GRAND OPENING: Jim and Billie Ellis of Duluth use super-sized scissors to cut the ribbon at the new Center for Surgical Weight Management (CSWM) at Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth. Patients can now find a wealth of healthy-living resources, all behind one door, as GMC-Duluth opened the newly renovated, 12,000-square foot facility, located on the Glancy Campus. The new CSWM was made possible through a donation from the Ellis Family. The new CSWM includes several features emphasizing patient care and convenience, such as the Eating Well demonstration kitchen, expanded clothing closet, on-site massage suite, comfortable exam rooms, and larger classrooms.
Issue 12.56 | Tuesday, Oct. 30, 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., Oct. 30,2012 -- Public education is in a financial crisis. Resources
for our students continue to diminish, teachers are being furloughed,
school systems are reducing the number of days in the school year, and
class sizes are increasing. This financial crisis is in part because of
the down economy. But it is also a result of the state not adequately
funding our public schools as required by the existing law.
Instead of working to find ways to adequately fund our public schools, state lawmakers are proposing to take even more tax money away from schools to give to privately operated state charter schools. State lawmakers tried to make this change a few years ago but the Georgia Supreme Court struck down their efforts. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that local boards of education, not a state-appointed commission, has the authority to create charter schools. State lawmakers now seek to overturn that decision by amending the state Constitution in the November election to recreate the commission to authorize and fund state charter schools.
On November 6, the voters of Georgia will be asked the following question at the ballot box.
There is a problem: the question is misleading.
So what does the amendment really do?
the state to create a system of state charter schools through an appointed
board with unlimited authority to authorize state charter public schools
AND to create a funding structure that would allow the state to fund state
charter schools at an amount higher than they fund local public schools.
Issues to consider:
Public education is the cornerstone of American democracy. Transforming our public schools will require engaged and informed citizens, organizations, and state lawmakers to come together for the benefit of ALL students. Creating state charter schools does just the opposite by adding more layers of bureaucracy, eroding local control and trust, diverting local tax dollars, and draining financial resources from our existing schools.
Don't be fooled by this misleading question when you go to the ballot box. I will be voting NO on the Constitutional Amendment #1 for State Charters. How about you?
OCT. 30, 2012 -- Most Georgians have never heard of Congressman John Gibson of the state's Eighth Congressional District. Yet he played a major role in the initial passage of what we know as the GI Bill of Rights, way back in 1944.
We got to thinking of the GI Bill, known officially as the "The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944" when first passed, after hearing a 2006 interview by Bob Edwards with the late Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota. The senator said that because of the GI Bill, our country allowed 14 million veterans to buy homes, get education, and better themselves. The senator said something like this to Edwards: "The country made money on the GI Bill, as it gave returning veterans the ability to get more education, and to be able to earn more money, which resulted in them paying higher taxes."
Today there's another GI Bill out there, giving similar benefits to returning servicemen who have been in the wars since 2001. And because of this bill, it will also let even more veterans of the most recent war to better themselves through home loans, education and generally improving their status.
We knew nothing about Congressman Gibson of Douglas before we starting looking into the many ways the GI Bill helped this country. When Congress was debating the Serviceman's Readjustment Act in 1944, both houses passed the bill without a single negative vote. People were looking forward for its quick passage. Then the bill went to a conference committee to finalize the bill ..and the six conference members of the House deadlocked 3-3 on what the final version would look like. That's where John Gibson comes in.
All this is reported in detail in the American Legion Magazine. Here is the link.
The abbreviated version is that Congressman Gibson was back in Douglas, Ga., it was thought, and was needed in Washington-quickly-to break the 3-3 tie among the House members, and move the bill toward passage.
But in those World War II days, communications was not easy. The Congressman could not be found. There was no answer to repeated telephone calls to his home Some said he was between Valdosta and Douglas. People all over the state were looking for him. Even two radio stations (WSB in Atlanta, WGOV in Valdosta) were broadcasting bulletins asking if anyone knew where he was to contact officials. It was so desperate that the Georgia State Patrol was stopping automobiles between Douglas and Valdosta and asking startled drivers if they were the Congressman.
Finally, about 11 p.m., the Congressman returned home, heard the phone ringing, and was briefed on the circumstances. Meanwhile, several people were working on different fronts to get Gibson to Washington, including higher-ups at Eastern Airlines, who had a 2:30 flight from Jacksonville, which was told to "Bring Gibson to Washington on that plane if you have to wait all night."
6:37 the next morning when the flight landed at Washington National, and
Gibson could cast a vote that day to break the House deadlock and get
the conference committee approval by both Houses.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. The Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) leads the state with over seven million items circulated in FY2011. It is the recipient of the Overdrive 2011 Digital Pioneer Award and the proud winner of over $45,000 of books from publisher John Wiley. The library is the only public community partner that supports economic development with early literacy opportunities, curriculum support, lifelong learning and literacy based programs for all residents. GCPL branches provide wireless internet access and public computers. GCPL further connects the community with two county-wide special events, Gwinnett Reads and Fall Into the Arts - for which it received first place recognition for Community Arts Programs, in January of 2012! More online.
Editor, the Forum:
Anne Labaire's painting reminds me of staying with my grandmother in Hartwell, Georgia. I recall waking up in fresh sheets off the line, the smell of biscuits in the kitchen, and the local radio station giving the daily hospital, funeral home, and school absence report. It was a sheltered and wonderful way to grow up.
The Lilburn Police Department Bicycle Patrol Unit rolled into action last Saturday with the opening of Bryson Park.
The department recently enhanced its patrols by adding four officers to this specialty area of policing, making a total of seven certified bicycle officers on staff. Last week the last batch of officers completed a certified training course. Included was an obstacle course that simulates riding through a crowd; being able to ride down several flights of stairs; and make tight turns and sudden stops. Officers have been riding at least 20 miles a day during training.
Police Chief Bruce Hedley said, "The bike unit is designed to make officers more approachable and accessible. Officers talk to people while on patrol to find out their concerns and other issues."
will ride in the city's trails, parks, neighborhoods or parking lots.
They will also be on hand for special events, where bikes make it easier
to maneuver through a crowd.
Two YMCA board members recognized for volunteer service
Two YMCA board members will be honored on November 12 for their volunteer service.
Louise Hager of Norcross is receiving the YMCA's 2012 Volunteer of the Year award for her service at the Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA. Vekeisha Lackey of Grayson is receiving the Volunteer of the Year award for her service at the J.M. Tull-Gwinnett Family YMCA. The two will be recognized at the annual volunteer recognition dinner Monday, November 12, 2012.
Mark Thornell, executive director of the Fowler Y in Peachtree Corners, says: "Louise loves books and wants everyone to have access to them. She playa an integral role in opening a library in our senior center. She works there daily to make sure everyone feels welcome. She is a true asset to our Y."
In addition to starting the senior center library, Hager assisted with planting a garden with children at the Fowler Y. She is an active participant in various senior programs and volunteers her time in many capacities.
"Hager is a member of the Peachtree Corners Cherokee Roses service club. She owned and operated a small chain of retail stores for 24 years with her late husband.
Lackey says: "I am a Y success story," says. The YMCA was instrumental in my life, from swim lessons at age four to middle school lock-ins and now serving others as a volunteer. I love getting to know people and having a positive impact on families in our community, especially through raising money for the annual campaign."
Lackey raises money for the Y's annual campaign, a program that provides underserved youth the opportunity to participate in Y programs like academic enrichment and youth sports.
Greg Stewart, executive director of the J.M. Tull-Gwinnett Family Y, says: "She is truly a Y advocate in the community. She engages her multiple connections in the community to raise funds and has been a tremendous help in programs like Healthy Kids Day. She truly deserves this honor."
is a financial center manager at Fifth Third Bank in Duluth. She and her
husband, Spencer, have three children.
A University with a Gwinnett campus is celebrating a major milestone: 20 years of educating adult learners.
It was October, 1992 when Shorter University, founded in 1873 in Rome, Ga., first opened the door of its College of Adult and Professional Programs. During the past two decades, the school has graduated thousands of students in its associate, bachelor, and master degree programs. Today Shorter offers adult learners accelerated degree programs at four campuses: Gwinnett, North Atlanta, Riverdale and Rome.
According to Lawrenceville's Stephanie McKenzie, Shorter's adult degree program was life changing. "The Shorter experience and the completion of my degree had a great effect on my life personally and professionally. Personally it gave me a sense of accomplishment. Professionally, it showed my employer my dedication to hard work and it allowed me to advance in my career."
For the university, the expansion of its adult degree programs has brought more students and alumni into the Shorter family.
Shorter University President Donald Dowless says: "It wasn't too long ago that higher education was nearly the exclusive purview of those 18 to 22 years old. Our College of Adult and Professional Programs opened the doors of academia to adults of all ages."
Gwinnett, Lanier Tech foundations honored by state group
of Trustees of the Gwinnett Tech Foundation has been honored for "dedicated
work and exceptional service" by the state Technical College Foundation
Association (TCFA). The Gwinnett Tech Foundation board received the prestigious
designation of "Role Model Board" by the TCFA during the Technical
College System of Georgia's 2012 Leadership Conference last month.
"If you are intrigued by people with twisted minds, this may be your book. Billed as 'a psychological thriller,' Gone Girl is supposed to be one of the most popular books published this year. Here's the set up: Nick and Amy Dunne live in a mansion on the banks of the Mississippi River. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick comes home to find the front door open, the living room turned upside down, blood on the kitchen floor and his lovely wife - gone. Did she run away? Was she kidnapped? Was she murdered? Did her husband kill her? Lies and deceits. Twists and turns. You start wondering how well you can really know someone. Was this the best thriller I've ever read? No. The book bogs down in places and I didn't care much for the ending. But did I enjoy it? Absolutely!"
An award-winning poet and novelist, Judson Mitcham was named poet laureate of Georgia in 2012 by Governor Nathan Deal. His writings, which examine basic human themes within the specific landscape of Georgia, are both poignant and powerful.
Judson Cofield Mitcham was born in 1948 in Monroe, Walton County, where he grew up and where much of his work is centered. His parents, Myrtle and Wilson Mitcham, figure prominently in his poetry. Mitcham was not formally trained as a writer. Instead he studied psychology at the University of Georgia, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He received his Ph.D. in 1974. From then he taught in the psychology department at Fort Valley State University until his retirement in 2004, with the rank of associate professor.
In 2002 Mitcham began teaching workshops in poetry and fiction at Mercer University in Macon. He has also served as adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of Georgia and at Emory University, where he has directed the Summer Writers' Institute. He resides in Macon with his wife, Jean. They are the parents of two children and have three grandchildren.
poetry has been widely published, appearing in such journals as Chattahoochee
Review, Harper's, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Hudson Review, Poetry,
Southern Poetry Review, and Southern Review. His first poetry
collection, Somewhere in Ecclesiastes, earned him both the Devins
Award and recognition as Georgia Author of the Year, an honor bestowed
annually by the Georgia Writers Association.
Mitcham's first novel, The Sweet Everlasting (1996), won him the Townsend Prize for Fiction and a second Georgia Author of the Year award. Sabbath Creek (2004), his second novel, also won the Townsend Prize, making Mitcham the first writer to receive the award twice. Both novels were published by the University of Georgia Press.
In both his novels and his poetry, Mitcham's elegiac voice looks backward with fondness and discernment on a personal and regional past slipping rapidly beyond reach.
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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.
"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against an injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."
the 2012 general election, GwinnettForum asked all candidates facing
opposition in Gwinnett County to provide answers to a few questions. You
can read the answers of those who responded below by clicking on the links.
Candidates with no
opposition are not listed.
2012 FEDERAL CANDIDATES
U.S. Congress, District 4
Congress, District 7
Georgia Public Service Commission, District 3
State Senate, District 9
State Representative, District 81
State Representative, District 93
Representative, District 95
State Representative, District 96
Representative, District 101
State Representative, District 105
2012 COUNTY CANDIDATES
Clerk of Superior Court
Gwinnett County School Board, District 1
Gwinnett County School Board, District 3
Gwinnett County School Board, District 5
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
THE WEEK AHEAD
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.
Eighth Annual Hemlock Music Fest: Nov. 2 to 4, Starbridge Sanctuary near Dahlonega. This all-ages, eco-friendly event features three days of live music, primitive camping, educational exhibits, arts and crafts vendors, a kid's nature village, rustic living demonstrations, great food, and free canoeing. Proceeds aid efforts to minimize the impact of the non-native hemlock woolly adelgid parasite, which is devastating the hemlock trees of North Georgia at an alarming rate. More details.
Gateway International Food and Music Festival: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Nov. 3, Lillian Webb Park in Norcross. The region's multicultural talent festival will highlight the rich cultural contributions of Gwinnett's diverse communities, through music, dance and cuisine. Details: 770 449 6515. Sponsored by the Gwinnett Village Community Alliance.
Fourth Annual Synchronized Swimming Performance: 11 a.m. Nov. 3, Collins Hill Park Aquatic Center. The free patriotic program is a tribute to military veterans and their families. The group is composed of girls ages 8 to 14 who love to swim in an artistic and creative way. More details: 770237-5647 or visit www.gwinnettparks.com.
(NEW) Stitched Art Show by Adele Steele: Through Nov. 30, Chocolate Perks in Duluth. An opening will be November 4 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with quilt wall hangings, scarves, custom designed jewelry, totes, etc. Proceeds benefit the Gwinnett Women and Children's Shelter.
ONGOING AND COMING SOON
24th Annual Eizenstat Memorial Lecture, featuring Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the United States Superior Court: 8 p.m., Nov. 7, Ahavath Achim Synagogue, 600 Peachtree Battle Avenue, Atlanta. The lecture is free and open to the community. Courtesy RSVP requested by email or by phoning 404.355.5222.
(NEW) Veteran's Day Ceremony: 1:30 p.m., Nov. 11, Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville (at the back of the GJAC front parking lot.
(NEW) Gwinnett Technology Forum: 7:30 a.m., Nov. 13, Busbee Center of Gwinnett Technical college. The subject will be Untangling the Invisible Wires of today's Wireless Industry. Panelists will be Glenn Lurie, AT&T; Daniel Foster, Verizon Wireless; and Steve Brumer, 151 Ventures. There is no cost to attend.
Wink Art Exhibit: Through Nov. 24, Tannery Row Artist Colony in Buford. Shown will be resident art with a hint of humor, a turn of the phrase or visual twist to make you smile. Details: 678-428-4877, or visit www.TanneryRowArtistColony.com.
Photo Exhibit: Through Nov. 28, George Pierce Park Community Room, Suwanee, during Community Center hours, Monday through Saturday. Frank L. Sharp presents "Israel, the Holy Land," while Wendell Tudor features "Images of the Sea," coastline and landscape images, including photographs from Canada.
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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