Issue 14.11 | May 6, 2014
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CHENNAI, SOUTHEAST INDIA, May 6, 2014 -- Enjoy a trip with Carl and Jeannie LaBarbera today from the comfort of your easy chair and nice air-conditioned home. You find us to India, where the heat every day in the summer is well over 100, but cools down drastically in the winter - to about 70!
After just three weeks in this country, these are my immediate eye-openers:
Everyone seems to wear sandals here, as you traditionally take off your shoes when entering a church, hospital, or someone's home. So instead of umbrellas in the church vestibule when it's raining in Lawrenceville, you would see dozens of sandals lined up outside the many churches here.
been here for two years, working as the representative for a Christian
ministry in Walton County that provides care and love for hundreds of
orphans and misplaced children in this area of India. He asked me to marry
him on his recent furlough home, and I joined him to work alongside him
for as long as God determines our time is needed here.
We also have visited four different small village churches where Carl has preached through a translator, as he does most Sundays. Their beautiful little sanctuaries are no more than 10 feet wide and 20 feet long, with a thatch roof resting on walls of hard, dried mud, coated with a type of stucco - and a much-appreciated latticed gap of about 8 inches for air between the walls and roof.
dirt floor is covered with bamboo mats, where women sit to the left and
men to the right for about three hours. Their worship is like their sanctuary:
simple, humble, and real. We may not know what they said, but their singing,
whispered prayers, and love for one another let us know that we've truly
worshiped with God's people!
is short - and only what's done for Christ will last. We are privileged
to serve Him in India!
MAY 6, 2014 -- Gwinnett is indebted to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Suwanee, and the Community Foundation of North Georgia, for sponsoring a forum to spell out the insidious problems of methamphetamine ("meth") that our society faces.
The problems are vast, and deep. Meth can quickly destroy an individual.
Since 2010, the Georgia Meth Project has sought to sound the alarm about this new menace, citing facts. Unthinking people don't pay attention to this, to their harm.
Among the dangers:
You see how scary it is?
Look at it another way, by looking at the physical changes in persons using Meth. Just click here to see before-and-after photos which should put a real scare into you.
It goes further. Meth is not only an individual health user problem, it directly affects society, impacting workplace attendance, productivity and performance. It costs all of us in higher insurance claims, meaning it gets into our individual pocketbooks. Because it is virtually impossible for meth users to ever recover from their addiction, this has real ramifications in the workforce today and for generations to come.
Look at some of the problems the use of meth causes:
Jim Langford, executive director of the Georgia Meth Project, spoke at the recent Gwinnett gathering. He suggested how the Gwinnett community might fight this menace. "Meth is a highly addictive synthetic stimulant that affects the pleasure centers of the brain, leading to an almost instant addiction. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Atlanta area is a strategic hub for meth and the Interstate 85 transportation corridor makes Northeast Georgia communities especially vulnerable. It was very clear to all involved in the dialogue that this is not a problem in someone else's community, but one right here at home."
Since its founding in 2010, the Georgia Meth Project has been focused on channeling an aggressive education and awareness campaign towards teens, parents, and adults across Georgia about the dangers of meth use. They have aired a powerful television commercial campaign and are now focused on delivering prevention messages via online media channels that prove most effective in reaching teens ages 12-17. Georgia Meth has also developed an effective curriculum that teachers can easily download for use directly in the classroom.
your kids. Show them pictures and videos. Ensure that they understand
the reasons why
.."Not Even Once."
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is EMC Security, headquartered in Suwanee. EMC Security provides residential and commercial security with the same service and values that its parent companies, Jackson EMC, Walton EMC and GreyStone Power, have delivered for over 75 years. EMC Security's newest division, EMC Medical Alert, allows loved ones to remain safe and independent with the smallest voice-to-voice emergency alert device available.
A search committee has been named that will assist in the process of selecting the next president of Gwinnett Technical College. The new president will replace Sharon Bartels, who retired on May 1.
The search committee will be chaired by Wendell Dallas, the vice president for operations at Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas and chairman of the Gwinnett Technical College Board of Directors. In the coming weeks, the committee members will conduct interviews with applicants who respond to a national announcement for the position. Their job will be to narrow the applicants down to three candidates and then provide the technical school board with those names.
Joining Dallas on the committee are Kerry Armstrong, the senior vice president of Pope and Land Enterprises, Inc.; Robert Avoss, the superintendent of the Fulton County School System; State Senator Brandon Beach of the 21st District, who is also president of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce; Fran Forehand, the East Region vice president for Georgia Power; Julie Haley, the chief executive officer of Edge Solutions; Davis Belle Isle, mayor of the City of Alpharetta; Dr. Daniel Kaufman, president of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce; Dan King, a retired partner with King and Spalding and chairman of the Gwinnett Tech Foundation; Doug Meyer, president of InExpress North Atlanta and a member of the Gwinnett Technical College Board of Directors; Michael L. Sullivan, the executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia and a member of the State Board of Technical College System of Georgia; and J. Alvin Wilbanks, the chief executive officer and superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools.
Greer to be speaker at Georgia Gwinnett graduation May 15
Karyn Greer, Emmy award-winning news anchor for the Channel 11 Morning News, will be the featured speaker at Georgia Gwinnett College's spring commencement. The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m., May 15, on the main campus lawn.
A native of Chicago, Ill., Greer obtained a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She started her broadcast career as a chyron operator and technical director at WCIA TV-3 in Champaign, and quickly found her way on air as a reporter at WCID TV-15 in Champaign and then at WCSC TV-5 in Charleston, SC.
In 1989 Greer moved to Atlanta where she anchored and reported for the newly-formed WGNX, now WGCL TV-46. In 1999, she joined the news team at 11Alive/WXIA TV-11, Atlanta's NBC affiliate.
Greer is known for her commitment to the community and extraordinary work in the fight against breast cancer. She is past president of the Atlanta Press Club and currently serves on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences. In her free time Greer enjoys reading and traveling with her husband, Tony, and being a soccer, baseball, lacrosse and swim mom to their sons, Kyle and Tyler.
Four local artists in exhibition in Atlanta during May
friends from the Atlanta area who have been painting together outdoors
for the past few years are showing a selection of their landscape work
at Artists Atelier Gallery, 800 Miami Circle NE in Atlanta through May
30. The show features the works of Donna Biggee, Barbara Jaenicke, Jill
S. McGannon and Nancy Nowak. The works express their connection to the
landscape that has developed through painting "plein air" (on
location), often in areas throughout Georgia and the Atlanta area. Come
meet the artists at the opening reception May 17 from noon until 4 p.m.
New head of the Law Department for Gwinnett County is William J. Linkous III, who comes to the post with more than 20 years experience in local government, litigation and employment law.
He worked as a senior assistant county attorney for Gwinnett County early in his career and spent the intervening years in private practice and as counsel to several other local governments. From October 2001 to December 2008, he served DeKalb County, first as Chief Assistant County Attorney and then as County Attorney. There he was responsible for all of the county's legal affairs, leading a team of 17 staff attorneys and coordinating. He will begin his tenure on May 19.
Linkous earned his juris doctorate from the Georgia State University College of Law. He also studied at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C., and holds an undergraduate degree from Roanoke College in Salem, Va.
Gwinnett Tech names Hegarty as the 2014 distinguished student
Technical College honored hundreds of its high achieving students recently,
recognizing leaders in academics, program excellence, leadership and community
outreach. Aidan Hegarty, a Game Development student, was named the 2014
Distinguished Student, earning one of the college's most prestigious awards.
students in each Gwinnett Tech program of study were recognized, as were
members of National Technical Honor Society, Collegiate DECA Award winners,
SkillsUSA winners and a host of individual program honorees. In all, almost
300 students were recognized.
The dream of every Jimmy Buffett Parrothead out there, Ed Robinson's book is an entertaining and practical guide to simplification in life, and the importance of the moment. If you ever wanted to succumb to a change in latitudes, and seek out that one particular harbor, this is the book for you. Mr. Robinson realistically describes the steps he and his wife took to downsize to a boat where they could live 24/7. They systematically sold off their belongings, critically looked at opportunities to fit their budgets, and ended with an adventure that they are still living today. He describes the skills necessary to survive (boat mechanics are very important here), but he also describes the rewards they receive on a regular basis, and the sunsets they never miss. Daydream inspiration for certain!
To test compliance with recent court rulings barring segregation in interstate travel, the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) sponsored a series of integrated bus rides throughout the South in the spring and summer of 1961. Known thereafter as the Freedom Rides, the protests galvanized national support for civil rights reforms and compelled federal engagement in the African American freedom struggle. Although they met with violent resistance elsewhere in the region, Freedom Riders traveled unmolested through Georgia and were served courteously at multiple lunch counters throughout the state.
Even as the civil rights movement gathered momentum in the early 1960s, many leading activists expressed frustration with the slow pace of change. Apart from perfunctory promises to uphold the law, officials in U.S. president John F. Kennedy's administration remained on the sidelines of the struggle, and even national observers who favored civil rights reforms expressed ambivalence toward direct action protest.
In 1960, however, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark judgment barring segregation in bus and train terminals in Boynton v. Virginia Supreme Court, CORE organizers recognized an opportunity to galvanize national support for their cause and, perhaps more important, to compel federal involvement in the African American freedom struggle. To gauge compliance with the ruling, CORE director James Farmer announced in February 1961 that his organization would sponsor a series of integrated bus rides throughout the South.
Though controversial, the idea itself was not new. In the wake of a similar ruling barring segregation on interstate buses fourteen years earlier, CORE activists launched a protest called the "Journey of Reconciliation." Like the Freedom Rides, the Journey of Reconciliation featured an interracial team of activists that defied local customs and laws by riding in sections of interstate buses reserved for members of the other race. However, unlike their predecessors, whose travels were limited to the Upper South, the Freedom Riders charted a path through the Deep South, where violent resistance was all but certain.
Following a careful selection process and a weekend of intensive training in the methods of nonviolent protest, the 13 original Freedom Riders departed Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961. Traveling aboard two separate coaches, one operated by Greyhound and the other by Trailways, the group passed with little difficulty through Virginia and North Carolina, but they encountered violent opposition upon reaching South Carolina. Two riders, Albert Bigelow, a white retired naval officer, and John Lewis, a black seminary student who later represented Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives, were assaulted in Rock Hill, a working-class town with a large Ku Klux Klan presence.
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Troubled By Which Path Mankind Takes
"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a cross-road. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
For the 2014 primary
season, GwinnettForum asked all candidates facing primary opposition
in Gwinnett County to provide answers to six questions. You can read their
answers below by clicking on the links for each race. (Candidate answers
are provided by race; scroll down the document if you don't immediately
see the candidate you want to read about.)
Candidates with no primary opposition are not listed. Those with opposition in the General Election will be asked questions, which we'll publish before the November election.
U. S. CONGRESS, DISTRICT 4
U.S. CONGRESS, DISTRICT 10
SECRETARY OF STATE
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, Northern
SENATE DISTRICT 9
SENATE DISTRICT 40
SENATE DISTRICT 55
HOUSE DISTRICT 97
HOUSE DISTRICT 98
HOUSE DISTRICT 105
COUNTY COMMISSION, District 4
SCHOOL BOARD, District 2
(NEW) Diverging Diamond Interchange Dedication, Tuesday, May 6 at 11:30 a.m. at The Jameson Inn, 1920 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. DOT officials will lead the ribbon-cutting for the Interstate 85 project on Pleasant Hill Road. This is the first such project in Gwinnett, as it shifts traffic to the opposite side of the bridge , improving left turns onto the interstate. Another similar project is now underway at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85, to be completed mid-year 2014.
Farmers' Market begins in Norcross on Tuesday, May 6 from 4-6 p.m. This is the sixth year of operation, and there's a new wrinkle this year: food trucks. The Market is located in Thrasher Park in downtown Norcross.
(NEW) Mark Earth Day, Saturday, May 10, at 9 a.m. at the Gwinnett Braves' Coolray Field. Sponsored by Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recovered Material Division. This free event will feature recycling, paint collection and collection of used old sneakers. There will be kids' activities. For more information, visit www.gwinnettcb.org.
(NEW) Peachtree Corners Clean-Up Day is Saturday, May 10. Sponsored by the United Peachtree Corners Community Association and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, volunteers are needed for cleaning several thoroughfares in the city. Volunteers are asked to work a two hour shift between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Orange vests, large bags and long grippers will be supplied. For more information or to volunteer contact Pat Bruschini.
Paw-Fest 2014 will be Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Lilburn City Park, 76 Main Street. Sponsored by the Gwinnett Humane Society, this is a community awareness event seeking to educate people on pet-related issues. All leashed, well-behaved dogs are welcomed. Activities include a 3.5-Mile Pack Hike led by the Atlanta Dog Whisperer, Angie Woods; K9 Agility and Frisbee Demonstrations by K9 Einstein; Silent Auction; Animal Wellness Clinic; Therapy Dog and Canine Good Citizen Testing; Vendors, and much more. For details: 678-549-2006,
(NEW) Uterine Fibroid Seminar, Saturday, May 10 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Kingdom Now Church, 1805 Shackelford Court in Norcross. Attendees can increase awareness of uterine fibroids, which affect 40 percent of childbearing age women. The event will include a free breakfast and Zumba class. To pre-register, call 678-861-7787.
(NEW) Bird magazine editor speaking at the May 12 meeting of the Southern Wings Bird Club, at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center at 7 p.m. Ken Blankenship, editor of North American Birds, will speak about recording information about the birds and how important that can be. For more details, visit www.southernwingsbc.com.
(NEW) Brass Band Concert by the Lawrenceville Corps of Salvation Army band, in concert, Sunday, May 18 at 5 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 400 Holcomb Bridge Road, in Norcross. There is no admission charge. Hear church hymns in a stirring fashion by the band led by Bandmaster Nick Simmons-Smith.
Electric Waste Recycling and Paper Shredding, Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1826 Killian Hill Road, Lilburn. There is no charge for this recycling. For a list of what is acceptable for recycling, visit www.tlc-lilburn.org.
To Feel the Clouds is the current exhibit at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. Nationally-known Georgia photographer John Slemp will exhibit 25 photos of aircraft and the medium they fly in-clouds, The exhibit remains up through June 28. More of his work can be seen at www.aerographs.com.
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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