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QUALITY AWARD: Department of Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden announces that the Collins Hill Road Bridge over Georgia Highway 316 in Lawrenceville has received the 2014 Georgia Partnership for Transportation Quality Award for the best Bridge Deck Steel Cover Statewide. In the inset photo, Golden is on the left with Gwinnett area Engineer Matt Needham and project Construction Engineer Manuel Madera. Of 1,500 road construction projects underway across Georgia, this construction of the bridge for Collins Hill Road was named the best bridge deck steel cover in the state. The deck steel cover eliminates the rusting of the reinforcing steel and adds to the overall structural integrity of the bridge.

Issue 14.66 | Nov. 14, 2014

:: GGC leads in growth

:: Churchill's paintings here

Three letters

Gingerbread, more

Lions Club coming

:: Gwinnett County Public Library

:: Love of tradition

:: Restoration Movement

:: Where is this statue?

:: Vets offer flags


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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Buy the book on Gwinnett's history


Georgia Gwinnett College leads system in growth of student body
Special to GwinnettForum
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Nov. 14, 2014 -- Once again, Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) is the fastest-growing institution within the University System of Georgia (USG), according to the system's recent 2014 fall semester enrollment report. Overall, total University System colleges grew by 1.1 percent, or 3,467 students. However, Georgia Gwinnett College led the system with a growth of 11.4 percent, or 1,109 students. It currently enrolls 10,828 students.

Gwinnett County residents comprise the majority of the student body at 68.2 percent. The five counties with the next-highest number of GGC students are Walton, DeKalb, Barrow, Fulton and Jackson, representing a combined total of 22.1 percent.

The college's student body, some of whom are pictured at right, reflects the ethnic diversity of Gwinnett County and the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region. In fact, GGC was named the most ethnically diverse college in the South, according to the U.S. News & World Report online publication of its 2015 college rankings. The ethnic diversity ranking includes both public and private institutions.

GGC's student body is 38.7 percent Caucasian, 31.4 percent African-American, 15.6 percent Hispanic, 9.4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander and 4.9 percent other. These data are based on student-provided information. A total of 10,450 GGC students are from Georgia, with another 162 from other U.S. states and 216 from other nations. The student body represents 42 U.S. states and 91 other nations.

GGC President Stas Preczewski says: "We are pleased to continue GGC's strategically planned growth and development. We project adding about 2,000 more students within the next two years. This will contribute to the USG's goal of adding about 250,000 students by 2020. More importantly, GGC's access mission affordability and innovative approach to higher education allow many students to enroll and succeed in college, regardless of their academic preparation."

Contrary to national trends, Georgia Gwinnett's tuition is lower now than when the college first opened its doors in 2006.

Dr. Lois C. Richardson, interim senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and provost, says: "A student body rich with diversity of ethnicity, geographic origins and age creates dynamic learning environments for all students," said. "This exposure to various perspectives and backgrounds helps prepare students to succeed in today's global workplace and society."

GGC's enrollment includes almost 1,700 non-traditional students - those who do not immediately go to college after graduating from high school. It also includes 331 joint enrollment students, who take college courses while still in high school.

The college's most popular bachelor degree program is business, with almost 2,500 students. Almost 1,300 are majoring in biology and more than 1,000 are majoring in information technology.

  • Additional information about the USG enrollment report may be found online here.

Visit the Millennium Gate Museum soon to see Churchill paintings

Editor and publisher |

NOV. 14, 2014 -- It's in downtown Atlanta, a place many of us have intended to go, but for some reason, never have visited since it was built in 2008. We're talking about the Millennium Gate Museum.


It's an $18 million arch, fashioned as a stucco and limestone version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and half its height (82 feet tall). It stands out in the middle of the Atlantic Station complex, a shopping and living mecca on the site of the former Atlantic Steel Company near the intersection of I-85 and I-75.

There's a compelling reason you should visit before Feb. 1, 2015. In exhibit now are some 30 oil paintings by former British Prime Minister and amateur artist Winston Churchill. The paintings are scenes from Churchill's travels, often set in England, but also in France and Africa. Churchill took up painting in the 1920s, using this medium to bring himself out of his depression following World War I military setbacks. Over the course of years, he produced more than 500 paintings.

The current exhibit is entitled "The Art of Diplomacy: Winston Churchill and the Pursuit of Painting." Part of the exhibit has been seen in LaGrange, Sea Island, Columbus and Macon earlier this year, and it follows next to Rome and Athens, and closes in Savannah on July 26. The individual paintings come from collectors around the world.

"The Tower at Katourbia Mosque"

The only painting Churchill did during World War II was in 1943 in Africa, a landscape, "The Tower at Katourbia Mosque" in Marrakesh, following a meeting with President Roosevelt in Casablanca. Later Churchill gave the painting to FDR. This painting is on loan to this exhibit from the current owners, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

Why Atlanta for these paintings on exhibit? That comes from the fact that Churchill's great-grandson is Duncan Sandys, who now lives in Atlanta with his wife (formerly of Macon) and son. Many of the paintings are from the Sandys' own collection in Atlanta.

Over the years, the Churchill family had ties to Georgia on several occasions. Churchill himself was descended from the same family that influenced the selection of James Oglethorpe to lead the settling of Georgia in 1733. Winston Churchill visited Georgia in 1932, making two speeches, including one to ROTC cadets at Georgia Tech's Grant Field.

In 1943, after a summit in Quebec between Churchill and President Roosevelt, and Churchill's visit to Washington, his daughter, Mary Churchill visited Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., then a Woman's Army Corps (WAC) base, to show support for World War II training.

Probably most Georgians never realized that Churchill visited our state prior to his famous "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946 in Fulton, Mo. With his wife, Clementine, he first stopped at Savannah, then continued a vacation to Florida, before making the speech at Westminster College in Missouri.

Ironically, on the day prior to visiting the Millennium Gate Museum (left), I was deep into reading Churchill's volume 6 of his World War II history, and had just read about Mary Churchill visiting Fort Oglethorpe. In the Churchill book, however, it merely says "Fort Oglethorpe," never letting on that the base she was visiting was in Georgia!

We maintain that you will be pleased to take in the Churchill exhibit at the Millennium Gate Museum. One note about parking: as you approach the Gate on 17th Street, turn right onto State Street, and then make another right immediately into the underground Publix supermarket garage. You get two hours free parking, enough time to enjoy the Churchill exhibit.

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.

  • For a list of other sponsors of this forum, go here.

Country is headed in wrong direction, especially after election

Editor, the Forum:

I agree with the letter writer who wrote that the nation is headed in the wrong direction, especially since the recent election.

The Republicans have moved heaven and earth to prevent the Obama administration from accomplishing its goals, and then they accuse him of accomplishing nothing. This is like the kid who murders his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.

In Yiddish, this is called chutzpah: colossal nerve or unmitigated gall.

-- Robert Hanson, Loganville

Wants Peachtree Corners council to apply more common sense

Editor, The Forum:

The groundbreaking for the new Duluth location of Dreamland Barbecue was in your past edition and I felt mixed emotions. I was thrilled for Duluth and the people of that community that they will enjoy such a fine business and food. However, I was yet extremely disappointed in my own community of Peachtree Corners that it allowed such a great opportunity to slip from our boundaries.

Our new city simply made it impossible for Dreamland, a fine company, to rebuild within our community. I continue to support our city, but wish daily our elected leaders would apply more common sense to their decisions, now especially our code regulations. I fail to understand how a vacant asphalt lot is better than a new thriving, consumer- drawing, tax-generating business.

-- Steve Rausch, Peachtree Corners

Recalls being thanked years ago for being an American

(Editor's Note: This material was first published in 2008, but is a fond remembrance for the writer and applies to Americans still today. --eeb)

Editor, the Forum:

I have been back from Vietnam since December 1965. In all this time I had been told, "Thank You For Your Service" exactly two times…

  • Once, about three years ago, by a personal friend as we were driving out to a day hike.

  • The other almost does not count. It was about the same time and it came to me from a salesman who was trying to sell me a computer. You might say he had a vested interest in "thanking" me.

While in Belgium a couple of weeks ago, we were on a train on our way to the Ypres Battlefield. As we rode, I was thumbing my way through my copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide To World War I.

Across the aisle from us was a lady in her 50s or 60s who never made eye contact with us at any time. As she got up to disembark the train a few stops before Ypres, she reached over and tapped my Idiot's Guide twice with her fingers and said, "Thank you for coming to our rescue."

I mumbled something back to her and she was gone.

Some of you are probably saying to yourselves that she knew I was an American because I was reading an Idiot's Guide. I prefer to think that she is a single example of a world out there that knows America is a great and good country and, contrary to what the nightly news tells us, they are appreciative of what America has done in the past and is doing in the present.

Up until this incident, I had only been thanked two times since 1965 but you can be sure I think that the third time was very special.

-- Alex J. Ortolano, Duluth

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.

Heritage Center to host 5th annual Gingerbread House Competition

The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (EHC) will host its fifth annual Sustainable Gingerbread House Competition and Exhibit. Designers are asked to create environmentally friendly houses that highlight sustainability and green building design using edible and natural materials.

Entries in the EHC Sustainable Gingerbread House Competition must contain a minimum of three sustainable elements. This entry from a previous year included candy cane rain chains and a vegetated roof made from coconut shavings and gum drops.

At least three sustainable building elements must be included in the design of the gingerbread house, such as solar panels, rain barrels, a green roof, windmills, etc. Participants may use a traditional gingerbread recipe, a recipe for dog biscuits, bird seed cakes or any other edible product. The structure can also include birdseed, pine cones, leaves, twigs or anything from nature.

There are multiple categories for entry including: Pre K to 2nd Grade (group and individual); 3rd to 6th Grade (group and individual); Teen (group and individual); Adult (group and individual); and Family (group) and Professional (group and individual). The overall winning entry will receive a $50 gift card from the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center Foundation.

Each participant must complete an electronic entry form, which can be accessed online at by Nov. 30, 2014.

Contestants are asked to deliver gingerbread houses to the EHC between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 30; between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 2; or between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 4. Judging will take place during the week of December. 8.

Awards will be announced on the EHC website on December 15. Entries will be available for viewing at the EHC until January 5, 2015.

Duluth hospital to hold annual Lights of Love program Dec. 9

Gwinnett Medical Center at Duluth will hold the annual Lights of Love and Remembrance on Tuesday, December 9 from 6-7 p.m. at The Gallery at 3805 Pleasant Hill Road.

Luminaries will be lit in honor or memory of persons for each $20 donation made to the Lights of Love and Remembrance Fund. A meaningful moment of silence will be observed during the program for those being remembered.

GMC-Duluth's President Lea Bay will provide the welcome and GMC Board Chairman David McCleskey will be the speaker. The Peachtree Ridge High School Ensemble will provide the music and Debbie Huckaby, education coordinator, Faith Community Nursing, will provide reflection. There will be a chiming of the bell and a moment of remembrance for those who have died in the past 12 months.

Faith Community Nurses serve in faith communities to provide whole person (mind, body and spirit) health and wellness counseling, education, support and referral for the faith community and others. To reserve luminaries to honor or remember someone you love, e-mail: or call 678-312-2467.

Georgia Gwinnett College to get chapter of Lions International soon

Georgia Gwinnett College is to become home to a Lions Club, as it was officially chartered October 7 by Lions Clubs International. Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, have a long history with Lions and took a keen interest in the formation of the club. A Charter Celebration is planned for today (November 14.)

Students and officials from Georgia Gwinnett College traveled to Plains and met former President Jimmy Carter, left, concerning the new GGC Lions chapter. Others making the trip include Campus Lions Co-Adviser Katie Buell, assistant director of Wellness Programming; Marcelo Clavarino; Jehrvon Pearman; Campus Lions Co-Adviser Dr. Jim Fatzinger, senior associate provost for Student Affairs; and Campus Lions Treasurer Andrew Detherow. Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter is on the right.

Two GGC freshmen, Jerhvon Pearman and Marcelo Clavarino, were motivated to establish the club based on personal experiences and future goals.

Pearman, who serves as the club's first president, grew up in Americus, Ga., near the Carter home in Plains, and was inspired by state's most famous Lion, Former President Carter, to become involved in Lions.

Pearman met Carter as a child and has followed his career with great interest. Pearman has traveled to Japan twice as part of Carter's peace programs. He hopes to return to Japan on behalf of the Lions Club and serve individuals who have been impacted by the effects of radiation in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami-triggered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Originally from Peru, Clavarino is the club's vice president and is interested in the service aspects of Lions Clubs that seeks "helping improve the lives of individuals in third world counties." He would like to return to Peru in order to do work as a Lions member.

GGC Campus Lions Club Advisor Jim Fatzinger says: "I'm very proud of these students and their leadership."

Pete Stamsen, past president of the Lawrenceville Lions Club, says: "This is a dawn of a new day. " He and fellow Lions Club member Grace Clower will serve as the club mentors. Stamsen adds: "The official charter celebration for the GGC Campus Lions Club will be held in mid-November and the Lions Club district governor, as well as other members Lions Club leadership, will be in attendance."

Northeast Atlanta Realtors say real estate continues improvement

The Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors say that Gwinnett County real estate continues to improve. According to the Georgia Multiple Listing Service, the September 2014 figures from a month over month comparison continue to increase over last year.

The number of houses sold in September were up 9.67 percent from last year. In addition, the number of new listings increased over 16 percent from 2013. The best news of all is the median price continues to rebound. The median price in Gwinnett County rose from $160,000 last year to $172,793 in September 2014.

Send us a review of a book, movie, restaurant

  • 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

Several key Protestant churches come out of Restoration Movement

(From previous edition)

In 1849 the Disciples organized the American Christian Missionary Society. The Restoration Movement's motto, "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent," however, led strict restorationists to oppose missionary societies, because the Bible does not explicitly advocate the use of missionaries. As liberal theology, which encourages the inclusion of modern concepts in and the individual interpretation of religious doctrine, spread in the latter part of the 19th century, tensions developed within the movement. Schism became official in Religious Bodies, a document first issued in 1906 by the U.S. Census Bureau, which listed the strict restorationists as the churches of Christ separately from the Disciples of Christ.

By 1927 the independent Disciples of the "brotherhood" (a term used to avoid "denomination") who wanted to escape the growing centralization and liberalism of the movement formed the North American Christian Convention. By 1971 they were listed in the Yearbook of American Churches as the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.

Restorationism has been the source of several important Protestant churches, including the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Church and Churches of Christ (Independent and Centrist), and the churches of Christ (noninstrumental). These churches practice weekly communion and the baptism of believers by immersion. They are also congregational in polity, with elders and deacons serving as officers.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has 69 congregations in Georgia. Leaders in the church are usually theologically liberal. Nationally, the denomination's strongest presence is found in the central part of the United States, from Kentucky to Texas. The Christian Church may receive into membership people who were baptized according to the practices of other denominations without requiring rebaptism.

The Disciples operate Camp Christian in Gordon (in Wilkinson County) as a summer camp and retreat center. The Disciples' educational institution in Georgia is the Atlanta United Divinity Center, which ministers to Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ students attending seminaries in the Atlanta area. Among its many ministries are the nonprofit Campbell Stone Apartments, which provides residences for retirees in Atlanta.

The Christian Church and Churches of Christ has dozens of congregations in Georgia. Atlanta Christian College is the educational institution serving adherents. These churches are theologically conservative, relying primarily on traditional interpretations of Scripture to establish church doctrine. Musical instruments are used during their worship services.

The churches of Christ (their preferred spelling is lowercase) are numerous in Georgia. The theology of these churches is usually very conservative or fundamentalist, and members seek to follow only those practices and beliefs clearly taught in the New Testament. Describing themselves as "undenominational," adherents have no central headquarters or presiding officer but use informal contacts to associate with those churches that share a common polity. They believe that musical instruments should not be used in worship because there is no verse in the New Testament that explicitly authorizes this practice.

This one might be tough -- just like the last one

You may have seen this statue, and be scratching your head wondering where. Once identified, we bet you say (if you couldn't remember where)…."Oh, yeah!" But where is this? Send in your ideas to and be sure to include your hometown.

The last Mystery Photo is located relatively nearby in Georgia, but no one recognized it. Beverly Lougher sent in the Ogeechee River Mill, ca. 1874, near Warrenton, and stumped all the readers with this photograph. Watch it! At least send in a guess!

Active vets

Georgia Gwinnett College students and veterans (left to right) John Maison, Sean Casey and Derricus Chatman lined the GGC sidewalks with U.S. flags early Tuesday to honor veterans for their service to our country. They are among more than 300 veterans and military students at GGC and also serve as officers in the student organization, Coalition of Veterans Engagement, Readiness, and Trust (COVERT), a chapter of Student Veterans of America. COVERT has developed a relationship with the Lawrenceville VFW post. GGC was recently recognized for the second year as a military-friendly school by Victory Media, and is listed by the organization at its website.



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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.

A Love of Tradition Can Strengthen a Nation

"A love of tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril; but the new view must come, the world must roll forward."

-- Former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), speech in the House of Commons, Nov. 29, 1944.




Open House at the Georgia Campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Friday, November 14, from 5:30 until 8 p.m. The campus is located at 625 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee. For more information, call 678 225 7500. Register to attend the open house online here

Men of any age who would enjoy being a part of an "A Capella Experience," set aside Tuesday, November 18, at 7 p.m. to pay a visit to The Stone Mountain Chorus of the Barbershop Harmony Society at a special guest night program. It will be at Peachtree Corners Baptist Church, 4480 Peachtree Corners Circle in Peachtree Corners. For more details, call at 770-978-8053 or visit

(NEW) Bestselling author John Connolly will speak on November 22 at 7 p.m. at the Norcross Cultural Arts Center. The event is free. The author will be signing "The Wolf in Winter," the latest in his Charlie Parker thriller series. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Connolly has won the Shamus, the Agatha, the Edgar and Anthony awards for his writings. The event is sponsored by the Gwinnett County Public Library.

Exhibit of eight artists continues through December 2 at George Pierce Park Community Center in Suwanee. Eight female artists will showcase their talents, including watercolor, acrylic, oil, color pencil, mixed media, collage, and pen and ink with color pencil. For more information, call 678-277-0910.


1/9: Gov's inaugural party
1/6: Our continuing objectives

12/31: Fun board game
12/23: Good news on Cuba
12/19: CIA's atrocities
12/16: Muddy, hilly roads
12/12: Drop box regulation
12/9: On philanthropy
12/5: Humor, writing contest
12/2: Simpsonwood save is good

11/25: Snellville bell tower
11/21: Remembering Carl Sanders
11/18: Talmadge House
11/14: Churchill paintings
11/11: Hudson cruise
11/7: Why it was a GOP year
11/4: Another election a possibility


1/9: Jones: Black-eyed peas
1/6: Berlo: NLT's choreopoem

12/31: Leonard: Andersonville tour
12/23: Havens: Rotary club's charity
12/19: Aurora wins big
12/16: Yarber: Safe harbor bill
12/12: Arrington: Hunger challenge
12/9: Preston: Lilburn mural
12/5: Witte: Simmons Building
12/2: Putnam: PC's community study

11/25: Okun: Robotic bariatric surgery
11/21: Calmes: Special Nutcracker
11/18: Urrutia: Primerica scholarships
11/14: Jones: GGC's growth
11/11: Johnson: Tesla ownership
11/7: New Brenau joint degree program
11/4: Two shows of A Christmas Carol


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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