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SING-ALONG: Photographer Frank Sharp says that you may have seen a melodic sparrow in your back yard. It knows 20 different melodies with nearly 1,000 variations, so no wonder its scientific name is "melodia"! This photo was shot at Rhodes-Jordan Park, with the bird high up in a tree. This species of bird is hard to photograph because of their small size (less 6 inches) and quickness of movement. This shot was made with s Canon SX-50 camera at 1/640sec, F6.5, ISO 1250 at 1250mm with continuous autofocus.

Issue 14.22 | June 10, 2014

:: About GGC's winning athletic teams

:: How being fair may influence wrongly

On possible new slogans for Gwinnett

Heritage trail; Duluth's July 3 plans

Playground, trails, Calmes' photos

:: Gwinnett County Public Library

:: 12 Years a Slave

:: Fences around cemeteries?

:: Lee among first females with this job

:: Far away rocks on a beach

:: Snellville veterans' memorial project


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.

:: Contact us today
:: Subscribe for free
Buy the book on Gwinnett's history


Plan all along was for outstanding athletic teams at GGC
Director of Athletics, Georgia Gwinnett College

Special for GwinnettForum
| permalink

(Editor's note: in view of the tremendous success of the athletic program at Georgia Gwinnett College since its inception, we asked Dr. Darin Wilson to give readers an understanding of how all this success came about. Here are his views. This is an exclusive story which readers will read first in GwinnettForum. -eeb)

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., June 10, 2014 -- We have been very fortunate at Georgia Gwinnett College to have had great support for our athletics program from its inception. Our inaugural president, Dr. Dan Kaufman as well as our current president, Dr. Stas Preczewski, have allowed us to build, what we believe, is the model athletics program in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).


To do this requires hiring outstanding coaches and administrators and allowing them to fully do their jobs each and every day. As a department, we penned our athletics mission statement just over two years ago, "To develop lifelong leaders of character through academic and athletic excellence." Our staff works daily to instill this motto into the lives of our student-athletes.

Our coaches, administrators and staff all bought into our philosophy that intercollegiate athletics is about more than wins and losses and we should all strive to make a positive, lasting impression on our athletes.

It all begins and ends with hiring great people. People who understand their profession and people who understand that if we do the little things correctly, the big things (like winning) will take care of themselves.

Our coaches have done an outstanding job attracting top talent and students to GGC and developing them into winning teams both on and off the fields and courts of competition. All of our student-athletes are involved in some form of community service throughout the academic year. Our athletes have GPA's that are consistently higher than the general student body.

Our coaches hold our student-athletes accountable for their actions on campus, in the community and in the competitive arena. They believe in the product they are promoting and they aspire to have their athletes graduate and become productive citizens in their respective cities and towns where they will eventually reside.

We had a philosophy from the very beginning here at Grizzly Athletics that we intended to compete for championships in all of the sports that we sponsor. We have not wavered from that philosophy and our coaches and staff understand the high expectations that we place on our program each and every day.

We believe that "everything matters" in relation to our athletics department. Our first-class facilities matter, our grades matter, our service to the community matters, being a good teammate matters, being socially responsible matters, training hard matters and competing every day matters.

We are very fortunate to have had outstanding success in our first year of postseason eligibility. But that success has come from a daily dose of recruiting and developing high-level athletes, having an extreme attention to detail, and understanding that our ultimate goal is to graduate our student-athletes while pursuing excellence in all that we do.

* * * * *

Here is the record of Georgia Gwinnett College teams this year:

  • Baseball (53-13): Went to NAIA World Series, finished eighth, after winning Lawrenceville Bracket of tournament opening round; won Association of Independent Institutions championship tournament.

  • Softball (39-10-1): Hosted Association of Independent Institutions championship tournament, finished fourth.

  • Men's Tennis (21-0): NAIA National Champions; won Association of Independent Institutions championship tournament.

  • Women's Tennis (18-4): NAIA National Champions; runner up at Association of Independent Institutions championship tournament.

  • Men's Soccer (15-5): Went to NAIA National Tournament, lost in round of 32; hosted and won Association of Independent Institutions championship tournament.

  • Women's Soccer (14-4-1): Hosted Association of Independent Institutions championship tournament, lost in semifinals.

Media "being fair" does not always produce a balanced outcome

Editor and publisher |

JUNE 10, 2014 -- Being fair can cause confusion.


Being fair can cost us in understanding.

In effect, being fair can cause problems.

We suspect that being fair is a universal consideration in many cultures. It is certainly hammered into young American children from their birth.

"No, Johnny, let your sister play with the toy for a while by herself."

"She went the first time, now it's your turn to start."

"Well, if we're going to hear from Sam, let's hear from John, who has different views."

Fairness has even been written into rules and regulations: i.e., the ill-fated "Fairness Doctrine" from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Though no longer one of its precepts, it came about because the FCC awarded broadcast channels, and wanted to make sure that no one political view was promulgated by the government. Why it still is not in effect baffles many of us.

So, with this background of fairness, what has arisen particularly in the media (out of the Fairness Doctrine in recent years) is the understanding that if you do a story on one viewpoint, in all fairness it's reasonable to check with the "other side" and get their views on controversial subjects. After all, you want to do your own due diligence, and make sure you are telling both sides. Some call this "balanced reporting."

But look at what this thinking does.

It means that you might have 97 percent of the climate scientists in the world who believe (as we understand) that the world is speedily warming up, and that this is a dangerous move caused by mankind. But then you have three percent of the scientists who hold the opposite view. Who knows which is right? The three percent might be right, for every 97-3 split cannot always come down on the 97 side, can it?

So, the story shows both views in its presentation. But as the writer is trying to be fair, perhaps the 97 percent and the three percent of scientists each get a 50-50 split in the space their arguments are presented. (That's fair, isn't it?)

So what has happened? The reader is presented with a "balanced" story, but gets a fairly imbalanced picture. The reader gets the facts, as presented on both sides, and it is not a 97-3 view, but a 50-50 view. So the reader may well be befuddled as to the viability of this particular story. Confusion reigns, even in the face that 97 percent of those who study this question have no doubt about it. Ipso-facto: only 50 percent of the readers now have no doubt about it.

The upshot is that the world gets a very unbalanced view of the subject.

You can extend similar media-driven stories to topics like gun control, the effects of smoking (how long did that story take to finally jell?), and today's continuing story of the effects of the Tea Party on Republican politics. Balanced views can create unbalanced outcomes.

Fairness can cause confusion.

Maybe we need to go back to the days when it was easy to determine the politics of the media. Remember, there was a time when there was a Rochester Republican newspaper, and even today there is a Tallahassee Democrat newspaper. Go one more: today we have a Fox News Channel, which many view as at least conservative, if not Republican. And others view the New York Times as heavily Democratic.

Perhaps that's not all bad.

But the main thrust: being fair has led, in public matters, to confusion and misunderstanding.

Gwinnett County Public Library

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring to you at no cost to readers. The Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) is proud to serve the Gwinnett community with a newly updated catalog that will allow library users to better discover and access the library's collection. The library is a public community partner that supports economic development with early literacy opportunities, curriculum support, and lifelong learning based programs for all residents. In addition to remote resources like the innovative AskGCPL service, GCPL provides wireless internet access and public computers in each branch.

Idea of new Gwinnett slogan gets this guy into preaching

Editor, the Forum:

To me community is rooted in our ontological fabric given to us by the Triune God. You might expect this from a preacher, specifically a Salvation Army Captain!

The Salvation Army has a basic belief that would be affirmed by all Christian traditions, "We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead---the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; undivided in essence and co-equal in power in Glory." Essentially God exists eternally in a mysterious community that is undivided. There are three distinct persons - The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - but that diversity does not diminish God's essence.

I believe all authoritative and authentic communities reflect a Trinitarian diversity that is self deferring, self giving, and mutually submissive. When Gwinnett gets "community in diversity" or "community through diversity" correct, it reflects something deeper than we can epistemologically verify. It reflects God and his plan for the world.

This phrase also tells me that community is more important than our diversity. That word "through" suggests that when we do it right, people won't know we are as diverse as we are because we have worked through it. We are willing to work through necessary diversity because we are called to something greater, something holier, something more Trinitarian that the separated silos of "being great" and "finding where success lives," that something is community expressed through diversity.

So, you got me preaching...

-- Andy Miller III, Lawrenceville

"Community Through Diversity" says area unique, dynamic

Editor, the Forum:

I enjoyed reading your column about a new Gwinnett slogan. I agree that we should highlight the diversity in Gwinnett - it makes the county unique, dynamic, and interesting. I think "Community Through Diversity" is a fantastic idea!

-- Alyssa Sinclair, Program Director. Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District

Other ideas for a new slogan for Gwinnett County

Editor, the Forum:

Ideas for slogan: "Gwinnett -- Live, Learn, and Love."

However, Shakespeare said, "Brevity is the soul of wit."

With that thought in mind, "Gwinnett -- A Place to Grow." "Growing" can mean economic growth, personal growth, educational growth, career growth, or a place to grow a family.

That's my two cents.

-- Debra Houston, Lilburn

Editor, the Forum:

How about a slogan of: "Smile when you call me Gwinnettian!"

-- Chris Riker, Lawrenceville

Rant, rave, send us a letter

An invitation: 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 Issue as space allows.

Lawrenceville seeks nominations for medallions along Heritage Trail

Lawrenceville's Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is seeking nominations for Medallions that will line the City's new Heritage Trail walkway.

Beginning at the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial and ending at Rhodes Jordan Park, the trail will focus on commemorating those historic figures who have contributed to the growth and development of Lawrenceville over the past 193 years.

Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson says: "The Lawrenceville Heritage Trail was created as a way to honor Lawrenceville residents that have made extraordinary contributions to the growth, development, and overall well-being of the city. Residents and visitors will have opportunity to explore our community and learn even more about its history."

The Heritage Trail is intended to provide a walking path that will allow people to stroll throughout the downtown area and learn about Lawrenceville's proud past and the individuals that made it possible.

David Still, Chairman of the Lawrenceville DDA, says: "Strengthening a city's core is essential to building a healthy Main Street community. Projects like the Heritage Trail combine history with present-day revitalization efforts to create an attraction that both residents and tourists can enjoy. It's a win-win for all. My predecessor, Mike Reedy, has worked hard with the various City Councils to make this come to fruition."

People may nominate a Medallion location by reviewing and filling out an application before Monday, June 23. The application can be downloaded online at and go to the Downtown Development Authority page.

Duluth moving July 3 activities to Town Green this year

The City of Duluth is changing locations for its July 3rd celebration. It will be held at the Duluth Town Green this year. Previously, the celebration was held at Scott Hudgens Park, but because of pending construction, the event is to move this year.

Among the headliners for the event will be America's 116th Army Rock Band and Funk/R&B Group. Food vendors will also be available, along with children's activities.

A firework display with City Hall as the back drop will wrap up of the event. The Duluth Celebrates America event will take place on Thursday, July 3, starting at 6 p.m. in the city's licensed merchant zone.

Little Mulberry Park gets new playground with foundation grant

A new playground is coming to Little Mulberry Park near Auburn thanks in part to funds raised by the Gwinnett Parks Foundation. Commissioners accepted a $25,000 donation from the nonprofit, all-volunteer group recently.

Foundation Chairman Mike Levengood said, "The Gwinnett Parks Foundation commemorates Karina Miller through this gift to Gwinnett County for the playground in her name at Little Mulberry Park. She and her family ensured that the public could enjoy the natural beauty of that property now, and for the future." The new feature will be added during the third phase of the park's development and will be named the Karina Miller UnbeLeafable Playground.

Peggy Levengood, president of the foundation, added, "We also thank Fidelity Bank for making a lead gift in support of our fundraising efforts." Those efforts included a 5K race, the One UnbeLEAFable Day event and sales of commemorative trees and benches in recent years.

The 890-acre Little Mulberry Park already features the Karina Miller Nature Preserve and five miles of paved and soft-surface trails for hiking, biking and equestrian use. Gwinnett Parks and Recreation won the national Gold Medal Award presented by the National Recreation and Park Association in 2008 and is a finalist again this year.

Four Gwinnett park trails added to National Trails System

Four trails in the Gwinnett County park system have been named as national recreation trails. These are among 15 other hiking and biking trails and two water trails around the country adding 452 miles in 11 states to the National Trails System.

Beginning of Harbin Trail

Gwinnett's four national trails are located in Harbins Park in the Dacula area, Little Mulberry Park in the Dacula area, McDaniel Farm Park in the Duluth area, and Settles Bridge Park in the Suwanee area. In total, Gwinnett's four trails make up approximately 15 miles of the 452 newest miles in the trail system.

The national recreation trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. Each of the new national recreation trails will receive a certificate of designation, a letter of congratulations from Secretary Jewell and a set of trail markers.

Tina Fleming, Parks and Recreation Operations Division director, says: "I appreciate all of the staff and volunteers who work so hard to make our trails system the best in the nation. Our trails are wonderful features that offer residents the opportunity to invest in their personal wellness while enjoying Gwinnett's serene natural settings."

Calmes' solo dance photo exhibit opens in Saratoga Springs

A solo photographic exhibit, "The Dance Magic of Richard Calmes" opened at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. with a formal reception on May 30. This 20 piece exhibition of photographic art will be on view to the public through April, 2015.

Mr. Calmes, left, a former resident of Gwinnett now living in Hiawassee, was contacted by the museum in 2013 regarding his selection as the solo exhibitor for the museum's annual show, a part of their "Art in the Foyer" series. The result is a collection of images that range from studio work to outdoor photography with a diverse selection of dancers, nationally known and local.

Calmes says: "This is a great honor for me. There are many wonderful dance photographers out there, and to be in such esteemed company in this museum is very exciting. Other exhibits at the Museum currently feature Alvin Ailey's Judith Jamison, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, and a large "Hall of Fame" saluting the greatest American dancers of the past two centuries.

The Atlanta area was also well represented by the exhibition, with images of four dancers from Gwinnett Ballet Theatre and pictures of Amanda Farris of Georgia Ballet among the chosen photographs. Mr. Calmes' photos can be enjoyed through

12 Years a Slave
By Solomon Northup

The event in this book and movie took place from 1841 to 1853, just before the start of the Civil War. I saw the movie and I am so glad that I was able to check out this most terrific book. Reading provided even more facts to grasp and appreciate what Solomon Northup experienced and reported. He was from New York, kidnapped in Washington, D.C. and taken to Louisiana. The state of New York provided the funds for retrieving a person held against their will for slavery. It is remarkable for the lengths a state went to in helping one of its citizens, no matter the color of skin the person had. This is something, we were not told about in our Southern text books. I hope many will not only read this book but give it as a gift to others, especially our youth...our future leaders.

-- Deborah Seay Willis, Lawrenceville

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

Savannah's Lee among first female landscape architects

Clermont Lee, one of the earliest women active in landscape architecture in Georgia, was known as the foremost expert in recreating historic landscapes in mid-20th-century Savannah. Her work was meticulously researched, with a particular focus on formal English and American gardens of the antebellum period.

Clermont Huger Lee was born in Savannah in 1914. After schooling in Savannah and Charleston, S.C., she attended Barnard College before transferring to Smith College in Northampton, Mass. She attended the Smith College Graduate School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, obtaining a master's in 1939. Lee preferred traditional, less severe landscape styles.

During the Great Depression, Lee returned to Savannah to become an assistant to T. M. Baumgardner, a landscape architect associated with the Sea Island Company. While working there, she planned landscape designs and supervised planting operations for many federal housing projects in Savannah and Brunswick.

Her interest in historic gardens began in the 1940s, when, at the request of a family friend, she drew plans for a small garden at the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation in Brunswick. She later researched antebellum plantings to develop a planting plan for the formal garden of the Andrew Low home for the Georgia Chapter of the Colonial Dames of America. In 1949 Lee left the Sea Island Company to set up her own practice, thereby becoming the first female professional landscape architect, in Georgia.

In the early 1950s her new design and planting plans for historic buildings in the city included the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the Andrew Low House, and the Green-Meldrim mansion. Outside the confines of Savannah, she consulted on the Chief Vann residence and the New Echota Cherokee capital in north Georgia for the Georgia Historical Commission.

From 1951 to 1972 Clermont Lee worked with Mills B. Lane Jr., and his wife, to develop landscapes for renovated homes in the northeast section of Savannah. She also worked with the Lanes to develop plans for the renovation of four Savannah squares: Madison, Troup, Warren, and Washington.

Her designs to preserve the sanctity of the squares brought her into conflict with the city, which wanted drive-through lanes for emergency crews and buses crossing the middle of all squares. To address the problem of the turning radius required by the buses, the city adopted Lee's suggestion that the curves of entry into the squares be rounded. In addition, utility poles and concrete walks were removed from the squares. Lee's strong, simple designs used variations in materials and ground forms to give each square a special character.

Lee later worked in conjunction with Hubert Owens, head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Georgia, to establish the Georgia State Board of Landscape Architects. The first four landscape architects to be registered included Owens and Lee. Lee served on the Georgia board for three years.

Clermont Lee not only made history for women in landscape architecture but also had a lasting impact on the quality of Savannah's historically designed landscape environment.

Falling water

: Check out this water and determine where you think this edition's Mystery Photo was shot. Send in your ideas with name and hometown to

We got several names for last edition's Mystery Photo. Karen Burnette Garner of Dacula says the photo is at Coquille Point at Face Rock Beach, Bandon, Oregon. Meanwhile, Eddie Copeland of Lawrenceville thought it was "Haystack rocks on Oregon's Coast." The person sending in the photo, Susan McBrayer of Sugar Hill says Bandon Beach. Who knows: from this distance, we all may be a little off in our spelling or identification.

New memorial

Snellville has a new touch of class in its Veterans' Memorial, dedicated recently in front of the Snellville Senior City and City Hall. Inscribed on the curved wall is "Freedom is never free." For 20 years, an eternal flame had burned in tribute to the veterans who served in the Vietnam war, but had been extinguished. Now it burns again in this memorial. The architect for the project was CAS Architecture, headed by Chad A. Smith. Among ways the memorial was funded was the placement of commemorative bricks among the pavers. To purchase a commemorative brick, go to (Photo by Frank Sharp.)


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2014, 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.

Ever Wonder Why There Are Fences Around Cemeteries?

"The fence around a cemetery is foolish, for those inside can't come out and those outside don't want to get in."

-- A patron saint of yellow journalism, Arthur Brisbane (1864-1936).




(NEW) Mark Flag Day in Snellville, Friday, June 13, at 10 a.m. at Snellville City Hall. This will be the third year that the City of Snellville has celebrated Flag Day. The City Hall is located at 2342 Oak Road.

Exhibit opening and concert at The Rectory of the Norcross Cultural Arts Center Ballroom, 17 College Street, Friday, June 13, at 6 p.m. Enjoy refreshments in the Cultural Arts Center Ballroom, next door, and the performance of "Confederates at the Keyboard," Southern Piano Music During the Civil War Era, by David Thompson beginning at 7 p.m. The exhibit will remain open throughout the month of June. Admission is free.

Georgia Manufacturing EXPO will be June 13-14 at the Gwinnett Civic Center, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days. Friday's activities will be tailored to the business community, while Saturday's focus will be on the general consumers. Take home free product samples, or win door prizes. More info.

Sing the Blues in Norcross on Saturday, June 14, from 5 until 11 p.m. Activities begin at Thrasher Park with the Breeze Kings. At 7:30 p.m. the action moves to South Peachtree Street for Mary Raindrop. More jazz follows at 10 p.m. with The Cazanovas. More info.

Fourth Annual Peachtree Corners Festival is June 14-15, at The Corners Parkway and Woodhill Drive, one block west of Peachtree Parkway. The Festival opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and closes at 6 p.m., while Sunday it is from noon to 5 p.m. More info.

Family Fun Day, at Duluth Town Green, Saturday, June 21, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sponsored by Hi-Hope Service Center, the goal is to build awareness for families with members who have developmental challenges. Activities include a wheel parade, inflatables, arts and crafts and live entertainment.

To Feel the Clouds is the current exhibit at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. Nationally-known Georgia photographer John Slemp will exhibit 25 photos of aircraft and the medium they fly in-clouds, The exhibit remains up through June 28. More of his work can be seen at

Free Brown Bag Concerts on the lawn at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in Lawrenceville. Bring a lunch and enjoy music and other activities. Dates for the 11 a.m. Brown Bag concerts are on July 11 and August 1, all sponsored by the Gwinnett Parks and Recreation Commission.


8/15: Churchill and battlefronts
8?12: New Duluth manager
8/8: On corporate moves
8/5: Club recognizes bus drivers
8/1: On better candidates

7/29: Good week for Atlanta
7/25: Can GOP keep control?
7/22: Peachtree Corners update
7/18: On election runoffs
7/15: Gwinnett's water use
7/11: Georgia Guidestones
7/8: 40 years in Gwinnett
7/3: Primary runoff endorsements
7/1: About the shining sun

6/27: A busy Congress
6/20: Property mystery solved
6/17: Civil War, tanning, more
6/13: On cleaning your plate
6/10: Fairness cuts several ways
6/6: Obama's carbon emissions plan
6/3: "Community Through Diversity"


8/15: Brill: Helmet sensors
8/12: Light: Cannon heads GTC
8/8: Fenton: Corporate Games
8/5: A. Brack: Summers to be hotter
8/1: Starnes: Enjoy writing

7/29: Lail: House fire, part 2
7/25: Lail: House fire, part 1
7/22: DeWilde: Suwanee's Cinderella
7/18: Zaken: Glance Gwinnett
7/15: Callina: Gift card scam
7/11: Cochran: Closed meetings
7/8: Lang: On health care act
7/3: Miller: Leukemia grants
7/1: Andrews: Sugar Hill's EpiCenter

6/27: Georgia Cup criterium
6/20: Gross: L'ville's 4th
6/17: Gardner: Senate bid
6/13: Adcock: Clinic openings
6/10: Wilson: GGC's top athletics
6/6: Waters: Leadership Gwinnett
6/3: Myers: GA-PMOC graduation


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 county offices
  • 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
  • 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
  • Requiring the legislature to meet once every two years.
  • Development of more community gardens.

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.

:: Contact us today
:: Subscribe for free
Buy the book on Gwinnett's history


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