Issue 14.48 | Sept. 12, 2014
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SUWANEE, Ga., Sept. 12, 2014 -- In 1998 a number of Gwinnett residents reacted to quickening development in the county by examining various means of protecting at least some land without depending upon public funding. Such protection could ensure that trees and wooded areas would continue undisturbed; water quality would be enhanced with broad, undisturbed buffers; and habitat for wildlife would continue to exist. The result was the formation of a private nonprofit organization, called the Gwinnett Open Land Trust, whose entire purpose was to ensure that green and open spaces would be conserved permanently.
In 2008, the name changed to the Georgia Piedmont Land Trust (GPLT), reflecting the growth in our area of focus. Fast forward to today: We now own selected properties and hold conservation easements on others across the northern portion of Georgia because we believe healthy communities start with a healthy environment - based on green spaces with trees, clean water and habitat.
And we reflect the realities of this suburbanizing and urbanizing landscape, as well, recognizing that the only chance some residents may have to connect with nature might be in the community garden we protect; or an urban green space adjacent to a community. We also value working lands at the edge of such development, since revenue from timbering or farming can help small landowners retain their land. Protecting a green cemetery recognizes a respectful relationship between people and land. Protecting fragile environments and areas that contain threatened or endangered species is part of our reality, as well. Finally, we take steps to see land with historical and archeological treasures protected from conversion since they are the marks of past generations upon the land.
Now we are undertaking an important step: We are applying for accreditation. Land trust accreditation programs recognize land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. A public comment period is now open.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant's policies and programs. This evaluation will provide assurance that GPLT conducts its conservation and organizational activities consistent with the highest standards.
The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how GPLT complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards,click here.
SEPT. 12, 2014 -- Oh, if the world had more people like the late Jim Cowart!
We counted Jim as both a friend, a sage, and a great source of information. From time to time, when we visited with him, anticipating perhaps staying 30 minutes, we would be in his office most of an afternoon or morning, as he imparted lots of detail, reasoning and understanding concerning activities in the area. He often punctuated these meetings by pulling out real estate plats, documents and news stories from his vast collection of scrapbooks, which he meticulously kept on each project.
Jim was an Atlanta native, who got started in the home building business in 1957 near Ashford- Dunwoody Road and Interstate 285. Later he bought a 91 acre tract, which he sold to the developers of Perimeter Mall. He shared his profits on this sale with churches in the Ashford-Dunwoody Road corridor, handing out large checks to a surprised 31 church pastors, from several denominations. He felt that, by having strong churches, that meant better local communities. He was a philanthropist from his early days in building.
In Jim's early homebuilding days, almost all homes built were one story. Jim had this idea for a two-story home, built one, and concentrated on that fashion from then on. He led the way with the all brick "five-four-and-a-door" concept. He soon changed from constructing houses to developing subdivisions. When Dunwoody was built out, he started developing land in Gwinnett in the Peachtree Corners area, the first homes in Spalding Corners selling in 1977 for $95,000. All told, Jim developed subdivisions containing more than 14,000 homes.
I first met Jim about 1976, when invited to one of his monthly breakfasts at Peachtree World of Tennis. After the meal, Jim would outline subdivision activity while holding his chosen builders to the fire, by name, if they failed to clean up a construction mess. His key strategy was to establish a lawn while each house was being built, keeping the construction site in a pristine condition. Nearly all were two story speculative houses; if a one story house was seen in a Cowart subdivision, it meant someone bought to build to their own design. A selling point to potential buyers was "If you are transferred by your company, your house will be worth more when you sell it" in those go-go growth days.
Once a subdivision was developed, sometimes homeowners would challenge Cowart proposals, about nearby land. To all he was always cordial, even to his detractors, who often would delay Jim's plans. "That's OK," he told others, "For in that delay, we made even more money, for the value of the land went up."
Jim always looked people directly in the eye. He could judge a person quickly. One of his sons says: "He put people in two categories. He would say succinctly of them, 'He's a good man,' or sometimes, 'Always keep that guy in front of you.'"
From the beginning of his work, Jim was always charitable. He gave in 1972 his home and 18 acres on Ashford-Dunwoody to the Atlanta YMCA, today's Cowart Family Y. He also contributed land for the Fowler YMCA in Peachtree Corners and served on the committee to raise its $2.7 million funding. He was instrumental in land for Wesleyan School.
Jim Cowart was one of the key leaders for Mercer University to set up a campus in Atlanta. He served on its board for years, always championing that college.
He was a quiet leader in several North Metro communities, seeking to make them better. And he did!
James Hiram Cowart, 1931-2014: May you rest in peace.
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Mr. Hanson's "DINOs" argument proves my case. While he noted my premise was probably correct; he pointed out "a great many" southern Democrats who voted against "THE ACT" later became Republicans. This is Mr. Hanson's uninformed and shallow liberal myth. Thurmond was the only Democrat (sic) senator, voting negative, that changed to the Republican Party.
All other Democrat (sic) senators voting no served proudly as Democrats for many years. Many of these senators served in high positions within the Democrat controlled Senate. Robert Byrd, Sam Ervin, Al Gore, Sr., Fulbright, McClellan, Eastland, Stennis; to name only a few, were among the most powerful U.S. Senators ever to have served. And all held significant Democrat (sic) leadership positions, with vast support from the Democrat (sic) Party. These men would hardly be considered DINOs -- they were in the mainstream of power.
Rant, rave, send us a letter
better than an interactive museum full of trains? An interactive museum
full of trains and classic cars! And that's what will be at the Southeastern
Railway Museum in Duluth this Saturday, September 13, from 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m., when the Museum offers its first Classics at the Crossing classic
Museum Administrator Randy Pirkle says: "It's really part of our core mission as a transportation history museum. Yes, we're a railroad museum, but we're more than that, and Classics at the Crossing is a way for us to build on the success of cross-genre events like August's Trains, Trucks and Tractors and really put the focus on a different aspect of transportation history for the day."
The Museum is located at 3595 Buford Highway, just north of Pleasant Hill Road and south of downtown Duluth.
Sugar Hill planning to offer ice rink at city hall this winter
Where will you be on November 14th? We hope you will make plans to be near the Bowl at Sugar Hill for the start of a modern day Ice Age. After several months of negotiation and planning, the City says that a 120' by 60' ice rink, with a covered tent and other rink amenities, will be coming to Sugar Hill starting November 14 and continuing through February 16. There will be a lineup of winter activities and programming available.
Mayor Steve Edwards states: "By making the decision to partner with Golden Productions to install an ice rink on the lawn behind city hall, Sugar Hill has captured another opportunity to 'Go Big or Go Home,' which has recently become our unofficial marketing campaign. This new downtown amenity should become a destination for all ages during the winter months."
Mayor Pro Tem Marc Cohen says: "I am so excited about this decision which continues the momentum of the 75th Anniversary by bringing a unique winter experience to downtown Sugar Hill. People can come enjoy the area, play a little hockey, or learn to skate. As a transplanted Midwesterner, I grew up skating and look forward to joining the community on the ice."
The City website and social media options will have pricing details, sponsor opportunities, and reservation options by the middle of next week.
Grayson participates in Main Street Program, picks its board
In November 2013, the City of Grayson was among 18 cities in Georgia chosen to participate as a Start-Up Community for the Main Street Program, which is managed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The first year involves training geared towards providing cities with the tools to bring about historical preservation, quality growth, and sustainable economic development.
A Board of Directors has been installed. They include Trenton Arnold, Steve Sappington, Dave Sitz, Josh Chastain, Linda Nash, Jamie Dempsey, Blake Hawkins, Jim Nash, Alicia Wehner and Allison Grier.
This board will share the cornerstones of the program with the Grayson community as they begin working with the City of Grayson and Grayson's Downtown Development Authority to continue positive and quality growth in our community.
A Town Hall Meeting will be held at the Grayson Senior Center on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 from 6:30 p.m.; light refreshments will be served. The public is invited to attend and meet with directors and city officials. An opportunity to ask questions will be provided at the end of the evening.
40th annual Lilburn Daze Festival coming Oct. 11
The Lilburn Daze Arts and Crafts Festival is right around the corner, to be held on October 11 at City Park. A Lilburn tradition for over 40 years, Lilburn Daze features more than 200 arts and crafts vendors. There also will be a variety of food vendors, a kid zone featuring free art activities, a train ride, pony rides, and lots of other fun for the children.
New this year will be food trucks -- including breakfast! -- along with numerous new crafters and an expanded children's area. Come out and find your favorite jewelry, pottery, baskets, wire sculpture, bottle art, and more.
Lilburn Daze is hosted by the Lilburn Woman's Club and co-sponsored by the City of Lilburn.
Brenau University is now accepting applications for its Doctor of Physical Therapy program - the third health care professional doctorate offered by the university. Classes could begin as early as mid-2015, pending authorization by the Alexandria, Va.-based Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Although the new program received several applicants before the university formally announced its availability, the university plans a series of open houses over the next several months for prospects.
Dr. Kathye Light, chair of the new physical therapy department at the university, says: "The Doctor of Physical Therapy program will be part of the university's focus on interdisciplinary education for students in the health sciences. We hope to graduate our first doctors of physical therapy in three years' time and win full accreditation for the program."
Brenau bestowed its first earned doctoral degrees during May commencement exercises when five candidates for the clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice received their diplomas. The seven candidates for Brenau's new Occupational Therapy Doctorate started classes in the fall term and were introduced to faculty, staff, university administrators and clinical partners at a reception on September 5.
The clinical doctorate in physical therapy, the two other doctoral programs and the master's degree programs in disciplines like applied gerontology, clinical psychology and health care management, stand as leaders in health care professional preparation among higher education institutions in the Southeast.
The Brenau physical therapy program already has won approval by the Southern Associations of Colleges and Universities Commission on Colleges. Although CAPTE authorized Brenau to begin student recruitment and enrollment, its accreditation process varies significantly from that of SACSCOC. Once the first student class graduates after the three-year, nine-semester curriculum and its members achieve a 90 percent pass rate on the Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy licensure exam, the Brenau department becomes eligible for the full CAPTE accreditation.
the new Brenau department is under review by CAPTE. It hopes to have its
application for candidacy approved this November. Once that happens, up
to 40 selected applicants may be admitted.
As founding chair of the new physical therapy department, Light has been working with academic coordinator Dr. Mary Thigpen to build the new program from the ground up. That includes developing collaboration with health care entities such as the Northeast Georgia Medical Center to give students more hands-on training opportunities.
To qualify for Brenau's DPT program, according to published standards, candidates must score at least 1,000 on the Graduate Record Examination, and have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all of their college course work, including the prerequisite courses chemistry, physics, psychology, statistics and biology.
Light and her staff will host monthly open house programs for prospective doctoral candidates starting on Tuesday, September 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the department headquarters in Gainesville, and on the third Tuesday of each month, except December, through May 2015.
Georgia Gwinnett College picks Trainum for sports info director
Clay Trainum is the new Sports Information Director for Georgia Gwinnett College. Trainum, who hails from Evansville, Ind., spent the last two years as the assistant director for media relations at Lamar University in Beaumont, Tex. At GGC, Trainum will be promoting and publicizing the school's six varsity sports. He will serve as a primary spokesperson for the Office of Athletics, handling media relations efforts and game-day duties.
While at Lamar, Trainum helped ramp up social media efforts, which included the creation and distribution of content across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Trainum went to Lamar from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. A four-year student basketball manager for Ball State University, Trainum graduated with a degree in sports administration from Ball State in 2009.
"The Isle of Palms, north of Charleston, South Carolina, is a beautiful, family-oriented locale. The island is home to a wide, solid Atlantic sand beach, with a dramatic tidal shift between low and high tide, with excellent fishing. Beach access is plentiful, with public parking found along the heavily traveled main road, Palm Boulevard, at the northeastern end of the island. The island has struggled with its success - residential housing sprouting at breakneck speed, strictly regulated beach parking (don't park on the pavement), limiting the number of cars at rental homes, and a nightly sound curfew. Fines abound for noncompliance. The wave action and reliable ocean breezes draw wave and wind surfers to the area on a daily basis. Isle of Palms is an easily accessed beach less than five hours from Gwinnett. Charleston is 15 minutes south, and cultural attractions abound. Great place to visit!"
(Continued from previous edition)
During his first days in the Senate, Wyche Fowler, pictured below, promised to support Senator George J. Mitchell of Maine in a three-way race for the majority leader and seconded his nomination. Mitchell won and repaid Fowler's gamble by awarding him a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee. Mitchell also created a new position for Fowler--assistant floor leader--that catapulted the rookie into the upper reaches of the party hierarchy. Fowler also served on the committees on budget, energy, agriculture, and intelligence, as well as on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The remarkable upward trajectory of his career came crashing down in his bid for reelection to the Senate in 1992. Fowler seemed to lack the same enthusiasm he had displayed in 1986, and some observers found the campaign devoid of a unifying theme. Voters were unclear about Fowler's accomplishments in his first term and about his goals for a second. His vote against the war in the Persian Gulf in 1990 and for a tax increase hurt him with white male voters, and his vote for the controversial Clarence Thomas nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1991 led to disaffection among white pro-choice women, who distrusted the antiabortion Thomas. The substantial federal money Fowler had brought to Georgia and the work he had done in the Senate on such issues as health care, education, jobs, intelligence reform, the environment, alternative energies, and historical preservation seemed to matter little in the absence of his own personal zeal for the campaign.
Overconfidence also played a role in Fowler's loss. He underestimated his Republican challenger, Paul Coverdell, whom he had defeated previously when Coverdell tried to unseat him in a race for the Fifth District House seat. This time Coverdell proved to be a formidable opponent.
Fowler also appeared preoccupied with the health of his old friend Congressman Weltner, who died in August of the election year. Earlier that spring Fowler interrupted his campaign planning and took the ailing Weltner on a trip to Turkey and Iraq, where they explored religious and archaeological sites. During August he began each day with a hospital visit to comfort Weltner, much to the dismay of his campaign staff. On Election Day Fowler fell short of avoiding a runoff with Coverdell by a mere 17,000 votes (0.6 percent). In the runoff Coverdell edged into victory by less than 51 percent of the vote.
After his defeat Fowler served on the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community (1995-96). There he took a leading role in criticizing the failures of CIA covert action abroad and sought to cut waste from the intelligence budget. He also taught politics during this period as a visiting fellow in the Institute of Politics at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
In 1996 U.S. president Bill Clinton appointed him U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, where he served for four and a half years. Three attempts were made on his life by terrorists in the region, each thwarted by close cooperation between U.S. and Saudi security personnel. Despite these perilous conditions, Fowler views his ambassadorial experience as "the most fascinating period of my life." He spent his time helping to protect the safety of the 6,000 American troops in the kingdom, assisting the 50,000 U.S. citizens conducting business there, and guiding the day-to-day activities of the 300 Americans working in the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh. Ambassador Fowler became a forceful proponent of close U.S.-Saudi ties. The Federal Bureau of Investigation awarded him its highest civilian honor, the Jefferson Cup, for his assistance in combating terrorism and for helping solve terrorist crimes against the U.S. military in Saudi Arabia.
his stint as ambassador, Fowler joined a number of corporate and academic
boards, including those of the Carter Center at Emory University and the
Morehouse School of Medicine. He is board chair of the Middle East Institute,
a nonprofit research foundation in Washington, D.C., devoted to the mission
of increasing knowledge in the United States about the Middle East. He
practices law in the nation's capital for the firm of Powell, Goldstein,
Frazer, and Murphy and lectures widely around the nation and overseas.
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Fifth Annual Bee
Fest at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, Saturday,
September 13, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Play pollinator trivia,
experience a honeybee scavenger hunt hike, smile for the "I Love
Bees" photo booth and learn from beekeeping information sessions.
Enjoy a children's honeybee costume contest and a honeybee parade at 1
p.m. For details, click
Duluth Fall Festival Concert, Saturday, Sept. 13, on the Town Green in Duluth. Rupert's 12 piece Orchestra will perform. The kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. with an opening act performance by Alexis Rhode, followed by the Big Band sound of Rupert's. For more information, contact Amanda Leiba at 678 957 7271.
Civil War Program: 6:30 p.m., September 15 at the Five Forks Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. University of Georgia's professor of history, John C. Inscoe, will discuss the Civil War in Georgia, made possible from a grant of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, contact www.gwinnettpl.org.
11th Annual Networking Fair of the Community Council of Gwinnett County, Wednesday, September 17, from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., at Gwinnett Technical College, Building 100, Room 401. The 2014 fair will gather together the individuals and organizations that are committed to addressing the multi cultural and diverse needs of Gwinnett's citizens, with the theme, "Community Connections." For more information, contact Mary Williams at 770 925-1498.
Gwinnett Schools Are the Topic of the September 17 meeting of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, as Gwinnett School Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks makes the address. The event will be at 11:30 a.m. at The 1818 Club in Duluth. Come hear about the 173,000 students and how the county educates them. Contact Cally D'Angelo at 678 957 4958 for more details.
Fort Daniel Frontier Fair, Saturday, September 20 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 2505 Braselton Highway, Hog Mountain. Sponsored by the Fort Daniel Foundation, and the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society. There will be re-enactors, a trading post, food and demonstrations. The Skillet Lickers will entertain at 1 p.m., and there will be Native American storytelling at 2 p.m. There is free parking. More details here.
(NEW) Suwanee Fest will be a two-day event for 2014, to be held on Sept. 20-21. There will be nearly 200 arts, craft, jewelry and food vendors on hand at Town Center Park. Activities kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday. There's free off-site parking with shuttle transportation. For more info, visit suwaneefest.com.
(NEW) Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter will be the featured speaker at the Philadelphia Winn Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Constitution Week, is Sept. 17 - 23, and his topic will be the U.S. Constitution. The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at Ashton Living Center, 1155 Lawrenceville Highway. It is free and open to the public.
Market Extension: The Lilburn City Market on Main is extending its season until September 30. The market is opening evenings on Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. in the Greenway parking lot across from City Hall. For more information, contact Rozalyn Schmitt, City of Lilburn event coordinator, 770-638-2225
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.
Exhibit of eight
artists continues through December 2 at George Pierce Park
Community Center in Suwanee. Eight female artists will showcase their
talents, including watercolor, acrylic, oil, color pencil, mixed media,
collage, and pen and ink with color pencil. A reception will be held on
Sept. 4 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 678-277-0910.
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.
GwinnettForum.com 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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