Issue 12.72 | Friday, Jan. 4, 2013
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.
CORNERS, Ga., Jan. 4, 2013 -- Most of us are aware of what is often called
the "Law of Unintended Consequences." This is when the government,
often at the national level, passes a law to solve one problem but it
actually makes it worse. Let's look at what the Georgia Legislature did
last year to eliminate the annual ad valorem vehicle tax due on one's
birthday, which for new residents of Georgia, makes it worse.
1 of this year, a resident in Georgia buying a vehicle paid sales tax
on a new vehicle plus an $18 fee to register their vehicle in the state.
Then each year in their birthday month, they paid a tax based on the value
of vehicle, which often could be a hundred dollars or more in local ad
car is valued at $40,000. With the 6.5 percent registration tax, the new
resident has to pay, at the tag office, $2,600 instead of $18. (The only
saving grace is that half will be due immediately at the tag office with
the balance over the next year.) And even if the car is valued less, say
$25,000, this is still a new tax of $1,625 instead of $18. Telling this
new resident it will save annual taxes of a few hundred dollars for as
long as they own the car does not make it easier to pay the high, one
JAN. 4, 2013 -- Who is this person?
By now you may recognize John Quincy Adams, the first son of John and Abigail Adams. The quote above is from Harlow Giles Unger's beginning of this easily-read biography of J.Q. Adams, and presents perhaps many angles about the life of the "other" Adams that most of us do not know about. After all, his father is better remembered by most of us because of his connection with both the Revolution and financing our country through him being the American envoy to France after our independence, which led to him becoming the second president of our country.
The younger Adams easily contributes to this biography because of his zeal at keeping a diary, from the time he was young (ten years old), until his death. Unger makes great use of this treasure, as he shows us both the official and also the personal side of this giant of American history. Young JQ was tough on himself, always aspiring, always reading, and showed this in his early ability to learn languages. He was with his father for years as John Adams represented our country in Paris, mastering not only English, French and Dutch, but also learning Russian by himself.
So when the United States sent an ambassador to Russia, Francis Dana, who did not speak Russian, 14 year old John Quincy went along as the secretary to the ambassador and his interpreter. He became a favorite of the czar, and his court. Later young Adams joined his father in London, where he matured, and eventually married a young English woman who would be his life-long companion.
Back eventually in the USA, J.Q. Adams went to Harvard, into the law, and soon was in public life, even a U.S. Senator for a short while, before going again across the Atlantic to represent U.S. interests. His term as Secretary of State to James Monroe led to him becoming the sixth president.
His was a failed presidency, since John Quincy Adams did not feel party loyalty, but a loyalty to the country, taking independent steps. Serving one term and with little accomplished, he returned home to Massachusetts, only to find his neighbors sent him back to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served for 16 years, the only former president to serve in that body. He died in Congress at age 80. However, he had become a champion of the people in Congress, with the author saying that "the nation mourned as it had not since the deaths of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin."
little of John Quincy Adams before reading this book. You may recall that
John Quincy Adams is the subject of the first chapter in John Kennedy's
Profiles in Courage. JFK hit the nail on the head with John Quincy Adams,
a president and Congressman like no other.
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Editor, the Forum:
Start your year off right by choosing some "green" New Year's resolutions that will help you as well as the environment. Read our list below to see if there are any ideas that appeal to you. Try picking a resolution that is realistic for you and easy to stick with. Remember, even a small change will make all the difference!
Happy New Year from Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful!
Wonders who recent letter is kidding about gun solution
Editor, the Forum:
letter writer who says we cannot legislate our way into a solution on
Mayor Jimmy Burnette will give the annual State of the City address on Wednesday, January 9, in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 330 Town Center Avenue. The State of the City address is part of the January meeting of the Suwanee Business Alliance, which begins at 6 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public.
The mayor will share City accomplishments from 2012, which include opening of a police training facility and substation in the Suwanee Gateway, streetscaping projects at I-85 and along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, and a 0.72 reduction in the City's tax rate.
In addition, Burnette will share information about the 20/20 Vision strategic plan process as well as highlight some of the priorities and strategies identified in the plan. Suwanee's strategic plan, which engaged more than 800 area residents, business owners, and community stakeholders, resulted in seven driving principles, 33 goals, and 140 potential strategies.
Lilburn invites residents to join new art alliance
Interested Lilburn residents are invited to join the recently formed Lilburn Art Alliance to promote public art projects throughout the city. The group's mission is to create works of public art, support local artists of all kinds, and create studio space in Old Town Lilburn.
The Alliance will host its first art exhibition on Saturday, January 12, from 1 until 6 p.m. at 107 Main St. in Old Town. Sprig Restaurant will provide hors d'oeuvres and wine, and Music on Main Street will provide musical entertainment. Local artists on display will include Susan Boudreaux, Diana Dice, Teri Enfield, Alan Harp, Gwendolyn McDonald, David Raderstorf, and Peggy Sullens.
Mayor Johnny Crist says: "I hope that the Lilburn Art Alliance will be a catalyst to harness the artistic energy in this city. We have a lot of talented artists here in Lilburn and a cultured community that appreciates the fine arts. The Art Alliance will help bring them together."
The first public meeting of the Lilburn Art Alliance is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at 107 Main St. For more information, contact Sonny Franks, 770-923-9933.
Kudzu Art Studio in Norcross plans Jan. 5 reception
first time, Kudzu Art Studio in Norcross will feature studio artists in
the main gallery in a show appropriately titled "Spotlight on Studio
Artists." Eight artists will present a varied array of two and three
Marsha Bomar of Duluth will chair the 2013 Annual Button Gwinnett District Boy Scout Golden Eagle Breakfast. The event will be held Friday, January 25, at 7:30 a.m. at the 1818 Club.
The Council will recognize a long-time supporter of the youth of the community, Mark Tyrrell of Tapp Lumber Company. He is a long-time supporter of prospective Eagle Scouts seeking supplies for their Eagle Scout Projects. Mark is also a member of the Rotary Club of Duluth and Duluth United Methodist Church.
Bomar is a senior principal with Stantec and a Duluth City Councilwoman. The Golden Eagle Breakfast is an annual fundraising breakfast for the Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. This event highlights the efforts of Scouting in the local community and serves as a fundraiser for growth, camping property, and outreach in Gwinnett County and throughout Metro-Atlanta.
Hardin joins board of visitors of GGC School of Business
Henry C. Hardin III, founder, president and CEO of Lawrenceville-based SCI Companies, has joined the Georgia Gwinnett College School of Business Board of Visitors. The board partners with constituencies outside academia to build private support for the scholarships, professorships and internships which bring outstanding students, faculty and programming to Georgia Gwinnett.
Hardin is in the field of human resource outsourcing, and he has helped to establish new business models for the human resources (HR) field, enabling companies to transform from a functional operations model to a process-driven, customer-focused model.
He is a native of Miami, Fla., attended Berry College and Florida International University, and has lived in Gwinnett for 16 years. Hardin founded SCI Companies in 1985. Focused on the under-serviced small and medium-sized business market, SCI Companies' solutions deliver value through reduced administrative costs, better strategic focus and the integration of world-class HR technologies and services.
"This true story is of a 97-year attempt to make an American nun a saint. If granted sainthood, this woman would be only the eighth American to become a saint. What a fascinating look behind the scenes! Saint- making is big business. At The Vatican, the department called 'Congregation for the Causes of Saints' is known as 'the saint-naming wing' and has nearly 80 employees. This book is about the efforts to convince the saint makers that an American nun named Mother Theodore had performed a medical miracle on a rural Indiana Baptist handyman. The book reads like a mystery, so don't read the book jacket and reviews because they give too much away. Becoming a saint is a difficult journey, but one I found very interesting. (The full name of the book is 'The Third Miracle: An Ordinary Man, a Medical Mystery, and a Trial of Faith' and it has nothing to do with the movie called 'The Third Miracle.')"
No other Georgian of his time achieved as much political prominence in the early national period as did William Harris Crawford. A two-time U.S. presidential nominee and the only Georgian to run for the presidency prior to Jimmy Carter, Crawford campaigned in both 1816 and 1824. Although best known nationally for his 1824 bid for the presidency, the most controversial presidential election in U.S. history up to that point, Crawford served the state and nation in a variety of ways, including terms as a U.S. senator, cabinet member under two presidents, and foreign diplomat. His younger cousin, George W. Crawford, served as Georgia's governor in the 1840s.
Crawford was born on February 24, 1772, in Amherst County (later Nelson County), Va. The family moved to the Edgefield District of South Carolina in 1779 and then to Richmond County (later Columbia County), Ga., in 1783. After several years of teaching and farming, Crawford enrolled at Moses Waddel's Carmel Academy in Appling, and later at Richmond Academy in Augusta. He studied law privately, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Lexington in 1799.
In 1804 he married a former pupil, Susanna Gerardin, soon after purchasing his Woodlawn estate in Lexington. They had nine children. William Crawford aspired to live the life of a country gentleman, but he would not get the chance to do so until the end of his career. In the meantime he gradually added to his landholdings at Woodlawn and became the overseer of a good-sized plantation. By 1834 he owned 1,300 acres and 45 slaves.
Crawford's brawny physique and straight-talking, non-rhetorical character earned him both friends and enemies in Georgia. He opposed the Yazoo Act of 1795, which transferred 35 million acres of the state's western frontier (in present-day Alabama and Mississippi) to speculators and became known as the Yazoo Land Fraud. The controversy eventually led to the famous Fletcher v. Peck (1810) decision.
Crawford's political career got under way in 1799, when he was appointed to write a digest of Georgia laws, and the resulting work, Digest of the Laws of the State of Georgia, written with Horatio Marbury, was published in 1801.
In 1803 Crawford was elected to represent Oglethorpe County in the state House of Representatives. He quickly allied himself with U.S. senator James Jackson. The leading opponent of gross land speculation, Jackson was a hero of the Revolutionary War (1775-83) and former governor of Georgia. His allies, known over time as the Jackson, the Crawford, and the Troup Party, were a powerful faction of the Jefferson party. This faction consisted of aristocratic plantation owners and residents of the more affluent, established areas of Georgia. Their powerful enemies were the Clarkites, led initially by Elijah Clarke and later by his son John Clarke, whose supporters included small farmers and frontier settlers.
A factional rivalry descended into a violent feud in 1802, when Crawford killed Peter Van Alen, one of Clark's allies. Four years later John Clark wounded Crawford in a duel. Unsatisfied with the result, Clark challenged him again, but Crawford refused. In a fit of anger over Crawford's unwillingness to meet, Clark cornered a Crawford ally, Judge Charles Tait, in the streets of Milledgeville and severely whipped him with a riding crop. Clark was fined $2,000 for the incident, which was a reflection of the deep-seated division between the two political factions.
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"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one."
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.
Or call me (Elliott
Brack) at 770 840 1003 and tell me how to dedicate a book to a friend
(or to you) as he adds his signature!
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
(NEW) Open House at City Hall of Peachtree Corners: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 6. The City Hall is located at 147 Technology Parkway, Suite 200, in Technology Park/Atlanta. The city's new logo will be introduced during this reception.
(NEW) Pre-Legislative Meeting: 6:30 p.m., Jan. 7, Rhodes Jordan Park Community Center, 100 East Crogan Street, Lawrenceville. Join Reps. Valerie Clark, Joyce Chandler and Brett Harrell for a Town Hall meeting on the upcoming session of the Georgia Legislature. Harrell will also be present for similar meetings at Snellville City Hall at noon Jan. 8 and at the Grayson Senior Center at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10.
(NEW) After Hours in Buford: 5:30 p.m., Jan. 8, Brand Bank, 2255 Buford Highway. Guests are welcome at this function hosted by the Buford Business Alliance.
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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