Issue 12.27 | Friday, July 13, 2012
GwinnettForum.com is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
LILBURN, Ga., July 13, 2012 -- Back in the 1960s, the term "labor-saving device" was on everyone's lips. The vacuum cleaner, automatic washing machine and dryer, and power lawn mower were revolutionary in reducing time required to do household chores. There was great speculation about what Americans would do with all the free time that was just around the corner: 20-hour work weeks weren't far behind in this daydream of leisure.
So what have we done with all that free time? At the other end of 50 years, the word on everyone's lips is obesity. We drive cars, watch television, work and play on computers or phones, so the only active part of our bodies is from the wrists and fingers (or thumbs). And then we wonder why we are gaining weight!
An article in USA Today on July 10 reports on a study by Peter Katzmarzyk at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge that sitting too much or too long in any form decreases life expectancy. Research has linked extended sitting with increased risk of diabetes and death from cancer, heart disease or stroke. Based on Katzmarzyk's study, if people spent less than three hours a day sitting, it would add two years to the average U.S. life expectancy so instead of living to 78.5 years old, the average person would live to 80.5 years.
The majority of people in the States sit more than six hours a day with 65% averaging more than two hours a day watching television. Based on the research, watching television is even harder on the body than other sedentary activities. Simply watching television less than two hours a day can add about 1.4 years to overall life expectancy. Those who have desk jobs, travel frequently or watch hours of television are at higher risk of an early death, in the same range as smoking and being obese.
Other recent articles have advocated making efforts to increase activity throughout the day: playing video games, checking Facebook or surfing the web while sitting are just as detrimental as paper pushing or working on the computer at a desk. If your job or a project requires extended sitting, make an effort to move from your chair every 40-45 minutes:
Based on these and other articles, it seems that regular aerobic exercise for 20 minutes a day, five days a week helps, but does not reverse, the effects of sitting for several hours in a row. No one knows how much we should be moving, but the studies reveal that if you have been sitting for an hour, you have been sitting too long.
a call to action: literally! Keep it in mind that movement throughout
the day is essential to a longer and healthier life.
JULY 13, 2012 -- Today we turn attention to wholly Gwinnett races, those for a seat on the county commission, and for three judgeship races.
But first: a word of thanks, to the candidates who are offering for office. In order for the voters to have a choice among candidates, people must step forward and offer for the offices. Gwinnett is lucky to have several good candidates in the many races. Running for office is not easy, especially in a large county such as Gwinnett. We must recognize the hard work and the time away from their families and work that these candidates give to the races. So, be kind to them; they give us choice in the running of our government.
Now, to the endorsements. The Democratic Party has failed to offer any candidates for the Gwinnett County Commission. (However, they have one candidate each in the General Election for all three open Board of Education seats.) Therefore, the two county commission races, though in a primary, are "tantamount to election." In effect, the Republicans will elect the two members of the next county commission, with the General Election being of no consequence.
Gwinnett County Commissioner, District 1, Republicans:
for this seat is ten year veteran of the Suwanee City Council, Jace
Brooks, 43. He is a certified financial planner and has lived in Gwinnett
for 14 years. We feel Mr. Brooks is in the best position from his experience
in Suwanee to help restore the trust that Gwinnett County citizens want
and need on their county commission. He demonstrates a clear ability to
think. We feel he will safeguard Gwinnett's financial positioning, and
has shown he can work in government to improve a community. We urge his
Gwinnett County Commissioner, District 3, Republicans:
ago, Tommy Hunter was a candidate for the county commission in
another district. Now after the lines for commission seats have changed,
he is a candidate for the post again, and we endorse his candidacy. Mr.
Hunter, 41, is a civil engineer from the Duncan's Corner area near Braselton,
and has at one time been an employee of the county. Two year ago, we wrote
of his candidacy: "He seems to be a person who can make priorities
happen, and seems to understand the complicated process of government
in a sprawling county like Gwinnett." We continue to think this,
and feel that his fresh approach to politics makes him an ideal choice
to change the way some of the workings of the commission is done. He is
independent, straight-forward and alert in his approach, and will make
a fine commissioner.
* * * *
this July will get to vote on three vacancies for judges. First, however,
let us recognize that these three sitting judges are due a word of thanks
for their service, and particularly, for their choice to complete their
entire term of office. In far too many instances, judges retire before
the term ends, meaning that the governor often gets to appoint a successor,
who can then run as an "incumbent," even though they were not
put in office by election. Probate Judge Jim Clarke, Superior Court Dawson
Jackson and State Court Judge Bob Mock have served with distinction, and
we commend them for their time in office---to the end of their terms.
let us comment on the 12 people running for these judicial offices. It
is a competent crop of candidates, since nearly every one could serve
with distinction should the voters of the county pick them for judge.
The non-partisan races, with five candidates for each office, means a
run-off is virtually certain. Therefore there arises the very real possibility
this year that a meager runoff turnout could elect a judge to serve for
four years. Getting to the runoff becomes particularly important. Now
to the offices:
For Judge of Probate Court, Republican:
pits an attorney who has worked in the probate office against an attorney
who often practices before this office. We endorse Marlene Duwell,
50, of Peachtree Corners for probate judge. Having worked for the current
probate judge for 14 years, she will need no familiarity course for procedures
or precedents. A native Georgian, originally trained as an engineer, she
switched to law school and on graduation, became the Probate Judge's first
For Judge of Superior Court:
Gwinnett attorneys seek this office. The person we endorse is Tracey
Mason Blasi, 50, a Lawrenceville attorney and mediator. Ms. Blasi
has a sparkling arena of service in Gwinnett, and comes from a pioneer
Gwinnett family. Her background shows her working with people to bring
resolution and harmony to a dispute. She has the training, temperament
and integrity to be a steadying influence on the bench, and to sort out
legal distinctions. We commend her candidacy to the voters.
For Judge of the State Court:
Norman Cuadra, 45, of Suwanee, who is an exemplary candidate who
we feel will serve with distinction, for which we endorse his candidacy.
This will also place a minority on the Gwinnett judicial bench, something
fitting in the most diverse county in the nation. Mr. Caudra's life is
a storybook one of coming to this country from Mexico, born to Nicaraguan
parents. He grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and moved to Georgia in
1995 to practice law. He has a family, criminal defense and personal injury
practice and is the judge of the City of Doraville court.
We commend these candidates to Gwinnett voters on July 31.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Gainesville State College has been educating the citizens of Northeast Georgia since 1966 and has an enrollment approaching 9,000. With 1,296 students during the fall of 2011, Gwinnett County is second only to Hall County in the number of students who attend GSC. The College awarded 892 degrees awarded during 2010-2011, students from Gwinnett County earned 202 of the degrees (22.6 percent). At GSC, students engage in a challenging learning experience in a supportive and nurturing environment. GSC offers associate of arts, associate of science, associate of applied science, certificates, and a limited number of bachelor degrees. Gainesville State College integrates academic and extra-curricular activities in order to emphasize development of the "whole person." GSC is a "student-focused, learning centered" commuter college where students can enjoy the "total college experience" by participating in student activities such as: intramurals, clubs and organizations, bands, chorus, publications, cultural affairs programs, fine arts offerings including theatre, extended orientation, and international-intercultural studies programs. The Gainesville Campus is located just off of Interstate-985 in Oakwood, and the Oconee Campus is located in Watkinsville. To learn more about GSC, visit www.gsc.edu.
Editor, the Forum:
The City of Peachtree Corners has held two of the three public hearings required by state law before enacting the new city millage or tax rate on the property owners in the city. The advertised millage rate is for the full rate allowed under the city charter. The first meeting was held on July 10th at 7 a.m. The second was the same day at 6 p.m. Very few residents attended either meeting. The mayor quickly opened each meeting, asked for public comment, said, "going once, going twice," banged the gavel and adjourned the meetings. The last public hearing is schedule for Tuesday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hilton on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.
So what are these hearings for? They are an opportunity for the citizens to voice any concerns they have about the tax rate. Do you think the level of tax proposed is appropriate? Do you have concerns about how the money will be spent? Do you have concerns about whether the city will have enough revenue to meet its service obligations? Are you concerned that the city will collect too much from its citizens for what is required in a limited services city?
If these or any other concerns about the new tax to support the city are on your mind, you have one last chance to voice those to the council.
Why are these hearings being held at such odd times? I have no answer. Almost all the council meetings are at 7:30 p.m. at the YMCA, giving people time to get home from work and get to the meeting. Attendance at the last few city council meetings regarding the budget has been good. Holding these hearings so much earlier than folks are used to and in a different location may be contributing to the low turn-out. It is hard to believe that so many people had so much to say about the budget, but no one has much concern about the taxes. So much air-time was given during the cityhood campaign to the idea that the city may not need property taxes to run at all. That it could be run on franchise and other fees alone. Now the full mil rate has been advertised and the council is expected to pass at least 85 percent of that.
Those concerned about the tax rate should attend the session scheduled for this coming Tuesday, July 17, 7:30 p.m. at the Hilton.
Remember the fun it was to watch a group of kittens play with a ball of yarn?
You can have that experience again at a "Kitten Adoption" event being held at Duluth Historical Society's Strickland House on Friday, July 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Society will be hosting the event for C.A.R.L. (Companion Animal Rescue League). There will be face painting, refreshments, and information on pet care. The Historical Society will share how to play old fashioned kids games and present a story time. All outside events are free and there is free parking.
The History Museum will be open for visitors. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children. Be sure to visit the Community Garden area and choose a spot for your family. There is still a lot of growing time left. The address is 2956 Buford Highway in Duluth. Visit to learn more at www.duluthhistorical.org or call 770-232-7584.
Safe Schools Coalition plans workshop for local educators
A Georgia Safe Schools Coalition Workshop, offering local educators training and up-to-date information about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youth in Georgia schools, will be hosted by the University of Georgia College of Education August 10 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at UGA's Gwinnett Campus on 2530 Sever Road in Lawrenceville.
The one-day workshop will feature sessions for school superintendents, principals, counselors, teachers and staff that will focus on understanding LGBT youth. The conference is designed to help school officials better understand the intersections of LGBT youth in communities of color and communities of faith, learning to advocate for LGBT youth with other members of the community, implementing anti-bullying policies that support LGBT youth, and supporting gay/straight alliances in their schools.
The workshop will be highlighted with presentations by UGA College of Education faculty members Anneliese Singh and Corey Johnson.
of registration is $225 per participant, which includes a GSSC notebook,
workshop materials, refreshment breaks and lunch. The deadline for registration
is August 3. To register or for more information, see http://www.coe.uga.edu/events/.
Georgia Gwinnett College President Daniel J. Kaufman has named Renee Byrd-Lewis as GGC's new vice president for advancement. In that role, she will oversee the college's Development, External Affairs and Public Affairs functions.
Kaufman adds: "Advancement is the arena through which a college engages with the communities it serves. Renee is an experienced community relations professional with an outstanding record of mutually beneficial relationships with local, state and federal elected and appointed officials, and business and civic leaders. She has the skills and expertise to lead GGC forward in expanding its relationships with our communities."
Byrd-Lewis received her undergraduate degree from Emory University and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from Georgia State University. She has 17 years of experience in higher education, nonprofit management and corporate community relations, most recently as community relations director for Cisco Systems, Inc. She has previous experience with Georgia Perimeter College, Scientific Atlanta, Inc.
"GGC is changing the paradigm for higher education, and its students are at an epicenter of learning, innovation and accountability," Byrd-Lewis said. "The opportunity to join an organization committed to and engaging in educational transformation is extraordinary."
An active community leader, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Metro Atlanta and Gwinnett Chambers of Commerce, United Way of Metro Atlanta, Gwinnett Hospital System, Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia. She has served in similar capacity with many other local organizations.
Byrd-Lewis and her husband, Tim Lewis, reside in Buford with their two sons, Will and Alex.
Gwinnett Medical Center performs 100th open heart surgery
Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) has completed its 100th open heart surgery at the Strickland Heart Center. Patricia Stephens, a retired teacher from Lawrenceville, was the 100th open heart surgery patient. The procedure was performed by cardiothoracic surgeon David A. Langford, M.D., one of the lead surgeons at the new heart center.
Stephens was referred by her cardiologist, Laurence Lesser, M.D., to GMC for a diagnostic cardiac catheterization due to chest pain. Physicians determined a double coronary artery bypass grafting was required. Stephens was taken to surgery the following day.
GMC President and CEO Phil Wolfe says: "Ms. Stephens is a prime example of why we were driven to open the Strickland Heart Center. Based on our location and comprehensive cardiac services we were able to meet her critical needs while she remained in the community, close to home."
Stephens, 54, says: "After seeing the images following the cardiac catheterization, I was shocked. Although, I did not want to admit it, I knew that I was going to need bypass surgery immediately." Although she was nervous, she did not feel overwhelmed. "The staff moved like a well-oiled machine providing personal care to my family and me," she said. Stephens continues to heal at home, and hopes to teach part-time in the fall.
The new Strickland Heart Center is a 40,000 square-foot facility that houses advanced technology, including state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization labs and operating rooms, providing residents of metro Atlanta access to leading cardiac care professionals.
Losing It! weight loss programs planning another session
Registration continues through July for the next round of Gwinnett's Losing It!, a 12 week weight loss contest.
Participants become part of a team and compete for cash and prizes at the end of 12 weeks. During that time, the participants attend weekly teleconference calls, have a weekly weigh-in and meet once a month for a group workout activity. Participants also get monthly progress reports tracking their progress through measurements, photos, body fat percentage, BMI and weight. Each week is focused on a lesson involving nutrition, workouts and how your emotional health affects your physical health and your ability to lose and maintain weight.
The latest group's accomplishments with be marked with a Finale Celebration on Sunday, July 29, at 7 p.m. at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville. Admission is free and participants can attend a Healthy Lifestyles Expo from 6-7 p.m. Registration continues for the next program July 1-July 31. Twenty participants are selected for the program, which begins August 6. For more information, please contact Sandi Porter or 404-925-2626.
we living in a way that adds more aggression to the world or are we adding
more sanity? This is the question American Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron
asks in Taking the Leap.
Some 3,240 acres were appropriated for the new capital in Milledgeville; lots were sold in the city, and the proceeds were used to construct the new statehouse. Construction of the capital took two years, and by the fall of 1807 the building was ready for occupation, although the finishing touches would not be completed until 1811. (Over the next 30 years, two wings were added.) Government Square occupied almost 20 acres in the city. In October 1807 15 wagons carrying the treasury and public records of the state left Louisville for Milledgeville.
new Gothic revival brick building, located about three-quarters of a mile
from the Oconee River, was a parallelogram, with walls four feet thick.
Although it was a magnificent statehouse for its time,
For 60 years Milledgeville served as Georgia's capital city. The pressure to acquire more Indian lands continued, however, particularly after the forced removal of the Cherokees from the state in 1838. Lawmakers anticipated that, once again, a desire to move the capital would soon be heard, and this time the arrival of the railroad era would play a role in the debate.
The new candidate for the capital city was a small settlement located 90 miles northwest of Milledgeville, near the Chattahoochee River in DeKalb County. The site was part of a large area ceded to Georgia by the Creeks in 1821. In December 1836, the Georgia legislature chartered the Western and Atlantic Railroad to connect the Chattahoochee and Tennessee rivers. By 1838 construction on the railroad had begun, and soon the collection of stores and shacks supplying the railroad builders from the southern end of the line was known as Terminus.
In mid-1842 Samuel Mitchell, who had donated land to the Western and Atlantic, and Charles Garnett, a chief engineer, changed the name of Terminus to Marthasville in honor of former governor Wilson Lumpkin's youngest daughter, Martha. In December 1843 the legislature incorporated Marthasville. Some residents and workers objected to a frontier railroad town bearing such a feminine name, however, so the name Atlanta (based on the Western and Atlantic Railroad) was proposed. Despite Lumpkin's disapproval of what he considered a slight to his daughter, the General Assembly formally approved the name change in December 1847.
Atlanta was soon to vie for consideration as the state capital, in part due to its rapid growth and its status as the rail center of Georgia. By 1845 the Georgia Railroad linked Atlanta to Augusta, and the following year the Macon and Western (later the Central of Georgia) connected Atlanta to Macon. Soon Charleston, S.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and other cities would link with Atlanta, prompting that city to initiate a campaign for becoming Georgia's next capital.
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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.
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"The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same."
For the 2012 primary
season, GwinnettForum asked all candidates facing primary opposition
in Gwinnett County to provide answers to a few questions. You can read
their answers below by clicking on the links.
Candidates with no
primary opposition are not listed. Those with opposition in the General
Election will be asked questions, which we'll publish before the November
Look for endorsement:
2012 FEDERAL CANDIDATES
U.S. Congress, District 4
Congress, District 7
Congress, District 10
Public Service Commission, District 3
Public Service Commission, District 5
State Senate, District 9
Georgia State Senate, District 55
Representative, District 81
Representative, District 93
Representative, District 94
Representative, District 96
Representative, District 97
Representative, District 103
Representative, District 105
State Representative, District 114
2012 COUNTY CANDIDATES
Gwinnett County Commission, District 1
Gwinnett County Commission, District 3
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
Camp for ages 8 to 12: 10 a.m. to noon on July 16 to July 20,
Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville. Cost
is $20 per child ($5 sibling discount). For camp information, call The
Little Red Math and Grammar School, 404-826-6818. For pre-registration
and payment information, call 770-985-4713. Children with learning disabilities
Business After Hours: 5:30 p.m., July 17, Red Sky, 2033 Buford Highway, Buford (across from Buford Post Office). Hosted by Buford Business Alliance. Guests are welcomed.
(NEW) Gwinnett Technology Forum: 7:30 a.m., July 17, Busbee Center of Gwinnett Technical College. Speaker is Ken Caird, senior Smart Grid Systems for GE Business-GE Energy Services, telling of major challenges facing the Smart Grid system.
Dog Remembrance, with Stan Stockdale speaking: 6:30 p.m., July
18, Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center. Hear Stockdale talk
about America's lost heroes, the Scout Dog Platoons of Vietnam, which
were attached to the 101st Airborne Division. Sponsored by the Norcross
Beyond Rosie, Women in World War II: Through July 31. This traveling museum is now on display at the Norcross Welcome and History Center. The museum is located at 169 Lawrenceville Street.
Bark for Life Dog Day at Pinckneyville Park: 9 a.m., July 21 (National Hot Dog Day), Medlock Pavilion,. The park is located at 4758 South Old Peachtree Road in Norcross. Pre-registration is $10; day of event: $15.
Mathematics Workshop for Grades 5 to 8: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., July 23, Norcross Human Services, 5030 Georgia Belle Court. Cost is $50 which includes supplies. Pre-register and make payment at Norcross Human Services Center, 770-638-5661.
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