BRING ON THE SHRIMP: Summertime means it's time to get to the beach, enjoying the sun, the surf, the seafood, and the smells of the marshland. Nick Nicholson of Atlanta sent this photograph, and yes, it made us yearn for the beach. This scene was taken at Hilton Head, S.C. But seaside beaches are available within six hours 90 degrees from Gwinnett, from the panhandle near Jacksonville in Florida, to the Georgia coast, and into South Carolina. Time's 'a wastin! Pass the shrimp.
Issue 12.20 | Tuesday, June 12, 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, June 12, 2012 -- Big changes are coming for Georgia Gwinnett College in the 2012-2013 academic year, thanks to key funding provided by the University System of Georgia (USG) and the State of Georgia, says GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman.
"The new fiscal year is a critical one for the continued, successful growth of the college. We are deeply appreciative that Governor Nathan Deal, our state legislators, the USG Board of Regents, and Chancellor Hank Huckaby have ensured that GGC will receive the funding it needs to serve our expanding enrollment and to help us prepare for an even bigger future," the president says.
Still in an aggressive growth mode, the college requested $25.2 million in funding for an Allied Health and Science building. Without this new academic building, the college's enrollment growth would have stalled, restricted by its facilities.
Dr. Lois Richardson, acting vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, says: "This building will serve the entire student body. It will contain laboratories for health science and information technology courses, as well as social science courses such as psychology. It also will include classrooms, collaborative spaces and much-needed faculty offices."
Now that the building is funded, GGC can begin designing its allied health programs, which will include a nursing program already approved by the Board of Regents. The nursing program is needed to provide a source of trained nurses for the rapidly growing health care needs of the Gwinnett region and the entire state of Georgia. The college already has begun a search for the dean of the School of Health Sciences.
With a current enrollment of just over 8,000, Georgia Gwinnett expects a fall 2012 enrollment of about 9,500. A special line item in the state budget provided the college with $3.2 million for hiring new faculty to accommodate the additional 1,500 students.
Kaufman adds: "Our access mission and location in Gwinnett position GGC to absorb a significant percentage of the USG's projected system-wide increase of 100,000 additional students by the year 2020. Georgia Gwinnett must continue growing dramatically for the next several years to meet that goal and ensure that the state has the educated and skilled workforce it needs for the future."
Another key to meeting the state's future workforce needs involves improving college student success, which includes factors such as retention and graduation rates. GGC is one of four institutions in Georgia selected to pilot initiatives that, if successful, may be used across the state to help students perform better in college.
While not part of the state budget, a $150,000 grant from the Complete College Georgia initiative is supporting two GGC pilot projects designed to mainstream students needing pre-college English and mathematics courses quickly into college-level courses.
Preliminary results are very positive, with both the English and mathematics pilot initiatives roughly doubling the student pass rate, compared to more conventional approaches.
"In our pilot programs, students take pre-college courses at the same time they take their first college-level course in the same subject," says Richardson. "Our pilot programs have reached pass rates of 85-90 percent, compared to roughly half that of students who take the courses one at a time. If this approach continues to be successful, it could help many students across Georgia bridge the gap between their skill level and what is required to succeed in college."
JUNE 12, 2012 -- What would you say to voters if you were a candidate in this year's election, in view of the ethical questions that are coming toward us in Gwinnett? There's a good reason to ask.
After all, in the past two years, we've seen the forced resignation of Commission Chairman Charles Bannister, the indictment and resignation of Kevin Kenerly, and now recently the resignation and plea of guilty to bribery charges of Shirley Lasseter.
That's the history of three of the five members of the commission that was to serve beginning January 1, 2009. No wonder people around Georgia are asking Gwinnettians, "What's happening to your elected officials in Gwinnett?"
First thing you know, someone will blame it on the water. That puts all of us in doubt.
All this amounts to questions of honesty and ethical considerations. That's what makes it a real dilemma for those seeking to get the voters to consider them in this year's primary and General Election.
After all, no one can campaign on a theme: "I'm ethical." Or "I'm honest." Merely raising either makes most voters wonder, "Is he (or she) really? Why are they bringing this up? What do they have to hide?"
So, it's this unsaid question ("Is he-she ethical-honest?") that is on the minds of many of the voters in Gwinnett this election go-around. And yes, we feel for good candidates, for they are in a pickle in the minds of the voters.
What we hope will happen for the voters this election is that they will more closely scrutinize the background and experience of the candidates than ever before. We hope that they will turn out to grill the candidates on tough questions, and see their reactions.
For the candidates, that means that they must be prepared on a multitude of issues more than ever, pay attention to the questions, and answer them forthrightly. And yes, they are perhaps doomed if they start telling you "I'm ethical" or "I'm honest as the day is long." They should not even bring up such subjects. And if asked, look 'em in the eye and say simply "Yes," then keep moving.
Of courses, another scenario may take place. All the revelations, talk and rumor mongering about additional indictments may have another effect on the people of the county, especially the voters. They may stay away from the polls in large numbers, thinking: "It's not worth it to vote, for the whole lot of 'em are crooked."
We don't think so. We know many of the candidates running for office, and think highly of nearly every one of them. Ok, we'll admit one or two have more explaining to do, but in general, the candidates in Gwinnett seem a good lot this year.
Our job now is to get the very best candidates first nominated, then elected, and let them serve us in office. They will be scrutinized as never before, and that is good for our county, to have people watching closely.
Yes, it's our American republic in the throes of a political season. In the long run, it's left up to the voters. Study the people and their platforms as never before, then go out and pick who you think is best for us in Gwinnett. Just keep that honesty and ethical consideration in your mind as you make your choice, and hope you are right.
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Editor, the Forum:
I think we have had ethically challenged officials all along. I personally think that it is worse with "real" right-wing Republicans. Those old Democrats who converted because the electorate was blindly voting Republican were small scale operators who took very little in most cases.
The "real" right-wing Republicans, because of their innate belief that they owe nothing to the political, social and economic infrastructure built by all of us, essentially see nothing wrong with what they view as the "free enterprise and capitalistic" system of wealth acquirement "and greed." Most "real' right-wing Republicans would have been very happy living in the time of the Robber Barons, assuming, of course, that they, themselves, were the Robber Barons.
Astounding number of students text while driving
Editor, the Forum:
The first time I saw a news article about someone texting while driving (TWD) I honestly thought that our news media was sensationalizing again.
I thought: "There they go again. They found the only person stupid enough to TWD and put that dummy into their newspaper just so we would spend to buy a newspaper to read all about it."
Now I find out that there is more than that one dumb person in the country. In fact, our Department of Transportation is calling TWD a national epidemic...and it is getting worse:
I'm sure glad someone had the foresight to invent higher education. Our colleges and universities will fix this problem for sure...Or will they?
No truck with citizen-proposed constitutional amendments
Editor, the Forum:
I wish to second Matt Johnson's recent comment on settling complicated questions by a referendum. If you want to see the possible end-result of such a process, look at California.
That state has in its constitution a provision which allows a proposed law or constitutional amendment to be offered to voters if advocates collect a sufficient number of signatures on a petition. Proposition 13 seemed like a good "Populist" idea when Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann got it passed in 1978. Since then several public initiatives has been passed into law in California. Many attribute California's current fiscal mess to these public initiatives or referenda.
It is essential that the rights of the majority do not diminish the rights of the minority. We all move back and forth from majority to minority positions. Thank God we are a republic not a democracy. Matt very aptly described what a democracy can be. We need to remain ever vigilant as to what our politicians are doing. I am reminded of an old saying, "If you are not at the table, you are on the menu."
Has fond memories of upcoming Father's Day: French toast
Editor, the Forum:
When I was the youngest child, spoiled and totally non-self sufficient, I never cooked, cleaned, ironed or washed clothes -- none of it. When I was about 14 and the last child living at home, Mom had to go in the hospital for a few days. I was quite sure my father was as useless around the house as I was, therefore I just knew we were both going to starve to death.
As lunchtime of the first day rolled around I jumped in and said, "How about if I heat up a can of soup and toast some bread to go with it?" But Father said, "How about if I make some French toast instead?" At the look on my face he continued, "Remember, I'm from Louisiana. I taught your mother how to make French toast. Mine is even better than hers."
was. What a delight to see my Dad cooking my lunch. Got my mind off the
worry about Mom in the hospital and made me feel special. I never remember
him cooking for anyone else. I always liked French toast but since then
it has borne that bonus of a terrific memory.
A six show music marathon will be staged to honor Eddie Owens's 20-year legacy and opening of Eddie Owen Presents at Red Clay Theatre in Duluth. Sixty musicians from Georgia are lending their time and talent to pay tribute to the legendary Atlanta venue owner/promoter who helped launch many of their careers
Shows are scheduled for Friday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 23, at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., Sunday, June 24 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Tuesday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance/ $15 at the door.
Participating artists include Cowboy Envy, Julie Gribble, Caroline Herring, Kodac Harrison, Elliott Bronson, Doria Roberts, Diane Durrett, Mike Kinnebrew, Neil Cribbs, Sue Wilkinson, Michael Cady, Ben Deignan, Kevin Jackson, DeDe Vogt, Little Country Giants, Michael Killeen, Joe Mcquinness, Kitty Snyder, Telegram, David Franklin, Dee Dee Westbrook, Cindy Lou Harrington, Matthew Kahler, Jeff Talmadge, Norwood, Levi Lowrey, Johnny Roquemore, Blake Guthrie, Gareth Asher.
And Tim Brantley, Danny Brewer, Riley Biederer, Von Grey, Hannah Thomas, Michelle Malone, Jan Smith. Bruce Burch, Meghan Arias, Trappers Cabin, Nancy Kaye, Hill Roberts, Sonia Tetlow, Herb Jones, Jill McAllister, Deadfields, Eric Dodd, Wesley Cook, Molly Parden, Amy Gerhartz, Christopher Yates, Kurt Scobie, Callaghan, Matthew Perryman Jones, Adron, Granville Automatic, Brad Cox, Hope Sonam, Mandy Gawley and Mike Gleason.
Visit www.eddieowenpresents.com to see when your favorite artist is performing or to purchase tickets.
DAR chapter installs board members for coming year
The Philadelphia Winn Chapter NSDAR of Lawrenceville has installed new board members for 2012-2013.
left are Librarian Janice Rinaldo of Dacula; Registrar Cathy Hyer of Suwanee;
Treasurer Jean Axelberg of Auburn; Corresponding Secretary Kaye Germaine
of Dacula; Georgia State Society Regent-Elect Virginia Lingelbach of Warner
Robbins who conducted the installation; Regent Peggy Freeman of Lilburn;
First Vice Regent Lydia McGill of Snellville; Second Vice Regent Kitty
Watters of Duluth; Chaplain Emily Tindall of Suwanee; and Recording Secretary
Jennifer Clark of Lawrenceville. Not pictured: Historian Helen Machida
of Duluth. Those in joining the DAR, should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting in January, about 15,000 seniors will get a 15 percent discount on trash service and property owners with valid vacant structure or boarding up permits will be exempt from paying solid waste collection fees after commissioners approved changes to the solid waste program on Tuesday.
The senior discount applies to those 65 or older with an annual income below $10,000 who have filed a senior homestead exemption called an L3A as well as those with incomes up to $25,000 who qualify for a senior school exemption, or L5A. Disabled people with an L5A exemption also will qualify for the discount.
The planning and development department has issued about 1,500 vacant structure and boarding up permits since the registry program began in April last year. Commissioners revised the property maintenance ordinance last year to help deal with vacant properties affected by foreclosures or left unfinished when the housing bubble burst. The law defines a vacant structure as unoccupied with no utility usage for 60 days, unfinished when the building permit expired or being held subject to foreclosure proceedings. Vacant structure permits are valid for one year and are renewable.
Other actions taken today change the appeals process associated with hauler performance and allow quarterly billing for residential parcels such as mobile home parks with service fees that exceed $25,000 annually. In addition, commercial trash haulers that serve Gwinnett businesses will be required to offer recycling, also beginning January 1, 2013. The new requirement to offer recycling applies to all authorized haulers who collectively serve more than 6,500 commercial and construction/demolition accounts in unincorporated Gwinnett County. The flat regulatory fee haulers currently pay will reset next year at three percent of revenues, an industry standard.
Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Director Tom Keith says: "These tweaks to the solid waste plan address inequities for owners of vacant properties, give qualified seniors a break and help promote recycling throughout the county. Our residential customers have already recycled more than 41,000 tons of paper, metal, glass and other materials since the countywide solid waste program began two years ago."
The Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recycling Division's call center staff can answer questions at 770-822-7141 weekdays or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Ribbon cutting for restored Yellow River post office June 19
Ribbon-cutting for the opening of the restored Yellow River Post Office on the Hudson-Nash farm on Five Forks Trickum Road is to be held at noon on June 19.
Parking for the ceremony will be at the Maranatha Baptist Church at 3340 Five Forks Trickum Road, with a shuttle bus to take those present to the ceremony. The post office also served as Hudson's Store. Among the building on the five acre site are also an old-time barn and slave and tenant house. The park is part of the Gwinnett Parks and recreation system.
"In Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before, Tony Horwitz follows the winning strategy that he also used in other historical novels by tracing the topic in modern times and places. Blue Latitudes takes Horwitz on an 18-month journey over the Pacific---from the Aleutian Islands to New Zealand, and many places in between. Along the route, Horwitz meets Cook enthusiasts and detractors, and many different interpretations of Captain James Cook. He and his traveling companions help to unravel some of the mysteries still surrounding Captain Cook. As a world history teacher, I was woefully ignorant of much of Cook's accomplishments. However, in this highly entertaining and informative book, I have remedied this situation."
Almost a third of the Atlantic Coast's tidal salt marshes are located in Georgia's Lower Coastal Plain, as are thousands of acres of rare tidal freshwater marshes. Immortalized in poet Sidney Lanier's poem The Marshes of Glynn, these wide expanses of salt marsh are the most visible physical feature along Georgia's 100-mile-long coast. The salt marshes stretch in a band four to six miles wide between the mainland and coastal barrier islands. A major reason for Georgia's extensive expanses of salt marsh is that its coast experiences the highest tides along the southeastern shoreline. In general, the higher the tidal range, the greater the production potential of the marsh.
Estimates of Georgia's total tidal marshland acreage vary. In 1977 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration reported that Georgia had 429,294 acres of tidal marshland, more than any other state on the East Coast. The study, however, did not distinguish between salt marsh and freshwater marsh. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources estimates that the state encompasses more than 378,000 acres of salt marsh.
Georgia's salt marshes are some of the most biologically productive natural systems on Earth. They produce nearly 20 tons of biomass to the acre-which makes them four times more productive than the most carefully cultivated cornfields, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The enormous productivity helps to make the salt marshes primary nursery areas for blue crabs, oysters, shrimp, and other economically important fish and shellfish. Young shrimp and other marine organisms also use salt marshes as shelters and hiding places from predators. In addition, salt marshes help filter pollutants from the water and act as buffers against offshore storms. The potential damage from large storm-spawned waves and tides is greatly reduced when they pass over the marshes.
The origin of the salt marshes can be traced to the Pleistocene geologic epoch that began about 18,000 years ago. Rising sea levels from melting continental glaciers created shallow lagoons behind young barrier islands. Ocean currents and tidal rivers flowing into the quiet lagoons deposited large amounts of clay and sand sediments there. Gradually, the sediments built up to the degree that they were no longer underwater at low tide.
The muddy soils then became fertile ground for one of the world's most salt-tolerant plants, Spartina alterniflora, or smooth cordgrass. Spartina took root in the lagoonal sediments and flourished. Today, vast expanses of Spartina dominate Georgia's salt marshes.
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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.
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.
"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."
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
Buford Business After Hours: 5:30 p.m., June 12, Atlanta Bread Company at Mall of Georgia, on the lower level near Nordstrom. Details: Contact Gene Kerley.
Book signing: 6 p.m., June 12, Norcross Welcome Center by Carole Townsend, author of Southern Fried White Trash. She is a former reporter for Gwinnett Daily Post. The Welcome Center is at 189 Lawrenceville Street in Norcross.
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.
(NEW) Free Benefit of Music in Snellville: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., June 15, and 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., June 16, on the Snellville Towne Greene. Part of the Snellville Summer activities. Proceeds benefit Aimee Copeland. More info.
(NEW) 76th Annual Meeting, Walton EMC: 10 a.m., June 16, Walton County Agricultural Education Center, 1208 Criswell Road, three miles south of Monroe. Entertainment, prizes and election of officers will take place. More details.
(NEW) Blueberry Festival in downtown Norcross: 4 p.m., June 16. Blues artists will be in Betty Mauldin Park from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. For a complete festival schedule and details, visit www.aplacetoimagine.com.
SOON AND ONGOING
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.
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.
Field Day of the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society and Gwinnett Amateur Radio Emergency: Starting at 2 p.m. June 23 and lasting for 24 hours. The event is at Sweetwater Park, 800 Bethesda School Road near Lawrenceville. The public is invited to attend and see ham radio's new capabilities. For more details, go to www.gars.org or call 770 840 9664.
(NEW) Cultural Food Camp for ages 8 to 12: 10 a.m. to noon, June 25 to June 29, Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville, Cost is $12 per person. To pre-register, call 770-985-4713. Children with learning disabilities are welcome.
(NEW) Championship Chess and Tennis Summer Camp for ages 7 to 14: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., June 25 to June 29, and July 9 to July 13, Centerville Community Center. Cost is $65 per week ($3 sibling discount). For curriculum information, contact instructor Rodney Lewis at 770-560-1071.
Kudzu Art Zone will present Evelyn Breit, a figure and landscape artist, demonstrating her figure drawing technique: 7 p.m., June 25, Art Zone, 116 Carlyle Street, Norcross. More information.
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.