7/11: Restaurant Week; Partnership Gwinnett’s success; Ethnic fear

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.28  |  July 11, 2017  
Plenty of blooms are in order at the Gainesville location of Atlanta Botanical Garden. Roving Photographer Frank Sharp visited recently and recorded oodles of color at this lush site north of Gainesville on 1911 Sweetbay Drive. For more photos, go to Lagniappe below.

Please put the Duluth Fall Festival on your calendars now.  This family-friendly event will take place on September 30th and October 1st. This is the 35th year, and it is consistently voted one of the top festivals in the whole area.  In fact, last year it was voted ‘Best Large Festival in the Southeast.’ It includes more than 350 arts, crafts and food booths, a huge parade, entertainment at three venues, “Man’s Corner,” a 5K road race, Gold Medal Shows Carnival, and much more. It is always Duluth’s biggest event of the entire year. www.duluthfallfestival.org.

TODAY’S FOCUS: Gwinnett Restaurant Week Starting on July 16 with 24 Participants
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Look at What’s Happened in 10 Years with Partnership Gwinnett
ANOTHER VIEW: National Conversation Needed on Values Surrounding Ethnic Fear
SPOTLIGHT: U.S. Asset Management
UPCOMING: Jackson EMC Adds Power from New Georgia Solar Facilities
NOTABLE: New Southbound PIB Lane Opens in Peachtree Corners
RECOMMENDED: Stories of Georgia by Joel Chandler Harris
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Noble Jones and Whigs Take Control of Early Georgia Legislature
TODAY’S QUOTE: Sporting Goods Manufacturers Still Remember Bob Uecker
MYSTERY PHOTO: Classic Building Begs Your Identification as the Mystery Photo
LAGNIAPPE: Great Time To Visit Gainesville’s Site of Atlanta Botanical Garden
CALENDAR: Free Photography Workshop coming to Grayson on July 25.

Gwinnett Restaurant Week starting July 16 with 24 participants

By Victoria Hawkins, Lawrenceville  |  Explore Gwinnett announces that the 2017 Gwinnett Restaurant Week participants.


Lisa Anders, executive director of Explore Gwinnett, says: “This year we are working with more restaurants than ever. Gwinnett Restaurant Week is designed to showcase some of Gwinnett’s best and brightest restaurants. This is a sign that Gwinnett’s dining scene continues to flourish.”

This year marks the 12th anniversary of Restaurant week. There are eight new restaurants participating in the program this year. They include 9292 Korean BBQ, ArtBar, FUMI, Local Republic, Pub Ten, Restaurant 475, Noble Fin and Uncle Jack’s Meathouse.

The Crossing in Norcross

Restaurant Week takes place Sunday, July 16 through Thursday, July 20.  The $25 (plus gratuity and tax) prix fixe meal consists of three courses, with most restaurants offering a 20-35 percent savings.

New this year, Noble Fin and Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse will offer three courses, but for $35 (plus gratuity and tax).

Most participating restaurants require reservations for Restaurant Week. Anders suggests making reservations early to confirm space. “A number of our restaurants sell out each year, so the earlier the better for making reservations.”

Kurt’s Euro Bistro in Duluth

Participating Restaurants:

  • 1910 Public House, Lilburn (American);
  • 9292 Korean BBQ, Duluth (Korean BBQ);
  • Adam’s Restaurant, Buford (Steak/Seafood);
  • ArtBar, Duluth inside the Sonesta Gwinnett Place Hotel (American);
  • Ba Bellies, Peachtree Corners (Fusion);
  • Bare Bones Steakhouse, Buford (Steakhouse);
  • Breakers Korean BBQ, Duluth (Korean);
  • Carrabba’s, Duluth (Italian)
  • The Crossing Steakhouse, Norcross (Steak);
  • FUMI Hibachi and Sushi Bar, Duluth (Hibachi);
  • Honey Pig, Duluth (Korean BBQ);
  • Kurt’s Euro Bistro, Duluth (European/Steak);
  • Local Republic, Lawrenceville (American);
  • Luciano’s, Duluth (Italian);
  • Marlow’s Tavern, Buford (American);
  • Marlow’s Tavern, Duluth (American);
  • The Melting Pot, Duluth ( Fondue);
  • Noble Fin, Peachtree Corners (Seafood/Steak);
  • Pub Ten, Peachtree Corners (American);
  • Restaurant 475, Peachtree Corners, inside Hilton Atlanta Northeast Hotel;
  • Sugo Kitchen, Johns Creek (Greek/Italian);
  • Suwanee Park Tavern, Suwanee (American);
  • TEN Bistro, Peachtree Corners (American); and
  • Uncle Jack’s Meathouse, Duluth

Diners can visit GwinnettRestaurantWeek.com to view all menus. Reservations should be made by contacting the restaurants directly.


Look at what’s happened in 10 years with Partnership Gwinnett

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher  |  Nick Masino of Partnership Gwinnett is always entertaining when he speaks before a group. We were lucky enough to enjoy a Nick presentation the other day. Here are a few highlights from that talk that Nick gives as information on prospects who know little about Gwinnett.

Diversity: Gwinnett is one of the most diverse of areas in the United States, with 25 percent of its residents born outside the United States. “Gwinnett is what the rest of the USA will look like by 2040,” Nick predicts. Not only that, but Gwinnett is home to 600 international businesses, contributing another layer to its diversity.

Millennials: While many think that millennials only want an apartment inside the perimeter, many millennials are already living here, and as this group gets older, even more will arrive for its suburban features. Some 19,000 Gwinnett homes are owned by millennials, plus 33,000 apartments are rented by this group.

Continued development: In virtually every part of Gwinnett, projects are coming out of the ground for mixed use and multi-family development. We have written about many of these, which you see in Duluth, Suwanee, Peachtree Corners, Sugar Hill, Lawrenceville and in the Gwinnett Place area.  Today more than $1 Billion (that’s a B) in development is already underway in Gwinnett. Gwinnett’s not a sleepy community seeing no new development.

Company stability: Companies come to Gwinnett, and nearly all stay here. Some 99.9 percent of companies that are located outside the perimeter re-sign leases. In 2016, Gwinnett’s private sector grew by 8,000 jobs. At present, there is 150 million of square feet of flex space in Gwinnett.

High-tech:  Yes.  Gwinnett continues to be among the top three counties for technical jobs, which started out of Technology Park/Atlanta in the 1980s, according to the Technical Association of Georgia.  Gwinnett now has over 225,000 square feet of incubator/co-working space. More’s coming!

Transportation: In existence now for 20 years, Gwinnett’s successful bus system works beautifully each business day. New routes soon will be announced to the Emory University and CDC areas. Of the recent Interstate 85 bridge collapse, Nick points out that “within 24 hours we had expanded routes to all northern MARTA stations.” Nick also like to talk about a future concept: bus rapid transit, which he anticipates is much more economical and easier to operate than any rail service.

Education: Nick emphasizes the high quality of Gwinnett education. He touts that, with 183,000 students, Gwinnett Public Schools won the Broad prize not once, but twice. And he mentioned the Buford Public Schools being ranked tops in the nation. And then there’s the high-quality private schools, such as Wesleyan and Greater Atlanta Christian. There’s also Georgia Gwinnett College’s sterling 10 year start-up; plus Gwinnett Tech, even a Medical School (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Suwanee), and UGA Gwinnett here, all housing students from the pre-K to doctoral degrees. Nick also tells how the county has passed a $3 billion ESPLOST funding.

What does all this mean?  Nick tells audiences that it means that companies like Kaiser Permanente, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, Crawford and Company, Carcoustics and many other firms have recently decided to have facilities in Gwinnett County, and call it home.

He adds: “Since Partnership Gwinnett’s inception in 2007, we have helped to create 19,375 jobs, and bring over $1.3 billion of investment to this community.”

That’s all a big WOW! Attaboy, Nick Masino!

NEW SUBJECT: He’s right! Lou Camerio of Lawrenceville writes to correct a slight imperfection in a recent post: He says: “Hope Springs (Distillery of Lilburn) is the first ‘legal’ distillery in Gwinnett in modern times.” Can’t argue there!


National conversation needed on values surrounding ethnic fear

By Alan Schneiberg, Buford, Ga.  |  I grew up in Brooklyn in the 1950s.  As an eight year old, I “knew” the “Italians” across Prospect Ave were bad and dangerous.  The Jews on our block were, in my mind, good and safe.  My parents never discussed this ethnic animosity.


The school taught the basic classes but never mentioned this conflict. The newspapers and radio only spoke about the dangers of the Red Menace but no mention was made of the “danger” across the street. Nowhere as a child was I able to conceptualize this moral confusion.  No one spoke of my reality that if I crossed the street, I would never come back.

In retrospect, this is where America is today.  Ethnic fear is pervasive in our government’s immigration policy, in our policing, in our daily news reports.  I believe this is a moral dilemma that needs open discussion.  It is only with rational and clear- headed conversations that we can clarify our moral positions.  It is only with informative dialogue that we as a people can develop a way to make better moral decisions.

Someone had responded to my previous article that we should use the “mom” test to make moral decisions.  I agree that discussions within the family enable children and adults alike to develop a more clear headed view of moral issues.  However, that alone may not be enough.

Today our morality is formed by a multitude of factors.  Social media, fake news, television and advertising are only some of the confusing sources of our moral thinking.  Unfortunately this leaves us with moral whiplash. Too many conflicting positions about the world around us leaves us lacking clarity.

Suppose that every middle and high school, every university, every school in the nation were to focus on a rational discussion of ethnic fear. What if every house of worship encouraged their congregations to open conversations about the values surrounding the issues of ethnic fear?  What if our media were to offer programming devoted to the issue of ethnic fear?

If Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites were to encourage thoughtful dialogue about ethnic fear, maybe Americans could clarify this national conflict.  Can you imagine our elected officials offering town halls to discuss policies related to ethnic fear?  If all that were to come to pass maybe our moral thinking about ethnic conflict would be more robust and thoughtful.

If we all demanded that every national conflict have the same comprehensive national conversation then perhaps we would have a more mature set of American values.


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Jackson EMC adds power from new Georgia solar facilities

Jackson EMC is adding an additional 10 megawatts of solar power to its energy portfolio by participating in four new solar generation sites in south Georgia. These four sites are expected to be in service by 2020 and will bring a total of an additional 200 MW of solar generation to the state.

Chip Jakins, president and CEO of Jackson EMC, says: “As northeast Georgia continues to grow, this is an investment that makes good business sense for our members. Our participation in this project brings enough new solar energy to our members to provide electricity to 1,400 average homes.”

Jackson EMC members see their power measured in kilowatts on their monthly bills, and 1,000 kilowatts is the same as one  megawatt (MW). With the addition of these 10 MW, Jackson EMC will have a total of 20.7 MW of solar generation capacity. The energy expected with this capacity is roughly 50,000,000 kWh or enough energy to help power 3,200 average residential homes.

The impact that the four new solar sites bring to EMC members across Georgia is even bigger. The sites total capacity of 200 MW produces enough power to help supply energy to more than 35,000 average households annually.

These new South Georgia sites are only the most recent projects to be developed in ongoing strategic partnership between Silicon Ranch and Green Power EMC. Through this partnership Silicon Ranch will develop, own and maintain the solar generation on the four new South Georgia sites. Green Power EMC will then purchase the generated energy and environmental attributes on behalf of its members, like Jackson EMC.

The two organizations have previously worked together to develop a 20 MW solar site in Jeff Davis County, Ga., near Hazlehurst in 2015.  They recently dedicated 52 MW site, also near Hazlehurst. More than 30 EMCs, including Jackson EMC, benefit from the power generated at those two sites.

Two cancer prevention cooking demonstrations coming soon

Join Gwinnett County Public Library, in partnership with the American Cancer Society and UGA Extension, for this free Cancer Prevention Cooking Demonstration.

Learn how to reduce your risk of developing cancer by acquiring good eating habits and making healthier food choices.  Information will also be given regarding breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer, the latest screening guidelines, and resources to receive cancer screenings in your community.

As part of Gwinnett Library’s new Culinary Literacy Series, two free Cancer Prevention Cooking Workshops are available.  The first takes place on Saturday, July 15 at the Collins Hill Branch, 455 Camp Perrin Road.  The second takes place on Saturday, July 22 at the Five Forks Branch, 2780 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lawrenceville.  Both events are from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p. m.  RSVP to events@gwinnettpl.org. For more information, visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.


New southbound Peachtree Industrial Boulevard lane opens

In Peachtree Corners, the long-awaited merger lane from Peachtree Parkway southbound, onto the controlled portion Georgia Highway 141, has opened at last.

Ask any of the thousands of commuters who regularly travel southbound on this busy artery during morning rush hour and all would agree – merging from two lanes to one has been a major headache.  Now those days are over.

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), along with Gwinnett DOT and the City of Peachtree Corners, has just completed work on the additional merger lane from Peachtree Parkway. The project created an additional southbound ramp lane onto the controlled access road creating an additional lane on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard southbound to Winters Chapel Road.

The project also included drainage improvements and new overhead signage. The $2,114,346.56 project was funded by the Georgia DOT at 62 percent, Gwinnett County’s 2014 SPLOST program at 31 percent and the City of Peachtree Corners at 7 percent.

Houston leads effort by Winn DAR Chapter to capture award

Debra Houston, chair of Literacy Promotion Committee, has brought home the gold for the Philadelphia Winn Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.  She led the effort to win first place in the Southeastern Division for chapter reports.

Last October the Elisha Winn House in Dacula hosted its annual fair, sponsored by the Gwinnett Historical Society.  The Philadelphia Winn Literacy Promotion Committee under Houston’s guidance collected 475 books and gave away 391 books at the Elisha Winn Fair.

Debbie says: “This October 7-8, 2017, at the Fair, we plan to have two canopies! Twice the space means we need twice the books. Literacy promotion is very important to the DAR!”  From the left are Miriam Machida, Regent Kitty Watters, Registrar Elizabeth Jaeger and First Vice Regent Ann Story.

BBB advice for navigating the funeral and burial process

At an average cost of $7,000, funerals are one of the more expensive purchases made by consumers. During an emotionally-charged time it can be easy to spend more than might be necessary.

Better Business Bureau of Atlanta recommends the following advice for navigating the funeral process.

Most funeral providers offer a variety of package plans that include products and services that are most commonly sold. However, it’s important to remember that no package is obligatory and it’s important to take the time, even though it may be constricted, to find the individual products and services that you prefer. The “Funeral Rule,” enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, requires funeral directors to give you itemized prices in person and, if asked, over the phone.

The Funeral Rule: You have the right to choose the funeral goods and services that you want (with some exceptions). The funeral provider must state this “Rule” in writing on the general price list.
If state or local law requires you to buy any particular item, the funeral provider must disclose it on the price list, with a reference to the specific law. The funeral provider may not refuse, or charge a fee, to handle a casket that you bought elsewhere. A funeral provider who offers cremations must make alternative containers available.

Can you pre-plan a funeral? Yes.

One way to reduce stress during a time of grief is pre-planning. The National Funeral Directors Association offers a “Bill of Rights for Funeral Preplanning” (www.nfda.org/planning-a-funeral/preplanning.html) that its members follow. You do not have to prepay for a funeral in order to preplan one, although there may be financial benefits to doing so.

  • To check out any company please visit bbb.org.

Stories of Georgia by Joel Chandler Harris

Originally published in 1896, this historical reference depicts Georgia’s DeSoto days until the emergence of the New South. Harris presents no fictional Uncle Remus stories here, but concentrates on key developments of the state’s history. It makes fascinating reading because of when it was published, showing the views of many in the South at that time. Among stories are of the early days of Georgia, the Liberty Boys, the Yazoo Land Fraud, the key invention of the South in Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, the problems of the Creeks and Cherokees, and an early account of Andrew’s Raid (The Great Locomotive Chase). The book is available still today at Amazon, and makes good reading. Unfortunately the book is not readily available at the Gwinnett County Public Library. Take a step back in time and see how Georgia was perceived in those 1800s days.—eeb

  • 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

Noble Jones and Whigs take control of early Georgia legislature

(Continued from previous edition)

The Intolerable Acts (1774) having increased resistance to the crown, Noble W. Jones and other Whigs met in early 1775 to form Georgia’s short-lived Provincial Congress. It named Jones and two others as delegates to the Second Continental Congress, but citing insufficient public support, they did not attend. In May 1775 news of the outbreak of fighting in Massachusetts electrified Georgia’s Whigs, and Jones and several other revolutionaries (including Joseph Habersham, John Milledge, and Edward Telfair) broke into Savannah’s royal magazine. They seized 600 pounds of gunpowder, some of which apparently made its way to the rebels in Boston. The next Provincial Congress met in July 1775 and again elected Jones a delegate to the Continental Congress, but his father’s terminal illness kept him in Savannah, where by year’s end he was serving on the Revolutionary Council of Safety.


With the royal government‘s collapse in early 1776, Jones and the Whigs took control of Georgia. He was a member of the convention that created the state’s Constitution of 1777, elected Speaker. As the British captured Savannah in 1778, Jones escaped to Charleston, S.C. where he worked as a physician until he was captured along with the city in 1780.

After imprisonment in St. Augustine, Fla., Jones was transferred through a 1781 prisoner exchange to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There he served as a Georgia delegate to the Continental Congress while practicing medicine as a protege of Dr. Benjamin Rush. Back in Savannah by 1783, he was soon once more elected the Speaker of the House of Assembly, but the session proved quite disorderly. Having suffered a sword wound while attempting to quell a mob, Jones resigned his office and moved again to Charleston, where he worked as a doctor for five years.

Returning to Savannah for good in 1788, Jones was on hand to help supervise the elaborate festivities welcoming President George Washington to Savannah in 1791. In 1795 he presided over the convention that met in Louisville to amend the Georgia Constitution of 1789. This was Jones’s last major political act, but he continued his medical practice.

In 1804 he helped organize the Georgia Medical Society and became its first president. Though increasingly ill in the early 1800s, Jones practiced medicine until his death. He entered his final illness, in his early 80s, after five consecutive nights of exhausting obstetric cases. In Savannah his death elicited general mourning as well as numerous eulogies, appropriate to both the last survivor of Georgia’s original colonists and a principal leader in the colony’s struggle for independence.


Classic building begs your identification as the Mystery Photo

There are not many clues about this edition’s Mystery Photo. This handsome building is of the classic style, but what is the building’s function, and where is it located. Send in your answer to see if it’s right to elliott@brack.net.

Meanwhile, the sprawling tower that was the Mystery Photo in the last edition was sent in by Chuck Paul of Norcross, and was a photo of the Reunion Tower in Dallas, Tex., where Chuck once lived.  While one person thought it was the tower at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, only George Graf, the sleuth of Palmyra, Va., correctly identified it. He sent this additional insight about the tower: “According to dallasnews.com, ‘Because the tower is in tornado alley, a structural model was built at Texas A&M University’s wind-testing facility in College Station to make certain it could withstand winds of up to 125 miles an hour. The tower was built by pouring concrete into a slip-form that moved up one foot an hour. Reunion would have been named Esplanade if consultants had had their way. But Dallas businessman, John Scovell nixed it. Scovell, a history buff, learned about La Réunion, a socialist utopian community formed in 1855 in West Dallas, and liked the tie-in. A week later, the project was named Reunion.’”


Great time to visit Gainesville’s site of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Flowers are a’ bloom all over the Gainesville location of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Located 1911 Sweetbay Drive, this is off U.S. Highway 129 (Cleveland Highway), a quarter mile north of Limestone Parkway. Roving Photographer Frank Sharp visited recently, capturing these scenes. The first five acres of the garden opened in 2015, on 168 acres donated by Lessie and Charles Smithgall. It’s destined to be one of the largest and most diverse woodland gardens in the country. There’s even a model train exhibit there. Hours through October are Tuesdays through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children 3 to 12. The Garden has already developed a sophisticated horticultural operation and the largest conservation nursery in the Southeast. Endangered plants will be propagated on the site for the conservation program.


Ode to Summer art exhibition, Wednesday, July 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the North Gwinnett Art Association Center for the Arts, 3930 Charleston Market Street, Suwanee. Enjoy an exhibit of artwork by local artists. Light refreshments will be served. Ode to Summer runs through August 19. All are invited to view the pieces and talk to the artists about their work.

Screenplay Writer’s Workshop with Michael Buchanan will be held on Saturday, July 15 at 1:30 pm at the Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center, 10 College Street, Norcross.  This event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Gwinnett County Public Library and the Atlanta Writer’s Club. Buchanan is the creator of the award winning feature The Fat Boy Chronicles. Buchanan will discuss the ingredients of a screenplay that works and explain what not to do in a story, including novels.  He will also teach the structure of a film and show examples of scenes that drive a story to its finale. For more information, visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.

Ribbon Cutting and Open House at the restored Isaac Adair House and Lawn, on July 18 at 4:30 p.m. at 455 South Perry Street in Lawrenceville. The house is one of the oldest houses in the county, built circa 1827. The home is well constructed and represents a building style found in the southern states from 1780-1820. The architectural style is considered to be both Federal (Adam) and Georgian. The construction of this home used hand-planed boards and mortise and tenon joints.

Gwinnett Quilter’s Guild and the Gwinnett County Public Library will host Ann Hite on July 18 at 10 a.m. at the Cannon United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall, 2424 Webb Gin House Road, Snellville. Hite’s debut novel, Ghost on Black Mountain, was a Townsend Prize finalist and won the Georgia Author of the Year award in 2012.  Her latest novel, Sleeping Above Chaos, is the fourth book in the series and was published by Mercer University Press in September 2016. If you are interested in quilting or enjoy reading a good book, this meeting is for you! For more information, visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154

(NEW) Free Photography Workshop is coming to the Grayson Public Library on July 25 at 6 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. There will be 31 photographs on display.


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