6/23: On LED lighting; Georgia’s 7th district; Questions about Trump

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.22  |  June 23, 2017  


TWO NEW TRAILS are to be added at the popular Tribble Mill Park, located off New Hope Road near Grayson. For more details, see Upcoming below.
TODAY’S FOCUS: Here’s a Primer On Saving Money with the new Modern LED Lighting
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Already Three Democratic Challengers to Rep. Woodall in 7th District
ANOTHER VIEW: Raises Question of What Does the President Have to Hide
SPOTLIGHT: The Piedmont Bank
UPCOMING: Second Mural Soon Coming to the City of Sugar Hill
NOTABLE: County Grants Two Non-Profit Healthcare Grants of $200,000 Each
RECOMMENDED: The Wolf Of The Kremlin by Stuart Kahan
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Georgia Long Regrets 1819 Tennessee Definition of Northern Boundary
TODAY’S QUOTE: Two Effects That Jack Benny Did Not Deserve
MYSTERY PHOTO: The Question This Edition Is Not What But Where
LAGNIAPPE: Snellville Created Commission to Get More Youth Involved with the City
CALENDAR: Music Festival Will Begin Soon in Braselton

Here’s a primer on saving money with the new modern LED lighting

(Editor’s Note:  The writer is owner of Energy Concepts in Duluth, and a LED Lighting Consultant and supplier of energy-efficient lighting for 37 years in Gwinnett County/ He is also a veteran, an author of six books, member of The American Legion and past president of Duluth Civitan Club.—eeb)

By Jerry Robb, Duluth, Ga.  |  Light bulbs are heavily regulated by environmental policies of federal and state governments, much to the dismay of those who just want their old light bulbs back. The Thomas Edison, standard-type light bulb is becoming an extinct species, thanks to climate change.


While homes resist the new technology, businesses consume it like it’s chocolate; and they usually don’t “go green” because of the desire to help the environment. Businesses go green to help the bank account. A 12-14-watt LED lamp provides more light than a 100-watt standard bulb. And lasts 15-25 times longer.

As the standard lamps have begun disappearing, new energy-efficient lamps have taken their place. In the ‘80s, the Compact Fluorescent Lamp debuted. Talk about a lamp the world would hate, this was it! Those swirly, ice cream cone-looking lamps never seemed to have the desired color, though they did use much less energy.

Unless you own stock in the electric company, most people want to use less electricity. It’s better for nature; better for the pocketbook. The best way to reduce the electric bill is through LED lighting. Some facts:

  • Lumens: LED manufacturers often embellish the light output, but as the industry evolves, the efficiency increases (efficacy). Efficacy references the light output per watt of energy used, or Lumens/Watt. Like miles per gallon, the more lumens per watt, the more efficient the light. A standard, incandescent lamp produces about 12 lumens per watt. An LED lamp gives you 90-130 lumens per watt.
  • Lifespan: LED lamps have lifespans ranging from 15,000 hours to 100,000 hours. Standard light bulb lifespan is 1,000-2,500 hours. Most LED lamps have a five-year warranty against burnout.
  • Color: One of the most common complaints of new light bulbs is the color of the light. LED is available in all ranges from soft white/warm white to daylight white. This color is indicated on the lamp and the side of the box, i.e., 2700K-3500K (warm white), 4000K cool white, 5000K bright white.

There are many arguments for LED bulb usage. One would be hard-pressed to find an argument against LED bulbs. Some consider the price a con, but it is not. An LED lamp is much more complex in that the standard lamp. With LED, in most applications, a $10 investment will save you $5 a year for 10-12 years, that is, until the lamp burns out.

LED lights emit very little heat, making them ideal for elevators and conference rooms. Less emitted heat, therefore less air conditioning cost. LED lamps can be disposed of in a trash can and have no mercury.

Recommended LED applications include use in lamps that are difficult to access because of ceiling height or lamps that are ON more than 12 hours/day, i.e. parking decks and parking lots; stairwells; lobbies and atriums.

LED often qualifies for Utility Rebates, making the payback even quicker. Georgia Power has a residential and industrial rebate program.

In your home, use LED bulbs to replace the lamps that are on the most hours per week. A closet light is not the best application. Start with the kitchen.


Already three Democratic challengers to Rep. Woodall in 7th District

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher |  Look for a wide-open Seventh District (mostly Gwinnett) Congressional race next year.

If you got cranky because of all the television political advertising over the Sixth District Congressional race, it may be only a precursor of what we’ll see here in our Seventh District race next year.

After all, Rep. Rob Woodall, who currently represents the Seventh District, which covers a majority of Gwinnett and about half of Forsyth County, already has two Democratic candidates, with another announcing soon. He might even face a Republican challenger in the next primary.

Recently David Kim of Duluth announced his candidacy in the Democratic primary for the Seventh District slot, and just last night, Kathleen Allen of Norcross kicked off her campaign for the same office. GwinnettForum has learned that Attorney Steve Reilly of Lawrenceville will announce his candidacy this week. He ran as a Democrat against Woodall previously.

Throw in this entire area becoming more diverse every day, and add to it the closeness of some of the 2016 Gwinnett races, it could be the year that we see some posts go to Democrats instead of Republicans. The General Election for 2018 will surely become more competitive.

With Georgians getting a taste of blanket political coverage prior to the Sixth District race, and with all the House engaged in the 2018 election, watch out!

ONE MORE ITEM about the Sixth District: a report in The New York Times this week listed that district as the sixth most educated Congressional district in the United States. The Sixth District is also one of two Republican Districts in the nation among the top 10 educated districts, with 56 percent of its residents having college degrees. The Times reported that throughout the United States, there are only 15 districts where at least half the adults have a college degree.

All the highly-educated districts, of course, are in urban areas. The district with the most residents having degrees is New York’s 12th, with 69 percent college grads. That District is around the Empire State Building, Times Square…..and Trump Tower.

Other highly-educated districts are Beverly Hills 90201 including UCLA; around Stanford University; The Pentagon; Wall Street; Washington state with Amazon and Starbucks; the San Francisco district of Nancy Pelosi; Harvard; U.C. San Diego; The Silicon Valley where Apple is located; the Virginia District where the CIA is headquartered; Maryland with the National Institute of Health; Virginia ‘s 11th with Freddie Mac; and Illinois around Wrigley Field. The only other Republican District in the top 10 is Virginia 10th (CIA).

WOW! DID IT RAIN! Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, don’t know about your area, but at our house in Norcross, we had a gully washer of a rain. Our rain gauge measured 3.8 inches in this intensive downpour in about an hour. We do not complain. What we’ve had lately is far better than little rain!

CECIL GOBER, former Gwinnett School Board chairman of Sugar Hill, died this week after an extended illness. He served for 24 years as a progressive member of the School Board. He was a former General Motors employee, and considered himself a farmer, too. He was a good man. May he rest in peace.


Raises question of what does the president have to hide

By Jack Bernard, Peachtree City, Ga.  |  What does the President have to hide?

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was quoted recently: “Jeff Sessions cannot make this decision about Trump;” and  “If the FBI believes there is (something) criminal in nature, then for sure you need a special prosecutor.”


As a Republican and former elected official, I strongly agree that Sessions should not be involved. In fact, he should never have gotten involved…which he did by recommending that former FBI Director James Comey be fired.

It pleases me that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein did not go through Sessions, and appointed a Special Counsel himself. Sessions is almost certainly under investigation himself in that he had prior contact with the Russians and, therefore, supposedly recused himself from anything having to do with the investigation.

And, it is good to have Graham, a fellow Southern Republican, stand up and tell it like it is. I am sure that he will be called a RINO by Tea Party types for standing up for what is right. When did it become anti-GOP to be a true patriot, putting the nation’s interests over that of the president, especially this uniquely self–serving president?

When Trump campaigned, he said he would clean up “the mess.” But, it was… and still is… obvious to me that he was a hypocrite and against transparency in government. Otherwise, he would have released his tax returns (remember Trump’s saying  “I am smart” for not paying taxes comment).

Even Nixon, no moral giant, released his tax returns. You do not reform government by keeping your questionable financial dealings secret from the public.

And, if Trump was really committed to draining the swamp, he would not have impeded the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in our democratic elections…and the increasingly likely traitorous role of some of his campaign staff. The FBI, not exactly a bastion of liberalism, was investigating because they believe that there are strong indications of wrong doing.

With the clear obstruction of the FBI investigation by Trump, something he openly admits, the failure of those on the far right to perform their duty and call him out on this and others’ transgressions is unconscionable.

How are we to know who was involved with the Russians in subverting our elections? How are we to know how Trump’s business dealings are affecting his foreign policy or his placing of Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor despite strong warnings from both the acting attorney general and the former president?

What is Trump’s real motivation for his unfathomable conduct towards the Russians, traditionally our greatest enemy? Is he playing footsy with Vladimir Putin and the Russians because he has Russian investments? Or, are they blackmailing him somehow, as was reported in the media? Or, does he just like dictators?

Are his Middle Eastern investments why he chooses to visit Saudi Arabia, the country of origin for the 9/11 terrorists, on his first foreign policy trip?

Where is my party’s current-day Barry Goldwater, who held Nixon accountable? We need answers; we don’t need obstructionists. They are the RINOs, not Senator Graham nor me.


The Piedmont Bank

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. The Piedmont Bank, which opened its doors on June 30, 2009, is a full-service bank. It recently announced a merger with Mountain Valley Community Bank in Cleveland. It now has offices in eight locations, with its home offices at 5100 Peachtree Parkway in Norcross; and other locations at 185 Gwinnett Drive in Lawrenceville; east of Interstate 85 near Suwanee at Old Peachtree and Brown Roads; and in Dunwoody at 1725 Mount Vernon Road, in Cumming at 2450 Atlanta Hwy. Suite 1801 and in Cleveland, Gainesville and Jefferson. It has a capitalization of $56 million, and more than $575 million in assets now. 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) and T. Michael Tennant, while James E. Stephenson is an advisory director. Deposits in The Piedmont Bank are insured by the FDIC.


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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


Second mural coming soon to the City of Sugar Hill

The City of Sugar Hill has announced that it will soon have a second mural within its downtown. The new mural will be painted by local artist and member of the Sugar Hill Historic Preservation Society, Chris Walker.


The artwork will adorn the west-facing exterior wall of the city’s former City Hall building, which is located on the corner of Level Creek Road and West Broad Street.  The building now functions as the Suite Spot, a business incubator and co-working space.  The mural will represent Sugar Hill’s transformation, paying homage to the rich past of the city, with nods to the present success and growth that the city is experiencing.

This project is a collaborative effort between the Downtown Development Authority, Arts Commission, the Historic Preservation Society.  The Downtown Development Authority has made a commitment to match funds raised for the mural up to $10,000.  Citizens and avid art lovers will have the opportunity to donate to the project as well.

Chris Walker of CN Designs says: “It is an honor to have been chosen to paint Sugar Hill’s next mural! It is a great time to be living in Sugar Hill. I have two passions, art and history. I’m a full-time artist and this is an opportunity to combine both interests in a fun and creative way.”

Kathleen Allen of Norcross becomes candidate for 7th District seat


Kathleen Allen of Norcross is a candidate for the Seventh District Congressional seat, now held by Rob Woodall.  Allen, 46, moved to Norcross 11 years ago. She is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College in California, and spent 23 years in the managed healthcare arena.

She has worked with the Norcross city council to rewrite legislation before any families were made homeless after the council introduced an ordinance limiting length of stay in motels/hotel/extended-stays. She is married to Eric, a small business owner of a software development firm. The couple have two children, Annalisa and Cooper. They previously lived in Seattle, Wash.

County to add two new paved trails at Tribble Mill Park

Two new paved trails will be built this year at Tribble Mill Park after approval Tuesday by the Board of Commissioners. Low bidder Vertical Earth got the $539,551 construction contract.

A 10-foot wide concrete trail will lead from the Festival Field parking lot to the granite shoals on the east end of the 718-acre park. A 12-foot wide asphalt trail will go from the existing multi-use trail to the corner of Callie Still Road and New Hope Road where it will connect to a multi-use path the Gwinnett DOT is building along New Hope Road. Total length of both trails is about three-fourths of a mile.

The existing non-paved trail to the granite shoals is eroding and will be closed for remediation during construction of the new trails. The project also includes two directional kiosks and interpretive signage at the granite shoals.

A $100,000 Recreational Trails Program grant administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will partially fund the trails with the remainder coming from the 2014 SPLOST. Earlier this year, the park’s two playgrounds received almost $1 million in upgrades funded by the 2009 SPLOST.

Tribble Mill Park, at 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway, features two lakes and is often used for 5K races and large community events. Last year the popular park hosted 112 private pavilion rentals, 31 race rentals, 31 group camping rentals and 18 meadow rentals.

Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society plans Field Day on June 24-25

Members of the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society (GARS) will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on June 24 – 25 at Harbins Park, 2405 Indian Shoals Road, Dacula.

Vaden (Mac) McDonald of Tucker, Operator at Gwinnett Amateur Radio Field Day

Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2016.

There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as five and as old as 100. And with clubs such as GARS, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in Gwinnett County. For more information about Field Day, contact Norm Schklar, wa4zxv@arrl.net or visit www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.


County makes 2 nonprofit healthcare grants of $200,000 each

Gwinnett commissioners on Tuesday renewed $400,000 in chronic care assistance grants to two non-profit healthcare organizations operating in the county.

Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett in Norcross, received a $200,000 award as did the Hope Clinic Inc. in Lawrenceville, for their chronic care management programs. Both non-profits aim to keep chronically ill patients stable and reduce hospitalizations due to untreated illness.

In 2015, 23 percent of almost 150,000 patients at Gwinnett Medical Center’s emergency room had no insurance, causing a $48 million write-off, according to Good Samaritan’s grant application, which says the county saves more than $700 per patient by diverting care from emergency rooms. Gwinnett Medical reported last year that 23 percent of Gwinnett residents are uninsured and nearly 30 percent are obese.

Good Samaritan of Gwinnett, formed in 2004 as an expansion of a similar ministry in downtown Atlanta, offers uninsured and underinsured residents affordable well-child and adult exams, dental services, chronic disease management, preventive care and women’s health services.

The Hope Clinic, a non-profit, internal medicine clinic led by Pam Martin, has been providing an affordable primary care alternative to hospital emergency rooms for uninsured, underinsured and indigent Gwinnett residents since 2002 It has also been supported by the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation and the Imlay Foundation.

Chairman Charlotte Nash says: “These grants will provide resources to manage chronic diseases better and reduce calls for onsite emergency medical services, transport and hospital emergency room visits. The success of similar grants last year demonstrates that we can reduce costs and provide services more efficiently with this approach.”

Peachtree Corners to get CineBistro Theatre in Town Center

CinéBistro, a national upscale cinema and in-theatre dining experience from Cobb Theatres, has signed an agreement to open its second area location at the Peachtree Corners Town Center, a project being developed by Fuqua Development in Peachtree Corners.

The 35,000-square-foot premier cinema complex at Peachtree Corners Town Center will combine a luxury movie-going experience with full-service, in-theatre dining for ages 21 and over. The six-screen/600-seat cinema will be located at the corner of Peachtree Parkway and Medlock Bridge Road in Peachtree Corners.

CinéBistro offers guests the ability to watch films while enjoying world-class dining created and orchestrated by its theatre Executive Chef and culinary team. This will be the second CinéBistro location in the metro-Atlanta area. CinéBistro at Town Brookhaven opened back in September 2011.

Snellville officials unveil new video about the city

Snellville city officials have unveiled a promotional video highlighting the vision of the Towne Center @Snellville.

The video, created by Blue Rose Media Solutions and city staff, gives just a taste of what it is to come to Snellville in the near future as part of the city’s downtown redevelopment project.

Mayor Tom Witts says: “We are excited to release this new video that highlights the vision of Snellville’s future Towne Center. We are working every day to move this plan forward to create the place to make Snellville proud. The future is exciting and we hope you will check out the video and continue to engage in the process as we move our Towne Center Plan forward.”


The Wolf Of The Kremlin 

A biography by Stuart Kahan

Reviewed by Joe Briggs, Suwanee  |  This book is a Stuart Kahan biography of his uncle Lazar Kaganovich – who was Joseph Stalin’s right-hand man.  Kagonovich was cited with the deaths of over 20-million Soviet ‘refuseniks’ from the rise of Boshevism in 1917 until Nikita Khrushchev took the reigns in 1953. Kaganovich was the son of  a Jewish merchant in Ukraine who became active in the Bolshevik Revolution. He became Stalin’s trusted henchman who could manage any situation with his ruthless methods.  He was also responsible for many major accomplishments including the construction of the Moscow subway. This 330-page book is a slice of history overshadowed by the rise of the Third Reich. Bolshevism and Communism had far greater impact on the future of the west than Hitler.  This book will explain why, as well as fill in a lot of blanks for you history buffs.

An invitation: what books, restaurants, movies or web sites have you enjoyed recently? Send us your recent selection, along with a short paragraph (150 words) as to why you liked this, plus what you plan to visit or read next. –eeb


Georgia long regrets 1819 Tennessee definition of northern boundary

(Continued from previous edition)

There have been several modifications of the boundary line between Georgia and South Carolina over the years because of alterations along the Savannah River, including erosion, the accretion of islands and banks, and changes in the river course itself. In 1990 the U.S. Supreme Court heard the most recent lawsuit between Georgia and South Carolina, which concerned ownership of some islands in the river and commercial fishing rights.

Of all Georgia’s boundaries, the northern boundary with Tennessee has caused the most problems. Tennessee became the 16th state in 1796, and its southern boundary was the 35th latitude north. It was not until 1817, however, when the Alabama Territory was separated from the Mississippi Territory, that Tennessee and Georgia legislators passed a resolution agreeing to mark their common boundary.

Georgia’s northwestern boundary was described as a line from the great bend of the Chattahoochee River and “thence, in a direct line, to Nickajack, on the Tennessee river . . . running up the said Tennessee river, and along the western bank thereof, to the southern boundary line of the state of Tennessee.” Three-man surveying teams from both states met at Nickajack to find the 35th latitude north and “plainly mark and designate the same.”

The field notes available from the survey indicate that Georgia team member James Camak, a mathematician, determined where the lines were to be surveyed. Using his knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, Camak calculated in 1818 that the 35th latitude was not north of Nickajack and on the west bank of the Tennessee River but almost a mile south of Nickajack. His calculations were incorrect; according to modern measurements, the 35th latitude is one mile north of Nickajack and in the middle of the Tennessee River. Nevertheless, Camak and both teams marked the line as south of Nickajack and then proceeded to mark it to the east for 110 miles. The teams marked the end of the line and returned to Georgia to file their reports.

In 1819 Tennessee issued a statute defining its boundary with Georgia as “the 35th degree of north latitude, as found by James Camak,” a statement that haunts Georgia to this day. Georgia’s legislature passed a resolution in that same year authorizing the governor to have the maps of the surveyed lines recorded in the U.S. Surveyor General’s office, but there is no record of any federal law or act certifying or approving the survey as the official boundary between the two states.

(To be continued)


The question this edition is not what but where

Not what, but where is this plaque hung?  That’s the mystery photo for this week. Just tell us where.  Sorry about the not-quite clear photograph. Send in your thoughts to elliott@brack.net and be sure to include your hometown.

One of the most picturesque spots in the world was last edition’s Mystery Photo. It came from Larry Zani of Kaiserslauren, Germany. Philomena Robertson of Flowery Branch immediately recognized it:

“This is where the Mosel River joins the Rhine.  The equestrian statue is of William I, the first German Emperor – it was destroyed in World War II and this is a replica of the statue.

Giving us more detail is George Graf of Palmyra, Va.  He writes: “This photo was taken from the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress across the Rhine from Koblenz. The Mosel River drive from Koblenz to Trier is one of the most fabulous in all of Europe.  The tight steep slopes are thickly covered with grape vines and the meandering river road exposes one delightful little village after another. The point where the Rhine and Mosel collide is known as the Deutsches Eck or German Corner and the mammoth statue is of Kaiser Wilhelm I (William The Great).  Koblenz began as a Roman outpost in the year 9 B.C.  Just slightly older than the cities in Gwinnett County.”

Rob Keith of Peachtree Corners says: “The Deutsches Eck, which is a park at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers in Koblenz, Germany.  That statue of William I was destroyed during World War II, but restored in the 1990s.”


Snellville created commission to get more youth involved with the city

Snellville resident Christopher O’Donoghue has been tapped to lead the Snellville Youth Commission (SYC) to promote high school student participation in local government. O’Donoghue will oversee all activities related to the Snellville Youth Commission, including the student recruitment process, records management and promotion of the SYC. O’Donoghue, who is a systems analyst for human resource company Aon Hewitt, will serve as Youth Outreach Coordinator on a part-time basis. The Snellville Youth Commission is the brainchild of Councilwoman and South Gwinnett High School teacher Cristy Lenski who created it as a way to get students more involved in the city.


(NEW) Foothills Music Festival is June 24 in Braselton, from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. This is the start of the series of summer music events on the Town Green in Braselton. Join as a performer or spectator for some great home grown music from area musicians.

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.


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