7/7: Perdue on D.C. recess; Tidbits and school honoree

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.27  |  July 7, 2017  

SINCE 1832, there’s been summertime activity at the Lawrenceville Methodist Camp Meeting on the Braselton Highway. Worshipers once gathered and stayed a week at the campground for their annual revival service. Today only a few spend nights at the facility, but more than 2,000 gathered during the recent nights of worship. Roving Photographer Frank Sharp captures some of these scenes of this year’s activity. See more of his photos in Lagniappe below.
TODAY’S FOCUS: Perdue Says It’s Time To Pull The Plug on August Senate Recess
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Tidbits, Including Why Duluth Residents Should Remember This Guy
SPOTLIGHT: Howard Brothers
FEEDBACK: It Might Help the Discussion To Apply the “Mother Test”
UPCOMING: Commission Anticipates Slight Tax Increase for 2017 Budget
NOTABLE: Gwinnett DOT Opens Several New Sidewalk Projects in County
RECOMMENDED: The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Noble W. Jones Called the “Morning Star of Liberty” in Early Georgia
TODAY’S QUOTE: Remember That First Curse in the Movies?
MYSTERY PHOTO: Here’s Another Tower for Your Consideration
LAGNIAPPE: Methodists Still Holding “Camp Meeting” on Braselton Highway Site
CALENDAR: Isaac Adair House To Have Ribbon Cutting and Open House Soon

Perdue says it’s time to pull the plug on August Senate recess

By U.S. Sen. David Perdue |  The United States Senate has just 30 working days until the end of the fiscal year on September 30, and that’s assuming Mondays and Fridays are indeed used for deliberation.


One thing is totally clear: There isn’t time to deal with the issues that demand immediate attention.           The only appropriate response is to cancel, or heavily truncate, the annual August recess that turns the United States Capitol into a ghost town.

The American people are expecting us to get much done. Five imperatives must be accomplished in short order.

  • First, we have to complete the work on the first phase of repealing Obamacare and fixing our health care system.
  • Second, we have to pass a budget resolution that will work within the reconciliation process for changing the tax code.
  • Third, we have to use the appropriations process to fund the federal government by the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
  • Fourth, we have to deal with our debt limit. The Treasury Department has used extraordinary measures to buy time since the national debt hit its limit of $19.8 trillion in March.
  • Fifth, we have to finally act on our once-in-a-generation opportunity to change our archaic tax code, but we will only be able to do so if we don’t get stuck on the first four priorities.

All five of these priorities are unique and present their own challenges. For example, the current budget and appropriations process is broken. It has worked the way it was intended just four times in the past 43 years since the Budget Act of 1974.

This year, however, the stakes are much higher. The opportunity to change our archaic tax code is hanging in the balance. Markets are already anticipating regulatory relief and additional changes to the tax code that will make us more competitive with the rest of the world.

Failure to deliver could cause uncertainty in financial markets and erode the budding confidence among consumers and CEOs. It’s imperative that we act on tax changes this year to realize the full economic impact. Every single delay, both expected and unexpected, will damage our chances of success. If we haven’t made meaningful progress on these priorities by the end of July, then we should pull the plug on the August recess.

The norms of Washington—including a month-long recess—must never stand in the way of our efforts to act on the people’s priorities.

Making America great again requires a substantive time commitment. It requires prioritizing national interest over self-interest. It requires a willingness to work through the weekends and make sacrifices when necessary.

Change is never easy, but the millions of Americans who placed their confidence in our leadership are expecting our full and best effort. Failure is not an option. The president and his administration have accepted this challenge and are moving at business pace to see it through. It’s time the Senate does the same.


Tidbits, including why Duluth residents should remember this guy

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher  |  Today we’re catching up after a long holiday. Here goes:

KUDOS TO the Gwinnett County School Board for naming the new STEM high school in Norcross for Paul Duke. Let’s hope everyone refers to it as the Paul Duke High School, and not merely Duke High, so as to give proper recognition to the Georgia Tech graduate and not to his rival college in North Carolina.


And you talk about ironic?  Paul Duke founded Peachtree Corners, yet that’s where Norcross High is physically located. And Paul Duke High will be set in Norcross. See, that’s ironic.

AT LONG LAST Hope Springs Distillery in Lilburn is coming down the home stretch and will soon be the first distillery in Gwinnett in modern times. It’s been one heckuva long and bumpy ride, but Gwinnett’s first and only locally owned, operated, and supplied (as much as humanly possible) distillery is up and running.

Betty Dahlberg says: “We still have a few rough edges to grind down, but bottling has begun, and shortly our first two releases, Top Hat Vodka and Jetty Absinthe, will be available in restaurants and adult establishments and beverage outlets. In the future we’ll also have a tasting and small events area open and look forward to welcoming visitors.”  Check it out at www.HopeSpringsDistillery.com.

THE PHONE CALL was a new scam the other day. The message said that they wanted to tell me about a problem with my computer, which needed an emergency fix for “Your Microsoft Account.” The key words was “emergency” and of course, “Microsoft,” which most computers use. If you get this call, ignore it. It’s another scam to get into your pocketbook, and really, there’s nothing wrong with your operating system, we bet.

YOU THINK YOU HAVE poor gas mileage with your auto or SUV? Think about garbage trucks. With all the stopping and starting that garbage trucks do, they get about 3.5 miles per gallon, we hear. Most now run on compressed natural gas or diesel, but they still get bad mileage. So no more complaining about your 20 or 30 mpg.


COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIR Charlotte Nash has been reappointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the  Board of Directors of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. Attagirl, Charlotte!

PEOPLE WHO LIVE in Duluth should know something about Daniel Greysolon. July 2 was his birthday, born in 1639, in Saint-Germain-Laval, Loire, France. Why should Duluth be concerned with him?

You see, he was a French soldier and explorer. He became friends with the Sioux Indians, and in 1678 he set out with seven French followers and three Indian slaves, intending to broker a peace agreement between the Sioux and the Ojibwe Indians north and west of Lake Superior, and firm up the tribes’ fur trading relationship with New France. He negotiated the peace treaty, arranged some inter-tribal marriages, and encouraged the tribes to hunt together, before moving west to explore the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. In 1675, he bought a house in Montreal, and started thinking about making a trip to the headwaters of the Mississippi River. He died February 25, 1710, in Montreal, Canada.

It was in 1679 that Greysolon first reached Lake Superior, about where the city of Duluth, Minn. is located. You see, Greysolon was the Sieur Du Lhut…..which accounts form the Minnesota city’s name, and also accounts for the Duluth city’s name. But that’s another story.


Howard Brothers

Today’s sponsor is Howard Brothers, which has retail stores in Alpharetta, Doraville, Duluth, Oakwood and Athens. John and Doug Howard are the ‘brothers’ in Howard Brothers. This family owned business was started by their dad, and continues to specialize in hardware, outdoor power equipment and parts and service.  Howard Brothers are authorized dealers of STIHL, Exmark, Honda, Echo outdoor power equipment and Benjamin Moore paint.  Howard Brothers is also an authorized Big Green Egg, Traeger Grill and YETI Cooler dealer.


It might help the discussion to apply the “Mother Test”

Editor, the Forum:

Alan Schneiburg’s recent article on moral decision-making raises a serious issue worthy of more in-depth examination. I would welcome further articles by him on the points he has made.

As a way of addressing the issue, I suggest we apply what I term the “Mother test.” Our mothers were most likely our first teachers concerning the difference between right and wrong. So, when considering any decision, large or small, which has a moral component, ask yourself: “What would my Mother say?”

— John Titus, Peachtree Corners

Enjoyed photographs by Frank Sharp of Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Editor, the Forum:

Having just read the most recent addition of GwinnettForum, I want to thank Frank Sharp for those pictures of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  I haven’t been there in years and we keep saying we are going to go.  Now I am more determined than ever to get there this summer.  The pictures were wonderful.

— Marlene Ratledge Buchanan, Snellville

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


Commission anticipates slight tax increase for 2017 budget

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners will hold three public hearings to receive comments on the proposed 2017 millage rates.  The county is proposing a slight increase in the tax rate, 0.334 above the rollback rate. For the owner of the average house in Gwinnett, valued at $200,000 by the Tax Assessor, the net increase in annual taxes would be approximately $21.

When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires taxing authorities to compute a rollback millage rate for maintenance and operations that will produce the same total revenue based on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.

Two of three required public hearings will be held on Monday, July 10 at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and the third will be on Monday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. All three hearings will take place in the auditorium of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, also known as GJAC, located at 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.  The millage rate adoption is scheduled to take place on July 18 at 2 p.m.

Suwanee to get Toastmasters’ chapter in ceremony on July 10

Suwanee Toastmasters, in partner with the Gwinnett Public Library, will have its official charter ceremony on July 10 at the Suwanee Library at 6:30 p.m. The club anticipates having 25 members at its charter. It will meet the second and fourth Monday of each month at the Suwanee Library. Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette will be the keynote for the event.


The charter ceremony event is a new beginning not only for the club’s charter members, but an event for all members in the district and especially the members of the neighboring Toastmasters clubs in the area/division, to come together and support this new beginning.

Club President Kari Evans, believes “This is a special partnership, not just for Toastmasters, but also the Gwinnett County Public Library. The club provides a supportive atmosphere where members can hone their communication skills. Toastmasters can be particularly helpful for the many diverse populations of Gwinnett, and non-native English speakers to build fluency.”  She is the Suwanee library branch manager and lives in Duluth.

Maple Street Biscuit Company to open in downtown Duluth in fall

Maple Street Biscuit Company is coming to Georgia and Duluth’s Parsons Alley. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based establishment is famous for its flaky buttermilk biscuit, but its roots are grounded in community. Company founders Scott Moore and Gus Evans started Maple Street in 2012.

Scott Moore says: “Our locations really choose us, and the lovingly- restored 1948 Duluth Baptist Church is no exception. We saw how much Duluth loved this building by saving it from demolition, and then creating great buildings around it.” Serving nine communities in Florida and one in Chattanooga, Maple Street is expected to be complete in four to six months.  Maple Street will serve breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday.


Gwinnett DOT opens several new sidewalk projects in county

The Gwinnett County Department of Transportation recently opened several sidewalk projects to pedestrian traffic. While the contractors are still addressing punch-list items, these projects are ready for walkers.

Sections of sidewalk were installed on Burns Road, Dickens Road and Georgia Highway 378 (Beaver Ruin Road.) These projects improved pedestrian mobility options by installing new five-foot-wide sidewalks.

A section of sidewalk was also installed on Collins Hill Road from Georgia Gwinnett College to the tennis facility. Another project filled in gaps in the sidewalk along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard from Hansboro Way to Tench Road and from Tench Road to North Price Road.

All of the sidewalk projects include curb, gutter and other drainage improvements. These projects were funded by the County’s SPLOST program. For additional information about the SPLOST or Gwinnett County road improvements, please visit the website at www.gwinnettcounty.com.

Snellville wayfinding project completes final monument sign

Snellville will have a lighting ceremony of the new Welcome to Snellville Monument on Highway 78, July 10 at  6 p.m. at the site at 2992 Main St. (U.S. Highway 78). The monument is the final piece of the Downtown Development Authority’s first phase of its Wayfinding Project which was completed two years ago. Signs added to the Towne Green and City Hall were also a part of this effort. The monument is a 30-foot structure which encompasses architectural attributes of City Hall, including a replica of the cupola on top of City Hall. The monument is meant to represent the Eternal Flame on the Veterans Memorial in front of City Hall. The DDA’s efforts are now turning toward extending the Wayfinding Project to South Snellville on Lenora Church Road and Scenic Highway.

Gwinnett Place CID seeks participants from area in opinion survey

Now is your chance to share your opinion about Gwinnett Place by taking a survey. The Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District (GPCID) is inviting the wider community to participate in a market research survey to share perceptions of the Gwinnett Place area as well as shopping and dining patterns.

Survey feedback will be used to help with future planning and improvements, said Joe Allen, executive director of the Gwinnett Place CID. He adds: “More than 97,000 people live within three miles of Gwinnett Place, and 60,000 commuters work here, and their feedback is important as we work to establish it as a location where the workers and residents of Gwinnett Place stay to dine, shop and be entertained. We welcome feedback from the public.”

The five-minute, anonymous online survey will be open to Gwinnett Place workers and residents through the end of the month, July 31. Please click here to participate.

Gwinnett Tech students win awards in National SkillsUSA competition

Gwinnett Tech students had an exceptional showing at National SkillsUSA, Post Secondary State Leadership and Skills Conference hosted in June in Louisville, Ky. Of the 18 Gwinnett Tech students who competed, six students placed. A total of six competition medals were earned; three gold and three silver.

The Gwinnett Tech 2017 national award winners were: Gold medalists: Tyler Butler – Extemporaneous Speech; Ben Nguyen – First Aid/CPR; and Heidy Sosa – Health Occupations, Professional Portfolio. Silver medalists were James (Jim) Johnson – Photography; Jonathan Kirkland – Medical Math; and  Heather McBroom – Job Interview.

Gail Edwards, Gwinnett Tech’s Skills USA Lead Advisor says, “This year, the College had more students compete than ever before and they all did an outstanding job. Our students’ results at this competition continue to prove that their educational foundation is exceptional and that they can apply their learning in real-world situations.”

Walton pair places in national Communicators Association contest

Walton EMC communicators Greg Brooks (left) and Savannah Chandler recently received awards for their work in the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) Excellence in Communications contest held in conjunction with the organization’s annual Institute.

Brooks and Chandler placed in four different categories of the contest including third place in news release writing; Campaigns and Programs; Broadcast Advertising and Employee Publications. This year marks the 21st year Walton EMC has entered and placed in the CCA Excellence in communications contest.


The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey

The Gwinnett County Public Library offered me this delightful romp through Dublin, Ireland’s funeral industry, a subject that might be uneasy for many, which turns out to be loaded with first one twist after another. It becomes quite a thriller, as our hero has a day like no other in his career, with him becoming the subject of major interest by the biggest mobster in Dublin. Details about the funeral business are mixed in, though this is only the side story. You’ll zip through this book we suspect as I did, taking me only two days. And what an ending! That’s all we’ll say. Let this book surprise you as it did me, a gift of story from a third-generation Irish undertaker.–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 W. Jones called the “Morning Star of Liberty” in early Georgia

Called the “Morning Star of Liberty,” Noble W. Jones was prominent among Georgia’s Whig leaders before and during the American Revolution (1775-83) serving in both the provincial and state legislatures and in the Continental Congress. During the early national period he turned away from politics and made a laudable record as a progressive physician and Savannah civic leader.


Born in England in the early 1720s, Noble Wimberly Jones came to Savannah in 1733 with his parents, Sarah Hack Jones and Noble Jones, and his sister, Mary, all members of the first group of Georgia colonists. He was trained for a medical career by his father, who also set him an example of government service, though the younger Jones would become as ardent a Whig as the elder proved a confirmed Tory. Like his father, Noble W. Jones accumulated thousands of acres of land, including his estate at Wormsloe, in the young colony. His planting interests, particularly in rice lands along the Ogeechee River, contributed considerably to his income.

In 1755 Jones wed Sarah Davis. They had 14 children, and survived all but one. Their son George, however, would provide them with numerous lineal descendants, among them the branch of the family that took the name De Renne.

The year he married, Jones began his political career with election to the Commons House of Assembly, the lower house of Georgia’s provincial legislature, where he would serve until 1775. His most conspicuous service began in the mid-1760s, as controversies erupted over such British taxation measures as the Stamp Act and Sir James Wright, the royal governor, frequently dissolved the lower house.

In 1768 Jones was first elected Speaker of the Commons House and was instrumental in the appointment of Benjamin Franklin to act as Georgia’s colonial agent in London to convey Georgia’s protests to Parliament. Governor Wright viewed Jones as a serious threat to royal authority and thereafter dissolved the Commons House whenever it elected Jones speaker. Consequently, the defiant Commons House elected Jones repeatedly between 1771 and 1773.

(To be continued)       


Here’s another Tower Mystery for you to ponder

For the second issue in a row, here’s another tower as a Mystery Photo. Just looking “up” at the photo might put a pain in your neck. See if you know where it is, and if so, send your thoughts to elliott@brack.net.

Some of you Tar Heels living in Gwinnett didn’t get a chance to identify the last Mystery Photo and crow about the beautiful clock tower at the University of North Carolina, as they say, “at Chapel Hill,” last week. Bill Chism of Toccoa immediately recognized it, though few others did. Maybe those ’heels were busy with the Fourth of July activities. A native North Carolinian, Susan McBrayer of Sugar Hill, sent in the photo.

The reliable George Graf of Palmyra, Va. contributed this additional information of the “Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the 1920s, John Motley Morehead III had proposed the idea of a bell tower to then UNC President Harry Woodburn Chase. The idea was declined a few times before finally being realized through the combined sponsorship of Morehead and Rufus Lenoir Patterson II, a New York businessman. The tower is closed to the public, however each May graduating seniors may climb the tower to enjoy the view.  John Motley Morehead III (November 3, 1870 – January 7, 1965) was a chemist whose work provided much of the foundation for the business of Union Carbide Corporation and who made major gifts to his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His grandfather, John Motley Morehead was the 29th Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1841 to 1845. His name is inscribed on the tower’s largest bell and he is known as “the Father of Modern North Carolina.”


(NEW) 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.

(NEW) 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.

(NEW) 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.

(NEW) 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


Methodists still holding “camp meeting” on Braselton Highway site

Here are several views of the annual camp meeting at the Lawrenceville Methodist Campgrounds, on the Braselton Highway. Methodists have been holding church meetings at the grounds since 1832, when five members bought 55 acres for $50. Lawrenceville First Methodist Church Administrator Jeff Pointer tells GwinnettForum that the members now hold meetings Sunday through Thursday nights, and attracted about 2,000 people on the five nights this year. Some diehards stay in the tin-roof  “tents” as people did in the olden days. There’s sawdust on the floor at the “auditorium” and fellowship food brought by members….with even delightful desserts. Though only about eight acres of the 55 acre site are used now, there are modern conveniences like toilets and bathhouses….but no air conditioning. Youth camp at the site for three nights, and have their own services and daytime events. Roving Photographer Frank Sharp made these photographs and says that the food is “delicious.”  It’s a bit of Americana continuing in fast-growing Gwinnett.


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