Issue 11.62 | Tuesday, Nov. 1, 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., Nov. 1, 2011 -- Here is a "myth" fact check from my view.
Myth #1. "We will have more police protection." False.
Myth #2. "We can have Peachtree Corners as a mailing address." True.
Myth 3. "I will vote for it because of the schools and the kids." False.
#4. "More sidewalks." False.
Myth #5. "It will keep the taxes down." Unknown.
Myth #6. "It will keep out development and businesses we don't want." Not really.
Myth #7. "It will raise our home values." True.
Myth #8. "Voting No is no option." False.
Myth #9. "Peachtree Corners will disappear if we are not a city." Possible.
Myth #10. "Vacant buildings will fill up." True.
Myth #11. "We will be annexed into Norcross." Possible.
Myth #12. "We will get away from Gwinnett County." False.
real facts. Vote YES! on November 8.
NOV. 1, 2011 -- Let's venture away from purely local topics today to visit two recent medical pronouncements, which might give you pause.
Modern medical science continually amazes us, bringing cures to what seems incurable, patching bodies to get them to work right again, and giving hope to people.
Yet the marvels of science and technology continue to have unanswered questions. Two recent items told of this.
One scientist in Gulf Breeze, Fla. questioned one part of modern medicine. Dr. James Andrews scanned the shoulders of 31 perfectly normal professional baseball pitchers. These pitchers were in good health, with no injuries nor pain. Yet when the doctor examined the MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), he found abnormal shoulder cartilage in 90 percent of them, with abnormal rotator cuff tendons in 87 percent of them. It was an obvious excuse for any other doctor to call the hospital, man the surgeon's table, and operate on these guys. Yet they were normal.
In effect, Dr. Andrew's suspicions were right: MRI scans can be misleading.
That should be sobering to both doctors and patients.
Then other reports recently raised questions about cancer screening. These came from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, which evaluates medical evidence and publishes the results.
Women in their 40s, says one report, do not appear to benefit from mammograms. It further said women from 50 to 74 should have such examinations every other year, not annually. Previously, another report by the Task Force suggested for women that they should have Pap smears to detect cervical cancer not annually, but every three years.
Earlier this year, the Task Force also said that for men, screening for prostate cancer does not save lives, and also can cause enormous harm.
Wow. The Task Force reports are bucking conventional medical wisdom!
Part of the reason that both doctors and patients pay overdue attention to conventional wisdom is the virtual overpowering fear that the word "cancer" causes when detected in anyone.
It was a German doctor, Rudolf Virchow, in 1845 who is credited with founding the scientific basis for the modern study of cancer in pathologic terms. He linked tumors taken from autopsies, saying cancer in such tumors was an uncontrolled growth that spreads and kills.
Today's scientists note that Virchow was only working with cancers that killed, and did not investigate cancers that grew but did not kill. Today, researchers have found that many cancers grow slowly, or can be harmless and need not be treated. The big question, of course, is which kind of cancer is it?
Being terrorized by learning you have cancer in your body is what has worried people. But now some modern scientists are questioning whether techniques that they have used in the past are the right path of action to take in every person.
None other than the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, Dr. Otis Brawley, has said: "We need to be more cautious in our advocacy of these screening techniques."
Modern science, especially in the medical field, we must remind ourselves continually, admit that they "practice" on patients. Though each succeeding bit that they have learned over the centuries is taken as gospel, it appears that modern developments can change some techniques, to benefit mankind. Doctors and scientists need not keep their heads in the sand, but can be open to proven innovations. That's the positive news for today!
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. The Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) leads the state with over seven million items circulated in FY2011. It is the recipient of the Overdrive 2011 Digital Pioneer Award and the proud winner of over $45,000 of books from publisher John Wiley. The library is the only public community partner for literacy, curriculum support, lifelong learning and literacy based programs for all residents. Library branches provide wireless internet access and public workstations. GCPL brings the community two county-wide special events, Gwinnett Reads and Fall Into the Arts. The library system is comprised of 15 branches in Gwinnett County. More: www.gwinnettpl.org.
Editor, the Forum:
In my goings to and fro throughout the world, I have come to believe that there may be a growing interest in establishing term limits for members of the U.S. Congress.
Pro and con arguments exist. It is interesting but not surprising that many of the con arguments originate with members of Congress.
If interested, Google "term limits on congress." When I did so, several options came up. The seventh one was entitled, "Term Limits Pro and Con," and is a good introduction to the subject with gillions of other web sites that you can check out.
I cannot promise that, if you send this on to others, the Good Lord will crown you with many crowns, nor lavish you with unexpected and luxurious surprises, nor that He will even make sure that your neighbor wins the lottery and gives you twenty bucks.
Nevertheless, if this is a debate that you think is worth having in our Country right now, my guess is that, if you sent it to some of the people on your contact list, at least a few of them would appreciate it.
The Second Annual Hudgens Artist Market will take place this year on Friday and Saturday, November 4-5. Over 30 instructors and artists from the Fine Arts School at the Hudgens, as well as other area artists, will sell their creations in this very special Education Department fundraiser. There is no admission fee to attend.
On sale will be hundreds of original art works, including paintings, pottery, 2D artwork, jewelry, photography and textiles. This is a great chance to purchase one-of-a-kind works of art for yourself or for holiday gifts, while supporting the arts and artists in Gwinnett. The Artist Market will also include an amazing silent auction featuring art and other unique items, donated by area artists and outside organizations.
The Artist Market will be open on Friday for an Evening Preview Sale from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors can shop early at the many artists' booths, and start the bidding on the silent auction. Bidders do not have to be present to win.
The Market will continue on Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Nichols, director of Education and Programming at the Hudgens, says: "I
think people are very thoughtful about how they spend their money these
days, and we are thrilled to be able to give people the opportunity to
buy something that was handmade by someone in their own community."
Georgia Gwinnett College business students placed third among 38 colleges and universities in a social business plan competition held during the October 17 University System of Georgia Social Business and Microcredit Forum. This marks the first academic trophy earned by GGC in a state-wide competition.
The five-member GGC team was selected by Robert Anservitz, assistant professor of marketing. The students presented a business plan designed to eradicate adult illiteracy in Georgia, entitled "Read4Life!" Team members included business majors Adam Herbert, Shalaya Morissette, Kathy Cheng, Sasha Ruiz and Elizabeth C. Smith. Cheng and Ruiz are 2011 graduates of GGC.
The team's social business plan was inspired by Morissette's personal life - her mother did not know how to read.
"The project means a lot to me," says Morissette. "It's a simple idea, but there are adults who can't perform simple tasks like reading prescription bottles or books to their children. With the right resources, they will."
Permitted only three weeks to work on the project outside of traditional class time, the team aggressively maximized every minute in the very compressed launch-to-finish timeframe allowed in this competition. The students researched adult illiteracy in Gwinnett County and the Atlanta metro area, discovering that 1.3 million adult Georgians cannot read. They created and printed project reports for the judges and hand- crafted visual presentation boards including an over-sized open book with key information about Read4Life!
Anservitz adds: "They took on this challenge with excitement, ingenuity and a wealth of business expertise. Their results speak to the strength of our GGC School of Business students. The opportunity to work with students of this caliber - especially within such an intensive competition timeframe - for me, is exactly why teaching is so incredibly rewarding."
Herbert, who co-presented with Morissette, was excited that the team placed in the top three. "I thought we had a good presentation. We rehearsed it and tweaked it to make sure that we fit all the relevant information in the five minutes we were allotted. But we were up against tough competition - larger colleges with well-established business programs," Herbert says. "Once we made it through to the final round, I knew we had a chance."
Competition awards were presented at the close of the forum by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Bangladesh business leader, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, famous for his social business practices and known as the "Father of Microcredit."
GGC students win TAG's Excalibur Award for iTouch project
Georgia Gwinnett College's innovative iTouch Chemistry Project took home top honors at the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) 2011 Excalibur Awards Ceremony, held October 21.
The prestigious Excalibur Awards program annually recognizes the innovative use of technology in the fields of business and education. This was the first time GGC educators entered the competition, which attracted more than 20 other Georgia colleges and universities.
Several hundred educators and business leaders looked on as a team of GGC faculty were honored for pioneering the iTouch Project. The initiative uses the popular Apple-based technology to provide individualized learning, studying and classroom assistance for the organic chemistry curriculum. Mai Yin Tsoi, assistant professor of chemistry and one of the project's chief architects, officially accepted the award on behalf of her colleagues.
Lois Richardson, acting vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, says: "I had every confidence that we would be recognized for the iTouch Project. This project has been making an impact on our students since the day it was launched."
Inaugurated in 2010, the iTouch Chemistry Project was the brainchild of several GGC faculty members who wanted to improve the retention rate in the college's chemistry discipline.
"It's not uncommon at Georgia Gwinnett or any other school, to find that 40 percent of the students who take Organic Chemistry I do not take Organic Chemistry II. The material is very challenging," said Richard Pennington, assistant professor of chemistry and one of the project collaborators. "We wanted to do something to make the material more accessible, and this project made sense."
Using seed grants furnished by the office of Academic and Student Affairs, the organizers distributed almost 60 iTouch devices to organic chemistry students in the fall of 2010.
Already familiar with iTouch technology, the students used the devices to access specially designed organic chemistry flash cards and podcasts. These learning modules reinforced basic concepts, allowing faculty to use classroom time for more challenging material.
Julia Paredes, assistant professor of chemistry, realizes: "You can see their attitude shift. Students know the material is hard, but they feel like they can conquer it."
As word of the iTouch Project spread around campus, students enrolled in GGC's information technology program began developing new learning software for the iTouch Project. This unanticipated collaboration has been embraced by the faculty.
Organized by Sonal Dekhane, assistant professor of information technology, the iTouch software project gave the college's information technology students valuable experience working with actual software clients - organic chemistry students. Their hard work and creativity allowed the chemistry students to use tailor-made software to learn new material.
The iTouch Chemistry Project has also been supported by staff members David Gabrell and Gautam Saha, as well as faculty members David Pursell, Joseph Sloop, Patrick Coppock and Thomas Mundie, dean of the School of Science and Technology. (See Lagniappe below.)
Senior Softball League wins recognition for volunteerism
The Georgia Recreation and Park Association, District 7 Volunteer Award has been won by the Gwinnett Senior Softball League. The small group of dedicated volunteers was recognized for providing opportunities for senior citizens to enjoy softball through organized league play.
In 1985, this group came together with a desire to continue playing their childhood sports of baseball and softball. Knowing they were not past their prime, and the desire to share the game of softball with other seniors, were the main thrust behind the formation of the Metro Atlanta Senior Softball League, thus encouraging the merge of Gwinnett and DeKalb Seniors Softball in 1992 (in 2006 the membership voted to change the name to Gwinnett Senior Softball, Inc.).
This group of volunteers has now grown to represent 12 metro Atlanta counties with 12 teams located in Gwinnett County. Not only do they coach, select teams, run tournaments, schedule games, recruit players and assist with events, they also line fields, set out bases, fire up the scoreboard and schedule the officials for their league. Over the past several years, more than 180 seniors annually register to play in the Gwinnett Senior Softball League.
A veteran of World War II (1941-45), the Korean (1950-53) and Vietnam (1964-73) wars, Raymond G. Davis is one of the most renowned modern military leaders from Georgia. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1952 for his extraordinary strategy and leadership during the Korean War at the Chosin Reservoir in November-December 1950.
In his career of more than 33 years as a marine, Davis was also decorated with the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, two Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, the Purple Heart, and numerous other national and international military awards. At the time of his retirement as a four-star general in 1972, he was the assistant commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The son of Zelma Tribby Davis and Raymond Roy Davis, Raymond Gilbert Davis was born in Fitzgerald on January 13, 1915. After his second-grade year, his family moved to Atlanta, where he graduated from high school in 1933 and from the Georgia Institute of Technology, with honors, in 1938. An Army ROTC cadet at Georgia Tech, he chose the Marine Corps for his career. In September 1944 he received the Navy Cross for his heroism as a battalion commander during the assault on Japanese forces entrenched on the Pacific island of Peleliu.
When the Korean conflict began with North Korea's invasion of South Korea in 1950, Davis, by then a lieutenant colonel, was sent to Camp Pendleton, Calif., and given the task of recruiting an 800-man battalion in five days, which he accomplished. The First Battalion of the Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, was sent immediately to South Korea via troop ship. On the way he trained and drilled his men constantly to prepare them for battle. By the time they landed at Inchon, General Douglas MacArthur's strategy to destroy and drive back the North Korean forces was already producing excellent results.
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Old Peachtree Road 5K, sponsored by Georgia campus, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine: 9 a.m., Nov. 5, to benefit Rainbow Village. The race will begin and end in the medical college's parking lot at 625 Old Peachtree Rd. NW, Suwanee. Click here for application.
Celebrate America Festival: Noon to 5 p.m., Nov. 6, Catholic Church of Saint Monica, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. The Festival will honor the military, community fire, police, emergency personnel and governmental workers. More info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(NEW) Concert To Honor Veterans, by the Stone Mountain Barbershoppers, at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. Times: 8:30 p.m., Nov. 11; and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Nov. 12. The program features musical selections that bring back memories of "Route 66." For more details, visit online.
Harvest Homecoming Dance: 7 p.m., Nov. 12, Racquet Club of the South. To benefit the Norcross Cluster School Partnership. Tickets are $40. Order online at www.norcrosscsp.org.
Fourth Annual LaJazz: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Nov. 13 at Footprints Cafe in Lawrenceville and the same time Nov. 20 at Purple Rain in Duluth. Both events benefit Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Gwinnett Pearls of Service Foundation. More info.
Colored Pencil Odyssey exhibition of six artists: Now through Nov. 25, St. Edward's Episcopal Church, 737 Moon Road in Lawrenceville. These 24 drawings are from members of the Atlanta chapter of the Colored Pencil Society. The gallery is free to the public, with viewing hours 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 770-963-6128.
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