Issue 14.59 | Oct. 21, 2014
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Oct. 21, 2014 -- Named as Gwinnett County's new chief of its Police Department is AA. "Butch" Ayers, a 30 years veteran of the Department. He was named to the positing by County Administrator Glenn Stephens, and replaces Charlie Walters, who is retiring after 35 years with the county police department.
County Commissioners are expected to ratify Ayers' contact at their meeting on Tuesday.
Stephens, in making the announcement of the new appointment, says: "The Gwinnett County Police Department shows an excellent example of the strong succession planning and leadership development, and what the County strives to cultivate and develop in all of its departments. Because of this planning and leadership development, the County is fortunate to have the ability to choose from seasoned leaders within the Police Department who will provide continuity and strong leadership skills within the department and the County.
"Like Charlie, Butch began his law enforcement career with the Gwinnett County Police Department and earned his way up through the ranks. He has gained valuable knowledge and honed his skills from having worked in nearly every area of the department over the years. Along with these assets, he is a person of character and I admire him greatly. Butch is the right person to lead the men and women of this vital department, and I have every confidence he will serve the residents of Gwinnett County well."
Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash adds: "It's hard to believe we are saying goodbye to Charlie after 11 years as chief. I will miss him, but I also know that Butch is a great choice to lead the department. He will be a valuable member of Glenn's senior leadership team."
Ayers' career in public service began in 1984 when he joined the Gwinnett County Police Department as a police officer. As assistant chief, he most recently commanded the department's administrative services division. He has also overseen professional standards, SWAT, the Central Police Precinct, and the support, operations, criminal investigations and uniform divisions.
of Dacula, Ayers holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Gainesville
State College, a bachelor's degree in political science from the University
of Georgia, and a Masters of Public Administration from Columbus State
University. He is a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College
as well as the FBI National Academy and has logged more than 3,700 hours
of specialized training during his career. He also holds several certifications
from the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council as an instructor.
OCT. 21, 2014 -- Somehow, Metro Atlanta should be able to do better.
For years, back before the Braves started winning, when it was difficult to give away Falcon tickets, and for most of the time the Hawks have been in Atlanta, the city got the nickname "Losersville."
While for a long run the Braves did better (though not this season), and while the Falcons have actually gone to the Super Bowl (though there seems to be no possibility this year), we saw some improvement.
the Hawks have not done much to pacify us, and the hockey Flames just
never succeeded here.
But now, another failure in Atlanta support is showing up, and might see us labeled again as a "Losersville" if we don't righten the ship.
This time we're talking of the overall arts scene in Atlanta.
Symphony Orchestra is locked out and not performing, while the musicians
are protesting more cuts in their pay. This follows years of the Symphony
not having a balanced and improved budget.
A few years back, Cobb County's Theatre on the Square closed, citing accumulated debt which a fund-raising campaign could not help. (Luckily in Gwinnett, our Aurora Theatre is on far better ground financially, getting rave reviews for its high quality presentations, and solid management.)
Then recently one of the higher-caliber art stages, the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, told of their closing, again finding no big donors to step up and encourage somewhat smaller donors to invest in this element of the arts.
Then don't forget Gwinnett's own Philharmonic Orchestra, which went out of business five years ago after several rather solid seasons of providing high quality music by mostly volunteer musicians, augmented by some professionals. We're sad to say that even with this cultural enrichment at the nearby Performing Arts Center, it was never crowded nor widely-supported. Thus, this nonprofit went out of business, too.
Meanwhile, you hear of other Metro Atlanta cultural attractions which are not riding high, if not facing the donor doldrums.
What all these artistic presentations need is not only a overall plan to fund their enrichment programs, but long-term endowment to guide them over lean years. That, in general, is not just a problem for Atlanta and its environs, but can often be said of many cities of the South. Big time donors to fund the cultural arts have never been active enough in the South. People in other areas, such as the Northeast with its long tradition of heavy support of the arts, and cities like Chicago and Cleveland, and for sure in the fast-growing areas of the West Coast, particularly Silicon Valley and Seattle, find resources from their home based supporters.
But the cotton-mill industries of the South, and its often ag-based economies, have just not gained big-time support from local industries. Some mega firms, such as Coca-Cola, and Primerica, have long been key supporters of the arts in Metro Atlanta. Yet a few firms cannot do it alone. We need for other wealthy donors and industrial firms, to graciously open their pocketbooks, for non-profits board members to think and act positively, and all give much better support for the arts communities
Or else "Losersville" will have an entirely different meaning for Metro Atlanta.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Aurora Theatre, the professional theatre of Gwinnett County and home of the best entertainment in Northeast Georgia. With over 600 events annually, Aurora Theatre has live entertainment to suit everyone's taste. Aurora Theatre's Peach State Federal Credit Union Signature Series is comprised of Broadway's best plays and musicals alongside exciting works of contemporary theatre.
Additionally, Aurora produces concerts, comedy club events, children's programs, and metro Atlanta's top haunted attraction, Lawrenceville Ghost Tours. Aurora Theatre is a world-class theatrical facility with two performances venues. It is nestled on the square in historic downtown Lawrenceville, with free attached covered parking and is surrounded by myriad of restaurants and shops. Now playing, Clybourne Park, the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner from Bruce Norris, a brutally funny and fiercely provocative play about race, real estate, and the volatile values of each. Now-Oct 26.
1950s era, 12,000 square foot dry and cold goods warehouse in the middle
of downtown Duluth is to be the location of Dreamland Barbecue restaurant.
The facility will undergo a partial demolition and redevelopment into
the corporately owned Dreamland franchise restaurant. A Dreamland restaurant
in Peachtree Corners was closed after a fire about a year ago.
rambling concrete block structure is 185 feet long and 70 feet wide and
was once the center of distribution for 12 Parsons' grocery, hardware,
and retail stores. Goods were distributed to Parsons' stores in Buford,
Cumming, Covington, Duluth, Flowery Branch, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Lawrenceville,
Monroe, Norcross, and Palmetto.
Harris told the Council at a recent session: "This building holds
many memories for our community. The Council has deliberated and studied
for years how best to use this building. Dreamland Bar-B-Que will use
the remaining 5,000 square feet and add 1,500 square feet for its operations."
CEO, Dreamland Restaurants of Atlanta, says: "We could not be more
thrilled to call downtown Duluth a new location. We weren't sure what
to expect when the city ask us to visit this old warehouse. After few
hours we saw what they saw and we know what an honor this is for our company."
is expected to open for operations midyear 2015.
Contemporary self-taught meets modern masters at Hudgens
Center for the Arts in Duluth now has open its newest exhibition, Blurred
Lines: Contemporary Self-Taught Meets the Masters. The exhibit features
over 65 works by such well-known self-taught artists as Thornton Dial,
Sr. and Jimmie Lee Sudduth paired with modern masters such as Claes Oldenburg
and Pablo Picasso. The exhibit, which also features a special homage to
Georgia's own Rev. Howard Finster, will be on view through December 30.
Cox speak about the selected works in person at the Curator's Talk on
Saturday, November 1, at 1 p.m.
Get ready to Howl on the Green in Duluth on Halloween
gets you in the spirit of Halloween like creepy crawlers, fun costumes
and yummy treats. All of which will be at the 2014 Halloween's "Howl
on Green" on Duluth Town Green.
Administrator Glenn Stephens has named Alan Chapman, who currently serves
as deputy transportation director, as acting transportation department
director. He will run the department following Gwinnett DOT Director Kim
Gordon joined the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation in 1997 as project manager for the road improvements capital program. He was promoted in 2004 to the role of deputy director where he oversees the preconstruction and construction divisions.
He holds an MBA from Georgia State University and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Georgia. Before coming to work for Gwinnett County, he was with the Georgia Department of Transportation and also worked as an engineering and construction consultant. He lives with his wife, Anne, and two daughters in Lawrenceville.
Gwinnett Tech adult education program wins recognition
Technical College's Adult Education Division has been recognized by the
Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) as one of the state's best
at helping its students raise the level of their education.
Google has announced that the City of Suwanee is Georgia's 2014 eCity and one of the country's digital capitals. This designation from the global technology company recognizes Suwanee as having the strongest online business community in the state.
Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette says: "We're thrilled and if I could speak in emoticons, I'd add several of those to this statement. More seriously, I'm very proud of our connected, forward-thinking, and engaged community. Like many of our businesses, the City of Suwanee has worked hard to keep pace with electronic technology and the opportunities it presents, maintaining a dynamic website, having a strong social media presence, and, most recently, making our website mobile-friendly.
"We know that e-commerce is a big part of Suwanee's thriving economy and we welcome that, and we'll continue to embrace electronic and other technologies to further strengthen our economy and overall community."
To determine America's digital capitals, Google and IPSOS, an independent research firm, analyzed the online strength of local small businesses in cities across the country. Factors considered included whether small businesses had a website, used a blog, promoted themselves via social networks, sold goods directly from their website, and had a mobile-friendly website.
"Clearly there is a growing entrepreneurial spirit in Suwanee, which should be embraced," says Brett Williams, Google's director of SMB marketing, Americas. "Businesses in Suwanee are turning to the internet to start and develop their own businesses and we hope Suwanee becomes an inspiration to other areas in the country."
Suwanee is a community of approximately 17,000, located about 30 miles north of Atlanta. The award-winning community is a regional role model for smart-growth and is well-known for its built-from-scratch Town Center, distinctive parks, and public art initiative. Suwanee has been recognized by several national publications (Money, Family Circle, and Kiplinger.com) as one of the country's best places to live and raise families.
This book has received a lot of hype for a debut novel. A compelling read, yet somewhat confusing in places. Set in 17th century Amsterdam, young bride Petronella Oortman finds herself in a quickly arranged marriage to wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt. Petronella receives an exquisite dollhouse replica of their home as a wedding gift from her husband and engages the services of a miniaturist to furnish it. The beautifully crafted miniature pieces are eerie reflections of life in the home and keep Petronella (and the reader) guessing what will appear next. Characters with deep, dark secrets add a melodramatic tone. Complex social issues including homosexuality, adultery, unplanned pregnancy and race relations weigh down the second half of the book, which detract from solving the mystery of the miniaturist. Overall, a well written and compelling book that made this reader not want to put it down until it was finished. However, the ending left the reader somewhat confused and unsatisfied.
Georgia's whitewater rivers and creeks are far too numerous to describe
in detail, two
rivers in particular, both in the northeast Georgia mountains near
Clayton, deserve special recognition.
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2014 GWINNETT LOCAL CANDIDATES
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(NEW) Candidate Debate, Tuesday, October 21, at 7:30 p.m. at Lilburn City Hall, sponsored by The Lilburn Woman's Club in collaboration with SafetySmart Lilburn and the Brandlewood Neighborhood Watch organization. The forum is free and open to the public. Candidates expected to attend are Teresa Czyz and Michelle West who are both running for Post 1 seat on Lilburn City Council, which was vacated by Thomas Wight earlier this year. The City of Lilburn will hold a special election on Nov. 4, 2014.
Meet and Greet in Lilburn on Tuesday, October 21, at 6:30 p.m. at A Taste of Paradise Restaurant, 4805 Lawrenceville Highway. This is sponsored by the Lilburn Community Partnership and the Lilburn CID. Presentations will be made by Doug Stacks, director of planning and economic development for the City of Lilburn, and by Gerald McDowell, executive director of the Lilburn CID. There is no cost for the event. For more details, email Michael Taylor.
(NEW) Disaster Preparedness Summit, October 23, from 8 a.m. until noon at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1150 Cole Road in Lilburn. This is a free summit, and for leaders of faith-based and civic organizations and diverse communities. It will be hosted in Gwinnett County by Noah's Ark and Company in partnership with The Joseph's Network and the American Red Cross. This is to establish relationships with disaster response agencies, and learn how to be an involved community partner in times of disaster.
Lights On Afterschool at Alexander Park, between Lawrenceville and Snellville, on October 23 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The theme for this free family event is Hollywood: A Walk Among the Stars. Kids and adults are encouraged to dress as their favorite stars, walk the red carpet, take part in hands-on activities, and enjoy active games, live music, food trucks and inflatables. This event is open to the public. For more information, please contact Gwinnett Parks Operations Director Tina Fleming at (770) 822-8875.
Duluth Chili Cook-Off, Thursday, October 23 from 6-8 p.m. on the Town Green. Participants will be judged based on six different criteria: texture, flavor, consistency, spice & taste, aroma, and color. Two winners will be crowned: Chili Champion and People's Choice. City Council Members will compete in the heated battle. Music will be provided by the Bicho Brothers.
Meet the Author: Amon B. Neel Jr., AARP Columnist, will appear October 24 at the Bethesda Park Senior Center to discuss his best-seller, Are Your Prescriptions Killing You? How to Prevent Dangerous Interactions, Avoid Deadly Side Effects, Healthier with Fewer Drugs. The event is free. Books will be available for sale and signing.
New Art Exhibit, Figuratively Speaking, opens Friday, October 24, at Kudzu Art Zone, 116 Carlyle Street, in Norcross. This exhibit is free to the public and continues through November 29. An opening reception is October 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more info, call 770-840-9844.
Writers' Workshop, featuring Danny Schinitzlein, bestselling author of Perfecting your Picture Book, Saturday, October 25 from 1-3 p.m. at the Five Forks Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. Partner in the workshop is The Southern Breeze region of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Suwanee Trick or Treat will be Saturday, October 25 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Suwanee Creek Park, 1170 Buford Highway. Use your witches' brooms to sweep up prizes and your dancing shoes to do the monster mash with Parker, Suwanee's oversized canine mascot. Activities include festival games, crafts, inflatables, dance competitions, and pictures with Parker. A free hot dog lunch will be available while supplies last. Trek or Treat is designed especially for children 10 and younger. Attendees are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes.
The Gwinnett Food Swap will be hosting a special food event on October 26 from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Wynne-Russell House. A Girl Scout tradition, Gross Goodies features foods that look disgusting but are actually quite tasty. Girl Scouts and guests of the Gwinnett Food Swap (and especially children) are encouraged to bring zipper bags to collect swapped treats to take home. Costumes are welcome. To register or for more information, contact Leslie Edwin at 404-791-5483.
Re-roofing of the Library at Peachtree Corners will begin on October 20, with the library being closed through October 26. Fines for books or other checked out material will be waived and holds can have pick-up locations reassigned to another library branch. Contact the Library Help Line with any questions or concerns at 770-978-5154.
Exhibit of eight
artists continues through December 2 at George Pierce Park
Community Center in Suwanee. Eight female artists will showcase their
talents, including watercolor, acrylic, oil, color pencil, mixed media,
collage, and pen and ink with color pencil. For more information, call
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.
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