DULUTH, Ga., July 8, 2011 -- Gwinnett Chamber's Economic Development program is about to enter into the second and strategic planning phase of this initiative, Partnership Gwinnett. With more than 200 relocations and expansion yielding over 10,000 jobs since the launch of the first phase in 2007, the overarching goal of the "Partnership Gwinnett 2.0" process is to take the tremendous success of the past five years to the next level. A crucial part of this process is a community survey, which gives an opportunity for the citizens of Gwinnett for their input on the future of community and economic development in the County.
The program is working. Announced recently was that Gwinnett County leads Georgia in employment growth, growing by 1.7 percent, the highest increase of any county in the state. This is also a rate that is almost double the national average of employment.
Partnership Gwinnett 2.0 is a new five-year holistic community and economic development strategic planning effort, being launched this summer in partnership with Market Street Services, a national community, economic, and workforce development consulting firm based in Atlanta. Through this effort, the Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development program seeks to garner implementation buy-in, unify local leaders, and motivate constituents with a blueprint that takes into account new economic realities. The survey will ask Gwinnettian's opinion on topics like business climate, education and workforce development, and quality of life that affect how Gwinnett County competes for companies and talent.
Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash says: "Residents and business owners in Gwinnett have an opportunity to participate in the Partnership Gwinnett community survey. This is a chance for folks across the county to share their thoughts and opinions about our community and its future."
Despite the official end of the recession, the United States, is still dealing with the challenges associated with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Local, regional, and national economies have changed radically in recent years as the "Great Recession" has significantly altered the competitive landscape for communities and their leadership.
The core purpose of the next phase is to ensure that Gwinnett continues to rebound from the recession quicker than other competing communities. Partnership Gwinnett 2.0 Co-Chair Randy Dellinger, Gwinnett district manager at Jackson EMC, says: "The success of the second phase of Partnership Gwinnett's economic development strategy is purposefully based on input from the community. The effectiveness of the effort is contingent upon the participation of Gwinnettians."
Another community leader, Renee Byrd-Lewis of Cisco, who is the Partnership Gwinnett co-chair, says: "We are passionate about creating and implementing an effective strategy that will continue to make Gwinnett County a leader in Metro Atlanta. This next phase will keep the strength and momentum of the initial Partnership Gwinnett plan while expanding the vision for continued positive community impact."
Nick Masino, vice president for Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett with the Gwinnett Chamber, says: "Now entering the fifth year of the initial Partnership Gwinnett implementation process, we have made solid and measurable progress on a wide range of goals. Despite the Recession, Gwinnett has, for the past 12 months and well beyond, had the lowest jobless rate in the core Metro Atlanta counties. This is not by accident- it is through the partnership of dedicated individuals from the public and private sectors working in sync to generate results."
JULY 8, 2011 -- Do we learn from history? History maintains we seldom do.
Among our many concerns these days, there is an older concern fighting its way into our minds. It's that old nemesis, nuclear generation of electric power.
Questioned 40 years ago, the concept was adopted as the "modern" (and supposedly safe) way to generate power. Promoted by nations with limited power resources, it was the darling of electrical generation, and was said to be the future of the electrical generation industry.
And now a tsunami in Japan has suddenly re-opened the question of the safety of nuclear generation of power. The Japanese are alarmed. An energy-deficient nation, it has turned hungrily to nuclear power. Some 28 percent of Japan's electrical generation is nuclear generated. (See this link for the selected nation's nuclear generation capacity.)
Another nation concerned about nuclear energy after the Japanese catastrophe is an industrial powerhouse: Germany. A country that had been generating 29 percent of its electrical grid from nuclear energy, the German lower house voted to shut down the last of 17 nuclear power plants, the entire nuclear capacity nuclear power, by 2022. The next step expected is for the 16 federal states in the upper house to ratify this action. If the cautious and exacting German engineers are alarmed, as much of the Japanese community is now about the safety of nuclear plants, should not the rest of the world be concerned?
In the United States, we get about 20 percent of our energy from nuclear power. (Two such plants are in Georgia, plus a third was licensed to be built recently.)
So, what's the long-term possibility for nuclear?
Then there's another somewhat scary nuclear topic. The United States has 104 reactors for nuclear generation of power. Some 66 have recently been re-licensed for 20 more years.
The scary part: the original reactors in the United States were designed and licensed to operate for 40 years. But in reality, what is the safe operating life for these potentially deadly reactors? How long can these plants continue to generate electricity safely?
Instead of asking that question, perhaps the first question is to restate what was asked years ago: is nuclear generation of power safe? What about plants that sit near earthquake fault lines? What about plants, like the recent one in Japan, which are on the coast? Should we be concerned about other plant locations?
Look at it another way. Does the United States (and the entire world) want to question nuclear generation with a fresh look today? Since many nuclear plants are coming up for re-licensing, it is more reasonable to allow them to continue for a shorter period, say 10 years, and require for their replacement other means of powering these plants, such as natural gas, or even the abundant coal? (There you go, you might say, raising new environmental concerns for coal pollution. But with nuclear, you have the environmental problem of the spent rod cores!)
Consider this: with the United States in economic doldrums, how about scuttling all nuclear plants within the next 20 years, and use this period to help jump-start the economy by building coal, oil or gas-fired plants all across our nation? That would put a lot of people back to work. The funding would be private, from the power companies, and it would help remove the safety question of nuclear generation.
Some day the world may look upon the Japanese nuclear disaster as a wake-up call to help re-focus the on the overall question of long-term nuclear safety.
It's time now to raise these questions.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Brand Banking Company, headquartered in Lawrenceville, where it has three offices, with additional branches in Snellville, Grayson and Flowery Branch. It is the largest privately held bank in Gwinnett, with assets of $1,300,000,000. The bank's main office is in Lawrenceville on the Historic Courthouse Square, plus there is another branch on Hurricane Shoals Road. Other locations are in Grayson, Snellville, Flowery Branch, Buford, Duluth and Buckhead. Member, FDIC and Federal Reserve System. For more information, go to http://www.thebrandbank.com.
Editor, the Forum:
There was a pretty topical article on roundabouts here. I've extracted some key points below.
Come on Berkeley Lake, it will be embarrassing to remove the round-about and less-so to put the yield signs back! Are you leaders or followers or do you just run a way?
Here are some key points:
One guy is quoted as saying: "I think they're awesome. They keep the traffic flowing, you don't have to stop, you save gas, and there are less accidents."
Questions how state is selecting license plate design
Editor, the Forum:
help but comment that Georgia's "poll' to select the new Georgia
license tag is "fatally flawed" in that it allows for three
choices of "In God We Trust." That means that anyone who wants
the "In God We Trust" phrase can vote for one of three with
that line. In effect, this 'splits' the vote among three similar choices,
reducing the chance that a tag with "In God We Trust" will be
Arguments for rail transportation do not sway this guy
Editor, the Forum:
As a concerned
citizen I would like to plant some doubt regarding the metro area T-SPLOST
movement and help enlighten the populace to this albatross.
If we take
MARTA as an example, yearly maintenance costs run into hundreds of millions
of dollars in upkeep. This T-SPLOST appears to be the gift that keeps
on taking because the taxpayer will be on the hook for upkeep and maintenance
each and every year. Not one rail system in the world is self sustaining.
Each and every one must have a steady flow of taxpayer (non-rider) dollars
because ridership will only, if lucky, generate 20 percent of yearly maintenance
Wants review of county garbage collection fees
Theatre has teamed up with events facility 550 Trackside and Gwinnett's
All About Ballroom to create a new series, Aurora Dance Nights. Top rated
TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance are
inspiring folks to get off of the couch and hop onto the dance floor.
Each dance night will feature lessons with expert Kathy Casper and All About Ballroom. Aurora Dance Nights will be held at 550 Trackside, at 550 North Clayton Street across from the former Lawrenceville train depot. This event facility contains granite walls, archways and original wood, all restored to their natural beauty.
can purchase fresh crepes from American Crepe and there will be a selection
of beer, wine and other soft drinks. Parking is FREE.
at 550 Trackside is $18 for the July 16 event, which starts at 8 p.m.
Experience a memorable and exotic "Evening in the Tropics" as you stroll through the artwork on display in the Duluth Art Gallery in downtown Duluth.
This third annual event is sponsored by The Duluth Fine Arts League and will be held on Saturday, July 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be hors d'oeuvres by Proof of the Pudding, wine, a silent auction and tropical live music featuring a steel drum musician. The dress for the evening is "tropical casual."
The Duluth Art Gallery is located at 3530 West Lawrenceville Street in Downtown Duluth. Parking is free and is located at the corner of Georgia Highway 120 (Abbott's Bridge Road) and Hill Street. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Proceeds from the event go toward several scholarships for students at Duluth High School who plan to major in the arts. Call The Duluth Art Gallery at 678-957-1942 or 770-605-6600 for more information or tickets.
Fine Arts League is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created to promote
and expand the love of the arts in Duluth.
third consecutive years, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the parent
company of Eastside Medical Center of Snellville, announces that the company
has earned national recognition as one of the best workplaces in the United
State for information technology professionals. The company ranked No.
32 on Computerworld's 2011 "Best Places to Work in IT" list
of 100 companies, moving up from its 2010 rank as No. 42.
IT&S Director at Eastside Medical Center, says: "The IT&S
team we have assembled here at Eastside are a dedicated group of professionals,
years of service to HCA totaling more than 119 years. The longevity of
the staff is just one more indicator of a superior workplace."
As part of its continuing network investment to support growing demand for mobile devices and services, AT&T has announced the activation of a new cell site in Lawrenceville that is expected to enhance network coverage for area residents and businesses.
The new cell site is one part of AT&T's ongoing efforts to drive innovation and extend its mobile network. It is also to build the networks that will fuel economic growth and create jobs, and enable AT&T's customers to quickly access the content, applications and services that matter most to them.
Delores Crowell, regional director of external affairs, AT&T Georgia, says: "Supporting mobile broadband growth is our No. 1 investment priority."
Keith Holmes, vice president and general manager of Georgia, adds: "We're working to make this possible by investing in new wireless coverage in Lawrenceville."
AT&T's mobile network is based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) standard, the most open and widely used wireless network platforms in the world. AT&T offers data roaming in 200 countries, as well as voice calling in more than 220 countries.
For more information about AT&T's coverage in Lawrenceville or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit an AT&T Coverage Viewer. The online tool can measure the quality of coverage based on a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark.
Great size for your smaller grandchildren. "Hold the Cone!" frozen mini vanilla ice cream treats from Trader Joe's. The cone has a chocolate coating and comes eight to the box. Trader Joe's found this product in Germany, and now stocks it for Americans. Unlike the grown-up cousin of a chocolate-covered cone, this treat has no nuts sprinkled on top, which is probably better for small children. Quite tasty. For adults, the box asks: "Think you can eat just one?" -- eeb
Mary Latimer McLendon, along with her older sister Rebecca Latimer Felton, was a leader in the prohibition and woman suffrage movements in Georgia. She is perhaps best known for her long tenure as president of the Georgia Women's Suffrage Association (GWSA). After her death in 1921, the GWSA and Georgia Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) placed a marble fountain bearing her likeness in the state capitol; the inscription recognizes her as the "Mother of Suffrage in Georgia."
Mary Latimer was born in DeKalb County in 1840, the daughter of Eleanor Swift and Charles Latimer. A graduate of the Southern Masonic Female College in Covington, she married Nicholas A. McLendon in 1860 and moved to Atlanta. When Union troops ordered Atlanta evacuated during the Civil War, she and her family moved to Crawfordville, returning to Atlanta in 1868.
By the 1880s Mary McLendon had founded one of the Georgia WCTU's most active chapters, the Francis Willard chapter in Atlanta. McLendon also served the state WCTU in numerous capacities. She headed an effort to secure passage of a state law mandating school instruction about the debilitating effects of alcohol use; for 20 years she coordinated annual public speaking competitions for students. A lifelong Methodist, she was outraged when Georgia Methodist leaders forbade the WCTU to meet in their churches because the national WCTU supported woman suffrage. McLendon, in fact, unsuccessfully lobbied Georgia WCTU members to endorse the vote for women.
Despite being rebuffed on the suffrage issue, McLendon remained a mainstay in the organization, rejoicing in 1907 when the legislature approved a state prohibition amendment. In 1918 the Georgia legislature endorsed federal prohibition, ratifying the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In 1894 Mary McLendon founded the Atlanta chapter of the GWSA, the second local woman suffrage organization to be established in the state. By 1896 she was president of the state organization, serving in that capacity until 1899 and then from 1906 until her death in 1921. McLendon believed that women would use their votes to pass a comprehensive reform program, including abolishing child labor, raising the age of consent for girls, instituting compulsory school attendance, and hiring female guards for the state's female prisoners.
Though often opposed to the tactics of rival suffrage organizations in the state, McLendon led the GWSA to join with them to sponsor parades and distribute leaflets on behalf of the cause. Beginning in 1913, she wrote a series of newspaper columns in support of woman suffrage and other reforms. After years of GWSA campaigning, Atlanta permitted municipal woman suffrage in 1919. In that same year the U.S. Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which, despite the Georgia legislature's opposition, was ratified in August 1920. State authorities, however, refused to let women vote in the November elections because they had not registered by the spring deadline. McLendon spent the last year of her life working to ensure that the state of Georgia recognized women's right to vote.
Mary McLendon died November 20, 1921, survived by a daughter, Nellie Henderson, and a grandson.
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"Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than from the arguments of its opposers."
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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.
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.)
Technology Forum: 7:30 a.m., July 19, at Busbee Auditorium
of Gwinnett Technical College. Tino Mantella, president and CEO of the
Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) will discuss the importance of
technology to Georgia's economy and job outlook based on results of the
2011 TAG State of the Industry: Technology in Georgia Report. More.
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
© 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.