WIKA saves by reducing water consumption
by 70 percent
Special to GwinnettForum
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Aug. 1, 2008 -- Metro Atlanta-based WIKA Instrument
Corporation (WIKA) has reduced water consumption at its Lawrenceville
pressure and temperature gauge manufacturing facility by almost
70 percent from its April/May 2007 peak usage of 60,300 gallons
per workday to its June 2008 usage of only 18,500 gallons per workday.
Last fall, a three-person project team of managers implemented water
reduction methods that would conserve water and save money. The
return on investment on implementations to date will be realized
in less than one year's time. The amount of water saved is estimated
at 10.5 million gallons annually, enough to fill more than 16 Olympic-sized
The most dramatic solution implemented was the installation of industrial
"chillers" that cool the re-circulating water that cools
the facility's 15 resistance and conductive soldering stations.
WIKA installed a "chiller" on another component in its
factory that cools water from a washing operation. The firm also
installed a number of waterless urinals in its men's restrooms.
Delaine S. Gray, communications manager of the Gwinnett Chamber
of Commerce for its August 2008 FOCUS newsletter, wrote on WIKA's
campaign to reduce its water usage. Her comments follow.
To carry out the project a team was formed consisting of Erich Berninger,
director of manufacturing; Cathy Bochenek, environmental health
and safety manager; and Peter Braun, facility manager.
Bochenek commented that the company implemented the water reduction
project to be pro-active and to see what they could do to alleviate
the water crisis. He said: "To create a starting point for
the project, our team looked at WIKA's big water usages and ways
we could reduce or eliminate water usages."
The team looked at everything from extending vacation time and
collecting rain water to underground tanks and well drilling. They
eventually settled on adding chillers to some of their machinery.
"We ultimately went with the least expensive option that would
have the fastest outcome," said Bochenek. "Through research,
we discovered that adding chillers at different operations would
have a return on investment in less than a year."
WIKA's Facility Manager, Peter Braun, explained that their company
does soldering which requires the use of a lot of water. Installing
chillers in the soldering process enables them to circulate and
reuse water and because it is a closed system, water evaporation
is eliminated as well.
The installation of chillers in their production has paid off immensely
in dollars and in water reduction. "We looked at our June water
billing statement and compared it to last year. The results were
tremendous," said Bochenek. "Last year at this time we
peaked at 60,300 gallons of water per workday. June's statement
showed that we used less than 18,500 gallons per workday, which
is almost a 70 percent reduction!"
Along with increased production, the water reduction project has
also helped to increase awareness with WIKA employees. "This
project has shown our employees, and hopefully the community too,
that we all have to do our part in helping to reduce water usages,"
said Braun. "By seeing the efforts the company is making to
reduce water usages, our employees see that WIKA cares about them
and the environment."
Braun encourages other companies to look at ways they can reduce
their water usage. "We realized that we all needed to do our
part and we could not have been happier with the results of our
water reduction project. The payback has been great and it has allowed
our company to be a good corporate citizen."
Sad time when local Philharmonic says no coming
Editor and Publisher
AUG. 1, 2008 -- Despite there being a continuing appetite for classical
music in Gwinnett
.despite key underwriters continuing to support
the Gwinnett Philharmonic Association
.and despite there being
no other professional orchestra in Gwinnett
.the 2008-09 orchestra
season has been cancelled.
The move is a tremendous blow to the cultural life of Gwinnett
County. It produces a deep pit in your stomach, and will make others
wonder about our county. "Don't they care? -- we can hear the
How can a community as progressive and forward-thinking as Gwinnett
not have a 14th professional classical music season? How can the
community fail to support what has been viewed as a major cultural
attraction, one worthy of a progressive community? What will it
take to get the Philharmonic back up and running?
A big infusion of cash will help. But that doesn't seem on the
The Philharmonic Board, which up until recently always saw the
funding was in place before each season, failed to meet its 2007-08
budget of $198,000. It fell short by nearly $70,000. Yet it found
ways to keep the performances going this past season, by manipulating
the season, and having less manpower on stage for performances.
Faced with mounting professional costs for the upcoming season,
the Board decided there were insufficient funds to go forward. That
decision came on July 23.
The Board has continuing support at the same level from its two
major sponsors, Primerica and Cisco Systems. However, the Association
found greatly reduced support from other sponsors, no doubt because
of the economy.
So, they cancelled the season, saying: "It has become necessary
to 'declare success' for the Gwinnett Philharmonic, and at the same
time, effectively close this chapter in the arts history of Gwinnett.
The board of Directors is convinced that new chapters will be written
in the ongoing history of performing arts in Gwinnett. The board
is unanimous in indicating its support for other emerging initiatives
that will seek new ways to encourage the presentation of professional
performing arts. Especially promising among these initiatives are
the efforts being made through Partnership Gwinnett."
The statement raises questions.
- Does Gwinnett want to accept the board's declaration of success,
and leave it at that?
- Does Gwinnett, with all its mass of people, nearing 800,000,
want no local professional orchestra of its own giving performances?
- Is the economy so bad that we must accept this?
- Will no one or group come forth to fill the gap?
This is a serious blow to a maturing community. Gwinnett has been
able to handle most aspects of its changing life far better than
other areas in the past. The county is considered progressive and
enlightened. It has developed an exemplary cadre of non-profit organizations
that add zest and creativity to community cultural life. And yes,
many people understand that the arts play a key ingredient of the
quality of life issue.
It's understood that in the immediate future, there will be the
greatest transfer of wealth than our community has ever seen before.
That transfer could help put organizations such as the Philharmonic
on a more sound footing, and provide these enrichment groups with
many local presentations of cultural activities.
Gwinnett should not stand for losing this highly-regarded pillar
of the community, its professional orchestra!
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few earmarks for Georgia, state will have tougher time
Editor, the Forum:
Now that five of Georgia's seven Republican congressmen have sworn
off "earmarks," the Peach State will have a tougher time
winning federal dollars for important projects.
It is a shame, but it is a very necessary evil because of the over-spending
of the Clinton and Bush administrations.
-- Roy McCreary, Dacula
Dear Roy: Pardon me Roy, and I hear you. But
I saw a graph in the newspaper last week that said the last time
we ran a budget surplus was just before the second Mr. Bush went
Laments sad state
of voter turnout in country's primaries
Editor, the Forum:
In Utah's recent Republican primary, seven-term Congressman Chris
Cannon, seen as soft on illegal immigration, was ousted by challenger
Jason Chaffetz, despite Cannon's 7-1 spending advantage. Chaffetz
won the primary with 60 percent and will probably coast to victory
in November in the Provo-area district. This contest was said to
shock the political establishment.
What is disturbing is that only a little under 10 percent of registered
Republican voters bothered to vote in the primary. You could say
that Chaffetz received a little under 6 percent of the vote to a
little under 4 percent for Cannon, with more than 90 percent abstaining.
Yep, 60 percent of the vote but less than 6 percent of the eligible
vote wins. And this is Utah, with high education levels and generally
high voter awareness, but apparently not this time.
Many citizens whine that they have poor choices or almost no choices
on the ballot. This is a frequent complaint. Sometimes this is true
of general elections, but in primaries, voters usually have an assortment
of candidates or candidates with an assortment of views. It takes
a little study and some awareness of issues to make an informed
choice and apparently it is too much trouble for a majority of the
people. They usually wait until November and push a D or an R---a
lot easier than thinking.
Obviously, your vote carries a lot more weight in primaries than
in general elections. People seem to wake up in late October. In
Georgia, we had only about 19 percent of registered voters turn
out in the recent primary. Some predict the Georgia runoff will
have 5 percent or so bothering to vote.
Sometimes long political careers begin in this fashion, which can
give us some long-serving political accidents. Isn't this amazing,
-- Marshall Miller, Lilburn
Dear Marshall: It's worse than that in Gwinnett
for the run-off primaries. If only 13 percent came out for the
vote on July 15, will even half that amount come out for the runoff,
where you have in the Republican Party two slots on the county
commission at stake, including the chairmanship? Even if 10 percent
came to vote, that means that someone could be nominated for a
four year term with five percent of the vote! --eeb
Editor, the Forum:
Yours continues to be provocative, substantive material in an era
-- Craig Spinks, Evans, Ga.
auto salesman's approach
Another great cartoon from Bill McLemore:
annual women's Legacy Awards coming Aug. 23
On August 23, United Way Women's Legacy in Gwinnett will host is
fifth Annual Legacy Awards Event at Chateau Élan. The 2008
signature event is a fashion show which will also honor Gwinnett
women for their exemplary contributions in the areas of time, talent,
treasure and legacy commitment to the community.
The annual event raises money through ticket sales, raffle items
and sponsorships. Since its inception in 2004, the Legacy Awards
Event has raised more than $175,000 benefiting more than 37 Gwinnett
County based nonprofit agencies. This year's proceeds will continue
to support nonprofit agencies throughout Gwinnett County.
The 2008 Legacy Award honorees are:
- Nancy Amestoy (Time): For more than 20 years, she has
opened her heart and home to people dealing with addiction, mental
illness, old age, and homelessness. Currently, she is caring for
a female stroke victim who has breast cancer and is also mentally
- Laura Moore (Talent): In 2001, she founded the first
Dream House for Medically Fragile Children in Lilburn. The education,
home renovation and equipment support services have served 815
families caring for 796 medically fragile children in 37 of 159
- Sheila Stevens (Treasure): In 2001, she organized a tennis
tournament and raised $22,000. Today, what started as a tennis
tournament has expanded to ten area clubs, with net proceeds to
date of more than $800,000.
- Sharon Bartels (Legacy): President of Gwinnett Technical
College, she wears many different hats in the community including
serving on civic and nonprofit boards in leadership capacities,
while demonstrating to others through a 'lead by example approach'
the importance of volunteerism.
The mission of United Way Women's Legacy in Gwinnett, founded in
1999, is to mobilize women to become powerful philanthropists through
leadership, fundraising and advocacy.
Gwinnett announces new class members
Senior Leadership Gwinnett announces the members of the 2008-09
class of its leadership program, which is sponsored by Gwinnett
The class consists of 26 seniors from across Gwinnett County who
will begin the nine-month program with their first session on September
17 at the Pierce Park Senior Center in Suwanee.
Members of the 2008-09 class are: Roger Blais, Lawrenceville; Margaret
Cain, Buford; Larry Christopher, Peachtree Corners; Sal DeGaetano,
Snellville; Zach Doppel, Lilburn; Gary Galloway, Monroe; Herbert
George, Lawrenceville; James Gillespie, Grayson; Margo Hunt, Lilburn;
Richard Gray, Lawrenceville; Joanne Johnson, Lawrenceville; Carol
Lee, Snellville; Tom Long; Braselton; Joe Markham, Loganville; Debbie
Mason, Norcross; Gloria McGuire, Suwanee; Margaret Morgan, Gainesville;
Julia Nash, Lilburn; Brenda Pruitt, Buford; Ann Sechrist, Snellville;
Navin Shah, Duluth; Don Smith, Grayson; Tom Stratton, Snellville;
Jackie Thornberry, Lilburn; Ron Weber, Lawrenceville; and Charles
Senior Leadership Gwinnett offers people age 55 and older an opportunity
to interact with others across the county, find out what is happening
in this county, and apply what they learn in finding ways to make
the county a better place to live. Classes are limited to 30 members
Partnership cites accomplishments
during its first year
Forty new expansions and 2,900 new jobs set the tone for Gwinnett's
Economic and Community Development Summit today. Partnership Gwinnett,
the community and economic development initiative for the area,
celebrated its one-year anniversary with a series of progress updates
on each of its four goals, presented to the public by various regional,
national and local leaders and experts.
Kerry Armstrong of Duke Realty Corporation, the initiative's 2008
chairman, says: "Affecting positive change is what Partnership
Gwinnett is all about. With a difficult economy invading every aspect
of life, it is more important than ever that we have a plan for
success and stability and that is what Partnership Gwinnett has
done. It has led proactive efforts to create jobs, maximize education
and workforce potential, improve overall quality of life and tell
Gwinnett's story to the world."
Already, in its first year, the initiative has accomplished several
key goals and objectives including, but not limited to:
- Forty companies relocated or expanded major new facilities in
Gwinnett resulting in 2,900 new jobs for the County.
- Completed two major competitive projects using the County's
incentive ordinance - bringing in over $150 million in capital
- Hired 10 new professionals to carry out Partnership Gwinnett
goals and objectives.
- Conducted over 200 existing industry visits.
- Counseled more than 150 Gwinnett companies in the Small Business
- Raised $8.15 million of its five-year, $10 million goal.
- Led a regional effort to brand and cluster life science assets
in the "Innovation Crescent" - reaching from downtown
Atlanta to Athens.
- Launched the new "Success Lives Here" campaign for
Gwinnett, heightening awareness among regional, national and global
audiences through a series of advertisements and editorials in
garner Jackson EMC Round Up grants
Four Gwinnett County non-profits have been awarded a total of $50,000
in grants by the Jackson EMC Foundation, funded by the EMC's members
who participate in the Operation Round Up program. They include:
- Spectrum Autism Support Group, $15,000 grant for its summer
camp program. The Grayson parent-run non-profit provides support,
education and resources for the entire spectrum of autism disorders
through monthly meetings, a website and listserv.
- Meet the Need Ministry, an organization that assists men who
need a helping hand, has been awarded a $15,000 grant. The ministry
helps meet the needs of men who find themselves homeless, hungry,
in bondage to addictions, or who just need a helping hand.
- Next Stop, a Lawrenceville grassroots program providing special
needs young adults with vital social interaction, recreational
and life skill learning opportunities has been awarded a $15,000
grant. Next Stop provides a program that enhances the lives of
mild to moderately disabled young adults with opportunities for
friendship, fun and personal growth. The program currently serves
27 young adults, with 13 volunteers.
- The Northeast Atlanta Ballet Ensemble of Lilburn, $5,000 to
help fund classical ballet performances for area school and home-schooled
Funded by Jackson EMC members' contributions to the Operation Round
Up program, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.6 million to
date through 226 grants to organizations and 102 grants to individuals.
Operation Round Up rounds up electric bills of participating members
to the next dollar amount, using the spare change to do charitable
Any individual or charitable organization in the ten counties served
by Jackson EMC may apply for Foundation funding by completing a
grant application, available online at http://www.jacksonemc.com/Guidelines-for-Funding.106.0.html
or at local Jackson EMC offices. Applicants need not be a member
of Jackson EMC.
- 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
artist St. EOM creates distinctive art style
The self-taught artist and Georgia native St.
EOM established the visionary art site Pasaquan in the mid-1950s.
Located (near Buena Vista, near Columbus) in Marion County, Pasaquan
is maintained and operated today by the Pasaquan Preservation Society,
which assumed full ownership of the site in 2003.
St. EOM was born Eddie Owens Martin on July 4, 1908, in Marion
County to Lydia Pearl and Julius Roe Martin, a sharecropper. In
1922, seeking to escape the rural life of his parents, he left home
and ultimately moved to New York City, where he began to study art
in the city's museums and libraries.
After living in New York for about a decade, Martin had a series
of visions while suffering from a high fever. In his visions, three
"people of the future" from a place called Pasaquan selected
him to depict, through art, a peaceful future for human beings.
After receiving these visions, Martin began to call himself St.
EOM. According to St. EOM, the Pasaquan messengers instructed him
to "return to Georgia and do something." His response
was the establishment of Pasaquan, a visionary art site that he
began building around 1955.
Covering seven acres in Marion County, the Pasaquan artscape includes
six buildings, the oldest of which is a late-19th-century farmhouse.
Both the interior and exterior walls of the structures are painted
in vibrant colors and bold patterns, often incorporating human figures
and nature imagery. The buildings are connected by painted concrete
walls, which often feature raised sculptural elements. More than
2,000 pieces of St. EOM's artwork, including paintings, sculptures,
and drawings, are also housed at Pasaquan.
St. EOM, who committed suicide in April 1986, bequeathed Pasaquan
to the Marion County Historical Society. Six years later the historical
society formed the Pasaquan Preservation Society, which continues
to preserve and develop the site for public display. The Marion
County Historical Society also arranged for the placement of St.
EOM's work in a number of museums around the country, including
the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.; the American
Folk Art Museum in New York City, and the Los Angeles County Museum
of Art in California. In Georgia, St. EOM's work is part of the
collections at the Albany Museum of Art in Albany and the High Museum
of Art in Atlanta.
Despite its many shortcomings,
practical intelligence rules
"America demonstrates invincibly one thing that I had doubted
up to now: that the middle classes can govern a State. ... Despite
their small passions, their incomplete education, their vulgar habits,
they can obviously provide a practical sort of intelligence and
that turns out to be enough."
-- French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville, (1805-1859).
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