BRACK: Catching up with the news; Michael Thurmond to head DeKalb

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher  |  Let’s crank up the old Catch Up app for today. We’ve been holding back on these few items, and give them life today.

ONE PERSON wrote with their outlook for 2017: “Keep your fingers crossed.”

THERE’S ONE REASON we suggest that government may be looking up in DeKalb County: they have some new players in the game, which bodes well for them. All too often in recent years, DeKalb has been suffering through some bad governmental and political situations. One reason for our thoughts that DeKalb is on the up rise is because of the election of a most capable public official as their CEO: Michael Thurmond.

Over the years, in every elected and appointed position that he has held, Thurmond’s work has been exemplary. We particularly remember when he was appointed as superintendent of DeKalb County schools, he quickly balanced the budget, which was out of whack by $14 million dollars. He soon had an $80 million surplus.

Impressed, we asked him what was his secret for balancing the budget so quickly.  His answer: “First thing I did was read the budget.”  He found ways to quickly cut the excesses, and put the DeKalb schools on the road to recovery.

Thurmond is a graduate of Paine College (major in philosophy and religion), the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has studied at Harvard at the Kennedy School. He has been a Clarke County state representative, then was Georgia Labor Commissioner for three terms. He most recently was an attorney in private practice in Atlanta with Butler, Wooden and Peak.

FROM KAISERSLAUTEN, Germany, Larry Zani sends us this message of a program someone might want to apply for which might be a plum.

For all persons whose ancestry is from the Trentino region of northern Italy and are between the ages of 18 and 35 years of age, the province’s government offers an exchange program which offers an excellent opportunity to spend a period of time in Italy.

BETSEY DAHLBERT AND PAUL ALLEN will soon will have the Lilburn distillery in full production by the springtime. Their focus market is Gwinnett and counties north of it. Betsey says their immediate marketing strategy is “We’re in Gwinnett, you’re in Gwinnett, drink our vodka!” They plan to use as many locally-produced ingredients and locally-purchased paraphernalia (even the bottles and labels) as possible. Their goal is for every place serving alcohol in Gwinnett to stock their products.

DOES IT BUG YOU when you hear a performer doing a pretty good job, and at the end the audience claps, hollers, whistles and stamps their feet like it was the performance of the century?  We hear this reaction often when we think the artist did so-so, not stupendously great. After all, every act is not a show-stopper. Or is it merely that there are those in the audience who think every artist should get wild applause. Unfortunately, this can lead to giving the performer more credit than they should have. What’s wrong with mere polite applause when the performer is not great?