7/28: Sugar Hill wants 2nd mural; Successful sportscaster

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.33  |  July 28, 2017  

SUMMER LEARNING: The Georgia Campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine  recently held an Opportunities Academy, with students learning about the major structures of the brain from Dr. Adwoa Aduonum in the Anatomy Lab. For more detail, see Notable below.
Editor’s Note: The GwinnettForum will not publish next week. The next edition will appear on August 8. However, we might have a surprise for you about the middle of next week. –eeb
TODAY’S FOCUS: Sugar Hill Wants To Add Second Mural; Seeks Citizen Funding
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Young Man Who Wanted To Become Sports Announcer Made It
SPOTLIGHT: Peach State Federal Credit Union
FEEDBACK: Raises Issue of Population in Comparing Single Payer Systems
UPCOMING: Snellville Toughening Ordinance on Unauthorized Tree Removal
NOTABLE: PCOM Holds Healthcare Program for Students in High Schools
RECOMMENDED: The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Polio, Smallpox Among Diseases Where CDC Led the Way
TODAY’S QUOTE: After All, Just What Is Humility?
MYSTERY PHOTO: Surely Mystery Photo Will Be Guessed Better Than Last Edition

Sugar Hill wants to add second mural; Seeks citizen funding

By Varessa Butts, Sugar Hill, Ga.  |  The City of Sugar Hill strives to continue embracing the arts. Its latest effort is to have a second mural created painted in the downtown area, done by local artist Chris Walker.


The Sugar Hill City Council is appealing to citizen funding to complete the project. The Downtown Development Authority will match funds up to $10,000 for the second mural. The “History of Sugar Hill” mural will cost $20,000 in total. The city has already received a total of $4,000 in contributions for the second mural, the key contribution being $3,000 from Precision Planning. However, the second mural project can only become a reality if it is fully funded. This will offset the cost of the mural.

The mural is anticipated to showcase the transition of the rich history of Sugar Hill’s past to the sweet, present day. The Council is now asking local residents to help fund the project. This second mural in downtown Sugar Hill will adorn the Suite Spot, the city’s former City Hall on West Broad Street.

While the first mural has received positive response from the community, which prompts the second effort.

The city has set up a donation website, www.sugarhillmural.com. This will for local citizens who are interested in supporting the arts in Sugar Hill.  Donations will be divided into several contribution tiers, each paired with various incentives.  Any donation that exceeds the needed amount will be directed towards the fund for future art initiatives in the city.

The artist picked for the project, Chris Walker, says: “The first objective of this new mural will be to illustrate the use of the building as a business incubator. As one approaches the Suite Spot, they will see an abstract design consisting of large gears and the Suite Spot logo. The Suite Spot houses thought and creativity, it’s where ideas are fostered and houses a number of local businesses.”

Walker continues: “ The west side of the Suite Spot has five walls, the pattern of gears and circles repeats itself with a continuous band of color that unites the five walls. Along that band of color is a series of illustrations that serve as a timeline of Sugar Hill history: modern-day City Hall, the wagon that lost its wheel (the name sake of Sugar Hill), Carol and Walter Mangum (Mangum’s Grocery), the Shelley-Howerton home (the oldest home in Sugar Hill) and some of the area’s earliest residents, gold miners.”

Mock-up rendering of the mural

Brandon Hembree, a member of the City Council and secretary of the Downtown Development Authority, says of the second mural: “We’re real excited about this new mural. The first mural did not focus on history, but this one solely focuses entirely on history of our city. This helps us build community in place, and connect our community, as well as connecting the past with the present. We hope that our citizens help make a financial contribution to this project.”

Another Council member, Marc Cohen, adds: “In Sugar Hill we support the arts. It is so much sweeter when the whole community plays a role in making it a reality.”

The Arts Commission and Preservation Society are also heavily involved and are assisting in the planning of an Meet the Artist “Art-B-Que” event on August 12  from noon until 2 p.m. These groups have also assisted with the planning of the mural contribution levels.


Young man who wanted to become sports announcer made it

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher  |  The boy of 12 said to his dad some 50 years ago back in St. Charles, Minn.: “I’ve decided I want to be a sports announcer.”

“Son, are you sure?” the dad said.  “Have you hear about this new world of computers?  Maybe you want to try that.”

But the young man was adamant. A few years later he was broadcasting high school football games for $50 a pop. Later he hued to the same vocational line in college, and had a job announcing sports. His big break came in 1980 when WGST in Atlanta hired him to team with Al Ciraldo calling Georgia Tech football games, as he moved to Atlanta 39 years ago. Still his father continued, “You really should look at computing, for it pays very well.”

Years later, when he had a job as a play-by-play announcer for the Minnesota Vikings, now his father, a Vikings fan, was telling people: “Say, do you know my son is a sports broadcaster for the Vikings?”  Gone were his days suggesting to his son computing.

This announcer been in the Atlanta area since Georgia Tech days, and for the last 32 year living in the same house with his wife, Nancy, in the Berkeley Lake/Duluth area of Gwinnett. We’re talking about Brad Nessler, who will be the lead announcer, teamed with Gary Danielson, on the CBS Sports’s SEC game of the week this fall. He replaces the ever-popular Verne Lundquist.


Nessler was in Atlanta doing the play-by-play for the Atlanta Falcons from 1982 to 1988 on WGST and WSB-AM. He called games for the Minnesota Vikings during the 1988 and 1989 seasons. He also called preseason telecasts for the Miami Dolphins for several years, and has done play-by-play of ACC football and basketball telecasts for Jefferson-Pilot. But he has always considered Atlanta home, after all those years of cold weather in his native Minnesota.

Nessler began working with ESPN sports in 1992, on college basketball games, and later working on the Thursday night football game. He originally worked with Gary Danielson, who was his college football color man, when working for ABC in 1997.  And now after all these years, he’ll be re-united with Danielson on the CBS broadcast of SEC football this fall. Their first game will be September 9 when TCU visits Arkansas.

Over the years, Nessler has worked with many of the key sports broadcasters of the nation, from Dick Vitale, Paul Maguire, Bob Griese, Todd Blackledge, Ron Jaworski, and others.

Most football fans had no idea of the effort it takes to seamlessly be behind the microphone and keeping the game alive for the fans. And while the pressure is on the sportscasters you hear, there’s a ton of people also working on their individual specialists for the games.  Nessler says: “Overall, it probably amounts to a crew of 75 people, from the several cameramen, to the many engineers in the trucks, to those spotting for us. It’s a real team effort. We are just the ones you see.”

Preparation takes all week before football games. “We get tons of information, thick stuff, from CBS Sports, from each of the colleges, and other sources. And we go to the meetings with the coaches before the games, but we don’t get much from them. They’re close-mouthed, not wanting to give away any secrets.”

So beginning this season, look for one of our own Gwinnettians in the pressbox, with the SEC game of the week.


Peach State Federal Credit Union

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Raises issue of population in comparing single-payer systems

Editor, the Forum:

Here is my response to George Wilson’s letter earlier:

GwinnettForum recently contained opinions about a single-payer solution to our healthcare issues, and accusations that the USA is grossly inefficient and costly when compared to the rest of the world. The rest of the world defined by 10 selected countries in a Commonwealth Fund study.

Why this particular group of countries? What do they have in common?  I’m not sure why, or how, these countries were selected for this study, but it seems to me that size of the population served should have something to do it.  I didn’t see any reference to size, so I took the liberty to expand the Commonwealth Fund comparison criteria to include population.  It turns out that adjusting for population suggests a different picture.

According to recent census data, the USA population is four times as large as the largest comparable country (Germany), 10 times as large as the average of all 10, and almost 68 times larger than the smallest country.  Just for illustration, I added the populations of three of our states to the list.  Guess what?  Based on population as an indication of size, California would have been #5, Texas #7 and Georgia #10.

Hmmm.  Maybe, just maybe, interpretation of the Commonwealth Fund is skewed and misleading.  Maybe it would be more appropriate to compare our individual states with comparably-sized countries.  Maybe the data would even predict results akin to Obamacare, demonstrating that bigger is not always better.  The data might even suggest that running a healthcare system for a country as large as the USA is daunting at best.

All that aside, there is no doubt in my mind that we have room for improvement in our healthcare programs.  However, anyone who really believes that a single-payer system, run by our federal bureaucracy, will solve our healthcare issues ought to have his/her head examined.  Suggestion: get a brain scan at a reputable proctology office.

— Jim Kwater, Monroe

Writer wants people to respect each other’s viewpoints

Editor, the Forum:

When I read George Wilson’s political thoughts, and sometimes your political thoughts, I am reminded to think about this:

The world isn’t being destroyed by Democrats or Republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist.  The world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is trying to destroy the world.

The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they truly think better people than those who think differently. Our mainstream media, and yes, local media too, is pushing this battle to create more airtime.

Stop this by respecting others’ opinions even if you disagree, just politely disagree and then move on.

— Steve Rausch, Peachtree Corners

Dear Steve: Somewhat agree. This is one reason we publish GwinnettForum, to welcome comment from one side and the other, and in the long run, hopefully, to get people to try to understand one another. That doesn’t mean we have to agree, but we should at least rationally hear other viewpoints.  –eeb

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


Snellville toughening ordinance on unauthorized tree removal

Snellville is updating a tree ordinance that will make the penalty for unwarranted tree removal by commercial property owners tougher on the purse strings.

The fee cutting down trees without permission once carried a minimum penalty of $356 per tree per day. Under the new measure, violators would pay $995 per tree per day. Also under the new ordinance is the provision that removal of any tree without approval from the city’s Planning Director is prohibited.

Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Bender warns that “For the ordinance is to be successful, residents must notify the city if they see suspicious tree cutting at a local business.” She adds: “It’s back ended it penalizes (businesses) after the action occurs. We won’t know that until the instance has occurred. We need your help.”

The move was made after several local businesses cut down trees without permission recently and it was determined if financial penalties were higher, the business would be less apt to cut trees down.

Residents thinking a commercial business is cutting down a tree without permission should call the Snellville Planning Department at 770-985-3513.

Duluth offering new event, the Inflatable Fun Run on Aug. 12

A new event is coming to Duluth that is sure to bring out your inner child. The Inflatable Fun Run is an inflatable obstacle course race for all ages. Event Coordinator Talore Ruedt says: ““It’s the first of its kind in Duluth. We are super excited to bring to our residents something fun they can do while burning calories.”

The Inflatable Fun is a 5k or less race with inflatable obstacles roughly every half mile. It will take place at Scott Hudgens Park on August 12 from 8 a.m. until1 p.m.  Residents are asked to be prepared to get wet on the final obstacle: Tidal Wave Water Slide. There will be music, vendors and food trucks at the event for added fun.

The event is brought to you by the Run to Succeed Race Management and Timing Company based out of Chicago, IL and the City of Duluth. The Inflatable Fun Run is a non-timed race focused on encouraging healthy habits in a fun environment.

Registration is required to participate. The entry fees are $45 until August 11, and $50 the day of the event, if not sold out. Registration includes a custom race medal and race shirt, access to the food and beverage vendors, musical entertainment and other fun post-race activities.

Connect Gwinnett Transit plans 3 informational stops on July 29

The Connect Gwinnett Transit Plan will stop at the at Norcross Community Market on Saturday July 29 between 9 and 10:30 a.m.

A spokesman said that there are concerns about transportation needs of potential farmers market shoppers, and others in the Norcross area.  The stop  will give an opportunity for Norcross citizens to speak up about this topic.

There are also two other locations where the Connect Gwinnett Transit Plan will be on Saturday.

  • The Forum on Peachtree Parkway from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.; and
  • Oakbrook Square Shopping Center at the Hong Kong Supermarket on Jimmy Carter Boulevard from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Citizens will be able to talk with transit officials to learn about opportunities, and also take a survey in several languages during the location stops.


PCOM holds health care program for students in high schools

This summer, Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM) in Suwanee kicked off a new program for local high school students interested in healthcare careers. In partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Berkmar and Meadowcreek high schools, the two-week Opportunities Academy was designed to serve as a pipeline to guide motivated students toward training and careers in the fields of science and medicine.

Second-year DO student Claire Dorcent, who led the program as Student Coordinator, explains: “Our main goal was to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the healthcare fields.”

With a full schedule of activities directed by volunteer GA-PCOM students, faculty and staff, the Opportunities Academy students participated in interactive labs and dissections in the College’s Anatomy Lab. They also diagnosed robot-patients in the new Simulation Center, took field trips to the Shepherd Center and Bodies: The Exhibition in Atlanta, attended discussions with guest lecturers, practiced Tai Chi, learned about applying to college and health professional programs, and explored various subjects from cardiology to infectious diseases to neuroscience.

Dorcent adds: “We want to engage and get the students excited about the endless possibilities that are out there for them, through exposure to ourselves and other healthcare professionals.”

On the last day of the Opportunities Academy, the high school students received certificates of completion from the college and white coats from their GA-PCOM mentors at a graduation ceremony attended by family and friends.

Capt. Kenneth L. Dominguez, medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was featured as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. The inaugural class of Opportunities Academy graduates also presented clinical cases to those in attendance. Partners who provided funding for the program included CSL Behring, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the 3M Foundation, and the VWR Foundation.

Work underway on 39-acre overlook housing millennial development

Click to see larger image.

A highly-visible corner of Peachtree Corners is now under development, with a 39 acre housing development. Mayor Mike Mason says that the Overlook at Twin Lakes project is well underway. The 295-unit high-end housing complex is designed to target professional millennials. The unit is located on the west side of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard at Reps Miller Road. Plans call for the 39-acre development on two lakes in Technology Park. This development will have “resort-style” amenities including a pool, boat dock, hiking/biking trail, cyber café, fitness facilities and a dog park.

Gwinnett Tech student wins awards, starts own company

Dale Carithers, an Interior Design student at Gwinnett Technical College, was recently honored by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Georgia Chapter with two Design Excellence Awards. Carithers’ treehouse design was the winner in the Best Individual Residential Design Concept category and her college social station design received an award of merit in the Best Individual Commercial Design Concept category.


Now, just a few months after graduation, Carithers has proven she can dream big. She’s launched her own design firm in Dacula called My Ideas Interiors by Dale Carithers. Her firm specializes in residential and soft commercial designs. Carithers says, “My training at Gwinnett Tech has prepared me well. I’m excited to grow my firm, continue my involvement in ASID and mentor future students at Gwinnett Tech.”

Susan Arnold, Gwinnett Tech’s Interiors program director, said, “ASID’s recognition of Dale’s work is proof that she is one of the best interior design students in the state. Her work is outstanding and we are thrilled that she has caught the eye of industry professionals. Dale has an exciting, successful career ahead of her. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”

This year, another Gwinnett Tech Interiors student, Ashley Esprit, was the first technical college student selected to be the Student Representative to the Georgia ASID Board. Ashley represents the voice of all student members in the state as she works to organize all student events, mentoring, volunteering and participating in ASID Georgia.


The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

Reviewed by Karen Harris, Stone Mountain  |  When Dor, who becomes Father Time, puts together the first ever clock, he is punished by being sent to a cave for centuries for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. During his time in the cave, he is forced to listen to the voices of millions of souls who long for either more or less…time.  Eventually he is forgiven, and armed with an hourglass,  charged with teaching two souls, one who longs for more time, and one who wants to make it end. Saving these souls is the only way he can save his own life and the world he lost when he was banished.  The older, sickly businessman wants to prolong his life with scientific advances, while the teenage girl, heartbroken by numerous rejections, wants her life to end. Father Time must bring these two souls together to teach them the meaning of time…by stopping the world.

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


Polio, smallpox among diseases where CDC led the way

(Continued from the previous edition)

When poliomyelitis appeared in children after they received contaminated Salk vaccines, the Communicable Disease Center helped to identify the problem and correct it. When the United States was faced with a massive influenza epidemic, CDC gathered data and developed the national guidelines for an influenza vaccine. Other programs that helped CDC grow included the addition of the venereal disease program in 1957, the tuberculosis program in 1960, immunization practices and the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in 1961, and the Foreign Quarantine Service in 1967.

In addition to new responsibilities, CDC was intimately involved in one of the greatest achievements in public health: the eradication of smallpox. In 1962 CDC established the smallpox surveillance unit and tested the newly developed jet gun and vaccine. The agency refined mass vaccination techniques and used a “surveillance and containment” strategy to effect eradication. Under the auspices of the World Health Organization global team, which included hundreds of CDC staff, the smallpox virus was eliminated globally by 1977.

The disease surveillance program became an integral part of public health practice and the basis on which CDC’s mission of service to the states was built. In 1951, after the Korean War (1950-53) began, the Epidemic Intelligence Service was created as a two-year postdoctoral program that combined training in epidemiology with service to the states.

The young agency struggled to survive. Emory University gave CDC land on Clifton Road in 1947 to build its headquarters, but construction did not begin for another decade. Two major health crises in the mid-1950s helped CDC establish its credibility.

When poliomyelitis appeared in children after they received contaminated Salk vaccines, CDC helped to identify the problem and correct it. When the United States was faced with a massive influenza epidemic, CDC gathered data and developed the national guidelines for an influenza vaccine. Other programs that helped CDC grow included the addition of the venereal disease program in 1957, the tuberculosis program in 1960, immunization practices and the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in 1961, and the Foreign Quarantine Service in 1967.

In addition to new responsibilities, CDC was intimately involved in one of the greatest achievements in public health: the eradication of smallpox. In 1962 CDC established the smallpox surveillance unit and tested the newly developed jet gun and vaccine. The agency refined mass vaccination techniques and used a “surveillance and containment” strategy to effect eradication. Under the auspices of the World Health Organization global team, which included hundreds of CDC staff, the smallpox virus was eliminated globally by 1977.


Surely Mystery Photo will be guessed better than last edition

This beautifully framed photo might give you a clue as to where it is. Take a guess about this Mystery Photo, and send your idea to elliott@brack.net.

What? No one recognized the last Mystery Photo, even George Graf?  We thought it was a relatively mystery photo. The phone is of art along the Brickton Canal, in Oklahoma City, Ok. It was sent in by Molly Titus of Peachtree Corners. It links the entertainment and shopping area of Brickton with the Oklahoma River, a mile away. It was completed in 1999 at a cost of $23 million.

One additional point from the previous Mystery Photo of the Maryland state capitol, which was sent in by Chuck Paul of Norcross.


BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS: Join Gwinnett County Public Library and SCORE Atlanta for a workshop that shows you the fundamentals to consider before starting a business.  Learn financial realities, success factors, assessing the market, business plan elements, and much more. This workshop will be Thursday, August 3 at 6 p.m. at Gwinnett Library’s Lilburn Branch, 4817 Church Street, Lilburn.  It is free and open to the public.  RSVP to events@gwinnettpl.org. For more information, visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.

Ribbon Cutting at the Centerville Senior Center, 3075 Bethany Church Road, at 10 a.m. August 8. Following the ceremony, enjoy a tour of this state-of-the-art facility, and enjoy lunch with the seniors.


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