By Heather Sawyer,
Lawrenceville, Ga. | Almost 200 years of Gwinnett County history provided
the backdrop for Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash 's 2018
State of the County speech Wednesday to an audience of about 800 at the
Infinite Energy Center.
By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher | Periodically we like to re-visit GwinnettForum's Continuing Objectives for Gwinnett County.
Here is a list we are currently running in each issue of GwinnettForum, to keep these ideas before the people of Gwinnett County:
We're pleased to see some developments that have somewhat accomplished two of these objectives.
We are pleased to remove these two Objectives from our list.
There appears to be a possibility that another Objective will see significant changes this year. That concerns the elections scheduled for 2018. The Gwinnett Democratic Party seems to be fielding candidates with real chances at winning this year. Having two thriving political parties in the county will mean, in the long run, better candidates and a better county. A competitive two-party system has been a long time coming, but might make a significant breakthrough this year.
When Gwinnett sees a competitive two party system, that will go a long way toward completion of another objective: More diverse candidates for a political offices and appointment to local boards. So this, too, might move forward in and after the 2018 elections.
With lots of people having interest in crime control, one objective speaks to that. We would continue to push for stronger regulations of late night establishments which have alcohol permits. Currently they can serve drinks until 2 a.m., but can stay open until 5 a.m. Most everyone agrees that nothing much good happens at these establishments between 2 and 5 a.m. Closing them earlier would be most beneficial to the county.
We also emphasize our desire to see the Georgia Legislature meet only once every two years, like some other states do. All Georgians get nervous when the Legislature meets, so have them meet only once every other year.
So, our revised list for 2018 shows:
By Robbie Schwartz, Loganville, Ga. | New Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez had high hopes of setting the pace for the celebration as Walton County's Bicentennial flag made its stop in Loganville. Literally. He's an avid runner and planned on leading the pack in taking the flag by foot along U.S. Highway 78 on its journey.
But when the White House called and extended an invitation to join the Mayors' Day at the White House, Martinez knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
He says: "A few days before the meeting, I received a call from the White House Intergovernmental Affairs Office congratulating me on becoming the new mayor of Loganville. I was asked if I would be interested in taking part of the annual Mayors' Day at the White House and of course I was humbled and honored to accept."
Martinez had helped lead a group in Georgia called Hispanics for Trump and also joined Vice President Mike Pence at the podium during campaign stops in Georgia in 2016. Some of the relationships forged during that experience led to the invitation.
On the Mayors' Day, President Donald Trump spoke to the 75 mayors that gathered for the January 24 event, which itself was in limbo because of the government shutdown just days beforehand. But the shutdown ended in time for Martinez and the others to gather and listen as President Trump addressed the crowd, speaking about the administration's accomplishments in its first year.
He said following the presidential address: "I was impressed with how much our president and vice president love our country and how much they want us to succeed. So many jobs were created in 2017, African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates are the lowest they have ever been and I think that the streamlining of the permitting process for roadwork will really help the City of Loganville as we work to address some of our congestion concerns.
"The president and vice president understand the role mayors play in their city. I also had a brief conversation with Vice President Pence to encourage and support the administration on the steps they've taken to advance the Hispanic population."
Following the president's address, the mayors then had a meet-and-greet to get to know the other elected officials in attendance and took part in a roundtable discussion with representatives from federal agencies on how to make cities safer and to make relationships stronger with the federal government.
The mayor served seven years on the Council before being elected to the post last year. He has been in the restaurant business since 2007, and recently turned this into a full catering service of Cuban dishes for events, festivals and markets across the Metro Atlanta area.
Mayor Martinez said
he enjoyed his first trip to the White House and the overall experience.
"I was amazed by the history and beauty of the East Wing. But more
importantly, I feel this trip has made me a better leader and given me
a deeper understanding of the relationship between the local and federal
government," he said. "As mayor, it gives me great joy to know
that Loganville has an ally in the White House. Our president and vice
president are great leaders and I believe they want to bring the United
States back into a prominent role as leader and defender of democracy
across the globe."
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to readers at no cost. Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) is a four-year, accredited liberal arts college that provides access to associate and baccalaureate level degrees that meet the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of Gwinnett County and the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region. Georgia Gwinnett is raising the standard, revolutionizing the college experience and changing the future of higher education. Immersed in an engaging and active learning environment, its graduates are prepared to become future leaders in an ever-changing global environment. GGC currently serves more than 12,000 students pursing degrees in 17 marketable majors.
The new $20 million
Public Works Complex of the city of Lawrenceville is now open at 435 West
Pike Street. The facility brings together the city's gas, electric, damage
prevention, fleet maintenance, streets and sanitation departments in one
location. The facility also serves as an essential first-step toward completion
of Gwinnett's largest redevelopment project currently underway - the South
Lawn in downtown Lawrenceville.
Opening of the Public
Works Facility and moving those operations allows for the development
of the South Lawn project. That will include over 600 residential living
units, more than 15,000 square feet of retail space, connect City Hall
and the Police Station with the increasingly popular Lawrenceville Lawn
and create a comprehensive walkable environment straight down to the Lawrenceville
Calling all dancing queens and kings!
Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus' Mamma Mia!, the smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, is set to run at Aurora Theatre from March 8 until April 22. It is the eighth longest running show in Broadway history and one of only five musicals to have run for more than ten years on Broadway. Aurora Theatre is producing Atlanta's post-Broadway premiere of the feel-good show in the heart of downtown Lawrenceville!
"When the professional rights for Mamma Mia! were on the verge of becoming available last year, we knew we had to produce the show at Aurora Theatre," says Justin Anderson, Director. "It is both the most anticipated and most spectacular production of our theatrical season. Along with hit after danceable hit-that every dedicated fan knows and loves-we've taken a fresh look at the design that will inject the show with unprecedented energy and verve, while also mining the story for its real heart. Whether you've seen Mamma Mia! once or a hundred times, this production is sure to leave everyone singing and dancing all the way home!"
Mamma Mia! combines timeless tunes with a sunny, funny tale that unfolds on a small Greek island. Sophie dreams of a perfect wedding where her father walks her down the aisle, but she is faced with one problem: the identity of her father is unknown! On a quest to discover his identity, she secretly invites the three possible candidates to her wedding, bringing them back into her mother's life for the first time in 20 years. The show is filled with ABBA hits, non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers.
Tickets range from $40-$75 and may be purchased online at tickets.auroratheatre.com or by calling the Box Office at 678-226-6222.
Show times are Tuesday-Saturday at 8 p. m.; and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p. m. Get tickets soon. Many shows are already sold out.
Exhibit in Centerville recognizes achievements of African Americans
Gwinnett County Health and Human Services will celebrate Black History Month with a free self-guided exhibit at OneStop Centerville, located at 3025 Bethany Church Road, until March 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Gwinnett County Public Library Centerville Branch will also host a free orated tour of the exhibit on March 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The exhibit honors African Americans' achievements and recognizes their role in history. As a special recognition for the Gwinnett County Bicentennial, the display explores how Irish immigrant Thomas Maguire settled in Snellville. The Maguire house and surrounding land, later owned by the Livsey family, is known locally as the "Promised Land."
Gwinnett County acquired the Maguire-Livsey property in 2017 and will preserve it as a historic site. The exhibit also includes other history specific to the Snellville area, such as the first settlers and how English immigrants Thomas Snell and James and Charles Sawyer and their families impacted the area, including increasing commercialism, opening a post office and incorporating the city.
Attendees of the
orated tour can learn more about Snellville's unique history, diverse
community and dynamic growth from Mayor Dan Curry and historian Terry
Snellville's city council approved a measure Monday, which will help pay for the bulk of the new Oak Road Park and the proposed Towne Center Multi-Use Trail.
The city will use a maximum of $1 million in Special Local Option Sales Tax funds to pay for a majority of the costs of the two projects. Oak Road Park had a price tag of $400,000 while the trail system is expected to cost $1.25 million.
The trail will offer a path for pedestrians and cyclists to and from the city's proposed Towne Center which will feature commercial, residential and business space.
Beginning at Scenic Highway on the west side of the downtown area at a new trailhead, the proposed 1.25-mile multi-use trail will travel east crossing North Road. It is designed to include park space at many points along its path and will incorporate needed stormwater features that double as scenic lakes/ponds. The trail is slated to traverse the entirety of the proposed Towne Center area and become part of the city's Greenway system.
The trail will serve a larger purpose than just general recreation use as it will be an integral part of the city's Towne Center development tying together residential, retail and education aspects of the development creating a new downtown Snellville.
City officials said the trail would be constructed ahead of or in conjunction with the Towne Center project.
Oak Road Park was
envisioned first in 2003, when a 4.67-acre tract of land was acquired
by the city on Oak Road which included the stipulation that it could only
be used for greenspace. In 2015, a united Mayor and Council agreed on
how it should be developed as a neighborhood park. This plan included
working with the county on building a sidewalk from Scenic Highway to
Mountain View Road, also with joint SPLOST funding, to make the park easily
accessible to downtown and nearby neighborhoods. The city hired the engineering
firm of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood to design the park and oversee construction.
Kettle Creek flows into the Little River near the Tyrone community in Wilkes County. It likely takes its name from a local fish trap, called a kittle.
During the American Revolution (1775-83) several incidents occurred along its banks. The South Carolina militia established a station there in 1776; an Indian attack on Robert McNabb's Fort in November 1778 resulted in McNabb's death; and in the last days of the Revolution, the rebel partisan and horse thief Josiah Dunn met his death in a skirmish nearby.
The most important event to occur at Kettle Creek, however, took place on Sunday, February 14, 1779. On that morning 600 American supporters of the British cause, popularly known as Loyalists or Tories, encamped atop a hill in a bend of the creek. They were following an established trail to the nearby Quaker settlement of Wrightsborough en route to Augusta. Aside from the defensive qualities of the position, the hill offered the new arrivals food in the form of cattle penned there.
The leader of this expedition, James Boyd, an Irishman from Raeburn Creek, S.C., had traveled to Georgia with a British invasion force from New York. He carried an open commission (as a colonel) to recruit southerners for the British military from settlements behind the rebel lines. Boyd left Savannah sometime after January 20, 1779, and reached Wrightsborough, deep within the Georgia backcountry, by the 24th, looking for guides to the South Carolina frontier. Within a week he established a camp near present-day Spartanburg, S.C.. With 350 recruits he set out for Augusta on February 5. During their march south along the Indian frontier, Boyd and his followers were joined by 250 North Carolinians under the command of John Moore.
The Loyalists were ineffectively pursued by small groups of rebel militiamen. Boyd's command captured Fort Independence and the outpost at Broad Mouth Creek in South Carolina, but they declined to attack the garrison of McGowan's Blockhouse on the Cherokee Ford of the Savannah River. The Loyalists crossed the river further north at Vann's Creek on February 11. The garrison of Cherokee Ford, with reinforcements, attacked Boyd's men at the crossing but were repulsed. As Boyd and his men camped at Kettle Creek on February 14, he dispatched his prisoners to Augusta. He could not know that the British troops sent there to rendezvous with him had that morning begun a withdrawal toward Savannah.
At the same time
340 South Carolina and Georgia militiamen, under Colonel Andrew Pickens
of South Carolina and Colonel John Dooly and Lieutenant Colonel Elijah
Clarke of Georgia, were preparing to attack Boyd's camp at Kettle Creek.
They had been besieging Loyalist horsemen at Robert Carr's Fort on nearby
Beaverdam Creek when they abandoned their prey to intercept Boyd's party.
Four days of pursuit brought them almost to where they had started.
This edition's Mystery Photo may prove difficult, as it looks like many other areas of this part of our country, in a very good photo. Figure out where you think this pastoral scene is and send your info to firstname.lastname@example.org, to include your hometown.
we thought would be a difficult Mystery Photo last edition quickly was
recognized by several of our eagle-eyed readers. First in was Susan
McBrayer of Sugar Hill, recognizing the "Convent of Christ in Portugal.
It is in Tomar and is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre." The photo
came from among the travels of Ross Lenhart of Pawley's Island, S.C.
George Graf of
Palmyra, Va. expounded more: "The cityscape of Tomar is dominated
to its west by the vast monumental complex of the Convent of Christ
as it stands at the top of a hill. It is a main feature of the city's
identity, the unity of which has been preserved. The Convent is surrounded
by the walls of the Castle of Tomar. It belonged to the Order of the
Templars and was founded in 1160 by Gualdim Pais, grand master of the
Knights Templar. Originally designed as a monument symbolizing the Reconquest,
the Convent of the Knights Templar of Tomar (transferred in 1344 to
the Knights of the Order of Christ) came to symbolize the opening up
of Portugal to other civilizations."
to stuff over 300 bags with food, the Rotary Club of Gwinnett County
celebrated Valentine's Day with a special '"Rotary Has Heart"
project to benefit people in the community who are hungry and struggling
with food insecurity. The bags contained items such as canned tuna or
chicken breast, vegetables, fruit cups and fruits, crackers, oatmeal
and cereal. The project was held in partnership with Friends of Gwinnett
Seniors and View Point Health, groups who had identified low-income
individuals in need of supplemental food during the winter months. Club
members rolled up their sleeves and assembled over 300 bags in under
20 minutes. The bags were boxed and divided evenly between the two agencies
and were in place to distribute that afternoon. Members Mary Hester,
Sherwin Levinson, and Bill McCargo go down the line filling bags for
the program. To learn more about the Gwinnett Rotary Club and the many
ways they give back to the community, visit: http://www.gwinnettrotary.org/.
for Black History Month. In celebration of Black History Month,
join Gwinnett County Public Library for a film screening and discussion
surrounding the plight of the Civil Rights Movement. A different film
will be shown each Saturday in February at 2 p.m. at the Five Forks
Branch, 2780 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lawrenceville. All viewings, discussions,
and popcorn are free and open to the public. For more information, visit
or call 770-978-5154. The film schedule is below:
(NEW) GROUNDBREAKING of a new parking deck, phase I, of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center will be Tuesday, February 20 at 3:30 p.m. The event will be at the GJAC Garage Avenue behind the exiting parking deck.
(NEW) "The Spirit of Frederick Douglass" is the topic of a lecture on Tuesday, February 20 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center at 7 p.m. Historian Michael Crutcher Sr. portrays abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who was born into slavery and as a teen escaped to become an internationally known anti-slavery leader and adviser to President Abraham Lincoln. He is known as the "Grandfather of the Civil Rights movement." An exhibit on the Bicentennial of Frederick Douglass it will be on display at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center for the month of February!
JOB FAIR: Looking for a job? Let us help you! Gwinnett County Public Library, in partnership with Goodwill of North Georgia, is holding a Job Fair on Wednesday, February 21 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Five Forks Branch, 2780 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lawrenceville. This event is free and open to the public. Bring your resume, dress professionally, and get hired. For more information, visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.
Gwinnett County Public Library and Gwinnett Legal Aid, an office
of Atlanta Legal Aid Society, can help! Gwinnett Legal Aid helps low
income people meet basic needs through free civil legal services and
legal education. Areas of law focused on are consumer, education,
housing, health, probate, employment, public benefits, family, and
juvenile. Three information sessions are available:
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Issue 16.86 | Feb. 16, 2018
TODAY'S FOCUS: Chairman
Says Gwinnett Is Healthy and Has Job Base of 345,000
It's Good To See Some Continuing Objectives for Gwinnett Achieved
ANOTHER VIEW: Loganville
Mayor Pleased with Visit to the Trump White House
Waffle Iron for Valentine?
new $20 Million Public Works Facility Now Operational
Funds To Be Used for Snellville's Oak Road Park and Trail
of the Gods by Graham Hancock
Revolutionary War Battle of Kettle Creek Named for Fish Trap
MYSTERY PHOTO: Pastoral
Scene Begs Your Identification in This Mystery Photo
CALENDAR: Lecture about Frederick Douglass Coming on February 2
Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Our 2018 list:
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.
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