Issue 12.35 | Friday, Aug. 10, 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.
BUFORD, Ga., Aug. 10, 2012 -- In 1994, a brilliant American mathematician whose works in game theory, differential geometry, and partial equations contributed to our understandings of daily life, was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. His name was John Nash.
Brian Wilson, Peter Green and Syd Barret gave us even more complex music with their band, The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd respectively. Jack Kerouac wrote for us the complexities of our daily lives.
All these remarkable people had something in common with Albert Einstein. It is the disease schizophrenia, which produces too much Dopamine (the chemical responsible for creativity), and yet not enough of other chemicals like Glycine.
However, schizophrenia is like a rose with thorns, in that there is another group of schizophrenics; the ones who never received the proper medications or support groups for their disease.
I have lived with schizophrenia for about ten years now, always needing a reminder from my family to take medication (loss of working memory is common). The more I realize I am somehow, in some twisted fate, connected to the people above, the happier and more frightened I feel. I'm happy that I share something with a man like Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys, yet frightened that I perhaps also share the same genetics of John Hinckley, Jr., who also had schizophrenia.
I was diagnosed in my late 20s. I always knew I was somehow different, somewhat odd, unable to place any expressions on my face, unable to socialize, yet extremely creative. I know there are others out there like me. That was why I joined Schizophrenics Anonymous. It has been ten years of stability since the days when I assumed I was somehow a king, and that my enemies were plotting to overthrow me. Psychosis and word salads and confused sentences are frightening and strange, not only to so-called "normaloids," but also to schizophrenics and their families.
I think of Jani, a little girl born with schizophrenia. Does she have a place on this earth? Or Tad, a schizophrenic friend of mine from London, who revealed to me quite frankly that the MI-5, the British intelligence service, was stalking him, and that he needed a good lawyer to represent his interest. Then there's Quid, who claims that his company is part of an evil corporation that smuggles underage girls across borders.
I started Schizophrenics Anonymous in Atlanta as a branch of the group that was created nationally by Joanne Verbanic in 1985, because I knew that Atlantans needed help. These are the modern lepers, that nobody else wants. We meet at the Gwinnett Health and Human Services building in Buford, at 2755 Sawnee Avenue. The group meets each Wednesday for two hours at 6 p.m. (Another group meets Thursdays at 6 p.m. at 100 Hannover Park Road, Suite 160, in Sandy Springs.)
Ours is a self-help /peer support group for persons who have schizophrenia or a schizophrenia related illness. SA promotes self-help/peer support as an adjunct to professional help and the use of medication. The purpose of the group is to restore dignity, offer fellowship, and improve attitudes of those suffering from schizophrenia. The group will also share the latest information about the disease.
This has become my mission now; to welcome all these people back home, to reality. Call me at 770-380-2431 if you need help, or just to talk.
AUG. 10, 2012 -- The big question for August 21 is essentially this: how many of the 99,622 Gwinnettians who went to the polls on July 31 will return to vote in three run-off elections?
Of course, anyone who did not vote on July 31 can vote in the runoff. But since three-fourths (74.56 percent) of the citizens of Gwinnett did not bother to vote on July 31, you suspect that most of the votes to be cast on August 21 will be done by those who previously voted on July 31.
The turnout could be as low as five percent, gauging from previous runoffs. So that would mean we could put into office a county commissioner, and two judges, with the winners only getting elected by 2.51 percent of the registered voters!
That alone makes you wonder about runoffs. Would it be better to allow persons who score at least 45 percent in a three-person race to win and not have to have the expense of a runoff? After all, in most cases, it would represent a better reflection of the people's intentions than what a 2.51 percent turnout might mean. Anyone can win in a runoff. The key is making the runoff.
Since we are on this runoff subject, it's obvious that the Georgia Legislature needs to correct the runoff for non-partisan judges. If the Legislature would allow the judges in non-partisan races to run in the General Primary, but have the runoff in the General Election balloting, the result would be a higher turnout for the runoff, and a better indication of the will of the largest segment of the voting public.
Let's look at the results of the July 31 voting.
It all adds up to who returns to the voting booth on August 21.
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Now, to GwinnettForum's endorsements in the runoffs of August 21. We are most pleased to see the people who made the runoff elections, feeling all could serve well.
We urge the election of these candidates.
We also urge the citizens of Gwinnett, whether they voted in July or not, Gary,, to go to the polls on August 21 and participate in democracy.
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I live on fairly busy road in Auburn, and almost every weekend, pick up a bagful of bottles, wrappers, cups and discarded lotto tickets. I want to appeal to my neighbors and fellow Gwinnettians to roll up their sleeves and pick up the trash near their homes and businesses. Let's keep our community beautiful for ourselves and our children.
Remembers time in Athens when training at Naval School
Isn't UGA the third or fourth educational institution at that site? Are the old buildings gone or do the incoming UGA students get to enjoy the period architecture facing the flagpole out front?
The McDonald's across the street served 19 cent hamburgers, but we didn't go there much as our officer's mess served really good food, that is, except for the experimental reconstituted freeze-dried fare we were taste-testing for shipboard meals. Myra Gustav from Portland, Ore. and I were the two females at the school of 700 males in 1967. Ah! The memories!
those mystical, magical, wild, exotic plants from around the world, have
been the currency of kings, the pharmacy of healers and the delight of
cooks from the dawn of time. The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center
(GEHC) invites you to its "More Herbs, Less Salt" program at
McDaniel Farm on either August 18 or August 25, to learn more about these
Local start-up wins $25,000 from Gwinnett Innovation Park
In today's tight economic times it takes investments of all sizes to help start-ups succeed. Gwinnett Innovation Park and Leland Strange, local serial entrepreneur, investor and supporter of many technology companies in the Atlanta area over the last 30 years, are once again awarding the $25,000 Founder's Grant to an Atlanta-based start-up to help them reach a near term milestone.
8BIT is receiving the second quarter Founder's Grant. 8BIT is an Atlanta-based high-tech startup that has big dreams of disrupting the online publishing industry using open source technology. Sponsored by the Gwinnett Innovation Park (GIP) and Intelligent Systems, the Founder's Grant Award is a quarterly award to a company that is part of the eHub Nspire Program or is a qualified company in the GIP. Some $100,000 will be awarded annually.
Using the highly capable and super-powerful semantic publishing platform WordPress, 8BIT has been building a community of online publishers through its flagship product, Standard Theme. In fact, they even caught the attention of Automattic, the founding company behind WordPress, and became their fifth partner in 2012. 8BIT is unique in that they see their product as a lifestyle and have built a business that's fundamentally different than their competitors: they believe that going deep instead of wide with their focus will ultimately create a better product and will capture the minds and hearts of its customers.
The Founders Grant is part of the eHub Nspire Program which helps support Atlanta technology entrepreneurs by providing them with resources and benefits to help them succeed, including office space at Gwinnett Innovation Park at no cost for one year.
There are four co-founders of 8BIT. They are John Saddington, Chris Ames, Tom McFarlin and Jared Erickson, who have been working together for three years. They moved to Gwinnett Innovation Park in 2011. Since their inception, 8BIT has:
A landmark agreement signed between the Atlanta Chapter, National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), and the Southeastern Railway Museum, has created the framework for growth and development of a premier national transportation museum for the Atlanta region.
The Atlanta Chapter of NRHS, a non-profit membership group of enthusiasts, has worked to develop the collection of transportation artifacts comprising the Southeastern Railway Museum since the late 1950s. The group established the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Georgia in 1970 in an effort to display the collection. As part of a strategic planning exercise directly related to how to improve the museum and stabilize the collection, the group realized major change was needed.
Paul Grether, president of the Atlanta Chapter, NRHS, says: "We heard from the major corporate, civic and philanthropic communities in the Atlanta region that while a major transportation museum is a great cause, we needed community buy-in. After a tremendous amount of work by a small group of volunteers, now we have the framework for it. We have taken bold action and we hope this will help preserve this wonderful historical and educational resource for many generations to come."
The Atlanta Chapter, MRHS Board of Directors acted to authorize execution of a Museum Management Agreement and a Museum Lease Agreement with the newly formed Southeastern Railway Museum, Incorporated, a community-based non-profit. This action turns over control of the organization with the intent of establishing professional management of the museum and linkages, through board members selected from the community, with new donors.
Rick Hewatt, chairman of the new Southeastern Railway Museum Board of Trustees and president, Atlanta Checker Cab, says: "The museum already has been designated, through an act of the state legislature, as the Official Transportation History Museum of Georgia by the Secretary of State. We hope to build on the incredible collection and the successes the Atlanta Chapter NRHS has had to evolve the museum to the next level. We are going to create a premier, nationally recognized transportation museum for the Atlanta region."
The Southeastern Railway Museum, in operation since 1970, occupies a 35-acre site in Duluth, and offers exhibits dealing with the history and importance of transportation in the development of the state and the region. The collection includes roughly 90 pieces of railroad rolling stock, including historic locomotives, passenger and freight cars, and maintenance vehicles. The museum also exhibits historic automobiles, firefighting equipment, and buses from MARTA and its predecessors.
Because many of the exhibits are outdoors, the Southeastern Railway Museum varies its operating hours seasonally. Current days and hours, along with educational programming and other information, are available on the museum website at www.SoutheasternRailwayMuseum.org.
Norcross promotes Bender to superintendent post
Mary Beth Bender is the new Recreation, Parks and Cultural Arts division superintendent for the City of Norcross. In her new role, Ms. Bender will be responsible for managing daily operations for the parks and for the city's cultural arts facilities. There are 11 designated parks totaling over 31 acres of green space inside the city. In addition, she has been assigned the duties of administering a diverse recreation program and municipal park system.
last 13 years, Ms. Bender has been employed by the city in a number of
capacities, most recently as the executive assistant for Norcross' Public
Works, Utilities and Parks Department.
Jackson EMC Foundation awards $37,000 to 3 agencies
The Jackson EMC Foundation, a charity funded by the donations of the cooperative's members through the Operation Round Up program, has awarded $37,000 to three agencies that provide programs or services to the residents of Gwinnett County. The Hi-Hope Service Center in Lawrenceville is the recipient of $15,000 to help fund part-time nursing services for 25 developmentally disabled residents. From left are EMC Foundation board member Jim Puckett; Hi-Hope CEO Susan Boland Butts; Hi-Hope Nursing Services Manager Susan Ford; Jackson EMC Gwinnett District Manager Randy Dellinger; and Hi-Hope Director of Development Kelley Cody-Grimm. The Foundation also awarded $12,000 to the United Methodist Children's Home of North Georgia for its Financial Aid Program, and $10,000 to the Vision and Hearing Care Program, a service of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation.
"This is the story of RoseMarie Terenzio, JFK Jr.'s personal assistant for five years. I only recommend this book to people who are die-hard Kennedy fans because, even though you do get a glimpse into the life of Kennedy, the book is primarily about Terenzio's life and the things that happened to her as a result of her proximity to Kennedy. Extremely private, Kennedy was aware that people expected much from him and he felt pressured to succeed. He had bouts of temper and could be insensitive, but he was usually easy-going and generous. Not a prima donna, Kennedy had most things handed to him on a silver platter simply because of who he was. This book actually gave me more insight into Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and I came away really liking her and thinking she was a good match for Kennedy." (The full title is Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love and Loss.)
The study and exploration of caves, known as speleology, has revealed 513 caves in Georgia, and more are being discovered as exploration continues. Documentation by the Georgia Speleological Survey shows that Georgia's caves have a total combined length of at least 82 miles. However, caves of any significant size are known to exist only in 32 of Georgia's 159 counties, and most of those caves are in northwest Georgia.
Most caves form through the dissolution of limestone by acidic groundwater. Limestones of the Paleozoic age are a common bedrock in the Appalachian Plateau and Valley and Ridge provinces of northwest Georgia, and those limestones are riddled with caves and other features formed by solution processes. Georgia's two northwesternmost counties, Dade and Walker, host 164 and 149 caves respectively. Bartow County and the eight counties to the north and west (Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Walker, and Whitfield) combine to host 448 of Georgia's 513 known caves.
Spectacular caves in northwest Georgia include Ellison's Cave, Pettijohn's Cave, and Byers Cave. With a depth or vertical extent of 1,063 feet and a length of 64,030 feet (almost 12 miles), Ellison's Cave in Walker County is the 12th deepest and 52nd longest cave in the United States. The two deepest cave drops in the continental United States occur in Ellison's Cave: "Fantastic," which drops 586 feet, and "Incredible," which drops 440 feet.
Cave, also in Walker County, has more than six miles of passages, and
the Byers Cave system in Dade County has passages totaling five and a
half miles. These caves contribute to the reputation of the area where
Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia meet (known to the caving community as
the "TAG" region) as one of the world's most exciting regions
Caves can also form in other kinds of bedrock, typically where stream erosion undercuts rock ledges, where faults and fractures in bedrock are enlarged by weathering, or where blocks of talus (or rock debris) bridge small underlying passages. Fourteen caves have thus been reported in marbles, granites, gneisses, and schists of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont. In addition, at least one of Walker County's caves is a passage through sandstone talus.
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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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"Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?"
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 election.
2012 COUNTY CANDIDATES
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.
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IN THE COMING WEEK
(NEW) Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of Rabbit Hill Park Football program: 6 p.m., Aug. 10, at the park, 400 Rabbit Hill Road, in Dacula. Hosted by the Mountain View Athletic Association, with activities following ribbon cutting.
(NEW) Yard Sale: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 11, Lilburn Alliance Church, 5915 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker. Sponsored by the BusiNeighbor's Community.
(NEW) Business After Hours of the Buford Business Alliance: 5:30 p.m., Aug. 14, Ivy Springs Manor, 3177 Gravel Springs Road in Buford.
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© 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.