GREAT OLD MAP: Back about 1822, Gwinnett was a much bigger county, about the size of the five-county Metro Atlanta area now. This map, dug up from the Internet by Wayne Hill, shows Georgia with 55 counties in a configuration much different from today. Under this map, even the City of Atlanta would be in Gwinnett! Thanks, Wayne: great conversation piece! See a full and larger version of the map online by clicking here.
Issue 12.07 | Tuesday, April 24, 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.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., April 24, 2012 -- Barbara King was my hero. She was also my mentor, colleague and friend. For those of you who did not have the pleasure of knowing Barbara, a few words to describe her legacy seem so inadequate. (Barbara died March 28. Her funeral services were held from St. Paul's the Apostle Catholic Church in Cleveland.)
She was a great example of a true Southern belle. She treated everyone she met with the charm, grace, and respect that the title signifies. She had impeccable taste and style.
She was one of the smartest people I have ever known and a great businesswoman. She would often rattle off financial figures to me that went way over my head. I would try and follow along and listen intently hoping that I would pick up some of her knowledge.
She loved business, and was a champion of economic and community development. I often times wished I could clone Primerica and Barbara, because of the generous support they exemplified for our community.
Barbara was a devoted community servant. She took a leadership role on the Health and Human Services Board of Directors. She not only put her time and talents into our cause of improving Gwinnett, but also helped us gain financial and volunteer support from her corporation. She was involved in many worthy causes, helping make all the charities she touched better and more successful.
Although she never sought recognition, we were able to honor her with our coveted Corporate Involvement Award several years ago. She also knew that we needed ongoing involvement and support from her corporation, recruiting her successor, Karen Fine Saltiel, to step into her Board seat and continue her legacy of giving back to this community.
A role model, she mentored women at Primerica and in the wider community. There are so many women who have Barbara King to thank for a successful career and future.
The State of Georgia benefited from her serving on the State School Board. She championed education and was recognized for her leadership in the educational field. It is often said that if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person. This certainly described Barbara King. She was involved in so many endeavors.
I feel blessed in that I counted her as a great friend. I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of spending time with Barbara at friends' homes, at civic meetings and conventions, luncheons, and other social settings. She had so many friends and made each of us feel very special. We will cherish our memories of the time we had together.
Most important to Barbara was her family. She would really glow when she talked about the love of her life, her husband, Al King. She could not have been more proud of her son and daughter and her very precious grandchildren. If you have ever seen the sparkle of a grandmother's eyes when they talk about each grandchild, you know the special love that Barbara had for these children. As each of her grandchildren spoke at her celebration of life service, I remembered her many stories of their lives and proud moments that she shared with me so many times.
Barbara King leaves a legacy of leadership, service, friendship, and family that continues to give back to our Gwinnett community. Her impact will be felt far into our future.
Thanks, Barbara Temple King (1939-2012), for being a Gwinnett Hero!
APRIL 24, 2012 -- The vote on July 31 on whether to add a penny sales tax for transportation in 12 different regions of Georgia is problematic at best.
We question whether each of the regions will approve the added one cent sales tax to fund transportation alternatives (T-SPLOST). The Legislature jumped on this way to tax the people instead of doing what it should have, raised Georgia's low gasoline tax and voted other direct funds for transportation improvements.
In effect, the Legislature played "Hot Potato" with the problem, tossing it to the people saying in effect: "We don't have the guts to do what we should, so how about you voting yourself a tax increase in this way to help the congestion (in Metro Atlanta anyway) and transportation statewide?"
Adding another penny is a far reach from the original 1951 three cent sales tax for Georgia. It would amount to 7 percent in Gwinnett. It puts Georgia on the road toward other states having high sales tax rates, some at or approaching an added 10 percent to purchase retail items.
We see several reasons to question this tax:
But primarily, this move is in effect the Legislature taking the easier approach, handing off this problem to the people of Georgia seeking their approval of a lame approach. This "Transportation Investment Act" was conceived in the 2010 Legislature session, for a vote in 2012. Far better would have been the Legislature working for the past two years on an alternative proposal, which they could have passed this previous session, and put Georgians on a smarter path toward solving its transportation problems.
But no. The Legislature punted, wanting to put the burden of voting this proposal on the backs of the people.
The Legislature essentially shirked its duty, and wants the people of Georgia to take this ill-conceived approach to this problem. This move is nothing the Legislature can take pride in passing. It has inherent problems, even if some regions pass it.
voters are being bombarded with propaganda on how great and essential
this proposal is. We question this proposal. It appears to be an all-out
effort by the General Assembly to force bad legislation and more sales
tax on the people of Georgia.
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The proposal process is designed to be based on information contained in the response to the request for proposals, with independent verification under the direction of staff, rather than sales presentations by proposers. At any point, the staff evaluation team has the option to ask proposers to participate in interviews or other direct interaction as deemed necessary by staff for the proper evaluation of proposals.
More concerned than ever about Peachtree Corners "Lite"
Editor, the Forum:
On November 8 last year, a slim majority of citizens in Peachtree Corners voted in favor of incorporation. (Editor's note: it was 57 percent.) In the five months since, residents were treated to four candidate forums and bombarded with mass mailings promising a small, unobtrusive government that listens to its citizens. Some even promised that issues before the council would be open to public comment for 30 days before the council would act upon them.
Last Tuesday (April 17), in a poorly publicized inaugural meeting of the city council, those promises went out the window like so many political promises before. With a speed and precision worthy of the Blue Angels, the new city council rocketed through the barely publicized agenda and in a span of 45 minutes had hired a city attorney, a city clerk, a consultant for long term planning and an executive search firm to find a city manager. All came with no public input. So much for open and transparent government.
One citizen who posed a question to the council was tersely told by the new mayor that the public comment section was just that, comment only. The mayor and council had no intention of engaging in a dialogue with the citizens during that time.
Asked about that policy afterwards, one councilman stated that the meetings were just a formality, all the work happens during council work sessions which are open to the public. But then he let slip that there would be no public input during those meetings either.
During the campaign for cityhood, residents were promised a new concept dubbed "city-lite." Last Tuesday, as the council laid the foundation for a full service city, complete with employees borrowed from Johns Creek, it appears the only thing "lite" about this new city will be the amount of public input the city responds to.
Waffle House in Greece serves up something different
The Waffle Houses in Greece (all three of them) have the best tasting ice cream in the entire country, served in wonderfully-fresh waffle cones. The locals come from miles away to fight off the tourists for the great taste. Something new for you to try on your future travels.
Check out the Greek Waffle House site: http://www.wafflehouse.gr/
Dacula's 19th annual Memorial Day parade will begin on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, at 10 a.m. The parade theme will be "Their Sacrifice, Our Gratitude." The Grand Marshal will be Korean War Veteran, Bill Tiller, U.S. Navy. The event will take place rain or shine.
The parade will step-off from Hebron Baptist Church, proceed down Dacula Road toward the park, turn right on Second Avenue and end at Dacula High School.
Dacula Memorial Day Parade Committee invites all veterans, veteran organizations,
Scouts, churches, schools, community organizations, businesses and community
residents to participate. Those interested in participating should go
to download an entry form.
In addition to the parade, there are other events planned for Memorial Day in Dacula beginning with a one mile Fun Run at 8 a.m., and a 5K run at 8:30 a.m. Both events start at the Dacula Public Library at the entrance to Dacula Park.
After the parade, there will be a festival in Old Town Dacula, with arts and crafts, civic organizations and food vendors. Local musicians and dance teams will perform at the new gazebo. For more information, contact Marvin Atherton.
Steel topping out for new tower of Eastside Medical Center
Fitting the last beam into place, the topping out of the steel for the new $59 million Patient Tower at Eastside Medical Center was completed last week. The new 48-bed, three story tower is projected to open in January, 2012. It will be finished with precast concrete and glass to form the exterior of the building.
Suwanee to offer twice-weekly farmers market starting May 1
For those longing for fresh produce, better-than-homemade baked goods, and natural products, sustenance is just a flip of the calendar page away. The Suwanee Farmers Market will open at Town Center Park two times each week beginning May 1.
The popular market is open from 4 until 7 p. m. Tuesdays (through August 7) and 8 a.m.-until noon Saturdays through October 6. About 20 to 25 vendors will be at each market offering fresh, in-season produce, salsa, jellies, sauces, bread, eggs, meat, baked goods, and other natural products.
Vendor spaces are no longer available for this season.
This historic passenger station, built in 1871 to serve the city of Duluth, is now restored and is open to the public at the Southeastern Railway Museum.
The depot was built by the Southern Railway, predecessor of today's Norfolk Southern Corp., constructed in 1871. The railroad primarily served the cotton trade, which was cultivated on a reported 50,000 acres in the area. At the time, Forsyth and Milton Counties had no rail service. The addition of the passenger station at Duluth made the city a center for shipping and commercial travel.
Rail travel offered convenient access to Atlanta for business and shipping. The twice-daily arrival of "Belle" became a popular gathering time for local residents.
Declines in passenger service and changes in rail freight led to the closing of the Duluth depot by the early 1950s. Eventually, the Southern Railway encouraged the City of Duluth to find a use for the building. The city lacked the resources to do so, however, and in 1975 the building was moved by the late Scott Hudgens to a site on Pleasant Hill Road.
In 1986 Mr. Hudgens again moved the depot, this time across Pleasant Hill Road to the W.P. Jones Park. There the City of Duluth used the building as a police substation and an office for city parks personnel and related recreation programs.
In August 2008 the depot was moved once again, this time to the position at the entrance to the Southeastern Railway Museum on Buford Highway. At that time, the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia (CFNEG) extended their support of our vision by granting an additional $2,000 which was held in reserve for the current exhibits done during this restoration program. The ongoing relationship between the CFNEG and the Southeastern Railway Museum has proven to be a provision for many contacts within the community that has enabled the Museum to accomplish this historic move.
Under a lease agreement between the City and the museum, the City retains ownership of the depot and the museum has been responsible for restoring the building and operating it as an historic exhibit.
So today, after providing a variety of services to generations of Duluth residents, the depot once again welcomes visitors, across from the same railroad line it faced when it was put into service 140 years ago. For more information about the museum, go online here.
Mill Creek student wins 7th District art competition
Winner of Seventh District Congressional Art Competition is Kara Yogan, from Mill Creek High School. She's shown with her work and Rep. Rob Woodall. Here work, "The Federalist and Some Papers," shows a girl sitting on the ledge of a building. Her work was based on the Federalist Papers, which united the states under a central government while ensuring that individual states would not have to completely sacrifice their sovereignty. Miss Yogan wins a $10,000 scholarship from the Art Institute of Atlanta and an annual $1,500 scholarship from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Second place went to Hannah Snyder of North Gwinnett High ($5,000 scholarship) and third place was Angela Kwon of Collins Hill High ($2,500). Altogether, there were 75 submissions for this year's program.
"I read five "cozy" mysteries last week. Cozy mysteries are considered gentle books no graphic violence, no profanity, and no explicit sex, a fun read that engages the mind. I try to read at least one a week for continued good mental health. My golden find last week was A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams. This one got everything right: it was well written, had excellent plot development, believable characters, even a terrific dog that makes you want to go out and get one for yourself. It proves that a book can be both cozy and intellectually appealing at the same time. The major clues are in the form of Haiku poems and I think I finally understand just what those are. In addition, the main character, Olivia, is everything I ever dreamed of being. I see that the library has two more books by this author. Can't wait to immerse myself in them."
For 20 years after Reconstruction, James Blount represented the Sixth District of Georgia (Macon and middle Georgia) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Serving from 1873 to 1893, he was among the southern Democrats known as the Redeemers. Unlike some southern congressmen who separated themselves from national issues, Blount gained the respect of national Democrats and served as chair of both the Post Office Committee and the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
In foreign affairs, he opposed imperialist expansion in the late 1880s and early 1890s. Immediately upon his retirement from Congress in 1893, U.S. president Grover Cleveland appointed him special commissioner with "paramount authority" to investigate the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom by American residents of the islands. The report that he submitted to Cleveland stands as his most notable achievement.
Born in Jones County in 1837, James Henderson Blount graduated from the University of Georgia in 1858, studied law, and was admitted to the Georgia bar in Macon before the Civil War. In 1861 he married Eugenia Wiley. During the war he served in the Confederate army as a private in Floyd Rifles until he was injured; shortly before the war's end he organized and served as a lieutenant colonel in Blount's Cavalry.
Blount's primary claim to national distinction came in his investigation of the Hawaiian Revolution of 1893. Blount and his wife arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii, in late March and stayed until early August. He conducted extensive interviews, mainly in private, with a wide range of the local population, including native Hawaiians as well as American and European planters. He interviewed those who favored and those who opposed annexation to the United States.
Blount then wrote a report highly critical of the overthrow of Queen Lili`uokalani. He said that the majority of native Hawaiians did not want annexation to the United States. He also found that American naval and diplomatic representatives in Honolulu provided the crucial support needed by local revolutionaries to depose the queen. He recommended against annexation and instead suggested that President Cleveland ask the revolutionary government to resign and restore the queen to the throne. Though the revolutionary government did not comply with the president's request to resign, any further moves toward annexation were stopped for the rest of Cleveland's administration. Some historians believe that Blount's Reconstruction experience in Georgia shaped his opposition to annexing Hawaii by force.
After his 1893 report Blount retired from public life and managed his extensive plantation lands outside Macon until his death in 1903. Although he is not now a well-known figure in Georgia history, his name and the Blount Report are prominent in all modern histories of Hawaii. A memoir by Blount's daughter, Eugenia Dorothy "Dolly" Blount Lamar, chronicles his career as a voice for the disenfranchised South in Congress.
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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.
GwinnettForum is introducing a new service to the people of Gwinnett County. It has started the publication of GwinnettObits.com, a site published each day that will announce the funeral arrangements of people who have died recently in Gwinnett County. The information is made available through the cooperation of local funeral homes.
Information on deaths is posted each day about 6 p.m. Readers can visit the site to learn of recent deaths, or GwinnettObits will automatically send you notice of deaths if you sign up to receive emails daily. Our hope is for you to benefit from this service to learn of all Gwinnett funeral notices at one convenient site.
Click here to see today's obituaries at the new site.
"Gambling operates under the premise that greed can be satisfied by luck."
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
Silent Auction benefitting the Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., April 26, Delmar Gardens on Club Drive near Lawrenceville. For more information, contact Jennifer Thilo at 770-923-3100.
(NEW) Sterling Art Fest: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 29, Sterling Village Center Park, Flowery Branch. This celebrates art, music and food, including a juried artist competition. More information.
SOON AND ONGOING
(NEW) "Nature's Mysteries" is the exhibit title at the Kudzu Art Zone in Norcross beginning May 4, and running through July 21. A reception is set for May 4 at 7 p.m. for the show featuring members' work in many media and genres. Kudzu is located at 116 Carlyle Street in downtown Norcross. More info.
Car Show at Vines Botanical Gardens: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 5. This is the second annual show sponsored by St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Snellville. There will be a Kids' Zone, vendors, and unique crafts and products from local artisans. Admission is free. Visit www.stmattscarshow.com for more details.
Snellville Days Festival: May 5-6, T.W. Briscoe Park on Lenora Church Road in Snellville. The annual parade will start from Wisteria Drive on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. For more details, visit www.snellvilledays.com.
Beauty and the Beast Ballet, presented by Northeast Atlanta Ballet at Gwinnett Center in Duluth: 7:30 p.m., May 18, and 3 p.m., May 20.
Eighth Annual Beach Bash: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., May 19, Braselton. Festival to be in downtown Park, and features many activities, including arts, crafts and food vendors, plus musicians. Event is free. More info.
Music Recital by two seniors: 7:30 p.m., May 21, Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University. Performing will be Tenor Jeff Akana, from Suwanee, and Trumpeter Matt Scout of Flowery Branch. The program is free and open to the public. More info.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
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