Professional engineer seeks Public
Service Commission seat
Special to GwinnettForum.com
(Editor's Note: The following is from Bob Indech
of Norcross, who is a candidate for the Public Service Commission
in the Fourth district. Mr. Indech is a graduate of Brown University
of Rhode Island and has additional graduate degrees from Georgia
Institute of Technology, Brown University, and Anna Maria College.
His background, as a registered professional engineer, is in energy
research and development.-eeb)
NORCROSS, Ga., July 1, 2008 -- I'm hopping mad, becoming poorer
from misguided energy policy. Converting corn to ethanol increases
prices along the food chain causing mass starvation across the planet.
Our energy policy raises the cost of tortillas in Mexico.
Contrary to oil producers, no oil shortage exists. Libya decreases
supply because of lowered market demand. Yearly price doubling is
not normal supply and demand, but is oil contract speculation from
Wall Street capital no longer invested in real estate. The solution
follows a similar Federal response to the 1929 crash: require 50
percent collateral in dollars for margin contracts. Trading contracts
with one to two percent of equity is gambling and consumers are
forced into the game.
Abandon the myth that oil only comes from drilling. Oil is a long
chain hydrocarbon, produced synthetically since the 1930's. Chemically
identical to drilled oil, synthetic oil fueled the Nazi war machine.
Passing steam over coal yields coal gas, which heated under pressure
with a catalyst, yields aviation fuel, gasoline, and kerosene. Coal
heating yields one dollar per gallon. Nuclear heating yields 60
cents per gallon. Consistently, Congress denies subsidies for initial
costs of industrial scale plant construction. We built an atomic
bomb at wartime when supplying troops and materials fighting Japan
and Germany. Sixty years later we can synthesize oil to eliminate
imports. This is no pipedream. China has an operating plant developing
15 million tons of yearly petroleum products, and plans seven more.
Synthetic oil plants will allow termination of Iraq and Afghanistan
war. War cost savings can partially fund this plan.
The sun irradiates about 136 watts per square foot. Solar cells
directly convert light to electricity. Conventional silicon cells
batch processed by the Suniva plant in Norcross are more costly
per watt than coal or nuclear. In California and Germany, Nanosolar
Company has 600,000 feet of manufacturing facilities and prints
cells without silicon on long thin metal rolls, selling for less
than one dollar per watt. A single bedroom sized machine can yearly
produce 1,000 megawatts of solar cells. Why convert the Doraville
GM facility to apartments, when state legislators could court Nanosolar
for a Georgia manufacturing plant? Nanosolar has been shipping cells
for the last six months only to commercial users due to years of
Water: Lake Lanier is drying, not just from reduced rainfall. We
drain massive waters downstream to the Gulf of Mexico. Saving mussels?
Actually, we are supplying cooling water to antiquated coal-fired
plants operating with single pass water-cooling. Modern power plants
use ponds like Lake Sinclair or evaporative cooling towers, dissipating
three heat watts per generated watt. If Georgia bought land around
these plants, about 2,000 acres per 1,000-megawatt capacity, for
lease to Southern Company for cooling ponds, then downstream Chattahoochee
flow would be radically reduced. A financial model projects costs
of about $50 per citizen.
America solves problems through technology. A registered professional
engineer over 25 years, I'm overeducated with five graduate degrees.
Not spending a lifetime working for failing government energy policy,
I supervised technicians, managed business, and developed new energy
The Public Service Commission, regulating utility rates, and maintaining
energy infrastructure, demands technical skill, political skill,
and vision. Commissioners provide a forward pathway for Georgia.
Better than other candidates, I will supply technical expertise
the Commission currently lacks, as no current commissioner is an
engineer. Living in Norcross over 20 years, I educated five children
through public schools. Like you, I have a stake in a better Georgia.
Surprising reduction found in I-85 traffic
Editor and Publisher
JULY 1, 2008 -- There's an indication that we are traveling less,
as we found right here at home. In talking with the Department of
Transportation recently, we found that traffic has decreased on
Interstate 85. Yes, decreased on the one portion of I-85 we asked
about, in the last two years.
Take a look at this small table. We're looking at one of the busiest
portions of I-85 in Gwinnett, between Indian Trail Road and Jimmy
Carter Boulevard, considering traffic in both directions.
Note that the traffic has increased each year from 1990 from a
low of 164,188, until it reached 2005, when it recorded 264,120.
But lo and behold, by 2007, the traffic on Interstate 85 had fallen
to 257,110, not falling much, but falling just the same.
Those of us caught up in the morning or afternoon commute will
question this, of course. But the figures show a slight drop, perhaps
because of higher fuel prices, or perhaps because of more savvy
drivers realizing they need to make fewer trips. Who knows: this
small drop in trips could even result in more of us tele-commuting!
Or more people riding public transit, or car-pooling!
No matter what the reason, it may signal the beginning of Americans
in general driving fewer miles in their automobiles. All of us are
looking at way of driving less, experiencing the high price of gasoline.
We lifted a few driving tips from www.Edmunds.com
for you to consider. Here's what Edmunds says are the top ten ways
to improve your fuel economy.
1. Follow your auto's recommended maintenance schedule.
2. Keep your tires property inflated.
3. Take a load off, by reducing excess weight.
4. Don't drive aggressively.
5. Use the highest gear possible.
6. Use cruise control selectively, mainly on flat roads. (In hilly
country, cruise control works against you, since the car speeds
up to maintain that speed.)
7. Think clean, as a washed and waxed car improves aerodynamics
and fuel efficiency.
8. Avoid excessive idling
9. Think before you ventilate. Driving at higher speeds with the
windows down increases the drag on the vehicle.
10.Combine your errands.
From another source, www.Suite101.com,
we get these tips:
- Reduce your breaking and quick acceleration. Cars use
the least amount of gas when they maintain a reasonable speed.
Use cruise control. Also, driving at slower speeds saves gas.
- Remove all extra weight from your car. While carrying
around the golf clubs in the back might be convenient, cars carrying
extra weight use more gas.
- Minimize air conditioning use. When possible, close the
windows and use the vents to bring in outside air.
- Combine errands into one trip. It sounds like a no-brainer,
but think of the miles (and gas) you could save by stopping by
the store on the way home from work instead of heading back out.
- Carpool. If you and a co-worker trade off on who drives
which day or week, you can both save gas and money
One more idea: when on the interstate highway system, reducing
your speed can save gas, but reducing too much (below 60 mph) can
make you the slowest on the highway, and put you in danger from
someone going much faster ramming you from behind.
Be careful out there. And be pleased with the good news of the
lower traffic count in Gwinnett!
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com
to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is E.R. Snell Contractor,
Inc. of Snellville. Founded in the 1920s, ERS was built on Christian
beliefs with honesty and integrity leading the way. Specializing
in roads, bridges and culverts, its goal is to build a safe and
modern highway system while preserving our natural environment.
Through quality production and high safety standards, it strives
to be the best contractor possible, while continuing to be a positive
influence on its employees and the community. Our Internet address
of July is a good time to hug your heroes
Editor, the Forum:
When was the last time your hugged your hero? Well, Hug Your Hero
Gifts wants everyone to hug their hero and honor those that make
the world a better place. There's no better day than our nation's
We're not just about saying thank you and shaking some one's hand.
We are about spreading hugs across the nation. I'm a new small business
owner who is trying to make a difference in how we recognize our
heroes. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life.
My husband, Mike, and I will be celebrating at the City of Auburn's
Fourth of July Festival. The festival takes place in downtown Auburn
beginning at noon and finishing with a fireworks display. There
will be great food, vendors of all types and a car show.
Hug Your Hero Gifts has introduced our new line of "Have you
hugged a Hero today?" products. At this time, we are mainly
T-shirts, but we are branching out into other products such as note
cards, mouse pads, coffee mugs, can coolers, tote bags, hats and
other patriotic items and apparel. We are proud to say that all
of our products are made in the USA. We strive to help other small
businesses in our community and want to show that we are proud to
be American and buy American.
The mission of Hug Your Hero Gifts is to spread the spirit of mankind
and the goodness we all feel in our hearts.
For more information about Hug Your Hero Gifts and their complete
product line, visit www.hugyourherogifts.com
and hug your hero today! What's stopping you?
-- Stephanie Dickerson, Lawrenceville
Clean and Beautiful
lists other recycling locations
Editor, the Forum:
On behalf of the 50-member Citizen's Advisory Board and the staff
at Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, we would like to thank you for
your support and encouragement in response to the recent fire at
the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett. We have already begun planning for
the future after a fire Wednesday night destroyed three buildings
at the site on Satellite Boulevard in Duluth, which is now temporarily
closed. GC&B has moved into action and is taking steps towards
rebuilding and reopening the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett as soon
All curbside recycling operations throughout Gwinnett will continue
Citizens and businesses have several alternative locations for
recycling during the temporary closure. Alternative locations can
easily be found on the Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful website, gwinnettcb.org.
Visitors to the site will be able to search by the type of recyclable
they have and find the nearest recycling locations in their zip
We would like to extend a special thank you to the hundreds of
firefighters and leaders of Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services
for their valiant efforts in battling the fire and determination
to have the site safe for us to begin rebuilding as soon as possible.
An outpouring of community support has already begun to ensure
that recycling efforts will be kept alive in Gwinnett throughout
the rebuilding of the Recycling Bank. Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful
would like to thank everyone who has shown their immediate support
including Gwinnett County Government, the private sector, individual
citizens, and others. Gwinnett County Public Schools has stepped
forward and offered a temporary staging area for the handling of
curbside recycling materials.
Despite the current unfortunate circumstances, this community has
come together to restore the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett and make
certain that a better tomorrow begins today.
-- Connie C. Wiggins, Executive Director, Gwinnett Clean and
plans another Smooth Jazz concert July 11
The July Suwanee Smooth Jazz concert at Town Center Park offers
three eclectic performers for the regular price---and the regular
price is free. The performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday, July 11.
Performing will be Brian Clay, Julie Dexter, and North "2unes"
- Brian Clay, a WJZZ on-air personality, has captivated audiences
throughout the Atlanta area with incredible live performances
and his blend of smooth grooves and urban rhythms.
- Julie Dexter, a world-renowned singer/songwriter, has won numerous
international awards. Her most recent release is Moon Bossa
with Khari Simmons.
- Jazz guitarist North "2unes" Woodall is a staple on
the Atlanta music scene. In August 2007, he released Straight
Off-site parking will be available at the Shawnee North Business
Center, 305 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. Free shuttle transportation
between off-site parking and Town Center Park will be provided from
Bring picnics, blankets, and low-back chairs to this free concert
at Town Center Park. Food, beer, and wine will be available for
purchase. No outside alcoholic beverages may be brought into Town
Center Park. The park is located at the intersection of Buford Highway
and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.
Suwanee offers residents
name on beam in new City Hall
Suwanee residents are invited to put their name - literally - on
the new City Hall currently under construction at Town Center.
Residents may stop by the lobby of the current City Hall, 373 Buford
Highway, this week to sign their names to a five-foot steel beam
that will be part of the clock tower in the new City Hall. Stop
by from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through Thursday; remember, City Hall will
be closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday. Suwanee's new
City Hall is expected to be completed early in 2009.
United Way volunteers
spend day in four Action events
United Way of America declared June 21, a national Day of Action,
and in Gwinnett County more than 70 volunteers participated in activities
at four locations.
At Delmar Gardens several volunteers and their children spent time
with the seniors and helped them with their scrap-booking.
Volunteers also spent time at Norcross Cooperative Ministry (NCM),
an organization that provides food, clothing and other services
to low income and homeless families. Shirley Cabe, director of the
Norcross Cooperative Ministry, said: "Thank you to United Way
and all the volunteers who participated in the Day of Action. Volunteers
are the heart and soul of our outreach to this community. Working
together we can make a difference, one family at a time!"
Volunteers went to the Rainbow Village Transitional Housing Facility
in Duluth and cleaned three apartments, moved furniture and painted
the inside of an empty apartment for a new tenant.
At Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Center in Norcross,
volunteers painted the interior halls of the early learning center.
Georgia Gwinnett graduates
first class of 17 students
A total of 17 students have graduated in the first class of Georgia
Gwinnett College. They include 11 students from Gwinnett County:
Daryouch Aziz, Misty Mahan Chapman, Sharon McGregor and Diana Wolf
of Lawrenceville; Margie Gill and Kelli Oglesby of Buford; Ric Torres
and Randy Wirth, Grayson, Andrea Ide, Suwanee; Carrol Lewallen,
Duluth, and Adam Underwood, Bethlehem.
The students made history as part of GGC's charter graduating class,
just two years after the institution opened its doors on Aug. 18,
The pioneer students who have helped set the foundation and shape
the future of Georgia Gwinnett College-the nation's first public,
four-year college founded in the 21st century-graduated June 28,
hearing Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle deliver the inaugural commencement
- 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
grants "home rule" for counties, cities
The Georgia Constitution specifically provides for "home
rule" for counties and municipalities. While county home
rule is constitutionally prescribed, cities may be granted the same
right by the state legislature. In both cases the county or city
is authorized to adopt "clearly reasonable ordinances, resolutions,
or regulations . . . for which no provision has been made by general
law and which is not inconsistent with" the Constitution of
Georgia. They are prohibited, however, from acting in nine areas:
- elective offices and salaries;
- elections and appointments;
- criminal law;
- any form of taxation not authorized by the constitution or state
- activities otherwise regulated by the Georgia Public Service
- restriction on eminent domain (taking of private property for
- the courts;
- the public schools; and
- private or civil relationships.
They are granted specific "supplementary powers" in sixteen
On the simplest level, home rule is just local self-government.
What constitutes this self-government, however, is a matter of some
dispute. The core principle is that local authorities or populations
seek a measure of freedom from the state legislature. Since states
are unitary systems (all powers reside at the state level; cities,
counties, and special districts are mere tools of the state), such
freedom often is an illusion. States may require local governments
to perform certain duties and revoke the charters of those who refuse
to fulfill these directives. At its most basic, then, home rule
is only the ability of local governments to draft and adopt their
Home rule is one of several proposals of "good government"
groups that originated toward the end of the nineteenth century
and the beginning of the twentieth. State legislatures in particular
were seen as hopelessly corrupt and controlled by predatory business
interests. Home rule was seen as a way to break this power and corruption
and provide at least some services to local populations. Beginning
in the state of Missouri in 1875, cities gradually were granted
home rule. Shortly afterward, counties also were granted home rule.
(To be continued)
Bad things help build
you up to be what's intended
"Things don't go wrong and break your heart so you can become
bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you
up so you can be all that you were intended to be."
-- Samuel Johnson, via Roy McCreary, Dacula.
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