Issue 14.75 | Dec. 19, 2014
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Ga., Dec. 19, 2014 -- Gwinnett's Aurora Theatre continues as a shining
star among the Atlanta professional theatre community by winning six awards
in the 10th annual Suzi Bass Awards. Aurora's production of Mary Poppins
was the most honored production of the season, winning six Suzi's.
The Suzi Bass Awards, Atlanta's equivalent of the Tony Awards, recognizes
excellence in all aspects of theatre.
Aurora Theatre Associate Producer Ann-Carol Pence won her fourth Suzi for Musical Direction, while choreographer Jen MacQueen won her seventh nomination and her first Suzi for Mary Poppins.
The show also took home honors for both Leading Actress and Actor in a Musical as Galen Crawley won for her portrayal of Mary and Andy Meeks as Bert. The breathtaking production values were nominated in every technical category with Sydney Roberts winning for Costume Design and Shannon Robert for Scenic Design.
third consecutive year, an Aurora Theatre production was the most decorated
show. It won previously for Clyde 'n Bonnie: A Folktale in 2012
and Les Misérables in 2013. The Tony Award-winning Alliance
Theatre won 11 Suzi Bass awards followed by Aurora's six; no other theatres
won more than two.
Amber Iman, an Atlanta native and past Aurora Theatre performer, helped
pay tribute to deceased members of the Atlanta theater family by singing
Tears in Heaven during an In Memoriam segment that include a touching
tribute to late Aurora Theatre Founding Board Member Cynthia Sutt. Returning
to the Aurora stage this January in Les Misérables, Natasha
Drena won the Actress in a Play award for her portrayal of Judy Garland
in End of the Rainbow and Marcie Millard was awarded Featured Actress
in a Musical as Miss Hannigan in Annie.
* * * * *
Just in time for the holidays, Aurora Theatre once again offers patrons a Christmas savings with their Mini Season Ticket package. This year, the deal gets even sweeter with a package including a flexible ticket to Les Misérables, The Explorers Club and Hands on a Hardbody for $59.95. Order before Christmas and receive a certificate for two tickets to any Aurora Studio production. The entire package is a $180 value. Two gift certificates are issued with each. Mini Season Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or in-person at the Aurora Theatre box office.
DEC. 19, 2014 -- Outrage!
Those are some of the emotions I feel after hearing of the way the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States has treated people in detention in the War on Terror. For this to be happening in a nation that says that all individuals have certain human rights, no matter what their station, the CIA actions are the highest of hypocrisy, which also goes against the basic principles that the American people hold high.
On top of that, the prolonged detention of these detainees, some later found not to be terrorists at all, shows what can go wrong when a unit of our government, in this case the CIA, is not properly scrutinized by oversight authorities.
It's even worse than that. Apparently the CIA was not even telling our leaders the whole truth, and even lulling them into thinking that matters were not as bad as they appeared.
As one report called the activities of the CIA were from a "broken agency" using "a failed approach" to mislead the White House and Congress. For instance, the agency had secret prisons around the world and failed to provide basic oversight of them.
As is often the case, our government, in a more-than-panic mode after the September 11 terrorist attacks, took the "usual approach" of throwing money after the problem, hiring consultants to handle the problems. They used unapproved, grotesque techniques. Hard to believe but, the so-called consultants had little experience in this field, and were working with little supervision. Of course, the CIA should have been more aggressive in its supervision, and ultimately bears the blame for these excesses.
What will happen, we fear, is that the CIA will deny all it can, politicians will try to make it all seem like someone else is to blame, and in the long run, no one will be punished for these atrocities. It's the similar old story we have heard before, with no one really being punished for these crimes. (Think of how few bankers have gone to jail for their misdeeds.) All this undermines confidence in our government, and little is changed.
Our nation owes Senator Dianne Feinstein and her Intelligence Committee a major thank you for not letting this horrible chapter in the CIA history be merely swept under the rug. Though some people within the government criticize the release of this information, the American people need to know more about this, and take measures to insure that it will not happen again. If similar tactics happen to crop up once more, the perpetrators should be severely punished, and banned from any future engagement in government.
worries one after reading about these atrocities is that the various brutal
techniques yielded little, if any, intelligence that the CIA did not already
know. No lesser authority on such techniques than once-tortured Sen. John
McCain has spoken out about these revelations with his condemnation of
the use of torture. Does his earlier suffering go for nothing? But many
would want to skip over the recognized fact that nothing good comes out
of such tactics.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Brand Banking Company, headquartered in Lawrenceville, where it has three offices, with additional branches in Snellville, Grayson and Flowery Branch. It is the largest privately held bank in Gwinnett, with assets of $1,920,000,000. The bank's main office is in Lawrenceville on the Historic Courthouse Square, plus there is another branch on Hurricane Shoals Road. Other locations are in Grayson, Snellville, Flowery Branch, Buford, Duluth and Buckhead. Member, FDIC and Federal Reserve System.
Editor, the Forum:
In the Anglican/Catholic tradition, the church year follows the story of Jesus's life. It is a very old "learning tool" for lay folks to keep in mind the Christ story compressed into a year.
And it is color-coded! The color of clergy vestments and altar hangings tells us something about what we should pay attention to during a particular season.
The church year begins with Advent, four Sundays before Christmas, a period of thoughtful waiting for the birth of Jesus. The color associated with Advent is purple or dark blue (penitence).
Advent ends on December 25th with Christmas-a great celebration! The color for Christmas is white, connoting purity, innocence, and light. The season of Christmas lasts for 12 days-yes, the 12 days of the famous song!
So if we were to adhere to the old traditions, we would begin to celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas Day (or Eve) and continue the celebration for 12 days! Oh, and wait for it-the Magi don't arrive until the end of the Christmas season!
Also remembers trying to navigate those muddy roads of the past
Editor, the Forum:
I enjoyed your "Muddy Hills" column. It brought a chuckle. We once lived at the bottom of Church Road. At the top was Bethesda Methodist Church. I identify with the driving skills required to navigate a muddy road, especially if climbing a hill. Fortunately, we have fewer muddy roads. Unfortunately, we have fewer hills after the county shaved so many down during our heavy development period (for instance, think of "Scenic Highway.")
subdivisions have accepted Gwinnett County's offer to install streetlights.
Once a majority of homeowners sign a petition agreeing to pay annual operating
costs, the lights may be installed. Commissioners agreed last year to
use 2009 SPLOST funds to install streetlights in neighborhoods that were
built before 1997, when the County began requiring developers to put streetlights
in new subdivisions.
* * * *
Also recently, Gwinnett commissioners approved an agreement with the Evermore Community Improvement District to build a half-mile access road parallel to U.S. Highway 78 between Britt Road and Old U.S.Highway 78/Walton Court. The project will tie to a realignment of Old U.S. 78 with Walton Court at its intersection with U.S. 78. The CID will provide funding for right-of-way acquisition while the County will manage the right-of-way acquisition and will provide funding for engineering and construction.
Major road improvements coming from city-county SPLOST funds
Three major road improvements, eight intersections, 35 sidewalk/pedestrian safety upgrades and 14 resurfacing projects will share city and county funds from the current SPLOST sales tax program. Acting Transportation Director Alan Chapman shared details about the projects with commissioners during a briefing on Tuesday.
The 60 projects are included in 22 agreements hammered out between the county government and its 16 cities. The 2014 SPLOST program requires cities and the county to use at least 65 percent of their share of SPLOST revenue for transportation projects.
must also use $25 million for joint projects if cities pay at least 19
percent of the cost for transportation-related projects that benefit both
city and county residents.
Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette, who also serves as president of the Gwinnett Municipal Association, says: "The term win-win is probably overused, but it does seem to apply here. I am proud that the cities and Gwinnett County were able to develop a mutually beneficial approach that seems to meet the needs of both groups while simultaneously putting forth the types of projects that the community wants and needs."
The County held 15 meetings with individual cities and three group meetings with the Gwinnett Municipal Association between last December and February of this year to discuss potential projects. A Citizens Project Selection Committee recommended specific joint-funded projects on March 24 and commissioners approved the list on April 16. Cities will manage construction for projects in 12 of the 22 agreements; Gwinnett County will manage the rest.
Southeast Gwinnett co-op benefiting from Give Hunger the Boot
Efforts to fill the shelves of the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op got a big boost Wednesday at the Greater Eastside Chamber of Commerce luncheon. There, a check for $2,296 was given to the Co-op through funds raised by the Give Hunger the Boot Challenge - a spirited competition between the cities of Snellville and Grayson.
A total of $1,296 was raised in donations, and $1,000 was donated by the GECC. Another, $165 came in after the event. Snellville collected $849 through Wednesday, while Grayson collected $447. From left above at right are Grayson Community Development Director Gail Lane, Snellville Councilman Bobby Howard, Grayson Mayor Allison Wilkerson, Snellville Councilman Dave Emanuel and Greater Eastside Chamber of Commerce President Jamie Dempsey with a $2,296 check collected at Wednesday's GECC luncheon to benefit the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op. The winner of the Snellville-Grayson challenge won't be known until January 19, as more food continues to come in.
Kearns Goodwin may be the finest author of historical books today. She
has the knack for easily catching your interest in her subject, moves
the story along well, sparkles her writing with great research, and connects
ideas that seem obvious after she introduces them. A recent blockbuster
and thoroughly enjoyable book is The Bully Pulpit, revealing the
close relationship between Teddy Roosevelt and his successor in the White
House, William Howard Taft. She also lets us glimpse into what she calls
the "golden age" of journalism, as key figures in that day's
media are prominent in forging the country's issues in that day. This
included S.S. McClure, Ida Tarvell, Ray S. Baker, Lincoln Steffens and
William Allen White. This is a magnificent book, which ends with Roosevelt,
the Bull Mooser, running for a third term, against Taft and Woodrow Wilson,
which insures the Democratic take-over in 1913. It's bully good history!
(Continued from previous edition)
The Three Faces of Eve made Joanne Woodward a major star, and she would remain so throughout the 1960s. Often cast as a southern character, she appeared in the film adaptations of two William Faulkner novels: The Long Hot Summer (1958; adapted from The Hamlet), the first of many films in which she costarred with her husband, and The Sound and the Fury (1959). She also starred with Marlon Brando in Tennessee Williams's The Fugitive Kind (1959).
Woodward, left, and Newman continued to appear together in such films as From the Terrace (1960), Paris Blues (1961), Winning (1969), WUSA (1970), The Drowning Pool (1975), Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990), and the HBO production of Empire Falls (2005). Woodward also starred in a number of films directed by Newman, including Rachel, Rachel (1968), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972), and The Glass Menagerie (1987).
Woodward received Oscar nominations for her roles in Rachel, Rachel; Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973); and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. She plays a psychiatrist to Sally Field's title character in Sybil (1976), another true story of a woman with multiple personality disorder. Woodward won Emmy awards for Do You Remember Love? (1985), in which she plays an Alzheimer's patient, and for See How She Runs (1978), in which she plays a middle-aged woman who runs in the Boston Marathon. She appeared primarily in made-for-television movies during the 1980s and 1990s and had a small role in the acclaimed film Philadelphia (1993).
In the late 1980s she returned to college to complete her degree, and in 1990 she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, N.Y., alongside her daughter Claire.
Before Newman's death in 2008, he and Woodward, longtime social and political activists, worked together on a variety of other projects. She assists with Newman's Own, a line of food products that donates all profits and royalties after taxes to various charities, primarily the Hole in the Wall camps for children with debilitating diseases, which was founded by Newman. The couple has worked for drug abuse prevention through the Scott Newman Foundation, which they established after the drug-overdose death of Newman's son from a previous marriage.
Woodward continues to visit and support her childhood home. In recent years she has donated money in support of local efforts to restore the Strand Theatre, a historic movie house in downtown Marietta, as well as to Cobb County's Georgia Ballet company. In 1992 she attended the Marietta High School Foundation banquet to celebrate the hundred-year anniversary of the city school system.
From 2000 through 2005 Woodward served as the artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse, in Westport, Conn., where she and Newman were longtime residents. She is artistic director emeritus for the theater.
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It's the birthday of jazz musician Fletcher Henderson, born in Cuthbert, Georgia in 1897, and died 1952 in New York. He attended Atlanta University, majoring in chemistry and mathematics, then moved to New York City to find work as a chemist. Instead, he was hired to play piano on a Hudson River boat, and several years later (1924), he formed the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. His innovative arrangements, which emphasized the horns and left room for improvised solos between arranged passages, shaped a new sound for big band jazz. (From the Writer's Almanac, Dec. 18, 2014).
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
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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