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RECOGNIZE THIS? Yes, it's the imposing home of Gwinnett Medical Center, beginning its 31st year in its expanded Lawrenceville location. We must report that the hospital was the home for a few days last week for our Roving Photographer, Frank Sharp of Lawrenceville, who had triple bypass surgery there. He's improving, was in good spirits on Sunday, and was scheduled to go home Monday, but cannot drive for about a month. Hurry and get well, Frank, for we'll be missing your beautiful and distinctive photography.

Issue 14.78 | Jan. 6, 2015

:: NLT starts 16th year

:: Continuing objectives

On low-wage employers

Half marathon, more

Snellville art show

:: Gwinnett Village CID

:: Send us your review

:: Thought about it like this?

:: Horticulture in Ga.

:: Three recognized photo


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


New London Theatre begins 16th year with "choreopoem" play

Special to Gwinnett Forum
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SNELLVILLE, Ga., Jan. 6, 2015 -- Welcome to 2015 as New London Theatre (NLT) begins its 16th calendar year. Our 2014-2015 season has been a huge hit so far and we can't wait to show you the rest.

Throughout the holiday season, our young actors have been rehearsing and studying their lines for our Broadway Bound Children's Theatre production of Aladdin, coming up this month. Also busy at work have been the women of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.

Every once-in-awhile, a show comes to our attention which we feel absolutely must be on our stage. This year we have one of them. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf is considered one of the most poignant and powerful shows of our time. We believe that everyone, no matter sex or color, owes it themselves to see this powerful performance.

For Colored Girls is directed by Dawn Berlo. Shows are performed on Friday nights and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. This show should be considered "PG" due to the graphic nature of some of the dialogue.

This groundbreaking "choreopoem" is a spellbinding collection of vivid prose and free verse narratives about and performed by black women. Capturing the brutal, tender and dramatic lives of contemporary Black women, For Colored Girls... offers a transformative, riveting evening of provocative dance, music and poetry.

* * * * *

Want to be part of the "New London Theatre Family"? Then consider auditioning for our shows! Don't want to be on stage? No problem! We would love to have you as part of our crew. Come share your talents and possibly learn a new skill (we love to teach)! Send us an email or just come talk to us at one of the shows.

They say that the children are our future, and what a better way to start off the new year than by watching our future stars shine. Opening January 9 is our Broadway Bound Children's Theatre production of Aladdin.

With this production, not only do we have many new faces on stage, but Aladdin also brings some new faces behind the stage. Education is a big part of NLT's mission, so we took this opportunity to allow two of our young stars to take the reigns as directors. Both Saraya Haynes and Alicia Owens are no strangers to the stage.

* * * * *

Season tickets are available through the online store and prices adjusted to cover the remainder of the season. Guarantee yourself a seat for all of our shows. Season ticket holders also get assigned seating, free popcorn, and a bottle of water at every show. This year season ticket holders will also get a free ticket to each of our Broadway Bound Children's Theatre shows (a great value since the next show on stage would then be free!).

Our schedule through July on Friday, Saturday and Sunday includes:

  • January 30-February 15: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.
  • March 13-29: Pygmalion.
  • May 8-24: Harvey.
  • June 12-28: Plaza Suite.
  • July 10-26: Damn Yankees.

Our children's schedule shows:

  • January 9-18: Aladdin.
  • April 10-19: The Little Princess.

The New London Theatre is located at 2338 Henry Clower Boulevard in Snellville, in New London Plaza inside Hello Again Variety Mall.

Taking a look at our list of Continuing Objectives for Gwinnett
Editor and publisher |

JAN. 6, 2015 -- Here at the beginning of year 2015, let's review and update GwinnettForum's Continuing Objectives for Gwinnett County. You may find the list printed in each edition of GwinnettForum on the right column.

  • Development of a two-party system for county offices: No progress was made on this in 2014, as the Gwinnett Democratic Party proved itself inept at fielding credible candidates. Their goal, for the coming years, should be the recruitment, and support, of candidates appealing to the voters. Meanwhile, the Gwinnett Republicans chug along in control. Our goal is to see the General Elections be the deciding factors in elections, not primaries.

  • Moving statewide non-partisan judge election runoffs to the General Election: No progress of this worthwhile goal.

  • Extension of Gwinnett Place CID area to include Arena and Discovery Mills Mall: No progress on this goal that would tie two retail shopping districts into a stronger CID.

  • Banning of tobacco in all Gwinnett parks: While there seems to be little push for this, other communities are moving forward with this ban, as tobacco products of all kind become more recognized as a health menace.

  • Making Briscoe Field a commercial airport for jet-age travel: While at one time this was looked upon as a possibility, no elected official is around to champion this project. We hope to see this some day, but for now, we remove it as a reasonable goal.

  • More diverse candidates for political offices and appointment to local boards: This is becoming more probable, as Gwinnett continues to become more diverse. We would continue to propose this goal for both elected and appointed groups, and anticipate much more movement in this direction in the coming year.

  • Physical move of former St. Gerard's Catholic Church in Buffalo, N.Y., to Norcross: Fundraising efforts havw sputtered on this goal, with no major benefactor emerging. While worthy, we also remove this since the possibility seems even more remote than ever.

  • Creative efforts to support the arts in Gwinnett: We're pleased at several levels of progress in this arena, and anticipate more in the future. It's noteworthy that more and more people seem to recognize the beneficial influence of the arts onto many areas of society. We especially commend several Gwinnett cities, Snellville, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Duluth, Grayson, and Buford, for their contribution to this objective in the past year.

  • Advancement and expansion of city and Gwinnett historical societies: More progress needs to be seen in this arena. Continued advancement by several cities makes one proud, though the closing of the Duluth Historical Society is a black eye for that community.

  • Stronger regulation of late-night establishments with alcoholic licenses: While others may not see this as worthy, we merely ask: what good happens at public bars between midnight and 6 a.m.? We have yet to hear a good answer. We urge the Gwinnett County Commission to consider requiring all alcohol license holders to close at 2 a.m. To fail to take this action will be unacceptable and a growing possibility of problems.

  • Requiring the legislature to meet once every two years: When asking candidates for public office about this Objective last year, GwinnettForum found much more acceptance once the candidates considered this. We yearn to see action this year in the General Assembly, as some Gwinnett legislator could make a name for him or her self with this objective.

  • Development of more community gardens: This is perhaps the one Objective which has seen the most interest in the previous year. Cities and individual organizations are recognizing the benefits of public gardens not only to grow vegetables, but to help meld the community into a stronger arena. We urge churches, non-profits and cities to adopt this idea to make the communities even better.

We look forward to the community achieving these goals.

* * * *

One more thing: GwinnettForum readers are often presenting novel ideas to the community. Now we urge these forward-thinkers to consider other objectives that could make our county even better. So submit your ideas, and let others know about them. We'll also consider adding them to our list of Continuing Objectives for Gwinnett County.

Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring to you at no cost to readers. The Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District was formed in 2006, and is a self taxing revitalization district that consists of just over 725 commercial property owners with a property value of over $1 billion dollars. Gwinnett Village CID includes the southwestern part of Gwinnett County including properties along Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Buford Highway, Indian Trail, Beaver Ruin, and Singleton Road. Gwinnett Village is one of four CIDs to be created in Gwinnett County and is the largest of all CIDs in the state. Gwinnett Village's mission is to improve property values through increased security, a decrease in traffic congestion, and general improvements to the curb appeal of the area.

Low-wage employers draining funds from governmental coffers

Editor, the Forum:

Just how much money are low-wage businesses draining from local, state and federal coffers? A study released in April by Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of more than 400 organizations that advocate progressive tax reform, estimated that "Wal-Mart alone costs taxpayers $6.2 billion annually in public assistance."

Furthermore, even banks are not immune. An estimated 25 percent of all bank tellers would qualify for government assistance because of low wages.

Moreover, as conceived, the "bad business fee" legislation would require companies to disclose how many of their employees are receiving public assistance from the state or federal government. Companies would then pay a fine based on the de facto subsidies they receive by externalizing labor.

As progressive organizations grapple with how to turn years of public outrage over income inequality into policies for structural change, a network of labor and community organizing groups has seized upon the bad business fee as a solution that might take off.

Those taxpayer dollars come in the form of joint federal-state programs such as Medicaid and the School Breakfast Program, as well as federal ones such as the National School Lunch Program, the Section 8 Housing Program, the Earned Income Tax, Low Income Home Energy Assistance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps).

Finally, to promote economic and racial justice in the state of Georgia, we need to make this fee a reality. We need to develop the framework for a bill that we hope will be introduced in 2015 by state legislators who have worked for progressive change in Georgia. An easier way would be to increase wages, especially the minimum wage which can be done at the state level.

-- George C. Wilson, Stone Mountain

Suwanee Gateway Half Marathon to be on Jan. 31

You can be a part of history in 2015. Georgia Fitness, and the City of Suwanee are teaming together to host the first-ever Suwanee Gateway Half Marathon on Saturday, January 31.

Georgia Fitness Manager Jason Vance believes that the Suwanee Half is scheduled so that it will make a good training run for those preparing for a spring marathon.

The race will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Town Center Park. From there, the Peachtree Road Race-certified, 13.1-mile course will meander through Old Town, along Eva Kennedy to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, to Tench Road and eventually George Pierce Park and the Suwanee Creek Greenway to McGinnis Ferry Road, up and back along Northolt, and back along the Greenway to the finish at City Hall.

Registration is available at The registration fee is $75. Runners will receive a finisher's medal and long-sleeved T-shirt. Race news, including a course map, is available at Race volunteers are needed as well. Email here to volunteer.

Authority on quilting comes to Cannon Methodist Church Jan. 20

Gwinnett County Public Library, in partnership with the Gwinnett Quilters' Guild, will welcome New York Times bestselling author Cindy Woodsmall on January 20 at 10 a.m. for a book signing and discussion at Cannon United Methodist Church in Snellville.


Woodsmall, named one of the top three Amish fiction writers by the Wall Street Journal in 2013, has been featured on ABC's Nightline and worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. Known best for her "Sisters of the Quilt" trilogy, Woodsmall's latest work is A Love Undone: An Amish Novel of Shattered Dreams and God's Unfailing Grace.

There will be a $5 charge for non-guild members. Books will be available for purchase and signing courtesy of Books for Less of Buford.

Cannon United Methodist Church is located at 2424 Webb Ginn House Road in Snellville.

Snellville Art Show begins Jan. 8 featuring two artists

The walls of the City Hall Art Gallery will feature the works of Marcella Hayes Muhammad and Leroy Banks beginning January 8.



Muhammad focuses on African-American themes through the styles of abstract and realism. She says: "As a retired teacher, I am more of a narrative painter using my skills with realism to capture history and culture from the African-American perspective. I consider this style of work as a form of visual Jazz. The uniting elements of my work is in the use of a warm pallet, vibrant colors with two, three or even as many as four colors in action at the same time. I use a multi-dominant rhythmic style with the movement of different designs and harmonizing colors."

This is the first time Banks' art will be exhibited.

The gallery, located in the Community Room of City Hall, 2342 Oak Road, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Muhammad and Banks' art will be on display until February 26. There will be a reception for this exhibit from 2 to 6 p.m. January 17.

Send along your reviews and more

We need your help: We are about out of reviews of various sorts, of books, movies, videos, restaurants, or anything else you want to share with GwinnettForum readers. Keep your review short, and readers will enjoy them. Now get busy and write us a review. Send us your recent selection, along with a short paragraph (150 words) as to why you liked this, plus what you plan to visit or read next. --eeb

Many new challenges facing Georgia horticulture

The diversity and profitability of Georgia horticulture continues as many crops are emerging that promise to bring sustainable incomes to the state's farmers.

For example, the blueberry industry was almost nonexistent in the 1970s, but since the discovery of sandy, acidic soils in south Georgia, it has become a multimillion-dollar endeavor. Carrots are emerging as an important crop in southeastern Georgia, where the soils are perfect for production of high-quality specialty carrots. Vidalia onions are a good example of how farmers were able to capitalize on the unusually low sulfur content of some southeastern Georgia soils to produce and market a mild onion that does not bring tears to the eyes. New crops such as wine grapes, Christmas trees, and native plants for landscape use are also appearing in north Georgia.

As in any agriculture-based industry, challenges face the growers who produce these plants. Finding people willing to work in hot fields is now difficult, and the resulting labor shortage is seriously affecting this industry. The low cost of food in the United States, which allows very slim profits, prevents the producers from paying larger wages to attract workers. Recurring droughts in Georgia have raised concerns about the use and availability of consistent water sources, on which horticulture depends.

New federal requirements and a nationwide effort to minimize the use of pesticides have made controlling insects and diseases a challenge as well. Horticulturists would like to avoid pesticides altogether, but most consumers expect blemish-free fruits and insect-free vegetables and flowers. The standard of perfect produce may not be sustainable, given the rapid removal of many pesticides from the market. Growers will have to be innovative to meet market expectations.

These challenges are being met by the combined efforts of several institutions. The Georgia Department of Agriculture as well as the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science at the University of Georgia are actively working with the industry to address these issues. There is a great need for more professionals, however, because horticulture's reach is vast and complex. The University of Georgia has formal college programs in horticulture that range from greenhouse production to molecular transformation of vegetable hybrids. The Georgia Department of Education has developed a strong program for high school students who wish to gain experience in commercial horticulture. Homeowners and gardeners can learn more about horticulture through the Georgia Master Gardener Program, which offers horticultural training to volunteer gardeners. Master gardeners aid local county extension agents by educating local communities about such gardening practices as composting, environmental gardening, and community gardens.

Geneticists are needed to breed new cultivars. More trained growers are needed. Agricultural economists are needed to help growers estimate control costs and manage profits. Agricultural engineers are needed to help automate production to relieve the labor shortage. Skilled business and management graduates are needed to help growers market new products. Plant pathologists and entomologists are key contributors to developing environmentally sound ways to control pests. As the population in Georgia continues to increase, the field of horticulture will continue to expand for many decades to come.

Big classical house

Here's a big house, quite classical, and it could be in about any place, and resembles to some even an embassy. Tell us where you think it is by sending an email to, and be sure to include your hometown.

Give Rick and Sandy Krause of Lilburn credit for the recent Mystery Photo. It was a timely submission of a scene in Cuba, and caused quite a stir, as several people thought it was in many places, including St. Augustine, Fla., but only three recognized it correctly.

Chris Collins of Norcross was first in, saying "Your Mystery Photo is of Morro Castle or Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro at the entrance to Havana's main harbor in Havana, Cuba. In December of 2012, I traveled to Cuba with my father on a people-to people exchange. It was a visual, cultural, and geo-political extravaganza. There is nothing quite like seeing your country's iron fist at work."

Then Tom Merkel of Berkeley Lake sent in this: "Oh, you're good, as this mystery takes recent news into account. The mystery photo is of the two forts at the entrance to Havana, Cuba's harbor. The tower in the background being Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, and the earthwork in the foreground being the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña. I've always been fascinated with Havana and Cuba, and island fortresses in the Caribbean. When President Obama made his announcement I immediately called my wife and told her to pack her bags we were heading to Havana for vacation. I grew up in Lakeland, Fla. at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Almost overnight my elementary school went from 100 percent white to 50 percent Cuban. I had many Cuban friends I grew up with who fled the island. Also, I love the Cuban culture and food. Finally, being an avid scuba diver I've always wanted to go there and dive."

Then came comment from Bob Foreman of Grayson: "Last Wednesday, when I received GwinnettForum, I did not recognize the mystery photo of the day, so I thought no more about it. I thought it looked like an old Spanish fort in Spain or the Caribbean. Then, this weekend a TV news story was running about Cuba and I recognized the scene being shown in the news story as the same place as your photo. It is in Havana, Cuba and the fort in the distance is the El Moro fort, guarding the harbor. I like old light houses. I should have recognized it. After all, how many Spanish forts have light houses?"


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Prime professional office space

If you're wanting to relocate your professional office to the Peachtree Corners, Norcross or Johns Creek area, you need to see this space. It's located in Technology Park, offers 4,770 square feet, and has its own easily recognized, private entranceway in a well-maintained, attractive office location. There's plenty of parking, and the building is situated well back from the street, with the office overlooking a beautiful wooded area with lake. This office space should go fast, so call 770-925-0111 before someone else grabs it. Ask for Lisha Stuckey.

Have You Ever Thought of It This Way?

"Without losers, where would the winners be?"

-- Philosopher and Baseball Manager Casey Stengel (1890-1975).




(NEW) Southern Wings Bird Club will meet January 12, 2015 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administrative Center, in Conference Room C at 7 p.m. A movie, A Birder's Guide to Everything, will be shown. Bring snacks to enjoy this 86 minute movie, starring Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley.


2/20: Acrimony between UGA, GSU
2/17: Two school proposals
2/13: GSU once university stepchild
2/10: Deal's bus drivers' attacks
2/6: Great series: Foyle's War
2/3: Innovative thinking on boxes

1/30: Remembering George Black
1/27: Crummy radio content
1/23: Funerals are changing
1/20: Think on Simpsonwood
1/16: Buford schools top list
1/13: Ga. needs real leaders
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


2/20: Bohannan: Barbara Awards
2/17: Brown: Against domestic violence
2/13: Jones: GGC's 10th birthday
2/10: Durant: Jamaican restaurant
2/6: Norton: Excerpts from report
2/3: Myers: "Standardized patient"

1/30: Solomon: Black History Month
1/27: Myers: PCOM bans tobacco
1/23: Rawlins: Publishing a book
1/20: Arrington: Snellville marketplace
1/16: Wascher: Gwinnett CID
1/13: Bohannon: Les Mis is back
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
  • More diverse candidates for political offices and appointment to local boards
  • 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


2001-2015, Gwinnett is Gwinnett County's online community forum for commentary that explores pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

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