6/1: On Norcross market, line insurance, blame

GwinnettForum  |  Issue 16.17  | June 1, 2016


Gwinnett Technical College on Friday before Memorial Day dedicated a new Veterans Memorial that will stand to honor servicemen and women in perpetuity. The custom-crafted memorial stands on the front lawn of the Lawrenceville campus just outside Building 100 that houses Gwinnett Tech’s Office of Veterans Affairs. The centerpiece of the memorial is the bronzed boots and dog tags of Marine Sgt. John-Thomas (J.T.) Stokes, a recent graduate of Gwinnett Tech’s Radiologic Technology program. The dog tags are woven into the laces of the boots as they sit atop three textbooks, symbolizing the important transition many veterans make from enlistment to education. The bronze piece sits on a granite pedestal carved with the inscription, “Honoring Veterans Past, Present and Future.” Two reflection benches face the memorial. Etched on the benches are the words “Freedom Is Not Free” and “Never Forget.” Five flagpoles encircle the memorial flying proudly the flags of each branch of the armed forces.
TODAY’S FOCUS: Redefined Norcross Community Market To Open Saturday, June 4
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Letter Offering Water Service Line Insurance Gets To Me
ANOTHER VIEW: Get Off the President’s Back and Put the Blame Where It Belongs
SPOTLIGHT: Peach State Federal Credit Union
FEEDBACK: Thought on Changing Voting Dates and A Bridge Too Far
UPCOMING: Gwinnett Tech Hosting Two Adjunct Hiring Fairs in June
NOTABLE: GGC School of Business Names Dr. Tyler Yu as Its New Dean
RECOMMENDED: An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Emma Cheves Wilkins of Savannah Achieves Artistic Legacy
TODAY’S QUOTE: Something You May Not Have Realized About Comic Strips
MYSTERY PHOTO: Here’s All Sorts of Converging Bits of Architecture to Give You Clues
LAGNIAPPE: Duluth DAR, City of Dacula Remember Veterans

Redefined Norcross Community Market to open Saturday, June 4

By Connie Weathers 

JUNE 1, 2016  |   “A place to imagine.” It’s a simple phrase that evokes emotion and a sense of pride for families living in Norcross.

Beautifully maintained and passionately promoted, the City of Norcross is a community where anyone could imagine themselves happy, healthy and thriving. Those are the same feelings that Sustainable Norcross, the local nonprofit hosting the market, hopes to extend to the Norcross Community Market opening on June 4. A ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. will open the market, with music by Jim Fox and John Outler. Children’s activities will be hosted by Norcross First United Methodist Church.

logo_norcrossmarketThe market will be located at Lillian Webb Park, 5 College St. Days of Operation: Saturdays beginning June 4 through August excluding July 2. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. An earlier farmers market in Norcross was located in Thrasher Park.

The market will feature entertainment and include activities geared for singles, couples and families. In addition, other local nonprofits will have an opportunity to connect with their community. The food will be fresh and the experience invaluable.

Sustainable Norcross, with the support of the City of Norcross and the Norcross Downtown Development Authority, is partnering with the Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) (a project of Project Generation Gap Inc. funded by the Foodwell Alliance) to create a farmers market that is shaping up to serve as a best practice model for markets across the state.

16.0601.marketGFMA’s Executive Director Sagdrina Jalal says: “Essentially, our goal is to make the Norcross Community Market a huge success. Our experience and research have given us a good understanding of the key components of a sustainable farmers market. Our plan incorporates many of those practices here in Norcross.”

Local farmers markets have an impact in addition to increasing access to fresh, nutritious food. The Farmers Market Coalition finds that markets support healthy communities, promote environmental stewardship, support economic development and preserve America’s livelihoods and farmland.

So, what does all of this look like for Norcross? Envision a place where people of different backgrounds, socio-economic status, ages and lifestyles can connect with each other and local producers; learning more about the value of having seasonal fresh food available in their community.

By working together, GFMA and Sustainable Norcross are creating a model for success. Collaborations are a big part of how it comes together. Through its double value coupon program, Wholesome Wave Georgia will work with the Norcross Community Market to incentivize Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as the food stamp program) customers to shop at the local market. Shoppers will double the value of their SNAP benefits by participating in the program.

Open Hand Atlanta will offer live cooking demonstrations at the market. Volunteer food educators have been trained in their Cooking Matters curriculum and will offer sample bites of meals and snacks that use food items available for purchase at the market. Market attendees will walk away with easy and tasty menu ideas. Local chefs will also showcase their food offerings at the market, offering shoppers ways to kick their experience with local food up a notch.


Letter offering water service line insurance really gets to me

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher 

JUNE 1, 2016  |  Every now and then, something comes along that really gets under my skin. One recent letter did it. It was from a company called “HomeServe,” and listed a local post office number in Marietta to reply to. We found the firm was out of Norwalk, Conn. See if this letter gets you going:

15.elliottbrackIt came saying it was “Information regarding your water service line.”

Here’s the genesis:

“….regarding your water service line responsibility. Many homeowners aren’t aware that they are responsible for the full cost of repairing the water line on their property.

“You can protect your water line service at (my address) with Exterior Water Service Line Coverage from HomeServe…..

“Your water service line is buried underground on your property. Conditions such as aging, ground shifting and corrosion could cause a break in the line. Because repairs can be expensive—costing thousands of dollars—it makes sense for you to have coverage to pay for this covered repairs.”

Then they cite that for only $5.49 a month, I can “take action to protect the water service line on your property.”  They wanted me to send back their enclosed form or call them at a 1-800 number to get this optional (their italics, not mine) coverage.”  They wanted me to respond within a month.

There are two things that got to me.

First, Of course if something goes wrong on my property, I am responsible. But what are the probabilities that I’m going to have water service line problems?  For the record, we’ve been in our present house for 37 years, and yes, we once had a water line problem.

But this unsolicited offer wants to charge me $5.49 a MONTH for that coverage. That’s $65.88 a year, or $658.80 over 10 years. If I have taken that service the day I moved it, I would have sent them $2,305.80 for them to put in their pockets. That’s money going to this company for an infinite possibility that something will happen to this water line. Sounds like a rat hole to me!

Now the second reason this got to me: HomeServe sent the letter through my membership in the American Association of Retired People—AARP. Now the respected AARP (which helps many people) is associating with a questionable service.  They offer this service “as an authorized representative not of AARP, but of a third company, AMI Warranty Corp. of New York City. And not only that, but the letter says that HomeServe “pays royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property,” which says to me that AARP gets a kickback for giving HomeServe my address.

It should embarrass AARP to offer such a service of questionable value.  AARP seems more intent on making a buck out of this than any real service to members.

The fine print in what was mailed to us says that such coverage will be “automatically renewed annually” at the “then-current renewal price.”  No telling how much the useless coverage of the renewal could be!

What really galls me is that many people in Gwinnett and throughout the nation will fall for this malarkey. Yes, water service lines from the street to your house can fail. But the possibilities of that are small.  These people are operating on a thin ice. If you get such a letter, head it for the trash quickly!


Get off the president’s back and put the blame where it belongs

By Alvin Leaphart, attorney-at-la

JESUP, Ga.  |  At the time Bill Clinton left office and George Bush took over, this country was on a sound financial footing. During the Bush administration we suffered the 911 Attack. As the result we attacked Iraq, destroyed the Iraqi Army, essentially killed Saddam Hussein, and destroyed the balance of power in the Mid-East.

16.0601.unclesamIt has been a long war, the longest in our history . . . and expensive. The Bush Administration, contrary to the act of any former wartime administration, lowered taxes rather than raise them to meet the expense of the war. Also there was not a single Iraqi on any 911 aircraft, and Iraq had nothing to do with the attack.

They were Saudis and the attack was instigated by Saudis. Why didn’t we attack Saudi Arabia? Osama bin Laden was a Saudi and his family was in business with the Bush family. After all airports in the United States were closed immediately after the disaster, one private plane flew out of the United States; it was loaded with the bin Laden family members headed back to Saudi Arabia. Decide for yourself.

If it had NOT been for the disastrous war with Iraq and Afghanistan we would not have had the economic problems in this country that we faced as the result of the war, we would not have had to deal with Iran on the nuclear threat, there would have no Mideast upheavals . . .  and we certainly would not have had the threat of ISIS.

So we need to get off President Obama’s back. He has done the best he could with what the Bush Republican Administration caused. And we should get off this email stuff with Hillary Clinton and look at the real causes of our problems, and put them blame where it belongs . . .  on the Bush Republican Administration.


Peach State Federal Credit Union

00.peach.stateThe public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Peach State Federal Credit Union is a $315 million credit union that serves more than 44,000 members in Barrow, Clarke, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Jackson, Oconee, Richmond and Walton counties. Operating as a not-for-profit financial cooperative, Peach State’s mission is to provide quality financial services that meet the needs and exceed the expectations of its member-owners. For more information about our products and services, or to find one of our convenient branch locations, please visit www.peachstatefcu.org.

  • For a list of other sponsors of this forum, go to: Our sponsors.

Frustrated at changing election dates; wants it set in stone

Editor, the Forum:

00icon_lettersI write in frustration about the May primary election that I just missed. I take voting very seriously but frankly, I just can’t keep up with all of these elections and their variations in Georgia.

I understand the need for primary elections that precede the general. But what is most important is fixed dates. Fix a date in stone for the primary, and same for the general election (which should be first Tuesday in November in sync with federal election). The thought of me giving the likes of Johnny Isakson another opportunity to do more for Israel than for Georgia is more than I can bear. Its time to reform our election laws.

— Joe Briggs, Suwanee

Dear Joe: Easy, Joe, easy. This year you only had to know three dates, the presidential primary in March, the Georgia Primary in May and the November elections. Shame on you for not realizing.

But also remember: state election officials have jiggled the elections for ages, which usually benefits the party in power. But we all agree: we would have more confidence in government if, as you say, the dates were set in stone.—eeb

People concerned in Peachtree Corners about “A Bridge Too Far”

Editor, the Forum:

There was a World War II operation called “Market Garden.”  The movie about it was “A Bridge Too Far.”  Now locals on Peachtree Corners use that phrase in forums to refer to the proposed pedestrian bridge across Peachtree Parkway that has severely segmented the community.

The city itself has been almost ignored by the majority of our community.  Incorporation hasn’t impacted our lives enough to pay attention.  Now, this bridge seems to have set off the sensibilities or values of the community.  It just seems grandiose to the community.  The dreams seem to have grown too big or lost touch.  It is the “Bridge too far.”  If the community thinks that’s too far, wait until they see the monuments to come.  I am using the words of others in the forums.

It is remarkable that a community as highly educated as Peachtree Corners could be sold this bill of goods.  The group that seems to be most active is those who voted “yes” to the “City Lite” idea, with the city providing only three services and with low budgets.  Now they have learned that there never was a limited City Lite.

The Ballot Committee always said to read the Charter, because that was what we were voting on, not City Lite.  But voters passed cityhood.  The group that voted “yes” now has almost half of them upset that they were deceived and if given the chance would not vote “yes” again.

Now we have a most unhealthy situation with no ground for healing in sight.  Trust between groups is hard to find.  The survey done by the Ballot Committee was conducted by a gentleman who did surveys as a profession for many corporations.  It was uncorrupted and unbiased, and it was representative of the whole community that voted in the cityhood vote.

The best survey would be a plebiscite.  Trust needs to be reestablished.

Bryan Gilbert, Peachtree Corners

  • Send us your thoughts: We encourage you to send us your letters and thoughts on issues raised in GwinnettForum.  Please limit comments to 200 words.  We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length.  Send feedback and letters to:    elliott@brack.net

Gwinnett Tech hosting two adjunct hiring fairs in June

logo_gwinnettech_newGwinnett Tech will host two Adjunct Hiring Fairs the first week in June to help fill adjunct faculty positions across multiple academic disciplines. The hiring fairs will be on both campuses and are scheduled as follows:

  • Alpharetta-North Fulton, Tuesday, June 7, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Lawrenceville, Thursday, June 9, 2016, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Credential requirements are as follows:

  • For occupational and General Education courses: Doctorate or master’s degree in related field or a master’s degree with 18 graduate hours in the discipline.
  • For Technical and Adult Education courses: The minimum academic degree for faculty teaching in professional, occupational and technical areas must be at the same level at which the faculty member is teaching. A typical combination is a bachelor’s or associate degree with appropriate work experience.
  • For Developmental Education: Bachelor’s degree in the discipline being taught and experience or graduate training.

Applicants must register in advance to attend and complete a full job application through the Gwinnett Technical College Online Job Center located at www.GwinnettTech.edu under the GTC Careers tab. Candidates are asked to bring a CV/resume and an unofficial college transcript. Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in a 10-minute interview onsite.

The Alpharetta-North Fulton Campus is located at 2875 Old Milton Parkway and the Lawrenceville Campus address is 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway. For more information, email Jobs@GwinnettTech.edu or call 770-962-7580.

Aurora Theatre has action-packed summer offerings for children

Make waves this June with  Aurora Theatre’s action-packed Summer Programming.

15_new_auroraIt’s Electric by Big Thinkers Science Exploration Wednesday, June 1; 10 and 11:30 a.m. A science exploration of electricity and heat, kids (and adults) of all ages are invited into the Big Thinkers Science Exploration lab, where education and fun are combined to help answer burning scientific questions! From manipulating a 50,000 volt Tesla coil to inviting audience members to participate in hands-on demonstrations like the hair-raising electrostatic generator, an indoor lightning strike and levitation machine using static electricity, It’s Electric will be full of shocking entertainment! Tickets are $7.

Dream Scheme by the Atlanta Shakespeare Company Wednesday, June 15; 10 and 11:30 a.m. What do you get when you combine music, mayhem, friendly sock puppets, crazy costumes, a magic “plot easel” named Pleasel and a special show robot named Sho-bot? Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s wacky and whimsical take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Designed specifically for children ages 5 and up, the production strips away any unapproachable content, leaving kids laughing and intrigued by the timeless comedy. Tickets are $7.

The Circus King by the Story Ship Wednesday, June 22; 10 and 11:30 a.m.  Kids of all ages will enjoy this tale of a young boy who was found by a baboon and raised among a circus of misfits. As he struggles with personal challenges and finding his true destiny, audience members and the cast of characters band together to help him! Featuring hilarious puppets, beautiful animation, spellbinding magic and fun music, The Circus King is not-to-be-missed! Tickets are $7.

Teatro Aurora: The Legend of the Inka Empire! Saturday, June 11; 8 p.m. You are invited to travel through time into the mystery of the Andes Mountains to discover the wonders of one of the greatest civilizations ever! In this world premiere production, part of Teatro Aurora, the legendary Peruvian musical group Apu Inka takes guests on a lyrical journey from the rise and fall of The Inca Empire and into the influence of The Children of the Sun on the new world. This not-to-be-missed experience has been declared an event of cultural significance by the Peruvian Government’s Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Tickets range from $25-$40. For more information, visit www.auroratheatre.com/teatro-aurora.


GGC School of Business names Yu as its new dean



Georgia Gwinnett College has named a new dean of its School of business. He is Dr. Tyler T. Yu, previously a GGC professor of economics and accounting. He succeeds Dr. Victoria Johnson, who was the first dean hired at the newly established college in 2006, and who will retire June 30. Yu began serving as interim dean several months ago when Johnson transitioned into the role of charter dean.

A first-generation immigrant from Dalian, China, Yu earned his master’s degree in accounting from Kennesaw State University and his doctorate in agricultural economics/economics from Mississippi State University. The Alpharetta resident taught as a tenured full professor at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1990-2006. He joined the Georgia Gwinnett faculty as the college prepared to welcome its first students in 2006.

Yu has published widely in national and international journals on the topics of economics, management and business research, international business, ethics, monetary policy and other related arenas. At GGC, Yu has taught courses in macroeconomics, international economics and finance, financial and managerial accounting, business statistics, applied quantitative analysis and special topics. He has served on or chaired several college committees.

Gwinnett Village CID names Davis to new position

The Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District (GVCID) officially voted in May to hire Marsha Anderson Bomar to fill the position of executive director. Her first day leading the CID is June 1.



The board also voted to promote Alyssa Davis from the position of program director to assistant executive director. She joined the staff in 2009 as an intern and has completed her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She earned her first Masters degree in teaching from Pace University in New York City, which she utilized while participating in the Teach for America program. Davis earned her undergraduate degree from Davidson College in North Carolina.


An Inspector Calls

A drama by J.B. Priestley

00_recommendedIt’s England in 1912. The prosperous Birling family has gathered for a formal evening meal celebrating the engagement of their daughter. The atmosphere is upbeat and optimistic. Just as dinner is over, the doorbell rings. The jovial atmosphere is about to be shattered. A man called ‘Inspector Goole’ says a poor, working-class young woman has just killed herself and he has reason to believe she was somehow connected to the Birling family. Telling you what comes next would be too much of a spoiler, but I will say surprises continue to unfold. This is a thought provoking drama highlighting how one incident that one may consider small can greatly affect someone else. This drama takes place in only one night and critiques of the hypocrisies of the self-important posh Edwardian society. If you prefer to watch the play, I recommend the 1982 BBC presentation of it found on YouTube.

— Susan McBrayer, Sugar Hill

An invitation: what books, restaurants, movies or web sites have you enjoyed recently? Send us your recent selection, along with a short paragraph (100 words) as to why you liked this, plus what you plan to visit or read next. –eeb


Emma Cheves Wilkins of Savannah achieves artistic legacy


“Red Shoes, Blue Vase, Glass and Carnations,” undated, by Emma Cheves Wilkins

A lifelong resident of Savannah, Emma Cheves Wilkins continued the artistic legacy established by her mother and grandmother, and honored the efforts of earlier generations. She developed a census of paintings that is now part of the Frick Art Reference Library in New York City and supported herself by painting portraits of prominent citizens, while simultaneously gaining a reputation for painting lush, impressionistic landscapes and still lifes.

Born on December 10, 1870, Wilkins was the oldest of eight children born to Emma Cheves and Gilbert A. Wilkins. Though the family was not wealthy, generations of prominent southerners on the maternal side of the family led to a wide range of useful connections. Both Emma’s mother, who gave private art lessons, and her grandmother, Charlotte McCord Cheves, were academically trained artists who specialized in painted miniatures.

An astute and socially prominent businesswoman, Wilkins was also a self-supporting artist. From her private art school, she taught members of the next generation of Savannah artists. Her family’s social network provided access to prominent citizens of the region and nation, who commissioned portraits that she painted during the academic year in order to keep her summers free for other activities. During several summers, she traveled to Europe seeking instruction, especially in life drawing.

Portraits of judges, politicians, doctors, bankers, military figures, and, to a lesser extent, women and children, provided a livelihood for Wilkins. She was also well known for loosely painted landscapes and still lifes, which were often exhibited and won prizes in juried shows. Wilkins noted that she had never studied landscape painting but created them purely for pleasure. She exhibited her work in New York City and in Georgia, with Washington (D.C.) Artists, and the Atlanta Dogwood Festival of 1936.

Wilkins compiled a list of pre-1880 portraits held in private collections in the region, which is now included in the Frick Art Reference Library.

Wilkins’s personal papers are in the collection of the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah. She donated the Cheves and Wagner Family Papers, the legacy of generations from the maternal side of her family, to the Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also donated a miniature painting created by her grandmother of a family member to the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, S.C.

Wilkins died on December 18, 1956, and is buried in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah. Her work is found in the permanent collections of the Armstrong State University in Savannah, the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, the Telfair Museum of Art, and in numerous private collections.


Here’s all sorts of converging bits of architecture to give you clues


Today’s Mystery Photo doesn’t give you much of a landmark that you can easily identify, but one thing we can tell you: it’s not taken in our hometown of Allentown, Ga. See if you can figure out where all these converging bits of architecture is located. Send in your thoughts to elliott@gwinnettforum.com and be sure to include your hometown.

16.0527.mysterytWHAT WE THOUGHT would be a difficult Mystery Photo in the last edition turned easy for several readers. One guy thought the last edition’s Mystery Photo was at the Alamo, and another suggested Fort Sumter. Neither were right. But Michael Green of Milton got it right, recognizing the brick and damage at Fort Pulaski, near Savannah. The damage occurred during the Civil War, as Yankee gunboats shelled the stronghold between Savannah and Tybee Island. Michael wrote: “Pictured is Fort Pulaski which is preserved as a national monument on Cockspur Island between Savannah and Tybee Island, Ga. The Union Army successfully tested rifled cannon in combat there during the Civil War.” The photo was sent in by Jerry Colley of Alpharetta.

Among others getting the mystery right were Lou Camerio, Lilburn; Rob Keith, Peachtree Corners; Logan Duke, Atlanta; Robert Hanson, Loganville; Jimmy Simpson,  Lilburn; Howard Williams of Snellville; and Rick and Sandy Krause of Lilburn.

George Graf of Palmyra, Va. sent along this detail: “Kazimierz Michał Władysław Wiktor Pułaski, born in Warsaw, Poland on March 6, 1745, was a Polish nobleman, soldier and military commander who has been called with his fellow Hungarian friend Michael Kovats de Fabriczy “the fathers of the American cavalry.”  Pulaski is one of only eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship. Pulaski emigrated to North America to help in the cause of the American Revolutionary War. He distinguished himself throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington. Pulaski became a general in the Continental Army, created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reformed the American cavalry as a whole. At the Battle of Savannah, while leading a daring charge against British forces, he was gravely wounded, and died shortly thereafter.”


Duluth DAR chapter places U.S. flags on graves of veterans


Continuing a tradition, on May 28, members of Duluth’s William Day Daughters of the American Revolution chapter placed more than 100 flags on the graves of veterans at the Duluth Church Cemetery. Seven members spanned out across the Duluth Church Cemetery to place the flags. As new flags were placed, worn and tattered American flags were collected by members for proper disposal. From left are

Charlene Walsh, Betty Looper, Kris White, Amy Koon, Mayor Nancy Harris, Ginny Harrell, Jane Moore, and Debbie Bush. [Photo by Joel Harrell]

Dacula remembers Memorial Day with only parade in Gwinnett County

The annual Dacula Memorial Day Parade had perfect weather, as more than 130 groups marched through the city. Roving Photographer Frank Sharp was present, capturing these moments on film on this patriotic occasion.

Dacula Parade

Dacula Parade

Dacula Parade

Dacula Parade

Dacula Parade


GwinnettForum is provided to you at no charge every Tuesday and Friday. If you would like to serve as an underwriter, click here to learn more:

We hope you’ll keep receiving the great news and information from GwinnettForum, but if you need to unsubscribe, go to this page and unsubscribe in the appropriate box.
© 2016, 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.