Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) is the winner of two 2018 Collaborative Innovation Grants totaling $80,000. FODAC will use the grant funds to create new partnerships with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Goodwill Industries of North Georgia. These partnerships will be mutually beneficial and support FODAC's mission of providing durable medical equipment (DME), such as wheelchairs, walkers, shower benches and patient lifts, to those with either short- or long-term mobility impairments, at little to no cost to the recipients or their caregivers. The annual Collaborative Innovation Grant program is an invite-only competition for nonprofits in the Building Community Network, led by Georgia Center for Nonprofits and The Home Depot Foundation. "These grant funds greatly expand FODAC's reach into the community," said Chris Brand, president and CEO of FODAC.

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Here are 6 facts that you may not know about natural gas

By Savannah Chandler, Monroe, Ga. | If you turn on a gas range to make dinner or switch on the furnace for heat, you're doing what people in 62 million other American homes do every day: using natural gas.

In fact, U.S. consumers use more natural gas than any other nation in the world, Walton Gas has found out. The other top consumers are Russia, Iran, China and Japan, respectively.

"Today, Walton Gas customers are using natural gas for industrial, commercial and residential applications - and even to power cars and trucks," says Ronnie Lee, president of Walton Gas and Walton EMC.

Using information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Lee shares these little-known details about natural gas.

1. Natural gas is a fossil fuel. Like other fossil fuels such as coal and oil, it forms deep below the Earth's surface. It formed millions of years ago from the remains of plants and animals that decayed and built up in thick layers. Over time, these layers were buried under sand, silt and rock. Pressure and heat changed some of this organic material into coal, some into oil (petroleum), and some into natural gas.

2. The U.S. produces nearly all of the natural gas it uses. Natural gas is produced from onshore and offshore natural gas and oil wells and from coal beds. In 2016, U.S. natural gas production was equal to about 97 percent of U.S. natural gas consumption.

3. Domestic natural gas production has increased. U.S. natural gas production in 2016 was the second-highest level recorded, down slightly from 2015, which has the highest-recorded production level. Improved recovery methods contributed to the increases. In the past, as little as 10 percent of the available gas in a deposit could be recovered. Today, enhanced mining techniques are used to bring as much as 60 percent of the gas to the surface.

4. Five states produce about 65 percent of the nation's natural gas. Texas is the leading producer, accounting for 24 percent. Pennsylvania ranks second at 20 percent. Oklahoma, Louisiana and Wyoming follow, each producing less than 10 percent.

5. There are more than a half million natural gas wells in the U.S. Natural gas is commonly extracted by drilling a well vertically into rock formations. The trapped gas flows up the well to the surface. Currently, there are 553,495 natural gas wells in the U.S.

6. The continental U.S. has more than 210 pipeline systems to transport natural gas to the lower 48 states. Transported through pipelines that can be from 2 to 60 inches in diameter, natural gas is sent to underground storage fields or to distribution companies. The pipeline system requires more than 1,400 compressor stations to ensure that the gas continues on its path, 400 underground storage facilities, 11,000 locations to deliver the gas and 5,000 locations to receive the gas.

Now, the next time you're relaxing in a toasty warm house heated by natural gas, you can better appreciate how it got from the ground to your home.

The very thought of schools having a "red alert" is scary

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher | Think back to when you were in elementary school.

Most of those school days were routine in the classroom. But every now and then, a little drama entered when we had a fire drill. We excitedly marched outside in the prescribed way, stood around a while no doubt noisily, then a little exhilarated, returned to class.

We came to this thought when realizing that in today's times, in Parkland, Fla. schools, the new drill is "Red Alert." It's not a laid-back fire drill, but it's more like a panicked and frenzied question of life and death.

Hearing of Parkland students and teachers jammed into closets in fear, of many of them calling 911 on their cell phones, or calling their parents while crammed closely, not knowing if a shooter might barge into their area and send rat-a-tat-tat rounds their way…….send shivers up my spine.

This is not what school should be about. Parents should not have to worry about the safety of their children when they are in school; they are there to learn for tomorrow. But for some students at Parkland and other schools around our country, there is no tomorrow. They have been gunned down, or luckily just wounded, and now face recovery, all in a country whose government will not take the right steps to safeguard not only its children, but safeguard teachers and others who face the rounds of ammunition that crazed people aim at them.

It shouldn't be so. Our country should have the will to eliminate the means that allow these deranged people to access weapons and ammunition and wreak havoc on our people.

For this is not going away without significant government action. Since Sandy Hook in 2012, there have been 239 school shootings nationwide, 438 people have been shot, and 138 people killed by deranged shooters bursting into schoolrooms in all parts of the nation and at random spraying automatic weapons upon the terrorized victims. (See chart:

And yet even the person who is supposed to lead our country will not contradict such actions from the gun community. Instead, President Trump addressed it as "mental health" after the most recent event.

Granted, we need more action promoting mental health. But we need dramatic and quick action to eliminate the means that these crazies destroy the safety of schools-and our nation---by their actions, all because our governments will not stand up and recognize the gun industry for what it is.

We're not just talking about the Federal government and a Congress that functions so poorly. Our State of Georgia has elected officials who can step forward and take actions that will make our communities safer. They will have to have the courage and be forceful to stand up to the National Rifle Association and its wide gun lobby, for our conditions to improve.

Every time we see a state representative, or state senator, or member of the House or U.S. senator, we all should be questioning them, "When are you gonna' take action against the gun lobby?" Or ask: "How much did the gun lobby contribute to your campaign?" We can't continue to see the same lack of inattention in this arena.

Remember those school children shivering with fear in that closet during the latest "Red Alert." Remember them and those who died in the Parkland tragedy.

Then vow you will seek to elect people who will take on the gun manufacturers and outlaw these weapons of death.

After Parkland shooting, people have little choice on voting

By George Wilson, contributing columnist | After the Parkland, Fla. shootings, Author Jon Meacham, said on Morning Joe: "There's a huge opening here for a significant moment of leadership. If you're a United States senator or if you're the president of the United States, this is a moment where you can speak out against the interest group that has an outsized influence over the lives of our children [the National Rifle Association].

"Speak out, take them on. We remember political leaders, we remember generations - because this is not just the leaders, it's also us. We remember those leaders and those generations who stand up against clear, self-evident wrongs. This is a self-evident wrong. And if I were in the United States Senate today or the White House today, I'd be thinking that this is a moment to stand up and be counted."

Will Trump and the Republican dominated legislatures standup? This is highly doubtful.

Trump viscerally felt the reaction from his crowds during the campaign when he gave full-throated pitches for gun rights. And no organization stuck by Trump like the NRA did. The group spent $30 million helping elect him. Furthermore, the Associated Press reported: "President Donald Trump is calling for a focus on mental health and school safety ,responding to shootings like the one that took 17 lives in Florida." However, his budget would cut funding in both areas.

Here is what needs to happen:

  • Reinstate the federal assault-weapons ban, passed in 1994 but allowed to lapse 10 years 2004 Under Bush;
  • Raise the age to buy firearms to 21;
  • Trump opted to exclude fugitives from the background-check database unless they crossed state lines; that removed 500,000 names from the list; and
  • Kill the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

We suspect that none of the above will happen with Republicans. So, the only choice is to vote Democratic and not Republican.

As CNN's Joan Walsh said," I want to remind everyone about Virginia 2017: In the 13 races where pro-gun control Democrats squared off against NRA Republicans, Democrats won 12."

Finally, while voting for Democrats is no guarantee that they'll begin to solve the gun violence problem, voting for Republicans is a stone-cold, absolute, ironclad, 100 percent guarantee that we won't.

E.R. Snell Contractor Inc.

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is E.R. Snell Contractor, Inc. of Snellville. Founded in the 1920s, ERS was built on Christian beliefs with honesty and integrity leading the way. Specializing in roads, bridges and culverts, its goal is to build a safe and modern highway system while preserving our natural environment. Through quality production and high safety standards, it strives to be the best contractor possible, while continuing to be a positive influence on its employees and the community.

Sees two different groups in Gwinnett as county's biggest obstacles

Editor, the Forum:

Recently I did a survey for the county 2040 unified plan. One question stood out for me.

In your opinion, what is the single biggest obstacle facing Gwinnett County right now.

My opinion: Two groups of people who hate the county.

The first group is those who have lived here many years or have recently moved away, but want to see the county fail because they don't like change.

The other group is people who recently moved here because Gwinnett is much better than where they came from, but they are determined to make our county the same as the place they ran from.

I'm glad we still have people like you around writing positive things about Gwinnett County.

-- Mark Tapp, Grayson

Send us your thoughts. We encourage you to send us your letters and thoughts on issues raised in GwinnettForum. Please limit comments to 300 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Send feedback and letters to:

Little light of mine

Gwinnett seeking poll workers at two hiring events soon

Gwinnettians looking for ways to get involved in the electoral process and give back to the community are invited to Gwinnett County's upcoming poll official hiring events on February 21 in Norcross and February 24 in Snellville.

The Voter Registrations and Elections Division is looking for citizens of all backgrounds, but has an urgent need for bilingual poll workers, particularly Spanish speakers.

Lynn Ledford, Gwinnett County elections supervisor, says: "We have 156 polling locations in Gwinnett County for Election Day and eight advance voting locations that we need to staff, and to comply with federal law, we need bilingual polling officials. We're seeking to recruit citizens who may not know of the need or that they can get involved. It's a great opportunity for citizens to participate in the elections process. Plus they can gain valuable work experience and earn $75 to $300 per day."

The hiring events are set for:

  • Wednesday, February 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at OneStop Norcross, 5030 Georgia Belle Court, Norcross (across from Greater Atlanta Christian School).
  • Saturday, February 24 from 9 a.m. to noon at OneStop Centerville, 3025 Bethany Church Road, Snellville.

Ledford said the events were scheduled in the evening and on a Saturday to reach people who can't get away from work during the day.

Among the requirements, applicants must be at least 16 years old, a U.S. citizen and be able to read, write and speak English. They also must be a Gwinnett County resident or a Gwinnett County government employee, and they must have access to a computer for required online training.

Interested citizens are encouraged to apply online at prior to the event.

Gwinnett County Human Resources staff will be on site to accept applications in person. Computers will be available at the events for applicants to use. To fulfill federal I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification requirements, applicants will need to bring documents to verify their identity and legal authorization to work in the U.S.

WES Foundation plans gala to raise dollars for leukemia research

On March 3, 2018 Sugarloaf TPC Country Club will be hosting the WES Leukemia Research Foundation's second Annual Pigs and Pearls Party! Since inception, the WES Foundation has donated $1.5 million to research.

The Yacht Rock Revue band will be performing live so guests can enjoy their music as they dance the night away. Tickets are $150 and include a dinner and open bar along with entertainment! Come dressed in denim and pearls so you're sure to be comfortable and enjoy the night to the fullest. Tickets can be purchased at:

WES Leukemia Research Foundation is a Duluth-based 501(c)3, nonprofit charity established by the Smith family after their 22-year-old son, Wes, succumbed to leukemia in 2005. The Foundation's primary purpose is collecting and distributing funds for leukemia research.

The WES Foundation makes proceeds available to fund laboratory-based leukemia research. The Foundation recognizes that choice exists for your giving and, that to deserve your consideration, the dollars you donate must be distributed in the most judicious fashion to ultimately fund the research necessary to find a cure.

Here's how that is accomplished. The WES Foundation has selected an Advisory Board of medical professionals to determine the most productive research recipients. These research professionals provide an invaluable service to the Foundation by judging the requests received and choosing the most innovative, responsible and potentially curative research for funding.

Historical Society planning 3rd annual Cemetery Scavenger Hunt

As Gwinnett County celebrates its bicentennial year, the Gwinnett Historical Society will have the third annual Cemetery Scavenger Hunt Fundraiser on the weekend of March 3-4, or in case of bad weather, the weekend of March 11-12.

Those interested may register as a team of four or more and get the clues/questions at 9 a.m. on Saturday March 3 online. Each team will have until 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 4 to submit in the correct numerical order---the "answers" to the clues including at least one team member in the photo of the headstone or "answer."

Using photos from Find-a-Grave is not permitted. Photo shopping is strictly prohibited. The idea is for teams to go the cemeteries, enjoy and learn. This will not be a race, but rather a learning experience in the bicentennial year. All the clues/questions will have to do with pioneers, early inhabitants and leaders in Gwinnett County.

The names of teams with all the correct answers and all rules followed will be put in a drawing and three teams will receive awards. All teams will be recognized for participation. To register, pay in the office with check, credit card or cash. Or, mail in a check. Go to GHS FB page for updates.

  • For questions or to email answers on the hunt, the email address for the Scavenger Hunt maintained by Bobbie Tkacik, the Cemetery chairperson, is

Snellville chooses Atlanta firm to create 2040 comprehensive plan

The Snellville city council has approved an Atlanta-based firm's bid of $132,000 to create the city's 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

The city's Comprehensive Plan Review Committee recommend award of the contract to Jacobs Atlanta-based Advance Planning Group, led by Jim Summerbell, AICP, says Planning and Development Director Jason Thompson.

Jacobs bested six other firms. Three companies were chosen as finalists to create the plan including Jacobs, TSW and Amec Foster Wheeler. Jacobs will now be tasked to collect public and professional input through community meetings, disseminate findings and ultimately write the plan that will shape the city's future for decades to come.

The City of Snellville 2030 Comprehensive Plan was adopted February 9, 2009. Since then, the city has worked to create a Towne Center in the downtown area. A major focus of the new plan will be to expand the Towne Center around a city market and library though a partnership with Gwinnett County. Officials believe the market and library will be a catalyst for commercial and residential growth in the areas surrounding City Hall and elsewhere.

Norcross firm wins contract for New Hope Road's Alcovy Bridge

The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners has awarded a contract to build a new bridge over the Alcovy River and the installation of a multi-use path along New Hope Road. The Board awarded the project to CMES Inc. of Norcross at an amount not to exceed $6,041,798.

Contractors will replace the existing bridge and improve the alignment of New Hope Road at the approaches to the bridge as well. The new structure also will provide more clearance between the river and bridge deck to help address flooding issues in the area. The multi-use path will extend from Callie Still Road to Alcovy River Drive. Curb and gutter and other drainage improvements also will be installed as part of these projects, which stretch for about 1.6 miles.

CMES was the lowest of four responsive bidders on the group of projects, which is funded by the 2009 and 2014 SPLOST programs.

Community garden in Snellville gets grant from Master Gardeners

For the third consecutive year Snellville's Community Garden has been awarded a grant from the Gwinnett County Master Gardeners Association. The $500 grant will help support the garden's greenhouse operations with the purchase of supplies, including pots, potting soil, organic fertilizer, rooting hormone and vegetable and flower seeds. The garden's greenhouse is maintained by a team of volunteers. The team plans to have plants available for sale at this year's Snellville Days, May 5-6 at T.W. Briscoe Park.

In addition to its primary purpose of providing space for families to grow flowers, food for their own consumption and to donate to local charities, the Community Garden @ Snellville also adds a new dimension to Snellville's sense of community. The garden is located in T. W. Briscoe Park on the corner of Marigold Road and Sawyer Parkway. Currently the garden includes 48 raised beds, a pavilion, beehives, a greenhouse, tool shed and a large perennial garden.

It's Never Too Late to Begin Again by Julia Cameron

Reviewed by: Karen Burnette Garner, Dacula: Written by the popular author of The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron, this workbook/instruction manual provides a structure for new retirees to view retirement creatively. With more time and opportunity to "do what they want," retirees may find that lack of structure leaves them with more questions than answers. Are we doing what we really want to do? Exercises guide the reader to examine childhood interests and values that can result in a fulfilling and creative future. Through journaling, memoir writing, solo art dates that spur creative thinking, and quiet walks that quell stress and anxiety, the author leads the reader to see that their perspective of life is uniquely their own. Finding fulfillment, serving others, or simply enjoying life is the goal of this book.

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

Kettle Creek not so significant, but provides rebels with a victory

(Continued from previous edition)

Colonel Andrew Pickens led his 200 men in a direct assault on the rocky hill on Kettle Creek, while Colonel John Dooly and Lt. Col. Elijah Clarke attacked the camp across the creek on the left and right respectively. Pickens's advance guard disobeyed orders and fired on the Loyalist sentries, announcing the attack. Boyd led his men in ambushing Pickens's troops while Dooly's and Clarke's men were entangled in the swamp.

James Boyd fell mortally wounded, shot by a party of Georgia militiamen who had become lost and found themselves in the Loyalist camp. With their leader down, the Loyalists panicked and were driven across the creek. Boyd and nineteen of his men were killed, and twenty-two others were taken prisoner. Pickens and Dooly lost seven men, and fifteen were wounded. Counting the Loyalists who went home and later surrendered to local authorities, about 150 of Boyd's men were eventually taken prisoner. They were held at Augusta and later at Ninety Six, S.C. Five of their number at Ninety Six and two others in North Carolina were eventually hanged.

Two hundred and seventy of Boyd's command escaped the Battle of Kettle Creek and safely reached the British army. They were formed into the North Carolina Royal Volunteers under John Moore and the South Carolina Royal Volunteers (later the second battalion of the South Carolina Royalists Regiment). Both units virtually disappeared by the summer of 1779 because of desertions and transfers.

The Battle of Kettle Creek provided the rebel cause with a victory, however small, in the midst of a string of much larger defeats. The British had expected thousands of loyal southerners to rally to their flag and restore the whole South to the king. However, Boyd proved only able to assemble 600 men, some of whom were criminals in flight. Other men who traveled with him were allegedly coerced into joining under threats to their lives and property.

After Kettle Creek, British leaders should have realized that practical Loyalist military support in the South, if it ever existed, had disappeared. Campaigns to find a great Loyalist army in the South continued, however, through the defeats at King's Mountain, Hammond's Store, Ramsour's Mill, and even Yorktown. On the local level, many of the southerners who shared Boyd's dream to return the South to the king's cause learned the futility of their hopes on impromptu gallows at the hands of their rebel neighbors.

Today a county park preserves the Kettle Creek battlefield. Rechanneling in the early 1920s turned the original cane-choked creek into a dry ditch. Monuments were erected on the hill by the federal government in 1930 and the state of Georgia in 1979. The Kettle Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution maintains a cemetery in the park for the remains of Revolutionary War veterans. The Georgia Compatriots of the Sons of the American Revolution supports the preservation of the site.

What's the function of this photo, and where is it?

Today's Mystery Photo shows something that provides a definite function. Figure out where it is and what it is and send your idea to, to include your hometown.

It was a simple photo, and few could pinpoint it. Susan McBrayer of Sugar Hill identified it as Amish farms in Lancaster County, Penn., and we accepted that. The photo came from Karen Garner of Dacula, sent in a long time ago.

Then Bobbie Tkacik of Lilburn said that "The photo of the silos and farms I'm sure is in Amish country in middle to Eastern Pennsylvania. My clue was the stone house in the front. There is a lot of limestone in the area and lots of buildings and barns built with it."


(NEW) Dedication Ceremony at 12 noon on February 24 at the Norcross Welcome Center and Museum. This is a dedication of an original painting (above) of Norcross' historic downtown by Florence Warbington Green, which will be on extended loan to the Norcross Museum and Welcome Center. Local Historian and tour guide Gene Ramsay will lead a tour to its historic cemetery. The Norcross Cemetery dates back to the 1800s. Meet at the cemetery entrance at 110 South Cemetery Street at 1 p.m.
Also on the calendar:

Grand opening of the Eastside Medical Center's newest physician specialty practice, Eastside Heart and Vascular, will be February 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. Meet the physicians and tour the office, located at 1700 Tree Lane, Suite 190, in Snellville.

GROUNDBREAKING of a new parking deck, phase I, of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center will be Tuesday, February 20 at 3:30 p.m. The event will be at the GJAC Garage Avenue behind the exiting parking deck.

"The Spirit of Frederick Douglass"
is the topic of a lecture on Tuesday, February 20 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center at 7 p.m. Historian Michael Crutcher Sr. portrays abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who was born into slavery and as a teen escaped to become an internationally known anti-slavery leader and adviser to President Abraham Lincoln. He is known as the "Grandfather of the Civil Rights movement." An exhibit on the Bicentennial of Frederick Douglass it will be on display at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center for the month of February!

Looking for a job? Let us help you! Gwinnett County Public Library, in partnership with Goodwill of North Georgia, is holding a Job Fair on Wednesday, February 21 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Five Forks Branch, 2780 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lawrenceville. This event is free and open to the public. Bring your resume, dress professionally, and get hired. For more information, visit or call 770-978-5154.

Legal help?
Gwinnett County Public Library and Gwinnett Legal Aid, an office of Atlanta Legal Aid Society, can help! Gwinnett Legal Aid helps low income people meet basic needs through free civil legal services and legal education. Areas of law focused on are consumer, education, housing, health, probate, employment, public benefits, family, and juvenile. Three information sessions are available:

  • Wednesday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m. at our Lilburn Branch, 4817 Church Street, Lilburn.
  • Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m. at our Norcross Branch, 6025 Buford Highway, Norcross. These sessions are free and open to the public. For more information, call 770-978-5154 or visit
Films for Black History Month. In celebration of Black History Month, join Gwinnett County Public Library for a film screening and discussion surrounding the plight of the Civil Rights Movement. At 2 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the Five Forks Branch: Selma. Location: 2780 Five Forks Trickum Road, Lawrenceville. All viewings, discussions, and popcorn are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 770-978-5154.


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Issue 16.87 | Feb. 20, 2018

TODAY'S FOCUS: Here Are Six Facts That You May Not Know About Natural Gas

EEB PERSPECTIVE: The Very Thought of Schools Having "Red Alert" Is Scary

ANOTHER VIEW: After Parkland Shooting, People Have Little Choice on Voting

SPOTLIGHT: E.R. Snell Contractor Inc.

FEEDBACK: Sees Two Different Groups in Gwinnett as County's Biggest Obstacles

McLEMORE'S WORLD: Little Light of Mine

UPCOMING: Gwinnett Seeking Poll Workers at Two Hiring Events Soon

NOTABLE: Snellville Chooses Atlanta Firm To Create 2040 Comprehensive Plan

RECOMMENDED: It's Never Too Late to Begin Again by Julia Cameron

GEORGIA TIDBIT: Several Patriotic Groups Support Battle of Kettle Creek Site

MYSTERY PHOTO: What's the Function of This Photo, and Where Is It?

CALENDAR: New Eastside Hospital Facility To Open on February 28


"In 1968, an agreement was signed between Gwinnett County Government and the Hospital Authority of Gwinnett County incorporating Emergency Medical Services into the Bureau of Fire Services, to provide ambulance services throughout the county."

-- Want more? Get 366 Facts about Gwinnett County



Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Our 2018 list:

  • Development of a two-party system for county offices

  • Moving statewide non-partisan judge election runoffs to the General Election

  • Commuter rail for Gwinnett from Doraville MARTA station to Gwinnett Arena

  • 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 alcohol licenses

  • Requiring the legislature to meet once every two years.

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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2001-2018, 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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