BEFORE AND AFTER: Lilburn's City Council has commissioned a $10,000 mural on the former Cofer Electric building in downtown Lilburn. Work on the Cofer Building mural could begin as early as January, local artist Sonny Franks says. A full-sized rendering of the mural will be projected onto the building during the Lilburn Christmas Parade on December 1. Franks is part of a group of artists that travel the country painting murals. "This is really the beginning of something a lot bigger." Franks and Mayor Johnny Crist are working to form an art association in Lilburn that will commission works of public art, support local artists of all kinds, and create studio space in Old Town.
Cost of the mural
is funded through the city's Public Art Fund. Businesses constructing
a building valued at more than $750,000 contribute to the fund in lieu
of placing a work of art in their commercial development. Those interested
in participating in a city art association may contact Sonny Franks at
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LAS VEGAS, Nev., Nov. 16, 2012 -- My poker tournament-playing boyfriend and I just returned from four days in Las Vegas -- what a trip! His tournament was in the Fremont Street area, so we stayed at the Golden Nugget, a long-time Vegas institution. These casino hotels are huge. Our room was at the end of two long hallways, which actually was not bad. An end-of-hall room means no one is running past or loudly talking as they head towards their rooms. It was blissfully quiet, and upgraded 'pillow-top' mattresses were very comfortable after walking all day.
While the boyfriend played poker (he came in 20th out of over 400 national champs, so he was pleased after 10 hours of play), I explored. Fremont Street, a pedestrian-friendly four blocks of Vegas casinos, shops and restaurants, was filled with street performers, three band stages, and restored 1950s-60s era neon signs, courtesy of The Neon Museum. The neon was fabulous. I took photos in daytime and nighttime for the contrast; some of the signs really came to life at night.
Another day, I took the local bus (two hour pass, $6; 24-hour pass, $8, three-day pass, $20) to "The Strip," most notably, the MGM Grand complex. My goal was to participate in a CBS Television City Research Center screening. CBS gets volunteers to watch prototype shows for viewer feedback; it was quite interesting as a process; unfortunately, what I had to watch for 22 minutes (no commercials!) was a horrible reality program. The dial-style monitor was consistently below the "50" median on that one. In particular, it dipped to zero at every recap of already-seen footage.
Contrasting The Strip to Fremont Street, I felt very comfortable on Fremont, which was once a blighted downtown area. The city of Las Vegas has made a tremendous effort to clean it up, and it shows. I saw a number of bicycle cops and every casino seemed to have armed security. I didn't see anyone "out of line" or drunk, which I was surprised and pleased by. Activities were more family-friendly than I expected. I saw nothing untoward, regarding dress, either.
However, along the Strip, where all the fabulous hotels and their attractions are, the vibe was quite different. Granted, I was there around noon on a Sunday, but it felt like the area was half tourists and half locals (some of whom were of the shady nature). I felt much less safe along The Strip, which is under county management, not City of Las Vegas oversight.
The best thing we did was to visit The Mob Museum which opened on February 14 of this year, the anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. We got there about two hours before it closed for the night, and I really could have stayed another hour. It's an interactive museum, and one of the best. Housed in the historic former federal courthouse and post office, the building is one of the few remaining historically significant buildings in Las Vegas. It's a gem. We saw several short films, got to shoot a Tommy gun (lasers replacing the bullets) and a handgun (again with the lasers), stand in a line-up, learn about the mob, scams, gambling, early Vegas, etc. It was fascinating, and well worth the $19.95 per adult.
all, a great trip! I look forward to returning and donating again to the
NOV. 16, 2012 -- Most of the charitable institutions in Gwinnett need resources of all kinds, and, yes, of course, financial donations, to keep them alive.
But the charities can usually also benefit from finding people in the community who can help them in another major way---routinely volunteering their time with their own set of skills.
More volunteer time is one of the key needs of the Hope Clinic, the Lawrenceville internal medicine practice center that provides care for uninsured people who desperately need it. Now in its 11th year, the Hope Clinic has expanded from numerous charitable gifts over the years, and currently needs to find ways to extend their care to a broader segment of the Gwinnett community.
The Clinic, which opened July 1, 2002, provides ongoing care to more than 8,500 patients who visit annually, though there are 14,000 patients on its rolls. Most cannot afford medical services elsewhere, and 65 percent of its patients (with a family of four) earn less than $20,800 annually.
The Clinic gets some 250 patients referred to it from other medical facilities, churches, and other charitable groups each month, but the Clinic is able to take only about 100 of these patients. The Clinic is not closed to new patients, but determines who becomes its patients.
Its income is $1.2 million, while program patients provide $506,000 (in 2011) of its overall expenses, based on a sliding fee scale for services. (However, no one is refused care because of a lack of financial resources.) The balance must come primarily from grants, charitable contributions and the kindness of individuals.
By having Hope Clinic in Gwinnett, this helps the overall community, since the patients the Clinic treats, left untreated, would turn to public facilities, like overcrowded Emergency Rooms, for costly health care.
The Hope Clinic received a shot in the arm in 2010 when a Community Block Grant helped gain new quarters in its own building in Lawrenceville, and eliminated an $8,000 a month rental agreement for previous facilities. Now the Clinic hopes eventually to expand its services, through adding to its staff of two physicians, to provide more services.
Yet before getting larger, the immediate goal is to make up a shortfall in current operations. The shortfall amounts to about $30,000 a month, which over the years, has somehow been met.
Pam Martin, executive director of the Clinic, is on the lookout for unknown benefactors. "The shortfall is constantly with us, as we seek grants and gifts, but we have been so blessed with individuals stepping up, often out of the blue. Yet we see the need to do more for the community, and keep working toward that end."
Meanwhile, for any individual or company looking to volunteer, there are specific areas where the Clinic would benefit from finding ways to meet certain needs, such as:
If you have such skills, or know of others who have them and would like to find a meaningful way to help the community, and find an extra way to make oneself useful, call the Hope Clinic at 678 462 8500.
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Editor, the Forum:
A recent bit in GwinnettForum said that the Gwinnett voting patterns are getting to be more like the overall patterns of the State of Georgia.
New slogan? "Gwinnett County: The Ohio of Georgia?" Interesting analysis.
is coming to City of Suwanee parks. The City is currently installing shade
structures at the Sims Lake Park playground and plans to install additional
shade sails around the Big Splash fountain area at Town Center Park early
Gwinnett Place CID adds two new directors to its board
Two new members were elected Wednesday to serve on the Board of Directors of the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District.
Debra Irving, of Snellville, serves as Property Manager of Gwinnett Place Mall for McKinley, Inc. She previously served for 18 years in commercial property management for Connolly Realty Services, Inc. She is a graduate of Jacksonville State University.
has 25 years of experience in real estate/development and management.
He is the founder of Kaufman Realty Group. Prior to forming Kaufman, he
worked as a financial analyst and real estate consultant in New York City
and St. Louis. He serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors
for Camp Sunshine, a non-profit organizations that holds year-round programs
and summer camps for children with cancer. He also serves on the Board
of the Jewish Education Loan Fund and on the regional Board of the Anti-Defamation
Place Community Improvement District (CID) is again increasing the
public safety presence throughout greater Gwinnett Place in time for the
holiday shopping season. Extra private security professionals contracted
by the CID will expand upon the current seven-day patrols. The added measures
will continue for a six-week period accounting for the balance of 2012.
Inc., one of the largest North American producers of high-quality thermal
papers and thermal labels, is creating 58 jobs in a 35,500-square-foot
expansion of its thermal media coating facility in Lawrenceville.
Dr. Steve Flynt, chairman of the Gwinnett Recreation Authority, was recognized at the 67th annual Georgia Recreation and Parks Association meeting with the statewide Volunteer Award for his continuous efforts and dedication to the Authority. Dr. Flynt, associate superintendent for school leadership and operation, has played an integral part in the preservation of greenspace and in park master planning in Gwinnett County.
Another Gwinnettian, Dr. Mark Patterson, grounds maintenance coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Conservation District, was also honored with the Association's Mike Daniel award. He has been directly involved with the programming and environmental education aspects of the Department.
Varney to be new interim director of Artworks! Gwinnett
will become Interim Executive Director of ArtWorks!
Gwinnett, the non-profit arts council organization. She will take
over the role for departing Executive Director Sally Corbett. Following
18 years with the metro-Atlanta's arts community, Corbett returns to New
York, accepting a position minutes from her family.
ArtWorks! Gwinnett was developed between 2008 and 2010 by volunteer civic leaders representing business, arts, and government (schools, libraries and municipalities). In the last year and a half ArtWorks! Gwinnett has produced award-winning, mission-driven programs that promote and support arts opportunities that enrich the local economy, education, and quality of life.
Upcoming Artworks! programmatic highlights will include a February 25 fundraiser and awards celebration "Fusion: Second Annual ArtWorks! Gwinnett Awards."
Varney brings more than 20 years of arts management expertise to Gwinnett. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a B.A. in English and speech communication. For more information about ArtWorks! Gwinnett, to volunteer or support the arts in Gwinnett, or for an events calendar and arts directory, the public may visit http://artworksgwinnett.org.
Braselton names Pinnell as its downtown director
Amy K. Pinnell has been named downtown director for the Town of Braselton to focus on economic development. Most recently, Pinnell was a customer service representative with Northeast Georgia Bank. Among other duties, Pinnell will staff the Braselton Downtown Development Authority, which was created by the Town Council in 2009. She will facilitate the makeover of the historic downtown and market the town for premier destinations, retail and community activities. The Authority's office will be in the Heritage and Visitors Center on Frances Street, formerly home to the town's library.
Harry James was one of the most renowned trumpet players and band leaders of the swing era. He gained even greater popularity as a Hollywood actor and the husband of actress Betty Grable.
Born on March 15, 1916, in Albany to a bandmaster and a trapeze artist traveling with the Mighty Haag Shows circus (which was passing through town), Harry Haag James began performing music at a young age. He started out playing drums and switched to trumpet, under his father's tutelage. Living in a circus environment gave James free reign to focus on learning the instrument, and as a young teenager he led the second-line band of the Christy Brothers Circus.
James got his first job playing jazz with Joe Gill's Phillips Flyers, which led to brief stints in a number of groups before drummer Ben Pollack hired him. In Pollack's band, James wrote his first arrangement, made his recording debut, and met other important jazz sidemen, like Glenn Miller and Charlie Spivack, who would both go on to greater fame.
Benny Goodman, a clarinetist who had also played for Pollack, hired James in 1937, about a year after Goodman's group became the dominant big band of the time and Goodman had become known as the "King of Swing." James played with Goodman's band at the height of its popularity and in its most famous concert at New York City's Carnegie Hall in 1938. While with Goodman, James also recorded with Miff Mole and Lionel Hampton, and he made his recording debut as a band leader.
In early 1939, James left Goodman to start his own big band, Harry James and His Orchestra. James hired Frank Sinatra, then unknown, as his vocalist, the first in a long string of gifted singers that included Helen Forrest, Connie Haines, Dick Haymes, and Kitty Kallen.
In an attempt
to produce hit records, James and his orchestra began to feature more
songs that showcased his singers, and the group moved away from the traditional
swing sound. Hence the group became well known as a "sweet"
band that performed popular hits of the period. In 1941 James added strings
to the orchestra and began acting in Hollywood movies for the first time,
and the following year he started broadcasting his own national radio
Swing and big band music began to lose its audience in the years following World War II and James disbanded his group in 1946. He reformed the band in late 1946, and they continued playing until 1951. In the ensuing years James fronted bop, sweet, swing, and small combos in order to stay employed. Though none of his later bands attained the success of his 1940s-era orchestra, James continued as a bandleader for many years at the Flamingo and at the Frontier in Las Vegas, Nev. He died of lymphatic cancer in 1983 in Las Vegas and was inducted posthumously into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame that same year.
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Visit this site to see details of the upcoming funerals of Gwinnett Countians from local funeral homes. On the site, sign up at top right and we'll send you GwinnettObits each day.
Click on the names below to see details of their funerals.
"This country needs, and unless I mistake its temper, the country demands, bold, persistent experimentation."
MORE COPIES AVAILABLE
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:
You can also order
books through the Internet. To do that, go to www.elliottbrack.com
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.
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
THE WEEK AHEAD
15th America Recycles Day: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 17, Recycling Bank of Gwinnett, 4300 Satellite Boulevard, Duluth. Come for free paper shredding, cash for aluminum cans, free recycling of foam food containers, cash prizes, and recycling of newspapers, cardboard, etc.
Another America Recycles Day: 9 a.m. to noon, Nov. 17, Coolray Field, home of Gwinnett Braves. Sponsored by Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division. This event will have paper shredding, electronics recycling, and tire recycling. Kid's activities, free food and giveaways are on tap.
Fourth annual Johns Creek Poetry Festival: 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 17, Northeast Spruill Oaks Library, 9560 Spruill Road, Johns Creek. Featured speaker will be Judson Mitcham, new poet laureate of Georgia. Details: 770-876-2904.
Basket Weaving Workshop: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Nov. 17, McDaniel Farm Park, 3252 McDaniel Road, Duluth. Ideal for those 10 and older. Admission is $10 per person. Participants must pre-register at www.gwinnerrehc.org. Organized by the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center.
Book Signing: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 17, Books for Less, 2815 Buford Drive, Buford. Doug Dahlgren of Decatur will be signing Four Samaritans, the fourth in The Son series.
Fall Art Scholarship Fundraiser: Noon to 5 p.m., Nov. 17, Artists' Open Studio in Suwanee. Funds will benefit the Rosemary Benavides-Williams Scholarship Fund, honoring the artist who passed away last spring. Fifteen businesses are participating.
Southern Wings Bird Club: 7 p.m., Nov. 19, second floor of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Author John Yow of The Armchair Birder will speak on coastal birds. More info.
ONGOING AND COMING SOON
(NEW) 25th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting: 5:30 p.m., Nov. 22, Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in Lawrenceville. Gwinnett Parks and Recreation continues this Great Tree tradition on the former courthouse lawn. Enjoy live performances, music, crafts, food and much more!
(NEW) Groundbreaking of Phase 2 of the Gwinnett Senior Center: 10:30 a.m., Nov. 30, 567 Swanson Drive, Lawrenceville. For more information, call 770 822 7180.
Wink Art Exhibit: Through Nov. 24, Tannery Row Artist Colony in Buford. Shown will be resident art with a hint of humor, a turn of the phrase or visual twist to make you smile. Details: 678-428-4877, or visit www.TanneryRowArtistColony.com.
Photo Exhibit: Through Nov. 28, George Pierce Park Community Room, Suwanee, during Community Center hours, Monday through Saturday. Frank L. Sharp presents "Israel, the Holy Land," while Wendell Tudor features "Images of the Sea," coastline and landscape images, including photographs from Canada.
Stitched Art Show by Adele Steele: Through Nov. 30, Chocolate Perks in Duluth.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
CONTINUING OBJECTIVES FOR GWINNETT
Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.
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