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COMING SOON: Only about 10 days remain before Gwinnett's Great Day of Service. These workers chipped in last year to do a little landscaping at the Sustainable Norcross non-profit. There's still time to sign up to participate in the 2012 GDOS. See first item below by Nicole Love.

Issue 12.46 | Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012

:: Nigeria picks up Service idea

:: Many upset over Archives fracas

Charter measure threatens schools

Citizen prep course, French honor

:: Jackson EMC to send refunds, more


:: Graphic Communications Corp.

:: Lucian Lamar Knight

:: Lots of events on tap

:: Education vs. experience


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Great Days of Service serves as model for program in Nigeria
Special to GwinnettForum

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Sept. 25, 2012 -- In 10 days, October 5-6, the 13th annual Great Days of Service will take on over 320 projects with use of 80,000 volunteers in Gwinnett County. The scope of this event alone is impressive, but did you know that we have also inspired a community halfway around the world?

A couple of years ago, Suzy Bus, the director of the Gwinnett Helpline at the Gwinnett Coalition, was working with James, a regular volunteer and U.S. citizen who emigrated from Nigeria. James had been fascinated with the support that Great Days of Service and the Gwinnett Coalition provided back to the community and was a regular volunteer at the Gwinnett Coalition's Helpline. He also made an annual trip to his village in Nigeria to deliver bicycles that he collected through the year so that residents of the community had a mode of transportation to get to work.

On this particular day, Suzy and James were cleaning out one of the store rooms and came across leftover t-shirts from a previous year's Great Days of Service. James asked Suzy, if they did not need the t-shirts, could he deliver the outdated shirts with the bikes on his next trip to Nigeria. They were just taking up space, so Suzy sent the shirts with him.

A few months passed and Suzy had not thought much about the trip or James until he stopped by to see her and share with her the impact of this small gesture. Suzy recalls, "I won't forget when James found me when he came back from his trip. He thanked me again for the shirts, but then he shared a little story with me. He said that the villagers asked what Great Days of Service and the Gwinnett Coalition were. He of course told them, but they kept asking him about it the whole time he was there.

The villagers in Nigeria were so inspired by the idea, that they have since set up their own coalition to support their community. And to top it off, the leaders of their coalition are required to wear a uniform, the donated Great Days of Service t-shirts.

I just could not believe that such a small action could have such a big, positive impact on a place so far away. This is why we do what we do."

Amanda Sutt, Great Days of Service executive committee member, says: "We don't do any of this for notoriety, we do this to make the world we live in a better place. And you never know how far a small gesture will reach until you see the smile on the face of someone where you have instilled hope when it was all but lost."

There is still time to sign up to be a part of this year's Great Days of Service. You can sign up online and follow us on Facebook to keep up with projects. The last day to sign up to volunteer is Friday, September 28.

Last year, 80,000 volunteers for Gwinnett Great Days of Service completed over 310 community projects including staffing community events, painting and repairing buildings, installing playground sets, and cleaning up nature trails. There are 323 projects this year listed with Great Days of Service, plus an additional 110 projects through 12 Stone's Compassion in Action, making this year's Great Days of Service the biggest ever with 432 projects! The event is hosted by the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services in partnership with United Way of North Metro Atlanta.

Georgians get involved in threatened closing of Archives
Editor and publisher

SEPT. 25, 2012 -- Isn't it good to see an immediate positive response by our government when people get outraged about something?


Unfortunately, positive results don't happen often enough. Mostly, many people stay quiet when they see government actions that displease them. But people erupted last week as Gov. Nathan Deal heard the hue and cry about his own attempt to save Georgians money by virtually closing down the Georgia Archives in Morrow. He promised that the Archives would stay open. "How" was not stated.

Granted, officially it was Secretary of State Bryan Kemp who had issued walking papers for seven of the remaining 10 members of the Archives staff. But we haven't seen much that Mr. Kemp takes on that does not meet the approval of the governor. And anyway, it was the governor wanting to cut the budget of the state, so we lay the activities around the Archives at Mr. Deal's feet.

Kemp had announced that the Georgia Archives would be closed to all public access beginning November 1, 2012. He cited as reason the requirement for a three percent budget reduction for all state agencies. Secretary Kemp had chosen to take the required cut of $730,000 entirely-and only-from the State Archives.

Even earlier in other budget moves, the staff of the Archives had been dramatically reduced, and the facility was open to Georgians only two days a week. So far how Georgians would fund the return of the proposed staff eliminations has not been announced. Nor has there been an official reversal from Secretary Kemp of his November 1 closing. The staff of the Archives has been slowly dwindling over the years, from 90 members in 1982, to 10 in 2012.

While the announcement that the Archives would be curtailed was meet with disapproval of many people, evidently this was a much-wider uproar than many of us realized. For almost immediately,
many people got in on the action. Elizabeth A. Dill, a librarian at Georgia Military College, created a Georgians Against the Closing, and already has found 3,297 "likes" on her Facebook page. Another petition across the state quickly had 13,700 people signing it, protesting the closing.

The state Archives were established in 1918, Georgia being among the first states to create an Archive. Among recent developments at the Archives has been the following:

  • Secretary of State Brian Kemp recently negotiated a dispute about the Bibb-Monroe county line. When no records of a survey could be found, it cost $1.5 million in litigation. Even Kemp had noted, "Settling disputes can be very expensive if you don't have the documents."

  • Savannah River boundary dispute with South Carolina settled using records of a 1787 agreement that gave Georgia the right to certain lands south and southwest of the River, as well as all islands in the River.

  • Cobb County used GDOT maps to establish right-of-way for utility property interest.

  • Georgia Pacific used environmental records to determine the type of air filter that was placed in the burner smoke stacks at their plant in Warm Springs.

  • City and county officials regularly request copies of their charters and founding documents.

In Fiscal Year 2010, the Archives received 14,625 references and requests for state records. It is a busy place, a virtual bedrock of Georgia records.

We applaud all those activists who took part in protesting the Archives closing. It's good to see the people, not just the government, in action. We look to hear of full restoration of the current lame budget of the Archives sometimes soon from both Mr. Kemp and Governor Deal.

Graphic Communications Corporation

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  • For a list of other underwriters of this forum, click here.

Charter school amendment erodes support for public schools

Editor, the Forum:

I have just read your column asking readers to vote against the Charter School amendment in November. Yes, it is a bad idea because communities lose all control of these schools.

But it is very bad for another reason. It deeply weakens support of traditional public schools. Our public schools can bring a community together, allow residents the opportunity to know each other.

Television and the Internet have made us become isolated in our homes. Not only has our nation become divided, but individual communities have become divided.

Everything possible should be done to promote education in public schools and local citizens' involvement in public schools. Education works best when children are proud of their school, and the school works best when it is the heartbeat of the community. My three very successful children graduated from a traditional public school in this community, and I wish I was still involved there.

-- Alma Bowen, Gainesville

(Dear Alma: Now, now, you can take care of that involvement. I am sure your nearest school would welcome you for all kinds of volunteer duty. So get cracking. And thanks for your insight on how important public schools are to the community. -eeb)

  • We welcome your letters and thoughts. Our policy: We encourage readers to submit feedback (or letters to the editor). Send your thoughts to the editor at We will edit for length and clarity. Make sure to include your name and the city where you live. Submission of a comment grants permission for us to reprint. Please keep your comments to 300 words or less. However, we will consider longer articles (no more than 500 words) for featuring in Today's Focus as space allows.

Library to offer courses at two locations in citizen preparation

The library will be offering two concurrent 8-10 week courses for Citizen Preparation at both the Norcross and Suwanee branches. Learn about United States history, government, politics, civics, geography, customs, and traditions, as well as practice interviews and tests.

These classes are lead by certified instructors, and are free and open to the public, no preregistration required. This service is offered in partnership with the Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta, and is the only weekend and evening course of its kind in Gwinnett.
The courses will be taught at:

  • Norcross Branch- Thursdays, 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays from October 4 through December 6.

  • Suwanee Branch- Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays from October 76 to December 9.

Students, 17 and older, may participate in one or both classes. The course is conducted in English and students must have beginner level English skills. Students must bring their Permanent Resident (green) card to the first class.
For more information about these classes, please contact Mark Farris, Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta, 770.677.9376. For more information about library programs and services, visit, or call (770) 978-5154

Hearing on four-laning Buford Highway to be held Oct. 4

A public hearing to discuss a proposed widening of Georgia Highway 13 (Buford Highway from Sawnee Avenue in Buford to south of Georgia Highway 347 (Friendship Road in Hall County) will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, October 4.

This open house format will be held at Buford City Hall. Georgia DOT engineers will be available to discuss the proposed project. There will be no formal presentation. "This project will improve the traffic flow through the area by creating additional lanes for vehicles and sidewalks on both sides of the roadway for pedestrians. Please come see the plans and let us know what you think about this plan," says DOT District Engineer Bayne Smith.

Anyone unable to attend the public information open house may send comments on the project to Glenn Bowman, Georgia DOT, 600 West Peachtree Street, NW - 16th floor, Atlanta, GA, 30308. All comments will be considered in the development of the final project design and must be received by October 18, 2012. After the open house, plans can be viewed at the Georgia DOT District Office located at 2505 Athens Highway in Gainesville.

Snellville's NeSmith to receive French Legion of Honor

To express France's eternal gratitude to those who liberated it from oppression from 1944-45, the newly appointed Consul General of France in Atlanta, Denis Barbet, will bestow the Legion of Honor upon 12 American WWII Veterans from the U.S. Southeast in a ceremony to be held on September 27, 2012 at the Lenox Building, in Atlanta. Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest honor in France. It recognizes eminent services to the French Republic. Recipients of this honor are designated by the President of the Republic.

Among those who will be recognized will include Marion J. Nesmith, from Snellville, (Private First Class, 329th Regiment, 83rd Division).

The ceremony will be held on September 27, 2012 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Lenox Building on the 11th floor of 3300 Lenox Road.

Jackson EMC to mail $5 million in member refunds

At the 73rd Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) Annual Meeting on September 20, the Board of Directors reported that in December 2012 the cooperative will mail $5 million in refunds to nearly 180,000 members who received electric service in 1988 and 2011.

Board Chairman Otis Jones says: "Because we are a not-for-profit cooperative, the board of directors is able to return a portion of the revenue left over after all the bills are paid, funds which we refer to as 'margins', to our members at the end of each year. After this December's refund, Jackson EMC will have returned $90 million in margin refunds to its owner/members since the cooperative was founded in 1939."

The meeting was also a celebration of 2012's United Nations' International Year of Cooperatives. Jones pointed out to attendees that in America today, more than 29,000 cooperatives are responsible for two million jobs and produce annual sales of $652 billion. "That makes us a major economic force," he said.

Cooperatives are in such diverse businesses as electricity and day care, telecommunications and finance, health care and agriculture, but all cooperatives are member-owned and bring people together to do what they can't do as individuals.

During the meeting, Jackson EMC President/CEO Randall Pugh told the audience that while the cooperative may be waiting for the economy to turn around, it's not standing still. "One of our most significant accomplishments this year was the completion of our three-year, twenty-five million dollar deployment of Advanced Metering Infrastructure or AMI. This was one of the single largest capital upgrades in Jackson EMC's history. We installed more than two hundred thousand automated Sensus smart meters and eighteen transmission towers to create a system that remotely reads our members' meters. AMI saves time, manpower and transportation costs, as well as works with our other systems to help more quickly pinpoint the cause of outages."

Pugh told members that J.D. Power and Associates named Jackson EMC a Customer Service Champion earlier in the year, one of only 50 companies to earn that distinction out of 800 companies evaluated nationwide.

Lilburn hires Young as its public relations manager


Nikki Young is the City of Lilburn's first public relations manager, seeking to increase the visibility and credibility of city government. She will serve as the primary contact with media. Young comes to Lilburn from Hall County government, where she served four years as Public Information Officer. She was previously a reporter and editor for newspapers in Gainesville, Braselton and Hoschton. Young lives in Braselton in Gwinnett County. She is a native of Sanford, N.C., and a journalism graduate of the University of Georgia and is the single mom of a son, Tybee, 3.

Send us your reviews

  • 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

Lucian Lamar Knight was first director of the Georgia Archives

Lucian Lamar Knight is perhaps best known as an editor for the Atlanta Constitution, and the founder and first director of the Georgia Archives.

Knight was born in Atlanta on February 9, 1868 and attended the University of Georgia and graduated with honors in 1888. He took the bar in 1889 and practiced law in Macon. Dissatisfied with the legal profession, Knight turned to journalism.

KnightIn 1892 Knight became literary editor for the Atlanta Constitution. In 1895 he married Edith M. Nelson of Atlanta, and they eventually had two daughters. In addition to starting a family and establishing his journalistic career, Knight studied Georgia history and served as a lay pastor in the Presbyterian denomination.

Knight left the newspaper in 1902 to attend seminary. He enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary and at the same time he began graduate studies at Princeton University. In 1905 Knight was ordained and began serving as associate pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. Although he tried to reconcile with his wife, they were divorced in 1909. In spite of this personal turmoil, Knight published his first major work, the two volumes of Reminiscences of Famous Georgians, in 1907 and 1908.

Returning to Atlanta and his journalism career, Knight became associate editor of the Atlanta Georgian in 1908, a post he held until 1910. Leaving journalism behind for the last time, he became literary editor and vice president at the Martin and Hoyt Company, where he edited the Library of Southern Literature series with Joel Chandler Harris.

In 1913 Knight was appointed compiler of Georgia state records and began work on volumes 22-26 of Colonial Records; Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials, and Legends (1913-14), and the six volumes of Standard History of Georgia and Georgians (1917).

In 1917 Knight married Rosa Talbot Reid, who shared his interest in history.

Working with state records convinced Knight of the necessity of preserving Georgia's legislative and state documents. He lobbied with much zeal for a state archives and achieved his goal after a prolonged and heated political battle. Even after he was appointed director of the Georgia Department of Archives and History (later Georgia Archives) in 1918, he had to fend off political enemies who sought to abolish his office.

During his tenure at the state archives, from 1919 through 1924, Knight published the first Statistical Register of Georgia, organized the new department and its holdings, provided proper storage for state records, and left a permanent Georgia archives when he retired in 1925. It was a far cry from the days when valuable papers were used by the janitor to light the furnace in the capitol building. Knight was deservedly named "state historian emeritus for life" upon his retirement in 1925.

Knight received honorary degrees from the University of Georgia and King College of Bristol, Tenn. In addition to poetry and newspaper writing, Knight was the author of more than 20 books, including the biography Woodrow Wilson, the Dreamer and the Dream (1924). His papers are part of the Henry W. Grady Collection and the Joel Chandler Harris Collection at Emory University.

Knight died of heart failure on November 19, 1933, in Clearwater, Fla., and was buried at Christ Church on St. Simons Island. His obituary noted the passing of "one of the most widely-beloved and popular of the state's literary personages." His daughter Mary Lamar Knight followed in her father's footsteps as a journalist and became one of the first female correspondents for United Press International.


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2012, Gwinnett Gwinnett Forum is an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

AFTER A YEAR of working and planning the Duluth Fall Festival will be here this Saturday and Sunday, September 29-30. It is definitely going to be the best and biggest held in the 30-year history (if the weather cooperates!). Be sure to plan to visit several times over the weekend because there is too much to see in just one trip, and it is FREE! Go to the website for information on events, times, shuttle service, etc. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Click on the names below to see details of their funerals.

One small difference between education and experience

"Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't."

-- Musician and philosopher Pete Seeger ( 1919 - ).

Gwinnett history book in second printing

Previously out of print, Elliott Brack's 850-page history, "Gwinnett: A Little Above Atlanta," is now available again. Since its original publication, the book was declared the winner of the 2010 Award of Excellence for documenting Georgia history by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board. It is also the winner of the Gwinnett Historical Society's Whitworth-Flanigan Award for 2011 for preserving the history of Gwinnett County.The book includes 143 demographic and historic tables, with more than 4,000 names in the index, and 10,000 names in the appendix.Two versions of the book are available. The hardback edition is priced at $75, while a softback edition is $40. Books are available at:

  • Atlanta History Center, Atlanta
  • Books for Less, Buford
  • Gwinnett Historical Society, Lawrenceville
  • Parsons Gifts and Cards, Duluth
  • Vargas and Harbin Gallery, Norcross

You can also order books through the Internet. To do that, go to to place your order. For mail orders, there is a $5 shipping and handling fee. Purchases are also subject to the 6 percent Georgia sales tax.





Stuart Woods luncheon: Doors open 11 a.m. for noon lunch, Sept. 26, Garden Plaza, 230 Collins Industrial Way in Lawrenceville. Woods will discuss his autobiographical, Blue Water, Green Skipper. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Proceeds benefit Gwinnett County Public Library.

Harvest Ball benefitting Norcross Cluster schools: 7 p.m., Sept. 28, Northeast Atlanta Hilton, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Norcross. Tickets are $50 per person. Black tie optional. Food, surprise activities, dancing and silent auction. For more details, contact


Genealogical workshop: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 29, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Lawrenceville at 3355 Sugarloaf Parkway. Sponsored by the church, and the Daughters of the American Revolution, William Day Chapter, and Sons of the American Revolution, Atlanta Chapter. Learn how to use census records, courthouse records and other sources, many on the Internet, to start to research and document your family history.

(NEW) Take Back Initiative in two locations in Gwinnett: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 29. In cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the City of Suwanee and the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department are accepting prescription medications for safe disposal. Get rid of expired, unused or unwanted prescriptions of over-the-counter medications in this safe manner. Medications may be dropped by the Suwanee Police Station, 373 Buford Highway, or the Sheriff's Department, 2900 University Parkway in Lawrenceville, anonymously.

Children's author to appear: Gwinnett Kid's Read, Too! features children's author Carmen Deedy. She will appears on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Lawrenceville Library Branch, 1001 Lawrenceville Highway. She will greet fans and promote her newest book Return of the Library Dragon. Illustrator Michael White will also make an appearance.

Sign-Up Time for Gwinnett Great Days of Service. This year's event will be held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6, 2012 with over 300 different projects to choose from. This annual event offers Gwinnett residents the opportunity to donate their time and energy to doing community service and helping those in need. For more information and to sign up, visit this site.

Third Annual Gala of the Northeast Atlanta Ballet: Sept. 29, Northwood Country Club. Now in its 16th season, the goal of the night is to raise $25,000 toward providing high quality, affordable arts programming, with live orchestra for all performances, and unsurpassed performing opportunities for aspiring dancers. More.

Ninth Annual Suwanee Music Festival: Oct. 6, Town Center Park, sponsored by Amigos for Christ. Music begins at 10 a.m. and continues through beginning of The Lovin' Spoonful presentation at 7:30 p.m. Events for all ages at $10 per person. Details.

(NEW) Girl Scout engineering careers for women: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 13, Alpharetta campus of DeVry University, 2555 Northwinds Parkway. Women in engineering careers will help lead girls in a variety of hands-on science activities about science careers. Lunch will be provided to all registered.

(NEW) Halloween-for-Haiti Carnival: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Oct. 27, Christ Episcopal Church, 400 Holcomb Bridge Road, Norcross. Music, food, kids' activities throughout the event. Costume parade with prizes at 5 p.m. Haunted trail from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Proceeds benefit the children of Jasmin, Haiti.


12/14: Army-Navy game
12/11: Who stole American dream?
12/7: Lock 'em in a room
12/4: On Partnership Gwinnett

11/30: Hera Lighting
11/27: Voting out scalawags
11/20: Arts alive in Gwinnett
11/16: Hope Clinic needs help
11/13: Casino coming?
11/9: GOP and Georgia Dems
11/6: Early voting, more
11/2: Will Sandy impact election?

10/30: Georgia and GI Bill
10/26: Barge making name
10/23: Our 2012 endorsements
10/19: Pet peeves, more
10/15: Long plane flights
10/12: NO on Amendment 1
10/9: Elisha Winn Fair
10/5: Lots of construction
10/2: Texting while walking

9/28: WSB sets lower bar
9/25: State Archive fracas
9/21: Charter concerns
9/18: Benefits of living here
9/14: Continuing objectives
9/11: Trip to France, Spain
9/7: Community pride

8/31: Conversation on guns
8/24: More robocalls ahead
8/21: Newspaper museum
8/17: Seem easier to vote?
8/14: Western ridges, fall line
8/10: Runoff endorsements
8/7: New UGA health campus
8/3: Primaries raise more questions


12/14: C. Brack: Give a little
12/11: Goodman: Suwanee's art
12/7: Duke: Director of Encouragement
12/4: Dorough: Food co-op

11/30: McHenry: CID redevelopment
11/27: Sutt: Gwinnett arts' questions
11/20: Urrutia: Grad wins award
11/16: Collins: Las Vegas
11/13: Barksdale: Storm prep
11/9: Houston: Kettle Creek
11/6: Stilo: Christmas Canteen
11/2: Crews: View Point Health

10/30: Willis: Amendment One
10/26: Brown: Doc's research
10/19: Hudgens Prize jurors picked
10/15: Urrutia: $2 million gift to GGC
10/12: Young: Lilburn city hall
10/9: Long: Charter schools
10/5: Jones: PGA golf to return
10/2: DeWilde: Suwanee's red code

9/28: Stilo: Pinter's Betrayal
9/21: Love: Model for Nigeria
9/21: Walsh: Childhood obesity
9/18: Ashley promoted
9/14: Wiener: CID's initiative
9/11: Olson: $50K Hudgens contest
9/7: Stilo: Acting classes for all

8/31: Havenga: Great Days of Service
8/24: Griswold: Casino for OFS site
8/21: Brooks: Taking the Megabus
8/17: Summerour: Newspaper family
8/14: Sharp: Newport visit
8/10: Thomas: On schizophrenia
8/7: Carraway: Amendment wording
8/3: Willis: Ready for school parents?


Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.

  • Development of a two-party system for local offices
  • Transparent operations to restore faith in Gwinnett's County Commission
  • Moving statewide non-partisan judge election runoffs to the General Election
  • Light rail for Gwinnett from Doraville MARTA station to Gwinnett Arena
  • Extension of Gwinnett Place CID area to include Arena and Discovery Mills Mall
  • Banning of tobacco in all Gwinnett parks
  • Making Briscoe Field a commercial airport for jet-age travel
  • Approval of Educational SPLOST in 2013
  • More diverse candidates for political offices and appointment to local boards
  • Physical move of former St. Gerard's Catholic Church in Buffalo, N.Y., to Norcross
  • Creative efforts to support the arts in Gwinnett
  • Advancement and expansion of city and Gwinnett historical societies
  • Stronger regulation of late-night establishments with alcoholic licenses


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