Issue 12.43 | Friday, Sept. 14, 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.
Ga., Sept. 14, 2012 -- On the evening of August 28, the Gwinnett County
Board of Commissioners took a bold step forward and endorsed a future
vision for the Greater Gwinnett Place area--- Gwinnett County's central
business district and the strategic heart of our community.
past year, the Gwinnett
Place Community Improvement District (CID) has worked in close concert
with Gwinnett County, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, area stakeholders
and concerned citizens to craft proactive strategies that can dramatically
transform greater Gwinnett Place, functionally and aesthetically, into
a vibrant mixed-use activity center. The resulting recommendations are
market-driven and are aimed at reestablishing the area as the thriving
nucleus of Gwinnett County.
SEPT. 14, 2012 -- Back years ago, when publishing a weekly newspaper in Jesup, one tactic we adopted on the editorial page was something I stole from the Chicago Tribune. Each week we published a list of "Continuing Objectives" for Wayne County. These were long-term suggestions for improving the county. We introduced topics from time to time by editorializing about the subject. When significant ideas became obvious, we would add it to the list as another long-range goal for the community. When objectives were implemented and funded, we took this one off the list.
Change comes slowly. We didn't remove many of the ideas, though one in particularly, we remember, was accomplished. This was "Bridging the railroad tracks." You see, Jesup was on the main line of the CSX railroad, and often Jesup vehicular traffic was blocked by lengthy trains, or the train sat for long moments without moving blocking all three major street crossing in town. It was about a half mile from the northern to the southern crossing. Ambulances were sometimes on the lee side of the hospital. Or a fire engine was blocked when it was needed on the other side of town. Eventually a new bridge provided this access and we could editorialize about the removal of this objective.
Another long term Wayne County objective is slowly taking place these days in that county, nearly 40 years after we moved from Jesup. In the recent primary, several old-time Democratic candidates, including the sheriff and tax commissioner, ran for office as Republicans for the first time. This cheered us, since the Democratic Party has controlled the county for years. And this year, the previous Democrats won as Republicans! Our objective then was simply: "Development of a two-party system for local offices."
Of course, here in Gwinnett, after the 1984 election, the objective would have been stated slightly different: "Democratic candidates for local offices." Both objectives would work toward having a real, viable two-party system for local political offices.
So, with this in mind, and after reviewing various positions GwinnettForum has taken in the past four years, we offer today our list of long range Continuing Objectives for Gwinnett County. We will publish this list each issue, and add or subtract from it from time to time.
For Gwinnett, the list includes:
That's our list. If readers have other suggestions for improving our community, please send your thoughts to Feedback.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. The Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District was formed in 2006, and is a self taxing revitalization district that includes just under 600 commercial property owners with a property value of over $1 billion dollars. Gwinnett Village CID includes the southwestern part of Gwinnett County including properties along Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Buford Highway, Indian Trail, Beaver Ruin, and Singleton Road. Gwinnett Village is one of four CIDs to be created in Gwinnett County and is the largest of all CIDs in the state. Gwinnett Village's mission is to improve property values through increased security, a decrease in traffic congestion, and general improvements to the curb appeal of the area. For more information visit www.gwinnettvillage.com or call 770-449-6515.
Editor, the Forum:
I travel to every corner of this great state and certainly echo your comments about community pride. A unique culture and personality emerges in every community that I spend time in, rich or poor, large or small, urban or rural. And yes, the outward appearance of a community nearly always reflects its sensibilities and character.
We are drawn to communities for different reasons. Good homes, quality schools, business prospects and accessibility are some of the many things that people consider when deciding where they want to live. I maintain that any of these are enhanced by or even derived from an underlying sense of pride and the willingness of regular, busy people to get involved and take action on behalf of their community.
Communities inevitably go through development and re-development cycles influenced by changing economies and demographics. So how do you chose a great place to live and do business in an ever-changing environment? It's easy. Look for a community that consistently elects responsive and responsible local government.
Find a diverse slate of residents and business owners who are lined up to serve on an array of boards and committees. Look for active town centers, safe and well-used public spaces, parks and trails. Seek out the small businesses, community gardens, public art, farmers markets, cultural centers and festivals. Listen for locals and business owners who will go out of their way to engage you and promote their community at every opportunity.
Some communities have developed to this point and some are working with every ounce of their energy and resources to get there. Find this and I'd say you have found grassroots America where anything is possible. Welcome home.
You don't need a lot of training in using a 12-gauge shotgun
Right to drive an automobile not found in the Constitution
Editor, the Forum:
I'd like to comment on the note from Bob Hanson regarding the comparative restrictions on cars as compared to guns. I think the writer is missing an important point: unlike automobiles, the right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in our Constitution.
I am of the opinion that not enough time or talent is spent on educating the populace on the proper use and upkeep of firearms. I think we would be a safer, more civil society if more people were exposed to and trained in the use of guns for personal protection. Why not add gun safety to the elective curriculum at the high school level?
Sees epidemic of motorists not halting at stop signs
Editor, the Forum:
Stop signs mean stop! Or do they?
There is a function in our brains called the Reticular Activating System. This is the automatic mechanism inside your brain that brings relevant information to your attention. This means, when issues become important to us, we notice them.
An example: you decide that you need to buy a used car. Suddenly you start noticing all the used cars on the side of the road that are for sale by owners. Once you buy your used car, you do not notice them any longer. They are still there but they are no longer important to you, so you don't even see them.
My Reticular Activating System has become activated regarding people not stopping for stop signs. I can't turn it off.
Is this is an "epidemic" in my mind or is it really a problem? Was it there before I started noticing it? If you start looking for these drivers, you may not be able to turn them off either because, in my opinion, they are everywhere near where I live.
Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) and AGCO, a Duluth based global
manufacturer of agricultural equipment, are teaming up to develop a partnership
that will serve as a model of excellence for demonstrating, teaching,
and explaining the complexities of both yesterday's and today's farming
technology and how it works within the agricultural profession.
Just as "Dragon*Con," the world's largest popular culture convention, was up and running recently in Atlanta, Jonathan C. Gillespie of Duluth is relishing the launch of his new military science fiction thriller series, The Tyrant Strategy.
"It's quite a rush holding the finished product in your hands," he says.
A published author, whose short fiction once earned a finalist nod at the Parsec Awards, Gillespie enjoys introducing his books to people who might avoid genre fiction. "I enjoy catching the reader who doesn't yet know that they will enjoy this kind of fiction - moms, military veterans, homeschoolers, Christians, etc." he explains.
His new book is The Tyrant Strategy: Revenant Man. It's a suspense thriller wrapped with military science fiction overtones.
Gillespie is a married father who works fulltime as a database operator by day. He manages to write through "voluntary sleep deprivation." He awakes at 5:20 a.m. during the week - "it's the best time to write since the brain is relaxed." He writes for an hour and a half.
Gillespie's career in information technology and his stint as a science fiction writer share common traits, he explains. "IT is a game of perfectionism," he said. "It helps me self-examine my work. I'm very much a perfectionist when it comes to writing." He adds, "It also means it's nothing for me to sit at a computer for two to three hours at a time. I can slip into a zone and keep going."
Walton EMC makes $77,000 in grants to local charities
Among many recent grants given by Walton Electric Membership Corporation's (EMC) Operation Round Up is one that colors the lives of children with autism. Some $77,000 in grants were awarded.
Operation Round Up, funded by the cooperative's customer-owners, donated $5,000 to the Spectrum Autism Support Group that serves over 600 families in Gwinnett and surrounding counties.
at Spectrum give parents the opportunity to spend time with other
her son passed away in 2011, Clair Dees, Spectrum co-founder,
Other recent donations include:
"This book is not about horses. The term, 'half-broke horses,' describes people who have a wild streak. Jeannette Walls bases this novel on the story of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, a spitfire of a woman who overcame a number of hardships in very practical ways. Smith began the first 10 years of her life in dirt, dug out on the side of a river in Texas, and lived much of her adult life on a farm. She had no time for 'frivolities' such as washing clothes. One of her mottos was, 'The most important thing is life is to learn how to fail.' The book is interesting and moves very quickly. The chapters are short and each one starts a new story. I recommend it as a nice little read."
Designated a historic site and state park in 1979, the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation is among the last remaining vestiges of 19th-century rice plantations that flourished along the Georgia coast.
The plantation dates to 1806, when William Brailsford began acquiring land in the cypress swamps of the Altamaha River. His purchases included a river estate named Broadface, which he renamed Broadfield. Brailsford was later joined by a son-in-law, James M. Troup, and by the time of Troup's death, their holdings had grown to 7,300 acres of land and several houses. As many as 357 slaves also worked on the plantation.
After the Civil War (1861-65) rice production declined owing to the lack of a slave labor force and damage from hurricanes. Brailsford's descendants eventually converted the property into a dairy, which closed in the early 1940s.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources manages the 1,268 acres of land and 696 acres of freshwater marshes. Visitors today can see Hofwyl House, built in the 1850s by Troup's daughter Ophelia and her husband, George Dent, and named after a school Dent attended in Switzerland. The two-story frame house is not elevated, making it unique among low-country homes of the time.
The house remains as Ophelia Troup Dent's granddaughter (also named Ophelia) left it when she died in 1973, willing the property to the state for use for "scientific, historical, educational and aesthetic purposes." Antiques collected over five generations of Brailsford's descendants remain in the house as well as a museum with a model of a working rice plantation and film about the life of planters and slaves.
Archaeological excavations were conducted in the early 1990s to learn more about the part of the plantation that was settled earliest.
Although many of the buildings of Broadfield Plantation no longer exist, their remains can be found just under the surface. Those remains offer important information about earlier occupants of the site and about the operations of an antebellum rice plantation-information that is missing from written records. In addition to fragments of buttons, bottles, pipes, musical instruments, stoneware, and other artifacts, the survey revealed the location of an early slave settlement, which ultimately may help tell the story of how rice plantations differed from other plantation cultures and provided for better preservation of the African culture.
Karen Wood, the author of the archaeological report on the site, concluded that "rice plantation slaves had more freedom than slaves on upland cotton plantations; part of this was because of the difference in work organization (the task system was used rather than the gang system) and also because the plantation master spent very little time on the plantation because of the serious threat of malaria."
The Hofwyl-Broadfield historic site is in Glynn County, about four miles south of Darien and about 13 miles north of Brunswick.
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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.
"Our bodies are our gardens; our wills are our gardeners."
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
Honeybee Festival: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sept. 15, Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center in Buford. There will be bee games, story time, crafts, honey samples, and cooking demonstrations with honey by a local Publix grocery store. A number of beekeepers will be on hand to discuss their craft and also to sell their local honey and beeswax products.
Gwinnett Technology Forum: 7:30 a.m., Sept. 18, Busbee Center at Gwinnett Technology College. Speaker will be Rich McDonald, global director of the Executive Briefing Program for NCR of Duluth. He will speak on how the company, through technological innovation and advancement in multiple channels, helps its customers achieve next generation productivity gains.
(NEW) General Membership Meeting of Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce: 11:30 a.m., Sept. 19, The 1818 Club in Duluth. Speaker will be J. Alvin Wilbanks, Gwinnett School Superintendent. Details: 770 232-3000, or www.gwinnettchamber.org.
(NEW) Joint Replacement Clinic: 7:30 a.m., Sept. 21, 1818 Club, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. This free healthcare breakfast is sponsored by Gwinnett Medical Center to tell of the latest advancement in joint replacement. Speakers will be Drs. Mary Jo Albert and Gary Levengood, talking about hip and knee replacement.
(NEW) Harvest Ball benefitting Norcross Cluster schools: 7 p.m., Sept. 28, Northeast Atlanta Hilton, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Norcross. Tickets are $50 per person. Black tie optional. Food, surprise activities, dancing and silent auction. For more details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Genealogical workshop: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 29, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Lawrenceville at 3355 Sugarloaf Parkway. Sponsored by the church, and the Daughters of the American Revolution, William Day Chapter, and Sons of the American Revolution, Atlanta Chapter. Learn how to use census records, courthouse records and other sources, many on the Internet, to start to research and document your family history.
Children's author to appear: Gwinnett Kid's Read, Too! features children's author Carmen Deedy. She will appears on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Lawrenceville Library Branch, 1001 Lawrenceville Highway. She will greet fans and promote her newest book Return of the Library Dragon. Illustrator Michael White will also make an appearance.
Sign-Up Time for Gwinnett Great Days of Service. This year's event will be held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6, 2012 with over 300 different projects to choose from. This annual event offers Gwinnett residents the opportunity to donate their time and energy to doing community service and helping those in need. For more information and to sign up, visit this site.
Third Annual Gala of the Northeast Atlanta Ballet: Sept. 29, Northwood Country Club. Now in its 16th season, the goal of the night is to raise $25,000 toward providing high quality, affordable arts programming, with live orchestra for all performances, and unsurpassed performing opportunities for aspiring dancers. More.
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