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IMPROV AHEAD: Blow out the end of summer this Labor Day Weekend with the OTC Comedy Troupe at Lionheart Theatre on Saturday, August 30, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person. The OTC show uses the art of comedy improvisation and audience suggestions to help the actors create scenes on the spot and allow the participants a chance to be the star of the show. Each show is new and different and no performance is exactly the same. The show will include OTC signature pieces such as Sounds Like a Song, Clips and Phrases and Irish Drinking Song. Lionheart Theatre is located at 10 College St., Norcross. To purchase tickets in advance or get more info, go to

Issue 14.43 | Aug. 26, 2014

:: A summer internship experience

:: Remembering Buford's Michael Brown

Letters on the Braves, Israel

Lilburn to have festival; living history

Art Center grant; other awards

:: Georgia Gwinnett College

:: Redeeming the Dream

:: MacDonald considered integrity

:: Wofford went to U.S. House

:: Few recognized Norcross houses

:: Gwinnett Tech's board of directors


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.

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:: Subscribe for free
Buy the book on Gwinnett's history


Rising senior at Georgia Southern tells of internship experience
Graduate of Dacula High, 2011
Special to GwinnettForum
| permalink

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., Aug. 26, 2014 -- This summer I spent 10 weeks as an intern for an investment company, Edward Jones. There are over 10,000 Edward Jones branches in the United States and several branches in Gwinnett County. I was in Brian Blough's office in Lawrenceville. I got to meet other financial advisers in the region as well. I was one of about 180 interns that got selected out of over 1,000 applicants.


There were many good things about the internship, and some not so good. I learned much more than I could have ever thought about in one summer. I got college credit for taking this internship and I was getting paid for it as well. How much better could it get? I would not have learned as much as I did if I had stayed at school and taken a finance course. I plan to graduate from Georgia Southern University in the spring in finance.

One valuable lesson for me was how to interact with different customers, clients, and even co-workers. Professors can teach you knowledge behind a subject, but they can't teach you about every situation that may arise on a day-to-day basis. There are certain things you just have to get out and experience.
Another thing that an internship helps figure out is what you do and do not like about a business. Even if you end up hating your internship, at least you have still learned what to look for next time and what you would do differently.

My experience was bittersweet because I learned a lot, even though I did not really enjoy the experience. The internship was still very helpful, but not what I expected. The first couple weeks seemed very elementary and I found myself bored and annoyed the majority of the time. Around week six I went to another Edward Jones branch in Gwinnett. This was run by Amy Griener of the Dacula office of Edward Jones, where I learned so much. She is a fairly new financial adviser and had plenty of work with which I could help . She was a good teacher, took time to sit down and explain things to me. I absolutely loved it.

The experience of being in an investment office helps towards determining what I want to do when I graduate next May.

I now feel that investments is not the route I want to go. I do enjoy working with budgets and managing money, though being a financial adviser might be something to do down the road. Work that interests me is possibly keeping budgets or a financial job, possibly working up to CFO. I want another internship but right now I do not have a solid plan on what I want to do.

Even if the internship wasn't the best experience, I still learned what I don't want in a career. I do not like sitting in an office all day, not moving from a desk. I answered calls and stuffed more envelopes than I thought possible. I want a job that I can be somewhat active and at least walk around and talk to people. I learned more than I originally thought I would, and I couldn't be more thankful to everyone that made it possible.

Let me thank all who helped me this summer at my internship.

Mourning the passing of Buford businessman Michael Brown

Editor and publisher |

AUG. 26, 2014 -- Back during the Georgia primary, it was my pleasure to meet Michael Brown, who was a newcomer to politics, running for the Georgia House of Representatives from District 98. He was president of an environmental drilling firm. We were all shocked at his untimely death last week. Hundreds attended his funeral.


Michael and I hit it off immediately. He was an admitted conservative businessman from Buford, with office in Dacula, and he realized that I was an independent liberal from Norcross. That initial 30 minute visit was for me to get to know a candidate, so I could determine who to endorse in that race. It turned out that GwinnettForum eventually endorsed his candidacy. (By the way, this season we have visited for 30 minutes with 63 candidates, with several more hopefully to stop by for a visit.)

During the conversation, Michael asked me something few candidates take the time to ask: "Why are you a liberal?" Here I demurred, saying that this was not a simple question to answer, and perhaps we should get on with the political interview, and save that question for another time.

Sure enough, about three weeks ago, Michael called wanting to take me up on having lunch to answer that question. We could not get together that week, but scheduled the visit on August 13. It was a delightful lunch, with much banter back and forth, and much understanding between ourselves. At one point, he posed the question again: "Why are you a liberal?"


There is no easy answer, but I told Michael my feelings seemed to "come naturally." I told him that I was raised by parents who were products of the Depression, born during that time myself. Perhaps I got my viewpoint from them. Our family never much discussed politics when I was coming along. It's just the way I'm made, for I find myself thinking in ways that come down on the side of liberals. However, I've never thought much about it. This all comes from the days of FDR and Harry Truman. I try to be accepting and broad-minded, open to accept change.

Some will might count me more of a pragmatic moderate, in that I'm fiscally conservative as are responsible Republicans, wanting the government to spend less, but keep vital programs. I'm no 'low tax' guy, quite willing to pay my fair share, but wanting to make sure it is fair. Yet on major social questions, I recognize I come down on the more open-to-listen, progressive viewpoint."

Actually, the conservative Michael Brown and I agreed on many things. The one overriding factor for him was the abortion question, a deep-felt position, taking in a lot of family values. While I am for 'choice' in this, both Michael and I share the understanding that the breakup of family life, free-wheeling drug use, and the absence of fathers are major elements in our society today, which we both lamented.

Michael and I departed, I feel, with a better understanding of each other's positions on many matters, the major part of which we agreed. I think I answered his major question to his satisfaction. We mourn his passing at such an early age. He was prepared and ready to make what I thought would be a major contribution, with clear, insightful thought, to the legislative process. We desperately need more people like Michael Brown, thoughtful, kind, and with compassion, who will work hard, addressing the problems of our state.

Michael Brown, 1960-2014: May you rest in peace.

Georgia Gwinnett College

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring to you at no cost to readers. Georgia Gwinnett College is a four-year, accredited liberal arts college that provides access to targeted baccalaureate level degrees that meet the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of Gwinnett County and the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region. GGC opened its doors in August 2006 as the nation's first four-year public college founded in the 21st century, and the first four-year public college founded in Georgia in more than 100 years. Georgia Gwinnett produces contributing citizens and future leaders for Georgia and the nation. Its graduates are inspired to contribute to their local, state, national and international communities and are prepared to anticipate and respond effectively to an uncertain and changing world. GGC currently serves almost 11,000 students.

  • Visit Georgia Gwinnett College's web site at

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

Cost may be a factor in attending Atlanta Braves games

Editor, the Forum:

Thanks for your article about the Braves. One thing I have heard that is an overall complaint about the Braves is the escalating cost to attend a Braves game! And, don't we want to go with family members and friends?

Yet, it seems a major withdrawal out of the bank to attend! This may be one reason why the minor leagues are springing up! I would probably collapse after finding out what a good old hot dog cost!

-- Sue Whitehead, Norcross

Suggests sports site for bringing back flood of memories

Editor, the Forum:

Remember the old line how can I be nostalgic if I can't remember anything? Here's a site I stumbled across a few days ago:

You can see how Phil Cavaretta and Stan Hack did in 1945, or almost anyone in the major pro sports. Pick a team, year, player, and see full team rosters here. Guaranteed that you will relive a bunch of pleasant memories.

After 1941 Ted Williams hit .400 or more two more times, in military service-shortened seasons. What was it ol' Casey Stengel used to say: "You can look it up."

You'll notice that baseball players (football also) were considerably smaller fifty years ago than today, back then somewhat normal size people. I was surprised at the wealth of information this site has and recommend it.

-- Marshall Miller, Lilburn

Here's more comment on situation developing in Israel

Editor, the Forum:

Regarding a reader's comments in the August 22 Forum, (Urges new policy for U.S. toward state of Israel): As is normally the case with those having knowledge about the Middle East, so much of what they know as fact is not true (my thanks to Ronald Reagan for the prior turn of phrase).

The writer said, "However, the Zionist project has always had a racist element in it in by aspiring to build a state exclusively for Jews." Let me point out that
roughly 21 percent of Israel's more than eight million citizens are Arabs. The vast majority of the Israeli Arabs, 81 percent, are Muslims. Arabs in Israel have equal voting rights; in fact, it is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote. Arabs currently hold ten seats in the Knesset. Israeli Arabs have also held various government posts.

Arabic, like Hebrew, is an official language in Israel. At the time of Israel's founding, only one Arab high school was operating, today, there are hundreds of Arab schools. Most Arabs attend these schools.

The sole legal distinction between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel is that the latter are not required to serve in the Israeli army. This was to spare Arab citizens the need to take up arms against their brethren. Nevertheless, many Arabs have volunteered for military duty and the Druze and Circassian communities are subject to the draft. Source.

-- Alex J. Ortolano, Duluth

Rant, rave, send us a letter

An invitation: 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.

Lilburn plans International Festival in City Park on Sept. 13

A "Small Town, Big World: Lilburn International Festival," a new event celebrating the cultural diversity of the greater Lilburn community will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Lilburn City Park.

The Lilburn Community Partnership, SafetySmart Lilburn and the City of Lilburn, will provide entertainment, music, exhibits and demonstrations representative of cultural heritage from around the world. Samples of world cuisines will be available for purchase.

The opening ceremonies will include the Parkview High School Marine ROTC cadets, followed by the Berkmar High School Patriot Band and Chorus leading the National Anthem and background music for the Parade of International Flags by First Baptist Church in Lilburn.

Entertainment will feature Lattitude, a Latin rock/jazz/fusion band based in Athens. Other entertainment will be provided by local and regional groups: elementary students from the Meadowcreek Cluster, Sts. Helena and Constantine Romanian Orthodox Church, Simply Dancing Studio, and musician Susan Clearman. There will be demonstrations by a semi-pro soccer team, karate school, and a punt-pass-kick competition from Bryson Park. A children's play area with inflatables will also be provided. Shuttle pick-up points will be from First Baptist Lilburn and International Farmers' Market.

Living history event set at Yellow River Post Office on Aug. 30

While no major Civil War battles were fought in Gwinnett County, the people of the community were significantly impacted by the war and the events that surrounded it. In recognition of the 150th anniversary of General Sherman's march through Atlanta, the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (EHC) is holding a Civil War living history event at the historic Yellow River Post Office at the Nash Farm in Lilburn, on Saturday, Aug. 30, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m..

Yellow River Post Office

Step back in time and experience the home front during the war. See a laundress demonstrate how clothing was cleaned, meet a Civil War soldier, participate in mock drills and rifle practice and learn of the contributions made by local residents Thomas P. Hudson and Eli P. Landers. Tour the historic post office and general store to learn the importance of communication between families and soldiers and how this location was critical to providing supplies to the local population.

Visitors will also explore the cultural contributions of African-Americans during this time in history through an interpretation of the slave cabin that is located on the site. Guest speakers from the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County will help tell the stories of local African-Americans as well as share artifacts and photos that bring their stories to life

Program fees for the event are $5 for ages 13 and up and $3for ages three to 12. Children two and under and EHC members are free. Guests are encouraged to pre-register online at or pay at the gate the day of the event. Event parking is not available at the Yellow River Post Office. Guests should park at Marantha Baptist Church (3340 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lilburn), where a shuttle will be available to take them to the Yellow River Post Office.

Art Foundation gets $20,000 grant from Kistner Endowment Fund

The Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia has awarded the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts a $20,000 grant through the Mary S. Kistner Endowment Fund, with $15,000 in support of their Art of Giving Campaign. The remaining $5,000 will be issued as a challenge grant to help enable the Hudgens Center to leverage additional matching funds with other donors.

The Hudgens' Art of Giving Campaign provides critical resources for quarterly exhibitions, educational programs and expansion of collaborative community relationships like the Healing Arts program. For more than 20 years the Hudgens Center for the Arts has encouraged and inspired the community through its impressive permanent collection, quality exhibits, and educational experiences.

Mary S. Kistner, now deceased, was an art activist in her day and was a long time supporter of the Hudgens Center for the Arts. Kistner was passionate about sharing her love of art with the community, so prior to her death she established an endowed fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia that was designed to leave a legacy of giving to the arts for generations to come. Judy Waters explains, "This gift from the Kistner Fund embodies the very spirit of Mary Kistner. Her wish was to ensure that arts continued to thrive in our community long after she was gone and this gift is a tremendous investment in ensuring just that."

  • To learn more about how you can leave a legacy gift through the Community Foundation, visit

Gwinnett nonprofits get $47,500 from Jackson EMC Foundation

The Jackson EMC Foundation Board of Directors awarded a total of $80,000 in grants during their July meeting, including $47,500 to organizations serving Gwinnett County residents.

  • Hi-Hope Service Center in Lawrenceville was granted $15,000 to help fund part-time nursing services for 20 developmentally disabled residents in Gwinnett County, providing services such as daily medication, insulin, blood checks and specialized medical treatment to an increasing number of residents who require onsite nursing care.

  • Hope Clinic, a Lawrenceville primary care internal medicine clinic founded to provide the uninsured working poor with affordable care, was granted $10,000 for help in purchase an electrocardiogram and Spot Vital Sign equipment for its Chronic Care Management Program that treats patients with multiple chronic conditions.

  • The Asian American Resource Foundation, won a grant of $7,500. This Gwinnett non-profit provides supportive services to members of the community in need, for its Transitional Housing Program that provides homeless single mothers and their children with up to 24 months of housing assistance and support services to transition them to permanent housing.

  • The Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative, a Grayson non-profit that assists local families with food and financial support in their time of need, won $5,000 to help purchase a commercial refrigeration unit that will enable the cooperative to better use its supply chain of fresh produce.

Redeeming the Dream
By David Bois and Red Olson

This book is about the five-year legal battle to allow gays the right to marry in California. In 2008, California voters amended the state's constitution to deny same sex marriage. Two constitutional lawyers, Democrat David Bois and Republican Ted Olson, argued against the amendment saying denying marriage to gays demeans them and that gay marriage does not harm heterosexual families. The opposing lawyers argued that marriage has always been between a man and a woman and that children are better off with a mother and father, but they were unable to prove this. The California Supreme Court struck down the amendment saying it discriminated against gays and denied them equal treatment under the law guaranteed by the 14th amendment. In 2013, this battle went before the Supreme Court, which upheld the ruling of the California court. I recommend this book. It's a part of American history and a good read. The full title is Redeeming the Dream, The Case for Marriage Equality.

-- Tim Keith, Sugar Hill

* * * * *

Reviews needed: We're about run out of Book Reviews, Movie Reviews, Travel Reviews, etc. So sit down and write your thoughts on one of these subjects. Then we'll try to get it in right soon. Send something this week for the next edition. -eeb

  • An invitation: What Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus what book you plan to read next. --eeb

Wofford, in latter years, elected to U.S. House

W. T. Wofford was a cavalry captain in the Mexican War (1846-48), a Georgia politician, and a Confederate colonel (later brigadier general) during the Civil War (1861-65). Though originally against secession, Wofford supported his home state when Georgia seceded from the Union, and he participated in several major battles during the course of the Civil War. In his later years Wofford was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and participated in the state constitutional convention of 1877.

William Tatum Wofford, at left, was born on June 28, 1824, in Habersham County. He enrolled at the University of Georgia in Athens. He studied law and was admitted to the bar and then set up his practice in Cassville, in Cass County (later Bartow County).

On August 1, 1859, Wofford married Julia Adelaide Dwight. They had four daughters, only one of whom survived to adulthood. In 1861, as a member of the state convention, Wofford voted against seceding from the Union. However, when the Georgia order of secession was signed on January 21, 1861, Wofford volunteered for military service.

Wofford began his service as colonel of the 18th Georgia Infantry, organized on April 22, 1861, at Camp Brown in Cobb County. Wofford and his men fought in Virginia at the battles of Yorktown and Second Bull Run, and in Maryland at South Mountain, Sharpsburg, and Antietam.

For the next two years Wofford served with the Army of Northern Virginia. He led the Georgia brigade at Chancellorsville, Va., and Gettysburg, Penn., where his men fought in the assault through the Peach Orchard battlefield and defeated Union troops on the Wheatfield battlefield. During the Battle of the Wilderness, Wofford helped plan and implement Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's flank attack of the Union left. Wofford was injured in both of these engagements, hit once in the ribs and then in the breast; he returned home to Georgia to recuperate in July 1864.

Georgia governor Joseph E. Brown asked that Wofford not return to his brigade but instead assume command of the Department of North Georgia. Charged with defending Georgians from rogue forces and guerrilla attacks, Wofford rounded up stragglers, deserters, and any available men in north Georgia to strengthen his forces. He held this position from January until his formal surrender to Union general James Steedman at Kingston, in Bartow County, on May 12, 1865. He was later eventually pardoned in July 1865. Four thousand men came into Kingston to surrender. Wofford's Confederate soldiers were the last significant troops east of the Mississippi River to surrender to the Union.

In 1865 Wofford was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Republicans dominated Congress, however, and kept Wofford, along with other Georgia Democratic congressmen, from assuming his seat. Wofford donated a parcel of land in Bartow County as the site of a public school, called Wofford Academy, which functioned as a church school on weekends

Soon after his wife died in 1878, Wofford married Margaret Langdon. Following a long illness, Wofford died on May 22, 1884, in Bartow County. He is buried in Cassville's Confederate Cemetery alongside 300 unknown soldiers of the Civil War.

On guard?

CLUE: Look at the lions guarding this magnificent residence, or is it something else? Figure out what this mystery photo is about and send your idea to, and be sure to include your hometown.

Last week's photo was a take-off on the previous mystery, the Painted Houses of San Francisco. But it was of town houses now being built near Lillian Webb Park in Norcross by Chip Nance, who told us he was thinking of the Painted Houses when he conceived the design.

Scott Mullinix of Peachtree Corners guessed the Mystery Photo: "Those are the new homes being built in Norcross overlooking the Lillian Webb Park The 'blue' building on the right is "The Bleu Market", a yummy place to have lunch or order take out dinner. This angle was taken from Skin Alley behind the Peachtree Street stores in downtown Norcross." Three other Norcross residents spotted the photo correctly: Ross Kaul, Chuck Paul and Mark Lewis.

New Gwinnett Tech board

Nancy Juneau, center, founder and CEO of Juneau Construction Company, is the new chair of the Gwinnett Technical College Board of Directors. Others on the board include, from left, front row Stephanie Smith, (executive assistant to the president); Juneau; and David Welden, interim president. On the back row are Maxie Price, Jr., Maxie Price Chevrolet; , Wendell Dallas, Atlanta Gas Light; Doug Meyerm of InXpress; and John Baumstark of Suvina. Others on the board not pictured include Gregory Morrison, Cox Enterprises; Al Nash, Greater North Fulton Chamber; David Seago, retired from Georgia Power; Adam Walker, Homestead Packing Solutions; and Phil Wolfe, Gwinnett Health Systems Inc.



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2014, 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.

John MacDonald Considering a Person's Integrity

"Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won't cheat, then you know he never will. Integrity is not a search for the rewards of integrity."

-- Famed Mystery Author and Early Environmentalist John MacDonald (1916-1986).




Paid advertisement

There will be two days of continuous, free entertainment at the 32nd annual Duluth Fall Festival the last weekend in September! Duluth's own Mark Pitt, an Elvis impersonator, is a fan favorite, appearing every year. More than 25 other varied acts will perform on three stages.

For information about the entertainers, and links to their personal web sites, visit the Entertainment page on In addition there will be almost 400 booths with every craft and food item imaginable, a silent auction, a General Store, Man's Corner, a Carnival, and much, much more!

Fall Vegetable Gardening class, Wednesday, August 27, at noon at the Gwinnett County Extension Office, 750 Perry Street in Lawrenceville. This class will show you how to start a fall vegetable garden and the various types of vegetables that you can grow in it. There is no charge, but pre-registration is required by August 25. To register, contact Timothy Daly at 678-377-4010.

Re-Development Forum for 2014: Thursday, October 16, 7: 30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Studio Movie Grill, Duluth. Topics include maximizing re-development, financing and opportunities through Public-Private Partnerships. Keynote speaker will be Ellen Durham Jones of Georgia Tech, talking on "Sustaining vibrant communities." To register, click here.


8/22: Oh, for Braves of past
8/19: Good idea about Olympics
8/15: Churchill and battlefronts
8/12: New Duluth manager
8/8: On corporate moves
8/5: Club recognizes bus drivers
8/1: On better candidates

7/29: Good week for Atlanta
7/25: Can GOP keep control?
7/22: Peachtree Corners update
7/18: On election runoffs
7/15: Gwinnett's water use
7/11: Georgia Guidestones
7/8: 40 years in Gwinnett
7/3: Primary runoff endorsements
7/1: About the shining sun

6/27: A busy Congress
6/20: Property mystery solved
6/17: Civil War, tanning, more
6/13: On cleaning your plate
6/10: Fairness cuts several ways
6/6: Obama's carbon emissions plan
6/3: "Community Through Diversity"


8/22: Stewart: Dog-tethering law
8/19: Sever: Road timing improves
8/15: Brill: Helmet sensors
8/12: Light: Cannon heads GTC
8/8: Fenton: Corporate Games
8/5: A. Brack: Summers to be hotter
8/1: Starnes: Enjoy writing

7/29: Lail: House fire, part 2
7/25: Lail: House fire, part 1
7/22: DeWilde: Suwanee's Cinderella
7/18: Zaken: Glance Gwinnett
7/15: Callina: Gift card scam
7/11: Cochran: Closed meetings
7/8: Lang: On health care act
7/3: Miller: Leukemia grants
7/1: Andrews: Sugar Hill's EpiCenter

6/27: Georgia Cup criterium
6/20: Gross: L'ville's 4th
6/17: Gardner: Senate bid
6/13: Adcock: Clinic openings
6/10: Wilson: GGC's top athletics
6/6: Waters: Leadership Gwinnett
6/3: Myers: GA-PMOC graduation


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
  • Making Briscoe Field a commercial airport for jet-age travel
  • More diverse candidates for political offices and appointment to local boards
  • Physical move of former St. Gerard's Catholic Church in Buffalo, N.Y., to Norcross
  • 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


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