Duluth resident delivers commencement
address at UGA
Special to GwinnettForum.com
(Editor's Note: Giving the commencement talk
at the main graduation at the University of Georgia recently was
Deep Shah, son of Drs. J.J. and Meena Shah of Duluth. He also
recently was named one of two Rhodes Scholars from this year's
class at the University. This is a condensed version of the remarks
Mr. Shah gave at the ceremony. -eeb)
MAY 23, 2008 -- Natalia Ivanov is a 77-year-old housekeeper
from Russia, your everyday "Babushka." Ms. Ivanov was
rushed into the emergency room this morning after suffering a heart
attack. Moments ago, she was placed under my care; she is now my
patient, my responsibility. In addition to heart problems, Ms. Ivanov
endures diabetes and high blood pressure; has no records or patient
history; speaks Russian, Chechen, and German but no English; and,
of course, lacks health insurance. And - my goodness - she is wearing
a Gators shirt with jean shorts. The complexities of managing her
health overwhelm me. It is my first week as a medical student on
the hospital floors. I am terrified. Alone, I am simply incapable
of treating her. I need help.
* * * * *
Justice Thomas, President Adams, Mummy, Papa, families, friends,
faculty, and Class of 2008, this scenario is indeed one of my most
feared: discovering myself inadequate in fighting the world's fight.
As a doctor, I will undoubtedly encounter difficult cases like Ms.
Ivanov time and time again. What strikes me as so significant, though,
is how the progress of our society makes problems across the planet
even more complex than they were before, and how we can only overcome
them by community-led efforts rather than one-man crusades. Consider
Ms. Ivanov. Globalization brought her to an American hospital, McDonald's
contributed to her diabetes and high blood pressure and eventually
the heart attack, and our broken healthcare system managed to leave
her out of the equation. No one person can remedy all of these issues.
We are fortunate, for this has been the take home message of our
four years at UGA: cultivate your passion, work among this family
of fellow Dawgs, and - together - leave a mark.
We came to college aware of our abilities to make judicious choices.
How then, do we apply these to solving the world's most pressing
matters with the knowledge, skills, and relationships we have developed
at the University of Georgia. I have found that everyone, and I
truly mean everyone, desires the same thing - an opportunity. An
opportunity to love, to build a family, and to create a happy life.
We, as future leaders and engaged citizens, leave this city endowed
with the responsibility to provide others the opportunities we have
We have been encouraged by our parents, granted second chances
by our professors, and lived in a relatively stress-free world.
We, as a community, have built a sense of trust and compassion
that will allow us to serve our world in the ways we believe require
attention. Can one person alone make a difference? Sure. Especially
if his name is Knowshon. But can 6,000 strong make an ever greater
difference? I am absolutely positive. The point is not to make you
fear the world or its problems, but rather to remind you of the
way we have overcome every other challenge we have faced - by working
together and trusting in each another.
If we remember the knowledge and values we have acquired at Georgia,
WE CAN heal Ms. Ivanaov. Alone, I am but a small part in the process
of healing a patient like her. The reality is that her problems
are not only medical, they are social, legal, financial, and personal.
Well-being and providing it to others is a group task. It requires
a community like the one we've been so lucky to be a part of for
these four years. With so many of us dedicated to a cause, I cannot
be convinced that any malady is too advanced for us to resolve.
No matter how many medical illnesses she suffers, how little English
she speaks, or how much Gator gear she wears, no, Ms. Ivanov is
too complicated for the Class of 2008
What a folly all that early presidential primary
Editor and Publisher
MAY 23, 2008 -- Think back a bit.
It was a couple of years ago that state legislatures all over the
country began to fiddle with the dates for their presidential preference
In about half the states, there was this onslaught to move the
date of their presidential primary voting so that their individual
state could gain some perceived advantage.
This rush for change, they thought, would give their voters more
leverage in the presidential choosing. First one state after the
other decided to "move up" the date of their primary to
gain this advantage. What resulted was several key dates, including
lots of states voting on "Super Tuesday."
What folly, we look back and say.
For politics is about like picking stocks to invest in. Just about
the time you think you have timed it right to make a purchase, something
afterward happens which defeats your original purpose. In fact,
trying to time the market often leads to frustration, if not losing
Same in politics. All this rush of the many states to time their
primary at the best possible moment was virtually useless. Oh, by
voting early, and by some candidates not doing well in the early
voting, it may have caused candidates to drop out of the race earlier
than they would have otherwise. But as we can see from at least
the Democratic primary, the early voting didn't particularly give
either of these two current candidates any big edge.
Look at the states who voted closer to last than nearer to first
voting. In recent months, the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West
Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Oregon didn't move their
primaries, and perhaps had a bigger advantage over the other states.
Take Pennsylvania and West Virginia, for example. Voting only recently,
these two states and others voting later in the year found themselves
the center of attention for several weeks up until the primary.
With a majority of the other states no longer in contention, the
candidates poured money, time and effort into these late-voting
states. It gave these states far more leverage in choosing the nominees
than those states who opted to "move up" their primary
in order to gain an edge.
It should make the early voting states question the need to vote
sooner in the presidential primaries. Far as that goes, the way
this has turned out in 2008, it might even bring about some states
changing their primaries again
..to vote later.
In one sense, the states that "moved up" didn't get what
they sought. We say "good riddance," and that includes
our state of Georgia.
One more thing: the emphasis on early voting primarily served to
place greater pressure on the presidential candidates to work harder
earlier in the primary season. Had the many states not "moved
up" their voting, it could have served to spread out the pressure
throughout the first six-eight months before the conventions, and
been better, we feel, for the candidates.
All the hoopla since early January has served to turn off some
of the voters, who by now are tiring of the rhetoric of the candidates.
Moving up the voting was not necessarily the best thing to do.
You can see that by the importance candidates place on the states
voting toward the end of the campaign.
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Another great cartoon by Bill McLemore:
Day ceremony honors memory of SFC Donald Tabb
Gwinnett County will mark Memorial Day with a ceremony at 1 p.m.
on Monday, May 26, at the Fallen Heroes Memorial in front of the
Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville.
There will be one name inscribed on the Fallen Heroes Memorial
as part of the program. That will be the name of Sergeant First
Class Donald Tabb. He was killed in Afghanistan in February.
Keynoter speaker is Army Maj. Gen. (ret.) Terry Juskowiak. At the
ceremony will be an honor guard made up of members of all of Gwinnett's
public safety departments. Members of the Lawrenceville Police Department
will also take part in the service. The ceremony will be aired on
TVgwinnett later that same day at 7:30 p.m.
First free Moonlight
concert of year is today
Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation and the Lawrenceville Tourism
and Trade Association will present the first of five free, live
"Moonlight" concerts on the lawn of the Gwinnett Historic
Courthouse Friday, May 23 at 8 pm.
The concert will feature Savannah-based Eric Culberson Blues Band.
This will be the band's fourth annual return to open the series.
The concerts are free and great for relaxing on the lawn. Reserved
seating for tables of six can be purchased for $60 by contacting
the Historic Courthouse staff at 770-822-5450. Visit www.VisitLawrenceville.com
for more band and series information and a seating chart. The lawn
and rented table seating is available starting at 6:30 pm.
Dr. Gena Abraham to
speak to Chamber luncheon on May 28
Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Gena Abraham
will speak May 28 at the General Membership meeting of the Gwinnett
Chamber of Commerce. The meeting will be at the Atlanta Marriott
Gwinnett Place at 11:30 a.m.
In October 2007, Dr. Abraham was selected by the State Transportation
Board as the first female commissioner of the Georgia Department
of Transportation, overseeing nearly 6,000 employees and a $2.1
billion operating budget. Prior to her role as Commissioner, Dr.
Abraham was an assistant professor in Georgia Tech's School of Civil
and Environmental Engineering.
Cost to attend is $45 for Chamber members and $55 for non-Chamber
members. Registration deadline is May 23.
Prom set for May 29 at Senior Center
On Thursday, May 29, from 6 to 9 p.m., the Snellville Senior Center
will be sponsoring their fifth Annual Senior Prom. The prom is open
to anyone over age 50. This theme for this year's event is "A
Sentimental Journey." A King and Queen will be crowned at the
end of the evening. Tickets are only $10 for members and $15 for
guests. Space is limited. Call (770) 985-3580 to sign up today.
Deadline for tickets is Tuesday, May 27.
UGA program at Gwinnett
moves to Sever Road location
The Gwinnett campus of the University of Georgia has moved to 2530
Sever Road, just off Interstate 85 at the Old Peachtree Road exit.
UGA programs now occupy 60,000 square feet of the Intellicenter
building, constructed in 2006. The move from the campus previously
shared with Georgia Gwinnett College took place last week.
Bob Boehmer, who oversees UGA's extended campuses in Gwinnett,
notes that UGA has offered graduate degree programs at several different
locations in Gwinnett since the mid-1980s, but increased the number
and variety of programs in recent years. Current offerings include
master's degrees from several UGA schools and colleges including
the Terry College of Business, School of Public and International
Affairs, School of Social Work, and College of Agricultural and
Environmental Sciences. More than 700 students were enrolled in
the graduate degree programs in Gwinnett.
The Small Business Development Center office in Gwinnett and the
Educational Technology Training Center operated by UGA's College
of Education in Gwinnett also have moved to the new facility.
For more information about UGA graduate and continuing education
programs in Gwinnett, see http://www.uga.edu/gwinnett
or call 678/985-6800.
input in two zoning overlay plans on June 3
The City of Snellville is nearing the end of updating its Comprehensive
Plan. As a result of this process, two Zoning Overlay Ordinances
are being proposed to further implement the vision of the 2030 Comprehensive
Plan and will be presented at a workshop June 3 at 7 pm.
This workshop will provide a forum for citizens to discuss these
ordinances, areas of concern and identify opportunities for positive
change. Participants will be asked to assess these areas and identify
characteristics that should be preserved and to identify needs for
The East Main Street/Athens Highway (U.S. Highway 78) corridor represents
one of last major corridors in the City of Snellville with significant
undeveloped land. It is rapidly growing and has experienced a great
deal of commercial and residential growth in the past few years.
In an attempt to avoid the linear strip commercial development that
is evident along major roadways throughout the city, a nodal development
form has been proposed. In the last Comprehensive Plan Update a
new future land use designation was created with this purpose in
mind entitled "78 East Activity Node." It is found at
prominent intersections with the intent of creating "pulse-nodes"
of walkable mixed-use development.
While the Comprehensive Plan lays the groundwork for this type
of development through the future land use category, more direction
is needed to achieve this goal. The report suggests an overlay district
is needed to set up clear development regulations to ensure the
intent of the Comprehensive Plan is realized.
The North Road corridor is likely to experience major land use changes
in coming years. This is already evident as multiple homes have
been converted to office uses. There have also been significant
development pressures to consolidate parcels and redevelop areas
in close proximity to State Road 124 (Scenic Highway). In the Comprehensive
Plan Update, the North Road corridor was identified as needing special
planning attention due to these anticipated changes.
Single incision procedure
for gallbladders at GMC now
Gwinnett Medical Center took another step in the path towards clinical
advancement with the completion of the Single Incision Laparoscopic
Cholecystectomy procedure. This technique, performed by Dr. James
Elsey, is performed for treatment of gallbladder disease and results
in minimal scarring.
Dr. Elsey says: "We have performed a number of single incision
laparoscopic cholecystectomies, rather than the usual three or four
incisions. This single incision approach offers tremendous benefits
to our patients such as significantly reduced scarring and potentially
less pain. I believe that this will soon become the state-of-the-art
procedure for many of my future cases." Dr. Elsey does the
procedure through a single skin incision located in the patients'
Research for customized solutions will determine whether similar
Single Incision Laparoscopic procedures will be effective for other
general surgery applications such as hernia repair and weight loss
Azio's in Suwanee
"The newly opened Little Azio's in the new Suwanee Jubilee
is a real treat! My friend and I went there recently. The staff
was really helpful and the food was delicious! I ordered a tri-colored
pasta special with chicken and sundried tomatoes ($8-9) and my friend
had a special pizza with mushrooms and spinach and eggplant that
she really liked for about the same price. We passed on dessert,
but their Key Lime Pie looked good! There is both inside and outside
dining and the address is 1500 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Suwanee,
-- Cindy Evans, Duluth
- 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
of Albany sells sweets for over 80 years
In the 1920s a cherubic child in a red-and-white hat hawked the
quintessential Christmas treat---the peppermint candy cane---to
Albany natives in an advertisement for a local candy company. Some
60 years later, that family-owned company, known as Bobs
Candies, commemorated its place in the national candy and snack-food
world by producing the world's largest candy cane, an eight-foot-long
crook that weighed more than 100 pounds. In 2005 the company's founding
family, the McCormacks, decided to sell the organization to a larger,
diversified candy manufacturer in order to keep the family legacy
The candy company began in 1919, when Bob McCormack, an investor
based in Birmingham, Ala., visited Albany and decided that it would
be a good location for a candy business. Helped by other investors
back in Birmingham, McCormack started producing sticks of candy
for his Famous Candy Company. McCormack married and had three children,
the oldest of whom, Anna Louise, was the child in his ads. The company
continued to grow with such new lines as hard candy and taffy. McCormack
and fellow investor Bob Mills soon bought out the other backers,
and in 1924 they changed the name of the company to Bobs' Candy
Company. (The apostrophe was later dropped.) Bobs, which moved to
a larger facility in the 1930s so that it could expand its product
lines, was one of the few candy companies to remain solvent during
the Great Depression.
As the economy began to improve in 1940, Americans began purchasing
more candies and snacks. During World War II (1941-45), when sugar
was rationed, coconuts were in short supply, and pecans were expensive,
Bobs took advantage of a plentiful local product---the peanut---and
sold peanut-butter crackers and vacuum-packed peanuts. During the
1950s, Bobs began such innovations as break-proof packaging, moisture-proof
candy wrappers, and the Keller Machine, which twisted and cut the
company's scrapped bits of stick candy into pieces that could be
sold. In 1956 the company's name changed to Bobs Candies, and by
1958 the Keller Machine was perfected and able to mass produce the
popular hooked candy cane.
By the end of the 1950s Bobs was producing 1.8 million sticks of
candy each day and had national sales of $3.3 million. In spring
2005 the McCormacks sold the company to Farley's and Sathers Candy
Company, a large distributor that manages such major candy brands
as Now and Later, Jujyfruits, and Super Bubble. Farley's and Sathers
shut down all of Bobs Candies' Albany operations by the end of 2005
President Woodrow Wilson
on those who lost sons to war
"Again and again mothers who lost their sons in France have
come to me, and, taking my hand, have not only shed tears upon it,
but they have added, 'God bless you, Mr. President!' Why should
they pray God to bless me? I advised the Congress to create the
situation that led to the death of their sons. I ordered their sons
overseas. I consented to their sons' being put in the most difficult
part of the battle line, where death was certain. ...Why should
they weep upon my hand and call down the blessings of God upon me?
Because they believe that their boys died for something that vastly
transcends any of the immediate and palpable objects of the war.
They believe, and rightly believe, that their sons saved the liberty
of the world."
- President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), September 1919.
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