Georgia's electrical growth to be 37
percent in coming decade
CEO, Walton Electric Membership Corporation
Special to GwinnettForum
MONROE, Ga., Oct. 28, 2008 -- You may have not noticed until high
prices and shortages hit the gas pumps, but an energy supply crisis
has been looming.
When it comes to electricity, we've been forecasting for quite
a while that our state's supply strategy can't stay on the same
course if we want to enjoy the level of service and reliability
we've grown accustomed to.
Georgia's population is booming. Common sense dictates that we
need to develop more electricity generating resources. Experts calculate
that our state's population will grow 17 percent this decade alone.
So the math tells us we need 17 percent more generating capacity,
Wrong. Because each one of us is using more electricity, demand
is forecast to grow a whopping 39 percent. That's more than double
the rate of population growth. We can't increase electricity use
without increasing the supply. It's fiscally impossible.
Yet, there are those who are adamantly against expanding traditional
power generation resources. But a narrow approach won't work.
Wind turbines require a minimum wind flow to be efficient. And
we just don't have that kind of wind in Georgia.
Wind studies being conducted by a consortium of Georgia EMCs show
that small-scale projects may be feasible, but will have minimal
impact on meeting summer peak demand. That means wind turbines won't
be able to significantly contribute to supplying the booming growth.
Solar energy is a good idea, but its practical applications are
limited. That's because it would take 9,800 acres of solar panels
to equal the output of just one typical coal-fired plant.
Some small projects make sense, but the electricity from a solar
array the size to power some of the needs of an average home costs
five to ten times the cost of what you buy off the grid. Even then,
it would take years to get significant amounts of wind and solar
projects online. Unfortunately, Georgia can't wait.
But we shouldn't dismiss wind and solar power altogether. They
fit nicely into a diverse, integrated strategy, like Walton EMC's
new solar water heater program (check our website, waltonemc.com,
That strategy needs to include all the resources we've been so
richly blessed with. For example, the United States is the Saudi
Arabia of coal. There is a 250-year supply right under our feet.
And France generates over 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear
energy, giving it some of the lowest electricity prices and CO2
emissions. Our country-the country that developed the technology
the French use-can do the same.
Wind, hydro, landfill gas, coal, solar, biomass, nuclear, natural
gas -- all of these are ingredients in a successful energy recipe.
Early voting popular, could help bring significant
Editor and Publisher
OCT. 28, 2008 -- As the nation gets set next Tuesday to elect a
new president, one certainty in Georgia is that the idea of early
voting has been a winner. All across the state, news reports say,
people are turning out to vote before Election Day. They are excited
about the election, and may want not only to cast their ballots
early, but they may be seeking to avoid long lines on election day.
But if their only interest is to avoid long lines, from what we
have seen in Gwinnett, early voting is not the thing to do. In the
time when early voting has been going on at the Elections Department
on Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville, lines of voters stretched outside
the building, even on rainy days.
Monday morning, as the county opened four additional early voting
areas in different parts of the county, there were lines. At the
Norcross Activities Building on Singleton Road, the line at 9:30
a.m. was over two blocks long.
So much for voting early to avoid standing in line!
Then we got to thinking about it. There is the main
elections office, and four other places to vote this week (Centerville
Community Center, Dacula Activity Building, George Pierce Community
Center and Singleton Road Activity Center.) But remember, there
are 350,414 registered voters in Gwinnett who could seek to vote
early. You might fare better next Tuesday by going to your regular
precinct, where only about 2,000 people are registered, and may
find less of a line. We usually vote about 10 a.m., when few people
vote, and we seldom have to stand in long lines.
* * * * *
The early voting all across the country is a relative recent idea.
It started in Texas in 1988, and has seen voter increases of up
to 38 percent! That's allowing more people to participate in our
democracy. But early voting isn't confined to the United States.
Throughout the world, 46 per cent of democratic nations allow some
form of early voting.
One guy who has kept up with early voting is Paul Gronke, director
of the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College in Portland,
Oregon. He feels that "The United States is in the midst of
a reform era." He says that this came after the controversy
surrounding the 2000 election. Afterward, the U.S. Congress passed
the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which mandated that each state
have a statewide voter registration system by 2006.
This helped allow minorities and disadvantaged groups who have
often been perceived being discriminated against in voting places.
By removing traditional barriers to voter participation, more people
will vote and more people will participate in democracy.
These days it is apparent that citizens like early voting. Candidates
can even like it, if it gets more people (who think their way) out
to vote. It should also increase participation rather than limiting
voting to one particular day, or having to go through the difficult
steps of absentee voting.
People who vote early must have their mind made up. You wonder
if they will miss out on some late-minute campaign charges that
might influence their vote another way. The politician must now
be thinking "get 'em voting early before they change their
We're going through major changes in our country these days, in
our economy, with the financial markets, with the way out country
is perceived throughout the world, and now, in our voting process.
Next Tuesday could be a day when all this brings on significant
voting to change our country forever
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percent of all hospitals in the nation. Gwinnett Medical Center
- Duluth opened in 2006 and is the first all-digital hospital in
north Atlanta. To learn more, visit www.gwinnettmedicalcenter.org.
get amused at ignorance of Forum editor
Editor, the Forum:
In the most recent Forum (October
24) you reply to a note:
Dear Brian: Good idea. But what has this to do with the upcoming
election? You trying to inject politics in kids having a good
time trick or treating! --eeb
Are you serious? Don't you get the "share the wealth"
reference? Come on, you're banging Obama's drum really loud so even
you should find the humor in this reader's note.
I laughed out loud and shared the issue with lots of people I know
(on both sides of the spectrum).I think you might be thinking the
reader might have only implied that this was intended for very small
children (maybe <6), but consider this for teenagers and giving
them the line to get their reply. Those are our future leaders and
have been mostly influenced by family and teachers.
Thanks for including that reader's note. I loved the line!
-- Scott Phillips, Dacula
Dear Scott: Yep, that one went over my head.
Sometimes I think it's because I don't routinely participate in
antics like cell phones, text messaging, You Tube and gizmos that
would be news to me. In a way, I like to think myself more pure
and pristine, right? -eeb
plans water review meeting in Gainesville Oct. 29
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is holding a public meeting in
Gainesville on October 29 to review its Water Control Manual for
the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. This is a great
opportunity for the citizens of Gwinnett to speak directly with
the Corps regarding water needs and issues. The meeting will be
from 5-8 p.m. at the Georgia Mountain Center in Gainesville. This
is the last of a series of five meetings on the plan for water use
in the basin.
Impact Group plans
15th anniversary celebration November 6
The Impact Group of Gwinnett will have its 15th anniversary celebration
at the Gwinnett Center on Thursday, November 6 from 6:30 p.m.
The evening will include hors d'oeuvres, drinks, music, a silent
auction, a raffle, and presentation of the first IMPACT! Award.
Mingle with community champions, business leaders, and residents
while helping to fight homelessness.
Tickets are $75 per person. The event is being held to raise additional
funding for the group's housing services. For more details, visit
to become a sponsor or buy tickets.
Five local charities
win $62,500 in Jackson EMC grants
Five charitable organizations serving Gwinnett County residents
have been awarded a total of $62,500 in grants by the Jackson EMC
Foundation, funded by the electric cooperative's members through
the Operation Round Up program. Among them:
- Signs and Wonders, Inc., a Lawrenceville non-profit that provides
assistance to the homeless and needy in Gwinnett County, has been
awarded a $15,000 grant The non-profit operates the Quinn House
for Gwinnett's homeless.
- Lawrenceville's Hope Clinic, a non-profit internal medicine
clinic founded in 2002 to provide primary health care to the county's
uninsured working poor, has been awarded a $15,000 grant.
- Rainbow Village, a Norcross non-profit providing transitional
housing for the homeless, has been awarded a $15,000 grant. Families
in domestic or economic crisis who need to rebuild their lives
can find housing and a healing environment at Rainbow Village.
- The Lilburn Cooperative Ministry will use a $10,000 grant from
the Jackson EMC Foundation to assist needy families who are behind
in their rent or mortgage.
- Creative Enterprises, a Lawrenceville agency serving individuals
with disabilities, has been awarded a $7,500 grant to help purchase
a mini-van that can transport small groups of clients to community
Grants are made possible by Jackson EMC members' contributions
to the Operation Round Up program, which rounds up electric bills
of participating members to the next dollar amount and uses the
spare change to do charitable work. The Foundation has awarded more
than $2.8 million to date through 250 grants to organizations and
110 grants to individuals.
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.
Harmit Bedi as planning director
Snellville City Manager Russell Treadway announces the appointment
of Harmit Bedi as Planning Director of Snellville. He was previously
with the City of Sandy Springs, and also has prior experience in
the City of Duluth.
Mr. Bedi holds a Master's Degree in Public and International Affairs
from the University of Pittsburgh. He has worked in government planning
at the city and county level plus has been an Adjunct Professor
with both Kennesaw State and Georgia Southern University teaching
a course on "Local and Regional Planning".
ShamPooch Palace offers
self-serve or full-serve dog washes
There's a new business in Gwinnett, the first of its kind in the
county. It's called ShamPooch Palace and offers self-serve dog washes,
full serve washes, grooming packages, treats, and all kinds of doggie
apparel and gifts.
The concept is that many owners don't want to wash their animals
in their home baths. At ShamPooch Palace, there are special tubs
built to waist level, a set of steps for our older four legged friends,
and everything you need to wash a pet. For a self-serve wash for
a dog 10 lbs. or under, the cost would be $10, which includes towels,
scented shampoos, facial scrub, ear wipe, and a towel dry. For the
staff to perform the same wash, the cost is $20, including nail
The ShamPooch Palace is located at The Village Shoppes at Simonton,
930 New Hope Road, Suite 14, Lawrenceville. The phone number is
770 513-0103. Details at www.Shampoochpalace.com.
Eastside Wins Commission
on Cancer three-year approval
The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons
has granted Three-Year Approval with Commendation to the Cancer
Program at Emory Eastside Medical Center.
A facility receives such Approval following the on-site evaluation
by a physician surveyor. Approval by the CoC is given only to those
facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest
level of quality cancer care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation
process and review of their performance. To maintain approval, facilities
with CoC approved cancer programs must undergo an on-site review
every three years.
CoC approval is nationally recognized by organizations such as
The Joint Commission, American Cancer Society, Centers for Medicare
& Medicaid Services, National Quality Forum and the National
Center Institute as having established performance measures for
the provision of high-quality care.
- 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
produced state's first cane syrup in bulk
Georgia's first pure cane syrup was made by Seaborn Anderson Roddenbery,
a Cairo doctor who practiced medicine by horseback and ran a general
store. Over time, Roddenbery's syrup business--the W.
B. Roddenbery Company-became a regional favorite that also included
pickles and peanut butter.
Roddenbery started his business in 1862, when he opened a doctor's
office and general store. He made sugarcane syrup, which he sold
in cypress barrels, and customers brought in their own jars to fill
with the nectar. Roddenbery began marketing his wares as the state's
first pure cane syrup, and within ten years he had a 1,000-acre
sugarcane farm and had given up his medical practice because, he
claimed, most of his customers didn't pay. In 1889 the company began
marketing the Georgia cane syrup under the Roddenbery label. Over
time, the business produced 120 barrels of cane syrup a day and
sold various other types of syrups, including maple and corn.
In 1904 Roddenbery made an appearance at the World's Fair in St.
Louis, Mo., where he served pancakes topped with the famous syrup.
Locally, syrup was so important that Cairo's high school athletic
teams were nicknamed the Syrupmakers and Syrupmaids.
By the time it became known as the W. B. Roddenbery Company around
1920, the operation had diversified its product line, growing watermelons,
making cigars, and running a hardware business. As early as 1936
the company was producing a wide variety of pickles. They began
producing peanut butter in 1937 and canned boiled peanuts in 1960.
Lucretia Roddenbery Gainey, Roddenbery's great-great granddaughter,
became the company's first female executive in the mid-1980s. Three
years before the company's centennial, in 1986, W. B. Roddenbery
was producing 45 kinds of pickles, 12 types of syrups, four kinds
of peanut butter, and millions of boiled peanuts.
In 1993 the largest private-label pickle-supplier in the country,
Texas-based Dean Foods, purchased the W. B. Roddenbery company.
Although Dean Foods still markets products under the Roddenbery
label, it closed the Cairo operation in 2002.
For those who remain
neutral, a distinct place awaits
"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in
time of great moral crises, maintain their neutrality."
-- Dante Aleghieri, via Roy McCreary, Dacula.
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