Issue 12.45 | Friday, Sept. 21, 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.
ATLANTA, Ga., Sept. 21, 2012 -- Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is urging Gwinnett parents to take a stand against childhood obesity. In a recent study commissioned by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, researchers found that while the majority of Georgia parents recognize the severity of the childhood obesity epidemic in the state, parents of overweight and obese children still don't believe the issue affects their family.
With Georgia having the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation, Gwinnett parents can now visit the recently re-launched www.Strong4Life.com to find resources, including tips on how to have "The Talk" with their children about healthy behaviors and habits.
The Talk helps parents realize that before they can talk to their kids, they have to have an honest conversation with themselves about family health risks, habits and the kind of role models they want to be for their children. Additionally, The Talk helps parents learn that this dreaded conversation with their children is actually not about their weight, but their health, making it less intimidating. Strong4Life.com walks parents through this self-reflection while building their confidence and providing the necessary tools and resources to take their first simple steps toward a healthier family.
As a mother and pediatrician, I know parents are willing to go to any length for the health of their child, so why stop when it comes to issues regarding childhood obesity? It's time for parents to be stronger than the thoughts that hold them back. The Talk asks parents to first take a step back, candidly evaluate their family's habits, choose one simple step, and then, only once they have done their due diligence, engage their family in a positive and reassuring way.
Here are some tips to help you make simple improvements in your household:
Remember: it's all about your child's health!
SEPT. 21, 2012 -- There are several aspects of one proposed Constitutional Amendment that will be put to Georgia voters in November that worry me. The subject of the question concerns "charter schools."
Notwithstanding whether charter schools are good or bad, here are several aspects of this proposal that are of worry.
First, there is a preamble: "Providing the improving student achievement and parental involvement through public chapter school options." Then it puts the amendment to you in this way: "Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities? Yes or No?"
While the proposal itself can by-pass the duly-elected school board, we now find that at the "request of local communities," that is other people than the school board in any county, such unofficial groups can propose and possibly get funding of a charter school. That alone usurps the authority of local schools. It would amount to having a county-wide public school system, and then a group of others having funding for a parallel school.
Something's not right here.
Now to the sinister aspect. The wording on the ballot appears to be possibly unconstitutional, in that it directs your response to the eventual question by telling you it would mean improved student achievement, and more parent involvement, through the public charter options.
It's saying something like: surely you want this, for it's improving and giving more parental options.
Why all this? Proponents of charter schools were thwarted by a Supreme Court decision, limiting their establishment. But even now, the state already has that power through the State Board of Education, though limited. Simply put, charter school proponents want not the state elected officials, but a rogue group named by the governor, to create more charter schools. We might .and spend taxpayer dollars.
We're always told to "follow the money." And if the State creates a charter school which the local school did not choose to create, it means that the state will FUND the new charter school, while reducing the funding for public school board. That is wrong. It comes at a time when the state has defunded public schools in the last few years.
Georgia ranks low in education, we all know. Taking more funding away from public schools, even if that money is used in another way in the community, still does not fund the local public schools as they should be. They need more money, not have funds taken away from them (even if from a charter school.)
Georgians should reject the amendment on charter school funding. But with the ramifications, the complications and the sinister wording, such an amendment could pass. We can only hope not.
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Editor, the Forum:
If one sought the finest, most accurate example of the complete country newspaper editor of fact and fiction, Waldo "Bo" McLeod of Donalsonville would have been the obvious choice.
He personified that special combination of enthusiastic community cheerleader and sharp-witted curmudgeon who encouraged the worthy, chastised the errant, ridiculed the pompous, recognized the achievers, dispelled fears, exposed opportunities, noted failures, mirrored history, pointed to the future and tickled the fancy of all. He served as a writer who lived among the people and in the community he loved.
Bo was truly a legend in his own time; he provided an example-and entertainment-for his peers and a model for upcoming generations who entertained the notion of pursuing a career in the craft.
He loved his family, his God, his church, his friends, his community, his country, The Donalsonville News and his profession with all his being. Those of us privileged to call him "Friend" never knew anyone more loyal or supportive. He celebrated them all, every day, and no "boogerality"--to use his coined term--was ever severe enough to separate him from those he loved, and who loved him.
And besides all of that, he was a heck of a lot of fun to be around.
Doesn't like idea of new Suwanee Police training facility
Editor; the Forum:
Yes, I am suspicious about the new Suwanee police training facility that has opened with much fanfare recently. The project reeks of having access to taxpayer money and trying to find a way to spend it rather than an inescapable conclusion that something had to be done through a public expenditure.
The city should not be holding prime commercial real estate for a police training facility - an activity that could be performed in the back of some industrial park where the parking is better. I can remotely see a fire station there because of the ready access, but not a shimmering salute to municipal largess that should make any Suwanee taxpayer wonder what developer and what councilman profited from the transaction.
Also, what is the net increase to my property and/or sales taxes for the new people that will be staffing the facility? Municipal benefits like health insurance and pension alone will be at least $25,000 a year. This is a sign, in my view, of municipal government gone adrift.
Loves walkable life with culture, energy of the city
wedding was in a tiny village called Icomb in the Cotswolds. It was a
beautiful pastoral landscape, and it was very quiet (at least until the
wedding festivities began). It provided a stark contrast to London, where
I was lucky enough to spend some time both before and after the wedding.
While the English countryside is beautiful, given the choice I would much
rather live in a place like London with its crowds, traffic, and noise
- because along with all these things, London has the culture and energy
that can only be found in cities.
Therapeutics is relocating its corporate headquarters to Gwinnett County.
Galectin Therapeutics, a leader in galectin science and drug development
to treat fibrotic disease and cancer, will move from the Boston area to
its new facility at 4960 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Norcross.
Applications being accepted for garden plots in Suwanee
Want access to the very freshest herbs and produce? Here's your opportunity to grow your own: The City of Suwanee will accept applications for garden plots next year at its Harvest Farm Community Garden on Wednesday, October 3. Applications will be accepted from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at White Street Park, where the community garden is located.
The garden's 76 plots are available first to City of Suwanee residents and then to other area residents. The annual fee for a plot ranges from $50-$100, depending upon the size of the plot requested; City residents receive a 25 percent discount. Applications are available at www.suwanee.com.
"When my family and I were looking at Suwanee last year as a possible place to live," says Julie Chahboune, "the Harvest Farm Community Garden was a huge selling point. My kids love coming to the garden and we've all enjoyed the experience of meeting the other plot holders. Gardeners are some of the nicest, most generous people I've ever met. They not only share information and anecdotes, but their extra produce, too."
Applications due 5 p.m. today for Suwanee Police Academy
The Suwanee Police Department is once again offering its popular Citizen's Police Academy. Over the past eight years, more than 300 individuals have participated in this hands-on, eight-week program.
Classes for this fall session will be offered at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evenings beginning October 2 at the Suwanee Police Department's new training facility/substation at 2966 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in the Gateway area. Those wishing to participate must provide notarized applications by 5 p.m. Friday, September 21. Applications are available at www.suwanee.com.
The program, open to Suwanee residents and those who work in Suwanee, offers a better understanding of the day-to-day functions, risks, and experiences of Suwanee police officers.
Redevelopment forum coming to Red Clay Theatre on Oct. 11
A redevelopment forum is scheduled in Gwinnett on October 11 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth. Join Partnership Gwinnett for an interactive discussion about energizing redevelopment; creating the infrastructure for future investment and implementing innovative revitalization strategies.
Keynote Speaker will be Charles Waldheim, chair of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is internationally recognized for coining the term "landscape urbanism." This school of thought contends that landscape, rather than architecture, is more capable of organizing a community and enhancing the urban experience. The concept of landscape urbanism is sweeping design schools, academia, the avant-garde and the media.
Landscape urbanism is an ecological alternative to "new urbanism" and has gained wide recognition quickly because of its unique ability to reconcile contemporary economic systems with the underlying ecological conditions around which communities are created.
Commissioners on Tuesday renewed a contract with three firms to carry
out a grant-funded program aimed at stabilizing neighborhoods that have
been hard hit by high rates of foreclosure. Atlanta Neighborhood Development
Partnership, Gwinnett Window and Door and The Macallan Group will continue
to purchase foreclosed homes, rehabilitate the properties and sell them
to working families. The Lawrenceville Housing Corporation and View Point
Health are non-profit partners working with these firms.
Commissioners OK $1.79 million in water, drainage upgrades
Commissioners on Tuesday approved four projects totaling $1.79 million,
to replace aging water mains and drainage pipes. These much-needed upgrades
will improve water and stormwater services, according to Water Resources
Director Ron Seibenhener.
Skin Alley improvements in Norcross now well underway
Alley Block Project" in Norcross began back in July, when new infrastructure
such as a conduit for future underground utilities, new grease traps and
new above-ground electrical poles were installed. With these elements
in place and Georgia Department of Transportation permits secured, the
next construction phase began recently, with the focus now on hardscape
Norcross' Community Development Department Director Chris McCrary has coordinated the project construction contractor, AT&T and the city utilities team. The whole project, including the hardscape improvements along College and Jones Streets, is projected to take 180 days (from September, 2012) and be completed in the spring of 2013.
(Continued from previous edition)
In addition to its permanent collection at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, the museum presents temporary exhibitions drawn from or inspired by works in the museum's collection. Other exhibitions offer a broader context, highlighting American art or international art movements that influenced artists who lived or worked in the South. The museum also organizes traveling exhibitions. Select pieces from the collection have toured institutions in locales as diverse as Seattle, Washington; Akron, Ohio; Amarillo, Texas; and Ardmore, Oklahoma.
In conjunction with its exhibitions, the museum publishes catalogs as well as monographs and other books on southern art and artists. Complete lists of publications and past exhibitions can be found on the museum's Web site.
The museum's Center for the Study of Southern Painting, also located at the Augusta Riverfront Center, houses more than 9,500 volumes and periodicals relating to general art history and southern art and culture, and more than 2,100 files on artists who have worked in the South, as well as letters and other primary materials on southern artists. The center serves in a reference and research capacity and receives inquiries from around the world through the museum's Web site. Because the art of the South is as complex and diverse as the South itself, the museum actively supports research and publication.
The museum's award-winning education department offers a variety of services for students in preschool through the university level, an annual literary competition for grades K-12, and internships for secondary and postsecondary students. "Georgia Studies: Images and Artifacts," a collaborative program with the Augusta Museum of History, includes tours of both museums and a teacher resource package containing books, videotapes, and curriculum-based lessons in social studies and visual arts. "Draw on Nature," a student tour program, integrates science, technology, and art through the study of nature.
The collaborative program with Fort Discovery features museum tours, a self-guided tour of the Riverwalk, and a Web site with interactive lesson plans. Through in-service training, such as the National Faculty-Morris Museum of Art Professional Development Initiative, and curriculum-based resource materials, teachers can integrate works of art into the classroom. The museum also sponsors community programs, including "Artrageous Sunday" family programs and lecture series. Newly introduced classes in art history and appreciation provide in-depth experiences for the lifelong learner.
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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.
"Funny how bizarre stories about Jesus don't do more than raise a few eyebrows, and those about Mohammed cause death and destruction."
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
Stuart Woods luncheon: Doors open 11 a.m. for noon lunch, Sept. 26, Garden Plaza, 230 Collins Industrial Way in Lawrenceville. Woods will discuss his autobiographical, Blue Water, Green Skipper. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Proceeds benefit Gwinnett County Public Library.
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.
Ninth Annual Suwanee Music Festival: Oct. 6, Town Center Park, sponsored by Amigos for Christ. Music begins at 10 a.m. and continues through beginning of The Lovin' Spoonful presentation at 7:30 p.m. Events for all ages at $10 per person. Details.
(NEW) Halloween-for-Haiti Carnival: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Oct. 27, Christ Episcopal Church, 400 Holcomb Bridge Road, Norcross. Music, food, kids' activities throughout the event. Costume parade with prizes at 5 p.m. Haunted trail from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Proceeds benefit the children of Jasmin, Haiti.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
CONTINUING OBJECTIVES FOR GWINNETT
Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.
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