Issue 11.56 | Monday, Oct. 11, 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.
SNELLVILLE, Ga., Oct. 11, 2011 -- The negative rhetoric coming out of Washington has raised the level of cynicism toward all levels of government. With 24-hour media coverage, we are bombarded with the negative things some politicians do, which only helps to solidify the feeling that all government is bad.
There are many examples of negativity and contentiousness that make us shake our heads at the local level as well. Snellville certainly had more than its share of headline grabbing silliness that has at times, made the city a laughingstock. It is human nature for us to recall the bad times and readily overlook the good times. When things are going well, no one seems to notice and the media doesn't report on it hence the old saying "No news is good news."
In spite of all the past negative news, there are many good things going on in Snellville which may have escaped your attention. Good things are happening because Snellville citizens elected positive, action-oriented people with the heart to do good things in the city. When you elect respectful people with a shared vision, positive results soon follow.
After the November, 2009 election, Snellville went 19 months without a negative article in the newspaper. So what was happening during these 19 months?
This is the power of positive government. It is the good that evolves when you have a group of individuals with different backgrounds coming together for a common vision. It is the good that blossoms when you have professional people who debate issues without resorting to disparaging those with whom they disagree. It is the good that comes when you have elected officials who represent the City in a positive manner.
it is the good that never grabs the headlines. Citizens should not only
seek this type of good news, they should demand it of their elected officials.
And they should also recognize that they can play a part by volunteering
to actively change the negative to positive in their community.
OCT. 11, 2011 -- Comments by Senator Johnny Isakson in Gwinnett recently show in a small way how Georgia, though in dire economic straits, is also in pretty good shape in other ways.
Senator Isakson was speaking at the dedication of the new Life Sciences building at Gwinnett Tech last Wednesday. He told of being asked by a Congressman from Pennsylvania where Cook County, Georgia was.
The senator told him it was in South Georgia, with Adel as the county seat, and also near a technical school. The senator wanted to know why the person was asking about Cook County?
we just lost a major bakery to Cook County," the Pennsylvanian responded,
then asked, "Is that where your technical college is located?"
"What!" gasped the Pennsylvania. "We only have one technical college in our state." That would be the Pennsylvania College of Technology, located in Williamsport. It was established in 1989, and enrolls 6,400 students.
Gwinnett Technical College alone enrolled 22,000 students annually in the last school year.
Statewide, the Technical College System of Georgia at one time had 33 technical schools (now colleges), but merged several administrations to 27 schools to cut costs. Altogether, these colleges have activities at 80 locations in Georgia. No Georgian is more than 30 minutes from a technical college campus.
The comparison of the number of adults that Georgia serves compared to Pennsylvania is astounding. Last year, the Georgia technical colleges enrolled a record 191,000 students! Compare that with much more populous state of Pennsylvania, which serves only 6,000 technical college students (2010 Pennsylvania population 12,734,905, versus Georgia's 9,727,566.)
These extensive Georgia technical campuses are set up to offer up-to-date technical education for people seeking employment in the state. But there is more. If an industry is interested in coming into the area, these schools can tailor specific programs for these firms, through the technical colleges of Georgia overseeing the QuickStart program. This trains the workers who live nearby who will staff jobs in industry in Georgia.
There's more to this story; it didn't exactly play out as reported. The bakery in question, Martin's Famous Pastry Shop, actually did not locate in Cook County, though it was one of its initial sites under consideration. It eventually put a plant with jobs for 100 people next door in Lowndes County at Valdosta. (Meanwhile, its headquarters and other location is in Chambersburg, Pa.)
Here's another plus for Georgia: the plant moved to Valdosta mainly because of two reasons. First, Cook County had an inadequate airport for the Martin's airplanes. Secondly, Lowndes County has a better water supply. That tells us that when seeking to attract industrial locations, each community must have their entire arsenal loaded, and cannot have a weak link, or else they will lose prospects to other communities. Cook lost to its neighbor, Lowndes, in this case.
The Pennsylvania politician should not be all that discouraged. At least the bakery kept both its headquarters and a plant in Chambersburg.
When seeking new industry, each state much provide a full slate of attractiveness. That bakery was ready to expand, and Lowndes County had the right mix, led by a good water system and airport, that attracted a new industry.
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Editor, the Forum:
Let me agree with you on the HOT lanes. Of course, hindsight being 20/20, many of us can come up with better solutions. Here is mine stated as a policy statement from the agency responsible for the HOT lane program.
this statement needs to be tweaked. I am afraid whatever price reductions
forced now by Gov. Nathan Deal may not be the ones that would accomplish
Finds someone has Peach Pass using her license plate
Editor, the Forum:
Let me also agree with your perspective on the new Peach Pass toll lane charges. There is a similar one in the Northern California Bay Area which has been labeled the "rich man's lane" as it is used almost exclusively by drivers in Porsches and BMWs.
No one has brought up the frightening fact that there is no owner tag verification for purchasing a Pass. Even though initially I did not plan to get a Peach Pass, my husband decided to buy one for me. We quickly discovered that someone else has purchased a Pass using my tag. I am unable to get one, even though I sent a copy of my registration well over a week ago.
There are serious consequences which could result from this absurd carelessness and inefficiency. I agree with the others that the Pass is only another way to extract large amounts of money from us and to boast of quixotic efficiency.
When I called the local office here in Gwinnett, they went online and could not believe how easy it is to buy a pass with no owner verification. There must be a legal immunity to lawsuits which allows the state to behave so carelessly.
Worried, but still open-minded on privatizing Briscoe Field
I hope not to descend to personal attacks, as Mr. Strawn apparently feels necessary, regarding others' intelligence. To both, I would simply suggest that progress "at any price" may not be in the overall best interest of Gwinnett County - either for the economy or the environment. And, more to the point, I do not believe that opening Briscoe Field to commercial traffic is the key to economic growth for Gwinnett. It would likely be of more help to surrounding counties to the north and east of Gwinnett.
I do want to stress the underlying point that Mr. Strawn and Mr. Cantrell don't appear to have a broad base of reference in forming or presenting their positions.
County has successfully ("Success Lives") attracted many companies
over the years, both domestic and international, without the availability
of a commercial airport. In many "EEB Perspectives" issues,
the editor has eloquently described the quality of life that Gwinnett
County offers; all while balancing that quality with a robust business
community. More specifically, EEB has emphasized the importance in quality
of life to attract companies like NCR and others to Gwinnett County.
No whiner, but sees no benefit for commercial Briscoe Field
Editor, the Forum:
I don't consider myself stupid or uninformed, and I am not a whiner, I
do realize that everyone is entitled to a personal opinion on every issue.
But only in fantasy land can anyone hope for a cure-all with the expansion
of Briscoe Field into a commercial and passenger affiliated airport. There
is no advantage to putting an expanded airport inside the already congested
area of Lawrenceville.
Technical College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, partners in
the Atlanta Health Information Technology (HIT) cluster, have been awarded
a $1.65 million grant to enhance the state's capabilities in this sector.
Gwinnett Tech's role will be to develop and offer a one-year certificate
program for college credit in health information technology, specifically
designed to help veterans, the underemployed and those unemployed enter
the fast-growing HIT field.
Golfers get chance to win $1 million at Lanier club
Whether you love the game of golf or simply can't resist a good gamble, Lake Lanier Islands Resort presents the ideal reason to blow the dust off of those clubs and head up to the lake - actually, make that one million ideal reasons. Until October 23, Legacy on Lanier Golf Club is hosting Daily Qualifiers for the $1 Million Challenge - slated to take place on Saturday, October 29.
During the qualifying period, 25 players who shoot closest to the pin on Hole Number 10 and five "Wild Card" players selected from a random draw of entries collected at the Golf Shop and Edwin Watts Golf at The Mall of Georgia, will be invited back to take part in the Club's first-ever $1 Million Challenge. Those 30 players will each have one shot to make a Hole-In-One for the opportunity to win the Grand Prize of $1 million. In tandem with the Challenge, Legacy on Lanier will also conduct a Closest to Pin Contest for the lucky 30 participants, awarding prizes to the players with the top 10 shots.
to qualify, players must pre-register in the Golf Shop when checking in
and tee-off before 2 p.m. Official Rules can be viewed online at www.lakelanierislandsgolf.com
or at the Legacy on Lanier Golf Shop. Over and above being afforded the
opportunity to win a million dollars, winners of the Daily Qualifiers
will also receive two rounds of complimentary golf at Legacy on Lanier.
To learn more about The $1 Million Challenge, call Legacy on Lanier Golf
Club at 678-318-7861 or visit www.lakelanierislandsgolf.com.
Merritt, 69, agreed to help his sister, Linda Reher, do some renovations
in her Loganville home, he had no idea that decision would save his life.
Merritt works as a carpenter in his hometown of Ivey, Ga., a town of 1,100
located halfway between Milledgeville and Macon, and likes nothing better
than a big project like his sister's bathroom renovation.
a.m., on September 21, a few days into his visit, Merritt awoke with a
heart attack. "I thought I wasn't going to make it," he said.
"I stumbled into the living room and my sister called 911."
and police cars responded to the call. Every ambulance in Gwinnett County
has the LifeNet system, so when Merritt arrived at Gwinnett Medical Center's
emergency department, they were ready for him.
Dr. Sean Delaney, the interventional cardiologist who was on duty that day, says: "Mr. Merritt had blockages in all three of his major coronary arteries.
when a patient comes in with an active heart attack is to perform the
PCI only on the culprit, or affected, artery." PCI is short for percutaneous
coronary intervention, the formal name for coronary angioplasty and stenting.
Two days later, Dr. Delaney performed the second PCI, and a week later,
he had the third. By placement of these stents helped Mr. Merritt avoid
having to have bypass surgery.
out Merritt's surgery was the 500th PCI performed at Gwinnett Medical
Center since it began performing the procedures about six months ago.
After a three-day stay in the hospital, Merritt was discharged and returned
to his sister's home.
Merritt doesn't remember much about the two PCI procedures he had after his heart attack, but for this third procedure, "It was a piece of cake," he said. "Everyone's been real nice. If I'd been at home by myself in Ivey," Merritt said, "I probably would have died in the house. It was a good thing I was at my sister's. I was in the right place at the right time."
SculpTour gains Suwanee Award from state association
SculpTour, the City of Suwanee's public art encounter that features 15
outdoor sculptures in a walkable exhibit in and around Town Center, has
received a Downtown Excellence Award for "Best Image-Building Campaign."
The award was presented in Rome, Ga. recently at the Georgia Downtown
Association's annual conference.
Gwinnett Chamber picks Craig Brown as its new CFO
Chamber has named Craig Brown as its new chief financial officer. Brown
will replace Larry Johnson -- former CFO and senior vice president, who
is retiring at the end of this year. Brown will manage the comprehensive
financial operations of the organization while working with each department
to drive smart-solution expense management and enhance and grow the chamber's
overall bottom line.
"I was pleasantly surprised to have such a nice dinner at the newly opened La Fonda Mexicana in Norcross, located at 6385 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The menu was full of great choices and the service was especially good! I ended up ordering a salmon fonda meal that came with rice and beans (and, of course, chips!) My husband enjoyed his steak quesadilla and experimenting and exploring at the salsa bar! (Both were reasonably priced). Their phone is 404-781-8089."
While FM first appeared in the 1930s, in actual practice most radio tuners tended to drift off the station. However, with its wider band width and higher technical quality, FM began to offer mostly classical music, heard without static. Technical improvements of the 1960s enabled FM stations to blossom, and they began to play popular songs, rock, and country; by 2000, most FMs programmed music, talk, news, and ethnic features. Those developments, together with changes in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules, greatly increased the value of FM stations, and some in Georgia have been sold for as much as $250 million. While the value of AM stations tended to diminish during the last decade, the current trend is upward.
WSB applied for Georgia's first television license in 1931, but TV receivers were extremely crude and virtually nonexistent. It was 1948 before the first TV station in Georgia actually went on the air.
In 1933 the University of Georgia developed statewide Georgia Bulldog football coverage on pioneering Georgia stations. Georgia Tech followed with its own network. The names of legendary sports commentators Marcus Bartlett, "Red" Cross, Al Ciraldo, and Larry Munson are remembered by thousands of radio listeners.
World War II (1941-45) slowed the overall growth of broadcasting. War news led to the development of new listening patterns, as radio reported instantly from around the world. After the war, as returning servicemen sought jobs and opportunity, Georgia radio experienced a tremendous growth in licenses. Small towns developed their own stations and tailored their small coverage areas to hometown news and local fare. Small-power operations covering about a 30-mile radius popped up in virtually every small town in Georgia.
In 1947 the tiny transistor made its appearance, decreasing both the size and the power consumption of radios and thereby changing the history of broadcasting. Millions of sets were produced, and radio moved from the "living room" into virtually every room in the house. Automobile listening increased as well. New stations were added, and these properties took on dollar values far beyond any earlier dreams.
In 1948 the FCC authorized WABE-FM, which was owned by the Atlanta Board of Education, to begin broadcasting. This was Georgia's first station devoted purely to educational programming. School systems began to formulate broadcasting as an extension of their services, and a public broadcasting net began to form in the state. A network of public radio stations, many of which are affiliated with colleges and universities, now offers National Public Radio programming as well as classical music and local features.
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(NEW) Artist Talk: 7 p.m., Oct. 11. Ann Odum of Duluth will speak at the Duluth Historical Society meeting at the Strickland House. She has just released a book of her art work with historical notations. The book, "Duluth, Georgia Through the Eyes of One of its Own," is in full color. Books will be available for purchase at the meeting.
(NEW) Block Party in Duluth on the Town Green: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Oct. 13. Live music, food and friendship. Come early and taste what Duluth Council members cook up, and cast your ballot (while supplies last.)
(NEW) Photo Exhibits Reception: 6 p.m., Oct. 13, Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth. The reception is free and features photographic works by Lucinda Bunnen. Also featured is a three man educational exhibit by Alexandra Kates, Becky Raffalovich and Dr. Bruce Bowman. A third exhibit is from the seventh annual "Shuttersense and Non-sense" photography competition.
(NEW) Dracula: Oct. 14 through Oct. 30, Fridays through Sundays. The melodrama will be performed at the New London Theatre in Snellville. More.
Education Forum: 7:30 a.m., Oct. 14, 1818 Club, with Dr. John Barge, state school superintendent, as speaker, discussing "The Business of Education." Hosted by Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Register online.
Market extension: Originally scheduled to close October 1, the 2011 Suwanee Farmers Market has been extended two weeks. The market will now be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through October 15. About a dozen farmers/vendors are expected to participate in the extended market.
PhotoMix Exhibit: Third Annual Kudzu/Atlanta Celebrates Photography Event Fridays and Saturdays, through Oct. 29 at Kudzu Art Zone in Norcross. This month-long exhibit of 12 Kudzu members seeks to expand the awareness of visual arts. The opening reception is Friday, October 14. Details here.
City Wide Clean-Up Day, in Norcross on October 15. Clean out your garage, basement or attic. There will be electronics recycling (including television sets for a fee), paper shredding, paint recycling plus can collection for the food bank. More info.
Third Annual Frontier Faire and Public Archaeology Event: Oct. 15-16, 2505 Braselton Highway in Hog Mountain. Re-Enactors and site archaeologist will work to promote awareness of the historic Fort Daniel site. A lecture on the site will be October 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Fort Daniel Elementary School. More details.
(NEW) Tales of a Lost Fort will be the subject of the Gwinnett Historical Society meeting 7:30 p.m., Oct. 17, at the Historic Courthouse. Bruce Maney of Snellville, a member of the National Society of Sons of the American Revolution, will talk about the 1780 "Lost Ft. McCluskey in Madison County, Ga."
(NEW) Candidate Forum in Lilburn: 7 p.m. Oct. 17, Lilburn City Hall. Candidates running for mayor and two posts on the council will answer questions from the audience and discuss their positions. This is sponsored by the Lilburn Woman's Club.
Superintendent speaks: 11:30 a.m., Oct. 19, 1818 Club, Duluth. Education is the topic at a Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce meeting on October 19. Speaker is Alvin Wilbanks, Gwinnett County School Superintendent. Tickets are required. For more information, contact the Gwinnett Chamber at 770-232-3000.
(NEW) Plant Sale: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 18-20, Gwinnett Tech Horticulture Center Greenhouse. Among items will be perennials, fall annuals, vegetables, herbs and shrubs.
(NEW) Plant Vogle Nuclear Plant will be the focus of the Sierra Club 7 p.m. meeting on Oct. 20 at Berkmar High School. Speakers will be Bobbie Paul and Courtney Hanson with Georgia WAND (Women's Action for New Direction.) They will discuss the plant's impact on Georgians.
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.
Masterworks Concert: Oct. 30. The first concert of the season by the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (GSO&C) is scheduled for Sunday, October 30 at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. It will be a family concert entitled, "Masterworks 1: A Young Persons' Guide to the Orchestra and Chorus."
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