Unincorporated county residents to
get new waste service
Executive director, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful
Special to GwinnettForum
OCT. 14, 2008 -- A greener, more energy efficient Gwinnett is just
around the corner. On January 1, 2009, homeowners in unincorporated
Gwinnett will begin participating in the county's new solid waste
management plan. As part of the new plan, recycling in unincorporated
Gwinnett---approximately 180,000 households -- will more than double,
from 10 percent to 23 percent.
All residents will pay a standard fee for waste collection. Resident's
fees for waste collection have risen by 25-40 percent in the past
18 months. The current average for waste and recycling service,
including yard waste, is about $30 per month. In the future, we
anticipate that most residents will pay slightly lower fees for
garbage and enhanced recycling services. During the six-month transition
period (January 1-June 30), residents will pay their selected hauler
directly. Effective July 2009, residents will pay an annual fee
for waste collection on their property tax bills.
Our goal with the new waste management plan is to provide better
value for residents through maximum efficiency at minimum costs.
We have divided unincorporated Gwinnett into new service areas and
conducted a competitive process for qualified companies to compete
and be selected to provide garbage and recycling services to homes
in Gwinnett. To ensure that there is a balance between the delivery
of quality services, including excellent customer service and cost,
selected companies can serve no more than three service areas. Each
service area will have one stringently pre-screened service provider.
With only one waste hauler providing same-day service in a neighborhood,
there will be less traffic, air and noise pollution. Fewer trucks
on the roads mean increased fuel savings and less wear and tear
on our streets.
Waste haulers will provide each household with two wheeled 95-gallon
carts, one for trash and one for recyclables; curb-side service
will also include pickup of large items and appliances (mattresses,
old furniture , swing sets, etc) Neighborhoods will look more attractive
with uniform carts on the curb only one day a week.
With the new waste management plan, residents will be able to recycle
35 different type of items, a five-fold increase from the current
seven items picked up by haulers. The 20,000 homes that don't currently
have waste collection services will now have weekly trash and recyclables
Recycling will have a big impact. The reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions is equivalent to having 36,533 cars fewer cars on the
road annually. And increasing recycling to 23 percent will save
energy because it takes less energy to make new products from recovered
material (equivalent to the energy used by 14,610 homes a year).
Quality and reliability of service is our priority.
Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful has established GCB Services, Inc.,
a non-profit organization dedicated to implementing, administering
and monitoring the new waste management plan. Any provider not meeting
our strict service criteria and standards will be fined or have
their contracts terminated. Residents with questions, concerns or
complaints can contact a new web site and/or call center; both will
be fully operational before year-end.
We are currently negotiating with waste haulers that have applied
for service that meet our rigorous financial and service criteria.
Once contracts are signed, GCB Services will notify homeowners by
letter no later than early December about their area's selected
During the next several months, we will be meeting with neighborhood
and civic groups to provide information and answer questions. In
addition, our 50-citizen advisory panel will continue to solicit
After four years of input at public meetings, and through web and
phone surveys with Gwinnettians, we look forward to helping make
Gwinnett a cleaner and greener place to live, work and play.
As FDR said during Depression, all we have
to fear is fear itself
Editor and Publisher
OCT. 14, 2008 -- Though the Bush Administration has pushed a financial
rescue plan through the Congress and signed it into law, still confidence
lags in this country. On two occasions last week, President Bush
took to the Rose Garden to speak to the American people. Still he
did not calm the crisis, as bank stocks plummeted, and the people
Perhaps President Bush needed to borrow from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's
play book. On his first day on the job, FDR called a special session
of Congress, and declared a four-day bank holiday. He wanted to
give Congress time to pass legislation to calm the country. And
his bold move did just that, in the words of columnist Walter Lippman:
"In one week, the nation which had lost all confidence in everything
and everybody, has regained confidence in the government itself."
Here are FDR's words from his 1932 inaugural speech, where he uttered
a phrase familiar to us all even today:
"This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the
whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly
facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will
endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first
of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have
to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror
which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
Still in 2008, we should realize: "The only thing we have
to fear is fear itself."
So the first full day at work as president, FDR acted. He had come
to Washington after the president he succeeded, Herbert Hoover,
had written him a letter citing the dire straits the nation was
in. Roosevelt felt his first priority was to address the banking
crisis, to tell people their money was safe in banks, to calm the
nation. Within four days, Congress met, passed his measures, and
banks were allowed to open on the following Monday if they could
prove they were on solid ground. It's from this time that the Federal
Reserve Notes came into play, not the old silver certificates.
The banks had hoped that the FDR administration would nationalize
them, but the new Administration wanted to save the old system,
not change it. So FDR allowed the banks to open if sound, and the
government issued Federal Reserve notes based on the assets of each
bank. Some called the notes based on actual assets "money that
looked like money." The measure also allowed the Secretary
of the Treasury the power to "prevent gold hoarding and to
take over gold bullion and currency in exchange for paper,"
according to Arthur Schlesinger.
The bank holiday worked. While the country had to go through many
machinations before it became sound again, and many other efforts
were needed to bring the country out of the Depression, the fear
that the banking system would fail was gone. The hurdle was overcome
and the country was back on its way to being healed.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com
to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is the Aurora Theatre,
Gwinnett County's first choice for professional theatrical entertainment.
Celebrating their 13th year in Gwinnett, this crown jewel for the
performing arts is located on the square in Downtown Lawrenceville,
Aurora Theatre is committed to producing quality, professional theatre
for all of North Georgia. The 2008-2009 Season continues with Dracula
just in time for the Halloween and features main stage productions
of Christmas Canteen 2008 celebrating 13 Seasons of joy;
Corpse!, an edge of your seat thriller; The Glass Menagerie,
a classic southern drama; and Once On This Island, a Tony-Award
Winner whose island rhythms will get you ready for summer. At the
holidays enjoy the Festival of Trees in the lobby and additional
holiday programming including the one-man version of A Christmas
Carol. Additionally, you might have interest in our club comedy
series Funny Fridays or the brand New Swing Nights at Aurora with
the Metro Jazz Club. For young children ask about the Saturday Children's
Playhouse on select Saturday mornings at 10 a.m., while school age
children can learn from working professionals at Aurora Academy.
To purchase individual tickets, season tickets or for more information,
visit the new website at www.auroratheatre.com
or call 678-226-6222.
yes on thre constitutional amendments, plus SPLOST
Editor, the Forum:
Every two years, in the General Election in Georgia, the Legislature
has the authority to ask the voters of Georgia if they want to change
the Constitution in a statewide referendum, or "constitutional
amendments." This year is no exception. I have been told that
over the past 12 years, 40 percent of the people who vote for Governor
or President never vote on these important ballot amendments, mainly
because the politicians make them very confusing.
This year at the end of the ballot, you will see three Constitutional
Amendments. All three amendments were endorsed by The Atlanta Journal
and Constitution recently. Although I am one of the AJC's most severe
critics, the newspaper had one of the best explanations of these
three amendments last week. Please take a moment to read through
these and if you feel as though you need more information than is
provided here, please contact me and I will try my best to answer
your questions. To summarize the information below:
- Amendment 1 - Deals with preserving forests in Georgia with
the use of a property tax incentive program. Vote Yes. (Most of
this amendment applies mainly in southern Georgia.)
- Amendment 2 - Allows local school boards the choice to participate
to improve blighted property in redevelopment areas. Vote Yes.
(This amendment mainly will be used in Metro Atlanta including
Gwinnett. The Gwinnett School Board supports its passage). This
is a critical tool needed for revitalization of blighted areas.
- Amendment 3 - Allows developers the authority to charge a tax
to future homeowners for infrastructure improvements. (Again,
this will mainly be felt in south Georgia. It is currently a tool
used in northern Florida).
Finally, the very last question on the ballot is specific to Gwinnett
County. It is the extension of the one cent sales tax that has been
critical to Gwinnett over the past decade. This five year extension
(not a new tax) will raise $850 million for roads and bridges, green
space and parks, new court rooms, fire stations, police stations
and libraries. This is certainly a measure to vote "Yes!"
for Gwinnett for this last question on the ballot.
Please send this to your sphere of influence to better educate individuals
on these important statewide ballot measures on the November 4.
-- Chuck Warbington, Hog Mountain
Norcross Art Fest
includes major recycling effort of trash
Editor, the Forum:
There was a successful addition of recycling to the recent Norcross
Art Fest recently. Sustainable Norcross collected and diverted from
- Eleven 95 gallon Herbie Curbie carts full of flattened cardboard,
newspaper, paper flyers, etc.
- 567 pounds of mixed beverage containers
- Three 45 gallon plastic bags full of plastic shrink wrap and
- 57 glass bottles (750 ml).
The 567 pounds of mixed beverage containers would include enough
plastic bottles to produce carpet for two 12 foot x 12 foot rooms,
and still save enough energy from recycling aluminum cans to power
5,000 TV sets for three hours each!
A total of 35 different people volunteered before, during and after
the event providing our community with 126 hours of service
This excludes community service workers and city staff whose assistance
we really appreciate. Thanks for all who made the Norcross Art Fest,
and its recycling efforts, possible.
-- Connie Weathers, Norcross
Business Alliance to salute veterans on Oct. 18
The Buford Business Alliance along with Troop Be-Bop USA (501c3)
will honor the men and women of America's Armed Forces, at Buford's
Salute To Freedom---a Family Fall Festival event at John Bailey
GMC in Buford, 4228 Buford Drive, Saturday, October 18, from 10
a.m. until 5 p.m.
Proceeds will benefit Troop Be-Bop USA in their efforts to provide
basic needs, supplies and international calling cards to soldiers
overseas; their families here at home, and Brooke Army Medical Center
in assisting with the wounded soldiers returning home. (See www.troopbebopusa.com.)
Bring the entire family out and celebrate the armed services and
enjoy a day of fun, food and an expression of solidarity and support.
For further details visit www.VisitBuford.com.
New London Theatre
to present Agatha Christie thriller
New London Theatre of Snellville will present 10 Little Indians
opening on October 17. The play is being produced by Sharyn Berg
and directed by Teagan Eley. There will be two separate casts for
this performance to allow both talented adult and teen performers
10 Little Indians is one of Agatha Christie's greatest thrillers.
A group of 10 strangers have been invited to a house on a secluded
island. One by one, each guest is being murdered according to the
poem Ten Little Indians. Can you figure out who the killer is before
the next guest is murdered?
It will be performed October 17-18-29, October 24-25-26, and October
31, November 1-2. Go to the web site for times for particular days,
Tickets are $12 in advance or $15on the day of the show. Tickets
can be purchased either online through our website or at the theatre
Eighth annual Sugar
Hill Fall Festival coming on Oct. 25
The eighth annual Sugar Hill Fall Festival is scheduled for October
25, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Activities will be at E. E. Robinson
Park, rain or shine.
At 10 a.m., a parade will begin from the Buice School and wind
to the park. More than 100 arts and crafts exhibitors are to participate.
Parking away from the park will be provided, with a shuttle bus
service provided for all attending. Another feature will be a chili
cook-off, with judging at 2 p.m.
Among the activities scheduled are: carnival games; inflatable
obstacle course and rides; giant rock wall and spider jumps; animal
adventure petting zoo; face painting and air brush designs; wellness
expo; home expo; local entertainment with live music; motor sports
mania car and bike show; and food and drink vendors.
Snellville Fall Carnival
at Briscoe Park set for Oct. 25
The Snellville Parks and Recreation Department will host the city's
annual Fall Carnival, sponsored by Emory Eastside Medical Center,
on Saturday, October 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. at T. W. Briscoe Park.
Enjoy a hayride with a storyteller, carnival games, pony rides,
moonwalks, music, and costume contests for all ages. Game tickets
are 25 cents each.
The Snellville Lions Club will be on hand cooking hamburgers, hotdogs
and other treats. They will also be celebrating "Sight Night"
at the park. Bring old eyeglasses and donate them for those in need.
Contact the T.W. Briscoe Park office for more information at 770-985-3535.
Gwinnett Symphony and
Chorus needs more performers
The Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra & Chorus is looking for additional
vocalists to join the GSO Chorus, including male singers. The Chorus
is an all-volunteer group open to youth and adults with at least
three years singing experience. Most Choral performances are held
at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center with the accompaniment of
the Orchestra. No auditions are required for the Chorus, and the
rehearsals take place on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. in the Berkmar
High School Orchestra Room. To learn more about the Chorus, call
Rick Smith (678) 481-3866 or sign up today on the website (below).
The Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra also has openings for clarinet,
bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion, and rehearses on Tuesday
evenings from 7-9p.m. in the Berkmar High School Band Room. Apply
today on the website, www.gwinnettsymphony.org.
County police to gain
new critical intelligence system
A new computer system designed for effective collection, analysis
and dissemination of critical intelligence information is on its
way to Gwinnett County. Commissioners agreed Tuesday to put up a
$20,599 share of the cost, most of which will be paid by a grant
from the federal Department of Homeland Security.
Gwinnett Police was one of six local departments that participated
in the first phase of the Georgia Terrorism Intelligence Project
in early 2005 administered by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation
(GBI). Now in phase three, Gwinnett is slated to receive computers
and software developed by Memex Inc., of Vienna, Va.
The new Intelligence Records Management System will allow staff
from the special investigations section to input such data as physical
descriptions, locations, contact information, vehicles, relatives
and affiliations including photos, video and audio recordings for
either persons or organizations. The software, which can be used
with various mapping systems, is designed to analyze the data and
create charts showing links and associations that would be very
time-consuming to produce manually.
Police Chief Charlie Walters said, "I'm glad that we're in
a position to accept this grant of valuable crime and terrorism-fighting
equipment. It will let us quickly study and exchange information
internally and with other agencies to enhance public safety for
- 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
Former famed nursery
is site of Augusta National Golf Club
Nursery, also known as Fruitland, was the first large-scale
horticultural nursery in the southeastern United States. Founded
in 1858 in Augusta by Louis Mathieu Edouard Berckmans and his son,
Prosper Jules Alphonse Berckmans, the grounds later became the site
of the Augusta National Golf Club.
Fruitland Manor in the 1930s
Louis Berckmans, a trained physician, had a great interest in horticulture,
which he passed along to Prosper, a university-trained horticulturist
who received his education in France. Both were natives of Belgium
and immigrated to the United States during the 1850s. The family
operated Fruitland Nurseries from 1858 to 1918. During this period
the Berckmans introduced a great variety of plants, shrubs, and
trees to the Southeast.
Prosper became famous for introducing new fruit varieties that
were more suitable for growing in southern climates. He also developed
or improved many types of peaches and eventually became known as
the "Father of Peach Culture" across the South. Prosper
eventually bred the Elberta, Belle, and Thurber peaches, which became
Georgia's primary commercial varieties. His Thurber peach was the
leading variety until it was replaced by the Elberta peach, which
was later improved by Samuel Rumph. The vast stock of azaleas and
camellias at the Berckmans' nurseries greatly contributed to the
early and continued popularity of those flowers throughout the South.
Many varieties of trees and shrubs were grown at Fruitland. In
1860 Prosper introduced the amur privet hedge (Ligustrum amurense)
from France. Called the "Mother Hedge," these original
ten plants were the progenitors of all the privet hedges now found
across the Southeast.
Today the Augusta National Golf Club occupies the former property
of Fruitland Nurseries. In 1931, when golf champion Bobby Jones
and his business partners created the club and golf course, two
sons of Prosper Berckmans, Prosper J. A. Berckmans Jr. and Louis
A. Berckmans, assisted in the landscape design of the course. In
addition, the Berckmans' home, Fruitland Manor, became the Augusta
National Clubhouse. Many of the plant varieties developed and improved
by the Berckmans family still grow at Augusta National as part of
its designed landscape.
Another short message
(what else?) from Calvin Coolidge
"I have never been hurt by what I have not said."
-- Former President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933.)
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