PUT ON THINKING CAP: How many Georgia governors are buried in Gwinnett? At least one, and that is George Busbee, who along with his wife, Mary Beth, is buried at Peachtree Memorial Park, behind Crowell Brothers Funeral Home in Norcross. Does anyone know of another former Georgia governor who is buried in Gwinnett? A preliminary search did not reveal anyone, so put on your thinking cap and let us know if you find one.
Issue 12.16 | Friday, May 25, 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.
PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga., May 25, 2012 -- The City Council met this week at the Fowler YMCA to receive updates from the two consultants the council has hired to help set up the city. John McDonough, and John Kachmar, Sandy Springs and Johns Creek city managers respectively, took the council through the agenda, which included:
The most enlightening item on the agenda was the Organizational Structure item. The consultants provided a draft/sample budget for what it will cost to run the city. Given the size of the staff and the services expected, they are estimating $2,869,225 to run the city. This is four times the cost estimate in the Carl Vinson Institute study touted by the Vote Yes group during the cityhood campaign.
Alex Wright was visibly baffled by the idea that the two estimates were
not even on the same planet. Mayor Mike Mason dismissed the study just
short of rolling his eyes at the idea that anyone would believe it. He
said, "The Carl Vinson study is not a budget; it is just a feasibility
At the current $2.8 million cost estimate, the city will need the full one mil in taxes. All the promises that property taxes probably would not be needed at all to cover the expenses of the city burn up quickly up in political campaign smoke. The city council must vote on the exact level of millage that property owners will pay. Before the vote, the council must advertise the millage rate under consideration and hold three meetings for the public to comment before the vote. The advertisement will be on June 21. The first hearing will be the morning of July 2, the second at 6:30 p.m. on July 2, and the final meeting and vote on July 9 at 7:30 p.m.
The consultants recommend advertising the full millage allowed by the charter of one mil. Wright bristled at the idea that so much would be needed. The consultants assured him that it was the conservative and responsible way to go about it and their later budget discussion showed why.
Other key items covered in the meeting:
The consultants presented a list of properties for the council to consider renting. They reviewed their evaluation criteria. Four of the five properties are in Technology Park. They expect to make a final recommendation at next week's meeting.
the discussion on city banking services, Councilman Weare Gratwick left
the room. Mr. Gratwick works for a bank and wanted to avoid any accusation
of impropriety or undue influence on the council discussions. Councilperson
Jeanne Aulbach will serve on the banking evaluation team with the consultants
MAY 25, 2012 -- The continuing question on the slate for Gwinnett County concerns whether to make a privatized, commercial airport out of Lawrenceville's Briscoe Field.
Right now the matter is before the county administration. The county is having its staff study the issue before it moves to act on the question.
Recognizing that the commission is said to be split on the matter, and recognizing that in this year we have elections on tap, how about a direct resolution to the airport question?
Why not put the matter to the voters of the county in the July 31 primary?
Yes, we recognize that we have representative government, and that most matters are settled by our elected representatives without much direct input from the voters.
When the voters are asked to settle major questions, often it is in amendment form from the Legislature for these reasons:
In this question of privatizing Briscoe Field, citizens on both sides of the issue feel that their side is in the majority. Why not let the citizens decide, in a binding vote, on whether Gwinnett should have a commercial airport, so that we really know how the county feels.
We won't take space to list the good and bad sides of the airport question. Many of those have been aired already, though often with such surrounding passion that the real questions are hard to decipher.
to say that most Gwinnettians recognize the importance that an airport,
whether for private planes or commercial airplanes, has for a county of
Do the people need to vote on many matters before the county commission or school board? No. First of all, having a poll of the people cost money, which means that in general, such a vote could come only every two years and not cost the county an outrageous sum. Not only that, our elected commissions and board don't have the time to wait on key matters for two years, but need to move quickly to resolves many questions. Waiting would be stagnation.
Yet in this election year, and with the question of the airport burning in many minds, now's a good time to seek out the will of the voters in Gwinnett County on the airport question. Voting is two months away, giving the county plenty of time to put in place the mechanism to get the will of the people on this topic.
The question should be projected in its simple terms:
That would get down to the basic question, and illustrate what the majority of the people want in this question. We urge its adoption.
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Editor, the Forum:
again for publishing such an informative newsletter. I drove by Briscoe
Field after you raised my awareness as to its commercial potential, and
I was amazed at what a large and well developed
Another advantage is that it would not have the fees of Hartsfield. Those savings could likely be passed on to the consumer, both for airline tickets and rental cars. I see that as a strategy to deal with the Gwinnett County education funding shortfall.
Also, such a facility would drive interest in the practicality of an airport-to-airport mass transit system, which again would greatly benefit our regional economy, property values, and quality of life.
However, doesn't Briscoe only have a 6,000-ft runway, whereas 10,000 feet is really required to safely land and take off most passenger aircraft such as the Boeing 777? Does the field have access to the land necessary to extend its runway to a length that would ensure its success?
Way past time for serious reform about animal control
Editor, the Forum:
The time for serious reform in Gwinnett is way past do. Our current animal control structure under the Gwinnett Police Department is broken; it can't be fixed. This is no longer about providing our community's homeless pets with best sheltering practices. Ours is simply an issue of understanding RIGHT from WRONG.
Animal control and enforcement needs to be separated from an animal services unit and run by a professional manager who reports directly to the county administrator.
Gwinnett County will host its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 28 at 1 p.m. at the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial in Lawrenceville, located on the grounds of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. It honors Gwinnett residents who died in the line of duty in military or public service.
The public is invited to attend this observance to memorialize the fallen heroes who have sacrificed their lives to protect our nation and to recognize the men and women who have served honorably in the military, during wartime or peacetime. No new names will be added to the memorial this year.
This ceremony will mark the ninth anniversary of the dedication of the Fallen Heroes Memorial in Gwinnett County. Members from the Fallen Heroes Memorial Advisory Committee will pay tribute to Brigadier General William Kenneth "Coach Mac" McDaniel, former military adviser to the committee and retired principal at North Gwinnett High School, who died on March 7.
Lt. Col. Terry Barron, Regimental Operations Officer for the Georgia National Guard's Regional Training Institute at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta and Mathematics Professor at Georgia Gwinnett College, will deliver the keynote address.
The Memorial Day Ceremony will be televised at 7:30 p.m. on May 28 on TVgwinnett, the county's local government access cable channel and is available at www.tvgwinnett.com.
Library's Summer Reading Program offers $400,000 in prizes
Gwinnett County Public Library is gearing up for this year's Summer Reading Program: Dream Big! Kids and teens can enjoy free programs, activities, and a chance to enter into the 529 Plan for College sweepstakes now through the end of August.
Last year over 38,000 kids enrolled in the library's Summer Reading Program. This year $400,000 worth of prizes and incentives have been donated by local businesses to encourage young readers. A full calendar of programs including puppet shows, magic shows, special story times, and character visits will be available all summer long.
Meanwhile, Friends of the Library and Sonic restaurants have teamed up to offer a boost for Summer Reading Program prizes. Proceeds of Sonic sales from customers who mention the library on their visits to the restaurant chain anywhere in the county all summer long will go towards the books that kids earn at the end of the summer, as well as other library programs.
Gwinnett County Public Library Executive Director Nancy Stanbery-Kellam feels: "Summertime reading is so important for continued learning between school years. The library's Summer Reading Program helps parents keep their kids on track while celebrating the adventure and imagination that is a part of the summer vacation experience! With support from so many generous donors, we hope to include as many kids as possible in all the excitement."
Sign-up for the library's Summer Reading Program is available online now and in all 15 branch locations. Visit www.gwinnettpl.org, call (770) 978-5154.
Environmental Center to mark World Turtle Day Saturday
friends and neighbors on Saturday, May 26 for a celebration of World Turtle
Day at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) from 11 a.m.
until 4 p.m.
Winners to be announced in Altered Book Contest on June 9
Over 40 creations submitted to the Gwinnett County Public Library's Altered Book contest, as well as the highly imaginative Pulp Fashion pieces featured at Duluth's Barefoot in the Park festival, will be on display at the Hudgens Center for the Arts beginning in June.
The public is invited to celebrate the opening of these and other exhibits at the June 9 reception, hosted by the Hudgens from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. During the reception, winners of the Library's Altered Book Contest will be announced, and prizes will be awarded to first place entries of both the Adult and Student categories. The first prize for the adult category is a $100 gift card donated by the Georgia United Credit Union, and the first prize for the Student Category is a Nook eReader courtesy of Garden Plaza. This event is free and open to the public. For more information visit www.gwinnettpl.org, call (770) 978-5154.
Christian Academy (PCA), an independent, parent-sponsored school in Lilburn,
has been awarded the 2012 Georgia High School Association Region 5A Cooperative
Spirit Sportsmanship Award.
"Media reports across our nation show us that people do not always interact with each other in a civil manner, said Dr. Ralph Swearngin, executive director of the GHSA. "The Georgia High School Association believes that some progress can be made in reversing that trend by emphasizing good sportsmanship in our athletic events. The GHSA appreciates its partnership with GEMC so that those who do practice good sportsmanship can be rewarded."
Introduced in 2006 and sponsored Georgia's electric membership cooperatives, the award reinforces the GHSA philosophy: "Students, athletes, coaches, spectators and all others associated with high school activities programs should adhere to the fundamental values of respect, fairness, honesty and responsibility."
Sugar Hill to get visit from World Changers youth again
For the third year in a row, the World Changers youth mission will be back in Sugar Hill this July for "hands on" mission work. In coordination with the City and the Sugar Hill Housing Authority, 200 young adults will come to Sugar Hill (July 25-29), to assist resident families and home owners in Sugar Hill that may need help maintaining their home.
There is no cost to the homeowner. All supplies are paid for by the Sugar Hill Housing Authority, and the young adults supply the labor. They also pay their way to come from surrounding states to work on homes. Local churches provide sleeping quarters and feed the workers on site. World Changers national work projects began in the summer of 1990 in Briceville, Tenn., where 137 youths and adults spent a week performed light construction jobs on nine homes.
Last year, 36 Sugar Hill residents applied for help with their homes. The young adults completed ten home repairs; including house painting, replacing roofs, building handicap ramps, repairing decks and cleaning up several yards. If you know of Sugar Hill residents that could benefit from assistance to maintain their home, or may need some minor repairs, contact Don Kelemen through the Sugar Hill web site or call 770-945-6716 for an application. Applications are available on line or can be picked up at City Hall.
"When a talented writer has compelling subjects, he can make you happy. This book delves into the 1960s in the South, as the author understands Southern language, families, churches and the segregated south. Throw in a new form of music emerging, and a TV program broadcast out of Toccoa hosted by the late Billy Dilworth, and an intertwining story emerges. Edgerton allows us to figure some parts out for ourselves, and uses a minimum of words in this engaging tale." -- eeb
Birdsong Nature Center is a model of biodiversity and environmental stewardship in the red hills of southwest Georgia. Located between Thomasville and Tallahassee, Fla., Birdsong offers 565 acres of varied ecological habitats, including 12 miles of maintained trails for birding and hiking.
Birdsong is the living legacy of Ed and Betty Komarek, who purchased the plantation in 1938. In 1934 Herbert L. Stoddard, the famed wildlife manager, hired Ed Komarek, who was then a biology student at the University of Illinois, to aid him in his study of the declining quail population in the red hills. Stoddard's plantation, Sherwood, adjoined Birdsong Plantation.
With the help of his wife and his brother, Roy, Ed Komarek introduced sound management practices at Birdsong, both by transforming cut-over and depleted land and by devoting acreage to an economically viable cattle farm. Stoddard and the Komareks also hosted many scientists interested in their practices of prescribed burns and wildlife management. Birdsong Nature Center continues the practice of annual prescribed burns over portions of its acreage.
With their founding of Tall Timbers Research Station in 1958, Stoddard and Ed Komarek helped to define the relatively new science of fire ecology. Indeed, many consider Komarek to be the father of fire ecology. Birdsong remains a showcase of a fire-dependent ecology, including viable stands of longleaf pine, wiregrass, and associated wildflowers and wildlife. The center also exemplifies good management of wetlands and of the ecotones that lie between uplands and viable wetlands.
A trained educator, botanist, and manager of prescribed burns, Betty Komarek established Birdsong as an educational training center for teachers and students in natural history and natural sciences. In 1986 Birdsong was incorporated as a nonprofit organization to offer public educational opportunities for the study of its biodiversity and land management. In addition to formal programs on the longleaf-pine ecosystem and informal opportunities for the occasional birder or hiker, Birdsong's annual fall festival, which often includes music and art, attracts many visitors.
Annually burned, the Gin House Field is one of Birdsong's premier settings for a variety of seasonal wildflowers, including asters, dog fennel, goldenrod, and sunflowers. A healthy wetland, Big Bay Swamp is home to wood ducks, wood storks, alligators, turtles, snakes, frogs, and various mammals. Visitors may hike to the Listening Place, a screened structure that overlooks Big Bay Swamp and offers a secluded place for viewing wildlife.
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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.
With Monday being Memorial Day, GwinnettForum will observe the day, with the next edition being posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. -- eeb
Visit this site to see details of the upcoming funerals of Gwinnett Countians from local funeral homes. On the site, sign up at top right and we'll send you GwinnettObits each day.
Click on the names below to see details of their funerals.
"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself."
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
THE COMING WEEK
Book signing by former Atlanta Braves Pitcher John Smoltz: 6 p.m., May 25. CoolRay Field, Lawrenceville. This event is free for ticket holders of Friday's game. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Gwinnett Public Library, sponsor of the event. Info: www.gwinnettpl.org, call (770) 978-5154.
World War II Veteran's Breakfast: 8:30 a.m., May 28, Fellowship Hall of the First Baptist Church in Lawrenceville. The breakfast will be hosted by Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson of Lawrenceville. Veterans and a member of their family or friend are invited. For more information, or to reserve a spot, call 678-407-6576.
Memorial Day Parade in Dacula: 10 a.m., May 28. Bill Tiller, a Korean War veteran of the U.S. Navy, will be the Grand Marshal. Theme for the 19th annual parade is "Their Sacrifice, Our Gratitude." A one-mile Fun Run begins at 8 a.m. and a 5K run starts at 8:30 a.m. For more information, send email.
SOON AND ONGOING
Success Lives Here Breakfast: 7:30 a.m., June 15, 1818 Club, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. Featured speaker will be Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson. For more details, call 770 232-3000.
Career and Job Fair at Gwinnett Village Community Alliance: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 22, Victory World Church, 50905 Brook Hollow Parkway, Norcross. Approximately 30 employers will be there. This is the Alliance's third Fair. Learn more by email or call 770-402-4697.
(NEW) Miles-4-Smiles Race/Walk: Beginning 9:30 a.m., June 23, Tribble Mill Park, Lawrenceville. This second annual Amanda Riley Foundation event consist of a 10K, 5K and Mile Walk/Run, with the course certified as a Peachtree Road Race qualifier. Details via email.
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.