Issue 12.78 | Friday, Jan. 25, 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.
Ga., Jan. 25,2013 -- One of the most prestigious dance competitions in
the world will visit Gwinnett for its Youth America Grand Prix's Southeastern
Semifinals March 1-3, 2013. Gwinnett Ballet Theatre and the Gwinnett Performing
Arts Center will host this segment of the world-wide event, one of the
most elite in the world of ballet.
Young dancers age 9 through 19 are eligible to compete in this event which holds semifinals in countries such as Japan, Brazil and France. There are a dozen semifinals in the USA. All semifinals lead up to the finals in New York City, held this year on April 12 - 17 with a Gala celebrated on April 18.
The Gwinnett Convention and Visitor's Bureau has been instrumental in helping the YAGP organization find a hotel headquarters, which will be the Gwinnett Marriott in Duluth. Area city officials also see the event as a great opportunity to draw visitors to their downtown area. Of the estimated 1,000 individuals coming into the county, many are parents and coaches of competitors with some time on their hands for touring and shopping.
Most of the competitors in the March semi-finals will be from the southeastern region, although dancers from any area or country are welcomed. Success at this event can open the door for these young artists by providing scholarships and performing opportunities.
Now in its 13th year, YAGP will award over $250,000 in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide in 2013.
The competition itself will take place in the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. There are no advanced ticket sales for the competitions. Tickets will be $5 at the door.
Master classes for competitors are taught by some of the most eminent dance professionals in the world. These classes will occur at the new GBT facility located at 1800 Macleod Drive in Lawrenceville. Dancers must score 95 points or higher to proceed to the NYC finals.
Gwinnett Convention and Visitor's Bureau Executive Director Lisa Anders says: "We are most excited about the Youth America Grand Prix coming to Gwinnett. This premier cultural event will showcase the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, Gwinnett Ballet Theatre and all the attendees and their families will have the chance to explore Gwinnett and Atlanta. It's quite an honor to hold an event of this level, and we are looking forward to it."
Gwinnett Ballet Theatre's Artistic Director Wade Walthall sees many benefits to be gained from hosting the event. "We are very happy to welcome visitors to our new GBT facilities in Lawrenceville," he says. "This event will give young dancers a good chance to meet their peers from across the region and the opportunity to work on variations from the classical repertoire."
JAN. 25, 2013 -- The South is changing, becoming more conservative than the rest of the country.
You wonder why.
Some of it is natural. Some might be brought on by the many "move-ins" over the last 30 years. But liberals move in, too.
Meanwhile, in politics, the "good old boys" that once ruled the state as Democrats have all changed their stripes to solid red and become Republicans. The once dominant Democratic Party is having nearly zero influence in the states of the South.
Just check the House of Representatives. The South (Arkansas and Louisiana eastward) racks up, with an overwhelming 80-29 Republican advantage.
Yes, there is a Solid South, but now it is Republican. In one way there has been little change, for when in power, the Southern Democrats were not from the liberal wing of the party, but were really closet conservatives. Today they are out of the closet as Republicans.
In this solid stance, the South is close to isolating itself from the mainstream of either party, Democratic or Republican. Southern conservatives are nearly an anathema to the overall Republican Party, which is willing to be more moderate than the Southerners.
The South produces a certain inflexibility among its politicians. Sending them to Washington to maneuver, dicker and compromise and become real statesmen, is not possible. They go to Washington and become stubborn, not welcoming input of any type, except from far-out, wing-nut friends.
This can be traced back to 1964 and President Lyndon Baines Johnson, when he suggested, proposed, influenced and then cajoled the Congress into passing the Civil Rights Act. From the date LBJ signed that law, it fundamentally meant the continual fall of the Democratic Party in the South, first in presidential elections, and eventually, in the governors and then the legislatures of the South.
So what is happening today: the rest of the nation would like to write off the South as a bunch of reactionaries, not in touch with the pulse of the rest of the nation. John Boehner, the House majority leader, may be more aware of this than anyone, seeking to lead his party ahead, but frustrated and facing continual, pressing and strong opposition from the overwhelmingly more conservative Southern wing of his House. His hands are tied from even taking small steps because of the stubborn opposition to any change by the Southerners.
As an article in The New Yorker said recently, "The Solid South speaks less and less for America and more and more for itself alone."
Then this article moved to compare the South to another region long isolated and one which feels discriminated against: "As its political power declines, the South might occupy a place like Scotland in the United Kingdom, as a cultural draw for the rest of the country, with a hint of theme park."
Scotland is as beautiful and distinctive, as is the South. Yet while Scotland moves for more independence from the United Kingdom, that's not the course the South can take. It must keep its distinctive identity, yet recognize that its sheer conservatism is far out of step with the rest of the country. It must change, in a more progressive way, so to work with, instead of against, the balance of the North, West and East or see its influence wane because it is drawback to the bulk of ultra-conservative Republican thought.
the South must adjust and accept, rather than fight and reject. Then it
can take its place to help move our country forward, not move itself backward.
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Editor, the Forum:
a new venture is proposed, such as the Gwinnett Braves, the Football Hall
of Fame or now, the new Falcons' stadium, the press is filled with data
from proponents on how much of an economic benefit the venue will bring.
Lately we have been told that the economic benefit of the new stadium
will be as low as $5 billion to as high as $10 billion dollars. This sounds
like a lot of money, and of course it would be if true.
If I spend
$25 in a fast food restaurant in Fulton County on the way to the stadium,
that theoretically counts as a $25 economic benefit to the new stadium
(ignoring the additional amount due to a multiplier effect) and is $25
less dollars I might spend in a fast food restaurant in Gwinnett County.
If I drive to Alabama to see a NASCAR race, and buy gas in Anniston Ala.,
that is economic benefit to Alabama, but it deprives Georgia of the same
amount. Thus, economic projections are always stated as positive dollars,
with no subtractions to show true net (positive less transfers) economic
There's a summer adventure awaiting local high school sophomores and juniors selected for Walton EMC's 49th Washington Youth Tour. The Tour sends four students to Atlanta and Washington, DC on June 13 - 20, 2013, to see the sights and learn valuable leadership skills. Included are audiences with state and national leaders.
Past tour stops include the White House, Capitol, Smithsonian, National Mall, National Holocaust Museum and various memorials. Social activities include a cruise on the Potomac River and dining at restaurants like the Hard Rock Café.
It's easy to qualify:
To enter, complete and send forms to Walton EMC by 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. See the forms at waltonemc.com or call for them at 770-266-2572.
Work beginning for 9th annual Lilburn Relay Rally
annual Lilburn Relay Rally, is scheduled to take place this year on April
26 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Lilburn City Park. There will be a kick-off
planning session on Feb. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall for those who wish
to join the fight against cancer and learn more about upcoming programs.
If forming your own team is not an option, the ladies from the GFWC Lilburn Woman's Club invite you to join their "Women in Action" team by registering online at www.lilburnrelayrally.org.
Gwinnett Tech, AARP team up to help Gwinnettians on taxes
your taxes needn't be hard or stressful! Gwinnett Technical College is
once again partnering with AARP Tax-Aide to offer free income tax preparation
and tax counseling for community residents and Gwinnett Tech students,
faculty and staff.
Downtown Development Authority is launching its website this week. The
will focus on existing businesses and will be an interactive tool for
prospective businesses and patrons.
Brenau names Barnett as senior vice president
Brenau University named David L. Barnett as senior vice president and chief financial officer, to its second highest post, effective January 1.
Reporting directly to Brenau President Ed Schrader, the Watkinsville, Ga., resident and Smyrna, Ga., native assumes duties of Wayne Dempsey, who retired in 2012.
Barnett has a Ph.D. in educational leadership and organizational development from the University of Louisville. He came to Brenau in 2005 after serving as associate dean of student life at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky. He was also previously coordinator of clinical services at the University of Louisville School of medicine and associate vice president for student services at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also earned a master of divinity degree in Christian education.
He also worked previously at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, as an associate vice president, dean of instruction for regional campuses, and assistant professor of education, and at Union College in Barbourville, Ky., as assistant director for student support services. Barnett graduated from Mercer University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies. He also holds an education specialist graduate degree from University of Louisville.
His wife, Kimberly, is enrolled in the Brenau graduate education program, focusing on secondary education. Originally from Newnan, Ga., Kimberly Barnett is from Newnan, and a seventh grade language arts teacher in Gwinnett County.
Smith is new president of Pearls of Service Foundation
The Gwinnett Pearls of Service Foundation, Inc. has named a new volunteer Board of Directors to govern its charitable operations.
New president of the board is CaSandra Smith of Grayson.
Other officers include Vice President, Natalie Lewis, of Lawrenceville; Bettina Benoit Durant, Lawrenceville, secretary; Valerie Grigley of Lawrenceville, treasurer; Andria Daniels of Loganville, assistant finance secretary; Zina Peters of Lawrenceville, financial secretary; Michelle Taylor of Lawrenceville, parliamentarian; Karan Rhodes, Smyrna, member at large; and Janice McGruder, Lawrenceville, adviser to the board.
The Gwinnett Pearls of Service Foundation, Inc. is the non-profit 501(c)(3)affiliate of the Upsilon Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Established October 13, 2005 in Gwinnett County, Georgia, the foundation focuses on bettering the quality of living through supporting education, health, youth development and mentoring initiatives.
John Donald Wade's I'll Take My Stand was followed by a sort of sequel, Who Owns America? (1936), which sought to combine Agrarian efforts with those of the English Distributists, who articulated a humane vision of social and economic life based upon religious social doctrine. To this volume, Wade contributed "Of the Mean and Sure Estate," a narrative essay illustrating the dangers of rural America's aping of city life. The movement lost momentum soon thereafter, and its various members drifted toward other pursuits. Although the Agrarians were alternately ignored and denounced in their time, their efforts comprise a crucial chapter in the intellectual history of the South, and I'll Take My Stand is perhaps the single most influential expression of southern exceptionalism.
In 1934 Wade returned to the University of Georgia, where he served as professor of English and chairman of the Division of Language and Literature. Eight years later he married Julia Floyd Stovall, with whom he had a daughter, Anne.
He founded the Georgia Review in 1946 and edited it for four years. As stated in his introduction to the inaugural issue, Wade originally envisioned a publication that would "make its contents of special concern to Georgians" and stress the idea "that the dignity and worth of country life must be reaffirmed for the people who practice it and for people who do not practice it." It soon became apparent to him, however, that a strictly regional and agrarian focus was impossibly narrow, and, indeed, by emphasizing quality of writing rather than subject matter, the quarterly became one of the nation's most prestigious literary reviews. In 1950 Wade retired from the university and returned to the town of his birth.
In his later years Wade's attention turned to his beloved Marshallville. His final book to be published in his lifetime was The Marshallville Methodist Church from Its Beginning to 1950 (1952). As executive of the Marshallville Foundation, Wade spent 20 years beautifying the town.
He died on October 9, 1963, leaving unfinished a historical novel set in Macon County. In the years since his death, Wade's admirers have kept his voice alive through three posthumous publications: Selected Essays (1966), a revised edition of the Longstreet biography (1969), and the correspondence of Wade and Davidson (2003).
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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.
"Evelyn was an insomniac. So when they say she died in her sleep, you have to question that."
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!
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Business Owner's Day at Capitol: 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Jan. 31, Floyd Room on the 20th floor of the West Twin Towers Building. State Rep. Dar'shun Kendrick of Lithonia will host this second annual event., along with Reps. Karen Bennett, Brett Harrell and Ron Ramsey. To learn more about the event or to RSVP, visit this site.
Bob, a new play, by American playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, continues through February 10 at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville. Armed with nothing but an unfailing optimism, Bob is the epic, fast-paced comedy of one man's desire for greatness. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Call 678-226-6222 or visit online for details.
Civil War Lecture Series at the Lovett School, 4075 Paces Ferry Road in Atlanta, continues a series of four lectures, on Thursday, January 31, at 6 p.m. The next speaker will be Dr. George W. McDaniel, executive director of Drayton Hall, a National Trust historic site, in Charleston, S.C. His topic will be "The Civil War, Vietnam and the Shaping of Values." Reservations are requested via (404) 262-3032, ext. 1717.
(NEW) Aquatic Job Fair: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Feb. 1, Bethesda Aquatic Center, 225 Bethesda Church Road, Friday. Sponsored by Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, the Fair gives attendees a chance to learn about lifeguarding and instructor opportunities. For details, call 678 277 0880.
Water Conservation Workshop: 7 p.m. Feb. 7. at Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville. Attendees will receive indoor and outdoor water efficiency kits and a do-it-yourself home water guide. For more information about the workshop, send an email or call (678) 376-6722.
Kick-Off Meeting for 2013 of Peachtree Corners Business Association: 7:30 a.m., Feb. 11, Atlanta Marriott Norcross. Speaker will be Joyce Bone, entrepreneur and author, who will speak on the state of the economy. Get details by email.
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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