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MURALISTS:
A group of artists from the Tannery Row Artist Colony in Buford rest after completing a giant mural in Nicaragua, done in four and a half days in early June. From left are Judy Isaak of Suwanee; Judith Surowiec, Dacula; Sabrina M. Bland, Chinandega, Nicaragua (four months) and Flowery Branch (eight months); Soonie Han Keznor, Lawrenceville; and Katina Radwanski, of Hudson, Ohio, who spends her winters in Stone Mountain. For details on their service trip, go to Today's Focus below.

Issue 11.28 | Tuesday, July 5, 2011

TODAY'S FOCUS
:: Buford artists paint in Nicaragua

ELLIOTT BRACK'S PERSPECTIVE
:: From "water war" to "airport war"

FEEDBACK
:: On Highway 316, county garbage

UPCOMING
:: Artworks Gwinnett's new director

NOTABLE
:: Lilburn CID, Evermore, Karnitz

ALSO INSIDE

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
:: Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

RECOMMENDED
:: Oh! What a Lovely War

GEORGIA TIDBIT
:: Book used for propaganda

TODAY'S QUOTE
:: Ruled by participants

ARCHIVES
:: Read past commentaries

OUR SPONSORS

ABOUT US

GwinnettForum.com 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.

 
 

TODAY'S FOCUS
Tannery Row artists enjoy serving in Nicaraguan mountains
By SABRINA M. BLAND
Special to GwinnettForum

BUFORD, Ga., July 5, 2011 -- How is service measured? By the number of people helped? By the amount of money earned? The number of houses built or VBS classes attended? What if the whole idea of service to others can be viewed in a different light?

Amigos for Christ wants people to come to Nicaragua to serve. To serve in the capacity that they feel called. Every person has gifts, talents and passions. These are useless to the world if they are not shared. A gift poured out for others becomes change in the world.

One way that Amigos has been blessed is that we allow people to come to serve where their heart calls them. "Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs, is people who have come alive." This life helps elevate the people in Nicaragua. But it also elevates each of us here at home. If we are not illuminated, then we cannot share light with others.

At the beginning of this year, a group of artists from Tannery Row Artist Colony here in Buford decided that they wanted to serve. They wanted to use their gifts to assist others in Nicaragua, but how could they, if they couldn't dig trenches for water lines or speak the language? They decided to speak with the only language they had - art.

Five artists committed to traveling to Nicaragua to paint a mural for Amigos for Christ. Five artists committed to sharing what makes them come alive. And they changed the landscape in Nicaragua as well as their own inner landscape.

Judith Surowiec says it best, "This experience changed me forever. I felt that the volcano climb and the mural were connected. The task: Climb an enormous volcano, Paint an enormous wall. How can I do this? Drink lots of water, accept help and stay determined to do the job.

"Once done: I am so proud of our team. Not once did I hear a complaint, but there was great effort, laughter and tears. Art is an unspoken language and can tell a story without learning the alphabet. How better to touch a child. The beauty of the land and people are now in the hard drive that sits on my shoulders, along with the needs."

Amigos for Christ is grateful for the beauty that will grace this wall in Nicaragua. Tannery Row Artists are grateful for the opportunity to use their language of art to serve. And the world is a better place because people focused on what they could do to improve life. We in Georgia are blessed beyond measure.

Please feel free to visit Tannery Row Artist Colony and ask the artists: Judith Surowiec, Judy Issak, Sabrina Bland, Soonie H. Keznor and Catherine Radwanski, about their trip. Or visit the Youtube video to see the mural painted before your eyes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-38oiuyvdE).

The Tannery Row Artist Colony is located at 554 West Main Street in Buford. Phone: (770) 904-0572. The gallery hours are Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Web site is www.TanneryRowArtistColony.com.

EEB PERSPECTIVE
Gwinnett airport war seems to be foretaste of the future
By ELLIOTT BRACK
Editor and publisher

JULY 5, 2011 -- Now in Gwinnett the urgency of the "water war" deadline is no more. With a temporary cooling down on water, Gwinnett is seeing a heating up of the airport issue.


Brack

In the last few days, four rotating billboards have sprung up on Interstate 85 just before Interstate 285.

Whoever wrote those boards knew what they were doing to tell their story. We've always heard that writing a good billboard means you must tell your story in seven words. If not, the words on the billboard will be so small that a passing motorist cannot quickly read them.

These colorful messages are succinct. They say:

  • "MORE JOBS MORE CHOICES" screams one, with the standard tag line under all four messages: "STAND UP FOR BRISCOE-FLYBRISCOE.COM."

  • "ONE AIRPORT = FEWER CHOICES & HIGHER FARES."

  • "KEEP GWINNETT COMPETITIVE."

  • "COMPETITION IS GOOD. SAY YES TO LOWER FARES & MORE JOBS."

Give the billboards a score of 75, as three of four meet the seven word limit. On the last one, it crammed 10 words together.

Brett Smith, head of Propeller Investments, who placed the billboards, says:
"In this day and age, with the grave situation that the economy is in, this airport will generate tremendous resources. Gwinnett must look at this option with the economy in mind, for it will benefit the county immensely."

There's also quite a nice twist when you visit the Propeller Web site, www.flybriscoe.com. Remember late water towers along I-85 near Center Way's slogan, "Success Lives Here?"

The first headline on the FlyBriscoe site is: "Briscoe Field, Success Flies Here."

The Web site also contains some slick photographs, with interesting tag lines:

  • "From Suwanee to the slopes in time for lunch: Fly Briscoe Field."

  • "From Duluth to Disney faster than Driving to Hartsfield."

  • "From Berkeley Lake to the beach before sunset."

  • "Avoid the hassle at Hartsfield."

  • "Lawrenceville-Las Vegas Lickety-Split."

  • "Detroit to Dacula: Never Miss Another One of His Games."

The main Web page lists the mission statement: "A redeveloped Gwinnett County Airport at Briscoe Field will be dedicated to enhancing the lives and serving the transportation needs of Gwinnett County residents and the surrounding areas. The result of this project will be the creation of a world class travel experience achieved with the highest commitment to sustainable and environmentally-conscious business practices."

It continues: "The new Briscoe Field will have a positive economic impact and spur the creation of jobs which benefit our community, bring back convenience to travel and reinforce the foundation of economic stability that is Gwinnett for generations to come. Briscoe Field, the on time airport, your journey begins here; find out more by reading the studies and facts available on this site."

There are also on the Web page several drawings of what a refurbished Briscoe Field will look like. In addition, Propeller Investments is pleased with its Facebook page, having 1,194 people following Briscoe Field, after being up only a month.

Meanwhile, the airport opposition, centered around the Web site "Citizens for a Better Gwinnett," is also providing lots of information about the privatization proposal, often a 100 per cent different viewpoint from the Propeller site.

These two sites are a foretaste for the Gwinnett Airport War. For the moment, if we had to pick the winning Web site, BriscoeField.com, seems to have the edge.

ABOUT OUR SPONSORS
Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. From answering your questions and providing a host of useful information, to promoting growth in our county, there are people working every day to help make Gwinnett a place where businesses thrive and success lives. For more detail, go to www.gwinnettchamber.org.

FEEDBACK
Reynolds outlined reasons for the way Highway 316 was built

Editor, the Forum:

There are other reasons why Georgia Highway 316 was built the way it is.

This road is a state highway and not a part of the Interstate Highway System. Therefore any construction cost split is 50/50 percent federal/state, rather that 90/10 percent.

The late Steve Reynolds, former senator and DOT Chairman, spoke to the Lawrenceville Kiwanis club during the time he was in one of these positions and discussed the funding problems for the completion of this roadway to Athens. He said that the state could not afford the bridges at the time it was built.

It is important to remember that when this was happening, Gwinnett was growing, but the part of the county and beyond eastward was not growing as fast as the western and southern parts.

Steve Reynolds was in the right place at the right time to aid the road building that was necessary for Gwinnett to continue to grow. He was a good man, and a good friend, and missed by many.

-- Jim Hood, Monroe

Why Blue Ribbon Committee took route for garbage service

Editor, the Forum:

As a member of the "Blue Ribbon" trash committee, we considered billing trash service on the water bill. Our research indicated that it was illegal to shut off water service if the trash fee wasn't paid. The only utility that can legally be shut off is the utility not paid i.e. trash service.

We felt that would defeat the whole purpose of universal trash service, which according to recent news stories, is achieving the desired results by increasing recycling, reducing truck traffic in neighborhoods, reducing illegal dumping and in many cases reducing costs to the citizens. While I no longer have a stake in Gwinnett trash, it seems to me that the issue is being keep alive by few citizens who are using it as a stalking horse to achieve their personal political agendas.

-- Patrick Malone, Blairsville

Dear Pat: I hear you, and thank you. However, if a person didn't pay a combined water-trash bill, looks like the county could cut off their water. If they paid the water bill, but deducted the trash charge, that might become more dicey. --eeb

Appreciates story comparing Gwinnett, Buford garbage fees

Editor, the Forum:

Thank you for your analogy between the Buford garbage collection and the Gwinnett County system. I have been "preaching" this since it was first pitched to the public.

I also attended four of the "Blue ribbon" committee meeting Commissioner Mike Beaudreau put together.

It was obvious that 95+ of the attendees were against the plan. The plan went through anyway to infuse the county with cash for immediate use. Don't forget the settlements paid, attorneys fees and court costs for shutting out companies that began through the free enterprise system, our nation's only financial salvation.

I don't understand how Judge Clark could make the assumption/judgment it was constitutional. As you said a person's home could be placed in limbo for as little as a couple of hundred dollars. It sounds like too much government intrusion into our private lives.

-- Steve Ramey, Lilburn

  • Send us your letters. Our policy: We encourage readers to submit feedback (or letters to the editor). Send your thoughts to the editor at elliott@brack.net. We will edit for length and clarity. Make sure to include your name and the city where you live. Submission of a comment grants permission for us to reprint. Please keep your comments to 300 words or less. However, we will consider longer articles (no more than 500 words) for featuring in Today's Focus as space allows.

UPCOMING
Artworks Gwinnett names Sally Corbett as executive director

The board of ArtWorks! Gwinnett, an umbrella organization promoting and supporting arts opportunities in Gwinnett, has named its first executive director. She is Sally A. Corbett, who has 15 years experience in the Georgia arts community.

The program is designed to enhance cultural and economic capital and enrich the County's residents and business community.


Corbett

Ms. Corbett is a 2010 graduate of the Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition's Arts Leaders of Metro-Atlanta (ALMA) business and arts leaders' class. Her work in the arts includes seven years at the High Museum of Art and nine years with the arts programs of Emory University. She has volunteered for national, regional and local arts organizations including the American Association of Museums and Fulton County Arts Council. She received the Public Relations Society of America's Georgia chapter June 2011 Champion Award for her volunteer service to the chapter.

The new Artsworks director spent her freshman year at Furman University, and is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany in political science. In 1992-93 she was a fellow of the Center for the Study of the Presidency.

Caryn McGarity, executive committee co-chair, ArtWorks! Gwinnett, says: "We look forward to embarking on a series of new projects that will serve the arts organizations and artists of Gwinnett County, and in turn make the community even more vibrant for area residents and our visitors.

Co-chair Matt Hyatt adds: "The businesses, schools and libraries of Gwinnett are eager for more involvement in the arts. As we develop those synergies, we are encouraged by the early support of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership Gwinnett Initiative which are providing office space for ArtWorks!"

Over the next few weeks, Corbett will meet with various organizations, businesses and entrepreneurs to bring the expansive arts community together to develop initiatives. For information, visit http://artworksgwinnett.org. To view a list of Gwinnett County arts events, visit this site.

NOTABLE
Lilburn CID gets grant for corridor study, trail building

The Lilburn Community Improvement District (CID) had been approved for a Livable Cities Initiative (LCI) Study by the Atlanta Regional Commission. The U.S. Highway 29 Corridor Study makes the Lilburn CID eligible for the many benefits of the LCI Program including implementation, transportation and supplemental funds.

The first benefit of the Highway 29 Corridor Study came about recently. The Georgia Department of Transportation announced the recipients of the 2011 Transportation Enhancement (TE) Grant Funds. The Lilburn CID has been awarded $700,000 to build a Multi-Use Pedestrian Trail. This project will extend from the end of the Lilburn Greenway Trail at Killian Hill Road and connect to the new Bryson Park. The overall trail is approximately a mile long.

Gerald McDowell, executive director of the CID, says: "The Highway 29 Corridor Study provides the Lilburn CID and Greater Lilburn a playbook to help us navigate the creation of a Boulevard of Opportunity. This award is consistent with our Study and the Five-year CID Strategic Plan for revitalization and re-development."

This award comes on the heels of the Lilburn CID having its second Multi-Use Pedestrian Trail project make it through the first round of the upcoming Transportation Improvement Act Project List.

Evermore CID launches program to educate, inform, engage

The City of Snellville, the Evermore Community Improvement District (CID) and the Economic Development Department of the Gwinnett Chamber have teamed up to launch an initiative aimed at bringing renewed engagement with the business community in the city and CID.

An Educate-Inform-Engage (EIE) Project is an exploratory effort to understand what small businesses in the U.S. Highway 78 corridor need to succeed and thrive. Partnership Gwinnett and the Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development Department will meet with small business owners in hopes to:

  • Educate local businesses on the purpose, policies, goals and objectives of the Evermore CID;

  • Inform local businesses of resources, and initiatives, available to them through the City of Snellville; and

  • Engage the businesses in an exploratory small business development dialog with Partnership Gwinnett, the Evermore CID, and Snellville.

Together, the goal in the EIE Project is to pro-actively strengthen relationships, share critical resources and information, and create communication between businesses, CID and Snellville.??

To become a part of the project, contact Amanda Soesbe at Evermore CID at call 770-979-5800. A brief survey will be distributed and personal consultation set upon the initial contact.

Corley Elementary names its lobby to honor Al Karnitz

Corley Elementary School has honored Al Karnitz by naming its lobby after him. Karnitz led the effort of the South Gwinnett Rotary Club in its adoption of the school.

The club recognizes a Corley student each month; many of the members volunteer to read each month at the school; the club has sponsored assisting a Corley family at Thanksgiving and another family at Christmas; and the club has upgraded and refurbished the school's playground.

The association with Corley School began when Karnitz was principal of the day at the school and enjoyed working with Principal Paula Cobb. The Corley entrance is now known as the Allen Karnitz Lobby. Karnitz operates Ace Truck Body and Trailer Repair in Norcross. (Photo by Chuck Cimarik.)

RECOMMENDED FILM
Oh! What a Lovely War

"We viewed this via Netflix, and found the 1968 exploration and explanation of World War I was most provocative. The first film produced and directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, this film has a cast full of big-name stars of the English stage and film. The work is done with creativity and deftness, and follows one family who loses all its younger male members in the war. It's also speaks to the blindness of that war's leadership, and portrays the horrors and the frustration of war in stark realism. It's one of the best film we have ever seen, and heartily recommended."
-- eeb

  • 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

GEORGIA ENCYCLOPEDIA
Columbus native pens novel used as Southern propaganda

Macaria, or Altars of Sacrifice, the third novel by Columbus native Augusta Jane Evans, was published in 1864, during the Civil War. The book served as propaganda for the Confederate cause and helped to redefine the role of Confederate women during the war. Macaria became a best seller in the Confederacy, with 20,000 copies in circulation by the war's end, and secured Evans's status as a leading female southern writer. Northern generals banned the book for fear of its sympathetic Southern message taking hold among Union troops.

Evans believed that a primary purpose of literature was to provide moral instruction, and Macaria does this by focusing on the theme of sacrifice while also challenging the gender constructs of the day. The novel combines the genre of women's domestic fiction with the traditionally male war story to present two strong female heroines.

Evans relied on authentic accounts of the war and her own experiences to write Macaria, even lifting whole passages from her personal letters. The second part of Macaria centers on the heroines' lives during the war.

In addition to its theme of sacrificing domestic comfort for a greater cause, Macaria also challenges long-held ideas about gender by advocating that unmarried women should have opportunities to support themselves. Despite her call for women's financial independence in the novel, however, Evans ultimately supported the South's traditional social hierarchies of race, class, and gender. According to the historian Drew Gilpin Faust, Evans backed away from some of her more unconventional ideas, particularly her somewhat radical stance on women, in the postwar years.

The novel was published by West and Johnston in Richmond, Va., and printed by Evans and Cogswell in Columbia, S.C. Evans was unaware during the war that the novel had also been printed in New York. A copy that she had given to a friend was smuggled past the Union's blockade of Georgia's coast and rivers to a Confederate-held port in Cuba. From there, the book traveled north, where it was published without the dedication to the "Army of the Southern Confederacy." The New York edition also includes changes to Evans's language, making it more accessible to Northern audiences.

By 1896 several new editions had been printed in the North. Some passages were shortened or clarified, and large passages of Confederate propaganda as well as passages critical of the federal government were cut out entirely. In 1992 a new edition of Macaria appeared, which reinstates the novel's original text.

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2011, Gwinnett Forum.com. 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.

TODAY'S QUOTE

You are ruled only by those who choose to participate

"We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate."

-- The third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826).

SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM

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GWINNETT CALENDAR

Brown Bag Concert: 10 a.m., July 8, Gwinnett Historic Courthouse. Scott Douglas Steel Drums on the Historic Courthouse lawn, crazy hair, face painting, bounce house. There is no admission fee.

(NEW) Book Signing: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., July 9, Norcross Welcome Center. Billie Van Dyke, owner of the Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle, will be signing copies of her cookbook, "The Bible of Southern Cooking." She will also answer culinary questions and share samples of her desserts.

Bark at the Park: 10 a.m., July 13, Rabbit Hill Park, Dacula. Spend the day with your pooch, meet the park staff and enter drawing for prizes (no admission fee.)

Brown Bag Lunch in Duluth's Town Green Park: Noon to 1 p.m. on 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.

Therapeutic Recreation: 6:30 p.m., July 15, Dacula Park Activity Building, Dacula. This is a specialized and inclusive program for those with special needs. Ages 6-up. Cost is $6 ($8 for non-residents of Gwinnett.)

National Hot Dog Day: 10 a.m., July 23, 10 a.m., Bay Creek Park, Grayson. Bounce House, vendors, games, face painting/tattoos and food vendors (no admission fee.)

Intercamp Games: 10 a.m., July 28, Bogan Park, Buford. Competition between all the Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation summer campers.

Splash and Bash: 1 p.m., July 30, Rhodes Jordan Park Pool. Enjoy wacky games, prizes and cool treats. Regular admission fees apply

MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE

9/6: Summerour excels

9/2: College football reform

8/30: Meeting a Gwinnett

8/26: Watching power corrupt

8/23: Buford gets new newspaper

8/19: World needs big ideas

8/16: Redistricting out of our hands

8/12: Not much to trigger riots, market

8/9: Commission should stop dawdling

8/5: Peach Pass free for 300,000

8/2: 3 sales tax votes ahead

7/29: Pass will provide faster ride

7/26: Watch Murdoch's empire

7/22: Channel Islands cool

7/19: Traveling in Britain in lots of ways

7/15: Keep alert to drivers

7/12: Gem Shopping Network

7/8: Careful on nuke plants

7/5: The airport wars

7/1: County, Buford's garbage fee

EEB index of columns


MORE RECENT COMMENTARY

9/6: Olson: Bunnen exhibit

9/2: Povah: Underground lines

8/30: Anders: Restaurant Week

8/26: Nelson: Duluth Ice Forum

8/23: Rausch: Big Internet idea

8/19: Morris: Duluth dealer reopens

8/16: Keane: Tuggle wins honor

8/12: Pritchard: Savannah places

8/9: Dodd: Privatize Briscoe

8/5: Urrutia: GwTech's nursing program

8/2: Ramey: GGC's 1st athletic director

7/29: Britt: Snellville tourism, trade

7/26: White: Duluth actress stars

7/22: Hanson: Old No. 750 locomotive

7/19: Foreman: Gwinnett architect wins

7/15: DeWilde: Suwanee art voting

7/12: Callini: Home burglaries

7/8: Saputo: Gwinnett job growth

7/5: Bland: Nicaraguan mural

7/1: Tyler: View from Afghanistan

COMMENTARY INDEX


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