Ga., June 28, 2011 -- The Better Business Bureaus nationwide receive hundreds
of phone calls each year from senior citizens who have been targeted or
victimized by scammers. These can range from common scams such as bogus
travel deals or lottery schemes to outright financial fraud. Financial
elder abuse occurs when seniors' banking or credit accounts are exploited
by scammers who take advantage of the vulnerabilities sometimes associated
Unfortunately financial elder abuse can be difficult to identify. It often takes a caring family member, friend or caregiver to recognize that fraud has occurred. These are some signs to look for:
or someone you know might be a victim of Elder Abuse contact your local
law enforcement agency.
JUNE 28, 2011 -- It was about 1975 when Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Moreland was at the Georgia Highway 120 Bridge in Lawrenceville. The Georgia DOT was opening the new four-lane portion of Georgia Highway 316 from Highway 120 on the west side of Lawrenceville to Highway 29 on the east side of town.
One element missing from that ceremony: because of the 1974-75 downturn in the economy, Moreland had cut $20 million out of that new portion of Highway 316 eliminating four bridgings of the new portion of the road. Those bridges across Highway 316 had originally been scheduled to be at Collins Hill Road, Georgia Highway 20, Hurricane Shoals Road and Georgia Highway 29.
Those of us attending this road opening remember wondering two things.
Those questions are beginning to be answered now .approximately 36 years later. And .there is some good news.
On July 15, the Georgia Department of Transportation is scheduled to receive bids to relieve traffic congestion at both Georgia Highway 20 and Collins Hill Road at Highway 316 via a grade separation project. The contract should be awarded in early August of this year, with work beginning this fall.
So yes, relief is expected to be on the way this year for the Georgia Highway 20 and 316 intersection. It may take up to three years to see the project to completion, but at least work is underway.
But it will be a costly project. Today's right-of-way cost alone is $51.5 million. It's estimated that the construction cost will be $54 million. Looking back, it makes the Moreland decision to eliminate the bridges mean higher cost today.
We haven't seen the specific plans yet, but the project is expected to take the existing signalized intersections of both Highway 20 and Collins Hills Road with Highway 316 and re-construct them into one single interchange. In effect, it will extend Highway 316's freeway style limited access to east of Highway 20. In the process, Georgia Highway 316 will be lowered approximately 25 feet to go under Highway 20. There will be a lot of earth-moving!
The project includes the grade separation of the existing Collins Hill and Georgia Highway 20 signalized intersections with Highway 316. Because of the proximity of Collins Hill Road and Highway 20, it is necessary to construct a "collector distributor" system (long ramps) between the two roads to provide access from Highway 316.
As an example, if you were going east on Highway 316, you would exit onto a collector road before Collins Hill Road. Then you would pass under a bridge of Collins Hill Road that goes over both the collector road and Highway 316, before exiting on Georgia 20 at a cloverleaf intersection.
Glory be! Miracles occur!
The Highway 20 intersection with Highway 316 is the key to today's traffic congestion. At evening rush hour, outbound eastward traffic can be backed up all the way to the Duluth Highway. In the mornings, inbound westward traffic is often backed up well past the Gwinnett County Airport. It seems to take ages to cross this intersection.
Finally, after all these years, the grade separated intersection will be a welcomed relief to motorists.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today we welcome a new underwriter. It is Heaven & Associates, P.C., a certified public accounting firm, dedicated to being your partner in navigating a changing world. They are located at 40 Technology Parkway South, Suite 250, Norcross, Georgia. The firm works with clients to minimize their tax obligations, address the financial and accounting needs of their businesses and address the broader accounting needs of estate planning, business succession planning, and benefit and retirement planning. They can be reached at 770-849-0078. Their web site is www.heavencpa.com.
OUR DESTINY: We can either incorporate now, control our destiny and pay an extra $10 per month for that control, or we can naively think we will continue as an unincorporated entity indefinitely until suddenly we get gobbled up by another city that will impose a much higher level of taxes on us. Right now we have a choice.
WE ARE NOT ABUSED. I would disagree. Currently we have very limited control over the zoning in our area. Ultimately the Gwinnett zoning board makes the calls on what gets built and what does not get built. For example, the elementary school in our area is full of trailers because of past zoning board decisions to approve, it appears, any and all apartment complexes that were filed. Currently our area is about 50/50 houses/apartments. The Gwinnett zoning board is probably not super concerned about this issue. As far as they are concerned more apartments mean more tax revenue for the county. They are not looking at the interests of the local residents unless a huge crowd appears at the zoning meeting to complain.
An "extra" layer of government is inherently bad and would seem
to be the opposite of what a "conservative" area would want.
How many separatist movements are there currently (in Spain, Northern
Italy, Wales, Scotland, etc). Look at Quebec. When given the choice, people
inherently want control as close and local as possible. If anything a
conservative philosophy would be just that - empower people with local
control. The conservative movement constantly brings up the Tenth Amendment
which argues for more state control instead of the federal government
dictating to the states. This incorporation effort is the same idea -
give more control to the people.
Aha! Here's one person praying for all that snow!
Editor, the Forum:
As a native Floridian, I stand guilty of praying for much snow this past winter, as shown in the recent Lagniappe feature of GwinnettForum. Please let those at South End Baptist Church know that at least one praying soul has come forward. Surely, I was not the only one here in Georgia, ( esp. Gwinnett County), doing such!
feet of stream bed on property at Grayson High School and the nearby Watson's
Grove subdivision will be restored to protect the water quality, habitat,
biology and overall health of Brushy Fork Creek. Gwinnett commissioners
recently awarded a contract for $536,881 to Georgia Development Partners
LLC of Atlanta, the lowest of six bidders.
One special painting created by three award-winning artists will be won by a single lucky guest during a Kudzu Art Zone showing in August.
the creativity, triple the vibrancy, triple the fun. Three local artists
are coming together for a special exhibit of original artwork: "Three
Women, Three Friends, Three Artists: A Kaleidoscopic Approach" opening
at Kudzu Art Zone on Saturday, August 6.
Stimulus funds to help county improve utility efficiency
Gwinnett will undertake plumbing, mechanical and air conditioning retrofits in 41 county buildings, including some fire stations, parks and the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, to help reduce utility costs by about $220,000 per year.
Energy audits of more than 100 buildings last year identified low-cost opportunities that, once in place, will save an estimated one million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electric power every year. The same audits also found other places where new lighting, boilers, motor drives and insulation could save another 13 million kWh.
Capital City Mechanical Services, Inc., was the low bidder for part of the work at $425,038, while electrical work went to low bidder Capital City Electrical Services, Inc., at $364,596. The project is funded entirely by federal stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Gwinnett has also used stimulus money to finish upgrading all traffic signals from incandescent light bulbs to LEDs, saving an additional 200,000 kWh/year while reducing maintenance expenses.
Judge rules waste, stormwater services are constitutional
Gwinnett County fees for solid waste and stormwater services are legal and constitutional, according to a court order issued by Superior Court Judge Michael Clark on June 9. He said the county has the authority to contract with private companies to provide those services, to charge the fees on the property tax bill and to collect the fees as far in advance as is reasonably necessary.
Plaintiffs Verlin and Milagros Gilliam of Loganville filed the lawsuit against Gwinnett County and its five private residential trash haulers alleging it is illegal to require all unincorporated residents to have trash service and to bill them in advance with their property tax. In the Gilliam's case, their mortgage company pays the fees from an escrow account set up as part of their mortgage.
The complicated litigation was transferred to the Superior Court in September 2010. Judge Clark's findings in favor of the County finally settle a number of issues related to the new solid waste plan that went into effect in July 2010. Individuals who are interested in reading the court orders may view the documents on the County's home page at www.gwinnettcounty.com.
"We enjoyed our visit to the newly opened Norcross location of Baba's Gyro and Kabob. The staff was very friendly and seemed to be enjoying their new positions. I ordered the Persian entree, Cherry Polo ($14.99), which was tasty and also came with a Greek salad. My husband enjoyed his Grilled Gyro Lamb dish ($9.99) and the included basmati rice and sautéed vegetables. We did pass on some of their tempting desserts. This restauranat is located at 5270 Peachtree Parkway, suite 115, Norcross. They also have a location in Cumming."
Thomas Ruger served as the military provisional governor of Georgia for six months in 1868. In that role he oversaw the removal of the capital from Milledgeville to Atlanta and instituted the convict lease system. A Union veteran of the Civil War (1861-65), Ruger later served as the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
Thomas Howard Ruger was born on April 2, 1833, in Lima, New York. At the age of 11, the family moved to Janesville, Wis., where he spent the remainder of his childhood. Accepting an appointment to the military academy at West Point, Ruger graduated third in his class in 1854. The next year Ruger left the military and opened a law practice in Janesville. In 1857 he married Helen Lydia Moore, and they had two children. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Ruger returned to the army and remained a soldier for the rest of his life.
As an officer in the Third Wisconsin, Ruger served in a variety of engagements, including Chancellorsville and Second Bull Run in Virginia, Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, and the draft riots in New York City. Through his exceptional service, he achieved the rank of brevet major general by war's end. Afterward, Ruger served as commander of the state of North Carolina during the early years of Reconstruction.
On January 13, 1868, Union general George Meade appointed Ruger as Georgia's new provisional governor. His appointment followed the removal of elected governor Charles Jones Jenkins due to his withholding of funds for the 1867 constitutional convention. Ruger served more as a figurehead for carrying out Meade's wishes than as an executive authority. Although Ruger wielded very little power, he is noteworthy as being the last of Milledgeville's governors before the capital's removal to Atlanta in 1868.
lasting impact of Ruger's governorship was the convict lease system. Citing
an 1866 provision giving discretionary powers to governors, Ruger initiated
two such programs that would set precedence for future administrations.
On July 4, 1868, Ruger left the governorship after Rufus Bullock, Georgia's
first elected Republican governor, was inaugurated.
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Brown Bag Lunch in Duluth's Town Green Park: Noon to 1 p.m. on June 30, July 14 and July 28. Among entertainers will be Puppeteer Peter Hart, Magic Debbie, Juggler Ron Anglin and Solo performer Craver, presenting an upbeat party rock concert. For more information call 678-475-3512.
July 3 Fireworks in downtown Norcross. Live music begins at 3 p.m. for family fun in downtown Norcross. Many bring blankets and enjoy picnics in Thrasher and Lillian Park for the fireworks, which begin at dusk. More info: www.aplacetoimagine.com.
(NEW) 12th annual Duluth Celebrates America, Sunday, July 3, beginning at 4 p.m. at Scott Hudgens Park on the Chattahoochee River at River Green. Fireworks display is scheduled for 10 p.m., with entertainment all afternoon and night.
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