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TODAY'S ISSUE

Small business can benefit from marketing on a dime
By Marsha Anderson Bomar

President, Street Smarts
Special to GwinnettForum

DULUTH, Ga., June 16, 2006 -- Whether you are just starting out, or have a thriving small business, you are not likely to have a marketing or advertising budget in the tens of thousands of dollars. How can you grow your business and vie for your position in this very competitive environment?

The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce provided an opportunity for almost 40 businesses to learn some lessons in a lively presentation held at the 1818 Club. A few of the topics covered are briefly described below.

What's in a Name? We all know about branding even if we don't know that word. When we see those golden arches we know what product to expect. The same quick recognition for a small business can be achieved through the development of a great logo and related collateral material. This is one area where the price of a professional really pays off.

How Do You Tell The Story? Seizing opportunities to spread the word can be accomplished in a wide variety of ways. You can cultivate a relationship with an industry publication and line yourself up for a Business Profile. When there is an opportunity to be an expert, grab the moment - answer the call promptly. Once you have been quoted, post that to your website, or send out a postcard with the newspaper clip.

Tell Others About Your Awards. It is certainly an honor to be recognized. Spreading the word multiplies the impact. Don't hesitate to apply for an award, or ask someone to nominate you! Volunteer to work on an award review committee so you understand the process; next year, go for the award yourself!

Never support a cause because it is good publicity! Rather, select the causes in which you believe and let others know of your support. It will let them know a little more about your heart --- and it may stimulate their support, too. Those sincere relationships will pay off in ways you can't even imagine.

Get Involved In Your Community. Seems obvious but not enough people take the time to get involved. Just like supporting a cause, your involvement should not be a "PR move." It needs to be sincere. You will be associated with the activity or the organization, so be sure you believe in the mission.

Tell the world not just about your involvement, but about that aspect of the community! Your influence could change lives.

Lots of other topics were covered. You can find the full presentation on our website at www.streetsmarts.us. Look for the "Dime" link to the powerpoint slides.


ELLIOTT BRACK
Visiting Normandy gives perspective to D-Day landings

By Elliott Brack
Editor and Publisher
GwinnettForum.com

JUNE 16, 2006 -- Visiting Normandy had been a goal since the days when the late Scott Hudgens and I spent hours talking about the D-Day Invasion, and his experiences during World War II from the coast of France all the way to the Elbe River in Germany.


Brack

Scott told me of the "battle of the hedgerows," something that in all the massive and complex planning the Allies had not anticipated. These hedges, serving as buffers between fields in Europe for hundreds of years, were major obstacles for the Allies. They were so gnarled, intertwined and tough that bullets found it difficult to penetrate. Germans were often on one side, Allies on the other, with no advantage for either.

Even tanks found the hedgerows impossible, since they upended the tank when it tried to go over. This exposed its underbottom to fire. But finally Scott told me a private from Brooklyn solved the problem, welding rails like a fork-lift to the front of tanks, to penetrate the hedgerows.


Note the thickness and height of this typical hedgerow in Normandy. To view more pictures from Elliott Brack's trip to Normandy, please click here.

Today the hedges remain, still natural fences separating the fields of Normandy (see photos.)

* * * * *

Barbara and I were at Utah Beach during the anniversary of D Day. The French have festivals around D Day in many of the small villages and towns. Even the U.S. Military participates, having a commemorative parachute jump near St. Mere-Eglise. You remember that this is the area where the 101st Airborne Division parachuted into France on the night of June 5. One trooper found himself caught on the church steeple at St. Mere-Eglise, played dead when the Germans held the town, but survived and got cut down. (Red Buttons played the real trooper, John Steel, in the movies in The Longest Day. )

All around the invasion area we saw many, many American military vehicles, and then realized that most of them were Jeeps, of World War II vintage. Why so many Jeeps? Eventually we realized, after seeing a person with the rank of "Temporary Corporal"---a rank not used today---that these were not soldiers. As one person told us: "As the 'genuine' veterans get fewer and fewer, there seems to be a larger contingent of WW2 re-enactment societies that visit the area around D-Day each year."

* * * * *

The devastation to the Normandy towns and cities was colossal. It was not unusual for towns to be 85-95 per cent destroyed. In particular, this was the toll of devastation in St. Lo, Cherbourg, Valognes, Caretan, St. Mere-Eglise, Caen and in the other areas of torrid action during the first weeks of the war.

Today these towns are built back in much the same fashion as they were before. You glimpse modern housing, usually concrete, quick-built and very simple. Most other buildings look much older than their 60 years since rebuilding. The French restorers have done a good job.

Many churches, however, had at least their tall steeples shelled, where observers (from either side) would be stationed as look-outs. While many today have steeples, perhaps half the churches we saw had either a tower with flat roof, or a simple A-frame like steeple, indicating its tall steeple has yet to be replaced.

* * * * * *

The U.S. military cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer has over 9,387 Americans buried there. Rows and rows of graves have quite an impact on visitors, so precise and neat, and quite the contrast to the ravages of war on these nearby soils. Another 1,557 who died but either could not be identified or located have their names inscribed on a wall at the cemetery.

Yet to give this perspective: there are some 70,000 Germans buried in nearby cemeteries from the Normandy campaign.

* * * * *

Visiting Normandy allowed me to have a better understanding of the area and invasion. The area is beautiful and serene today. But it is that today because of the contribution of many people who gave their lives in the cause of freedom.

Thank you, to Scott and many others.


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McLEMORE'S WORLD
6/16: Surprise, surprise

The latest from our great cartoonist, Bill McLemore:



FEEDBACK
6/16: Concerned about what is about to happen to library system

Editor, the Forum:

Okay, so Jo Ann Pinder was fired. Right or wrong, it is done. My concern now goes directly to what will happen to our Gwinnett County Library. As a weekly customer of the library, I check out magazines and many other popular fiction and non fiction materials. I have a love of reading and am happy to have a library close to my home.

To the Board: Keep the periodicals. Many of us are working parents and do not always have the time to read an entire book nor can we afford to purchase the magazines monthly that we enjoy reading. I personally enjoy reading People, Vanity Fair, Southern Living, Consumer Reports, Atlanta, Oprah and many other magazines. I use the reserve on line feature and then can stop by and pick up my material when it's ready. As someone that works full time, this is very convenient for me.

I understand there is a need for more reference books. Don't our great county school libraries offer students reference material in addition to the classics? As a taxpayer, I do not want to duplicate all that is available to our students at school. Yes, we should supplement the materials that are necessary. It is not my job as a taxpayer to pay for additional materials specifically for home school or for that matter private school students.

Don't tax me twice for the same material! Home schooling is a choice and most parents that take on the responsibility are aware of the pros and cons and costs involved, just as private school parents do in paying tuition---plus having to pay school taxes. Maybe a partnership between the public library and the Gwinnett School library is needed so that they complement each other and offer our students what is needed.

Personally, I enjoy the "Barnes and Noble" feeling at the library. It is inviting and comfortable. Please do not take away what we have now. It is working for us.

-- Laurie P. Russell, Duluth

6/16: Firing at library board was nastiest meeting ever attended

Editor, the Forum:

I, along with a couple hundred other citizens, attended the Library Board meeting Monday night. This was, without a doubt, the nastiest meeting I have ever witnessed.

The termination of JoAnn Pinder, at this point, is irrelevant, but the conduct of four board members requires your attention. The members I am referring to are: Phyllis Oxendine, Lloyd Breck, Margaret Tiller and Dale Todd.

Thank you, Lorraine Green, for the failed efforts of Brett Taylor to keep the meeting civil. The total disregard of the Roberts Rules of Order and the wickedness of these four people are deplorable. The lack of professionalism and the obvious hatred for JoAnn Pinder proved this was a personal agenda and determination to terminate her regardless of cause, the voice of the majority or public embarrassment. In fact, it was evident public embarrassment was intended.

I suggest to let people of this caliber remain on any board is an insult to citizens of this county and certainly a reflection on you as an elected official.

I certainly hope that within the next few days you let the public know you do not support this type behavior and will appoint as your representatives people of a higher caliber.

-- Helen Morriss, Lilburn

6/16: Library board, not the director, is what needs to change

Editor, the Forum:

When my family moved to Gwinnett, one highly attractive lure for us was the GCPL. I am VERY upset that the director has been fired. The automated systems, the availability of current resources, the wonderful computer system, convenient branch locations...all are a treat to me since I was born and raised in Georgia and have never seen nor used a library system better than the GCPL.

Being disabled, the system of online member services, the scanners for check out, all of it serve me and my kind of population very well. To me, it is very cost effective both in time and money to use computers instead of the huge reference libraries of the past... The people complaining should go back in time and stay there to get some perspective. It is not the library's responsibility to censor materials. It is the parent's responsibility to determine what their children use. A public library serves ALL the citizens not only religious conservatives with young children.

The BOARD needs to change, not the director. I guess when you live in a county with such a progressive, up to date library system, you have no concept of living in an area without it. The Board is too highly influenced by a vocal minority of citizens...but then, the school system here has built some really nice buildings for the students in the Meadowcreek cluster then hired leadership for the new schools who have no clue about discipline and what it takes to educate that demographic so I should not be surprised.

One thing I have learned is that Gwinnett County is VERY good at keeping up appearances..and rewarding via fraternalism and 'who you know' rather than merit which is one reason I believe the director was fired...she did not fit with their opinion of how the GCPL should 'appear' or she simply ticked off the wrong person which gives that person or group a great deal of control. She provided services for ALL citizens not only the noisy conservatives who fear JK Rowling and Dan Brown. Was there ever due process?

I wish the county had leaders who actually would risk appearances and risk the loudest citizen opinions and actually serve the people. Gwinnett County has changed and the demographics are shifting.

I hear that they are going after 'Harry Potter" again... next, along with the church services in the middle school on Sunday, there will be Wicca meetings in the library.

-- Delane Cunningham, Lilburn.

(Dear Delane: Nothing new about schools being used on Sunday for church activity, with permission of Board. My own church started out in a high school back in 1979.-eeb)

NOTABLE
Brand Bank honors five retiring long-term employees

Recently Brand Bank hosted a company-wide reception for the five retiring employees, their families and friends at the historic Gwinnett courthouse in Lawrenceville, not far from where Brand Bank first opened more than 100 years ago. These five employees put in a combined 169 years with the bank, unprecedented in today's modern banking world! The five retirees honored were, from left, Jeanette Nix (31 years); Carolyn Brown (30 years); Faye Williams (37 years when she retired in December); Bedell Jackson (42 years); and Pat Gunter (29 years).

Senator Shafer to chair wide-ranging regulating committee

State Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) has been named chairman of the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. This committee has jurisdiction over legislation dealing with electric power, natural gas, telecommunications and emerging broadband technologies. The committee also regulates accounting, engineering, architecture, surveying, real estate brokerage and appraisal, general contracting, homebuilding and alcohol distribution and sales. Senator Shafer was elected to the Senate in 2002. He has served as administration floor leader for Gov. Sonny Perdue and as chairman of the Senate Science and Technology Committee.

RECOMMENDATION

  • An invitation: What Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus what book you plan to read next. --eeb

GEORGIA TIDBIT
Stevens' early history of Georgia viewed as scholarly work

William Bacon Stevens' A History of Georgia, published in 1847 (volume 1) and 1859 (volume 2), stands today as a monument to the man and the society of which he was a founder. At the time of its publication, Stevens's long-awaited book stirred a controversy among historians across Georgia-partly, no doubt, because a northerner had dared to write the first scholarly history of the Deep South state.


Stevens

Like his fellow Georgia Historical Society founder Israel K. Tefft, Stevens (1815-1887) was a native New Englander, born in Maine. Traveling south for health reasons and to earn a medical degree at the Medical College of South Carolina, Stevens landed in Savannah in 1837 and quickly moved into the social circles of his new home and married into a prominent Savannah family.

Upon the formation of the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) in May 1839, Stevens was elected corresponding secretary and librarian. At the society's second annual meeting, on Georgia Day, February 12, 1841, Stevens delivered an address that so impressed the audience that the society proposed that Stevens write "a new and complete" state history. When the first of two volumes finally appeared in 1847, the reaction was surprisingly mixed. His book was attacked in the Augusta newspapers and in an anonymous pamphlet as repetitious and riddled with factual errors.

The Georgia Historical Society rushed to Stevens's defense. In the local papers GHS members claimed that the critics were motivated more by a personal dislike of the historian than by "a fair and allowable criticism."

In the midst of pursuing his historical interests, Stevens abandoned his medical practice after five years and directed his attention toward the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal church. He was ordained as an Episcopal priest in February 1843. Appointed a missionary to Athens, he helped to establish a church there and in late 1844 accepted a position as professor of oratory and belles lettres at the University of Georgia. Four years later his religious duties took him to St. Andrews Church in Philadelphia, where he served until his death in 1887.

Today Stevens's work is considered the first scholarly attempt to tell the story of Georgia's past. For this and his other contributions, he is honored by the society he founded with the William Bacon Stevens Award, presented annually for the best student article published in the Georgia Historical Quarterly, the scholarly journal of the Georgia Historical Society. Stevens would no doubt be pleased that his memory is associated with something he strove to promote: outstanding scholarship in Georgia

THOUGHT OF THE DAY
Rough waters are no handicap for her

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."

-- Author Louisa May Alcott, via Cindy Evans, Duluth.

  • Another invitation: What's your favorite saying? Share with others through GwinnettForum. Send to elliott@gwinnettforum.com.


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© 2006, Gwinnett Forum.com. Gwinnett Forum is an 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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GwinnettForum.com
Number 6.20, June 16, 2006

TODAY'S ISSUE: Learn the Game of Marketing Your Business on a Dime!
ELLIOTT BRACK:
Visiting D Day Beaches at Normandy at D Day Time
McLEMORE'S WORLD: Busy and Harried Telephone Receptionist
FEEDBACK: Three Letters Concerning Gwinnett County Public Library
NOTABLE: Retirees at Brand Bank Total 169 Years; Shafer Heads Committee
RESTAURANT REVIEW: L'il River Grill of Lawrenceville
GEORGIA TIDBIT: William Bacon Stevens Authors Early History of Georgia
TODAY'S QUOTE: When Rough Waters Are Not a Problem



BIG WINNER.
Ginger Boyll was recently named Gwinnett Tech's 2006 Distinguished Student at the annual Awards. She received a $500 check and plaque. Boyll is enrolled in the Networking Specialist program at Gwinnett Tech and will now enter the Information Security Program at GTC upon graduation. Other finalists for the award included Donna Covault, business management; Joseph Rounsenville, commercial construction; Shelley Hoster, early childcare; and Joel Rosich, Internet web design.


Click above image to find
lowest gas prices in Atlanta

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."

-- Author Louisa May Alcott, via Cindy Evans, Duluth.

8/11: No auto tax is hollow proposal
8/8: Start school after Labor Day
8/4: Runoff elections ahead
8/1: School start dates
7/28: Duluth roundabout's cost
7/25: Congested intersections
7/21: Dems may be in good shape
7/18: Looking at voter apathy
7/14: No party registration in GA
7/11: Military years were invaluable
7/7: A look at the upcoming primary
7/3: 1,800 mile trip across South
6/30: Your grandparent name
6/27: Tidbits from readers
6/23: What next from library board?
6/20: Irish and French B&Bs
6/16: Normandy on D-Day
6/13: Saner times ahead for GCPL
6/9: Soft drink cave-in is good
6/2: Georgia's 7 natural wonders
EEB index of columns
8/11: About Partnership Gwinnett
8/8: Richardson on kid backpacks
8/4: White on local bankers
8/1: Sherrington on Seattle trip
7/28: Jones on EMC security
7/25: Karg on music scholarships
7/21: DeWilde on Suwanee designs
7/18: Harrison on Aurora's space
7/14: Byrd on hearing from sons
7/11: Gerstein on local nonprofits
7/7: A. Brack on Better South
7/3: Jackson on heading to Ghana
6/30: Anderson on Hudgens Center
6/27: Webb on trading a tractor
6/23: Ringo: Fixing old truck
6/20: Schklar on Ham radios
6/16: Bomar on biz marketing
6/13: Evans on phone manners
6/9: Sharpe on library board
6/2: Hagen on rezoning denial

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