Issue 12.50 | Tuesday, Oct. 9, 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.
ATHENS, Ga., Oct. 9, 2012 -- Charter schools are often a great choice for students. But like most Georgians, we believe that decisions on how local education dollars should be spent ought to be made by parents in the communities where those students live and by the school boards they elect.
On November 6, you will be asked to vote 'Yes' or 'No' for an amendment to Georgia's Constitution. You are not voting for or against charter schools. Instead, you are voting for or against the creation of a new, costly, and unnecessary state bureaucracy.
Vote 'No' to stop the creation of the new government agency.
Over the past decade, our state government has cut more than $1 billion from the state budget in money that is sent to local school boards for K-12 education. Now, the state government wants to change our Constitution to take away your right to elect those who decide how scarce education tax dollars are spent.
In fact, if the bureaucrats get their way, we'll have a new state-level, Atlanta-based agency to tell you and your neighbors how to spend your education tax dollars. You won't elect these people. You won't be able to fire these people. You may never see these people set foot in your community. But the members of this unnecessary government agency may stand to profit from their decisions.
Georgia believes this is wrong. And we're not alone. Here's who else
wants you to vote 'No' on Amendment 1:
not all. Who else wants you to vote 'No' on Amendment 1? These school
boards, educators and professionals:
In fact, 69 percent of Georgia voters we asked said they are opposed to granting the state more control over education tax dollars raised by local city and county school boards.
you to vote 'Yes' on Amendment 1?
More than 92 percent of money contributed to the 'Yes' campaign comes from donors outside of Georgia. And that's just the money they're telling us about!
It seems that the only people who support Amendment 1 are state government bureaucrats, lawmakers who want a new way to spend your tax dollars and out-of-state corporations who are hovering like vultures, eager to make a profit off Georgia's children.?That's money that will come straight out of your pocket. Join Better Georgia to fight to keep Georgia's lawmakers from increasing the size of government bureaucracy while shrinking the budget for local schools.
OCT. 9, 2012 -- It's wonderful to see the excitement on the faces of people interested in their ancestry and learning more when visiting the Gwinnett Historical Society, and in particular, their annual Elisha Winn Fair. Last weekend we were in the Society's tent at the Fair and saw many who stopped by the tent with questions concerning their forebearers. They were beaming with the details they got, primarily from either President Elaine Roberts or Vice President Bill Baughman, who manned the entrance tent.
Meanwhile, other offices of the Association were volunteering at other activities, such as Historian Mary Long in the 1857 one-room school, or Treasurer Ed Williams checking into all sorts of different situations, Assistant Treasurer Betty Warbington worked the gate, and Fair Committee Chair Harriet Nicholls, who checked in the many vendors. It takes lots of people to put on such a fair, as they busied themselves with different chores.
The setting for the Elisha Winn Fair is most beautiful, and even you could call it serene. (However, the serenity is interrupted about hourly, when Civil War re-enactors set off the BOOM of a cannon.)
The Winn House sits on 20 acres on Dacula Road north of Dacula amid tall walnut, pecan, oak and pine trees. Arranged around the house are substantial older historical buildings moved to the site, such as a large barn, a blacksmith shop (with volunteer working blacksmith Dave Averyt pounding on a 110 pound anvil), an 1875-era one room school, cotton house, log cabin, former jail .and of course, an outhouse. The Society has also a small outdoor stage with audience benches, where local musicians perform during much of the fair. The sound of a lone violin by Will bon Tempo wafting through the site made me think we were all part of a Ken Burns documentary.
But back to those checking in at the Society's tent.
One guy, a retired Ohio State microbiology professor, had moved back to Georgia, and was wanting to know something about the Chipley family. He and his wife became excited when one of the Society's books listed the very ancestor he was searching for, and apparently, had been unable to find. It was like this brought him to a certain resolution about his family.
Another person was looking for something on the Ambrose family. Bill Baughman directed him into the Winn House, where he thought he might find an answer. Sure enough, a hour or so later, after he looked up information inside the house, he also was most excited in reporting back about finding his ancestor named in one of the documents in the house. He was validated, you could say, and he also seemed set on fire to learn more about his long-lost family.
Others came by seeking information, with many often leaving with one of the Society's publications, which had the info they needed. They were pleased.
* * * * *
Meanwhile, explaining about the old Jail at the fair, Dairell Davis of Bethlehem (in Gwinnett) asked one of the Skillet Lickers members if he had ever heard of a song called Ode to Grayson. The answer: "See that fellow over there. I think he wrote it." The guy was Doug Landers of Blairsville, who indeed, had written it, and not only that, had a copy "somewhere in my car," which Dairell ended up buying a recording, including the Ode. Dairell was another who left the Elisha Winn Fair a happy camper.
The Elisha Winn Fair is like a lot of Gwinnett festivals, giving depth to our county. Go out and enjoy as many of these local festivals as you can!
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Aurora Theatre, the professional theatre of Gwinnett County and home of the best entertainment in Northeast Georgia. With over 300 events annually, Aurora Theatre has live entertainment to suit everyone's taste. The Aurora Theatre main stage season is comprised of Broadway's best plays and musicals alongside exciting new works of contemporary theatre. Additionally, Aurora produces concerts, comedy club events, children's programs, and metro Atlanta's top haunted attraction, Lawrenceville Ghost Tours in October. Aurora Theatre is a world-class theatrical facility with two performances venues. It is nestled on the square in historic downtown Lawrenceville, with free attached covered parking and is surrounded by myriad of restaurants and shops. Season Tickets On Sale Now! For more information or to purchase tickets: http://www.auroratheatre.com/ or call 678-226-6222.
Feels that Rush speaks truth and is champion of great traits
Editor, the Forum:
know I would respond to the Rush Limbaugh story. While I will also miss
Clark who is good at what he does, the listeners in metro Atlanta need
to hear Rush and WSB provides this opportunity.
criticize Rush might find, if they would listen to him, that he speaks
the truth and is a champion of the traits that made this country great.
We need to get back to living the constitution so that greatness can be
restored. By the way, bet most that criticize him haven't listened to
the program. It would make reporting easier and truthful by going to the
Feels he's attacked for wanting to listen to Rush Limbaugh
Editor, the Forum:
Regarding your commentary on WGST, WSB and Rush Limbaugh. I feel as if I have been attacked for enjoying Rush Limbaugh. Am I even more evil because I do not listen to Clark Howard very often? Am I violating some kind of law I was not aware of for liking one and not listening to the other?
I never considered myself to be a "Lowest Common Denominator" kind of person. I don't know how others feel about being labeled the "Lowest Common Denominator" but I feel I have been called ignorant.
WSB changed its programming lineup to appeal to the most listeners. The stations that do not do that go out of business (unless someone passes a law that tells us what we must listen to and enjoy what we do not enjoy, whether we like it or not).
One further point not mentioned by others writing to you on this subject. WSB it seems did not reach out to snatch Rush Limbaugh away from WGST. Have you not noticed that WGST has changed to an all Spanish format? It looks to me like Rush Limbaugh was homeless and WSB offered the poor guy a home and will now reap great rewards because he is bringing along his millions of ignorant listeners and advertising revenue with him.
New London Theatre will present The Rocky Horror Show opening October 12 and continuing through October 28.
The musical that became a movie and a decades-long cultural phenomenon is back where it is meant to be - live on stage! With the unintentional humor of B movies and portentous dialogue of schlock horror, this rock musical masterpiece will have you doing the Time Warp again.
The Rocky Horror Show will be performed Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through October 28.
Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 on the day of the show. Shows are performed at New London Theatre: 2338 Henry Clower Boulevard in Snellville at the New London Plaza inside Margins Charity Thrift and Variety Mall. For additional information visit www.newlondontheatre.org.
Abstract artist Thompson is October exhibitor in Snellville
Abstract artist Joel Thompson is the October visual artist exhibiting artwork at Snellville City Hall. Thompson's exhibit is a continuation of the Art on the Wall at City Hall program. The public is invited to view original works of art by Joel Thompson during the month of October in the City Hall Community Room on Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artists and groups interested in having a solo show of their own at city hall are encouraged to contact the Snellville art jurors. The application and selection criteria can be found on our City website, www.snellville.org.
Pugfest returning to Gwinnett Fairgrounds on Oct. 27
of pug owners and their furry friends will celebrate "all things
pug" on Saturday, October 27, when PugFest returns to the Gwinnett
County Fairgrounds, at 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway. PugFest is the largest
fundraiser of the year sponsored by the Southeast Pug Rescue and Adoption,
Inc. (SEPRA), a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that rescues, fosters
and adopts out "any and all pugs and pug mixes in need".
In only six years, Georgia Gwinnett College has grown from 118 students to more than 9,000, earning it a spot as one of the 10 largest institutions in the University System of Georgia (USG).
Last year was the college's first appearance in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report's annual college guide. As a new school, it lacked data in several of the categories required by the magazine's ranking methodology. With more assessment data available for the 2013 rankings, Georgia Gwinnett debuted in the top 10 Southern public colleges at number six, and was the second-highest ranked public college in Georgia, just behind Clayton State, which occupies the fifth spot.
Georgia Gwinnett continues its pattern of achieving various milestones this fall semester, in addition to its growth. GGC recently hired an additional 52 full-time and 60 part-time faculty positions to serve its expanding student body, bringing the college's full-time faculty to 352 and part-time to 217, for a total of 569 faculty.
The college will break ground this winter on its new Allied Health and Sciences building, and recently hired a dean for its new School of Health Sciences.
Brenau to offer entertainment management program
a successful songwriter and publisher who founded the music business programs
at the University of Georgia and at Kennesaw State University, has joined
the Brenau University faculty to develop an entertainment and events management
curriculum and create ways for students to acquire practical experience
in the field before they graduate
A former Nashville songwriter, Burch penned hits for such musicians as Reba McIntyre, Billy Joe Royal, Barbara Mandrell, George Jones, The Oak Ridge Boys and Dan Seals. He also ran music publishing companies and worked as creative director at EMI Music Publishing, which at the time was the world's largest music publisher with over a million songs in its catalog.
Bill Lightfoot, dean of the College of Business and Mass Communication, said Burch as executive in residence at the college will develop an interdisciplinary minor in the field and tap into his vast network in the entertainment industry both to bring professionals to campus as guest lecturers and to open opportunities for practical experience for Brenau students in the field.
Burch also has been a driving force behind the John Jarrard Foundation, the Gainesville organization named for his late friend and fellow songwriter, which has raised more than $1 million for local charities. He recently hosted the foundation's annual fall concert on the front lawn of the Brenau campus that featured performances by songwriters who collectively have written dozens of No. 1 hits and thousands of songs for a wide variety of performers.
Burch grew up in Gainesville and is a 1975 graduate of the University of Georgia, He has operated his own publishing companies of hit songs, worked for EMI, a major music publishing company, and has worked as an artist manager.
City of Lilburn gets $6,000 to purchase sign reflectometer
The City of Lilburn has received a $6,000 grant from the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) that will improve traffic safety on city streets. The city used the grant to purchase a sign reflectometer, which measures the level of reflection on street signs. A sign's reflection wanes over time, and the sign must be replaced when it no longer meets established safety standards.
Steve Durden, manager of marketing and field services for GMA, says: "This program allows each city to stretch their budget dollars and provide a safer work environment for their employees."
The GMA Safety and Liability Management Grant program was introduced in 2000 to provide a financial incentive to assist members in improving their employee safety and general public liability loss control efforts through training and the purchase of equipment or services. Since the inception of the program, more than $1.5 million in grant funding has been distributed to 130 cities to fund items such as bulletproof vests, training videos, reflective safety vests, fire department turnout gear, and police department in-vehicle video systems.
"This book is the fascinating story of four ambitious young men who are elected to the British House of Commons. The book follows these men, their families, their careers and their personal highs and lows from 1964 until 1991. And what a ride it is! Having served as a member of Parliament, author Jeffery Archer knows the ins and outs of the job and shows how quickly and cruelly you can be in a top position one minute and on the back benches the next. He also illustrates the toll this life takes on personal relationships. All four men want to be prime minister - the first among equals. They plot, maneuver, and try to sidestep pitfalls and backstabbing politicians to that end. But only one person makes it. If you enjoy politics, you will enjoy this book."
(Continued from previous edition)
In his study of desertion patterns in Georgia in the Civil War, historian Mark Weitz estimates that 3,368 Georgians deserted and hid behind Union lines. Desertion was most common among enlisted soldiers and low-ranking officers. Nearly 93 percent of Georgia deserters were privates or noncommissioned officers. In contrast to traditional patterns of Confederate desertion, which peaked in the fall and winter of 1864, Georgia's wave of desertion had subsided by late 1864. Of the Georgians who fled to Union lines and took the oath of allegiance to the Union, more than 90 percent fled between December 1, 1863, and December 31, 1864.
Roughly 400 Georgians had enlisted in the Union Army by the end of the war, but it remains unclear how many of these loyalists had deserted Confederate armies. Although communities in the Georgia mountains provided only 114 Confederate companies, or 14 percent of the total number of Georgia units, the majority of deserters hailed from that region. They accounted for approximately 2,058, or 61 percent, of the soldiers who abandoned the Confederacy for Union lines.
Various factors influenced the increased desertion rates among Georgia highlanders. Because of Sherman's advance on Atlanta, those Georgians in Confederate units along his route were in close proximity to their homes in the mountains and upper Piedmont, which made returning to their communities more feasible. As the Union army upheld lenient desertion policies, its presence throughout north Georgia encouraged desertion.
Soldiers also deserted in an attempt to alleviate the hardships endured by their families and communities. Enlistment in the army kept men away from their homes for extended periods and destroyed the economic foundation of semi-subsistent mountain families. Crop failures, as well as salt shortages and guerrilla raids, plagued north Georgia communities. Deteriorating home-front conditions compelled many families to write soldiers and urge them to desert and return home. Despite Governor Joseph E. Brown's attempts to maintain order and relieve shortages of food and other supplies, many soldiers lost faith in the state's ability to do so and chose family loyalty over allegiance to the Confederate army.
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"Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business."
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
Re-Development Forum: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 11, Red Clay Theatre in downtown Duluth Keynote speaker is Charles Waldheim, chair of Landscape Architecture of Harvard Graduate School of Design. Sponsored by Partnership Gwinnett and Council for Quality Growth. Details.
Terror on the Trail: Friday and Saturday nights, Oct. 12-27, Sims Lake Park in Suwanee. Tours begin at 7:30 p.m., with the last tour at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance at www.terroronthetrail.com or by calling the Aurora Theatre Box Office at 678-226-6222. The park's 1.2-mile looping trail will be transformed into a haunting backdrop for zombies and tales of terror.
Girl Scout engineering careers for women: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 13, Alpharetta campus of DeVry University, 2555 Northwinds Parkway. Women in engineering careers will help lead girls in a variety of hands-on science activities about science careers. Lunch will be provided to all registered.
39th annual Lilburn
Daze Festival: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 13, Lilburn City Park.
Free Admission. Sponsored by GFWC Lilburn's Woman's Club in cooperation
with the city.
Gwinnett Congressional Candidate Forum: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15, Busbee Center of Gwinnett Technical College. Candidates from the Fourth and Seven Districts have been invited to appear. Hosted by the Gwinnett Leave of Women Voters in coalition with the Organization of Chinese Americans of Georgia and the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett. "Know the issues, join the conversation, make a difference."
(NEW) Norcross Candidate Forum: 7 p.m., Oct. 18, Norcross Community Center. Candidates for seats on the Norcross City Council are being asked to appear. Sponsored by the Progressive Development Committee of Norcross.
Fort Daniel Frontier Faire, at Hog Mountain: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 20, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 21, at 2505 Braselton Highway. The former site of Fort Daniel (circa 1812) is currently located on privately owned property. Faire parking on site is limited to handicapped only and parking for the public is available across the street at Northview Church, corner of Georgia Highways 124-324.
(NEW) Candidate Forum: 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22, Christ the King Lutheran Church, 5575 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross. Area candidates for Congress, the statehouse and school board have been invited. Judge Warren Davis is the moderator. Sponsored by the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association.
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.
(NEW) Euro in Crisis: 11:30 a.m., Oct. 31, 1818 Club, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway. The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a talk by the Consul General of Germany to Atlanta, Christoph Sander. Sponsored by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Info: 770 232-3000.
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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