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BIKE RACE: Two-wheeled racers will be zooming though Duluth later this year, as the city host the initial Georgia Cup Criterium. It’s just not any race, for there is $15,000 to be awarded in prize money.

Issue 14.26 | June 27, 2014

:: Duluth to host inaugural bike race

:: Major legislation from this Congress

Examine contractor classification

Jackson EMC to use more green power

GACS soccer is #2 in nation; more

:: Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory

:: Savage Harvest

:: How to cope with maturity

:: Gwinnettian founced Chickamauga

:: Decked out for what looks like holiday

:: Annandale gets foundation grant


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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Inaugural Georgia Cup Criterium will take place Aug. 2 in Duluth
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DULUTH, Ga., June 27, 2014 -- The inaugural Georgia Cup-Duluth Criterium will debut on August 2nd, in the streets of Downtown Duluth. With 600 cyclists and 15,000+ spectators, this event will feature some of the top professional and amateur racers in the Southeast region and beyond.  The unique feature of this event will be the twilight races for the Pro Women and Men that evening, “Under the lights.” It will offer $15,000 in prize purses. 
Criterium racing is one of the most common forms of bike racing in America.  The criterium, is a multi-lap race of 25-60 miles held on a closed course----generally a mile or less in length. These races, which usually last one to two hours, are extremely fast, with cyclists going 30 miles per hour and up, as they jockey for position and sprint for lap “primes’ (cash or merchandise prizes, pronounced “preems”). The short, closed course, generally with both right and left-hand corners, makes this type of racing easy to watch for spectators, and more accessible for the media.
In criteriums, it’s “go” from the gun, as the strong riders force the pace and the weaker ones struggle to hang on. Quick acceleration and bike-handling ability are paramount. A successful criterium rider will be able to dive into a tight corners at high speed, leaning the bike over a gravity-defying angle, then power out of the turn and instantly set up for the next. It’s important to stay near the front; the first few riders in the pack can take a corner with little or no braking. Those toward the back jockey for the best “line” through the turn, brake, and then sprint to catch up with the pack as it accelerates, developing an “accordion” or “slinky” effect. 
In an hour-long race where corners will number in the hundreds, the constant braking and accelerating takes its toll. Riders who fall off the pace and find themselves out of contention or lapped by the field, will usually be removed from the race. A rider who crashes, flats or has some other mechanical problem, however, may take advantage of a free-lap rule to repair his or her bike, proceeding to a repair pit and re-entering the pack in the position he or she left it a lap later.
This USA Cycling sanctioned and insured event, will start at 1 p.m. It will feature races for all level of bike riders.  Riders who have not raced, or do not have much experience, will have an opportunity to compete at 1 p.m. The racing will continue throughout the day, with a large number of categories and classes available for racers to participate. 
The goal of the Georgia Cup is to capitalize on the speed, adrenaline and excitement of professional cycling and use it as a platform from which to promote and encourage family fitness, health, and wellness.  The Georgia Cup Duluth Twilight Pro Criterium is more than a professional cycling race. It becomes a festival of fitness, health, and wellness to promote preventative health.’
The Duluth Twilight will also host an exotic culinary excursion, featuring mobile food vendors to capture your taste buds. Live music will flow through the air and children’s laughter coming from the “Kids Corner,” featuring inflatables, face painting, games and more.

  • For additional information, contact: Alisa Williams or call 678-475-3506.

Will USA ever see a body as effective as the 59th Congress?

Editor and publisher |

JUNE 27, 2014 -- For generations, Americans have been frustrated by the inaction of its government. Commentators, from Mark Twain to Will Rogers to today’s talking heads, lament the inability of the government, and Congress in particular, to move matters ahead and “get something done.”


Rogers once opined: “We all joke about Congress but we can't improve on them. Have you noticed that no matter who we elect, he is just as bad as the one he replaces?"
One of the most progressive and important of sessions had to be the 59th Congress, back during the fifth and sixth years of the Theodore Roosevelt administration. Its accomplishments are massive, creating some of the most important legislation of our country, all backed by the enormous personality of the old Bull Moose, Teddy Roosevelt.  This is highlighted in the current best seller, Bully Pulpit, by the historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin. This book tells primarily of the tremendous relationship between Roosevelt and his good friend, Secretary of War, and successor as president, William Howard Taft. 
At one point, Ms. Goodwin quotes The New York Times in saying of the 59th: “During no session of Congress since the foundation of the Government has there been so much done, first to extend the Federal power of regulation and control over the business of the country, and second, to cure and prevent abuses of corporation privileges.”
Indeed, it was a major session of Congress. Here are three provisions of 1906 which passed during this term:

  • The Hepburn Act, creating the Interstate Commerce Commission, which began regulating railroads. This was a major victory for the Roosevelt Administration, since railroads had a stranglehold on shipping, favoring many trusts and industries.

  • The Pure Food and Drug Act, a consumer protection bill, which led to the creation of the Federal Food and Drug Administration.  This eventually led to the banning of interstate traffic in mislabeled food and drug products.

  • The Federal Meat Inspection Act, giving the Department of Agriculture wide power in the inspection and labeling of meat products.

One of the most influential of media in those days was McClure’s magazine, which had written much about all three subjects, railroads, drugs and the meat industry. “Pass they must,” McClure's biographer wrote of the bills: “That verdict had already been reached by the people.”  But it was only because of the intense focus on these industries by the magazine media that progress was virtually mandated by the Congress because of the light shed on these industries.
Even more was to come from this 59th Congress. Such tepid sounding legislation as a employer’s liability law for the District of Columbia passed.
Then came the Antiquities Act of 1906, which gave the president the authority by executive order, to restrict the use of particular public land owned by the federal government. This allowed the president to create national monuments on federal lands. The first use of the Act protected a large geographic feature – President Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower National Monument on September 24, 1906. Roosevelt also used this Act to create the Grand Canyon National Monument.
Two more elements from the 59th Congress were the creation of statehood for Arizona and new Mexico.
All told, the 59th Congress added up to what the Detroit Free Press said: “The public confidence has been greatly restored in our lawmakers.”
Forces came together in 1906-07 for the United States to make great strides from its government. Perhaps some day, we’ll see it again. Alas, it may not happen during the sad state of the 113th Congress.

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Put the brakes on misclassification of independent contractors

Editor, the Forum:
The misclassification of employees as something other than employees, such as independent contractors, presents a serious problem for affected employees, employers, and to the entire economy.
Many trucking and delivery companies call their drivers independent contractors. Some other businesses that do this are contractors, home health care employees and gymnasiums (personal trainers).
When I questioned some of these workers, it becomes evident that their company controlled every aspect of their work. They were really employees, but by misclassifying them, the company evaded labor laws and payroll taxes, pushed costs onto workers, and skirted responsibility to provide basic benefits.
Let’s target in on the trucking industry, thousands of drivers, are required to front the costs of their own employment—truck, insurance, maintenance, and fuel—but the company tells them when, where, and how to do the job.
Trucking isn’t the only industry to adopt a business model where profits flow from the bottom to the top. In recent decades, major employers have engaged in wholesale restructuring, outsourcing work and re-labeling formerly good jobs, contributing to the rise of income inequality.
Federal agencies like the Labor Department and the IRS are also concluding that many of these workers are employees. And New York became the first state to adopt misclassification protections specifically for the trucking industry. What is Georgia doing about this serious exploitation of workers? Our current Labor commissioner is doing nothing to solve this problem.
Misclassified employees are often denied access to critical benefits and protections – such as family and medical leave, overtime, minimum wage and unemployment insurance – to which they are entitled. Employee misclassification also generates substantial losses to the Treasury and the Social Security and Medicare funds, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers compensation funds.

-- George Wilson, Stone Mountain

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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.

Jackson EMC part of largest solar energy projects in state

Jackson EMC will soon receive energy from one of the largest solar energy projects in Georgia, President/CEO Chip Jakins has announced.  Jackson EMC is one of 27 Georgia electric cooperatives that will purchase the output of the planned project for a 25-year period through Green Power EMC, the renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs).
The ground-mounted solar array will be constructed near Hazlehurst, Ga., in Jeff Davis County, and will be one of the largest solar generating facilities in Georgia.  The solar array will occupy approximately 135 acres and will incorporate over 87,000 solar modules.  Once completed, the solar array will generate more than 43,000 megawatt hours of clean, renewable electricity annually.
The project is being built by owner-operator Silicon Ranch Corporation, based in Nashville, Tenn.  Construction is scheduled to begin this year, and the facility will be ready to produce electricity by the end of 2015.  According to Jakins, the 20 MW project will produce enough electricity to serve about 3,000 EMC households.
Jakins said the Hazlehurst project is the result of a request for proposals issued in late 2013 to add more solar energy to Green Power EMC’s portfolio.  The company already purchases the output of two solar projects, a 115 kilowatt (kW) rooftop array near Athens, Ga., and a 150 kW ground-mounted array near Warner Robins, Ga.  He said the Hazlehurst project will nearly double the total renewable capacity of Green Power EMC – from the current 32 MW to about 52 MW.
“The addition of one of the largest solar projects in Georgia to our power generation portfolio demonstrates our commitment to help develop the state’s renewable resources,” said Jakins.  “We are excited to be a part of this major expansion of solar energy in Georgia.”
Silicon Ranch Corporation is a top 15 solar owner-operator in the U.S. and provides customized solar solutions based on the needs of its customers.  Silicon Ranch has been instrumental in assisting many of its customers accomplish numerous firsts in their marketplaces.  Silicon Ranch also owns and operates Georgia’s largest solar farm in Social Circle, Ga.
Gwinnett Ham Radio operators plan field day June 28-29

Thousands of Ham Radio operators will be showing off their emergency capabilities this weekend. Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications in emergencies, including the California wildfires, Oregon and Michigan storms, tornadoes and other events world-wide.
When trouble is brewing, ham radio operators are often the first to provide critical information and communications. On June 28-29, Gwinnettians will have a chance to meet and talk with these ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about., hams from across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities. 
At Harbins Park, 2995 Luke Edwards Road in Dacula, Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society (GARS) and Gwinnett County Amateur Radio Emergency Services will be demonstrating Amateur Radio continuously from 2 p.m. on Saturday through 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. 
This annual event, called "Field Day" is the climax of the week long "Amateur Radio Week" sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and back yards around the country. Their slogan, "Ham radio works when other systems don't! " is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 30,000 amateur radio  operators across the country participated in last year's event. 
"We hope that people will come and see for themselves, this is not your grandfather's radio anymore," said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. "The communications networks that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives in the past months when other systems failed or were overloaded.”
At Harbins Park, Main Entrance 2995 Luke Edwards Road, Dacula, GA 30019, Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society (GARS) and Gwinnett County Amateur Radio Emergency Services will be demonstrating Amateur Radio continuously from 2 p.m on Saturday through 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. 

Sugar Hill seeking area musicians to help form concert band

Musicians are invited to play in the inaugural season of the Broad St. Concert Band at Sugar Hill. This new local concert band is starting in Sugar Hill and invites surrounding communities to participate. If you are currently playing or haven't played since high school, you're welcome to come join, if 18 years and up. No dues are required!
The band will play in the 75th Anniversary Celebration of Sugar Hill on August 2. Musicians interested in further information may contact Jeff Cutchins, at 770-630-1582 or email.

GACS boys' soccer team named number 2 in the nation
With the World Cup attracting the attention of millions of sports-lovers, Greater Atlanta Christian School fans have local heroes to shout about. Final high school rankings announced put the Spartans boys’ soccer team as  Number2 in the nation  by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America July 17, 2014 ranking.

Finishing their season with a Georgia AA Championship title, the Spartans had their first undefeated soccer season in school history (23-0-0). But it’s not the trophies that Coach Thom Jacquet is excited about: “It’s nice to see the boys receive national recognition from the NSCAA. But, the effort and dedication these guys put into the season from the first day of practice until the last was nothing short of remarkable.”
A longtime coach, Jacquet has many accolades under his belt. This year alone, he won his 10th Region 6-AA Championship at GAC and was named the 2014 NSCAA Georgia Coach of the Year (Private/Parochial division), the 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post All-County Boys Coach of the Year, and the 2014 2A Boys Coach of the Year.
Nash Wagnon was named 2014 2A Boys Player of the Year and received a scholarship to play at Wofford College Several of Wagnon’s teammates are heading to play this fall on scholarship: Davis Bryan (Newberry College); Marius Heislitz (NC State); and Ryan Marcano (Virginia Tech).
Gwinnett Parks get $20,000 grant for healthy eating program

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and the General Mills Foundation have awarded $20,000 through the Champions for Healthy Kids Grants to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life Youth Ambassador Program in partnership with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR). The grant is given to nonprofit organizations across the U.S. promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles targeted to kids and families. Children’s is one of two organizations in Georgia that received the grant.
Gwinnett County is one of America's fastest-growing counties for the past 20 years with a diverse population and a childhood obesity rate that is higher than the national average. Together, the partnership trains older youth as ambassadors that will then deliver wellness programs in their community, with a major emphasis on sustaining healthy lifestyle choices. This program creates awareness of the obesity crisis and the importance of proper nutrition and increased physical activity. Youth participating in the GCPR program learn about these issues are asked to complete a community project around nutrition and physical activity.
As part of the Strong4Life Youth Ambassador Program, each Gwinnett County park has put in place nutritional and physical activity standards. Leaders at each of the parks have received training on these youth issues, including eating vegetables and fruits, drinking water and limiting sugary drinks, limiting screen time or incorporating physical activity in non-sports related classes. The program also incorporates health and wellness standards at the parks that will support healthy environments for all youth.
Sugar Hill author is finalist for Georgia Author of the Year
Sugar Hill resident and first-time author, Michael Nolden Henderson was recently named a finalist in the 50th Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) by the Georgia Writer's Association.


Henderson wrote his memoir, Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation, in 2013. In 2010, Henderson, a native of New Orleans and graduate of Xavier University, became the first African American in Georgia inducted into the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution. His research into the relationship between a woman of color who gained her freedom in 1779, and a French national who  fought in the Revolutionary War under Bernardo de Galvez in Spanish Colonial Louisiana, was the focus of his book and of the 2010 segment of the PBS televised series, History Detectives.

Savage Harvest
By Carl Hoffman

In 1961, the son of Nelson D. Rockefeller went to New Guinea searching for primitive art for his father's art museum. Michael, 23, was rich, fit, intelligent and fearless. He was passionate about art and excited about meeting natives. One day, he and a friend paddled out to visit Asmat, a wild tribe in the jungle. Their boat overturned and they were stranded miles offshore. Rockefeller decided to swim ashore. He never returned. Investigators concluded that he drowned. Now Hoffman has written an expansive account saying the tribesmen of Asmat killed Rockefeller. They speared him, scalped him, beheaded him, cooked him, ate him and then used his limbs as weapons. This book is about the Rockefellers, primitive art, Dutch imperialization and cannibals. But most of all, it’s about the many investigations in search of Rockefeller. I recommend this book with some hesitation. It’s extremely detailed and certainly not for everybody. (The full name of the book is Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art.)

-- 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

Gwinnett native helps establish Chickamauga's community

Chickamauga, in Walker County, is historically significant for its importance to the Cherokee Nation and for the bloody Battle of Chickamauga that nearly changed the course of the Civil War (1861-65). The city was incorporated in 1891 and since the early 1900s has been a textile-mill town. Nestled near the foot of Lookout Mountain about ten miles below the Georgia-Tennessee state line, Chickamauga is also a bedroom community for Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a tourist attraction. In an effort to attract visitors, business owners agreed to a makeover of the town's façade in the early 1970s.
The town is named for the area's original occupants—Native Americans known as the Tsikamagi Cherokee. ("Chickamauga" is a phonetic spelling and pronunciation of "Tsikamagi.") The Tsikamagi settled in an area known as Crawfish Springs, which was named after Chief Crayfish of the Cherokee Nation. Five hundred Tsikamagi fought with General Andrew Jackson's soldiers against the Red Stick Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (March 27, 1814) in Alabama. In 1820 the Tsikamagi built the first courthouse in Walker County, but they were forced to leave the area in 1838 as part of the infamous Trail of Tears.
The Lee and Gordon families greatly influenced Chickamauga's post-Cherokee history. In 1836 Gwinnett County native James Gordon established a plantation at Crawfish Springs and built a gristmill two miles east of town on Chickamauga Creek. Lee and Gordon's Mill, which contained the area's first general store, was situated near a blacksmith shop and stagecoach stop. From 1840 to 1847 Gordon built his Doric-columned brick house (known today as the Gordon-Lee mansion), which overlooks Crawfish Springs.
The Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 18-20, 1863, involved more than 128,000 Confederate and Union soldiers. With 34,000 casualties, it was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War; it was also the South's most decisive victory. In 1890 much of the battlefield was established as the nation's largest national military park. Upon Chickamauga's incorporation as a city, the north-south streets were named after Confederate and Union generals, including Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, John B. Hood, and Thomas T. Crittenden.
On September 9-10, 1863, just prior to the Battle of Chickamauga, Confederate General Braxton Bragg used Lee and Gordon's Mill as his headquarters. The mill was taken and retaken several times by both the Union and Confederate armies. In 1867 the mill was destroyed by fire. A replacement structure, owned and operated by various parties, remained in operation until 1967. The facilities later fell into disrepair, but in 1993 former mayor Frank Pierce bought and restored Lee and Gordon's Mill.

(To be continued)

All decked out?

CLUE: Today’s Mystery Photo seems all decked out for a holiday, such as the upcoming Fourth of July. But just exactly where is this structure, and what significance is it?  Tell us your thought at and be sure to include your hometown.
Last edition’s mystery photo caused several people to mis-identify the location, submitted by Beverly Lougher of Lawrenceville. The first to get it right was Karen Garner of Dacula, who opined: “I believe this is one of the ‘beehive’ rocks in the Valley of Fire State Park, Mojave Desert, Nevada, an hour from Las Vegas.”  She was right, as was Susan Bacon of Suwanee and Jim Nelems of Berkeley Lake. But no others recognized this photo.

Foundation funding

Jackson EMC District Manager Randy Dellinger (with tie at left) presents Annandale at Suwanee CEO Adam Pomeranz (with tie at right), along with Annandale staff and clients, with a $15,000 Jackson EMC Foundation grant check to purchase technology that will enable clients to develop skills that will enable them to successfully live and work independently. Jackson EMC Foundation also donated $5,000 to Families of Children Under Street (FOCUS) of Lawrenceville and $2,500 to H.O.P.E. of Duluth.

Cooperative members participating in Operation Round Up have their monthly electric bills rounded up to the next dollar amount, with the “spare change” going to the Foundation. 


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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.

On How To Cope with the Malady of Maturity
“Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.”

-- American Author Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007).




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

(NEW) Gwinnett Community Band in performance, Sunday, June 29 at 3  p.m. at the Norcross Cultural and Community Center. As the closing event to the series "The Civil War in Georgia," the band performs musical selections that reflect Georgia and the Civil War Era. Free admission. The exhibit, "Stone Mountain: In the Path of War" will be open next door in The Rectory an hour before and after the concert for visitors.
(NEW) Sparkle in the Park, the Fourth of July celebration in Lilburn, is from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Face painting, balloon makers, food, music and family photos will be on tap. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. shuttles will transport attendees from parking lots at the International Farmers Market, Salem Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, and Lilburn Middle School.

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.

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