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For Lynn James, tragedy grew into triumph. In 1988, James' husband, Derek, passed away after a battle with cancer. But instead of retreating, James came out of her shell. It was then the 30-year Snellville resident said she started attending church and giving her time to numerous organizations in the Snellville area. For her unselfish dedication to others, James was given the 2014 Snellville Senior Center - Parks and Recreation Volunteer of the Year Award recently. She says: "When he passed away I recognized I needed to start taking charge of my life and live life to the fullest. I recognized then how good (volunteering) was for me, helping me deal with being a widow and all." She is shown with from left, Snellville Parks and Recreation Department Director Lisa Platt; James; Mayor Kelly Kautz and Kathi Gargiulo, senior program supervisor with the Senior Center.

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Issue 14.88 | Feb. 10, 2015

:: Authentic Jamaican jerk chicken in Lilburn

:: Deal's proposals don't enhance his legacy

Ego-stroking publications, Foyle's War

Battle of bands in Sugar Hill, more

Chandler is Chamber Citizen of the Year

:: Peach State Federal Credit Union

:: Send us a recommendation

:: Words from Dean Smith

:: Wilson starts law career in Atlanta

:: Just which bridge is this?

:: Red sisters gather


Jamaican serves her native food at A Taste of Paradise in Lilburn
Special to Gwinnett Forum
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LILBURN, Ga., Feb. 10, 2015 -- Jamaica native Nicola Blake McIntyre is no stranger to entrepreneurship. In fact, perhaps entrepreneurship is in her blood. Her father owned a club on the island where she was exposed to business operations before moving to the United States. Her dream has now come true. McIntyre finds herself in the owner's circle. Her life's menu offers mouthwatering jerk chicken with a side of community service.

Nicola McIntyre, owner, with sister, Cordell Rowe

Nestled in the heart of Lilburn, McIntyre owns and operates A Taste of Paradise, located at 4805 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite 300, with the support of her husband, Garfield McIntyre and sister, Cordell Rowe. For a little over a year she has provided Gwinnett County residents with some of the finest Jamaican cuisine this side of Jamaica, according to satisfied customers.

The owner says: "I am excited about sharing the authentic Jamaican cuisine and recipes I practiced as a child in a harmonious environment with the support of loving family, great friends, and community members who have embraced me since opening my doors in Lilburn."

But Jamaican cuisine is not the only thing McIntyre serves. She is a catalyst for positive change and serves her community as an member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Wearing many hats for her sorority, McIntyre holds the position of Graduate Adviser to college-aged members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority who attend Oglethorpe University.

A mother of three, McIntyre is from Mandeville, Jamaica. Her service doesn't end with Alpha Kappa Alpha. She is also a charter member of the Lilburn's Lions Club and Co-President of the Parkview High School PTSA.

Humbled by the opportunity to realize her dream of entrepreneurship, McIntrye is proud to bring a taste of her home to Lilburn, Georgia. She insists serving Jamaican delicacies in her community is the manifestation of living a purpose-driven life. It's the reason she is here.

McIntyre's sister, Cordell Rowe, is her right hand at the restaurant and loves being a part of paradise. "The restaurant is clean. The food is good. The atmosphere is friendly. It's like you are in paradise," says Rowe.

Tony Williams is the restaurant's head chef, and who has worked at different resorts on the island of Ocho Rios Jamaica, cannot imagine working anywhere else. "I am a very lucky man. I am cooking in paradise."

  • For more information on A Taste of Paradise, log onto its Facebook page.

Attacking school bus drivers may serve as legacy for Nathan Deal
Editor and publisher | permalink

FEB. 10, 2015 -- If you were Georgia's governor, what would you want your legacy to be? Most would want a spotless legacy, we would think, with several key points paramount on ways they would have improved the lives of the governed.


We think back to the way Carl Sanders is thought of as an "education governor," in that he greatly improved public education for our state at all levels. (He might also be called the "airport governor, " as he established many local airports, using this as a tool for economic development.)

Eugene Talmadge would never be thought as the "education governor" after his efforts to stack the Board of Regents led to the University of Georgia losing accreditation. That's a legacy, too.
George Busbee may be thought upon as the governor most interested in overseas economic development. Zell Miller will certainly be remembered for bringing the Hope Scholarship (through approving a Lottery) to our state. And don't forget Herman Talmadge, who foresaw the way the state could be improved by having a sales tax to pay for many levels of government. (No, taxes are not always bad.)

But what if you were a governor by the name of Nathan Deal? What would you see as your legacy?

For certain, Governor Deal may be remembered, but not in a good way, for seeking to stranglehold the entire state for his refusal to buy into the Affordable Health Care Plan for our state. He and his Insurance Commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, seem to have no heart at all when it comes to the plight of average citizens needing health care, who want to sign up for improved health care. But the two stand in the way, saying "Never!" They resist Georgia joining progressive states with an adequate health care plan.

Governor Deal, right, may also be remembered particularly well in his previous hometown of Gainesville, where he has appointed first one person after the other to state positions or to serve on state boards. In fact, rumor has it that the governor is having a hard time in finding other Gainesvillians to serve on other boards, and may have to branch out to Lula, New Holland and Chicopee (though still within Hall County) for other upcoming appointees.

Another way Governor Deal is making inroads toward being remembered in a negative way is his recent efforts to take away health insurance benefits for school bus drivers. These people, entrusted to protect our children as safe bus drivers, of all people are in the governor's radar, He feels that cutting their health benefits will be fair, since the state has other part-timers, who do not get benefits. That may be true, but these other part time employees of the state are not in the same league as the people who shepherd our children to and from school.

Not only that, but for a state which wants to improve education, this seems no way to go about it. It sends negative connotations to other states, and to industries who might want to move here.

Think too, when you attack school bus drivers, you are also attacking lunchroom workers, cleaning crews, and other low-income employees of our school systems. Teachers, who will remember the governor's efforts toward the bus drivers, will wonder, "Are we next?"

It's a sad state of affairs for our governor to be so negative.

Nathan Deal has more than 3.5 years remaining on his term. We pray to see a change in heart of the governor, and giving us more positive vibes to burnish his legacy.

* * * * *

COMING NEXT: A three part series on how Georgia State University grew from being a stepchild of the University System, to soon becoming its biggest school, plus being a major research university.

Peach State Federal Credit Union

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring to you at no cost to readers. Peach State Federal Credit Union is a $261 million credit union that serves more than 40,000 members in Barrow, Clarke, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Jackson, Oconee and Walton counties. Operating as a not-for-profit financial cooperative, Peach State's mission is to provide quality financial services that meet the needs and exceed the expectations of its member-owners.

  • For more information about our products and services, or to find one of our convenient branch locations, please visit

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

Finds many ego-stroking publications offer good words for a fee

Editor, the Forum:

Yours was an interesting story on the Women's Radio Network. I get calls all the time from ego-stroking publications wanting to do a fabulous feature story on our business or our CEO that will supposedly be seen by industry leaders and others all across the country. Then, just as with the outfit you mentioned, they drop the bomb that there's a fee involved.

For me, it's always been print publications that try this ploy. Now I'll also be on the lookout for radio.

-- Greg Brooks, Walton Electric Membership Corporation

Enjoys Foyle's War a second time, catching accents better

Editor, the Forum:

It is really bad news that this is the last season for Foyle's War. There have been many programs by British television that I watch and appreciate. Foyle's War has such excellent characters, and it addresses the concerns about young women working in the war effort as well as soldiers returning home after serious injury and what those effects are.

Fortunately, I find that watching the same program twice just adds depth and understanding--and makes it easier to catch some of the English accents, so it is not just a repeat of the same simple story line.

I came late to the practice of watching Foyle and have been delighted that the early shows have been aired recently so I can see that early start. (It was really distressing recently when I missed two weeks' programming because the squirrels decided to chew on our cable lines and all we could see were scratchy lines and occasional voice.)

Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks and Anthony Howell have become part of my weekly routine and I had hoped that they would continue into 2025! What a great loss to the cinematic community.

-- Margot Ashley, Lilburn

Send us a letter: 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.

Sugar Hill plans first Battle of the Bands program on Feb. 28

The City of Sugar Hill is calling all musicians to take their talent to the stage. The Sugar Hill Youth Council is bringing their inaugural Battle of the Bands on February 28. There will be music, competition, food, ice skating, and a bonfire.

The top 10 submissions will perform in the Bowl at Sugar Hill. Performances will begin at 3 p.m. and run until a bonfire at sunset. All ages and solo acts are welcome to enter the contest, with a chance to win the grand prize of opening live for the city's largest event Sugar Rush, on October 17. There will be food trucks and beverages on site.

Proceeds will go directly to the Gwinnett Children's Shelter. Youth Mayor Serlin Singh says: "We're excited to kick off the Youth Council's first event. I can't wait to listen to all the bands and warm up by the bonfire, and the best part is that it is all for a good cause. February 28 can't come soon enough!"

Send video auditions to the by February 15. The committee is more concerned with the audio quality over video quality. City councilman Mike Sullivan says: "We have so much going on in the city right now, we were concerned about making sure the youth of our growing city had some events to call their own. Battle of the Bands will be a successful event by the youth for the youth."

  • For more information about becoming a vendor, making a donation, or being involved, email Scott Andrews.

Gwinnett Tech to have Next Step Transfer Fair on Feb. 26

Gwinnett Technical College will host its annual Next Step Transfer Fair for GTC students, graduates and alumni who want to continue their education beyond their associate degree on Thursday, February 26, from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., in the Busbee Center on campus. The event is free and registration is not necessary.

Almost 20 four-year colleges and universities - all of which have articulation agreements with Gwinnett Tech - will participate, giving potential students the chance to "visit" and compare a large number of institutions in just a few hours.

Rebecca Alexander, dean of academic affairs, says: "This is a great way for our students, graduates and alumni to fast track this next step in their education. In just a few hours, they are able to learn about program offerings and the transfer process with many area colleges and universities," said. "We want to make it as seamless as possible for our students who wish to continue on and earn their bachelor's degree, and the transfer fair can be a big part of that."

County to tap SPLOST funds for emergency notification

Gwinnett County will tap SPLOST funds for a public school emergency notification and response system. This will affect both the Gwinnett County Public Schools and the Buford City Schools. The agreements specify the roles and responsibilities for building, upgrading and maintaining the system within public schools in Gwinnett County.

The system will improve notification, communication and public safety response to emergencies at public schools in both districts. Features of the new system include notification buttons, direct links to the County's 911 center and live video capabilities. Other improvements will consist of automatic locking systems on certain doors at appropriate schools as well as some automatic notifications and radio amplification. The two school boards are each expected to consider the agreements later this month.

The project's total budget is $5 million, with approximately $3.9 million allocated to the Gwinnett County Public Schools portion of the project and just over $300,000 for Buford City Schools. Gwinnett County will use the remaining funds to provide the connections to the 911 Center.

Deadline nears to apply for Suwanee Citizens Police Academy

Suwanee's Citizens Police Academy allows residents a better understanding of the day-to-day functions of police officers as well as an opportunity to patrol Suwanee's streets alongside an officer. The next academy will be offered Monday evenings March 9-May 11. Classes will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Suwanee Police Training Center, 2966 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road

Notarized applications are due Friday, February 27. Guidelines and applications are available at The program is designed to open and maintain communication between citizens and the police department.

Classes are free and open to the public, but space is limited and preference is given to Suwanee residents or those who work in the City of Suwanee. A criminal and driver history background is required for all applicants.

Gwinnett Chamber awards dinner honors county leaders

The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's 67th Annual Dinner is a celebration of Gwinnett and a time to recognize the people who have contributed to the many successes of our great community," says Randy Dellinger, district manager of Jackson EMC and the 2015 Gwinnett Chamber Board Chair. "Through vision and service these esteemed leaders have played an integral part in Gwinnett's growth and achievements, and I am honored to pay tribute to them at this celebration."

Among the people recognized at the dinner on Friday were:

Richard B. Chandler, Chandler, Britt, and Jay, LLC, is the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award, which honors individuals whose services have had the greatest impact on the overall quality of life for Gwinnett County in recent years.

Public Service Awards are given to individuals who, over the years, have gone above and beyond in their service to the community and its residents. This year's honorees included: Shiv Aggarwal, American Management Services, Inc.; Chuck Button, Jacobs Engineering Group; Carole Boyce, Gwinnett County Board of Education, District 1 Representative; Dr. Leslie Leigh, Gwinnett Medical Center-NICU; Karen Fine Saltiel, Primerica; and Charles M. Walters, retired Gwinnett Chief of Police.

The R. Wayne Shackelford Legacy Award, honoring the memory and legacy of an individual who has made a difference in the history and progress of Gwinnett County, was awarded posthumously to Jim Cowart, Jim Cowart, Inc.

Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett received the D. Scott Hudgens Humanitarian Award.

In addition, Johnny Phelps, Harry Norman Realtors, received the 2014 Ambassador of the Year Award for her outstanding commitment, dedication and service to the Gwinnett Chamber. Phelps previously won the award in 2011, making him the first two-time winner in Chamber history.

The James J. Maran International Award, recognizing an international company that has chosen to locate in Gwinnett, taking advantage of Gwinnett's pro-business mindset, and become an active member of the Chamber and the local community, went to Nidec Elesys Americas.

Better Business Bureau warns: Watch out for tax scams

It's tax time! Some of us are eager to file taxes knowing a big refund will be coming soon. Others, not so much knowing they will have to pay Uncle Sam back some of their hard earned money.

Regardless, even though most of us have been filing taxes for years, we still have questions about the tax process and trying to get help through can be extremely frustrating. Well, we want to help.

Better Business Bureau Serving Metro Atlanta, Athens and Northeast Georgia, has created a new webpage that will hopefully help with many of the tax questions consumer's face. No, it won't answer all your questions or make you a tax expert but it will provide you with some valuable resources that might help ease the process.

The new webpage will allow consumers to search our Accredited Business Directory for an Accredited Tax Return Preparer, search for Certified Public Accountants and learn what basic credits and deductions are available.

It goes without saying that along with tax season also comes those dreaded attempts for people to scam you. BBB has tips to help consumers stay on the lookout for the latest and oldest scams. Don't assume you know all the possible scams out there. Take some time to refresh your memory with these scams so you know how to protect yourself. We've also provided a page for IRS Resources.

Remember, your BBB offers a directory of qualified tax preparers and accountants. The IRS began accepting federal tax returns electronically on January 20, 2015 until April 15, 2015. More information online here.

  • For more than 100 years, BBB has helped people find and recommend businesses, brands, and charities they trust. Visit or call the BBB's public line for help, 404-766-0875.

Send us a review or recommendation

An invitation: What books, restaurants, movies or web sites have you enjoyed recently? 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

Wilson starts ill-fated law career in Atlanta

(Continued from previous edition)

As a boy Woodrow Wilson was sheltered from much of the horror of the Civil War (1861-65). Nevertheless, some of his early memories included seeing wounded and dying soldiers in his father's church and fenced churchyard, which was commandeered by the Confederate government as a hospital and makeshift stockade for wounded prisoners brought by train to Augusta for medical care after the Battle of Chickamauga. Later, he would see Confederate president Jefferson Davis brought through the streets of Augusta under guard of Union soldiers after Davis's capture in south Georgia in 1865.

Wilson's formal education began in Augusta. He did not learn his letters until the age of nine, and could not read until he was about eleven. Modern medical historians have determined that he suffered from symptoms of developmental dyslexia, something that he would overcome as an adolescent and adult. Beginning in 1866 or 1867, he attended Professor Joseph Tyrone Derry's select school for boys, located in a cotton warehouse on Bay Street, where he was given the rudiments of a classical education. During these years he formed a friendship with his classmate and next-door neighbor Joseph Lamar Rucker, who would later serve as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

By 1870 Wilson, with some of his classmates as well as other neighborhood boys, formed the Lightfoot Baseball Club, of which Wilson was elected president. This first leadership role foretold his interest in governmental and organizational structure. Wilson wrote a set of bylaws for the club members to follow and required them to practice parliamentary procedure during their meetings, which were often held in the hayloft of the carriage house behind the Wilsons' home.

In 1870, Wilson's father was called by his denomination to become professor of pastoral and evangelical theology and sacred rhetoric at the Columbia Theological Seminary, then located in Columbia, S.C. Although the appointment was a great honor, it was with some reluctance that he moved his family from Augusta.

After completing his formal education at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., the College of New Jersey (later, Princeton University), and attending law school at the University of Virginia, Wilson, who had dropped his first name in favor of the more distinguished Woodrow, decided to establish a law practice in Atlanta. He moved to Atlanta in May 1882 and shared an office at 48 Marietta Street, at the corner of Forsyth, with his partner, Edward Ireland Renick, another former law student at the University of Virginia. The 1883 Atlanta City Directory listed 143 lawyers in town, a serious challenge for young attorneys. Few clients materialized. By early 1883 Wilson was discouraged and complained that he had collected only one or two small fees and that most of his time was spent waiting for work to materialize and attempting to collect "numberless desperate claims." His father continued to subsidize him, and he remained in Atlanta through June 1883.

(To be continued)

Tough one to identify

The uprising in the distance might help some in identifying this photo. Put on your thinking cap and try to determine what gives in this mystery photo. Send in your thoughts to and include your hometown.

We'll admit that the last Mystery Photo didn't give much of a hint on where it was. But two people in the building business recognized a bridge.

First in was Rick Edinger of Lawrenceville, who admitted: "This is a tough one, but I think this is the Tsing Ma Suspension Bridge in the foreground and the Kap Shui Mun cable-stayed bridge in the background in Hong Kong." Then Reliable Ruthy Lachman chipped in, saying: "First I thought it's Izmit Bay Crossing in Turkey. But then knew it's The Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge in Hong Kong, the world's longest suspension structure."

Q: Now which of the two got the right name, we don't know. But the photo was from the Hong Kong area, for sure. Who can come forward and help us determine the bridge's name?

Pink goes red

The Upsilon Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, along with family, friends, and members of the public, "lined up" in observance of The American Heart Association's Heart Awareness Month with a "Pink Goes Red: Line Dancing Workout Event," recently. Pity the few who did not wear red.


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2015, 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.

Same As Life, Everyone Doesn't Get The Same Amount of Shots

"Basketball is a team game. But that doesn't mean all five players should have the same amount of shots."

-- The late University of North Carolina Basketball Coach Dean Smith. (1931-2015).


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.




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.

(NEW) Soil Basics for Vegetable Gardening: The most important component of plant growth is the soil. It provides the plants with vital nutrients and water. Having a basic understanding of soil and its role will help you have an attractive, healthy lawn and garden. The event will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. February 17, in the Snellville City Hall Community Room, 2342 Oak Road. The class is free, but registration is required to plan for materials. Register by February 10 by emailing

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:

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 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.


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.

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