WATCH THAT TURTLE! Mother Goose seems to be thinking as she keeps her eye on a wandering turtle at Rhodes Jordan Park recently while warming her eggs. Contributing Photographer Frank Sharp saw this nature scene, and shot the nest with a Panasonic Lumix FZ-100 camera. You can see the nest of eggs in the inset photo.
Issue 11.101 | Tuesday, March 27, 2012
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.
LILBURN, Ga., March 27, 2012 -- Erika Gotfredson, a senior at Providence Christian Academy, is one of two Presbyterian College (PC) applicants to receive the Quattlebaum Honor Scholarship, which awards students for not only their exceptional academic achievement, but demonstrated leadership ability and potential, as well as outstanding personal character. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lance Gotfredson of Duluth.
The highly selective Quattlebaum Scholarship will cover the full cost of Gotfredson's tuition, room, board and fees at PC for up to four years, a value of more than $160,000. In addition, she will be a Presidential Fellow, serving in the PC president's office where she will have ample opportunity to ponder her vocational interests and to prepare for life after PC.
Gotfredson is interested in psychology as a major, or education, after her mom, Sharon, who is a middle school teacher at Providence Christian Academy. Other family members are also a part of the PCA community, including her sister Jordan, Class of 2008, and her younger brother Duncan, Class of 2015.
Gotfredson explains: "Providence helped prepare me for college in amazing ways through my honors and AP courses. Also, without my involvement in so many leadership opportunities [at Providence], I don't think I could have ever won the Quattlebaum Scholarship." she adds.
Dr. Sean Chapman, Providence Christian Academy high school principal, says: "Erika has been a model student since she stepped foot in Providence. She works extremely hard, enjoys learning, and contributes in class," he continued. "Her influence at Providence has made us a better school. I am proud of Erika and happy for her to be recognized by Presbyterian College as someone deserving of such an honor. They made a great choice."
Gotfredson has served on Student Council for three years and she has played on the Girls' Basketball Team for all four years of high school. This season, she averaged 17 points a game, scored her 1,000th career point, and was the fourth-leading scorer in Gwinnett County.
"All of my friends are counting down the days until we graduate, but I'm not," she said. "I'm really going to miss Providence," she confessed.
Maybe that's why she chose a small college like PC, with a student population of around 1,300. The campus, like Providence, is known for its sense of community and close atmosphere.
Service is a crucial part of PC life, as almost all of its students partake in some form of service by the time they graduate. Likewise, Providence requires all high school students to perform community service hours each semester to help foster helping others.
in her top three choice of colleges, but moved right to the top after
she visited the campus for the first round of Quattlebaum Scholarship
interviews. In addition to Gotfredson's interests in school and basketball,
she is an avid traveler. She will take her fourth mission trip to Ecuador
this summer and has been to more than six European countries on family
trips with her grandmother, who shares her passion for travel.
* * * *
Christian Academy is a mid-sized K-12 Christian school in Lilburn,
offering programs and qualities that rival larger schools along with more
personal attention and the comfortable fit of a smaller student body.
MARCH 27, 2012 -- As Georgia winds down this week (we hope) the 2012 General Assembly, let' s reflect back on legislation that passed in the 1990s that many Georgians may have agreed with at the time.
This was the move to impose harsher sentences on certain crimes, particularly drug-related and petty property crimes. The intent of the legislation was to make the laws more harsh to discourage violations. By serving "hard time" in the prisons, so the thinking went, in addition to higher fines imposed in these incidents, the tougher punishments would result in less crime.
But it's costly. Georgia was spending $492 million on prisons in 1990. Recently, Georgia's cost has been $1 billion dollars a year on corrections. Georgia's prison spending has been the second fastest growing item in the state budget except for Medicaid.
Though well intended, the harsher sentences did not always work. The prison population kept rising over the years. As of February 1, Georgia has more than 55,732 prison inmates, plus another 150,000 persons on probation. (In 1990, it was 18,494 state prisoners, and by December 2000, the prison population had grown to 44,326 inmates.) The State of Georgia Corrections Department spends one out of every $17 budgeted by the entire state. Georgia ranks fifth in the number of prisoners it houses. (Some estimates are that if alternative steps are not taken, Georgia will have 60,000 prisoners by the year 2016.)
Other states have also found rising prison populations a tremendous burden on the state treasury they feel is too heavy. Texas and Mississippi, in particular, have reduced their prison populations. Texas instituted community-based treatment and diversion programs. Mississippi allows parole after serving one quarter of a sentence, instead of 85 percent.
Governor Nathan Deal has proposed diverting prisoners who have committed non-violent drug offenses to alternative treatment programs. His idea would also fund daytime reporting centers as alternative to imprisonment. Drug offenses, it was estimated in 2009, represent the primary criminal charge against 17 percent of Georgia prison inmates. The governor estimates alternative programs would save the state $10 million a year.
What other ways could Georgia reduce its prison cost?
It's estimated that more than half of Georgia prison sentences are for drug or property-related crimes. And the average length of stay for these inmates has more than tripled since 1990. For non-violent criminals that have committed relatively minor offenses, the answer to the state's high prison population could be found in probation, rehabilitation and treatment programs or other penalties.
For Fiscal Year 2011, it costs about $51.19 a day ($18,684 a year) to house a person in prison. Yet if an inmate was on probation, instead of being in prison, that costs could be reduced to about $1.68 a day ..a whopping reduction.
There are other lessons now being learned in prison reform. Mississippi, of all states, has found that the isolation of solitary confinement doesn't necessary improve the inmates nor its prison system. Other states are also taking steps to reduce isolation .Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Ohio and Washington. Instead of tightening down on people in such situations, by loosening the rules, it's found that the inmates respond by a reduction in violence.
This year's Legislature, in a bi-partisan move, has passed an alternative sentencing package. This seeks to give the courts more options when sentencing certain people guilty of lesser crimes.
This legislation sounds like a good move. We hope it works.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Aurora Theatre, the professional theatre of Gwinnett County and home of the best entertainment in Northeast Georgia. With over 300 events annually, Aurora Theatre has live entertainment to suit everyone's taste. The Aurora Theatre main stage season is comprised of Broadway's best plays and musicals alongside exciting new works of contemporary theatre. Additionally, Aurora produces concerts, comedy club events, children's programs, and metro Atlanta's top haunted attraction, Lawrenceville Ghost Tours. Aurora Theatre is a world-class theatrical facility with two performances venues. It is nestled on the square in historic downtown Lawrenceville, with free attached covered parking and is surrounded by myriad of restaurants and shops. Currently onstage, the premiere of Clyde, n' Bonnie: A Folktale, a side splittin', toe tappin' gun totin' new musical which has been extended due to popular demand until April 15. For more information or to purchase tickets: http://www.auroratheatre.com/ or call 678-226-6222.
Editor, the Forum:
Many Peachtree Corners residents may not be unaware of two very important current issues that impact the new city of Peachtree Corners:
an annexation attempt through the Legislature to take 130 business properties
away from Peachtree Corners and give their property tax dollars to Berkeley
Lake, while at the same time moving 17 commercial properties from Berkeley
Lake to Peachtree Corners; and (2) the idea that Peachtree Corners should
buy the two Gwinnett County parks adjacent to our city limits.
Excited about Barefoot in the Park and Pulp Fashion Dress
Editor, the Forum:
Thanks for the update on Barefoot in the Park. I'm so excited to be one of the artists who is helping the Gwinnett Libraries on Pulp Fashion. We have been spending a lot of time and effort to design and make a paper dress for this event. My 13 year old granddaughter will be on the catwalk ..debuting as a model, and we will be debuting as paper dress fashion designers..
The theme is "Carnival." My Valerie will be the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.
Gwinnett County Administrator Glenn Stephens has appointed two employees to key senior management positions within the organization. Bryan Lackey will be the new director of the Department of Planning and Development while Kim Conroy will be the new director of the Department of Transportation. Both men had been leading their respective departments in an interim capacity.
Lackey is a professional engineer who has worked for Gwinnett County since 1995. The University of Georgia graduate started his career with Gwinnett County as a stormwater and drainage engineer. By 2005, he had been promoted to the position of stormwater division director where he helped develop and implement the stormwater utility. He moved to Planning and Development as deputy director in 2007 and became interim director in 2009 after then-director Glenn Stephens became county administrator. Lackey holds a master's degree in public administration from North Georgia State College and University.
professional engineer, Conroy has more than 30 years of engineering and
management experience in public works. He has been with Gwinnett County
since 1985 and has worked in all areas of transportation, including construction,
maintenance, operations and planning. He holds an
Before he was named acting director in the fall of 2011, Conroy had served as the department's deputy director/chief engineer since 2007. He is a member of the American Public Works Association and Institute of Transportation Engineers and has served on numerous technical and organizational committees in Gwinnett County.
Heritage Center plans "Grow Your Own" food festival soon
Have you always wanted a lush backyard garden? Or perhaps wanted to move a bit further "off the grid" and grow your own food? Maybe you just wanted to support your community and lessen the environmental impact by purchasing locally grown produce, eggs, and meat.
All of these topics and more will be addressed at the first "Grow Your Own -- the REAL Local Food Festival" at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. This festival will take place on Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Jason West, GEHC director of programming and development, says: "Grow Your Own will provide some great information and serve as a guide to learning about backyard gardening."
There will be tables, presentations, and workshops covering the how-to's of backyard chickens, vegetable gardening, composting, local food CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture), farmers' markets and local food restaurants. Local farmers and organic educators will be on hand to answer questions and provide you with the knowledge to get started in your own back yard.
The festival also includes activities for the "wee" gardeners.
There will be children's activities throughout the day. Crafts, seed planting, Junior Master Gardener activities, and worm composting discoveries will be presented. Home Depot will also be on campus with a Kid's Workshop to assist young people in building their own garden critter home.
Suwanee festival seeking area artists for May event
The North Gwinnett Arts Association (NGAA) is looking for artists who will help it create "a serious art festival" in Suwanee. Last year, 54 artists and more than 2,000 people attended Arts in the Park, and this year, the NGAA is planning on more of both at the May 19 festival.
Because the festival also embraces arts education, exhibitors are encouraged to demonstrate their artwork on site. All accepted artists will be eligible to share in $1,250 in prize money, and awards will be presented by category.
The application deadline for this juried festival is April 15. Apply online at www.SuwaneeArtsinthePark.com.
A celebration of art in all its wonderful forms, Arts in the Park will take place from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at Town Center Park.
Vickie Johnson says: "We don't want to replicate Suwanee Day and
we don't want to be a craft festival. We want to be a serious arts festival
like the one at Piedmont Park, something that is really all about the
Elementary school students are getting a hands-on lesson about bullying from a team of dedicated teachers and volunteers. The Hands Are Not for Hitting program is a series of interactive puppet shows aimed at teaching Gwinnett County kindergarten through second graders non-violent solutions for resolving conflict. The program is sponsored by the Gwinnett County Solicitor's Office in partnership with Gwinnett County Retired Educators Association.
Gwinnett Solicitor Rosanna Szabo says: "Bullying has become a serious issue in schools today, and over the course of the 15 years this program has been in place, the effects of bullying have led to some dangerous outcomes."
Szabo brought the program to Gwinnett County in 1997 after learning about a similar program in Minnesota. The puppet shows were initially put on by victims' advocates and other volunteers until the Solicitor's Office partnered with the Retired Educators Association to coordinate the performances.
The retired teachers and volunteers present the 30- to 45-minute puppet shows two days a week from October to mid-March in approximately 40 Gwinnett County elementary schools. The young audiences range from 10,000 to nearly 13,000 students per year. The 2011 - 2012 season ended on March 14 with more than 59 shows presented in 34 schools to 10,539 students.
School counselors choose from three different shows based on specific age groups: The Trouble with Patti, Hands are Not for Hitting and Be Someone's Hero - Don't be the Audience. Shows are also put on for children with special needs. Hands program coordinator Phyllis Caffey said, "Through the Hands Are Not for Hitting Program, we're targeting our younger children so they can recognize bullying at an early age and how to keep from becoming a bully or a victim of bullying."
Lyn Ferraiolo, a Hands volunteer, adds: "We not only meet the needs of children, but also adults. Adults have come up to me with tears in their eyes, as they related stories of when they were a child and had been bullied."
Gwinnett "Losing It" program combines activities to reduce
Registration has begun for the next round of Gwinnett's "Losing It!"
Gwinnett County residents have lost over 1,100 pounds in the 2011 program and over 400 pounds so far in 2012 in this healthy, 12-week weight loss contest. Participants become part of a team and compete for cash and prizes at the end of 12 weeks.
During the 12 weeks, the participants participate in weekly teleconference calls, have a weekly weigh-in and meet once a month as a group for a group workout activity. Participants also get monthly progress reports tracking their progress through measurements, photos, bodyfat percentage, BMI and weight. Each week is focused on a lesson involving nutrition, workouts and how emotional health affects the physical health and the ability to lose and maintain weight.
Registration is open until April 15. Only 20 participants are selected for the contest, which begins April 23, 2012. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-925-2626.
Upon taking office, Mirabeau B. Lamar was faced with a myriad of problems. He inherited significant debt from the previous administration and due to the Panic of 1837 was unable to secure a substantial loan to support the government. Lamar sent an expedition to Santa Fe (at the time a capital of Mexico, and later the capital of New Mexico) in an attempt to create a trade network, but the expedition was eventually taken captive by Mexican forces.
Foreign policy proved to be a challenge for Lamar's administration as well. During his presidency Lamar was unable to secure a lasting peace with Mexico, despite numerous diplomatic attempts. The Texas Republic also faced constant fighting with the Cherokee and Comanche Indian populations. In response, Lamar ordered the expulsion of the Cherokee people from eastern Texas; the Cherokee dispersed mostly to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), Arkansas, and Mexico. Although he attempted to address the Comanche with military force, Lamar was unable to remove them as a threat.
Despite the numerous setbacks, Lamar was responsible for several significant accomplishments during his presidency. He was able to gain diplomatic recognition from several European countries, oversaw the establishment of the state capital in Austin, and promoted the passing of the Texas Homestead Act, which encouraged immigration to the state. His most enduring legacy as president of Texas, however, was his contribution to the state's educational system. During his administration, Lamar pushed for lands to be set aside to fund public schools and universities throughout the state. His actions earned him the nickname the "Father of Texas Education."
After the end of his term in office, Lamar retired to his plantation in Richmond, Texas. Upon the outbreak of the Mexican War (1846-48), he joined the fighting ranks and was named inspector general of General Zachary Taylor's forces. He was eventually promoted to lieutenant colonel after his participation in the Battle of Monterrey in Mexico in 1847. Toward the end of the war, Lamar helped organize the San Patricio and Nueces County governments in southern Texas and was elected to represent those counties in the state legislature in 1847.
In 1851 Lamar married his second wife, Henrietta Maffitt. He later published a collection of poetry called Verse Memorials (1857), which included poems he had written throughout his adult life. In 1857 U.S. president James Buchanan appointed Lamar ambassador to Nicaragua and Costa Rica, an office he held for less than two years. A few months after his return home to Richmond, Lamar died of a heart attack on December 19, 1859.
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© 2012, Gwinnett Forum.com. Gwinnett Forum is an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
"Perhaps the world's second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore."
MORE COPIES AVAILABLE
Previously out of print, Elliott Brack's 850-page history, "Gwinnett: A Little Above Atlanta," is now available again. Since its original publication, the book was declared the winner of the 2010 Award of Excellence for documenting Georgia history by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board. It is also the winner of the Gwinnett Historical Society's Whitworth-Flanigan Award for 2011 for preserving the history of Gwinnett County.
The book includes 143 demographic and historic tables, with more than 4,000 names in the index, and 10,000 names in the appendix.
Two versions of the book are available. The hardback edition is priced at $75, while a softback edition is $40. Books are available at:
You can also order
books through the Internet. To do that, go to www.elliottbrack.com
to place your order. For mail orders, there is a $5 shipping and handling
fee. Purchases are also subject to the 6 percent Georgia sales tax.
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
IN THE COMING WEEK
Second Annual Village Trade and Auction: 7 p.m., March 29, Sugarloaf Country Club, to benefit Gwinnett Village Community Alliance. Tickets are $25. For more info, call 770-449-6515 or send an email.
(NEW) Nunsense 2: The Second Coming will be presented on Thursday through Sundays, March 30 to April 15, at New London Theatre in Snellville at Margins Charity Thrift and Variety Mall at 2338 Henry Clower Boulevard.
Third Annual Plein Air Event: March 31 and April 1 at Suwanee Town Center. Sponsored by the North Gwinnett Arts Association. Culmination will be Sunday, April 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. with an exhibit and sale of the weekend's work. Visitors will be able to watch artists at work around Suwanee during the two days.
Spring Break kick-off at Rhodes Jordan Park: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 31. To be held rain or shine, it will feature games, a yard sale, concessions and other activities. This is free to all, and is an element in the grand re-opening and improvement of the Lawrenceville park.
(NEW) "A Time for Love," wine and cheese reception: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., March 31, The Nest, 17 College Street in Norcross. Proceeds benefit Canine Assistants, a service dog organization which trains dogs for people with disabilities and special needs. A $10 donation is requested.
NEXT WEEK AND ONGOING
Safe driving course: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., April 12, provided by Suwanee Police Department, at 373 Buford Highway. Registration is required. Visit www.suwanee.com to enroll.
Plein air painting event in Buford, April 13-14. A reception highlighting the two days of artists' work will be April 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Tannery Row Artist's Gallery. Paintings will be for sale, including a Live Auction on April 15 at 7:30 p.m.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
© 2001-2012, Gwinnett Forum.com is Gwinnett County's online community forum for commentary that explores pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.