Issue 14.76 | Dec. 23, 2014
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DEC. 23, 2014 -- Eleven Gwinnett nonprofits shared in $10,000 gifts from the Rotary Club of Gwinnett announced at a holiday outing recently. These non-profit gifts go to a wide range of charitable institutions.
Club President Chuck Warbington says: "It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that we award these grants today in support of so many great causes. This is the season of giving. Giving back to our community is what being Rotarians is all about."
Each year the Rotary Club of Gwinnett grants to local nonprofits a percentage of the earnings from their endowment at the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia via a formalized granting process. The Club's Charitable Giving Committee works to encourage grant applications across the community and screens each request consideration.
Grants align with Rotary's six areas of focus: Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution; Disease Prevention and Treatment; Water and Sanitation; Maternal and Child Health; Basic Education and Literacy; and Economic and Community Development.
The grants that were awarded this year included:
The Rotary Club of Gwinnett County was founded in 1973 and has been serving and giving back to the community for more than 40 years.
Warbington notes: "Rotary's motto is 'Service Above Self.' Our 100+ members are actively engaged on many fronts. We are honored to give of our time, our vocational expertise and our financial resources where we can to help make the world a better place. It is our privilege to serve in this community and it's our hope that these grants will touch and positively impact the lives of thousands."
Gwinnett Rotary also years ago inaugurated ringing the bell for the Salvation Army kettles. More than 80 percent of its members rang the bell for a minimum of two hours this year, ringing at the Wal-Mart off Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville. Their Gwinnett Rotary kettle is anticipated to bring in more than $7,000 during the current bell-ringing season.
DEC. 23, 2014 -- So the United States is going back to normal diplomatic relations with Cuba?
This is good news, both for the Cubans, and as well, for citizens of the United States.
Before the takeover by Castro, and Cuba becoming thoroughly Communistic, the United States enjoyed a good relationship in Cuba. American companies had thriving interests in Cuba, and American vacationers enjoyed visiting there. Cuba welcomed the American tourists. It was good for the country.
Recognize, however, that Cuba had its problems under the Batista government. Foreign owned firms were enriching themselves off the natural resources of the island, often their operations just as oppressive as their government. Poverty was almost standard, wide opening gambling was prevalent, and Cubans virtually welcomed the overthrow and the arrival of Castro. Of course, Cubans never realized the solution might be just as bad as their previous regime.
With the Castro regime, American companies lost their possessions in Cuba, as that country veered hard right. And the reaction from the American government was to seek to isolate Cuba, somewhat effectively, from American commercial and political interests.
Cubans who came to America, meanwhile, have thrived here, through their intelligence, their hard work and stick-to-itive-ness. They tapped into the American work ethic and made it their own.
But Cubans who remained on the island have seen their livelihood crushed by the harsh and antiquated Cuban policies. It's a classic example of how a nation trying to control all aspects of everyday activities, has failed miserably. The Cuban way of life reminds one of another Communist state who failed under state rule, for instance, East Germany.
Now we look to what may happen. Cuban relations with the West should bring much greater prosperity for the country.
The main beneficiaries will be the Cuban people. Among the areas of change anticipated:
Georgians, with its close proximity, should find a welcome market for many products, especially agricultural goods, such as chicken and grain crops, and manufactured items, such as tractors and new automobiles.
Cubans meanwhile, will be visiting friends in this country. This becomes a two-way street, with Cubans taking back an understanding of our life, and no doubt, seeking changes in their own.
Here's another thought: baseball has long been a popular major sport in Cuba, and it produces many good players. We can see more Cubans on the roster of American teams. And who knows? Perhaps some day Havana will be an American major league baseball city, as is our neighbor to the north, in Toronto.
The move by President Obama to recognize Cuba after being ostracized more than 50 years came as quite a surprise. While some die-hard anti-Obamists may rant and rave about this move, we feel most Americans will approve of helping bring Cuba into the modern world. The effort could be one of the few legacies of the Obama presidency. We applaud the presidency that opens the doors to Cuba. It should have been done long ago.
We anticipate this new relationship with the United States will be a major means by which Cuba as a nation and as individuals become more of a part of the modern world. We welcome them.
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of people have wondered about ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange
Council. They wonder who they are, what they do, and who supports them
with money and who among the Gwinnett representatives is in their pocket.
This is a nonprofit organization founded by Koch brothers and other major
an organization, ALEC Is responsible for countless bills that eliminate
worker protections, roll back environmental laws and suppress voter rights
across the country.
issues are "The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act," which
makes it against the law to film/take pictures of livestock slaughter
houses; eliminating public schools; and using taxpayer dollars for private
schools. Among their other issues include the Stand Your Ground Laws;
legislation that prohibits a living wage; and anti-paid sick law.
Moreover, the American Legislative Exchange Council's education agenda puts profits before performance, and corporations before children.
The question is who in Gwinnett county's legislative delegation is a member and subscribes to the secretive radical agendas espoused by ALEC. What's so troubling about our legislature's cozy relationship with a group that sells legislation to the highest corporate bidder? ALEC uses pay-to-play politics and backroom deals to push their dangerous agenda through statehouses across the nation.
Among local legislators working with ALEC are:
Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo have all left ALEC's radical political agenda behind, and resigned from this organization. Shouldn't your representatives do the same?
Raises questions about street lights and underground power lines
Editor, the Forum:
In the story about some communities getting approvals for street lights, it's mentioned that they are required now for new sub-divisions. Seems to me when this happened some of these newer subdivisions also had their power lines and cable installed underground. I'm assuming this was either required with the street lights or somehow became a lower cost alternative to overhead power lines.
So is there
a process for older subdivisions who have streetlights and overhead power
lines to have them buried? Will these older subdivisions that are getting
street lights, getting lights installed on their power poles or are they
getting modern buried cables and post mounted street lights? Seems to
me the power companies would benefit with buried lines over pole mounted
The Lilburn Planning Commission has recommended approval of a proposed development for businesses and residences on the southwest corner of Main Street and Lawrenceville Highway (U.S. Highway 29). The project would be a key piece in the ongoing redevelopment of downtown Lilburn.
Nacoochee Corporation has come forward with a proposal for the 7.7-acre assemblage across Main Street from the future City Hall-Library site. The Lilburn Downtown Development Authority owns the property, which is zoned for commercial use.
The firm plans businesses fronting Lawrenceville Highway and Main Street, and a multi-story residential building fronting Church Street and Main Street. A parking deck would be constructed in the center of the square with the same design elements of the businesses and homes. The property is located within the Lawrenceville Highway Corridor Overlay District, which means it is subject to strict standards for landscaping, architecture, and signage.
There was a public hearing during the Planning Commission meeting on December 18. The Commission voted 4-0 with one absence to recommend approval of a Special Use Permit to accommodate the housing component. There will be a second public hearing and City Council will consider final approval of the permit on January12 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 76 Main Street.
City of Duluth to host Chase Bryant at New Year's celebration
in the New Year with the City of Duluth and country music artist Chase
Bryant. The City of Duluth and Kicks 101.5 are joining forces to ring
in the New Year in style.
The Jackson EMC Foundation Board of Directors awarded a total of $86,000 in grants to organizations during their November meeting, including $18,000 to organizations serving Gwinnett County residents. They include:
or charitable organization in the ten counties served by Jackson EMC (Clarke,
Banks, Barrow, Franklin, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison and
Oglethorpe) may apply for a Foundation grant by completing an application,
online or at local Jackson EMC offices. Applicants do not need to
be a member of Jackson EMC.
Why is there scaffolding around the Snellville Senior Center? Workers are replacing materials not up to standard on the original construction at a cost of $126,000. The materials were further impacted by the recent string of cold winters' freeze and thaw cycles, city officials said.
Paul Hoover, vice president of Precision Planning Inc., the firm in charge of the repairs, says: "The existing cast stone cornice around the perimeter of the building requires repair. The repair will include epoxy injection into the units, removal and repair of mortar joints and an application of protective top coat. The building perimeter will be surrounded in scaffolding for the duration of the work. The project started on the first week of December and will complete in March of 2015. There will be no change in access to the facility during the work."
First of all, this is not an autobiography. It is a work of fiction. I thought this book was overly sweet and melodramatic, and the author portrayed Mrs. Tom Thumb (Lavinia Warren) as quite vain and conceited. However, it was still an interesting book. Born in Massachusetts to a proud family descended from five Mayflower passengers who had continually intermarried, Lavinia was normal sized at birth but stopped growing at 32 inches. Together, Lavinia and Tom Thumb were among the most famous people in the 1860s, socializing with the Vanderbilts and the cream of society. Even President Abraham Lincoln held a wedding reception for them. With the help of P.T. Barnum, they amassed and spent a fortune over the course of their lives together and were multi-millionaires by today's standards. And -- oddly enough -- they were not in the circus, except for one year toward the end of their careers.
In the 1920s a cherubic child in a red-and-white hat hawked the quintessential Christmas treat-the peppermint candy cane-to Albany natives in an advertisement for a local candy company. Some sixty years later, that family-owned company, known as Bobs Candies, commemorated its place in the national candy and snack-food world by producing the world's largest candy cane, an eight-foot-long crook that weighed more than 100 pounds. In 2005 the company's founding family, the McCormacks, decided to sell the organization to a larger, diversified candy manufacturer in order to keep the family legacy alive.
The candy company began in 1919, when Bob McCormack, an investor based in Birmingham, Ala., visited Albany and decided that it would be a good location for a candy business. Helped by other investors back in Birmingham, McCormack started producing sticks of candy for his Famous Candy Company.
As the economy began to improve in 1940, Americans began purchasing more candies and snacks. But it wasn't long before Bobs Candies fortunes were reversed. A tornado hit Albany's business district on February 10, 1940, killing 17 people and causing an estimated $9 million in storm losses. The Bobs building was among those leveled, and because the company had no tornado insurance, it had to rebuild on its own.
By August 1940 the company was back in business. During World War II (1941-45), when sugar was rationed, coconuts were in short supply, and pecans were expensive, Bobs took advantage of a plentiful local product-the peanut-and sold peanut-butter crackers and vacuum-packed peanuts.
By the end of the 1950s Bobs was producing 1.8 million sticks of candy each day and had national sales of $3.3 million. McCormack Sr. died in 1967 before he could see the company's new facilities, which opened in 1968 and included a climate-controlled storage area.
In spring 2005 the McCormacks sold the company to Farley's and Sathers Candy Company, a large distributor that manages such major candy brands as Now and Later, Jujyfruits, and Super Bubble. Farley's and Sathers shut down all of Bobs Candies' Albany operations by the end of 2005.
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During the holidays, there will be only one edition of the Forum each week. The next edition will be published Wednesday, December 31, 2014. -- eeb
"Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know, the birth of Santa."
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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