Issue 11.49 | Friday, Sept. 16, 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.
NORCROSS, Ga., Sept. 16, 2011 -- When James Oglethorpe created the first town court in Savannah in 1733, he set in motion the long history of Georgia's Municipal Courts. There are now approximately 300 municipal courts throughout the state.
The ultimate purpose of the municipal courts is to provide for safe, secure and beautiful communities for the citizens of Georgia. This is accomplished through community policing and enforcement of environmental and traffic safety laws.
Municipal courts in Georgia are courts of limited jurisdiction and powers. A municipal court may decide cases which occur within the territorial boundaries of their city. They are generally permitted to dispose of misdemeanors only, which means they hear offenses carrying a maximum sentence of one year to serve in custody, a fine of $1,000, or combination of both. Municipal courts may also utilize community service programs to provide sentencing alternatives for youthful offenders or those unable to pay fines. A strong community service department helps in maintaining the cleanliness and aesthetic appeal of our communities, while also acting as a strong deterrent to recurrent offenses.
A municipal court will generally hear cases under title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia. These cases are often with a heavy focus on traffic law. Typical cases may include speeding, stop sign violations, traffic control device violations, reckless driving, aggressive driving, DUI alcohol and drugs, equipment violations, commercial vehicle violations and misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Municipal courts have the exclusive jurisdiction to handle city code violations under the codes of the individual cities. Typical city code violations are focused on quality of life issues including trash and refuse violations, wildlife violations, building code violations, unregistered vehicles, and safety violations including the International Fire Code. Under the cities municipal charters and the Constitution of the State of Georgia, municipal courts have a great deal of power to abate and correct nuisances such as dilapidated residences and unsafe properties.
courts are truly the people's courts and have deep connections to the
communities they serve. Each year in Norcross we welcome hundreds of students
and interested citizens to the Court.
Next time you and your family are enjoying the many beautiful neighborhoods, parks, green spaces and vibrant downtown districts in the area, remember your community police forces and their municipal courts for doing their jobs to keep Gwinnett safe and beautiful.
For more information on Georgia's Municipal Courts please visit http://www.georgiacourts.org/councils/municipal/
school or civic group would like to visit or learn more about the Norcross
Municipal Court, contact me through the Norcross Municipal Court Clerk's
SEPT. 16, 2011 -- "Shall we pray?" he asked in an unhurried, quiet, deep Southern voice.
Then he would intone: "Awwwllll Mighty Gaaawwwddd "
That was the way the Rev. W.C. (Bill) Corley began at many an invocation or benediction, bringing a presence of God to first one meeting, then another.
W.C. Corley died last week at age 91. What a pillar of scholarship, strength and tolerance he was for this world! The long-time pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lawrenceville was far more than that, in that he cared for and worked in the wider community. He seemed to be everywhere, calmly talking with people, being the good listener, being kind to everyone he met, and as one suggested, a "Renaissance man."
As much as anything, Bill Corley was an intellectual, and a deep thinker. He labored at length over his sermons and columns for the newspaper and other outlets, often referring to the walls of books in his office library. He studied the words of the Bible deeply, sometimes from the original Greek and Hebrew.
And he believed deeply in his "Gaaawwwddd." On his desk was a slogan from Don Quixote: "Anything is possible."
Preacher Corley grew up in Augusta, and began his college training at Toccoa Falls Institute, where he met his future wife, Sara Dunn, from Smyrna. They were married on July 19, 1940. Later he got his bachelor's degree from Mercer University in Macon, and his master's degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
While at Seminary, he pastored churches in Kentucky and Tennessee, as he did when at Mercer in rural Georgia. (One church he ministered to was in Montrose, Ga., where my great aunt attended. I suspect that when a kid in elementary school, I first heard Bill Corley preach, though I admit that I don't remember it.)
Bill Corley had a zeal for preaching. His nephew told me this story: Bill was ordained in 1942 at Lizella Baptist Church, (12 miles from Mercer). One Sunday he did not have the Greyhound bus fare to get to church. But Bill found a way ..pedaling a bicycle to Lizella to make his pulpit appointment!
One characteristic that Bill Corley had was his caring for people. He was a well-known and superb counselor for many, including after his retirement, with Annandale at Suwanee. He identified with people's problems, and his easy manner allowed them to trust him. During his time at Annandale, he also helped raise money for a chapel at Annandale, which later was dedicated in his honor.
Among the pulpits he held were at the following churches while a student: Montrose and Lizella, Ga., and Richmond and Bardstown, Ky. and for two years at Hohenwald, Tenn. Then came four years at Sparta Baptist Church, six years at First Baptist in Rockmart, and then 25 years in Lawrenceville. He completed a $225,000 building program in Rockmart, and later a $400,000 building program in Lawrenceville.
Since 1959, he and Sara made their home in Gwinnett. He was involved in everything from Central Gwinnett High football to the Grand Masonic Lodge of Georgia. When the Gwinnett Chamber started recognizing a Citizen of the Year in 1977, he was its first recipient. He served two terms on the Hi-Hope School board, including one term as chairman.
Through it all, he remained the same genial and happy soul, essentially kind and at the same time true to his faith.
W.C. Corley: 1920-2011: May you rest in peace.
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Editor, the Forum:
Re: your recent comment about taxes. The tax code is what legislators use to intimidate and extort support for their longevity in office.
No doubt the horde of middlemen who call themselves accountants and tax experts and financial advisers would lose income if revenue collection were streamlined, but they will find something else, probably more useful, to do. After all, humans have found it useful to employ accountants for several thousand years. On the other hand, legislators who presume to rule would be bereft of a useful tool to enforce compliance with their directives.
If there were a desire to really streamline revenue collection and the funding of all our public functions, we'd institute a transaction tax that's collected by financial institutions on behalf of our public corporations, every time money changes hands, so to speak. It's been calculated that it wouldn't take but one half of one percent (a 'hapenny' on the dollar) to fund ALL governmental entities (local, state and federal).
One problem with Republicans coming up with any suggestions is that their reliance on legislative failure to keep themselves in office has pretty much destroyed their credibility. Their ulterior motives are coming home to roost.
Enjoyed story on young girl headed for fall in Brazil
Editor, the Forum:
Explaining goods and service taxes in Australia
Editor, the Forum:
When a Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in Australia -- and sales taxes abolished -- I was a'gin it, being a liberal an' all. However, it didn't take long to convince me of its advantages and switch my thinking. I don't think it should have been added to food, other than food bought in restaurants and "instant meals bought at supermarkets. But it is there and there is always room for reform. Australia was soon awash with money.
I'll grant you that the system of government is different here, but if the Fed whacked on, say, a two or three percent GST and left the States to make up their own minds what they wanted to do, it would be of great benefit.
The Australian 10 percent GST and applies to: "...most goods and services" transactions in Australia. It is a value added tax, not a sales tax, in that it is refunded to all parties in the chain of production other than the final consumer. However, the Australian Federal-State system works differently from the USA. Australia was able to get the States to also drop all their levies, taxes and so on in return opting for a share of GST revenues.
To an American, I suppose Australians would appear to pay a lot of tax. However they don't have to shell out $1,000 or more a month, plus co-pays, for dubious health coverage paying instead a "levy" based on income. For a wage and salary earner, deductions for kids, non-working other halves, etc., also make more sense. Student loans are non-existent (though University tuition costs have to be repaid) and there are fewer hidden taxes. It is also illegal to advertise goods without the taxation added. Socialism Australia-style ain't all bad.
Housing, generally speaking is more expensive than here, but then look where cheap housing got us. There is more public housing, also, and there is not the stigma attached to it as seems to be the case here.
to help with the fair can contact Scott Holtzclaw via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 770-822-5174. The Winn property is located at 908 Dacula
Road, Dacula. Admission to the Fair is $3 for adults. Children under 12
are admitted free.
The City of Sugar Hill has purchased six sirens that will be positioned to provide maximum coverage to alert citizens of severe weather conditions. Work began on the installation September 15, with completion anticipated the following week.
This project started over two years ago and has taken on new urgency with the extreme weather occurrences recently. The city was awarded a $360,000 FEMA grant for the warning system, which includes the computer system and installation.
The siren system is connected to and automatically activated by the National Weather Service. Besides the siren warning, it has the capability to send text messages, faxes and e-mail alerts. It can also be activated by ground personnel if extreme conditions are sighted.
test of the sirens will be Friday October 7, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The city plans on holding a public meeting prior to the City Council meeting
October 10 at 7 p.m. in the Sugar Hill Annex to answer any citizen questions
about the system. For additional information, visit www.cityofsugarhill.com.
An obelisk marking the Eastern Continental Divide (ECD) will be unveiled in Duluth on Thursday, September 22 at 6 p.m. It is the first marker of the ECD in Gwinnett. The Divide enters Gwinnett near Hamilton Mill and exits Gwinnett near Tucker.
The divide is a topographical feature that separates the waters flowing to the Atlantic Ocean from those flowing to the Gulf of Mexico.
the divide is unusual in that it runs through the center of downtown,
where it crosses both the old city hall and the new city hall. In fact,
a crack in the steps of old city hall is on the divide.
The City of Duluth has chosen to heighten awareness of the divide by placing a marker on the Duluth Town Green. The September 22 dedication is the culmination of over three years of research and verification to first specifically locate the divide and then select an appropriate marker.
The Duluth Downtown Development Authority has spearheaded the research. Funding was obtained from the Duluth Fall Festival. The marker itself is being quarried in Elberton, Ga., and from Georgia granite.
Brack, president of the Eastern Continental Divide Association, beams
about the marker. "I can't tell you how much this pleases me."
Brack has touted the relationship of the divide to Gwinnett County for
more than 30 years, especially on his semi-annual county bus tours. He
created the association after Wayne Shackelford, for years the Tour co-host,
anointed him "president" since Brack emphasized it on every
Chris McGahee, economic development manager, pointed out the divide three years ago on a walking tour of downtown by the Downtown Development Authority. Interest grew from there. Rob Ponder, an architect who serves on the DDA, collaborated with his wife, Carmen, to come up with a design that proved popular with the Fall Festival committee and the Mayor and Council. "Duluth is a unique place filled with unique and spirited businesses" says Ponder. "The divide location in Duluth already has a safe pedestrian area in the form of the Town Green. We are just pointing out where it is, and hope that children and adults alike will get excited about watershed protection."
The nine-foot-tall marker will weigh 3,500 pounds and will have inscriptions pointing out that viewers are standing on the ECD. Duluth resident Kathryn Willis says: "We hope the idea of marking the divide spreads to other communities." Willis sometimes identified by those who know her as "Ms. Duluth," winks and says, "But we wanted to be the first community to mark it in a significant way."
retired, of Sandy Springs, has been plotting the location of the divide
for years and he has created an extensive
Web site logging his travels. "I have been to Duluth quite a
bit lately. Hopefully a lot of people not retired will find the divide
interesting enough to be aware that they are living or driving right on
top of it."
The dedication will come just days after Duluth unveiled the "Living Honorarium" an ode to living service members who protect and serve our country. Both the honorarium and the marker are located on the Town Green and open to visitors year round.
Cisco grant allows 2 hospitals more access to diabetes info
Without appropriate medical care, comprehensive education and support, those diagnosed with diabetes can potentially suffer from complications such as blindness, nontraumatic amputations, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke, among others. Based on a $100,000 grant from Cisco, Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) with hospitals in Lawrenceville and Duluth, can now provide the underserved community population with additional access to the necessary education and information to help improve quality of life for those with Type Two diabetes.
According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects an estimated 25.8 million people in the country. From a more local perspective, in 2009, 9.7 percent of Georgians have diabetes, a number that's up from 6.1 percent a decade ago, according to the study.
Cisco community relations director, notes: "Access to quality healthcare
is integral to thriving communities. The rapid increase of Type Two diabetes
diagnoses in the region coupled with significant complications, translates
to increased costs. Providing underserved patients the skills and knowledge
to effectively manage diabetes thereby avoiding complications, benefits
us all and ultimately leads to an increased quality of life, which is
critical in these times of economic distress."
The diabetes education program at GMC, an American Diabetes Association Recognized Diabetes Education Program, staffed by Certified Diabetes Educators, helps patients understand and learn how to best manage their diabetes. From the causes and complications of Type Two diabetes, to nutrition and lifestyle management, to coping with depression and stress education, the program encompasses many factors that impact diabetes management.
education classes are available at Gwinnett Medical Center's hospitals
in Duluth and Lawrenceville. The Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center
also hosts an annual community diabetes education day in November at no
charge. For more information, contact the Center at
"This long-awaited, 772-page, second-of-a-three-book series on the life of Theodore Roosevelt focuses entirely on the days of the first Roosevelt presidency. The author fills the book with enormous details, such as more than 200 pages of index and notes about particular references, fun to read, too. Yet the work is so readable, showing Roosevelt's mastery of the Congress, his uncanny ability to strike at the right time, and more than anything else, shows TR enjoying his time as the most popular president ever up until that time. You can't help but make comparisons between Roosevelt and Barack Obama as TR approached the end of his first term, finding the two presidents quite different in approaches. It's a book well done, and worth the time reading." -- eeb
took issue with the Song
of the South's portrayal of African Americans. The film does not
make clear that the action is set shortly after the Civil War (1861-65),
so that many viewers thought the black characters were slaves. Walter
White, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People, wrote that the film gives a "dangerously glorified
picture of slavery." The National Negro Congress declared that the
film "is an insult to the Negro people because it uses offensive
dialect; it portrays the Negro as a low, inferior servant; it glorifies
slavery." Ebony magazine criticized the film's "Uncle Tom/Aunt
congressman Adam Clayton Powell called on New York theaters not to show
it. Disney defended it as a "monument to the Negro race," pointing
out that it was set after the Civil War and therefore could not be about
slavery. Others found it entertaining, and a few praised its positive
portrayals of blacks and whites. Southern reviewers tended to like the
film more than did reviewers from other parts of the country.
may not have intended a racist message and may well have sought to present
harmonious relations between white and black southerners. It does not
acknowledge the racial problems of the post-Civil War South, however,
nor does it suggest that its African American characters are anything
but happy with their subservient roles.
humane portrayal of Uncle Remus is counterbalanced by Hattie McDaniel's
more stereotyped portrayal of the house servant Aunt Tempy, and by several
scenes in which groups of African American farm workers march happily
home from the fields, singing in unison. Even the cartoon characters-Brer
Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear-are African American caricatures.
of the South won an Academy Award for Best Song, for Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,
by Allie Wrubel (music) and Ray Gilbert (lyrics). Although he was not
nominated in the acting category, Baskett was honored in 1947 with a special
Oscar by the Academy for "his able and heartwarming characterization
of Uncle Remus, friend and storyteller to the children of the world."
He died four months later, at the age of forty-four. Other actors in the
film included Hattie McDaniel (who played Mammy in Gone With the Wind),
child star Bobby Driscoll, Ruth Warrick, and Erik Rolf.
Commercially, Song of the South was a success. Ticket sales were strong in its first run in 1946 and in the subsequent releases in 1956, 1972, 1980, and 1986. Its total gross income by the twenty-first century was approximately $60 million dollars worldwide. The controversy surrounding the film has discouraged other releases, however, and it is not available for commercial sale in the United States.
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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, at Lionheart Theatre, Norcross: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through September 25. Reservations recommended at www.lionhearttheatre.org. Not recommended for children.
Fair on the Square, Lawrenceville's third annual Community Fall Festival: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sept. 17, at the Historic Courthouse. Among the activities will be a fresh food market, artist market, entertainment and a variety of vendors. The Fair is partnering with the Lawrenceville Co-Op ministry, asking those attending to bring non-perishable food items for the co-op. For more information, visit online.
(NEW) Book Signing by Atlanta native Haywood Smith: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., September 17, at Books for Less 2815 Buford Drive, Buford. The author of the Red Hat series, her latest book is entitled Wife In Law. For more information, visit www.mybfl.com.
Japanese Cultural Festival: Sept. 17-18, Gwinnett Center. This is the largest such festival in the South, and the 25th year of its celebration. Ticket revenue will go 100 percent to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. Ticket prices are $8 at the door, with children under 6 free. More information at 404-842-0736 or email email@example.com.
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.
(NEW) Gateway International Food and Music Festival: September 24 at Lillian Webb Park in Norcross. This festival will showcase the region's multicultural talent and highlight the rich contribution (and food) of Gwinnett's diverse community. It is sponsored by Gwinnett Village Community Alliance.
Book Signing: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 24, 1 until 4 p.m., at Books for Less, 2815 Buford Highway, Buford. Doug Dahlgren of Decatur, author of The Son, Silas Rising, will sign and discuss his novel.
Book Signing by Atlanta native Haywood Smith: 2 p.m. Sept. 24, Eagle Eye Book Store, Decatur. The author of the Red Hat series, her latest book is entitled Wife In Law. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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