Issue 14.87 | Feb. 6, 2015
GAINESVILLE, Ga., Feb. 6, 2015 -- People are strange, on a micro-level. Everybody likes a new product, a new television show, new software, a new smart phone. At the micro-level, people love change. At the macro-level, people hate change. Big, new ideas that challenge pre-conceptions make people angry.
Big, bold, bodacious ideas should push beyond a community's comfort zone, not sting nor hurt, but challenge the existing status quo.
Some of our big, bold ideas will step on leadership toes, go against current direction, and shift cultural and political convention. But for 87 years now, we've been swimming upstream.
1. Second home mecca
We're not just talking about the occasional second home purchase or mountain cabin construction; we're talking about an all-out-all-in second home marketing promotion mindset mecca for North Georgia. The base foundation has already been set; we have second homes throughout the North Georgia region but our geography is too compelling for us not to better capitalize on positioning.
2. Refocus our definition of work
The reality of getting a major industrial user, manufacturer, assemblage, or distribution center in downtown Cleveland, Clayton, Ellijay, and Dahlonega is slim to none.
We see big distribution laser focused on Interstate 85 in Jackson County, but the new era dynamics is that they will build or lease 500,000 to one million square feet and hire maybe 40 employees. The employees are programmers, pickers or logistics and the warehouse management is a computer in Hackensack.
Executive base entrepreneur-owners are our best chance to diversify and strengthen our business base. Companies like Pro Therapy, Mansfield Oil, and Select Labs take advantage of the close proximity to public and private air transport, adjacent to a metropolitan market but capitalize on the incredible lifestyle.
3. It's time to talk collaboration.
As we travel the hills and valleys of our region, we are amazed at the flashes of greatness, brilliance of ideas, energy, intelligence and creativity but dismayed at the turfdom that has been created between city versus city, city versus county, and county versus county, and the bogging down of those same ideas intelligence and creativity.
That means government on steroids, duplication of services; fire, police/sheriff, emergency responders, clerks, administration and general overhead. But sure, it's ok because they all have the revenue to support themselves. But, wait a minute that revenue is ours ours. We currently have an epidemic or abundance of government.
4. Progressive preservation
What makes a community
great? With the surge of growth which was anticipated by our gorilla,
"Atlanta," and her twin sister, "Gwinnett," over the
next 40 years, how does a community like North Georgia preserve (save)
its soul. It's the sense of place.
5. Self sufficiency
The recent successful SPLOST transportation referendum in Forsyth County got us thinking, "Could we do the same for water?" So water, or lack of water, could equally strangle a local economy. Yes, we have Lake Lanier, but Atlanta claims it, as does Alabama and Florida.
Let's start digging our own destiny, take control of our future growth and dig and fill our way to business recruitment and economic vitality.
Bold ideas need strong leaders to execute them. It's time to recognize and fill the voids created when the current generation of leaders moves on. Bold leadership takes bold risks, with financial, personal and political capital to insure that something will be successful.
It's time to swim
FEB. 6, 2015 -- It may be the best dramatic show, though low-key and without much explosive special effects, on television. But now we hear its run is ending.
We're talking about Foyle's War, the British series that many see on Public Broadcasting stations, and is also available through streaming on Netflix.
It's had a 13-year run, in seven different series through the years, but now has announced that the season recently seen in England, in January, will be the last. It is released through Acorn Television (via Netflix already, and eventually with the last episodes on PBS, seen here on Monday nights).
What makes Foyle's War so good are two elements: the acting of the key character, Michael Kitchen as Christopher Foyle, and the spot-on writing of the creator and author of the show, Anthony Horowitz.
Kitchen (right) portrays a police inspector in the seaside town of Hastings on the English coast during the period 1940-47. (He yearns to be in the military for World War II, though others feel he is of more use where he is.) He has created a character of immense depth, not through theatrics, but through as much as anything, his mannerisms. He says little, often uses one or two words to convey his thoughts, creates the illusion that he keeps his mind working, and that he sees much more than what his audience sees. Even his slight nod of the head, or grimace, or eye contact, seems to speak loudly to the audience. Through it all, the Christopher Foyle persona is steady-at-the-helm, alert to many aspects going in each drama, and always a man of great intelligence and integrity.
What Anthony Horowitz has done to realize and depict the conditions in Britain during and after World War II, paying close attention to the detail of such items as gas rationing (and smuggling) in England during the war; the German attacks on London by bombings and the horrible situations that this created; and such incidents as possible infiltration of German spies into the day-to-day activities even in the English countryside.
Many Americans today do not really understand in depth the desperation that the English went through during those days, especially before the United States entered the war in late 1941. Horowitz's effort at "historical accuracy" has earned commendations, while his relatively-tight scripts and attention to detail lends credence to the series.
Recognize that this
series has a 13-year history. When you go back and play the series in
a short period of time (via Netflix), you literally see the Foyle character
age. After all, Kitchen was 53 years old when the series began, and today,
at 66, there are more lines around his face. He still wears the hat square
on head, with his long overcoat, but he has obviously grown older. Happily,
his essential make-up and moral fiber have remained firmly-rooted; if
anything, he has only become more stalwart.
Perhaps the most distinctive elements of the series is the relatively low-keyed style of the show, his taciturnity, and Foyle's frank conversations with wrong-doers, his staff and even his superiors. We need more presentations on television with the depth of character of a Christopher Foyle. But soon he will be on the air no longer.
as he would say.
FEB. 6, 2015 -- Gov. Nathan Deal has floated what I hope is a mere trial balloon -- cutting off health care benefits from part-time school workers. "It's only fair," he says. Part-time state workers outside the school system don't receive health care; neither then should part-time school workers, so his reasoning goes.
My husband drove a bus. He says drivers must memorize routes and detours as well as the names of each child they carry. They learn all the parts of the bus, and ensure that each one works properly. On dark, sub-freezing mornings, they crank cold buses praying the ignition turns. And when the stop sign pops out and the red flashers blink, they know a certain number of motorists will not stop.
Bus drivers must handle bullies, fights, and sometimes kids with weapons. If involved in a traffic accident, drivers can be sued and lose everything they own. Do other part-time state workers have to worry about any of this?
School systems face a significant turnover if drivers quit over health care. Workers who replace them may consider the job temporary until a better opportunity comes long. Then our kids lose out, as they try to adapt to new faces behind the steering wheel who lack the experience of the former ones.
Many part-time school bus drivers took on the responsibility of safely transporting our children because of health care. Governor Deal, please un-float this balloon.
Professional healthcare programs leading to doctorate degrees in Pharmacy (PharmD) and Osteopathic Medicine (DO) are offered at Georgia Campus - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM) in Suwanee Ga. A graduate degree at the master's level can be earned in Biomedical Sciences. GA-PCOM, which opened in 2005, is a private, not-for-profit branch campus of the fully accredited Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, a multi-program institution with a 115 year tradition of educational excellence. To learn more about how GA-PCOM is educating tomorrow's healthcare leaders, visit admissions.pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500. For an appointment at the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic which is open to the public, call 678-225-7489.
Editor, the Forum:
About coyotes: I didn't think there was a present problem, as severe as a few years ago when coyotes were found even in the center of Atlanta. Then last winter 2014, I shot one in my backyard as it was attacking my cat. (I live near Shorty Howell Park in Duluth.)
Since then I met a skilled professional wildlife trapper who told me that in August 2014 the county school system hired him to rid the coyotes from behind Duluth Middle School---Pleasant Hill Road west of Buford Highway. Within a couple of weeks he trapped 12 coyotes from this single location. No doubt the one that I had encountered earlier was from that same pack.
Buford's Roach named to key position at GA-PCOM
A Buford student has been named the District Representative to the Medical Student Subcommittee for the 2015 term at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Suwanee. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Medical Students, Residents and Fellowship Trainees picked Britta Roach (DO '17) for this position.
Roach is in her second
year at GA-PCOM. She previously received a bachelor's degree in chemistry
from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. This leadership opportunity
with the AAP will provide Roach with significant networking, scholarship,
and award access. The AAP is a professional membership organization of
pediatric specialists that devote themselves to the physical, mental,
and social health of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.
She will also attend the section's long range planning meeting this February
and the Academy's National Conference and Exhibition in October.
Erin Baggett, a surgical technology instructor, has been named Gwinnett Technical College's 2015 Adjunct Instructor of the Year. Baggett, a GTC alumna, has taught at the college since 2011.
Dr. Victoria Seals,
vice president of academic affairs, Gwinnett Tech, says: "Erin strongly
reflects many of the key attributes we look for in our instructors - a
passion for their field, a commitment to their students, and an enthusiasm
for the art of teaching. She's been a key member of and an asset to our
Surgical Technology faculty for many years, and has made a lasting contribution
to this excellent program.
"Not in my wildest imagination would I have ever believed that I would end up teaching in this same program," said Baggett. "We truly function as a team and complement each other with our individual strengths."
While teaching at
GTC, she completed her master's in Health Science from Saint Francis University.
She works alongside her surgical technology students on outreach events
including the Atlanta Science Festival and service projects at MedShare.
Baggett previously served on the board of directors for the Georgia State
Assembly of the Association of Surgical Technologists and is currently
serving as secretary.
Georgia Gwinnett College sports wins "Champion of Character'
Within moments of entering the Grizzly Athletics Complex at Georgia Gwinnett College, visitors are greeted with the two linchpins of the Office of Athletics. In the foyer outside the office suite, displayed is the impressive trophy haul of the 2013-14 school year. Directly across from it sits the academic center. It's the emphasis on both winning and scholarship that has helped GGC announce its presence on a national level. Earlier this winter, the NAIA took notice, as it named GGC a "Champions of Character Five-Star Institution."
Dr. Darin S. Wilson, GGC director of Athletics, says: "It was a great year for us in 2013-14, both on and off the field. Winning is something that we take pride in here at GGC, but it's not all that we're seeking to accomplish. We want to make sure that we do things in the right way and make a positive impact on both the fields and courts of play as well as out in the community."
In addition to the athletic successes of 2013-14, which saw GGC claim a pair of national titles in just its first year of eligibility, the Grizzly Softball team picked up a national honor of its own as the squad was the first in college history to earn the prestigious Champions of Character team award. On the field, the Grizzlies put together an impressive 39-10-1 record on the year, and off the field, they engaged in a number of community projects, including Special Olympics Georgia, Relay for Life and Dream House Atlanta.
GGC was one of 168 institutions in NAIA to earn the Five Star designation.
Gwinnett Parks and Rec honors two youth athletic officials
Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) honored two volunteers from the Youth Athletic Association for committing time to serve the youth of the county. Honored were Ken Parker, left, of the Mill Creek Athletic Association, and Andy Fullard of the Archer Athletic Association. Each has not only devoted time and effort in assisting in the development, promotion, and advocacy of youth athletics within Gwinnett County, but they have been instrumental in ensuring that opportunities exist for all members within their respective communities. GCPR has a long tradition of volunteer service. Youth Athletic Associations, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, Church groups, school clubs and other groups or individuals give tirelessly of their volunteer efforts.
Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, spent many of his formative years as a resident of Georgia. As a child he lived in Augusta between 1858 and 1870. As a young adult he practiced law in Atlanta for a year beginning in May 1882. He was married in Savannah in 1885, and two of his three children were born in Gainesville, in 1886 and 1887. His first wife, Ellen Louise Axson, was born in Savannah and spent most of her childhood in Rome.
The son of Joseph Ruggles Wilson and Janet E. Woodrow, Thomas Woodrow Wilson (right) was born in Staunton, Va., on December 28, 1856. He was known in his childhood as "Tommy." His father, a Presbyterian clergyman, accepted the pastorate of Augusta's First Presbyterian Church in 1857. The Wilsons, including two older daughters, moved to Augusta during the week of young Tommy's first birthday, and the elder Wilson began his duties in January 1858. A fourth child and second son was born in Augusta.
When the Wilson family moved to Augusta, they occupied the manse of First Presbyterian Church located in the present 600 block of Greene Street. Two years later, hoping a more comfortable dwelling would encourage their pastor to stay, the Augusta congregation purchased a new manse across the street from the church, at 53 McIntosh Street (now known as 419 Seventh Street), on the corner of Telfair Street. It was a new two-and-a-half-story brick house with ten main rooms and a separate brick service building. The Wilsons occupied this house, now a museum, from early 1860 until the autumn of 1870; Woodrow Wilson lived there longer than in any other residence. The trustees of the church also increased the pastor's salary from $2,500 to $3,000 per annum.
Wilson's first memory was associated with the new manse in November 1860. In 1909 he recalled "standing at my father's gateway in Augusta, when I was four years old, and hearing someone pass and say that Mr. Lincoln was elected and there was to be war. Catching the intense tones of his excited voice, I remember running to ask my father what it meant."
Although born in Ohio, Wilson's father espoused the Southern cause during the war, preaching sermons in defense of slavery, hosting the convention in Augusta that made the Southern Presbyterians a separate denominational body, and participating in various charitable and social service organizations such as the Georgia Relief and Hospital Association and the Bible Society of the Confederate States. In the summer of 1863 he also served as a chaplain in the Confederate army.
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"I have the worst memory ever so, no matter who comes up to me -- they're just, like, 'I can't believe you don't remember me!' I'm like, 'Oh Dad, I'm sorry!'"
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
ON THE CALENDAR
Cultural Festival, February 6-7, at Archer High School, at
2225 New Hope Road, Lawrenceville. Sponsored by the Snellville Arts Commission,
the three day event is in honor or Black History Month, and will showcase
"Cindy, the Musical," at 7 p.m. February 6, and 3 p.m. on February
"Pink Goes Red" with line dancing at the Lucky Shoals Community Center, 46521 Britt Road, Norcross, on Friday, February 6 at 6:30 p.m. This is to support the American Heart Association "Wear Red Day," and to bring awareness of heart disease. Sponsored by Upsilon Alpha Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Space is limited and reservations are required. For more details, go online here.
Second Annual Black History Month Program at Friendship Baptist Church, 3375 Church Street, Duluth, on February 7 at 4 p.m. "Back to the Old Landmark" is the subject. For more details, send an email here or call 404 933 4725.
(NEW) Introduction to Drawing class at Kudzu Art Zone in Norcross, February 10 through March 3, 6:15 p.m. until 8 p.m. Instructor is Lucy Brady. This basic course will show students that they can draw; it is a skill that anyone can learn. It will train the eye to see better, touch on composition, perspective and comparative measurement to assure proper proportions. Equipment required is a sketchbook, pencils and an eraser. Cost is $120 for members, and $130 for non- members. For more information call at 770-840-9844 or see the website.
State-of-the-County address, by County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash, Thursday, February 19, starting at 11:30 a.m., at Gwinnett Center. Cost is $75 per person. To register, go online here.
Centuries of Childhood: An American Story, now at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, continues through April 30. Visitors connect the stories of American history to their own experiences by learning about the lives of five historical children and their families. A supplementary exhibit is titled Georgia's Sacred Soils. This exhibit blends science and history through the exploration of Georgia's geology and its colonial history. Both exhibits are included in the price of admission to the EHC. More info: www.gwinnettEHC.org.
Gwinnett Senior Games will be from April 1 to May 13 for Gwinnett seniors age 50 and older. Deadline to sign up to participate in the activity is March 13. Those interested can download information at www.GwinnettSeniorGoldenGames.org. The fee is $15, and for this, you receive two meals, a T-shirt, a gift and a medal if you are good enough at that event. There are over 30 events included in the overall activity. Registration forms may also be picked up at Gwinnett Senior Centers.
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.
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