GGC offering non-traditional English
for USA newcomers
Merri M. Brantley
Special to GwinnettForum
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Sept. 16, 2008 -- Bhaumik Rao didn't speak
a word of English when he arrived in the United States from India
six years ago. While he could converse with his friends when he
entered Georgia Gwinnett College last fall, his vocabulary, writing
and grammar skills were not up to par with his peers. In stepped
Mary Greiss-Shipley, director of the GGC Student Success Programs.
Today Bhaumik speaks English as well as any other student at the
Bhaumik, 19, says: "The Student Success Program was very beneficial
to me. My writing is better. I read and comprehend what I'm reading
now, and my vocabulary has improved." An information technology
major, he hopes to one day own his own business.
Bhaumik is one of more than 100 students who has benefitted from
the Student Success Programs through English for Academic Purposes
(EAP)----better known as English for Speakers of other Languages
(ESL)---a course for high school graduates who are non-native speakers
of English and lack fluency in academic English.
His friend Kathy Cheng, 18, who is a sophomore at GGC as well, benefitted
from the Student Success classes.
A native of China, Kathy has lived in the United States since she
was six, and if you talk with her, she sounds like any other college
student in Georgia, complete with the hint of a Southern accent.
She didn't, however, score as high as she would have liked on her
placement exams and opted to take the EAP class and another English
course that focuses on communications skills.
Kathy, who chose her American name at age eight, lives at home with
her parents who don't speak any English, only Mandarin Chinese.
She says that going back and forth between English with her friends
and Chinese with her parents made it difficult for her to become
proficient in either language. She feels that after taking the student
success classes her English is much improved and she is a better
"The classes are small and there is a great deal of individual
attention," the business major says. "The EAP class really
concentrated on the basics, and I believe it helped me when I took
my college English courses. I would give it a good review."
The English classes are a two-class sequence designed to help students
build a strong foundation for their academic efforts by focusing
on the core concepts and skills of written communication and argument.
The reading classes are designed to provide an innovative, multidisciplinary,
individualized flexible curriculum that prepares students for academic
study and inspires them to accomplish personal goals as life-long
learners. The Student Success Programs were developed to support
the student as a whole person, academically, socially and personally
in preparation for success in a global society.
Dr. Greiss-Shipley says that the Student Success Programs at GGC
are designed to support and enhance students' academic, intellectual
and social development, and to promote their retention and graduation.
"We are committed to the principle of promoting successful
ongoing academic and life skills to a diverse student population
regardless of their academic or life preparation. Student Success
Programs value academic excellence, individualized quality service
and community outreach."
Germany finds "feed-in tariffs"
help boost alternative energy
Editor and Publisher
SEPT. 16, 2008 -- The problem with $4 a gallon gasoline? When it
comes down to $3.57, you think you have a bargain.
* * * * *
You're going to be hearing more about a new wrinkle in Germany,
the "feed-in tariffs" and green energy. (In at least one
state, South Carolina, it's called "net metering.") And,
though some say radical, the concept sounds promising.
One guy, Rep. Jay Inslee, a Democrat from the State of Washington,
says: "We've had two great exports from Germany: sauerkraut
and the feed-in tariff." (Ooops, has he never heard of German
beer? But we digress!)
A feed-in tariff is a way that savvy tinkerers, small businessmen
and entrepreneurs can sell the excess electrical energy they produce
to the national grid at a guaranteed price, and in the process reduce
the overall electrical capacity. This new source of energy comes
from small to medium size producers who harness the wind, sun or
even cow manure in innovative ways to produce workable, transferable
While it sounds like far-out plans, in Germany this so-called green
energy has grown since 2000 from 6 percent to 14 percent of the
market, a rate of growth Germany did not expect until 2010. And
realize this takes place in Germany, despite its cloudy climate.
Germany now has half the world's output in solar generation capacity.
This new output comes from a three-step process stimulated by the
feed-in tariffs, an incentive to increase renewal energy output.
Here's what is required:
1. Allowing green energy producers access to the electrical grid.
2. Giving these producers long-term contracts, usually for 15-20
years, at above-market rates.
3. Buying all electricity generated by qualified renewable sources.
In other countries, including the United States, traditional methods
used to encourage green energy have dealt with tax credits, which
favor large companies with high up-front costs. Comparative studies
maintain that feed-in tariffs are more effective in encouraging
renewable energy production as this comes from smaller producers
who harness innovation to produce their power.
Germany has had amazing success with this "green" concept.
Since 2004, employment in the green energy field has nearly doubled,
from 160,000 to 300,000 persons. It's expected to become Germany's
number one sector employer by 2010.
It should not be surprising that the electrical energy companies
are not infatuated with feed-in tariffs. This forces utilities to
pay subsidized, above-market rates, which eventually means higher
energy costs. Yet these same utilities have too much invested in
their current infrastructure to invest in such experiments, and
will not spend the time, more or energy to seek unique solutions.
The environmentalists love the feed-in tariff idea. They point
out that such tariffs produce better results at a lower cost than
other methods. An unexpected benefit is that feed-in tariffs seem
to have caught the fancy of a lot of people, who enthusiastically
supply capital financing to these projects. Feed-in tariffs drive
investment into renewable energy, producing many side benefits and
raising the profile of such projects.
In Germany, the big gains from this that that nation has made is
partially funded by a $4 a month extra cost per household for electrical
Those feeding energy to the grid might have solar panels on top
of their houses, which produces more energy than the house needs.
Or in the town of Dardesheim, a small town in eastern Germany, there
are so many windmills that they feed energy to power more than 10,000
It almost goes without saying it: if Germany can do it, why can't
the much bigger geographically United States, with far more sunshine
days than sometimes gloomy Germany, harness the different renewal
sources and generate much more green power?
Feed-in tariffs may be the way. Now you'll know what it is when
you hear it discussed!
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
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Through quality production and high safety standards, it strives
to be the best contractor possible, while continuing to be a positive
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available at www.ersnell.com.
with county promoting only purebred dogs
Disagrees with County Promoting Only Purebred Dogs
Editor, the Forum:
In response to Randy
DeCarlo's article, I too disagree with any affiliation of local
government and the AKC promotion of purebred dogs. Gwinnett County
should be promoting "adopt a shelter pet" and responsible
pet guardianship together! Many animals at our local shelter are
there because of irresponsible pet guardians. A high percentage
of the animals there are healthy, young, and friendly---just waiting
to be adopted.
Last time I looked, Gwinnett County had a 50 percent euthanasia
rate at their local animal shelter. And let's not forget our tax
dollars fund euthanasia. I personally do not want my dollars to
fund the death of any animal in a county shelter that could, theoretically,
be prevented. That is why I try to give back to the community through
One last thought: pet overpopulation is created by people, not pets.
Until people are made to take responsibility for their animals through
mandatory spaying and neutering of their pets, by keeping their
pets contained either on a leash or in a fenced in yard, and lastly
by simply not treating pets as commodities that can be given up
or exchanged at any time, we, the people, will be euthanizing millions
of more animals in this country for decades, perhaps centuries,
It looks like Gwinnett County is a leader in contributing towards
this cause by promoting the purchase of purebred dogs!
-- Leigh Ann Dickey, Buford
Dear Leigh Ann: We are among those who have adopted
an animal from a shelter. We've had him over three years now.
Hercules is 18 pounds, and perhaps distinctive breed of his own.
At least the back end looks like a Jack Russell, though we are
puzzled at our dog Herky's front end. Maybe someone can help.
One thing for sure: he's a wonderful dog and would be a solid
example of a good shelter adoption.
Club to hear traffic expert at Sept. 18 meeting
For all the talk of traffic meltdown in metro Atlanta, there are
positive transportation trends within the city itself. Join the
Greater Gwinnett Group of the Sierra Club Thursday, September 18,
as Lee Biola, president of Citizens for Progressive Transit, a grassroots
organization advocating balanced transportation solutions for metro
Atlanta, speaks to the group about how metro Atlanta and other regions
of the state can solve many of their problems without state money.
The meeting will be at the Willowrun Condominiums' Clubhouse at
1015 Country Court, Lawrenceville. For more information, contact
Tom Morrissey at email@example.com
or call (404) 513-4069.
Green to host Georgia State Jazz Quintet
A community concert in Snellville featuring the Georgia State Jazz
Quintet is set for October 18 at 7 p.m. on the Snellville City Center
Cooperating in sponsoring the event is the Snellville Commerce
Club, the Snellville Downtown Development Authority, Evermore Community
Improvement District and the Tri- City Times. The master of ceremonies
will be Jackie Ginn, who suggests residents "celebrate the
city and all that jazz."
Residents are encouraged to bring their blankets, chairs and coolers
and enjoy the concert. No alcoholic beverages will be permitted.
Deadline for Suwanee
Citizens Police Academy is Oct. 2
Classes for the next City of Suwanee Citizens Police Academy begin
October 2. The program offers residents and business owners a fun,
exciting way to get a glimpse behind the badge and to develop a
better understanding of the issues, tactics, and risks associated
with law enforcement.
The deadline for notarized applications is Friday, September 26;
applications are available online at www.suwanee.com in the Hot
Links section. Participants must be at least 19 years old; preference
is given to Suwanee residents or those who work in the City of Suwanee.
For more information, contact Sgt. Elias Casanas at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 770/945-4607, ext. 327.
Program Graduate Sandy York feels: "The Citizens Police Academy
was fantastic! The simulated traffic stops and empty building searches
were great fun. The ride-alongs were my favorite. An enlightening
experience for the average Joe."
Weekly classes begin at 6:30 p.m. and will run over an eight-week
period through November 20. Classes cover a variety of topics, including
crime scene processing, traffic stops, responding to burglary calls,
crime prevention, and narcotics identification.
Tech offers ground source heat pump workshop
When it comes to energy conservation, homeowners may have to dig
deep to save money -- literally. Recovering ground source heat to
power home heating and air conditioning can save the average home
owner hundreds of dollars annually.
Home owners will need an expertly installed ground source heat
pump to make it all work - and Gwinnett Tech is now offering the
state's only course to train and accredit professionals to install
The Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Accredited Installer Training
will be offered for the first time by Gwinnett Tech's Continuing
Education Division from October 16 - 18, enabling heating and air
conditioning (HVAC) professionals to offer a low maintenance, economical
and environmentally-friendly alternative to their customers.
Although this technology is not new, current energy pricing and
the fear of continued dependence on fossil fuels are driving efforts
to utilize alternative and renewable energy sources, such as ground
source heat. Ground source heat is clean, renewable and readily
The three-day workshop will be led by two Gwinnett Tech instructors
accredited to teach this technology, who have more than 50 years
of combined experience. The course is designed for GSHP developers,
architects, installers, HVAC contractors, trenching/drilling contractors,
and others interested in this innovative technology.
Gwinnett Tech offers a hands-on approach to training made possible
by access to two fully functional labs. Equipment and systems from
multiple manufacturers are used so participants are familiar with
a broad range of the products available.
Upon successful completion of the workshop, students are prepared
to take the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA)
installer's exam to earn accreditation as an installer for GSHP
systems. Participants that successfully complete this course and
the exam will earn a three-year membership/accreditation with IGSHPA.
The course cost of $898 includes the three-year membership fee,
the final exam testing fee, the IGSHPA study guide, and the IGSHPA
text book developed for this program.
For more information on the Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Accredited
Installer Training course, call 770-995-9697 or register online
Braselton seeks vendors
for Antique and Holiday Festival
Organizers of the October 25-26 Braselton Antique and Holiday Festival
are seeking vendors.
Staged in the Braselton Park, the semi-annual event draws thousands
of visitors and festival patrons. It will feature a variety of antiques,
holiday arts and crafts and fall/winter gardening and floral displays.
Vendors may contact Richard Orcutt at 706.824-7204 for additional
- 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
Award for Humanities began in 1986
The State of Georgia inaugurated the Governor's
Awards for the Humanities in 1986. Through the initiative of
Governor Joe Frank Harris, the Georgia Humanities Council was designated
as the convener and organizer of this annual event, which recognizes
outstanding contributions to the humanities. Georgia's program is
among the first of its kind in the nation.
Spalding and Harris
Georgia's governor's awards also are occasion for the presentation
of the Annual Humanities Lecture, delivered before a public audience
in Atlanta. Past speakers include poet laureates David Bottoms and
Bettie Sellers, historians Dan Carter, James Cobb, and Phinizy Spalding,
theologian Robert Franklin, National Endowment for the Humanities
chairman William Ferris, literary scholar Virginia Spencer Carr,
and other distinguished thinkers and writers.
Since the inception of the Governor's Awards in the Humanities,
161 Georgians and 34 institutions have been recognized for their
contributions to the enrichment and diffusion of ideas among the
people of Georgia. Recipient institutions include museums, historical
societies, libraries, foundations, businesses, journals, media,
and programs. The governor's award recognizes institutions for the
scope and cumulative impact of their work, their exemplary efforts
to promote greater public awareness and appreciation of the humanities,
and their service to Georgia's communities and the state.
Institutional award winners include the Massie Heritage Center
in Savannah, Augusta Museum of History, Historic Augusta, the Georgia
Sea Island Singers, and the Chattahoochee Review. The Governor's
Awards in the Humanities is a unique way of bringing recognition
to the often "unsung heroes" in Georgia's communities,
those who rarely seek attention for their efforts; but because of
these efforts, the lives of Georgia's citizens are enriched.
Sometimes, the best
ones you really never know about
"The height of cleverness is being able to conceal it."
-- French writer and moralist Frantois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld,
1613-1680), via Roy McCreary, Dacula
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