the condition that his men be well treated because they
had given up their arms peacefully. The agreement was countermanded by
General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836,
more than 330 Georgians, Texans, and others imprisoned were marched out
into the woods and shot. Fannin was kept inside the fort. He was taken
to the courtyard, where he was blindfolded, seated, and shot through the
head. His body was burned. In 1854 Fannin County in north Georgia was
named in his honor.
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Life Is Short, a series of plays around a theme of funerals at the Lionheart Theatre: June 2 through June 12, 10 College Street, Norcross. Visit online for more information.
Locomotive Celebration: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 4-5, at the Southeastern Railway Museum, Duluth. Enjoy special crafts and other activities amid rail cars and locomotives. The Junior Model Railroad Club will exhibit their modular railroad, and winners of the 2011 Photo Contest will be announced at 3 p.m.
Peachtree Corners Festival: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., June 11. To be held on the tree-shaded The Corners Parkway, one block west of Peachtree Parkway between Holcomb Bridge Road and Crooked Creek Road. It offers a juried arts and craft show, live music, a car show and showcases the restaurants of the area. For more information, visit www.peachtreecornersfestival.org.
(NEW) Popcorn in the Park: 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., June 11, Briscoe Park in Snellville. Free movie this night is "Diary of a Wimpy Kid II." For more information, visit www.snellvillepride.com.
Concert: 7 p.m., June 13, Rehoboth Presbyterian Church in Decatur.
The Stone Mountain Barbershop Chorus will provide four-part harmony at
an Open House program. The 55-man cappella choral group is currently auditioning
for new singers. For more information, visit
(NEW) Connecting Physical Communities into Connected Communities is the subject of the June 15 General Membership meeting of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce at the 1818 Club. Keynoter is Karl D. Rabke of Cisco Systems. Info: email@example.com.
Success Lives Here Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., June 23, 1818 Club, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. Speaker will be Cynthia B. Kaye, CEO of Logical Choice Technologies of Lawrenceville.
© 2001-2011, 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.