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LOTS OF HARD WORK. All that grading work you've seen near Old Peachtree Road and Interstate 85 will be the location of a new facility for the county, as Mitsubishi Electric HVAC plans a 550,000 square foot center. Check out other current new ventures in Gwinnett today in Elliott Brack's perspective below.

Issue 12.49 | Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

:: Pro golf to return here in 2013

:: Amazing construction activity around

More on WSB Radio and its line-u

Rail Museum, recreation, scarecrows

:: Gwinnett Tech expands, more


:: Gwinnett Place CID

:: Ender's Game

:: Desertion a Civil War problem

:: School walking with Bair

:: Lots of events on tap

:: Similar aristocratic behavior


ABOUT US is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

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Championship golf to return here in 2013 at Sugarloaf course
Special to GwinnettForum

DULUTH, Ga., Oct. 5, 2012 -- Championship golf is returning to Gwinnett County. The PGA Tour's Champions Tour announced today that the Greater Gwinnett Championship will be held at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth on April 15 to 21, 2013. The course will host the tournament through 2016.

The Gwinnett Sports Commission, the host entity for the tournament, will operate the 54-hole stroke play tournament with 81 Champions Tour professionals competing for the $1.8 million purse. The top-10 finishers in the tournament will also be awarded official Charles Schwab Cup points. This cup is the season-long, points-based competition launched in 2001 to determine the Champions Tour's leading player.

The Greater Gwinnett Championship will be presented by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating and will contribute funds raised to various local charitable organizations via the Gwinnett Sports Commission Foundation. Mitsubishi Electric is an official sponsor of the PGA Tour.

Champions Tour President Mike Stevens says: "We have been working on a return to the Atlanta market for a couple of years and it's exciting to have it come to fruition. The current list of Champions Tour players entertained the Atlanta-area fans with some exciting golf at TPC Sugarloaf in the past and they're anxious to return to a city and a golf course they've enjoyed so much."

The last time a Champions Tour event was played in the Atlanta area was 12 years ago when Hale Irwin won the Nationwide Championship at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, an event that lasted for a decade from 1991-2000.

Stan Hall, executive director of the Gwinnett Sports Commission, says: "We are so excited to have the PGA Tour back in Gwinnett County. This is the perfect fit to bring professional golf back to this venue. Its presence has been sorely missed. We look forward to a great event in 2013 and a long run with the PGA TOUR in the years to come."

Bill Rau, senior vice president and general manager of Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating, adds: "The Greater Gwinnett Championship offers us a terrific opportunity to leverage our involvement with the Champions Tour in our home market. It is a natural extension of our commitment to the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, our telecast sponsorship of the Champions Tour on Golf Channel, and our player sponsorships with Fred Funk, Fred Couples and Corey Pavin. It is great for our brand and great for our community."

TPC Sugarloaf opened in 1997 and was Champions Tour star Greg Norman's first foray into golf course design in the United States. Three championship nine-hole courses occupy 1,200 acres of former farmland. The Gwinnett Championship will be played over "The Stables" and "The Meadows" nines, a par-72 layout that measures 7,259 yards.

The most recent tournament hosted by TPC Sugarloaf was the 2008 AT&T Classic. Three current Champions Tour players finished runner-up in the AT&T Classic when it was held at TPC Sugarloaf from 1997-2008. Kenny Perry was defeated by Ryuji Imada in a playoff in 2008, Jay Don Blake was runner-up to Tiger Woods in 1998 and Bob Tway finished second to Ben Crane in 2003.

All three rounds of the Greater Gwinnett Championship will be televised nationally by Golf Channel, the Champions Tour's exclusive cable-television partner, which reaches 83 million homes. The telecast will also be distributed internationally through various partners to 174 countries and territories reaching more than 95 million households.

Lots of activity going on in Gwinnett during this recession
Editor and publisher

OCT. 5, 2012 -- From taking periodic tours of Gwinnett County, you might be surprised that I see a lot of construction activity coming back. Granted, it's not as fast-and-furious as we have had before, but I suspect Gwinnett County is tootling along at a faster pace than some areas.


Here are some of the key activities I have either seen or heard about. You might tell me if you have seen other activity of significant.

1. Ricoh, the copier people, are adding another $60 million investment in their operations at the Progress Center in Lawrenceville. This is, I believe, their fourth expansion there over the years.

2. FedEx Ground has completed their new $55 million new facility in Norcross, where they will offload large trucks and put packages on delivery vans. They plan an Open House in November.

3. Primerica is deep into construction of its $50 million investment for a new headquarters off Georgia Highway 120 near Satellite Boulevard in Duluth. This may be the largest private office building in Gwinnett, at 340,000 square feet.

4. Mitsubishi Electric HVAC is grading for a 550,000 square foot, $35 million office, training facility, R&D and warehouse near Old Peachtree Road at Interstate 85.

5. The City of Buford has just opened it spanking new Community Center and Theatre, across the street from Buford City Hall on State Highway 13. The facility cost $16 million, and seats 290 for performances.

6. On the transportation front, the biggest road project in Gwinnett now is the improvements coming to Georgia Highway 316 at both Collins Hill and State Highway 20. Man-o-man, they can't come fast enough, but the project is ahead of schedule now, scheduled to be complete in the end of 2014.

7. A flyover bridge of Sugarloaf Parkway across Georgia Highway 316 just west of Harbins Road is well underway, giving Sugarloaf access to that part of Gwinnett.

8. Wal-Marts are in improvements at some locations, and building a giant new store at Green's Corner. Several smaller Wal-Mart groceries are open or underway.

9. Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville has just finished its new tower, and has completed refurbishing the older tower, for a net of 129 additional beds.

10. Eastside Medical Center is nearing adding 48 rooms, to a total of 279 licensed beds, at its campus in Snellville. Completion is anticipated on December 18. Then another nine months of renovations begins in other areas of the hospital.

11. Diverging-Diamond lanes are coming to two Interstate 85 locations, at Pleasant Hill Boulevard (where work is already underway), and soon to Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

12. LA Fitness is helping redevelop in the Evermore CID area at Park Place. A new Burlington Coat outlet has opened near Killian Hill Road on U.S. Highway 78. And the Evermore CID has several road projects about to begin.

13. Galectin Therapeutics announced they will relocate their headquarters from Boston to Gwinnett in facilities in Norcross.

14. Hera Lighting USA in Norcross is expanding, more than doubling in size to 36,000 square feet with work expected to be completed in March, 2013.

Nick Masino of the Chamber likes to point out that Gwinnett is getting more and more technology companies announcing plans. Within the last year, several have announced activities, including:

  • Advanced Micro Devices Inc., a $100 million data center in Suwanee.

  • Quality Technology Services, buying 21 acres next to its Suwanee operations center, for potential expansion.

  • Peak 10, into cloud computing, expanding its Norcross facility, a $1 million investment.

  • Children's Healthcare is opening a $8 million data center in Gwinnett.

Then there's the continued expansion of students into Georgia Gwinnett College! We've got more going on in Gwinnett than most of us realize!

Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring to you at no cost to readers.. The Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District (CID) is a self-taxing district organized in March 2005 comprised of 238 commercial properties. The CID's mission is to "enhance the economic vitality of Gwinnett's central business district by strengthening the area's role as the center of commercial activity." In addition to comprehensive planning efforts to address traffic congestion, an area-wide branding and marketing initiative, daily community patrols keeping the area free from graffiti and litter, landscaping enhancements, infrastructure improvements and promoting redevelopment opportunities, the CID Board of Directors remains committed to increasing the long-term economic sustainability of greater Gwinnett Place. The Gwinnett Place CID...Keeping Gwinnett Place the Place to be. To learn more about the Gwinnett Place CID and ways to find success at Gwinnett's central business district, please visit or

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

Gets to make no informed decisions from Limbaugh's offerings

Editor, the Forum:

Some of the letters you received regarding WSB Radio adding Rush Limbaugh to its afternoon broadcast praise him for speaking the "truth" and having "common sense." I have heard some of both from him, but I also continue to hear, when I can stand to listen to his show, the truth twisted and skewed to favor conservative views. I think his fans like him and trust him so much, not only because he reinforces what they already believe, but because he attacks liberal viewpoints so viciously, thereby giving those fans a vicarious sense of power. His approach hardly promotes reasoned analysis and the ability to make informed decisions based on all the facts fairly presented.

One writer labeled Limbaugh as "a loud-mouthed purveyor of the truth." He got the first part right; that's for sure. What I can't abide is his loud-mouthed denigration of individuals, whom he often names, who have social and political views that differ from his. He is mean-spirited and he seems to bring out a similar mean-spiritedness in his staunchest supporters, the so-called "Ditto Heads." That hardly helps our society function well, but it certainly seems to bring his show strong ratings, and I believe that high ratings is all he is trying to achieve with his offensive rhetoric.

-- Michael L. Wood, Peachtree Corners, Georgia

Prefers news format to 5 minutes of headlines, then talk

Editor, the Forum:

I listen to WSB's morning news until they conclude at 8:30. Then, I switch over to FM 106.7. I am not interested in listening to Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Erick Erickson.

There is a huge difference between a news station (106.7) and a news/talk station (WSB). I want more from my radio station than four hours of news in the morning, then five minutes of headlines at the top and bottom of the hour.

-- David Brown, Snellville

  • 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.

Duluth's rail museum celebrates 2 new trains and cars

The Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth will celebrate its newest attraction when it opens a restored Park Train ride Saturday, October 6, at 11 a.m. The Park Train dates to 1957, when it started service at the Birmingham, Ala. Zoo. The two trains and their cars were donated to the Museum by Ben and Joy Black, of Birmingham, and their son, Bryan Black, of Atlanta, so that the public would once again be able to enjoy riding these historic trains.

The trains were given to the Museum in 2000, leading to a lengthy consideration of the best way to incorporate them into the existing exhibits. Four years ago, fundraising began on an ambitious project to create an extensive set of track for the trains. The ride opening on Saturday represents the first completion of the first phase of this project, which was headed up by Chuck Hardt, another Museum volunteer. Substantial funding was provided by the Black family, the 2492 Fund (an Atlanta family fund), and Scott Sadow. All work on the project was donated by Museum volunteers.

The Museum expects to run the Park Train on Saturdays throughout the year and some summer weekdays. The ride will also be available on Sundays when the Museum is open. The new attraction is expected to be an important addition to the Museum's schedule of events through the end of the year, including the annual Train-or-Treat celebration on October 27, the Museum's recognition of National Model Railroading Month on November 10 & 11, and throughout the holiday season in coordination with the Breakfast and Lunch with Santa programs and the Polar Express Experience. Information on Museum programs can be found on the web at

Parks and Rec department seeks planning input from residents

Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation routinely includes public input in their planning processes. In keeping with that reputation, the Department of Community Services through its Parks and Recreation division, is scheduling a series of public meetings to provide input for the 2013 Capital Improvement Plan Update.

This update will build upon the 2007 Parks and Recreation Capital Improvement Plan. Citizens with an interest in the maintenance or provision of new park facilities in Gwinnett County are invited to express their recreational needs at one of five public meetings.

These meetings will be held during October. The findings of the public meetings will be presented to the Citizen Steering Committee, made up of members of the Gwinnett County Recreation Authority, for use in refining goals and objectives for the plan. The Recreation Authority will use the goals to develop the 2013 Capital Improvement Plan Update.

Meeting times and locations are as follow:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville.

  • Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Dacula Park Activity Building
    205 Dacula Road, Dacula.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. at Bethesda Park Senior Center, 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville.

  • Monday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. at George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Buford Highway, Suwanee.

Third annual scarecrow competition now underway in Suwanee

The Harvest Farm Community Garden Managing Board is hosting its third annual scarecrow competition. Gardeners, residents, schools, and clubs are invited to participate. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: scariest, funniest, most creative, best scarecrow made by a child, and best scarecrow created from recycled materials.

Scarecrows may be placed at the Suwanee garden beginning October 1. Place the scarecrows in your plot, or inside the perimeter of the fence if you don't have a plot. Judging will take place October 31, and winners will be contacted November 1.

Attach the following information to your scarecrow: your name, email address, and phone number. Provide this information on a piece of paper that is inserted into a baggie to protect it from the elements. Scarecrows will remain on display in the garden until November 30 when they may be picked up; otherwise, they will be disposed of. For more information, contact Kim Thompson, 678/644-5793.

Gwinnett Tech gets OK to buy land for Alpharetta campus

The state board of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has approved the future purchase of approximately 25 acres of land in Alpharetta as the site for a new satellite campus of Gwinnett Technical College. This property is located at the intersection of Old Milton Highway and Georgia Highway 400.

The college opened an Indication of Interest for the North Fulton County Campus Site Selection in May, and this recommendation is the result of that process. Gwinnett Tech's service area was expanded to include North Fulton County in June 2010.

Sharon Bartels, president, Gwinnett Tech, says: "We believe we've identified an ideal location in our North Fulton County service area for our future campus -- a site that provides both needed capacity and is convenient and accessible for area residents. We now look forward to the next steps in this process and the ultimate approval and purchase of the property."

The 25-acre recommended site can support 4 three-story buildings and necessary parking. When fully built out, the campus could serve up to 10,000 students.

Gwinnett Tech has been offering selected Continuing Education programs like Building Operator Certification® and a Patient Care Technician course in North Fulton, to strong response, for over a year. Additional information about the college's Continuing Education courses is available from David McCulloch, 770-995-9697, or on the website at

Lilburn CID making strides with key study efforts in 2012

The Lilburn Community Improvement District (CID) is making strides with key study efforts and improvement plans occurring throughout the final quarter of 2012.

The CID recently launched an extensive access management study examining a four-mile segment of U.S. Highway 29 from Ronald Reagan Parkway to Rockbridge Road. The nine-month study will detail traffic flow and commercial parcel access issues throughout the corridor.

CID Executive Director Gerald McDowell said the state's decision to install raised medians on Highway 29 has created challenges for commuters, particularly as many area destinations do not share common access points.

McDowell says: "We need a big-picture outlook of what is present now to help us determine how to increase the ease of access to Highway 29's businesses." We anticipate receiving recommendations identifying potential problem areas and the projects we can undertake to improve access."

The access management study will take into consideration the following CID-area projects taking place through cooperative efforts with the City of Lilburn, Gwinnett County and state transportation agencies:

  • Main Street Realignment: Construction is expected to begin this year on a new three-lane section (relocated Main Street) from the current intersection with Highway 29 to Church Street. The project includes two roundabouts, a median, a 10-foot multi-use trail, pedestrian pole lights, curb/gutter and drainage improvements.

  • Multi-use Trail (Killian Hill area): Design and other early steps will begin this year on a new multi-use trail system constructed parallel to Highway 29. The trail will run nearly one mile to connect Killian Hill Road and Postal Way.

  • Placemaking Study: Planning efforts will begin next month to identify key opportunities for beautification enhancements throughout the Highway 29 corridor. These upgrades will likely include such elements as signage, landscaping, streetscapes and other highly visible additions.

Sports Challenge Network picks Dacula for new headquarters

The Sports Challenge Network, LLC (SCN) has selected Gwinnett County, Georgia as the location of its new headquarters. The project, which has already resulted in the creation and fulfillment of 25 jobs, is anticipated to generate another 25 jobs over the next three years and represents a $5 million investment into the community. The company's headquarters' facility is located at 1862 Auburn Road in Dacula.

A privately held company based in the metro Atlanta area and Silicon Valley, California, SCN specializes in creating new ways for people to connect and compete in recreational sports through social, mobile-based technology. Founded by entrepreneur and gaming executive Timothy J. Minard, SCN utilizes technology to broaden the appeal and playing opportunities within recreational sports and games, while building a deeper engagement and loyalty for players, sports and entertainment venue operators, sponsors and branded equipment manufacturers.

Minard, who is founder and CEO of Sports Challenge Network, says: "Gwinnett County has long been a leading destination and choice for innovative companies in the technology, sports and entertainment fields. In conjunction with the talent already in Gwinnett and the greater metro Atlanta area, as well as its strategic Southeast location, we believe this is the ideal place from which to successfully innovate and grow our business."

Snellville wins acclaim for excellence in financial reporting

The City of Snellville has been awarded a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management, says Jan Burke, controller.

The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

Ender's Game
By Orson Scott Card

"This book is set in the future when the earth has already suffered two invasions by a species from another galaxy and is expecting a third invasion. The government takes smart children from their families and sends them into space to train for battle. 'Ender,' a six-year-old genius, is pegged as someone who can save mankind from destruction. This psychological tale isn't totally about aliens however. It's about the loss of innocence, about how thinking for yourself is better than having a herd-mentality, about how everyone possesses both good and evil, and about how a human can be systematically deceived and tormented in the pursuit of the greater good. I don't usually read science fiction, but I enjoyed the twists and turns in this book and recommend it for anyone wishing to test out the sci-fi world."

-- Susan McBrayer, Sugar Hill

  • 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

Desertion a major factor plaguing Confederates during Civil War

Desertion plagued Georgia regiments during the Civil War (1861-65) and, in addition to other factors, debilitated the Confederate war effort. Deserters were not merely cowards or ne'er-do-wells; some were seasoned veterans from battle-hardened regiments.

The most significant wave of desertion among Georgia soldiers occurred from late 1863 through 1864 in the wake of the Battle of Chickamauga and of Union general William T. Sherman's Atlanta campaign. The proximity of the army to soldiers' homes following those battles, Sherman's advance through the state, and Georgians' sense of duty to alleviate the social and economic hardships endured by their families and communities encouraged Confederates to abandon the ranks and return home.

According to historian Ella Lonn, of the approximately 103,400 enlisted men who deserted the Confederacy by war's end, 6,797 were from Georgia. Among the eleven Confederate states with significant (defined as more than 3,500) numbers of deserters, Georgia ranked sixth-behind North Carolina (23,694), Tennessee (12,155), Virginia (12,071), Mississippi (11,604), and Arkansas (10,029). The bulk of Georgia deserters belonged to the Army of Tennessee and hailed from the north Georgia mountains and upper Piedmont region.

As neither Confederate nor Union forces initially possessed a formal policy regarding deserters, individual officers adopted impromptu regulations. It was not until 1863, when the U.S. War Department approved General Orders No. 286 and U.S. president Abraham Lincoln launched his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, that Union forces established a formal policy on desertion. Federal policies encouraged Confederate desertion and attempted to shorten the war not only by pardoning and restoring citizenship rights to deserters who took a loyalty oath to the Union but also by allowing former Confederates to return to their homes. In August 1864 Union general Ulysses S. Grant issued Circular No. 31, which rewarded Confederate deserters with monetary incentives and transport home.

In response to these Union policies, the Confederate Congress passed legislation in an attempt to stifle desertion and maintain Confederate armies. In December 1863 Confederate authorities passed an act that made it illegal for civilians to transport, feed, or shelter deserters. This act also made it a crime for family members to encourage soldiers to return home. On August 10, 1864, Confederate general Robert E. Lee also attempted to sustain his fighting force by issuing General Orders No. 64, which offered amnesty to any deserter who returned to Confederate service.

(To be continued)

School walking

The Clean Air Campaign's BAIR helped Duluth's Parsons Elementary School students during Walk to School Day. Parsons Elementary School teacher Trisha Baughman and PTA member Ricki Dey Shaw spent time with Clean Air Campaign's BAIR on International Walk to School Day.


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Every aristocracy has always behaved the same way

"There are no wise few. Every aristocracy that has ever existed has behaved, in all essential points, exactly like a small mob."

-- English author of the Father Brown series G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936).

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.





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.

(NEW) Techie 5K/10K Race: 6:30 a.m. (registration opens) and 8 a.m. (race starts), Oct. 6, Technology Park. The race winds through Technology Park. This is a fundraiser for the Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative, with the course certified for the Peachtree seeding. The race starts and finishes at Corus 360's building at 130 Technology Park.

(NEW) Photos of the Holy Land: Through Nov. 30, George Pierce Park Community and Recreation Center, 55 Buford Highway in Suwanee. This is an exhibit of photographs by Frank Sharp of Lawrenceville featuring scenes from Jerusalem. Admission is free.

Public Safety Fall Festival at Coolray Field: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 6. Free admission, but visitors are encouraged to bring canned food donations for local food banks. Activities include public safety displays, pet adoptions, yard sale, car seat checks and other activities.

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.

Norcross ArtFest: Oct. 6 (all day) and Oct. 7 (all afternoon), downtown Norcross. Art will be on display from 165 different artists. A highlight will be work from, with items decorated by Norcross students. Nine schools are participating. The ArtFest was named "Event of the Year" by the Gwinnett Convention and Visitor's Bureau, with festival goers numbering 60,000 in 2011.

34th annual Elisha Winn Fair: Oct. 6-7, Elisha Winn House, 908 Dacula Road. This year commemorates the 200th anniversary of the house where Gwinnett's first government was formed, and put on by the Gwinnett Historical Society, which maintains the home. Proceeds benefit upkeep of the home. Hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy live music, food, vendors, a quilt raffle, crafts, re-enactors and a house tour.

Fourth Annual Chattapoochee Pet Fest: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 7, Chattapoochee Dog Park, 4291 Rogers Bridge Road. Celebrate the life of four-legged friends, including a pet costume contest. Vendors of pet, crafts and foods will be present, plus others. Proceeds benefit the Historic Strickland House. Details: 770-232-7584.

Poet laureate to speak: 5 p.m., Oct. 7, Georgia Gwinnett College Student Center. Natasha Trethewey will focus on her works. Books will be for sale at this event, light refreshments will be served, and music will be provided by harpist Joyce Parks, director of the B.J. Chorale.

Southern Wings Bird Club: 7 p.m. Oct. 8 and every second Monday, Gwinnett Justice and Administrative Building. Speaker will be Sandy Komito, who for two years set the record for themost birds seen in a single year. The purpose is to learn about birds in this area, share our interest with the community, create wildlife habitat, and enjoy fellowship with similar interests. Email for details.

(NEW) Re-Development Forum: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 11, Red Clay Theatre in downtown Duluth Keynote speaker is Charles Waldheim, chair of Landscape Architecture of Harvard Graduate School of Design. Sponsored by Partnership Gwinnett and Council for Quality Growth. Details.


(NEW) Terror on the Trail: Friday and Saturday nights, Oct. 12-27, Sims Lake Park in Suwanee. Tours begin at 7:30 p.m., with the last tour at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance at or by calling the Aurora Theatre Box Office at 678-226-6222. The park's 1.2-mile looping trail will be transformed into a haunting backdrop for zombies and tales of terror.

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) 39th annual Lilburn Daze Festival: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 13, Lilburn City Park. Free Admission. Sponsored by GFWC Lilburn's Woman's Club in cooperation with the city.

(NEW) Gwinnett Congressional Candidate Forum: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15, Busbee Center of Gwinnett Technical College, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Gwinnett, in partnership with OCA Georgia and the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett. "Know the issues, join the conversation, make a difference."

Fort Daniel Frontier Faire, at Hog Mountain: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 20, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 21, at 2505 Braselton Highway. The former site of Fort Daniel (circa 1812) is currently located on privately owned property. Faire parking on site is limited to handicapped only and parking for the public is available across the street at Northview Church, corner of Georgia Highways 124-324.

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.


12/21: Fort Daniel, Chambliss
12/18: Ban assault weapons
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


12/21: Wiggins: Recycle trees
12/18: Two canal cruises to take
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


2001-2012, Gwinnett is Gwinnett County's online community forum for commentary that explores pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

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