NEW TRAIL: The Ivy Creek Greenway trail near the Mall of Georgia will soon stretch 4.4 miles after commissioners approved the construction contract for a $2.2 million extension project on Tuesday. The addition of slightly less than three-quarters of a mile of 12-foot wide asphalt trail will feature three wood boardwalks, a 270-foot cable bridge, an overlook platform and restrooms. Long-range plans call for the greenway to connect to an existing section at George Pierce Park, creating seven miles of biking and walking opportunities. Funding comes from a $1 million state and federal transportation grant and the 2005 and 2009 SPLOST sales tax programs. Astra Group Inc. was the low bidder for the construction, which should be finished by the end of 2013.
Issue 13.14 | Friday, May 24, 2013
GwinnettForum.com is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
Ga., May 24, 2013 -- John Addison and Rick Williams, co-CEOs of Primerica,
Inc. (NYSE: PRI), the largest independent financial services and marketing
company in North America, were joined by Gov. Nathan Deal, prominent Gwinnett
community leaders, hundreds of employees, and top Primerica representatives
to celebrate the opening of its global headquarters in Duluth last week.
Located at #1 Primerica Parkway, the 365,000-square-foot facility is equipped
to house 1,600 of the company's 1,700 Gwinnett-based employees and has
the capacity for an additional 200 people.
also shows that we are extremely confident in our future and it positions
us for continued growth and excellence as the largest financial services
marketing company in North America. I want to give special thanks to our
company's founders, Art and Angela Williams. If it was not for their tenacity
in changing the landscape of financial services, none of this would be
Primerica, Inc. distributes financial products to middle income households in North America. Primerica representatives educate their Main Street clients about how to prepare for a more secure financial future by assessing their needs and providing appropriate solutions through term life insurance, which Primerica underwrites, and mutual funds, annuities and other financial products, which it distributes primarily on behalf of third parties.
In addition, Primerica provides an entrepreneurial full or part-time business opportunity for individuals seeking to earn income by distributing the company's financial products. Primerica insures more than 4.3 million lives, while approximately 1.9 million clients maintained investment accounts with Primerica at December 31, 2012. Primerica stock is included in the S&P MidCap 400 and the Russell 2000 stock indices and is traded on The New York Stock Exchange.
MAY 24, 2013 -- Retiring this month are two county employees we would like to commend for their years of service to the county, Bill Myers and Lynn Smarr. A story below tells of Bill Myers' retirement as county fire and emergency services chief.
But also retiring is Lynn Smarr, from the Department of Public Utilities. For nearly five years she was acting director of the system, and has a varied experience with engineering in the county. She has often been the author of articles for GwinnettForum, or the source of key information about our utilities and most helpful to us.
In her retirement, she joins her husband, Keith, who about six months ago also retired from Public Utilities. The couple will start enjoying outdoor camping more, and in fact, will soon be in a tent in the mountains. They have four children and two grandchildren, and live near Bethlehem in Barrow County.
Raised in Cincinnati, Lynn went to Louisiana State for her engineering degree. She was hired in 1987 as an office engineer for the Gwinnett County Water System, predecessor to the Department of Public Utilities, which grew up to become the Department of Water Resources. As a Sr. Construction Manager, she worked on some of the department's top projects in the water and sewer industry such as the Upper Chattahoochee/Richland Creek tunnel, the Shoal Creek Raw Water Intake on Lake Lanier, and the Reuse Pipeline and Diffuser from the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center to Lake Lanier. She was asked to be the Acting Director in October 2007 through May 2012 and returned to the Assistant Director position afterwards. She says "it has been a blessing to be a part of such a great organization."
Good wishes to both Smarrs in their retirement.
* * * * *
Driving through Duluth these days, you can tell the pride of the town in their remembrance of recognizing deceased veterans with the crosses and American flags honoring former residents all throughout the town. It's become part of the culture of the town, now for the 25th year.
What we particularly like is that many of the flags are staked in front of where that veteran lived. We noticed one at the Ray Mattison Sr. home on Buford Highway on Tuesday.
It's not a simple task to honor the memory of these veterans in this manner. After all, there are 815 markers to stake, taking five days each to put up and take down, each with two crews of four people. The markers and flags are out twice a year, for Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, May 25, at 6 p.m. at the Duluth Festival Center, the City of Duluth will hold a tribute service to veterans of the Vietnam War and other veterans, marking the 50th anniversary of that war.
* * * *
Been missing the recommendations, especially on books? There's a reason: we didn't have any recommendations submitted by readers. But note that key contributor Susan McBrayer has another recommendation today. The widely-read retired journalist has been in Europe, hence no time for writing reviews. But others of you also read a lot, or go out to eat, see movies, or can review other types of ideas. Send in yours, today. Keep these recommendations to 150 words, for short means more readership by the rest of you.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. LAN Systems provides information technology and computer services to help businesses increase revenue and reduce costs. They bring productivity and efficiency benefits to companies through the latest advances in information technology like Cloud Computing, virtualization and work anywhere and anytime mobility. LAN Systems is a Microsoft Gold partner, but works in many mixed computing environments. Whatever your size or need, they have an IT plan that will work for your business. Visit their web site, www.lansystems.com.
Editor, the Forum:
No -- not the pickle to cure hiccups! (Forum, May 21). The best way, especially for children, is to tell them to lick their finger and then put their finger into the sugar bowl, and then lick it!
They grin, and look at you, as if to say, "Really?" And then do it, and giggle. And the hiccups are gone.
Reel in some fun! Several groups are coming together to host a free fishing event. Kids Fishing Day will be held at Jones Bridge Park on June 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All ages are invited to attend, while children ages 16 and under are invited to fish. Children must be accompanied by an adult; life jackets are recommended. No fishing license is necessary for the event.
This event is in partnership with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Kiwanis of Johns Creek, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Nothing But Fish, Rainbow Ranch, Johnsonville, Academy Sports & Outdoors, and Bass Pro Shops.
There will be food, prizes, and fishing for all skill levels. A fishing rod and bait will be provided while supplies last. Experts will be available to assist in baiting hooks and removing fish. Buford Trout Hatchery will stock over 2,000 Rainbow Trout on the morning of the event.
For more information or registration on this or other events, call 678-277-0920 or visit www.gwinnettparks.com. Jones Bridge Park is located at 4901 East Jones Bridge Road, Peachtree Corners.
Snyder replaces Myers as Fire and Emergency chief
Casey Snyder is Gwinnett's new fire chief effective May 25. Snyder, a 24-year veteran of the County's Fire and Emergency Services Department, replaces Bill Myers, who retires on May 24 after serving 30 years with the County. Commissioners ratified Snyder's contract this week.
Snyder, who will oversee the department of 800 employees, began his career in emergency services in 1984. In 1989, he started with the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services as a firefighter and rose through the ranks to his most recent role as assistant chief of operations.
Snyder, who holds an MBA from the University of Tennessee, also earned an associate of fire science from Perimeter College and a BS in Management from Shorter University. In addition, he is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. He lives in Gwinnett County with his wife, Beverly, and daughter, Ryley.
* * * * *
an expansion of Gwinnett's Fire Academy at 3608 Braselton Highway in Dacula
will begin this summer with a new driving course where firefighters will
learn to maneuver fire engines, ladder trucks, ambulances and other emergency
vehicles. Commissioners approved a $1.3 million construction contract
with low responsive bidder Southeastern Site Development Inc. on Tuesday.
Onion Man returns to Lionheart Theatre from May 30 to June 9
A collection of short plays by local playwrights that have fun bending the rules of theatre will be offered soon at the Lionheart Theatre in Norcross. The offering is entitled Summer Harvest 2013 - Keep it Legal, and will run from May 30 to June 9 Thursdays to Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. The theatre is located at 10 College Street in downtown Norcross.
Onion Man Productions returns for the fifth year to Lionheart Theatre with this production. This is the annual production of original 10-minute plays by local playwrights featuring actors from all over Atlanta. Managing director for Onion Man James Beck says: "It is an amazing collection of Atlanta theatre talent. From the original plays, to the terrific actors and talented directors it is a highly entertaining experience for the audience and a festival for everyone involved."
Keep it Legal! features short plays all set in, primarily, a municipal government office. And this turns out to be a great source of comedy and even some drama.
Seats range in price from $12 to $16 depending on the evening. And for the first time Onion Man has even added extra shows of five additional original short plays to be performed on June 4th and June 5th with only an $8 admission ($5 for students and theatre artists.)
The Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia has created a "Disaster Relief Fund" for victims of the tornado in Moore, Okla.
Judy Waters of the foundation says: "I know that each of you are as saddened as we are about the Oklahoma disaster. As we did with the Katrina disaster, we will allow the larger relief organizations to provide their services at once. Afterwards, we will have time to research the most pressing needs and donate the funds contributed locally to hard hit areas in the most beneficial ways. This will allow our donors to have impact with their generosity."
Gwinnett library wins two awards for support of the arts
County Public Library (GCPL) is the recipient of two awards that recognize
an ongoing commitment to arts partnerships in Gwinnett County.
StART Award was for GCPL's annual Fall Into The Arts series, citing it
as a program of "remarkable merit that has a recognizable impact"
on the community. This annual series coordinates arts groups and initiatives,
highlighting what the community has to offer and making it available to
all citizens by removing the barriers -- lack of time, money, and transportation
to name a few- that can prevent residents from attending and participating
in humanities programs.
this year's Gwinnie Awards, Executive Director of the Hudgens Center for
the Arts Teresa Osborn delivered a heartfelt tribute to the Library for
GCPL's work in advancing the arts in Gwinnett. GCPL was noted by the Hudgens
Center for the Arts Gwinnie Award for both the recent Georgia Arts Network
award and how the Library showcases local artists in each branch throughout
"The thing you love the most, you can lose in a moment. This is a theme of this delightful and poignant book about simplicity, appreciating what is around you, and opening your eyes to truth. As the story begins, Harold has recently retired and lives with his wife in a small English village. One morning, he receives a letter from a woman he hasn't heard from in 20 years. She's in a Scottish hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold is touched and writes a quick reply. But when he goes out to mail the letter, he decides to walk on to the next mailbox. And then to the next. And finally the 600 miles to Scotland! Thus begins the unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry. As he walks, Harold reminisces about his past, meets some interesting people and learns things about himself. It's a gentle book. I enjoyed it."
(Continued from previous edition)
In an attempt to address growth issues comprehensively in order to protect environmental quality, the state legislature passed the Georgia Planning Act in 1989. This act includes protective measures for vital areas of the state, including wetlands, water supply watersheds, significant groundwater-recharge areas, stream corridors, and the higher elevations of the mountains (where many drinking-water sources originate). In 2000, under Governor Roy Barnes, the Georgia General Assembly enacted legislation to create the Georgia Community Greenspace Program to encourage the adoption of policies and regulations that would preserve greenspace in rapidly growing counties. Funding for this program ended in 2004.
In 2005, under Governor Sonny Perdue, the legislature passed the Georgia Land Conservation Act, which created a trust fund and a loan fund to which communities can apply to offset the costs of protecting their land and water resources.
Environmental policies in Georgia are in flux. Until recently, protecting environmental quality has been accomplished mainly through regulatory policies. These policies, which have been directed at major sources of pollution, have been effective in achieving improved air and water quality in spite of rapid population growth coupled with industrial and commercial expansion. Much of the environmental improvement that has been achieved thus far is based on improved technology (for example, more effective wastewater treatment plants, better air pollution control measures for industry, more efficient cars).
Now, however, the focus has shifted to smaller, dispersed pollution sources (for example, individual land-use activities and cars), which, collectively, have a significant effect on the environment. Such nonpoint pollution cannot be resolved solely through regulation of major pollution sources. New and innovative methods are necessary to address the complex environmental problems of the twenty-first century and beyond. Such environmental policy changes should include:
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Visit this site to see details of the upcoming funerals of Gwinnett Countians from local funeral homes. On the site, sign up at top right and we'll send you GwinnettObits each day.
Click on the names below to see details of their funerals.
"I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won't fall down."
Previously out of print, Elliott Brack's 850-page history, "Gwinnett: A Little Above Atlanta," is now available again. Since its original publication, the book was declared the winner of the 2010 Award of Excellence for documenting Georgia history by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board. It is also the winner of the Gwinnett Historical Society's Whitworth-Flanigan Award for 2011 for preserving the history of Gwinnett County.
The book includes 143 demographic and historic tables, with more than 4,000 names in the index, and 10,000 names in the appendix.Two versions of the book are available. The hardback edition is priced at $75, while a softback edition is $40. Books are available at:
You can also order books through the Internet. To do that, go to www.elliottbrack.com to place your order. For mail orders, there is a $5 shipping and handling fee. Purchases are also subject to the 6 percent Georgia sales tax.
Or call me (Elliott
Brack) at 770 840 1003 and tell me how to dedicate a book to a friend
(or to you) as he adds his signature!
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
Open Car Show with Hot Rods: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 25, Hayes Chevrolet, 3660 Georgia Highway 365, in Baldwin, Ga. Door prizes, raffle, swap meet, fun and food for the entire family. For info, call Matt Hayes at 706 776 1144.
World Turtle Day: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 25, Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. Meet live turtles, and participate in special turtle crafts and activities. For info, visit www.gwinnett EHC.org.
(NEW) Memorial Day Concert and Tribute: 12:45 p.m., May 27, Thrasher Park in Norcross. Retired Sgt. Major Allie R. Ousley of the Norcross Police Department will speak. Following will be an hour of classic jazz performed by the Greater Atlanta Christian School jazz band. Picnics welcomed!
Memorial Day Ceremony: 1 p.m., May 27, Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial. Speaker will be Brig. Gen. (ret.) Dan Kaufman, who will soon become president of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
Speed Networking: 6 p.m., May 28, Norcross Community Center, sponsored by the Norcross Business Association. Be sure to bring 50 business cards. Food and beverages provided by Lan Systems of Norcross. RSVP to email@example.com.
Moonlight and Music Concert Series, last Friday of each month, at 8 p.m., May to September, on the Historic Courthouse grounds in Lawrenceville. The concerts are free, with tables for six available for purchase. The May 31 concert will feature the band, Grogus. For more information, contact the Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association at 678-226-2639 or via email.
Market Opening in Snellville: 8 a.m. to noon, June 1, Location
is the Town Green adjacent to City Hall. Open Saturdays through September.
Spring Concert of the Stone Mountain Barbershop Chorus: 2 p.m., June 1, Mountain Park United Methodist Church, 1405 Rockbridge Road in Mountain Park. Featured guest for this years concert is A Mighty Wind, the 2012 International Bronze Medalist Quartet. Advanced tickets are $12, with an advanced purchase discount of $10 for students, groups of 12 or more and seniors over age 60. The day of the concert the price is $15. See details here.
"Real/Unreal/Surreal" is the title of a new spring exhibit at the Kudzu Art Zone in Norcross, continuing through June 1. The show is a question of comparative reality, as artists display their interpretations of how real/unreal or surreal their visual creations are. For more details, contact Kudzu Art Zone at 770-840-9844 or go online.
Success Lives Here Breakfast: 7:30 a.m., June 7, 1818 Club, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Duluth. Speaker will be Barbara Howard of Suzanna's Kitchen of Duluth. For info, visit here.
Peachtree Corners Festival: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., June 8, and noon to 5 p.m., June 9. Located on The Corners Parkway and Woodhill Drive, one block west of Peachtree Parkway. A 5K Fun Run will start at 7:30 a.m. from Peachtree Elementary School, 5995 Crooked Creek Road to benefit The Impact Group. More info here.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
CONTINUING OBJECTIVES FOR GWINNETT
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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