Issue 14.31 | July 15, 2014
ABOUT US GwinnettForum.com 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.
ATLANTA, Ga., July 15, 2014 -- Take our short survey and receive a $50 gift card!
Offers like this claim to be gathering customer feedback for legitimate businesses, but they are really promoting spammy products or they are after your personal information.
scam works: You receive an email or a text message inviting you to complete
a customer satisfaction survey. The message says all you need to do is
answer a few questions, and you will receive a gift card. The survey
seems normal at first.One recent scam posing as an Amazon.com survey,
asks where you shop online, how often you visit the website and how much
time you spend on the Internet each day.
After you complete the survey, the site says you are now entitled to your prize.
Unfortunately, the $50 gift card is "out of stock," so you are instructed to choose one of several dubious products, often something like a weight loss kit and wrinkle cream. The survey was just an elaborate hoax to promote these products.
In another version of this scam, the "customer survey" asks for personal information, such as address and credit card number. In this scam, con artists are really after information that can be used for identity theft.
What you should look for:
Few businesses can afford to give away $50 gift cards for completing a few questions.
JULY 15, 2014 -- Perhaps you are as confused as I am on just what the current situation is concerning Gwinnetts water usage, in view of the legal wrangling. At one time the county was concerned about its ability of pulling water from Lake Lanier for our use.
Rest easy. We are no longer under a deadline about halting Gwinnett using Lake Lanier water. In fact, you may remember that Gwinnett has a letter signed by the Armys Corps of Engineers giving us access to Lake Lanier water. Thats a major plus for us.
Now to another element of this problem: just how much water are we using?
The short answer is better than you might think. Our water production highest use was in 2007 at 31.7 billion gallons annually. But since, we have used less. We find that the year 2011 was the recent peak period for Gwinnett water usage, at 27.2 billion annually But look what happened in the following years: 26.2 billion in year 2012; and 23.2 billion in 2013. For the current year, we are running slightly ahead of 2013 in water use.
Now remember these figures while you remember that since 2010, a total of 53,980 more people have moved into Gwinnett County. Thats right, even with more than 18,000 people moving into the county each year since 2010, our water usage has gone down for three years. And even this year water consumption is only slightly higher than 2014, through the first six months.
Lets look at Gwinnetts water in another manner.
Gwinnett County currently returns 78 percent of the water it pulls from Lake Lanier to the Chattahoochee River system. Now enter another element: Beginning in April of 2010, Gwinnett started returning some of its treated waste water not to the Chattahoochee River, but to Lake Lanier. And its been doing it ever since, as approximately two-third of the water it returns to the Chattahoochee system, goes not to the river, but to Lake Lanier itself.
(Gwinnett is also rightfully proud that the treated wastewater it returns to Lake Lanier is CLEANER than the water it pulls from the lake, by utilizing the ultra-modern and efficient Hill Wastewater Plant.)
In reality, though Gwinnett is allowed to pull approximately 150 million gallons a day (MGD) of water from Lake Lanier, we are currently well below that, taking out 73.2 MGD on average a day in June, 2014 for the residents of the county to use. Then after using that water, we process that water to super-clean status, and returned approximately 26.6 MGD in June to the lake. Gwinnetts net use each day is only 46.6 MGD.
So far, the Corps of Engineers doesnt give Gwinnett credit for the water it returns to the lake.
Right now the Corps of Engineers is updating its water control manual, one which was originally written in the 1950s. Once the manual comes out in draft form, perhaps it will include a section on returning high quality water to the lake, with provisions for the county to be granted a credit for its sophisticated efforts to clean water, and be a good citizen by creating a water recycling.
take a bow at the efforts by your county to be on top of the game, when
it comes to water use and efficiency. Be proud that Gwinnett is setting
the bar high for water treatment, and that Gwinnettians are doing their
part on water conservation. We can only hope that other communities can
meet the standards we are setting.
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Editor, the Forum:
If you and some friends start a company that makes a lot of money, you'll be rich, but if it incurs a lot of debt and fails, you won't be left to pay its bills. The Supreme Court affirmed this arrangement in a 2001 case, Cedric Kushner Promotions v. Don King.
Linguistically speaking, the employee and the corporation are different persons, even where the employee is the corporations sole owner. After all, incorporations basic purpose is to create a distinct legal entity, with legal rights, obligations, powers, and privileges different from those of the natural individuals who created it, who own it, or whom it employs.
That separation is what legal and business scholars call the "corporate veil," and it's fundamental to the entire operation. Now, thanks to the Hobby Lobby case, it's in question. By letting Hobby Lobby's owners assert their personal religious rights over an entire corporation, the Supreme Court has poked a major hole in the veil. In other words, if a company is not truly separate from its owners, the owners could be made responsible for its debts and other burdens.
If religious shareholders can do it, why cant creditors and government regulators pierce the corporate veil in the other direction?
Allowing a corporation, through either shareholder vote or board resolution, to take on and assert the religious beliefs of its shareholders in order to avoid having to comply with a generally-applicable law with a secular purpose is fundamentally at odds with the entire concept of incorporation. Creating such an unprecedented and idiosyncratic tear in the corporate veil would also carry with it unintended consequences, many of which are not easily foreseen.
Perhaps this was why the Chamber of Commerce was so quiet about the case.
Feels all Georgians should pay close attention to county spending
Editor, the Forum:
This may seem like a local issue and not a proper piece for your publication, but I would suggest that everyone in Georgia should have a closer look at their county's spending of their tax dollars, especially the SPLOST funding stream, which our officials seem to use to plug holes when funds are needed elsewhere.
I am ashamed
to say, that in Jones County, our Commissioners spent more
than $ 89,000 for 227 cubic yards of concrete for 8,300
square feet of 8" thick concrete paving with steel reinforcement,
required by the gas company to pave over their high pressure gas
line right of way. This amounts to $392 a cubic yard or
$11 a square foot, including wasted material. I have a commercial construction background.
I measured the paving, and came up with $24,000 of material,
leaving $65,000 for labor, taxes, overhead and profit.
claim ignorance of the matter, even when the gas company
got involved, and at this point alarm bells should have gone off, especially since
one commissioner is a former Department of Transportation engineer.
The extra $40,000 is of one percent of SPLOST retail sales. That
is a lot of money for our rural county.
Gwinnett County reader looks back some 25 years at self
Editor, the Forum:
wanted to send you a personal note on the 40 year time frame covering
Gwinnett County news commencing on July 1, 1974.
The City of Lawrencevilles Downtown Development Authority (LDDA) and Aurora Theatre invites the community to celebrate the arts on July 19 with a Chalk Walk. Inspired by the Aurora Theatres season opener for the 2014-15 season, Disneys Mary Poppins, Lawrencevilles Chalk Walk will provide residents, visitors and amateur artists the opportunity to showcase their talents on the sidewalk in downtown Lawrenceville.
Still, chairman for the LLDDA, says: Having a focus on art and culture
is fundamental to a citys ability to attract good quality businesses
to the area. Events like the Chalk Walk align directly with the promotion
cornerstone of the Main Street program and encourage activity as
a community in our downtown.
During the week preceding the Chalk Walk, the City of Lawrenceville and Aurora Theatre will also be hosting world-renowned 3D Chalk Artist, Anthony Cappetto, who will be drawing an original chalk masterpiece on a 20x20 canvas during the course of the week. Mr. Cappetto is an internationally traveled artist, known globally for his vision in blending the traditional art form of chalk drawing with 3D illusionary street painting [with emerging technologies, such as animated augmented reality and related concepts.
Sugar Hill planning 2nd annual Community Wellness Fair
The City of Sugar Hill will be holding the second annual Community Wellness Fair on Saturday August 23. Join city staff, community members, and local businesses as they collaborate with physical, mental, and financial wellness vendors from the area.
This free event is open to the entire community, and for kids of all ages. Georgia Fitness staff will be leading free group fitness classes and conducting wellness screenings. There will be a Kid Zone on site promoting active play activities for children.
The Bloodmobile will be on hand for those wanting to donate blood. If any local business is interested in joining Georgia Fitness and several others as an event sponsor, or booth vendor should contact Scott Andrews at 770-945-6716.
Maximizing your Social Security income stream requires sound education, good planning and the application of smart decision-making tools. The Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia plans a workshop on Tuesday, August 19, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at The 1818 Club in Duluth. The Foundations Professional Advisors Committee will offer an educational program on smart, creative ways to harvest and grow your Social Security benefits throughout retirement.
Social Security income election decisions are vital to long-term financial stability. Theres more involved in the decision making process than most realize. There are hundreds of strategic combinations available to optimize your Social Security benefit. Many retirees are not aware that so many claiming strategies exist, which, if not managed effectively, can result in a significant shortfall in lifetime income.
Did you know that it is not always best to draw benefits the day you are eligible? Timing of that execution could have a significant impact on your long-term returns. Maximizing benefit deferrals could potentially increase your monthly income more than 30 percent. There are many factors to consider including your age, current state of health, life expectancy, marital status, number of years of marriage and more.
So, who should attend this session?
Simply call 770-813-3387 to reserve your seat today! Seating is limited. Admission is free.
Walton EMC employees donate $30,000 to Boys and Girls Club
seventh consecutive year, Walton Electric Membership Corporation employees
are making a difference in the lives of young people through the Boys
and Girls Clubs of Walton County.
employees recently donated another $30,000 to the organization from the
proceeds of their sold-out annual spring golf tournament held at the Georgia
Club in Statham. In all, Walton EMC employees have raised $154,000 for
the Boys and Girls Club's quality developmental programs.
and services exist so young people don't have to turn to the streets to
find recreation and companionship. The Club's mission is to enable all
young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible
A friend loaned me this book, and at first, it didnt much interest me. But once starting to read it, I couldnt put it down, as it pulled me along. Its the story of the son of a wandering military man, born just after World War II, who didnt realize his abilities, but eventually graduates from the Naval Academy, just in time for Vietnam. His life takes many turns, and by age 41, hes the Secretary of the Navy, and shortly afterward, a Senator from Virginia for one term. All through, however, he remains close to his parents, his Granny and his aunt, now back in Arkansas. More than just a personal story, this book highlights many policies and actions that the USA has taken in the last 40 years. Therefore, its something of a political history, too. Its well worth reading.
Despite William Northen's success and influence as an educator, agricultural reformer, state legislator, and governor, history has largely ignored his life and work. As governor in the early 1890s, he was ahead of his time. Not only did he advocate such progressive reform measures as prohibition and increased educational funding, he also fought stridently against lynching. Northen also held highly his spiritual duties, serving as president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) for three years and as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention for 14 years.
William Jonathan Northen, right, was born on July 9, 1835, to Louisa Maria and Peter Northen in Jones County. Peter Northen was a successful planter and educator who traced his lineage to John Northen, an Englishman who immigrated to Virginia in the 1630s. In 1840 Peter moved his family to Penfield, in Greene County, to accept a position at Mercer University.
William graduated from Mercer at the age of 18 and soon earned a position as an instructor at the prestigious Mt. Zion Academy in Hancock County, where the renowned Carlisle Beman was headmaster. Northen subsequently became assistant principal and, when Beman's health failed, rose to headmaster. While struggling to establish himself as a teacher, Northen boarded at the home of the wealthy and influential Thomas Neel. Neel's daughter, Martha, and Northen were married in 1860 and later had two children, Thomas and Annie Belle.
When Georgia entered the Civil War (1861-65), Northen joined his father's regiment, the Second Battalion, Georgia State Troops, as a private. An educator's exemption, however, allowed him to opt out of combat duty in 1862. Although no longer required to serve on the battlefield, Northen worked at Confederate hospitals in Atlanta and Milledgeville.
After the war, Northen returned to Hancock County to resume his teaching. In 1874, however, too ill to continue teaching, Northen retired to his 800-acre farm in Hancock County and soon established himself as a leading scientific planter. Combining his teaching acumen with his farming success, Northen helped establish the Hancock County Farmer's Club, a group that provided ideas and support to local farmers struggling through postwar economic difficulties. Northen's leading position in the community earned him election to the Georgia General Assembly in 1877-78 and again in 1880-81. In 1884 he was elected to the state senate, where he made educational and agricultural reforms his priorities.
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Both political parties have become frozen by money and interest groups into awkward positions and false debates that do not fully reflect the concerns of our citizens. Our political system has become paralyzed. It is no wonder that such a large percentage of the American people have lost their respect for and their trust of our national leadership.
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
For the 2014 primary season, GwinnettForum asked all candidates facing primary opposition in Gwinnett County to provide answers to six questions.
You can read answers of candidates who are in the July 22 runoff by clicking on the links for each race. (Candidate answers are provided by race; scroll down the document if you don't immediately see the candidate you want to read about.)
U.S. CONGRESS, DISTRICT 10
GEORGIA STATEWIDE CANDIDATES
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
GEORGIA LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES
SENATE DISTRICT 9
Ribbon Cutting at Little Mulberry Park, Tuesday, July 15, beginning at 4:30 p.m., with activities lasting until 8 p.m. This will commemorate the opening of an 18 hole disc golf course in the wooded area, a 2,400 square foot open pavilion; new playground, new restroom facilities, 0.3 mile paved track connecting to the existing trail system, and a new 600 square foot wooden deck overlooking the lake. The park is located at 3900 Hog Mountain Road near Dacula.
(NEW) Career Fest 2014, Thursday, July 17, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Norcross First United Methodist Church. Seminars will be to help people find jobs; Employers currently hiring will be present. Besides the church, the co-sponsors are the Georgia Department of Labor and the Norcross Cooperative Ministry. For more info, visit www.norcrossco-op.org.
(NEW) Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest at Lilburn Farmers Market Friday, July 18, from 4 to 8 p.m. Kids and those of all ages are welcome to try to top the record of 20 feet for kids and 37.5 feet for adults, set last year. The Lilburn Farmers Market is a co-sponsored event with Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church located at 1400 Killian Hill Road, Lilburn.
Summer Stage Concerts in Duluth begin on Saturday, July 19, featuring the Bicho Brothers at 8 p.m. on the Town Green. There will be two other events in the series, on August 16 and September 13.
Peachtree Corners State of the City Address by Mayor Mike Mason will be July 21 at 7:30 a.m. at the Atlanta Marriott Norcross. The breakfast event is hosted by the Peachtree Corners Business Association. Admission is $5 for Association members and $20 for others. For details, send an email here. Reservations are required.
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.
GwinnettForum.com 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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