6/16: On rabies vaccinations; Martin Luther; gun-free zones

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.22  |  June16, 2017 

FLAG DAY: Flags of the United States were flying all around Gwinnett on Wednesday, marking Flag Day. Here Roving Photographer Frank Sharp captures a flag in front of the Historic Strickland House on Buford Highway in Duluth. The nation adopted the “Stars and Stripes” as the flag of the United States in on June 14, 1777, with June 14 being celebrated as Flag Day. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation officially establishing June 14 as Flag Day with actual legislation signed by President Harry Truman in 1949 proclaiming June 14 as Flag Day.
TODAY’S FOCUS: County Offers Free Rabies Vaccinations for Pets in Norcross Area
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Ever Stop To Consider: Martin Luther Also Had a Love Life!
ANOTHER VIEW: Call Officials To Close “Tailgate Party” of Campus Carry Bill
SPOTLIGHT: The Gwinnett Braves
FEEDBACK: For Travel, Most Europeans Don’t Wear Flip Flops, Tank Tops, Pajamas, Etc.
UPCOMING: Two Grants to Norcross High Foundation Help After School Matters
NOTABLE: Lawrenceville Updates Website To Improve Transparency
RECOMMENDED: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Georgia’s Southern Boundary Line Difficult to Establish over Years
TODAY’S QUOTE: What One Actor Did To Honor His Father
MYSTERY PHOTO: Here’s Another Idyllic Spot for You To Spend Some Luxury Time
LAGNIAPPE: GSU, Gwinnett Tech, Makes Getting RN Degree Much Easier
CALENDAR: Meet a Genealogist in Braselton on June 17

County offers free rabies vaccinations for pets in Norcross area

By Heather Sawyer, Norcross, Ga. Free rabies vaccinations for pets of Norcross-area residents will be offered at a June 24 clinic sponsored by Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement, Planned PEThood, Animal Alliance of Georgia, Society of Humane Friends of Georgia, and Canine Pet Rescue.

Vaccinating a dog to prevent rabies.

The vaccinations come in response to recent reports of rabid animals being found in the county. Rabies is a disease found in the wild, particularly among foxes, raccoons, skunks and bats.

While supplies last, the clinic will provide rabies for dogs and cats, Distemper-Hepatitis-Parvovirus-Parainfluenza vaccine for dogs, and a vaccine for feline distemper (feline Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia). De-wormer medication and nail trimming services will also be available.

Pet owners can also learn about low-cost spay and neuter options and county wellness activities, summer camps and events.

Dogs must be on a leash, and cats must be in a cat carrier.

The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Best Friend Park, is intended for Gwinnett residents in the 30071, 30340, 30360 and 30092 ZIP codes. Bring proof of residency, such as a driver’s license and a utility bill. More pet vaccination clinics are being planned for other parts of the county.

Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation will host the clinic at the Jessie Marie Scott Pavilion at Best Friend Park, located at 6224 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross. Anyone seeking to volunteer should go to the Volunteer Gwinnett webpage at www.volunteergwinnett.net.

EARLIER, A GWINNETT COUNTY Animal Welfare and Enforcement officer responded on June 10 to a report of a woman attacked by a rabid fox in the 920 block of Cripple Creek Drive in Lawrenceville.

The fox was killed at the scene and tissue samples that were sent to the state lab tested positive for rabies on June 12. Gwinnett Animal Welfare and Enforcement officials believe there are numerous fox dens in that area. The Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Division and the Gwinnett County Health Department advise residents to use caution and avoid animals behaving in unusual ways.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, principal carriers of rabies are bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. Thus far in 2017, Gwinnett County has had seven confirmed cases of rabies. In 2016, seven rabies cases were confirmed in animals in Gwinnett County, four in 2015, and 12 in 2014.

What does a rabid animal look like?

Rabid animals may act tame. They may also display strange or unusual behavior. They may act aggressive, avoid food and water, foam at the mouth, or have trouble moving or move in a stiff, odd way. Stay away from any unknown animals, especially wildlife. Report any animal acting unusually to Gwinnett County Police Animal Welfare and Enforcement at 770-513-5700.

How can I help protect myself and my family from rabies?

  • Make sure your pets get their rabies shots regularly.
  • Keep your pets on your property.
  • Do not leave garbage or pet food outside. Food left out may attract wild or stray animals.
  • Stay away from wild, sick, hurt, or dead animals. Do not pick up or move sick or hurt animals.
  • If you find a wild, sick, or hurt animal, call Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement at 770-513-5700 or 770-339-3200.
  • Do not keep wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes as pets. It is dangerous and also illegal.
  • Teach your children not to go near, tease, or play with wild animals or strange dogs and cats.

Have a comment?  Send to:  elliott@brack.net


Ever stop to consider:  Martin Luther also had a love life!

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher |  When Martin Luther, the great reformer, comes to mind, you never think of his personal life or his love life.  He’s the major figure associated with the beginning of the Protestant Revolution, a figure whose pronouncements even today influence the lives of the world. He’s venerated- — but of course not by the Catholic church.

We came across a passage about Luther recently, and wanted to know more about his life.

He was an obscure priest, onetime monk, professor of theology, and composer in a small town about halfway between Potsdam and Dresden in Germany—Wittenburg.  His education was at the relatively close University of Erfurt, graduating in 1505.

Becoming upset over some of the practices of the Catholic church, he as a routine university matter nailed his “95 theses” to the door of Wittenburg Cathedral, which was the standard way in those days to start an academic discussion. He had become increasingly doubtful about the tenets of the church, finding much more comfort in the words of the Bible and his own individual faith.

The general date associated with all this is October 31, 1517. Soon Luther found himself in trouble with the higher authorities of the Catholic church, and he was eventually excommunicated. However, Luther, overwhelmed by developments he engendered, quietly continued to write and develop his own system of faith, putting the freedom of believing individuals above the rituals of the church. All along, he enjoyed the protection of his local German ruler, Frederick the Wise.


He said of all this hullabaloo around him: “I would never have thought that such a storm would rise from Rome over one simple scrap of paper.”

Little did he realize that this would become a turning point in that day’s worldwide church, and not only create a theological reformation, but stirring a social revolution as well.

A modern development helped Luther: the printing press had just been invented, and his writings were spread quickly — within three months — over Europe via small pamphlets. This allowed Luther’s thoughts to be discussed widely, and carried with this discussion new ways of thinking, which essentially changed Western civilization, giving rise to today’s ideals of freedom and liberty.

Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora

In 1525, Luther married—something not allowed priests by the church—to a former nun who had escaped the convent. Katharina von Bora’s marriage to Luther was scandalous at the time, and is considered the beginning of married clergymen. His “dear Katie” was vivacious and intelligent. Earlier Luther worried that his possible marriage might hurt the reformation movement, then he figured that there were (in his words) many reasons in favor of it for it would “….please his father, rile the Pope, cause the angels to laugh and the devils to weep.”

The Luthers had six children and the family lived in the monastery where he has previously been a monk. Katharina was a good cook, set a fine table, was adept at finances, grew most of their food, brewed their beer, plus was a stimulating conservationist. Luther sought his wife’s view on matters, and with her head for business, she dealt with publishers on his behalf.

It was a good marriage, and full of life. Luther died at age 63 in 1546, after 21 years of marriage. His simple questions and independent thinking led to monumental changes in that day, which have lasted until today.

Martin Luther, (1483-1546): thank you for what you have given the world.  May you rest in peace.


Call officials to close “tailgate party” of campus carry bill

By Jeff Ploussard, Lilburn, Ga.  |  On May 24, the University System of Georgia (USG) issued guidelines for implementing House Bill 280, the so-called “Campus Carry” bill that was signed into law on May 4 by Governor Nathan Deal.   Under the new gun law—for the first time ever—Georgia weapons license holders will be allowed to carry concealed handguns into classrooms and other places on Georgia’s public college and university campuses.

Notwithstanding the new law, several gun-free zones will remain on campuses and are specified in HB 280.  For example, handguns will continue to be prohibited in stadiums, arenas and other facilities used for athletic sporting events.  Unfortunately, according to the USG guidelines and in an apparent oversight by lawmakers, this prohibition doesn’t extend to the so-called ‘tailgating” areas outside these athletic facilities.

College tailgate parties typically revolve around the consumption of alcoholic beverages.  Given the clear and well documented linkage between alcohol and gun violence, lawmakers should to quickly amend the new law by keeping these “tailgating” areas gun-free in order to maximize public safety on Georgia college campuses on game days.

The new campus carry gun law is scheduled to take effect on July 1. The first home football game tailgate parties for the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech are September 2 and September 4, respectively.  Now is the time to contact the powers that be to express your opinion and urge them to work together to close the “tailgate party” loophole as soon as possible.

Here is a list of the individuals and organizations that have the most financial leverage and political influence to expeditiously close the “tailgate party” loophole:

  • Governor Nathan Deal (404-656-1776)
  • Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (404-962-3049)
  • Your State Representative (Georgia House)
  • Your State Senator (Georgia Senate)
  • NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association (317-917-6222)
  • SEC Southeastern Conference (205-458-3000)
  • ACC Atlantic Coast Conference (336-854-8787 feedback@theacc.org)
  • ESPN Southeast Region (205-733-3776)

The citizens of Georgia have already spoken loudly and clearly for common sense gun rights laws.  In response to an open records requests, Governor Deal’s office recently revealed that nearly 15,000 Georgians contacted the Governor to express their opposition to the “campus carry” legislation while only 150 called the Governor in support of HB 280.

Closing the dangerous “tailgate party” loophole now will signal to thousands of citizens that their voices have been heard by our legislators and other stakeholders in Georgia’s system of higher education.


The Gwinnett Braves

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. The Gwinnett Braves are the Triple-A International League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. The team plays their home games at Coolray Field, located on Georgia Highway 20 just east of the Mall of Georgia. The G-Braves, winners of the International League South Division in 2016, opened the 2017 season at Coolray Field on April 6 against Durham. The full 2017 schedule is available now at GwinnettBraves.com. Individual game tickets for 2017 are on sale now, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets.


For travel, Europeans don’t wear flip flops, tank tops, pajamas, etc.

Editor, the Forum:

I have to agree how dressed-down many Americans are when doing air travel. Europeans have also gotten more casual, but not to the degree of flip flops, shorts, tank tops, even pajama bottoms, so often seen in U.S. airports.

I recall after being out of the U.S. a couple years and first encountering this dress down fashion in Philadelphia after a flight from Frankfurt. I was not the only person on that flight with open mouths on what we saw and the situation seemed to grow even more so as we travelled South and West. Obviously, people can wear what they want but still seems air travel is worthy of a little more attire than a lounge day at home.

Larry Zani, Kaiserslauten, Germany

Remembers well when most everyone dressed up to fly

Editor, the Forum:

We flew into Atlanta Saturday and saw loads of foreign Rotarians in colorful and delightful outfits. But we also saw loads of people dressed as though they are heading straight to the beach while others appeared to be wearing pajamas.

We definitely want to be comfortable on a plane, but there’s a difference between comfortable and what some people wear nowadays. I remember when we used to dress up to fly. (Showing my age here!) If you Google “outfits to wear when flying,” you will actually get advice to wear ripped jeans and flip flops. It’s a new day and has been a new day for quite some time now.

Susan McBrayer, Sugar Hill

Send us your thoughts:  We encourage you to send us your letters and thoughts on issues raised in GwinnettForum.  Please limit comments to 300 words.  We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length.  Send feedback and letters to:    elliott@brack.net


Lawrenceville updates website to improve transparency

The City of Lawrenceville has launched a newly developed website to enhance online transparency and provide a more user-friendly experience for citizens, businesses and visitors. The new site offers improved navigation and functionality while allowing residents and visitors quick and easy access to resources, activities and the latest news of Gwinnett’s county seat.

City Manager Chuck Warbington says: “Online presence is essential to the success of any organization in today’s technology age. It is often the first impression left with any prospect, resident or visitor and we want to be excellent in every area which is why this launch is so important to the City’s future and growth potential. We look forward to ever-improving as it gets out there, gets used and we begin to get feedback on how to make it even better.”

The site will occupy the same web address – www.LawrencevilleGa.org – but has been optimized to ensure visitors are provided a seamless view across all digital devices -desktop and mobile. The website was developed with social capabilities at the forefront, offering users a one-click ability to share news and information from the site across their social networks.

Experience the new website and to find additional information about the City of Lawrenceville.

County awards 2 sidewalk projects in southwest Gwinnett

Gwinnett County Commissioners have awarded sidewalk projects on Georgia Highway 13/U.S. Highway  23 (Buford Highway) from Langford Road to Simpson Circle, and on Winters Chapel Road from Newton Drive to Spalding Drive.

The Buford Highway sidewalks will stretch about 1.2 miles along the south side of Buford Highway and will be built by Peach State Construction Co. LLC, the low-bidder with a $1.046 million proposal. The Georgia Department of Transportation will fund 67 percent of this contract, with the remainder funded by Gwinnett’s 2009 SPLOST.

The Winters Chapel Road sidewalks is just under a half-mile in length and will be installed on the east side of the road.

At $807,248, CMES Inc. was the lowest of five bidders. Construction will be funded by the 2014 SPLOST Program. In addition to sidewalks, these projects also include curb and gutter and drainage improvements


Two grants to Norcross High Foundation help after-school matters

Two recent grants totaling $22,500 will benefit the Norcross High School Foundation for Excellence. One grant came from  Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia,  for $10,000 grant, while The Waffle House Foundation awarded a $12,500 grant.

Both of these grants have been awarded to help support the NHS Foundation’s After School Matters program – a program that targets academically at-risk ninth and tenth grade students with limited family economic resources.  The mission of the program is to raise the graduation rate and prepare students for a career or college path. The vision of the program is to increase a student’s engagement with school, cultivate talent, lift self-confidence, and decrease the likelihood of risky behaviors.

This year has been the highest revenue-generating year to date for the NHS Foundation for Excellence.  The NHS Foundation has raised more than $220,000, thanks to the generous support of our community donors, our parent supporters, our yearly fundraising Gala, and from numerous grants. The funds raised support Foundation programs such as Classroom Grants, Instructional Funds, Teacher Support and Recognition, as well as next year’s Capital focus, which will be to increase access to technology for all students in the classroom.

We are fortunate to live in a community that values the teachers’ and the administration’s hard work and recognizes their dedication to the students.

Morgan named among new Carter Center councilors


Bartow Morgan Jr., CEO, Brand Group Holdings, has been named among 21 new members of the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center in Atlanta. The Board of Councilors is a leadership advisory group that promotes understanding of The Carter Center and its activities among opinion leaders and the broader community. The announcement brings the Board of Councilors total membership now to 211.


The Five People You Meet in Heaven

By Mitch Albom

Reviewed by Karen Harris, Stone Mountain  |  Eddie has spent his entire life at Ruby Pier Amusement park.  Now, on his 83rd birthday he believes his life has meant nothing. When Eddie dies trying to save a little girl from a falling cart, he finds himself in the afterlife.  It is here that he meets the five people that will explain the mystery and meaning of his life.  From chance encounters, lifelong relationships, and even strangers never met, Eddie learns that even tiny events can have meaning and can impact others.  A poignant story that shows that even humble and unassuming existence has an impact on the human family.  A title worth having at one’s bedside to review and reflect upon regularly.

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


Georgia’s southern boundary line difficult to establish over years

(Continued from previous edition)

Although numerous descriptions of Georgia’s changing boundaries had been written since the colony’s founding in 1732, almost 70 years passed before any of the lines were actually surveyed. With the signing in 1795 of the Pinckney Treaty, in which Spain and the United States agreed on their common border, President George Washington asked surveyor Andrew Ellicott to travel to Natchez, on the Mississippi River, and meet with a Spanish team to survey the boundary line. This line extended from the Mississippi River eastward to the Chattahoochee River, moved down that river to its junction with the Flint River, and then followed a direct line east to the headwaters of the St. Marys River.

Ellicott and a 50-member surveying team arrived in Natchez in February 1797 and spent a year trying to get the Spanish to begin the survey. Finally, in May 1798, the U.S. and Spanish surveying teams met at the 31st latitude at the Mississippi River and began their work. By mid-September 1799 the teams had surveyed 381 miles of the line and were at the Chattahoochee River. Remaining to be surveyed was the portion of the line from the junction of the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers to the headwaters of the St. Marys River.

Because of problems with the Seminole Indians, who were unhappy with the United States and Spain marking a boundary line through their territory, the survey of the next 155 miles was abandoned. The teams split into two, with half walking from the mouth of the Flint River to the village of St. Marys, while Ellicott and 20 others took the equipment and all of his surveying paperwork on a 40-ton schooner and sailed around Florida. Both teams safely met at St. Marys in early December 1799.

The group decided to mark only the headwaters of the St. Marys River without doing any other surveying. Using canoes, Ellicott and members of the team went up the St. Marys into the Okefenokee Swamp. With no distinct spring as the exact source of the St. Marys, Ellicott made an educated decision about the headwaters’ location and marked it with a large mound of dirt. This location is known as Ellicott’s Mound and is marked today by a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey disc. Both Ellicott’s location of the headwaters and the unsurveyed Georgia/Florida boundary were the topics of numerous disputes and lawsuits for the 60 years.

In 1819 the United States agreed to purchase West and East Florida from Spain, which was struggling at that time to hold onto its possessions in North America. Established as the Florida Territory in 1822, Florida eventually became a state in 1845. In the decades after the purchase of the territory, at least six attempts were made to prove or disprove Ellicott’s Mound as the legitimate origin of the St. Marys River, and numerous aborted attempts were made to survey Georgia’s southern border.

Finally, in 1859, Georgia and Florida appointed surveyors Gustavus J. Orr and B. F. Whitner, respectively, to complete the survey. The Orr-Whitner line was accepted by Florida in 1861 and Georgia in 1866 as their official boundary, although the outbreak of the Civil War (1861-65) delayed the line’s approval by the U.S. Congress until 1872. The long debate with Florida over Georgia’s southern boundary was finally settled and has not been disputed since.

(To be continued)


Here’s another idyllic spot for you to spend some luxury time


Here’s a beautifully neat photograph for you sleuths to take a crack at for today. Water is always an attraction for a photo mystery. Send in your thoughts to elliott@brack.net and be sure to include your hometown.

Four people recognized last edition’s Mystery Photo, which was sent in by Molly Titus of Peachtree Corners. Dick Goodman of Suwanee was one of four people, and the first in, pinpointing the photo: the Oculus PATH train station at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, New York City.  Others  contributing a right answer included Bob Foreman of Grayson; Emmett Clower of Snellville; and George Graf, Palmyra, Va..  Here’s more detail from George: “The World Trade Center Transportation Hub in lower Manhattan is equivalent of having Grand Central, Times Square and Penn Station in one place.  Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the centerpiece of the hub is the Oculus, a cavernous hall that features white steel ribs reaching to the structure’s apex to form a skylight called the Wedge of Light. The skylight will open 22 feet on a nice spring day as well as in observance of 9/11. The expansive space sits on a heated, white Italian marble flooring.  Outside of the heart of transportation hub, steel arches jut from the center of the rib-like structure in a design that appears to be a bird being released from a child’s hands. The design of the most expensive train station is described as a “message of love to the city” inspiring optimism and exemplifying the tenacity to rebuild after the devastating terror attacks. The WTC Transportation Hub will see 250,000 people move through the facility a day.”

Foreman adds more depth: “The view shows the ice rink and the skylight.  The roof of this center resembles in some ways a bird in flight. This building shows what is possible when there is no budget and the architect can do as he pleases.”


GSU, Gwinnett Tech, make getting RN degree much easier

Signing an articulation agreement between schools are Georgia State University President, Dr. Mark Becker, and Gwinnett Technical College President, Dr. D. Glen Cannon that allows Gwinnett Tech’s two-year RN students a smooth transfer of credits to Georgia State to enable them the opportunity to further their studies. The articulation is designed to minimize loss of credit and course duplication when Associate Degree registered nursing students transfer from Gwinnett Tech to Georgia State in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This agreement opens opportunities for Gwinnett Tech registered nursing graduates to continue their education past the associate degree level and earn a four-year degree. Also in the photo are Dr. Indira Tyler, dean, Nursing Sciences, Gwinnett Tech, on the left; and on the right, Dr. Paula Gordon, undergraduate program director, Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing, at Georgia State University.


Opening Reception of “Art Is the Only Way” at The Rectory in Norcross on June 16 from 5-8 p.m.  Featuring the art of Sherry Needle, Lisa Gleim and Fran Miller, the program takes the theme of a quote from Twyla Tharpe: “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” The exhibit continues through July 21. Join the artists for light refreshments and music. RSVP: 678-421-2048.

Meet the Genealogist in Braselton on June 17 at the Library. If you think there is a Revolutionary War patriot in your ancestry, come between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to learn more about the Daughters of the American Revolution. If you have done any research on this possibility or have any documents you want to share about the Revolutionary War, come and join us for a short introduction to this part of history for our nation.

Bluesberry and Beer Festival will be June 17 from 3-10 p.m. in Norcross’ Betty Mauldin Park. This year’s lineup of blues musicians will entertain into the evening and will feature bands from the local blues scene. In addition, Norcross’ downtown merchants and restaurants will be creating signature “Bluesberry” cocktails, desserts, specials and more! The festival is free to attend with special ticketing and pricing for the beer tasting. For more information, visit http://bluesberrybeerfestival.com.

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of Eastside Medical Center South Campus Emergency Department, June 22 from 4-7 p.m., 2160 Fountain Drive, Snellville. Take a tour of the new campus department after the ribbon cutting. More info: hope.moeck@hcahealthcare.com.

(NEW) The second annual Ruppert Run 5K will be run on Saturday, June 24, in Lilburn City Park. This year’s race will benefit the Lilburn Police Explorers, the Lilburn Terrace Community, the Lilburn Community Partnership and Wynne Russell Historic House. Ruppert Landscaping is the sponsor. For more information, contact Steve Faber at 770 931-9900.

Free Photography Workshop at Lilburn Library Branch, 4817 Church Street, will take place on June 24, at 2 p.m. Join the Georgia Nature Photographers Association for this informal talk and Q&A photography workshop.  They will provide information about cameras, editing software, and tips for getting better photographs with the equipment you already have. Preceding this in the Lilburn Library, GNPA member Steve Wilkerson will give a talk on macro photography at 10:30 a.m. on June 20.


GwinnettForum is provided to you at no charge every Tuesday and Friday.

Meet our team


  • Location: We are located in Suite 225, 40 Technology Park, Peachtree Corners, Ga. 30092.
  • Work with us: If you would like to serve as an underwriter, click here to learn more.

Subscriptions to GwinnettForum are free.

  • Click to subscribe.
  • Unsubscribe.  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.

© 2017, 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.