NEW HOTEL? Gwinnett may be getting a new 300-room hotel, anticipated to be built to anchor the Gwinnett Convention Center. This conceptual drawing is by the local architectural firm of Lindsay Pope Brayfield Clifford and Associates Inc. of Lawrenceville. For more detail about the project, see Notable below.
Issue 12.09 | Tuesday, May 1, 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., May 1, 2012 -- The American Cancer Society's 2012 Gwinnett Relay For Life will be held on Friday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds. It's a time when hundreds of cancer survivors take the track for a Survivors' Walk to celebrate life. It is the beginning of an overnight "happening" that people come back year after year after year to experience.
Every year, about this time, I can't help but think back to 1993 when we started planning the first Gwinnett Relay at South Gwinnett High School. Our Relay committee consisted of about 12 people - people from across Gwinnett who were hand picked. Each were picked because of their own particular sphere of influence (though we didn't call it that back then).
Elnor Melton was in charge of community affairs for Scientific Atlanta. Kathy Thornton's husband was a decision-maker with the Waffle House. Donna Marietta was the community affairs director for Eastside Medical Center. Mark Waters was influential in the Snellville community. I was a community volunteer who was pretty tired of Jail-and-Bail fund-raising and looking for a new and different method to raise money for the Gwinnett American Cancer Society. This one looked like the perfect match for Gwinnett.
Those around the table that year set the stage for what would become the world's largest Relay For Life. Our success gave a hint for what was to come. With a goal of $43,000 and 25 teams, we finished that first year with 43 teams that raised $125,000. As a result, we received an American Cancer Society National Citation of Honor for raising more money than any rookie event ever had. (The 2012 goal is for the Gwinnett Relay to raise is $2.1 million.)
The following year we set our goal at $200,000 even though our staff member said we were setting ourselves up for disappointment. "You don't make that kind of money with an event," she said.
We raised just under $250,000 that year.
What many didn't realize is that Relay For Life is not an event. Nor is it just a fundraiser. It is a happening. It's a celebration of life. It is a movement. Once we understood that, there was no stopping Relay in Gwinnett, nationwide and now, worldwide.
At Relay we CELEBRATE survivors. We REMEMBER those who lost their battle and we FIGHT BACK against the thieving beast known as cancer.
One who realized that early on was Dwayne Downs, who showed teams how on site fundraising could bring in lots of money to fight cancer. Another was Olivia Hodges, an elementary school principal. Email was becoming a popular means of communication and through her emailing other principals, Gwinnett schools starting coming into the Relay fold. And there was Delta pilot Steve Howell who, for more than a decade, made sure that every cancer survivor in Gwinnett and beyond who wanted to celebrate their survivorship was on that track at 7 p.m. every year.
The move to the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in 1996 allowed for huge growth. With corporations like Scientific Atlanta, Primerica, Saab, Waffle House and Eastside Medical Center bringing not just sponsorships, but teams of relayers, there was no way the Gwinnett Relay For Life could not succeed. And of course, Gwinnett County Schools assured Gwinnett's Number One in the World status for a decade.
Eighteen years later, May without Relay is just as unimaginable as May without high school graduation. We, as survivors and caregivers, can make a real difference in the fight against cancer. It is how we in Gwinnett County celebrate, remember and fight back!
MAY 1, 2012 -- Today's a bits and pieces day. Now our government says it will pull out of Afghanistan in 2014, and continue to support the Afghani government with foreign aid for another 10 years?
That sounds expensive.
A far better to take would be to pull out at the end of this year, 2012, and send Afghanistan more even more money than to continue to put our troops in harm's way in that country.
Lives are precious. They are worth more than all the money we have funneled into Afghanistan. When will our government learn that?
* * * * *
Newt Gingrich is ever so slow at quitting his campaign for the presidency.
But did you note the complications of Newt Gingrich getting out of the presidential race.
First, he signaled he might get out on a Tuesday. Then the next day he said he would get out the following week. Then he finally decided to officially get out today.
Wonder what was going on in the political back rooms in the meantime. Some indicated that Gingrich was seeking a way for others to pay off his campaign debt, which now is at $4.3 million.
Why not just get out immediately? Everyone else has known ever since just after the Georgia primary that he was no longer a viable candidate. But we already said that politics and government run at a different pace.
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Ever heard of "pay to stay" jails?
It's something being tried in various parts of the country to reduce the high cost of housing prisoners. In some places, it seems to be working.
Usually it's an alternative jail, with prisoners getting the choice of staying at no cost in the regular prison, or paying to stay at a county-run facility with upgraded amenities, like better mattresses and meals. Most facilities allow prisoners to work and then report back at night to the unconventional jail. These facilities are often run more like hotels, and with only one unarmed deputy sheriff on duty, instead of a heavy cadre of guards watching the prisoners, meaning lower staffing cost.
Several jurisdictions already have this program underway. Others are considering it. Many pay-to-stay facilities look nothing like a jail or prison, even being unlocked. However, the persons staying at the facility, must adhere to certain rules, and if they leave without permission, face court scrutiny and additional sanctions.
Here's an innovative, and cost-saving way, to incarcerate prisoners, and save the government money. And the county could pick up facilities, such as low occupied motels, at a good rate these days.
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Tongue-twisters: Recently we were surprised by our granddaughters calling us up, cackling with laughter, as they tried to say standard tongue twisters. You know, picking a peck of pickled peppers and selling sea shells by the seashore, etc. They were laughing their heads off at their attempts!
That got us to working on an original tongue twisters. We came up with this:
Granted, it is too long. So one guy shortened to a much better version: "Phileas Fogg found four frightened French fish frowning at a frazzled frog." Not as good as some, but OK. Say it fast. I bet you smile.
Anybody out there would will produce their own original tongue twister to share with the rest of us to stumble through?
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today we welcome a new underwriter, The Piedmont Bank, which opened its doors on June 30, 2009. The Piedmont Bank is a full-service bank, with four locations, its home offices at 5100 Peachtree Parkway in Norcross; at 185 Gwinnett Drive in Lawrenceville; and east of Interstate 85 near Suwanee at Old Peachtree and Brown Roads; and in Dunwoody at 5496 Chamblee Dunwoody Road. It has a capitalization of $37 million, and more than $350 million in assets now. With significant new capital, the bank is making substantial business and personal loans. Its directors include Paul Donaldson, Robert D. Cheeley, John J. Howard, Monty G. Watson (who is chairman), James E. Stephenson, Robert J. Ratliff and T. Michael Tennant. Deposits in The Piedmont Bank are insured by the FDIC. For more information, call 770-246-0011 or visit http://www.piedmontbankonline.com.
Editor, the Forum:
you can doesn't necessarily mean you should. (See Briscoe
Field, April 27.)
Recent objective study on Briscoe Field is refreshing change
Commercial Briscoe Field would make taking trip much simpler
Editor, the Forum:
my daughter to Hartsfield on Monday, 90 miles round trip and you have
to plan around traffic. It's a complicated airport and takes forever to
walk to your gate. It's a major hassle. In contrast, it is 15 miles to
Briscoe and the airport would be a simple layout with an easy walk to
your plane. We're talking a hometown feel.
Appalled at idea of new sports stadium for the Atlanta Falcons
Georgia Gwinnett College's graduating seniors will be addressed by Debra Smithart-Oglesby, chairman of the board of directors for Denny's Inc., America's largest full-service family dining restaurant chain with more than 1,650 locations, at the college's spring commencement ceremony, set for 10 a.m., May 11.
Additionally, she is founder and president of O/S Partners, which provides investment capital and consulting services to early-stage start-up companies in food service and specialty retail. Before joining O/S Partners in 2000, Smithart-Oglesby served as the chief financial officer for Dekor, Inc., an early-stage retail start-up company in the home improvement/decorating industry.
From 1997 to 1999, Smithart-Oglesby served as president of Corporate Services and chief financial officer for FirstAmerica Automotive, where she directed all financial, administrative and strategic planning functions for this automotive dealership retailer and consolidator that generated $1.6 billion in revenue.
Smithart-Oglesby earned a master's degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Arlington. She currently holds a position on the advisory board of CFO Magazine.
She has served on the board of directors of Noodles and Company, a quick casual dining restaurant chain, the finance committee for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Presbyterian Hospital Resource Board, president of the board of the Family Place, and on the advisory board of the University of Texas at Dallas.
Peachtree Ridge High's Hairspray has cast of 99 performers
When planning your calendar for the first week of May, make time for one of the upcoming shows of Hairspray at Peachtree Ridge High School. The musical is based on American Bandstand's competitor, The Buddy Deane Show that was taped in Baltimore, Md. from 1957 to 1964. Deane's teen dance show came to an end because its home TV station, WJZ, refused to integrate black and white dancers on camera.
Hairspray is a timeless show about race relations, courage, optimism, coming of age, and youth leadership. Hairspray is the ninth musical production of the Peachtree Ridge Playhouse and is also it's largest. The cast is comprised of 99 students -- of all races.
the theatre director at Peachtree Ridge, is effusive about the wide range
of talents his students bring to the show. To fill the cast requirements
of such a big show, the teachers and mainstay student performers reached
out extensively to the broader PRHS student body. Many students enjoy
singing or dancing outside of school, yet never consider getting involved
in theatre. That Hairspray has so many roles for black students
made this appealing to many of these talented youth.
Lilburn CID offering $500 prize for new logo design
The Lilburn Community Improvement District is seeking innovative designs for a new logo for the district. The winning design will win a $500 prize.
The CID seeks a design that depicts the goals, priorities, resources and vision of the CID. The logo must not include letters or numbers. Only an image, icon or symbol will be permitted. The logo must look good in color as well as black and white.
Deadline for submission the design is May 25 at noon. For other details, contact Gerald McDowell, executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pioneer School at McDaniel Farm on tap for Saturday
Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) invites you to step back in time
to a one room school house. Join the school marm as she provides instruction
to children ages seven and up at the Pioneer School at McDaniel Farm on
Saturday, May 5, from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
Gwinnett Sports Hall of Fame to induct 6 on Sunday
Some of Gwinnett's best athletes will be inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame on May 5 at Coolray Field at 6 p.m. Then at 7 p.m. will follow the Gwinnett Braves game versus the Durham Bulls.
to be installed at the ceremony will include:
Proceeds from game tickets ($12) and raffle tickets ($10 for one, $25 for three) benefit the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Scholarship Fund. Order event tickets or raffle tickets online at www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us or contact the Foundation office at 678-301-7287.
The Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau (GCVB) Board has approved terms for a new headquarters hotel at Gwinnett Center. The proposal from DCT Systems/Nilhan Hospitality for the 300-room Marriott Sugarloaf Hotel, adjacent to Gwinnett Center, already includes $57 million in secured financing. Concord Hospitality, a North Carolina-based hotel management firm with experience at over 80 other Marriotts, will run the full-service property.
Four firms submitted proposals to the GCVB, but this proposal "stood out because it did not seek any public financing," explains Preston Williams, CEO of the GCVB/Gwinnett Center. The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners will need to approve the term sheet for contract negotiations to formally commence.
Jeff Sachs, a consultant with Strategic Advisory Group, who worked with the GCVB during term negotiations, says that the deal is a huge economic coup for Gwinnett County. "Headquarters hotels typically require some financing from the local government, and in today's economy, to have a fully financed headquarters hotel that will be an immediate revenue generator is a win-win."
The two-acre site for the hotel is currently part of the Gwinnett Center parking lot, and Sachs notes that "the best part about this proposal is that you are taking a piece of property that is currently not generating any revenue, and adding it back to the tax rolls. The 30-year deal, if approved, would net Gwinnett County more than $64 million dollars in property and hotel-motel taxes.
The hotel, which will be LEED certified, and is expected to generate 170 direct jobs and an additional 300-350 indirect jobs, according to DCT Systems CEO Chuck Thakkar. If approved, construction would begin in October 2012, with an opening in mid-2014 planned.
The 300-room hotel will serve as the headquarters hotel for Gwinnett Center and Arena, and will include an upscale restaurant, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center, expansive pool, parking deck and offer suites/concierge level rooms.
adds that if the deal moves forward, it will be an integral piece of taking
Gwinnett County and Gwinnett Center to the next level for meetings and
conventions. "We'll be able to host meetings that we can't currently
accommodate, and will allow us to compete with the other metro venues,
almost all of whom already have headquarters hotels on site."
Sigma Iota Rho, the honor society for scholars in international studies, officially welcomed 13 students into its GGC chapter during a recent charter induction ceremony.
Membership in the honor society is reserved for juniors or seniors in any academic discipline who plan to major or minor in international studies and who have attained a 3.3 grade point average in that discipline. Candidates must also have attained a 3.2 grade point average in their general studies.
Leading the new honor society are Yvette Williams-Barr, (president), an international business management major from Richmond, Calif.; Stephen Christian (vice president), a political science major from Memphis, Tenn.; Shalaya Morrissette (secretary), a business administration major from Boston, Mass. and Christian Theis (treasurer), a political science major from Caracas, Venezuela.
The newly formed honor society will plan a number of activities for the campus community in the coming year, says faculty adviser Dr. Anthony Pinder, director of the Office of Internationalization.
"The full title is Dereliction of Duty. Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff and The Lies That Led to Vietnam. If you ever entertained thoughts that America's top military officers and elected and appointed political officials during the 1961-1965 period were shooting straight from the hip about Southeast Asia and America's involvement in a faraway place called Vietnam, read this book. McMaster, a 1984 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, provides a well researched and documented (99 pages of notes and bibliographies) litany of unthinkable, lies and arrogance for the sake of personal and political gain."
Shanghaied from the Savannah waterfront when he was eight years old, William O. Golding chronicled his travels through a series of maritime drawings that he created near the end of his life while a patient at the U.S. Marine Hospital in Savannah. Between 1932 and 1939 he executed around 60 drawings, created from his memories of the ships he sailed and the ports of call he visited around the globe. Golding's drawings reveal details of his remarkable life, as do the only two extant letters of this African American self-taught artist.
William O. Golding was likely born on January 15, 1874. His future was determined on July 15, 1882. In a letter he wrote in 1932 to Margaret Stiles, the recreation director at the hospital and a member of the Savannah Art Club, he recalled the day that he and his cousin were strolling along the wharf in Savannah. According to Golding, the two youngsters passed the ship Wandering Jew and overheard Captain William Potter ask his wife, Polly, to select one of the boys. She chose Golding, who was invited aboard; by the time he wanted to leave, the ship was already out at sea. As he emerged from below deck, he saw the lighthouse on Tybee Island blinking in the distance. This was the beginning of Golding's odyssey. He did not see his home again until a brief visit in 1904.
When he was in his 50s, Golding, whose nickname was "Deep Sea," returned permanently to Savannah, as declining health forced him to remain on land. During the 1930s he was a patient intermittently at the U.S. Marine Hospital, where he received treatment for a chronic lung condition. Golding, during his time at the hospital, created the works of art inspired by his peripatetic life.
There are scanty details of the 49 years that Golding spent at sea. By his own account, he sailed the seven seas on a variety of vessels-merchant ships, whalers, and yachts. His duties aboard ship and the length of time he was associated with each vessel remain unknown. Although he recounted an arduous working life and complained that he never made a fortune, he basked in the experiences he gained. When he was 59, Golding admitted in a letter that he still sailed in his dreams and met his cronies there to swap yarns.
Information concerning Golding's final years is also scarce. He appears as a resident of Savannah with his wife, Josephine, in the 1940 city directory. He died on August 25, 1943.
exhibitions of his work were mounted after his death. His drawings were
included in the landmark exhibition Missing Pieces: Georgia Folk Art,
1770-1976, which traveled from the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta to
the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah to the Columbus Museum in Columbus.
In 2000 the Telfair Museum of Art organized a retrospective exhibition,
Hard Knocks, Hardship, and a Lot of Experience: The Maritime Art of William
O. Golding, and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta exhibited his work
the following year in the show Maritime Memories.
Golding's work is found in the permanent collections of the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens and of the Morris Museum of Art, which holds 30 of his drawings-nearly half his total output.
This issue, instead of a Lagniappe photo, we refer you to an article by Harley Geiger of the Washington, D.C. non-profit, the Center for Democracy and Technology, entitled "Mobile Payments Can Expose More Consumer Data and Weaken Privacy Laws." It is a long article, but points out the problems you could encounter with making credit card payments from mobile telephones. We urge your reading this. Click here.
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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.
"We love kids, but please keep yours at your table. Unattended, kids will be given a shot of espresso and a free puppy."
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
"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.
SOON AND ONGOING
(NEW) Gwinnett Leadership Organization for Women (GLOW): 7:15 a.m., May 11, Sugarloaf Country Club. Speaker will be Ann Stallard, CEO of Graphic Communications of Lawrenceville. For info, call 770 232-3000, or send email.
Jazzy Thing: 19th annual Annandale Village fundraiser, will be held May 12, at Wild Bill's in Duluth. Experience an evening of distinctive cuisine, games, silent auction, live entertainment, dance, music, and an Arts Bazaar. For more info, call (770) 932-4887 or go online here.
"Artificial Intelligence" speech: 7:30 a.m., May 15, Gwinnett Technology Forum, Busbee Center of Gwinnett Technical College. Dr. Steven Vicinanza, president and CTO of BlueWave Computing, will speak. Email for more info.
(NEW) Striped Bass Fishing Tournament: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 18, Harbor Pavilion at Lake Lanier Islands. Includes breakfast and lunch. Sponsored by The Cross Group of Merrill Lynch. Proceeds benefit Gwinnett Children's Shelter. Info: Call (678) 474-1817.
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.
Boat Show and Sugarloaf Leisure Living Tour: 10 a.m to 4 p.m. on May 18 and 19. Hosted by Sugarloaf Country Club Charities; among the beneficiaries will be the Duluth-based Foster Children's Foundation. The Tour will showcase the outdoor living spaces and indoor terrace levels of four homes. The boat show will be at the TPC Sugarloaf Country Club! More info online.
(NEW) 15th Annual Norcross Car Show: 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., May 19, in downtown Norcross. Proceeds benefit medical scholarships. For more info, call Liz or Dodger DeLeon at 770-448-2664 or send email.
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
© 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.