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NUMBER 750:
This antique engine now at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth is 101 years old these days. Today, its work is primarily aimed at informing a new generation of what this workhorse of olden days looked like when it was in its prime. Read more in Today's Focus.

Issue 11.33 | Friday, July 22, 2011

TODAY'S FOCUS
:: 101st year for No. 750

ELLIOTT BRACK'S PERSPECTIVE
:: Islands cool compared to Hot-lanta

FEEDBACK
:: More on Briscoe airport

UPCOMING
:: Traffic cams; GDOS deadline

NOTABLE
:: Gwinnett Police get more technology

ALSO INSIDE

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
:: Graphic Communications Corp.

GEORGIA TIDBIT
:: Bootle part of desegregation cases

TODAY'S QUOTE
:: Being consistent in prayer

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ABOUT US

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TODAY'S FOCUS
Southeastern Rail Museum's No. 750 now marking 101st Year
By ROBERT H. HANSON
Special to GwinnettForum

DULUTH, Ga., July 22, 2011 -- The year 2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the construction of Savannah & Atlanta Railway 4-6-2 (Pacific) type steam locomotive No. 750. The locomotive now rests at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth.

The locomotive was built for the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway and rolled out of the Schenectady (N.Y.) Works of the American Locomotive Company in January of 1910. For a number of years, it powered passenger trains over that road's Key West Extension.

The engine had heavy damage from an accident some time in the 1920s, which resulted in its being "modernized," when repaired. This modernization may have preserved the engine.

After the Florida boom went bust in 1926, and in the Depression, the FEC found itself with far more locomotives than were needed to operate the railroad. At the same time, the Savannah & Atlanta Railway (S&A), although not prosperous, was in dire need of additional locomotives as its existing engine roster was far too old and light to meet its needs.

In 1935, the S&A purchased two locomotives from the FEC -- No. 141, the newest locomotive the FEC had for sale, and today's No. 750. However, because of the repairs and slight modernization, the 750 was deemed to be in better condition, despite its age.

So, Florida East Coast engines 80 and 141 became S&A 750 and 751, respectively, in November of 1935. Work performed in the S&A shops upped the total ready-for-service cost of the 750 to $7,718.31.

S&A President and General Manager Charles E. Gay, Jr. on January 8, 1936, said that the 750 had made three trips over the road and "…is doing everything we expected it to do."

In 1948, the S&A's 750 received a larger tender from one of the New York, Ontario & Western Railway 4-8-2s. This tender had a capacity of 10,000 gallons of water and 16 tons of coal, versus a capacity of 6,000 gallons and 12 tons for the original tender. This is the tender that sits behind the 750 at the museum today.

Also in 1948, the 750 narrowly escaped being scrapped, as the S&A began to dieselize its operations, when steam power was retired and scrapped. The S&A sold two other 700-class locomotives to J. T. Knight & Company of Atlanta for $33 per gross ton.

The 750 was involved in only one mishap in its career on the S&A. In 1952, while powering a weed-spraying train, a tractor-trailer rig was hit while trying to beat the train over a crossing in Hiltonia, Ga. This resulted in the death of the truck driver and one train crewman. There was, of course, only minor damage to the locomotive.

The locomotive was not used until 1962, when it was overhauled and presented to the Atlanta Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society on July 4, 1962. It moved from Savannah to Atlanta under its own power. On the Georgia Road portion of the trip, things got interesting, as someone gave the word to "turn 'er loose!" According to rail buffs who were pacing the train in automobiles, they began to fall behind while running 80 miles per hour. The Georgia Railroad engine crew said that they had never seen anything perform so beautifully.

On arrival in Atlanta, the 750 went to work for her new owners, the Atlanta Chapter, NRHS, including over 30 years of service as a fan-trip locomotive and finally as a museum exhibit. This career would last longer than her careers for either of her two previous owners.

EEB PERSPECTIVE
Channel Islands' cooler weather contrasts with Georgia's heat
By ELLIOTT BRACK
Editor and publisher

NORCROSS, Ga., July 22, 2011 -- Being from Georgia, you routinely do not think of enjoying 57 degree weather during July. For the last few days, my wife and I have been on the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy, France, first visiting Jersey, and ending the trip on the Isle of Guernsey. They are both wonderfully delightful, and two of the cleanest places we've ever been. The islands work at maintaining a pristine place; you just don't see trash much at all.


Brack

These days Guernsey has been "found," much like when Savannah became fortunate with the publication of a book. For Savannah, it was Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, while for Guernsey it was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a bestseller published in 2008. This book details the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II. These islands were the only English territory the Germans occupied. At the Guernsey Tourist Center, there's a current exhibition on the many languages in which the book has been published. Before reading that book on Guernsey, I knew nothing of this story of World War II, and have found it fascinating.

When World War II started, the British wrote off the Channel Islands, thinking that they had no military importance. About half the population of the islands went to Britain for the duration of the war, while others stayed on the islands and tried to maintain a normal life, though complicated by the five-year German occupation. Their life was sometimes severe, particularly toward the end of the war. Hitler fortified the Channel Islands, thinking them important, and that Britain would seek to capture them. After all, Jersey is just 14 miles off the coast of France.

But no. Winston Churchill would not direct precious war efforts to relieve the Islands, since they had no military importance. And so the people of the islands made the best of a bad situation, while Germans orchestrated their lives.

Today the islands are a dependency of England, owing allegiance to the Crown, though not part of the United Kingdom. They are the oldest legislatures of the English speaking world, dating back to at least 1524. They have their own tax laws not subject to Britain, including no VAT tax. The islands are both a financial center, and a tourism attraction. After all, they get more sunshine than any British area.

While here we also have learned that it also gets lots of rain, not necessarily hard showers, but more come-and-go drizzle. That hasn't stopped us from moving around, mostly by foot, since most attractions are nearby, or you take the frequent buses at little cost.

As for food, with the Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, there's plenty of fresh seafood, with the Islands are also known for vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes, plus good milk and ice cream from the cows of the Islands. Each of the towns of the Islands is dominated by its harbor and waterfront. Boats are anchored all around, many lying on mudflats during low tides. (The tides are the third highest in the world here.)

Like most of Europe, prices are higher than in the United States, but seem a bargain from having been in London last week.

We've never dreamed we would some day visit islands in the British Channel off the coast of France, surrounded by the chilly Atlantic Ocean. It's been a good week here, one we especially appreciate when we learned that Gwinnett has been having a heat wave while we enjoyed the cool weather of the Channel Islands.

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Graphic Communications Corporation

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Graphic Communications Corporation of Lawrenceville, a WBENC and a NWBOC certified female-owned and managed company. Graphic Communications is a dynamic full-service print, large-format inkjet and photographic output, fulfillment, point-of-purchase and multi-media communications company. The firm has a digital media and graphic design department for both print and Internet use. Graphic Communications has been awarded the Chain of Custody certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC). Only a select group of printers in Georgia can provide eco-conscious customers with paper with the FSC, SFI or PEFC logos, which ensure that the paper is from a well-managed, certified, sustainable forest and that the chain of custody from forest to pulp and to paper manufacturer to merchant has not been broken. Graphic Communications' biggest strength is its ability to meet tight deadlines along with the ever-present demands for high quality and attention to detail. This ability makes the printing process seamless for its clients. Three of its greatest competitive advantages are: 1) listening, 2) being organized for speed, and 3) being detail fanatics. All of its associates are committed to giving customers exactly what they want, when they want it. Simply, at Graphic Communications, the customer's needs are the driving forces behind everything it does, from investment in technology to the friendly voices that still answer the telephone. For more information, go to http://www.gccprint.com.

FEEDBACK
Takes issue with pro-jet lobbyists and expansion of airport

Editor, the Forum:

Concerning your column of July 5 ("Gwinnett airport war seems to be foretaste of the future"), while your assessment of the effectiveness of the pro-jet lobbyists billboards and website is not inaccurate, please note that residents in opposition to turning Gwinnett into an 'airport county' rather than a great place to live do not have the finances or resources to mount a similar counter campaign. I heard one pro-commercial jet group has put one million dollars into this effort.

Struggling homeowners like myself cannot donate that kind of money to stop this onslaught. I have little spare time, yet I find myself sitting through long meetings and writing letters in the hope the County Commission will finally side with logic and the will of the residents.

Your column repeating the messages of the pro-jetliner billboards and website and quoting at length the head of a pro-expansion investment firm, gives them yet another outlet to get their message out.

I ask if you are going to repeat the claims of the pro-jet lobby, you also point out when they are in error, such as noting regional airport fares are typically higher than at major airports. And to mention the negatives such as regional airports typically are unprofitable and Gwinnett taxpayers will have to kick in to support the airport, if it is unprofitable. And since the airport cannot revert back once it goes commercial, taxpayers would be obligated forever.

I would like to mention the FAA spent one million taxpayer dollars for a report that concluded Briscoe among others is not suitable as a regional airport. Then the Gwinnett County Commission voted to spend a quarter-million taxpayer dollars for a study because they apparently thought the FAA had an ulterior motive for their report. This at a time of budget shortfalls.

-- Martin Thomas, Lawrenceville

Dear Mr. Thomas: We publish to allow all sides, pro and con, to have space to give their views. But be careful in stating "facts." For instance, you quote no source of higher fares at regional airports, or how regional airports are unprofitable. So keep writing and give your opinion, and substantiate your facts.--eeb

  • 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
More traffic cameras coming to 2 congested areas

Gwinnett transportation officials received formal approval this week to begin installing more traffic cameras and fiber-optic cables to monitor arterial and corridor traffic flow and allow real-time, remote control adjustments from the Gwinnett Traffic Control Center in two congested areas.

A six-mile stretch of Pleasant Hill Road between Lawrenceville Highway/U.S. Highway 29 and Buford Highway/U.S. Highway 23 will get the new traffic-management equipment. So will almost three miles of Buford Drive/Georgia Highway 20 between I-985 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard near the Mall of Georgia.

The Board of Commissioners awarded both contracts to low bidder R.J. Haynie, Inc., for a combined amount of $847,668. The cost will be paid with 80 percent state transportation funds plus 20 percent from Gwinnett's 2009 SPLOST sales tax program.

Approximately 115 cameras are currently operating with a total of 175 expected to be operating within the next several years.

Time nearing on projects for Gwinnett Great Days of Service

Have you got a project that needs to be done?

Want to volunteer in your local community and make a difference? Don't miss a unique opportunity for a "hands-on" experience this year with Gwinnett Great Days of Service - September 30-October 1, 2011. For more information on how to get involved, you can visit www.gwinnettgreatdaysofservice.org or call 770-995-3339 and speak to the Coalition staff.

Those with projects are reminded that time is running out for submission. Don't delay; send in today.

Here are some of the projects, many very simple, that have already been identified and are considered critical community needs:

  • Salvation Army (770-724-1661) needs non-perishable food items to stock food shelves. They also need volunteers for pantry and office work.

  • Restoring Souls Ministry (678-622-2508) is need of an electrician. If you can help, give them a call.

  • Helping Hands Services (678-690-5314) is looking for baby clothes, diapers and a file cabinet with a lock.

  • Back to School Supplies are needed for returning Gwinnett students. If you can provide, pencils, paper, notebooks, book bags or more, call Suzy for more information on where to donate (770 995 3339).

  • Duluth Co-operative Ministry/Hands of Christ (770 623 9563) needs tile and carpet for a new Thrift Store and jelly for the food pantry.

  • Day of Hope (678-477-2776) needs a computer and keyboard for an after-school/homework program. Books, family DVDs are also needed.

  • StepByStep Recovery (678-377-2323) needs personal hygiene items, mops, brooms, pillows, towels and washcloths.

  • StreetWise (678-985-9952) needs food (sugar, flour, oil, rice, canned goods, etc.) and volunteers for their programs.

* * * * *

Do you need to write a grant? The Emergency Assistance Working group is hosting a special session on Grant Information at their August 9 meeting at 10 a.m. at the Coalition office at 750 South Perry Street in Lawrenceville. Susan Bacon of Palmetto Grant Consulting will be sharing on what documents and processes are needed for effective grant writing.

For more details on any of these programs, call the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services at 770-995-3339.

NOTABLE
Police get technology for faster, more efficient ticket writing

New technology is coming soon to Gwinnett County's public safety vehicles. Police officers, code enforcement, animal control and fire marshals will be able to issue electronic tickets to offenders and upload their citations to central servers over a cellular modem.

When an officer enters a Georgia driver's license number into a handheld computer, the device will fill in information about the drivers involved in an incident, eliminating time-consuming copying and ensuring accuracy and legibility. The officer will be able to print copies on the spot.

Commissioners approved a $1.02 million contract on Tuesday to buy the new equipment from the highest-scoring of seven bidders, Thinkstream, Inc. of Baton Rouge, La. The money will come from public safety funds in the 2009 SPLOST sales tax program

Gwinnett Police Chief Charlie Walters says that the new technology is an efficiency improvement recommended by the Engage Gwinnett citizens study committee.

RECOMMENDED

  • 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
Bootle involved in key Georgia desegregation decisions

William Bootle, a U.S. District Court judge from 1954 to 1981, presided over several federal court challenges to racial segregation in Georgia, most notably the lawsuit that forced the integration of the University of Georgia (UGA) in 1961. He also issued a number of court orders that were instrumental in desegregating Georgia's schools, elections, and transportation facilities.


Bootle

William Augustus Bootle was born on August 19, 1902, in Round O, S.C. His family lived in and around Walterboro, S.C., until 1917, when they moved to Berrien County, Ga. In 1918, Bootle enrolled at Mercer University in Macon, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1924 and a Bachelor of Law degree a year later. After graduating from law school he entered private law practice in Macon, which remained his home. In 1928, Bootle married Virginia Childs, with whom he had three children.

In March 1928, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge appointed Bootle assistant U.S. attorney for the recently created Middle District of Georgia. He then appointed Bootle U.S. attorney, a position Bootle assumed in January 1929.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt became president of the United States in 1933, Bootle left the federal prosecutor's post and returned to private practice. Shortly after he and fellow Macon attorney J. Douglas Carlisle formed the law firm Carlisle and Bootle, he was named dean of the Mercer University School of Law, where he had taught classes since 1926. Hired as an interim dean, Bootle held the position, along with teaching responsibilities, until 1937.

Following the death of U.S. District Court Judge Abraham Conger in late 1953, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Bootle to fill the vacant judgeship in the 71-county Middle District, comprising the areas surrounding Albany, Athens, Columbus, Macon, Thomasville, and Valdosta. During Bootle's career he presided in a number of U.S. Justice Department court actions brought to force Georgia officials to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Segregationist demonstrations against Bootle's rulings fueled a state government crisis during the UGA desegregation case. On January 6, 1961, Bootle ruled that UGA had unlawfully rejected black applicants Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter.

Bootle and a federal appeals court had nullified Governor Ernest Vandiver's move to close the university and block the black students' admission. Bootle wrote that Holmes and Hunter's constitutional rights were "not to be sacrificed or yielded to violence and disorder. Nor can the lawful orders of this court be frustrated by violence and disorder."

Bootle assumed senior judge status in March 1972. Bootle retired fully from the federal bench in 1981, and in 1998 the federal courthouse in Macon was renamed the William Augustus Bootle Federal Building and United States Courthouse. Bootle died on January 25, 2005, at the age of 102.

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TODAY'S QUOTE
Realize you must be consistent in prayer

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."

-- Legendary baseball pitcher and philosopher Satchel Paige (1906-1982).

SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM

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GWINNETT CALENDAR

(NEW) Moonlight and Music Concert: 8 p.m., July 22, at Gwinnett Historic Courthouse. The Eric Culberson Blues Band will be presented for the seventh consecutive year as part of the Hayes Family Dealership Concert Series. The concert is free, though reserved tables can be purchased, if available. For more information, contact the Lawrenceville Visitors Center at 678-226-2639.

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.

(NEW) Duluth Open House for traffic improvement: 6 p.m., Aug. 4, at Duluth City Hall. Subject of the Open House will be the McClure Bridge Road improvements and the Irvindale Road Roundabout.

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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