Issue 12.80 | Friday, Feb. 1, 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.
CLEVELAND, Ga., Feb. 1, 2013 -- White County's Yonah Mountain Vineyards put its wines up against wines from around the country in a prestigious San Francisco competition and came home with two gold, a silver and three bronze medals.
view the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition as the number
one wine competition in America," said Bob Miller, who along with
his wife, Jane, own Yonah Mountain Vineyards.
"It is the largest competition in the world for American wines," he said.
Yonah Mountain Vineyards' flagship wine, the 2008 genesis 3, was awarded a gold medal, as was the 2010 Totem, a Cabernet Sauvignon which took a gold medal in the $60 and over category.
"We haven't even released it yet," Smith said. "We'll release it in September."
Jonah's 2011 Serenity Cellars Traminette received a silver medal and the 2010 Serenity Cellars Harmony, a Super Tuscan style wine, received a bronze medal. Yonah's inaugural Sauvignon Blanc, a 2011 wine and its 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon also received bronze medals.
The winery only submitted six wines and each received a medal. In last year's competition, Yonah Mountain Vineyards won three gold medals, a double gold best of category and other silver and bronze medals.
The winery's tasting room is located on Georgia Highway 17 in Sautee Nacoochee, but Miller said they are seeking permits to build a tasting room at the vineyard location off Georgia Highway 255 in the Blue Creek area. The vineyard currently has a "cave," where the wine ages in barrels.
"We'll have another cave and a grotto (an underground walkway)," said Miller, adding that the plans are to go from 2,200 to 17,000 square feet.
"We'll have a reserve wine tasting room, triple the size of the tank room, have a dedicated bottling room and space for empty case storage," he said. "The tasting room will be on top of the present cave. It will be octagonal sided and 44 feet high with a cupola."
He said they hope to have all this completed by November or December.
"Ideally it would be done in September for Crush Fest, (Labor Day weekend Saturday) but a lot of ifs come with a construction project," he said. "We're not going to rush, we want it done right."
Miller estimated that last year's Crush Fest had 2,000 people in attendance. The festival gives people the chance to actually crush grapes with their bare feet. Last year a ton of grapes were crushed at the festival.
FEB. 1, 2013 -- Putting together random thoughts today: starting with Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Previously generally above politics, the state's PBS network is suddenly mired in mud, as Governor Nathan Deal uses it to "reward" one of his party members with a cushy $150,000 job. While it may solve a political problem, the results are a nightmare for the public broadcast network. It will make fund-raising much more difficult, as it seeks to keep high quality television on the air.
But with Georgians seeing the network used with open wounds of political infighting, it bodes poorly for the network.
If the person the governor appointed to the job, former state Sen. Chip Rogers of Woodstock, is worth his salt, he will recognize that he has become a lighting rod for the network, and resign his position with GPB. Not only that, if Rogers has long-term political ambitions, the governor has played into Rogers' hand, and given him a leg-up in recognition he could have gotten no better way. He should be more viable as a potential candidate than ever before. We say this, though not entirely pleased with Mr. Rogers' previous antics in the Senate.
But the governor has made Rogers "more than he is," in one way of thinking. Rogers' resignation would be fit, and apparently, profitable politically.
* * * * *
PEACHTREE CORNERS as a new city is in the news not because of something it did, but because of what it doesn't particularly want: more apartments.
The story has been in the making for years. It concerns a large tract of land, the "Roberts property" at Peachtree Corners Circle and Peachtree Parkway, across from the Forum. Charlie Roberts has sold this tract to Lennar Homes of Miami, Fla., which plans to build apartments there. This land has been tied up in the courts for years, and finally Gwinnett County was ordered by the U.S. District Court to give a permit for apartments.
Now with some Peachtree Corners residents not wanting apartments on the property, but the way legally cleared for apartments, some want the city to buy the land from Lennar Homes and halt apartment construction. But that would be a hefty price tag: more than the $7.6 million Lennar paid Roberts, no doubt.
So, Peachtree Corners residents are looking for its city leadership to solve this situation. And now the city council is pondering.
Ah, the beauties of being a city official, eh?
* * * * *
TWO DACULA residents, Vince Vittorio and Nathan West, wowed about 200 people with their new documentary film, American Made Movie, in its first screening on Tuesday night in Gwinnett. The 80 minute film questions how the Untied States lost its manufacturing edge in the last 50 years, and questions why American-made products cannot become a key force in world markets once again.
The film is beautifully done, telling the stories of several American companies, and what they have gone through in producing quality products, only to see their firm falter because of cheap imported goods. Happily it also shows the possibility of how the United States could regain its position of making goods in this country that the rest of the world would want.
message for all of us to recognize: buy American made goods if at all
possible. And if you don't see American-made goods, tell retailers that's
what you want, even if you have to pay more. It's far better for our country
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 FY 2012. It is the recipient of a 2012 Community Arts Programs award from Artworks! Gwinnett, and was recently highlighted next to Harvard Business School, Baylor University, and Florida International University for its innovative AskGCPL service. 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, and further connects the community with insightful reading suggestions featured here: http://www.furtherreading-gcpl.blogspot.com/
Editor, the Forum:
I know a lot of people and almost none of them are liberals or conservatives. They are just people with varied life experiences and opinions. These people are both Republicans and Democrats, but they don't see themselves as such; they are just people.
You seem mystified that you think the South has changed? On the contrary, keep in mind that the Democrats were historically the conservative party and the Republicans were the liberals...amazing how the parties have changed but the people who live here have not. That liberal Yankee Republicans of the 1860s have become the liberal Democrats of today. So what is the meaning of the name?
The political landscape in Washington still represents the feelings at home, even if we are a bit embarrassed that they can't seem to get their acts together up there. But I blame some of this on the fact that the federal government has taken on too many responsibilities that the states should be dealing with themselves.
See the South hasn't changed much after all... has it?
To provide students with an incentive to work ahead on their college applications, Georgia Gwinnett College is waiving its $20 application fee this weekend.
Tee Mitchell, director of admissions, says: "Because of the requirement to provide certain documentation, such as high school transcripts and Compass/ACT/SAT scores, there are a lot of steps involved in completing the application process. We are offering this weekend's incentive to encourage students to get started early so they are not caught up in a last-minute rush, since the application deadline is May 1."
Prospective students completing their college application at any time, Friday, February 1 through Sunday, February 3 will avoid paying this otherwise mandatory fee. Applications can be completed online at www.GAcollege411.org.
Dacula accepting applications for 20th Memorial Day parade
Celebrating its 20th year in 2013, the Dacula Memorial Day parade is now accepting applications. The theme for this year's parade is "20 Years of Honor and Remembrance."
The parade steps off on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m. and takes place rain or shine. The parade begins at Hebron Baptist Church and proceeds down Dacula Road, turns right on Second Avenue, crosses Broad Street and ends at Dacula High School.
Founded by Marvin Atherton, the Dacula Memorial Day parade has been a tradition in Dacula since 1994. The parade has grown over the years and remains the only Memorial Day parade in the metro Atlanta area, largest in the state of Georgia and one of the largest in our nation with more than 150 units participating in the parade each year. More than 10,000 spectators line city streets to watch the parade.
The Dacula Memorial Day parade is one of the most high profile events in the metro Atlanta area on Memorial Day. Atherton says: "It is important that we take this opportunity to honor the sacrifice made by thousands of Americans who died guarding our precious liberties and way of life. As founder of the Dacula Memorial Day parade, it is my goal to see that today's youth understand the significance of Memorial Day. For this reason, every parade unit is to focus on honoring our veterans and display patriotism."
The organizers are seeking veterans, veteran's organizations, active and reserve service men and women, both current and restored military vehicles, marching bands, Scouts, churches, schools, community groups, custom designed floats and local businesses, to participate in this year's 20th Annual Dacula Memorial Day parade.
Because of the popularity of the Dacula Memorial Day parade, participation in the parade is limited. Applications will be reviewed on a "first come, first served" basis, so potential paraders are urged to get your application in early! The deadline for parade entries is Friday, May 17. Parade entry forms are available at www.daculamemorialday.com, or contact Marvin Atherton.
Heritage Center offers special February hours
Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) will have special hours for visitors
every Sunday in February from 1 until 5 p.m.
Do you have a great photo from the Southeast Railway Museum? Do you get more likes than your friends? Did your Mother tell you that you missed your true calling? Looking for a way to showcase your photographic talent?
The museum's annual photo contest allows you to show off the photos you've taken at the museum and be recognized for your artistic streak. Enter through February 23 for this year's contest. The photo must be captured at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth. Image must focus on an exhibit, a piece in the collection or show individuals enjoying their experience at the Southeastern Railway Museum.
George Pierce Park deadline near for seniors' photo contest
Deadline is approaching to submit photos to the fourth annual senior's photography contest, "Art Thru The Lens," at George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center. Photographers can submit two framed and matted pictures featuring landscape, pet or still life categories. Entries are due on or before the week of February 19.
Members of the public will judge the contest entries via anonymous votes. The winners will be announced at an Artist Reception on Friday, April 20.
Submission fee is $10/artist. Ages 50 and up are eligible to enter. For more information, call 678-277-0910 or visit www.gwinnettparks.com to register with activity code: GPCC14186. George Pierce Park Community Recreation center is located at 55 Buford Hwy, in Suwanee.
O'Brien Hyundai dealership now opening in Lilburn
Automotive Team founder Joseph D. O'Brien Jr. has been selling cars and
trucks for more than 40 years. He is now opening O'Brien Hyundai at 4355
Stone Mountain Highway in Lilburn. His team is an automotive industry
leader in the sales, service and leasing of 12 different automotive brands
of cars, trucks, vans and SUVs at 18 dealerships.
John Wereat served Georgia in a variety of official capacities during and after the American Revolution. He is perhaps best known for his attempt to thwart the Yazoo land fraud.
Wereat was born in Road, Somerset, England, around 1733. Shortly before immigrating to America in 1759, he married Hannah Wilkinson. They had one child, Ann ("Nancy"). After his arrival in Georgia, Wereat established himself as a merchant-planter and, subsequently, as a dedicated public servant in his adopted state.
In the early years of the American Revolution, Wereat was a member of the Provincial Congress and the Council of Safety. From 1776 through the end of the war he served as Georgia's Continental agent, representing the state in dealings with Congress. Wereat also served briefly as de facto governor of Georgia in 1779, when Savannah was in British hands and the constitutionally elected government was in disarray. Taken prisoner in Augusta in 1780, he was sent to Charleston, S.C., by the British and remained there until his release a year later.
Between 1782 and 1793, Wereat served as state auditor, helping to extricate Georgia from the financial morass created by the Revolution. In December 1787 he presided over the convention that unanimously ratified the new Federal Constitution. From 1790 to 1793 Wereat also represented Georgia in settling outstanding claims against the United States.
Wereat's final service to Georgia came in 1795, when he fought unsuccessfully to prevent the Yazoo land fraud. When the legislature rejected his attempt to purchase part of the state's western territory on behalf of three Pennsylvania acquaintances, Wereat and several Georgia allies organized the Georgia Union Company to frustrate the corrupt Yazoo purchasers. The company attempted to acquire all of the western lands, but to no avail. As a member of the 1795 state constitutional convention, Wereat helped ensure that anti-Yazoo petitions would be sent to the next session of the legislature. Using these petitions and other evidence of corruption, the legislators rescinded the sale.
John Wereat died at his Bryan County plantation on January 25, 1799, at the age of 65.
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© 2013, 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.
"Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up."
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
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.
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.
(NEW) Groundbreaking: 2 p.m., Feb. 2, 116 Crogan Street, Lawrenceville. The initial opening with customer preview of Moth Music Services will highlight the firm's variety of music services including music lessons, live sound rentals and a recording studio. Info: 678-310-MOTH (6684).
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.
Event for Quilters: 10 a.m., Feb. 19, Cannon United Methodist Church, 2424 Webb Gin House Road, Snellville. Meet Marie Bostwick, a quilter who is author of the Cobbled Court Quilt novels. The event is put on by the Gwinnett County Public Library and the Gwinnett Quilter's Guild. There is a $5 charge to attend for non-members of the Guild. For more information, visit www.gwinnettpl.org.
Caregiver's Conference: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 23, First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville, 395 West Crogan Street. Guest speaker will be Maria Greene, a consultant with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities. Cost, including breakfast and lunch, is $10. This is a program from the Gwinnett Coalition of Health and Human Services supported by Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership and Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services. For more information, call 678 964 4838.
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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