Issue 12.82 | Friday, Feb. 8, 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., Feb. 8, 2013 -- On Sunday, February 17, the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra
and Chorus will present a romantic Valentines concert entitled Shine,
at 5:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center in Duluth.
There will also be a special pre-concert performance by the Gwinnett Symphony
Youth Orchestra starting at 4:30 p.m.
been described as a "consummate artist -- brilliant, formidable,
effortless, and the epitome of control and poise." An internationally
distinguished pianist, performing throughout the world as orchestral soloist,
recitalist, and chamber musician, he is currently artist-in-residence
at Kennesaw State University. Since winning the Gold Medal in four International
Piano Competitions, he has presented critically acclaimed solo debuts
at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. To learn more about Henry or
hear clips of his work, please visit his website at http://roberthenry.org.
FEB. 8, 2013 -- In all but one of eight special elections over the years since 1985, Gwinnett citizens have approved a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) vote for infrastructure improvements in the county.
year when the voters turned down the continuation of the penny sales tax
in Gwinnett, which was 1995, SPLOST lost by only 329 votes. To rectify
that situation, voters returned one year later, and approved re-institution
of the SPLOST by more than 10,000 votes.
We bring this historical perspective up since in 2013, the county will put on the ballot another SPLOST proposal. The county is limited to spending on capital improvements with SPLOST money. Not only that, but the county (and the cities) must give the citizens a broad category overview for what the sales tax collection will be spent.
There's always an element within any county who doesn't want to pay reasonable taxes for the services that the county provides. For instance, in Gwinnett in 2008, a total of 121,364 people voted against the continuation of the county SPLOST. Happily that year, 154,995 people thought otherwise, and approved the extension of the sales tax collection.
Especially in a growing county like Gwinnet, having a special tax for improvements and capital projects, such as new facilities and upkeep of roads and buildings, is a major element in the way the county is operated. Again, with many people from other counties shopping in Gwinnett, an estimated 30-40 percent of the sales tax collected is paid by people from other counties. That helps keep the Gwinnett tax burden lower, as people from out of the area who use our roadways, stores, movies, etc., help pay for the capital upkeep of the county.
That's one reason why the educated voters of Gwinnett, in all but one year, have seen the benefit of extending the sales tax collections.
In past years, the cities of the county have also reaped major benefits from the sales tax collections, some $22 million in 2012. (See accompanying table.) It helped the capital budgets of the cities in 2012, such as $4.2 million for Lawrenceville, to as little as $15,586 in Rest Haven. We suspect next year Peachtree Corners will reap major sales tax benefits, though without big ticket items that auto dealers provide in some cities, this newest of Gwinnett cities may not surpass the amount that Lawrenceville gets.
There's one weak spot in the preparation for the sales tax vote that rears its head every year. Each year that there's been a sales tax vote, a group of Gwinnett leaders get together, raise money and promote passage of the tax.
However in most years, this organization tends to be slow in forming, with the major effort coming in the three months immediately before the vote. Such an organization needs to get active now, early in the year, have speakers dispatched to many groups well in advance of the election so that the "multiplier" effect can take place. Convince someone early on that they should support the SPLOST, and in the months prior to the election, that person can convince many others. But wait until just before the election, and people would have less time to tell others of the benefits of such passage.
We urge those who intend to work for the passage of SPLOST to begin their work immediately, which should reap benefits on the referendum in the fall of 2013.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today we welcome a new underwriter, The Piedmont Bank, which opened its doors on June 30, 2009. The Piedmont Bank is a full-service bank, with four locations, its home offices at 5100 Peachtree Parkway in Norcross; at 185 Gwinnett Drive in Lawrenceville; and east of Interstate 85 near Suwanee at Old Peachtree and Brown Roads; and in Dunwoody at 5496 Chamblee Dunwoody Road. It has a capitalization of $37 million, and more than $325 million in assets now. With significant new capital, the bank is making substantial business and personal loans. Its directors include Paul Donaldson, Robert D. Cheeley, John J. Howard, Monty G. Watson (who is chairman), James E. Stephenson, Robert J. Ratliff and T. Michael Tennant. Deposits in The Piedmont Bank are insured by the FDIC. For more information, call 770-246-0011 or visit http://www.piedmontbankonline.com.
By KATHY ANDREWS FINCHER
In Parkinson's Disease, there's a term called "Stone Face." The muscles contract creating a scowl and the ability to smile is lost. But my mom, Margaret Parsons Andrews, chiseled away "Stone Face" and fought so she could smile. Her story is one of determination.
many amazing qualities; I will share two that made her one of the most
unique and courageous women I've ever known. She was a "problem solver"
with unstoppable determination. She had the idea for the City of Duluth
to buy the former First Baptist Church building and use it as our city
hall. That idea served our city beautifully for more than 20 years.
Mom was born in Duluth, when it was extremely rural; students had a choice to attend school or pick cotton! Unique for the time, Mom, Kathryn and Ann attended high school at North Atlanta Presbyterian School in Atlanta and college at Wesleyan in Macon. Mom studied art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta then spent the rest of her life trying to get to her easel.
A busy life of retailing stepped in the way. Most every relative worked in one of the many Parsons and related retail stores in the area. It was when mom broke her leg snow skiing that she found time to introduced her sister, Ann Odum, into the world of painting.
When mom finally retired from retailing, life threw her a curve ball. In 1985 she was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. She studied her disease and helped to found a Gwinnett Chapter of the Parkinson's Foundation. Her symptoms deteriorated to the point where she could not sit in a chair. At 72, she discovered and joined an exploratory program at Emory, "Deep brain stimulation." The experiment was a success.
Mom joined The Gwinnett Council for the Arts in Lawrenceville and described to a small group of members her grandiose plans of a state-of-the-art fine arts center in Duluth. She sketched a glass pyramid similar to the Louvre, gift shop, gallery, school and sculpture garden. God was good to mom for these women weren't "wall flowers;" they claimed the dream with her! The Hudgens Center for the Arts became a reality thanks to the generosity of Scott Hudgens and other contributors. The center was built in a cow pasture which today is part of the Gwinnett Civic Center and Arena.
Mom was disappointed that a children's Fine Arts Museum did not exist in the area. She learned of one in Vienna, Austria, traveled there, met the director, and recharged the same group of women to build the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts -- built without a penny of taxpayers' dollars.
I'll miss my mother deeply. But I celebrate that she traded her wheelchair for wings and she has traded "up" for a palate of every color ever made or that will ever be made. Good bye mom, thank you for painting for us such a beautiful life.
Editor, the Forum:
I enjoyed Elliott Brack's Perspective view this week entitled, "Georgians should think young person for Senate."
In the post, you list the members of the Georgia U.S. congressional delegation who have the potential to fill outgoing U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss' seat . While those members would be the most likely candidates for the seat, could you recommend those who are not in the Georgia congressional delegation?
In the Georgia Legislature, I feel that Sen. Curt B. Thompson and/or Sen. Renee S. Unterman would be excellent candidates to run for U.S. Senate. Indeed, anyone from the Georgia Legislature or business community would need the money, time and desire to jump into such a campaign, but Georgia has a lot of talented professionals beyond the congressional delegation who could serve the Peach State well for many years.
Editor, the Forum:
On your list of Georgia Congressmen: I didn't realize this until I saw all their names printed out, is a list of Congress-men. I am not a big women's rights activist, but it is a shame that there is no woman's name on the list...maybe a woman for Senator? A young one!
Editor, the Forum:
I was surprised to learn that politics is neither logical or strategic. Additionally you appear to be guilty of blatant age discrimination.
However you can make it up to the EEO if in your next perspective, if you suggest the candidate be a young, bi-sexual, Hispanic, poor, single mother who is missing a finger and was bullied when she was younger.
Maintains that most mail you get on Tuesday is junk
Editor, the Forum:
I just have heard that the Post Office is planning to discontinue Saturday mail deliveries. I understand the need to cut back to save money, but why not discontinue deliveries on Tuesdays instead of Saturdays?
Have you ever examined the mail that is delivered on Tuesdays? It is 99.5 percent trash. I usually take the Tuesday mail straight from the mailbox to the trash can as there is absolutely nothing there worth keeping (and certainly nothing that wouldn't wait another day for delivery.)
This is because most mail takes two days (or more) to reach its destination and two days prior to Tuesday is -- guess what? -- Sunday! There are few, if any, items mailed on a Sunday and if there are, they don't usually move until Monday.
Saturday's mail, however, was posted on either Thursday or Friday -- both business days -- and usually contains something of import that just might need to be delivered and/or acted upon promptly.
Now I ask you, what makes more sense? Oh, wait, we're dealing with a government bureaucracy and the rules of logic no longer apply.
Board of Commissioners has awarded a construction contract for pedestrian
safety improvements along Lawrenceville Highway/U.S. 29 in Lilburn.
Four libraries offering 3rd annual Teen Summit on Feb. 23
The Gwinnett County Public Library will be hosting its third annual Teen Summit on Saturday, February 23. However, because of the recent Zombie Infestation, Teen Summit 2013 will focus on getting teens the latest information on how to survive safely in today's world. Learn important survival techniques in self-defense, first aid, public safety, and more! The summit will take place simultaneously at four locations: Centerville Branch, Collins Hill Branch, Five Forks Branch, and Suwanee Branch from 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Among the participants in interactive safety and law enforcement presentations will be personnel from Gwinnett County, Snellville, and Suwanee Police Departments. In addition, there will be Tae Kwon Do experts on hand.. Learn more about online classes though Gwinnett County Public Schools, and new online resources available to teens through Gwinnett County Public Library.
second diverging diamond interchange is coming to Jimmy Carter Boulevard
and I-85. Gwinnett's first project of this type is currently under construction
at Pleasant Hill Road. The project is expected to be complete within a
Roberts is new director of Plantation South in Duluth
Farnese Roberts has been named executive director of Plantation South Duluth, a senior living residential community. Prior to this position, Roberts was an executive director at Hearthstone Senior Services in Irving, Tex. and Marietta, Ga.
With Hearthstone, she developed an initiative to decrease hospitalizations for residents by conducting quarterly wellness review meetings with the residents, wellness team, physicians, healthcare vendors and families. Roberts is a graduate of Cleveland College in Cleveland, Tenn. in business administration. She also has a Licensed Practical Nurse certification from Dalton College in Dalton, and is a state certified Assisted Living Administrator.
"My husband and I tried out the just-opened Three Dollar Cafe in Norcross. We were really impressed. The service was great and our waitress was very friendly. I ordered the grilled grouper sandwich (with broccoli for my side) and it was very tasty. Mark ordered their TDC burger with homemade fries and liked it. The total for both meals was around $18. There are lots of television sets in there to watch sports if you wish. When we go back, I may order the pecan bleu salad. Bon Appétit! They are located at 6050 Peachtree Parkway (near Dick's Sporting Goods) in Peachtree Corners, Ga."
(Part 1 of 2)
On Sept. 18, 1895, the African American educator and leader Booker T. Washington delivered his famous "Atlanta Compromise" speech at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. Considered the definitive statement of what Washington termed the "accommodationist" strategy of black response to southern racial tensions, it is widely regarded as one of the most significant speeches in American history.
Two years earlier, Washington (pictured at left) had spoken in Atlanta during the international meeting of Christian Workers. That audience, comprising northern and southern whites, responded favorably to his speech, in which he advocated vocational-industrial education for blacks as a means of improving southern race relations. In the spring of 1895 Washington traveled to Washington, D.C., with a delegation of mostly white Georgians to solicit support from Congress for an exposition on social and economic advances in the South.
Washington pointed out to a congressional committee that since emancipation, blacks and whites had made advancements in race relations that should be highlighted in an exposition, and he urged federal support for the event, to be held in Atlanta. This speech, along with his 1893 address to the Christian Workers, prompted the exposition's board of directors to ask Washington to speak at its opening exercises.
Washington's speech responded to the "Negro problem"-the question of what to do about the abysmal social and economic conditions of blacks and the relationship between blacks and whites in the economically shifting South. Appealing to white southerners, Washington promised his audience that he would encourage blacks to become proficient in agriculture, mechanics, commerce, and domestic service, and to encourage them to "dignify and glorify common labour." Steeped in the ideals of the Protestant work ethic, he assured whites that blacks were loyal people who believed they would prosper in proportion to their hard work. Agitation for social equality, Washington argued, was but folly, and most blacks realized the privileges that would come from "constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing."
Washington also eased many whites' fears about blacks' desire for social integration by stating that both races could "be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress." Washington's speech also called for whites to take responsibility for improving social and economic relations between the races. Praising the South for some of the opportunities it had given blacks since emancipation, Washington asked whites to trust blacks and provide them with opportunities so that both races could advance in industry and agriculture. This shared responsibility came to be known as the Atlanta Compromise.
(To be continued)
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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.
"People may or may not say what they mean ... but they always say something designed to get what they want."
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.
(NEW) State of Norcross address: 7 p.m., Feb. 11, Paul Duke House of Norcross High School, 5300 Spalding Drive. Hear Mayor Bucky Johnson report on the city's past year, and update on the community vision for 2013.
Bat Conservation in Georgia: 7 p.m., Feb. 11, meeting of the Southern Wings Bird Club, Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Speaking will be Trina Morris, wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. More: www.southernwingsbc.com.
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.
Mind/Body Health Fair: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 16, Norcross High. Presented by the Georgia Psychological Association, the Fair is free and is a collaborative venture between Norcross High School and GPA and is sponsored, in part, by the City of Norcross and Trader Joe's. More: www.gapsychology.org/events or call (404) 634-6272.
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.
(NEW) Breakfast Networking of Buford Business Association: 8:30 a.m., Feb. 19, Springhill Suites, 3250 Buford Drive (across from Mall of Georgia).
(NEW) Open Meetings and Records Workshop: 7 p.m., Feb. 19, Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Catholic Church, 4545 Timmers Way, Norcross. Speaking will be Stefan Ritter, senior assistant attorney general. The event is free. Details: 678-632-3255.
(NEW) Legislative Update at the Sierra Club meeting: 7 p.m., Feb. 21, Berkmar High. Speaking will be Lobbyists Mark Woodall and Neill Herring, updating about environmental measures being considered by the General Assembly. For more information, contact Dan Friedman.
Meet the Author Series: 7:15 p.m., Feb. 21, Norcross Cultural Arts Center, 10 College Street. Featured will be bestselling author Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan's widow and long-time editor Harriet McDougal. They will be celebrating the conclusion of Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. They will discuss and sign the new book, A Memory of Light. For more information about library events, visit www.gwinnettpl.org, or call (770) 978-5154
Gun Violence Reduction program: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 21, Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1025 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs. Join Alice Johnson, Gun Safety Georgia; Kathryn Grant, The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus; attorney Michael Manely; and the Rev. Terry Davis, Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation for a discussion on strategies for "Gun Violence Reduction, a discussion on where we go and what we do post-Sandy Hook."
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.
"Doors and Portals" is the title of the new exhibit at the Kudzu Art Zone, 116 Carlyle Street in Norcross. Juried art work in a variety of styles and mediums will be on display. The gallery is open Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The current exhibit continues through March 23.
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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