Duluth Police underway with second
Honor Salute Ride
Special to GwinnettForum
DULUTH, Ga., Sept. 5, 2008 -- The City of Duluth has long been
recognized as one of the most patriotic cities in America. One of
Duluth's hallmarks is displaying the American flags alongside the
names of deceased local veterans each Memorial Day and Armistice
The city has often shown support for the people that serve in military.
In 2007, the Duluth Police Department sponsored the first Honor-Salute
Ride (bicycle) from Ft. Bragg, N.C. to MacDill AFB, Fla. with six
cyclists (two Duluth police officers and four Special Operations
soldiers) in the 860 mile journey. Duluth officers working with
the Operation One Voice, a local non-profit supporting fallen and
wounded Special Operations Forces, donated the six Trek road bikes
at the completion of the first event.
The Duluth Police Department today has begun the Honor-Salute Ride
to coincide with Patriot's Day. This year the mileage is increased
to 1,150 miles as the Honor Ride Team will kick-off from Little
Because of current hurricane-threatening conditions, the Honor Ride
Team will bike ceremonial rides at Little Creek, Va. and Fort Bragg,
N.C. today (September 5). Then in the afternoon, the bikers will
be transported from Fort Bragg to Duluth. On September 8, 2008,
in Duluth the team will resume the route. After the team leaves
Duluth, it will be pedaling all the rest of the way to MacDill AFB.
Departing dates and locations:
- Sept. 5, 7:30 a.m.: Little Creek, Va.
- Sept. 5, 2:30 p.m., Fort Bragg, N.C.
- Sept. 8. 7:15 a.m., Duluth at the Gwinnett Civic Center.
- Sept. 9, 7:30 a.m., Fort Benning, Ga.
- Sept. 10, 7:15 a.m., Tallahassee, Fla.
- Sept. 11, 7:15 a.m., Chiefland, Fla.
Arrival at MacDill is scheduled about 2:30 on Sept. 11. On Sept.
12, the team will ceremonially finish a distance of 1.2 miles to
a Special Operation Forces Memorial, and have a short ceremony marking
the completion of the ride. Most of the day¹s rides will average
This year¹s event will honor Lt. Michael Murphy, a U.S. Navy
Seal and Medal of Honor recipient. Lt. Murphy was one of three Navy
Seals who lost their lives as part of a four-man special reconnaissance
team during Operation Red Wing in Afghanistan. Lt. Bill Stevens
of the Duluth Police says "Anyone that has read the story about
Michael Murphy and this mission will easily understand why we chose
to honor him with this year's Honor Ride." The incident was
the largest loss of Naval seals on one day.
With the shortened route, the Honor Ride cyclists will cover the
approximately 540 miles during four days. Throughout the ride, one
or two cyclists will be on the ground at a time. The team will stay
overnight at locations along the route. The team will be escorted
by Duluth and Cleveland, Ga. police with state police and other
agencies assisting throughout the route.
For additional information or to arrange interviews along the route
contact Lt. Bill Stevens at the Duluth Police by calling 770 329-8514
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite added cost, minor league baseball
Editor and Publisher
SEPT. 5, 2008 -- Some naysayers seem pleased as punch that the
minor league baseball park that Gwinnett County is building has
encountered unexpected additional costs.
"See there. Told you so," so they say. They are happy
to be right that it's going to cost taxpayers more for the minor
league baseball stadium hosting the Atlanta Braves Class AAA team
While we're not happy that it'll cost more than originally projected,
we still feel the construction of the stadium will reap untold benefits
for the county.
In one way of thinking, there was almost an automatic increase
stemming from two factors: First, there is a limited time to build
the structure. Second, the facility, under these time constraints,
had to be a "design-as-you-build" project, which virtually
assures some added costs.
Throw in the economy going into a tailspin since the project was
announced, plus the much higher fuel costs since then, and there¹re
more added costs that were not expected.
Richard Tucker, chairman of the Gwinnett Convention and Visitor's
Bureau, which is overseeing the project, remembers building a similar
project, the Gwinnett Arena, saying:
"When we built the arena, from the day we started, we were
not on a time deadline. And we had the complete drawings in advance,
and could go out and bid a hard price. This time we did not have
the luxury of having the design and construction drawings, which
in the long run, cost us more."
* * * * *
Two items of quality in the higher cost plan we particularly are
pleased to see. One is the re-use of water to irrigate the playing
field, and to employ reuse water to flush toilets. This by its nature
meant that dual water lines would be required. Plans also call for
putting the storm water retention pond underground. That alone should
reduce silting (such as at Gwinnett Center, costing $2-3 million
over the years for mucking it out, rip-rap, etc.) It also allows
the parking lot to be near the stadium, since it will sit atop the
The second thing that appeals to me is that the ball park's concourse
will extend all the way around the stadium. With this addition,
it's much more friendly, allowing those sitting on the berms in
center field to gain access to the main part of the stadium without
having to go outside the gate. In lesser stadiums, the complete
concourse circumnavigation is not available.
Tucker feels that Gwinnettians want a handsome, turn-of-the-century
stadium, made of brick and stone, "and that costs money. It'll
look good, and be something for which Gwinnett can be proud,"
he maintains. "I would rather not have to come back and say
the ball park will cost more money, but I would rather do that than
for people to complain that the stadium is not up to the standards
that people in Gwinnett have come to depend on."
* * * * *
Meanwhile, the Class AAA franchise in Richmond that the Atlanta
Braves is moving to Gwinnett had their last game in that Virginia
city last week. Some 11,333 fans packed their park. Their average
attendance during the season was 4,334. Now Richmond is looking
for another major league team to locate a minor league team there,
with the talk being that the Washington Nationals might be interested!
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like comparison of Gov. Palin and Hillary Clinton
Editor, the Forum:
Please allow me to point out to Tom Fort (Feedback,
9/2/08 GwinnettForum) that the Kennedy vs. Nixon election
of 1960 was not an election where neither candidate had any real
"executive" experience. Richard Nixon was the former vice
president under President Eisenhower. Sen. Kennedy had no prior
"executive" experience, but yet handled himself with wisdom
and nerves of steel during the Cuban Missile crisis. President Kennedy
both averted nuclear confrontation with the former Soviet Union
while keeping the nation strong and secure.
To say a campaign that promises a brighter tomorrow through the
hard work and resolve of the American people is hardly irresponsible.
Choosing a vice presidential candidate who was assigned to you by
party leaders, and having met once for 15 minutes, is hardly responsible.
Senator Barack Obama's choice, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), is a man
well versed in foreign policy, well qualified to sit at the head
of a Senate committee, and indicates that Obama is thinking about
the job of vice president. Sen. John McCain¹s first choice
was Sen. Joe Lieberman; a former Democrat now independent senator
from Connecticut and Al Gore's VP candidate in 2000. Apparently
when GOP leaders tell him to pick an 18-month-sitting governor from
Alaska, McCain does so. In 2000 after George Bush questioned his
patriotism, McCain later supported Bush.
So Senators Olympia Snow (R-Me.) and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Tex.)
never were vetted for the position. And I¹m supposed to believe
Sarah Palin is akin to Hillary Clinton? The Sarah Palin, who was
first for the ³bridge to nowhere² and now against it;
who took all of the federal earmarked money designated for the bridge
and kept it for her state; who fired a state official who refused
to fire her sister¹s ex-husband?
Senator McCain has never taken any earmarks for Arizona and opposes
their existence. So how does Governor Palin work as both pandering
to the hard right wing of the Republican base while taking away
former Clinton voters from Senator Obama?
Hillary Clinton chose a career in law, not at the PTA. Mayor of
a town of 7,000 is hardly executive experience. Clinton is pro-choice
not anti-choice, and she only had one child while a career woman.
Clinton's only child, Chelsea, graduated from Stanford in 2001,
graduated with a Master's of International Relations at University
College Oxford. Chelsea has also been campaigning vigorously most
of the past year for her mother.
I would say at this point Hillary Clinton had raised her child.
Hillary did not have five children, four of them still living at
home, with both parents gone from the home working, something I
think is irresponsible as a parent.
Family values? Please do not compare Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton
or refer to Senator McCain's choice of the governor as anything
but his first error in judgment. We cannot afford four more years
of poor judgment and pandering.
-- Roger Hagan, Lilburn
The latest from Bill McLemore:
moves to extend McGinnis Ferry Road across I-85
Gwinnett County has approved two agreements that will keep planned
improvements to McGinnis Ferry Road on track.
One project will extend the road about two miles from its current
end at Satellite Boulevard near Suwanee across Interstate 85 to
Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. State and federal officials recently
approved the County¹s plan to make the McGinnis Road bridge
over I-85 wider and longer to accommodate future widening of I-85
and the possible addition of an interchange.
While an interchange is not approved at this time, the new bridge
over I-85 could accommodate one in the future. The $447,285 supplemental
agreement signed Tuesday with engineering firm PBS&J expands
the project scope to include the new I-85 bridge specifications
along with a smaller bridge over a Mill Creek tributary that is
expected to reduce construction costs by $300,000 compared to the
previously planned culvert.
The second agreement is with Georgia Power Company for just over
$1.7 million. It allows that company to begin moving transmission
lines away from construction that will replace the current two-lane
McGinnis Ferry Road bridge over the Chattahoochee River. The new
bridge will have four lanes like the roadway on both sides of the
Construction on both projects is expected to begin early next year.
Both agreements will be paid for with SPLOST revenues.
United Way kicks off
2008 campaign Sept. 12 in Duluth
United Way in Gwinnett County will host its first outdoor community
festival Saturday, September 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Duluth
Town Green to kick-off the United Way in Gwinnett County 2008 annual
Marsha Anderson-Bomar, president of Street Smarts and the United
Way in Gwinnett County 2008 campaign chair, says: "This event
is to help everyone experience the power they have to be part of
the strength of this community in a very fun way." This year
United Way launched a new brand platform LIVE UNITED. The Community
Challenge Festival asks the Gwinnett community to come out and be
a part of the change.
The United Way in Gwinnett 2007 County Campaign raised $4.7 million
for programs and services supporting United Way's efforts, Area
Director of United in Gwinnett County, Demetrius Jordan said, "Many
of the challenges we face as a community are simply too large and
too complicated for any one organization to solve. For this reason
donors, volunteers, and advocates working together on human care
issues that matter most are critical pieces to a successful United
One of the highlights of the festival will be the creation of Gwinnett's
largest ever photo collage. United Way asks that visitors bring
photos of themselves, their family and friends, even pets and any
part of your community that makes this county great. In the end,
the LIVE UNITED collage will reflect the diversity of Gwinnett County
and the caring power of the Gwinnett community. The day will be
filled with food, raffles, local musical performances, and family
entertainment. For more information about United Way and the LIVE
UNITED Gwinnett Community Challenge Festival contact Zaire Fletcher
at (404) 527-8808.
New transit system
diesel buses boost seat capacity
Gwinnett County Transit will buy new diesel buses to retire 35
old buses that run on compressed natural gas. The new buses will
also boost seating capacity by 69 percent without increasing operating
County commissioners decided Tuesday to put up $1.67 million to
cover the 10 percent local match required for the more than $16.7
million purchase. State funds from the Department of Transportation
will provide another 10 percent and federal funds will pay 80 percent.
The County expects the move to save at least $280,000 as its share
of $2.8 million in upcoming engine overhaul and maintenance costs.
The 35 new 57-passenger buses, manufactured by Motor Coach Industries,
Inc., will have a total of 1,995 seats compared to 1,183 seats on
the buses they will replace. The purchase also includes compatible
electronic fare boxes and manufacturing inspection and auditing
services required by federal contracts.
Gwinnett Transit Director Phil Boyd says: "We're getting better,
bigger buses and a lot more seats for all the folks who started
riding the bus when gas prices skyrocketed." The County announced
in July that express bus ridership rose 24 percent and local route
riders increased 26 percent between March and June.
North Georgia Hams
help Hurricane Gustav evacuees
North Georgia amateur radio operators (hams) were actively participating
in the coordination and operation of the Georgia shelters housing
those displaced by Hurricane Gustav.
Norm Schklar of Norcross, with the Georgia Section of the American
Radio Relay League, says that more than 500 people fleeing the Gustav
path made their way to Carroll, Gwinnett and Troup counties in Georgia,
with the hams providing communication for Red Cross centers. As
evacuees crossed into Georgia, hams at information centers assessed
the needs of each group, and radioed ahead to make shelter arrangements,
which smoothed the intake process. At right, LaGrange Shelter's
Connie Henlen and Chapter Exec John West discuss the process. (Photo
by Felix Rivera.)
- 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
UGA swim program
begun by Athens YMCA director
of Georgia (UGA) swim program was founded in 1926 by Athens
YMCA athletic director C. W. Jones. Over the next six decades the
program expanded to include diving and added a women's team in 1974.
In the 1990s the team became a consistent top finisher in the Southeastern
Conference (SEC) and a competitive power in the National Collegiate
Athletic Association (NCAA) championships. As of 2005, the men's
team has finished in the top 15 in the country every year since
1996; the women's team began placing in the top five in 1996 and
has won first or second at the NCAA championships every season since
In 1995 UGA opened the multimillion-dollar Ramsey Student Center
for Physical Activities. Inside, the 2,000-seat Gabrielsen Natatorium
contains state-of-the-art swimming facilities. The 844,000-gallon
50-meter competition pool has movable bulkheads allowing four different
configurations of the pool layout. The diving pool has nine diving
boards, of various heights and types, overlooking a 16.5-foot-deep
pool of 525,000 gallons and is equipped with an air sparger system
that cushions a diver's entry into the water.
The path of truth:
Ridicule, opposition and self-evident
"All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), via Jim Butler,
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