BIG CHECK: Cisco has donated $75,000 to the Gwinnett Tech Legacy of Lives Campaign to help launch the college's new Health Information Technology (HIT) program and support Gwinnett Tech's new Life Sciences Center. The funds will be used to underwrite a HIT faculty member and to aid in the development of HIT curriculum components identified by industry. With the start of fall semester last week, Gwinnett Tech welcomed its first class of health informaticians enrolled in the college's new associate degree program in Health Information Technology. Gwinnett Tech health sciences students in the new Life Sciences Center are (center, holding check, from left) Renee Byrd-Lewis, Cisco director of Community Relations; Tom Chambers, Cisco senior adviser, Healthcare Transformation; Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Bartels; and Jim Sass, Dean of Health Information Systems, Gwinnett Tech.
Issue 11.45 | Friday, Sept. 2, 2011
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.
STAMPING GROUND, Ky., Sept. 2, 2011 -- Once again a not-uncommon natural phenomenon, Hurricane Irene, has demonstrated that the only sensible place for electric transmission lines is underground. Perhaps not the giant feeders rated in Megavolts, but certainly those pole hangers that for a hundred years have teeter-tottered for mile after mile through suburb and farmland alike.
The utility companies argue that to bury the lines would be prohibitively expensive and the passed-on cost crippling. Put that way, it's a pretty scary argument. After all, the hip-pocket nerve is very sensitive.
But how much does this antiquated overhead delivery system, virtually unchanged since Edison's day, cost the consumer now? And since when haven't costs been passed on? A utility here in Kentucky tacks a levy onto its bills each month because "new" environmental regulations "forced on it by the EPA." This means it has to build a new power station and clean up its act in others. Apparently, modern accounting doesn't allow for replacement costs, depreciation or research and development, but literally passes the buck using the "airline formula": the fare is only $50 but because of mean oil companies, charges for air-traffic controllers, airport facilities and keeping the public safe are added. They tack on these "levies," implying it's someone else billing you.
But back to those wooden poles. What is the annual, nationwide cost of replacing utility poles that have reached their use-by date? What is the cost of replacing others, still sound but so overburdened with power lines, phone and television cables that six months after they were erected they must be braced with more stays than any full-rigged ship ever carried? Do the companies bear this expense or do we?
Then there's the cost of traffic accidents involving utility poles; the disruption to households and businesses that can be caused by even a moderate thunderstorm. Who pays for the spoiled food, the lost wages, the meals that had to be eaten out, if not the consumer?
Yes, of course it would be expensive up-front, but so was the Hoover Dam and the freeways that criss-cross the country. However, they put a lot of people in work. The taxpayer could fund the underground utility projects with an organization like the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the utilities could lease or buy the infrastructure.
It could be a Big Idea, to build morale, provide jobs, get the country moving; and the consumer would be no worse off. And it could take place all across the country, to benefit every state. Costs could be shared between communications and power companies and then perhaps one day there'd be no need for under-and-above-ground utilities running side by side for miles along a freeway.
One last thing. How difficult would it be for even the most simple-minded terror group to cause massive disruption to power and communications with a few lengths of weighted wire or a few gallons of corrosive chemicals? This might not be as spectacular as the horror of 9/11, but more expensive in the long run.
The arguments that repairs would be too difficult and costly does not stand up. Repairs would be fewer and surely research could overcome alleged technical difficulties.
companies ran their pipes above ground, would the cost of household water
fall? Where's that dedication to service, efficiency and technical knowhow
the electricity industry tout in their ads? Probably in the mind of the
same copywriter who dreamed up clean coal.
SEPT. 2, 2011 -- College football kicks off its season this week. Though college football is more popular than ever, the goings-on surrounding the game are deplorable, and getting worse. Unchecked and without reform, the game may get so discredited that it will fall out of favor. After all, today in sports you see:
Seeing these young amateur athletes wearing expensive clothes, driving big cars, and living the high life .you know there is something we don't see. There is no doubt that this world is amiss.
Should college football continue on in these directions, it could ruin the game forever.
What is needed to bring college football back into line are hard-and-fast rules, severe punishment for those who violate these rules, and a stern enforcement.
There are several examples where sports were brought back into line. These are precedents.
Kenesaw Mountain Landis was a sitting federal judge when Major League Baseball asked him to be commissioner of baseball in 1920, after the Chicago Black Sox scandal. He ruled with dispassion, and brought integrity back to the game with his hard-and-fast pronouncements. For his yeoman work, he is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In the early 1900s, football was a game of extreme roughness, including slugging, gang tackling and what we would call today "unsportsmanlike" conduct. When near the goal line, a team would pick up one of its players and fling him high and across the goal line for a score. Players were often maimed, and in 1905 alone, 18 people died from football injuries.
Into this steps President Theodore Roosevelt. He thought the game had merit, and could build character. He brought key college football officials together and convinced them that rules needed to be changed to halt brutality and foul play. As a result, rules were changed and plays designed to make football less dangerous. Football's been gaining in popularity since.
So, what is needed now?
We are no expert, but it doesn't take rocket scientists to recognize some direction.
Unless colleges gets their sports programs in order, and gain control, big-time sports will become its own victim.
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Editor, the Forum:
Strikes me the political parties consider themselves much more important than they are. As government BY the people evolves, the parties, like the traditional pols, are going to see their influence shrink, unless they can come up with some way to prove themselves valuable. Grooming competent candidates for public office would be good.
An "honorarium" is something that honors the living. A "memorial" is something that honors the dead. The city of Duluth is alive and so are its firefighters, police, Emergency Medical Services, and military personnel.
A "Living Honorarium" for all those who serve will be unveiled on the Town Green in Duluth, Sunday, September 11, at 5:30 p.m.
Commissioner Shirley Lasseter has been waiting for this day since 2004.
Serving as Duluth mayor at that time, she first envisioned a monument
to those currently employed in these services. She gained private funding
from local businesses and friends supporting her concept.
A competition with local artists was held to create a design, with the proposals reviewed by a local committee. Seven concepts were presented, with the committee recommending Martin Dawe of Cherrylion Studios of Atlanta to create the city's project and earn the $50,000 commission. Cherrylion is the largest custom sculpture studio in Georgia. Dawe, originally from South Africa, moved to the United States as a child. He studied at Boston University School of Fine Arts, and has a bachelors of fine arts in sculpture from Georgia State University.
secret since production, the winning design will be unveiled for the first
time at the Sunday ceremony.
Agencies cooperate in Snellville for victims' center
Several area agencies are combining to establish a center to care for Gwinnett County victims of sexual assault. Eastside Medical Center, both the Snellville and Lawrenceville Police Departments, Walton Electric Trust and Covenant Counseling of Snellville are participants in the new venture.
is located in the Women's Center of Eastside Medical Center, providing
victims a private and safe environment for medical and forensic treatment.
Victims reporting to the hospital or to any law enforcement agency in
Gwinnett County may be cared for at the Center by Eastside's specially
trained staff and advocates.
Department of Transportation has opened four lanes of traffic of McGinnis
Ferry Road from Satellite Boulevard east over Interstate 85 to Lawrenceville
Suwanee Road. This new extension of McGinnis Ferry Road is a project funded
through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in Gwinnett County.
Tull YMCA offers after-school program for students
How children spend their time out of school can be as important as the time they spend in school. According to one nonprofit, one in five local children is alone and unsupervised after 3 p.m., leaving them responsible for taking care of themselves.
Combining academics with play, YMCA after-school programs fill gaps in schools and in the Lawrenceville community by offering enrichment through arts, physical education, sports and nutrition. Children in the J.M. Tull-Gwinnett Family YMCA's after-school program receive homework support, and engage in Youth Fit For Life, arts & crafts, physical activity and snack time.
Bus transportation is available for children who attend Cedar Hill, Craig, Holt, Pharr, Simonton, and Starling elementary schools. The program is located at the school for children who attend Benefield, W.J. Cooper, Grayson, Lovin, and Mulberry elementary schools. The program runs from school dismissal until 6:30 p.m.
(Continued from previous edition)
In 1889 the Swift and Wilcox quarry, located just outside the city limits, began operation. At the time Swift and Wilcox employed almost 30 workers at the site, including seven immigrants-the first of many foreigners who would later come to work in Elberton's granite industry. Later that year Swift and Wilcox produced Elberton's first granite monument, which was put on display at Atlanta's Piedmont Exhibition and won praise and admiration from visitors. On July 6, 1889, The Elberton Star, the local newspaper, christened the town the "Granite City."
During the 1890s Elberton's potential as a producer of granite solidified as more quarries in the city and county were opened. The industry's growth was further enhanced when the Georgia, Carolina and Northern Railroad (later known as the Seaboard Air Line) completed a portion of its line through the county in 1891.
A state-sponsored survey of Elberton's granite deposits later in the decade verified through chemical analysis that the county's stone was of a superior quality.
In 1898 Arthur Beter, an Italian sculptor, executed the first statue carved out of Elberton granite. The small building constructed to house the statue during its completion became the town's first granite shed. The statue, a Confederate soldier mounted on a granite pedestal in the town's square, quickly became an eyesore to citizens because of its "decidedly northern dress" and shocking appearance. One resident may have put it best when he said that the statue was a "strange monster, . . . a cross between a Pennsylvania Dutchman and a hippopotamus." It was this comment that earned the ignoble statue the nickname "Dutchy." Dutchy's end came during the night of August 14, 1900, when a group of unknown persons tied a lasso around the statue and hauled it to the ground. A few days later it was buried where it had fallen, unceremoniously. Today the statue is on view at the Elberton Granite Museum.
(To be continued)
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12x12 Xtravaganza of art work. Opening Friday, Sept. 2 at Kudzu Art Zone, 116 Carlyle Street in Norcross. This second annual event shows works exhibited in 12x12 inch format, with varied media and subjects. Auction on each piece begins at $60 each, and advances in $10 increments. Open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Opening reception is scheduled for Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.
Fall Festival of the Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Catholic Church: Sept. 2-4, 4545 Timmers Way, Norcross. Opening ceremonies will be September 2 at 6 p.m. For information, call 770-921-0077.
(NEW) Poetry Reading: 4 p.m. Sept. 4, at Java Monkey in Decatur. Eve Hoffman of Norcross will be reading from her new book, Red Clay, during the Decatur Book Festival.
(NEW) Congressman visits: Noon, Sept. 6, Snellville City Hall. Hear Rep. Rob Woodall at the Snellville Commerce Club. Free to Commerce Club members, and $15 for others to attend.
(NEW) Duluth Fall Festival Concert, featuring Rupert's Orchestra: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 10, downtown Duluth. Enjoy music by opening act Betty Seni, while Rupert's Orchestra will take the stage at 8 p. m. Admission is free.
11th annual Suwanee Day 5k/10K Classic, Sept. 10, starting at Town Center Park. The 5K begins at 8 a.m. and the 10K at 9 a.m. Register at www.suwaneeday.com. Proceeds benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Suwanee Day features a parade, arts, crafts, entertainment, children's activities and fireworks. Admission is free.
Living Honorarium Unveiling, Duluth Town Green, Sunday, Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m. This will be a monument dedicated to everyday heroes in the military, fire and police forces. The idea came from Shirley Lasseter, a current county commissioner, when she was mayor. For more information, contact Alisa Williams at 678-475-3506.
(NEW) Gwinnett Technology Forum: 7:30 a.m., Sept. 13, at Gwinnett Tech's Busbee Center. This Forum will focus on state legislative issues that affect technology. Hear presentations from Rep. Mike Dudgeon of Forsyth County and Ms. Marlit Hayslett, with the Georgia Tech Research Institute.
(NEW) General Membership Meeting, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce: 11:30 a.m., Sept. 14, The 1818 Club, Duluth. Speaker will be Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power Company. For reservations, go online here.
Taste of Duluth: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 15, Payne Corley House in Duluth. For more information, go to www.duluthfallfestival.org.
Meet the Author: 7 p.m., Sept. 21, at the Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center. Author Stuart Woods will discuss and sign his books. Sponsored by Gwinnett County Public Library. For more information, visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.
Rainbow Village Gala: 6:30 p.m., Oct. 22, Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek. Wilmington Trust is the presenting sponsor. Dinner, entertainment and a silent auction will mark the 20 years of celebration. Entertainment will be with Blue Sky Atlanta. Reserve seats.
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