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Solutions now possible for brain imbalance dysfunctions
By Dr. Peter Scire
Special to

SUWANEE, Ga., June 17, 2008 -- Medical epidemics occur all over the globe -- AIDS in Africa, SARS in China. These are tragedies the world cannot turn a cheek to; but while monitoring these issues in distant countries, let's not forget about a homegrown crisis. One in 150 children born in the United States will be diagnosed with autism or a related neurobehavioral/developmental disorder, often called Functional Disconnection Syndrome (FDS).


Autism and related disorders are not new. They are just beginning to be understood, dissected, and in some cases, corrected. Unfortunately, no one quite understands why a disorder like autism occurs. There are several theories, such as a link to a childhood vaccine, environmental factors, and genetics. And because the cause is not known, there are no medical cures. Currently, the best hope physicians can offer for a child suffering from a developmental disorder is a cocktail of drugs, psychotherapy, or medical procedures.

However, there is an organization leading the charge to solve these problems. Rather than relying on drugs, therapy, or medical procedures, it tries to correct what is believed to be the problem -- a fundamental imbalance between the two hemispheres of the brain that leaves children disconnected from their own bodies and the world around them. Brain Balance™, based in Long Island, N.Y., and with two offices in Metro Atlanta, believes they have the best answer for families seeking to free their children from their mental dysfunction.

The brain needs to be in rhythm, similar to an orchestra. If the horns are not in time with the percussion section, the entire piece is disrupted. This is what is going on inside the mind of a child with autism. The two sides of the brain are not firing together correctly, leading one hemisphere to work harder and display the traits associated with that hemisphere more predominantly. Brain Balance™ takes a practical approach to this dilemma by addressing the problem -- the hemispheric imbalance -- and not just treating the symptoms.

This is accomplished through various tests and exercises. After an assessment to determine the weak areas of the brain, a custom regimen is designed. This may include audio and/or visual sensory exercises, motor skills development, physical exercise, and an altered diet with nutritional counseling. Individual weaknesses are addressed one at a time and then slowly incorporated together to work with the strong side of the brain, eventually leading to full reconnection of the child to himself, and consequently, the world around him.

The entire program is based on the concept of the brain's neuroplasticity, that is, the ability of the brain to improve its function throughout a person's life. It is proven that a brain can and will continually advance and progress if prodded to do so. Dr. Norman Doidge, noted psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, researcher, and author of the New York Times bestseller The Brain That Changes Itself,"said neuroplasticity is "arguably the most important breakthrough in neuroscience since scientists first sketched out the brain's basic anatomy."

Brain Balance™, like Dr. Doidge, believes children with FDS are not destined to spend their life in their own disconnected universe. They simply need some help and direction in getting reconnected with themselves.

For more information on Brain Balance™, visit

Greater Atlanta campus grows again with new Long Forum
By Elliott Brack
Editor and Publisher

JUNE 17, 2008 -- Gwinnett was once cotton farming land….at one time the third largest cotton producing county in Georgia. If the land where Greater Atlanta Christian School once grew cotton, those stalks of cotton couldn't be growing much closer than the buildings now rise on the school campus off Indian Trail Road in Norcross. The campus is full to overflowing.


Recently we attended a celebration of yet another Greater Atlanta Christian School building----this time the topping out of the 3,400 seat Long Forum, aptly named for the school's founder, Dr. Jesse Long. The new facility, located on the small patch of once vacant land immediately to your left as you come on campus, will be used for daily chapel services, Christian concerts, special speakers, guest performances and school family-wide activities. It will also be a physical education building, for basketball, volleyball and other events. In addition, a film/video studio, athletic offices and other activities will be there.

Dr. David Fincher, the school president, notes that for the first time, the school body of 1,950 students can now be gathered together at one time for special events. "That will make it a lot easier," he admits, rather than having to bring several smaller groups together for key announcements.

The New Long Forum on the GACS campus will open in early 2009. Click here for other photos.

Since the school was first the gleam in the eyes of Jesse Long and others back when they incorporated in 1961, and later when they purchased the property in 1964, the school has continually expanded. Today it's one of the largest private school in Georgia, and has earned itself a position of producing top quality graduates who go on to excel in college. Routinely, 99 per cent of its graduates go on to college, among them the most prestigious in the nation.

From its inception, Dr. Long made sure that local residents understood that the private school's ideals. He says: "Our concept was to provide academic excellence in a Christian environment. We intended to be winners in curricular and extra-curricular activities. We were not opposed to public school. We just offered a different kind of school with daily Bible classes and a chapel with a Christian worldview."

There were only 150 students in grades 7-11 when the school opened. Today the school counts students coming from 12 counties, though the largest enrollment is from Gwinnett. From the first year's two buildings of 26,496 square feet, it has grown in 2008 to 22 buildings and nearly a half million square feel on the 75 acre campus.

What is impressive about the Long Forum is its vastness. Two full-size basketball courts can be accommodated on the main floor, in a massively open space, with a soaring ceiling of about 50 feet. With recessed seating on the second level, it seems extra spacious. Recently some 300-400 people, many of them construction workers still completing the building, seemed dwarfed at tables during lunch at the Topping Out. Completion of the Forum is on schedule for winter 2009.

Greater Atlanta has been a good neighbor in Gwinnett for years now, as it continues to bring pride and distinction to the county. We congratulate them on honoring its founder by naming this new facility for it the (Jesse) Long Forum! It's in mighty high cotton these days!

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First no stamp machines, now no clocks at post offices

Editor, the Forum:

As if security precautions aren't enough, notice now at the Post Office that to purchase stamps, you either have to buy online, stand in line, buy at some grocery stores, or use the kiosk that requires plastic, debit or credit. Gone are the machines that would take your good old currency in denominations up to $20.

The last little source of irritation is the removal of clocks in postal branches. They don't want you to know how long you have been standing in line waiting for so-called "service"

Seems that every time the Postal Service gets a rate increase, they find another way to reduce "services." Consumers frequently complain about the amount of junk mail and advertising circulars that they receive. I live in an apartment complex that has a central location for all mail boxes. Management has placed two 40 gallon trash cans for disposal of unsolicited mail. Every Monday and Tuesday, they are full. Next stop, the landfill.

I understand that bulk mail is a big source of income for the post office, but they may also be the biggest single contributor to unnecessary waste on a daily basis. Doesn't sound too eco-friendly to me.

-- Larry Partain, Norcross

Ooops! Restaurant reviewed on Friday has already closed!

Editor, the Forum:

Just thought readers might like to know the restaurant reviewed on Friday, Buffalo's Express Café, is now closed. Too bad, as it served great ribs! Two other locations for this chain are now in Hamilton Mill or Flowery Branch. As a good substitute, try Lenny Mac's across from the Arena.

I guess as Gwinnett grows, good eateries will follow that growth. I get the feeling the good times are passing Duluth by, and we'll be a copy of Norcross before too long. The open/close cycle of six months for an eatery is more in line with Atlanta, but it is creeping its way outside OTP.

-- John Burris, Duluth

Dear John: Thanks for update. But what is this crack about good times bypassing Duluth and Norcross? Others will say that these two cities are coming into their own with eating and entertainment activities now. ---eeb

Conscript politician's offsprings and solve problems

Editor, the Forum:

Check this out from, how to stop the wars -- conscript the sons of politicians.

"Come to think of it, we could require the sons of all public officials, when the latter are elected, to enlist in the military. Then, they'd be ready for combat when Mommy or Daddy cast that vote or lobbied for war." That's from Cort Kirkwood back in April of 1903!

It makes sense to me. Politicians, most of whom have no military service, now play with other people's lives. After all, they "volunteered," didn't they ? I don't think they volunteered for endless and needless involvement in foreign hellholes around the world.

-- Marshall Miller, Lilburn

City of Snellville considers new stormwater rates June 30

The City of Snellville is considering adoption of the a new way to pay for stormwater run-offs.. It will be the topic at a special called City Council meeting on Monday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Snellville's Stormwater Utility will assess a fee to property owners based on the demand that their property places on the drainage system. This method is being considered in-lieu of raising property taxes which have historically been utilized for stormwater management.

Properties in the City will be divided into various billing classes based on their usage as residential or non-residential. Residential customers would be billed by the total area of impervious surface on their property (i.e. sidewalks, driveways, rooftops, patios, etc.). All other developed properties will be considered non -residential and would be billed $75.60 per 3,800 square feet of impervious surface area. Examples of these types of properties include offices, apartment complexes, shopping centers, etc. Properties that are undeveloped or do not have any impervious surface area on the property would not receive a bill.

Driving this proposal are the State and Federal regulations that have been placed on the City in the past two years as well as the need to replace several large drainage systems under city streets. Historically, Gwinnett County has managed the stormwater regulatory needs of the city but has recently changed this practice since implementing their own Stormwater Utility. As such, the City is now required to implement these programs internally.

Here is the proposed City of Snellville stormwater utility rate system:

Billing Class Impervious Surface Range Annual Bill, based on square footage:

Residential Tier 1 Up to 2,850 sq ft $56.70
Residential Tier 2 2,851 sq ft - 4,750 sq ft $75.60
Residential Tier 3 Greater than 4,750 sq ft $94.50
Non-Residential Properties $75.60 per 3,800 square feet.

Walton EMC plans 72nd annual meeting on June 21

Ice cream sandwiches smeared on the faces of youngsters, live music by local artists and door prizes are activities that Walton Electric Membership Corporation customer-owners expect at the 72nd annual members' meeting, to be Saturday, June 21.

More than 3,000 Walton EMC customer-owners and their families venture out to the Walton County Agricultural Center off Criswell Road, south of Monroe, each June to enjoy a day full of festivities for the whole family.

Registering begins at 8 a.m. while enjoying the music of young country-rock singer Moriah Martin. Higher Ground, a Southern gospel group, will perform at 9 a.m.

The first 1,000 customer-owners to register will receive a traditional annual meeting bucket of gifts that includes a 30-piece toolbox and a compact fluorescent light bulb.

County seeking proposal-partner for Ronald Reagan Ext.

Connecting Ronald Reagan Parkway to Interstate 85 is the subject of a request for proposals issued by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. The Board is seeking a public-private partnership to develop the new roadway project that could be financed privately through tolls or user fees.

Gwinnett DOT Director Brian Allen says: "We need to relieve the traffic congestion on Pleasant Hill Road, Steve Reynolds Boulevard, Beaver Ruin Road and U.S. Highway 29, but we don't have the funding to do it any time soon." The County is currently building an extension of Sugarloaf Parkway to State Route 316 near Dacula.

The proposed project would include planning and building new interchanges at Pleasant Hill Road and at I-85 plus about three miles of four-lane roadway. The developer could use a toll-collection system to pay for the new roadway improvements instead of traditional taxpayer funding. Under this proposal, there would be no toll charges for the use of the existing roadway.

Ronald Reagan Parkway is a limited-access, four-lane road divided by a median. The major east-west thoroughfare currently extends from Scenic Highway/Georgia Highway 124 in Snellville to Pleasant Hill Road northeast of Lilburn.

Gwinnett County Administrator Jock Connell says: "We're looking for private businesses capable of designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining this much-needed road extension."

Grayson senior wins $4,000 NAMAR scholarship

Mitchell and Small

Mike Small, scholarship Chair of the Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors, presents a $4,000 scholarship certificate to Kristin Mitchell of Grayson High School. She is the daughter of Lamar and Jan Mitchell of Lawrenceville. Jan Mitchell is a NAMAR member and agent for Solid Source Realty. Kristin maintains a 3.92 grade point average and has lettered in academics each year of high school. She is currently ranked in the top four percent of her graduating class, has also lettered in Varsity Cheerleading and put in 150 hours of Community Service since her freshman year. She plans to attend Georgia College and State University and major in Psychology.

Gwinnett Tech surgical tech students score among highest

Gwinnett Technical College's surgical technology students scored among the best in the nation on the most recent Program Assessment Exam (PAE), ranking Gwinnett Tech's program in the country's top 20 of 435 accredited surgical technology programs.

The PAE exam is administered by the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology who has admitted Gwinnett Tech to the Par Elite Twenty Program in honor of the high achievement. This most recent result surpasses Gwinnett Tech's previous status as a top 10 percent program.

T.C. Parker, surgical technology program director at Gwinnett Tech, says: "We have always been proud of the fact that the hospitals hiring our students have been so pleased with their level of training and knowledge. This award is truly icing on the cake for us and substantiates all the hard work we've done here."

Parker credited success on exams to the program's contacts with the local medical industry, which have provided opportunities that would otherwise have been unavailable, such as the use of cadavers and other surgical supplies.

He adds: "It's always great to hear comments on how well prepared and educated our students are, and this level of national achievement really underscores our outstanding reputation in our own community."

ARCST is a national organization that accredits surgical technology programs. The accreditation process involves a thorough review of the program's resources, including faculty, student/faculty ratio, financial resources, physical resources, learning resources, admissions policies, student records, curriculum and student evaluation methods.

Critical to any operating room, surgical technologists ensure that it is safe and properly equipped for procedures on patients. Gwinnett Tech's Surgical Technology Program prepares students for employment in a variety of positions in the surgical field. Graduates of the program receive a surgical technology diploma and may become certified as a surgical technologist by taking the National Surgical Technologists Certification Exam. The program takes about five quarters to complete.

  • 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 Historical Society traces founding to 1839

Founded in 1839, the Georgia Historical Society remains committed to its original mission "to collect, preserve, and diffuse information relating to the History of the State of Georgia." Headquartered in Savannah, Georgia's colonial capital, the society continues to bear the seal of the colony's Trustees, along with their philanthropic motto: Non sibi sed aliis -"Not for self, but for others."

In the spring of 1839 three Savannah residents, Richard D. Arnold, William Bacon Stevens, and Israel K. Tefft, founded the Georgia Historical Society. The state legislature in Milledgeville incorporated the organization in December of the same year. Arnold described Tefft, an autograph and manuscript collector, as the true " fons et origo [source and origin]" of the society. Certainly, Tefft's splendid collection of documentary treasures suggested both a nucleus and an exemplar for the organization's collections.

The three founders soon succeeded in attracting to their cause an impressive group of tidewater "aristocrats" and businessmen. They also framed a constitution calling for a governing structure that continues, in general, to be followed today, with a president and other officers assisted by a governing board whose members are known as curators.

From around 100 active members in 1839, the society had grown to some 6,000 by the beginning of the 21st century. Among the most effective of the organization's 19th-century presidents were its first two: John Macpherson Berrien (a lawyer, U.S. senator, and U.S. attorney general) and James Moore Wayne (a lawyer, U.S. congressman, and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. One or the other served as president between 1839 and 1862. Henry Rootes Jackson (a lawyer, jurist, diplomat, and Confederate general) held the presidency from 1875 to 1898.

During the 20th century few presidents served more than one term, and the majority were professionals or businessmen from the Savannah area. Some, however, like Alexander A. Lawrence and Malcolm Bell Jr., were also historians in their own right. Toward the end of the century, university-affiliated historians, including William M. Gabard and Roger K. Warlick, often led the society. In 1996 the attorney Lisa Lacy White became the first female president and served a term marked by productive initiatives and imaginative leadership.
(To Be Continued)

Margaret Mitchell with comment about a person's reputation

"Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was."

-- Margaret Mitchell, Atlanta based newspaperwoman and novelist (1900-1949).

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Number 8.23, June 17, 2008

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TODAY'S FOCUS: Brain Imbalance Problems Now Being Attacked
ELLIOTT BRACK: Greater Atlanta Christians Top Out Another Building
FEEDBACK: Letters about Post Office, Closed Restaurant and Conscription
UPCOMING: Snellville Mulls Stormwater Fees; Walton EMC To Meet
NOTABLE: County Seeks Reagan Proposal; New Scholar; Student Winners
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Georgia Historical Society Traces Origin to Savannah
TODAY'S QUOTE: Margaret Mitchell and a Person's Reputation

Among those present in Duluth at Taylor Memorial Park marking the Topping Out of the Mathias Corporation/Street Smarts, Inc. building were, from left, Duluth City Clerk Teresa Lynn, Duluth City Administrator Phil McLemore, Gale Macrenaris, representing the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, and company Presidents Marsha Bomar of Street Smarts and Dave Heydinger of Mathias. The 40,000 square foot building, across Main Street from the City Hall, is expected to be completed in November.

FOR CHARITY. You can give "A Gift of Laughter," a new book of cartoons by Bill McLemore, to help raise money for Rainbow Village. At just $20, it's a fun way to help. To order, call 770 840 1003, or 770 446 3800, or email to

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"Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was."

-- Margaret Mitchell, Atlanta based newspaperwoman and novelist (1900-1949).

8/1: Philharmonic says no season
7/29: Gwinnett schools lead
7/25: MARTA vote results
7/22: Recent runoff elections
7/18: AJC changes coverage
7/15: On Martha Miller Adams
7/11: Vote yes for TAD
7/8: State has great places to visit
7/3: Watch out for super patriotism
7/1: Getting better mileage
6/27: Remembering Tom Moss
6/24 :Impact of gas prices
6/20: Extending Reagan Parkway
6/17: Another building at GACS
6/13: Post Office has my money
6/10: Bill Clinton for high court?
6/6: New ballpark groundbreaking
6/3: MARTA ballot questions
EEB index of columns

8/1: Helton: WIKA saves on water

7/29: Krautler: Feds to blame on water
7/25: Holley: Parish nurses help
7/22: Lane: Gwinnett newspapering
7/18: Urrutia: Gwinnett Tech nursing
7/15: Hall: Hudgens Center secret
7/11: Dickey: Saving dogs
7/8: Loeber: Teaching math better
7/1: Taste: Cutting fuel costs
7/1: Indech: Better energy policy
6/27: Grubbs: Be careful in summer
6/24: Stephens: Georgia Gwinnett grads
6/20: Auger: Gwinnett Reads!
6/17:: Scire: Brain dysfunctions
6/13: Gestar: Funds for K-9 dogs
6/10: Wehrman: Med Ctr. gets heart OK
6/6: Summerour: Dream comes true
6/3: Conti: Role for sale!

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