Friday, April 27, 2012

Lumpkin's Gang of Three Vote NO Again

Well, the Lumpkin County Commission did it again. In their April meeting, the infamous Gang of Three (Tim Bowden, Clarence Stowers and Clarence Grindle) decided the referendum for Sunday Liquor Sales would NOT be on the November ballot.

The three commissioners didn't exactly vote NO on allowing the vote. What they voted on in meeting was to remove the topic from the meetings' agenda. "If we just don't talk about it," they surmise, "maybe this whole 'let the people vote' issue will just go away."

Unfortunately, Commissioners Bowden, Stowers and Grindle, the issue is NOT going away. The people of Lumpkin want the right to vote. If anyone doubts that, just pick up the latest issue of the Dahlonega Nugget, read the paper's news story on the meeting, and then read the angry Letters to the Editor.

Lamar Bates spoke out at the meeting and also penned one of those angry letters. In his speech to the commissioners, he challenged the Gang of Three to let the people decide. "It looks like you're scared to death to let the people vote," he said. "Church and state are to be separate, but not here in Lumpkin. You are interjecting your own beliefs into the issue. Put it out there and then let us (the voters) decide."

Lamar's letter, believe it or not, was even stronger. "Personally, I am embarrassed," he wrote, "by the recent Gang of Three - Bowden, Grindle, and Stowers - and their actions at the commission meeting. Their arrogant attitude let to the imposing an oligarchical government on the country."

But Lamar isn't the only 'Let the people vote' voice in the county. In another Letter to the Editor, Brad Musgrove wrote, "The simple fact that this issue continues to garner attention from both sides is reason enough to hand the issue to the voters of Lumpkin County."

Deborah Hunt's letter was just as pointed: "As someone recently said to me, 'The heritage of this county is alcohol, moonshine to be exact.' So does the heritage an history of this county cover seven days a week, or do we exclude Sundays? Come on commissioners, step into the 21st Century and put the matter on the ballot and let the people of the county. choose."

Bowden, Stowers and Grindle - Are you listening to the voters - or more importantly, do you read the local newspaper?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gardening in North Georgia

When we moved to Dahlonega and Beyond, our yard went from .5 acres to 2.5+ acres. Now to be honest, woods do make up a good portion of the yard, but, in the past two years, we have turned a wasteland of weeds into a beautiful garden area. We planted flower gardens, rows of azaleas, a vegetable garden, a fruit orchard and even some grass in the non-wooded area.

Gardening in North Georgia is quite a bit different from gardening in suburban Atlanta. Thank goodness we had help from our Master Gardener friends Myron and Pam, from the men and women of Home Depot, and from a really informative online gardening newsletter. 

The e-newsletter, Gardening Tips, is filled with valuable, 'this really works' information and 'how-to's.' Produced by Art of Stone Landscaping, the newsletter is written by Suzanne Albright, one of the company's owners and a Master Gardener. (An article on Crepe Myrtle Murder last fall definitely saved the lives of four crepe myrtles in our front yard this year. Thank you, Suzanne.)

In the most spring issue of Gardening Tips, Suzanne writes about the when and why of watering and explains how to remove the ants in your plants. Do like we did and sign up for Suzanne's newsletter. Just go to Facebook and LIKE the Art of Stone Landscaping Facebook page.


What the yard looked like when we moved in.
Lots of bark and landscaping bricks make a big impact.

Roses, roses, and lots more roses.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nine Year Old Attacked by Pit Bull

It's happened again. This time to a nine year old girl in Gainesville, Ga. Little Adrinna Adkins was attacked in her family's apartment by a friend's pit bull.

The third grader had just returned home from school. She was cradling her cat in her arms when the pit bull forced open a bedroom door and attacked Adrianna and her cat. The little girl, trying to shield her cat from the vicious dog, became the pit bull's victim. The dog attacked the girl's arms over and over again. Finally, she was able to escape from the dog and run  to safety.

Adrianna, who was airlifted to an Atlanta children's hospital, is in stable condition after several surgeries. Doctors report that once the child's arms heal, she'll have to undergo physical therapy and probably plastic surgery.

Pit bulls are just too unpredictable to be family pets. Take the dog in this attack. According to news reports, Adrianna's mother said she was shocked by the attack "because the dog seemed to be a well-behaved and loving animal, playing with the children and even sleeping in their beds."

Pit bulls are NOT dogs that you allow to sleep with your children. Pit bulls are NOT dogs that should be living in an apartment. And, most importantly, pit bulls are NOT dogs bred to be family pets.

For more complete coverage of this pit bull attack, read the full story in the Gainesville Times.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Have you read the 30 World Book Night books?

Today, or make that tonight, the U.S. celebrates its first World Book Night. Even Dahlonega is throwing a World Book Night party, hosted by the Lumpkin County Literacy Coalition, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Dahlonega Chick-Fil-A.

On the official World Book Night web site, 30 books are listed as must-reads. After a quick look at the list, to my surprise, the list wasn't filled with books by Shakespeare or Tolstoy. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Michael Connelly's Blood Games were on the list, but so were Maya Angelous' I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany (which just happens to be a D&B all-time favorite read.)

One thing for sure. We've got a lot of reading to do to check off all the books on the World Book Night list. How many have you read?

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Fiddlesheads release new album

The Fiddleheads, fan favorites on last summer's America's Got Talent, have launched their first studio album, appropriately titled, Goodbye LA. Plus rumor has it the Fiddleheads are working on their first music video, shooting scenes right here in Dahlonega.

Even better, the Fiddleheads are playing in Dahlonega for a fundraiser for the Holly Theatre @ the theatre, Thursday April 26.

The Fiddleheads are a bluegrass-inspired, genre-crossing musicians from Dahlonega, who got their start playing together at North Georgia College and State University.

From there, the band went on to play a number of venues in North Georgia and even in Nashville, too. Their big break came when they won a spot on America's Got Talent and then wowed audience with their unique musical style.

D&B is hoping that the Fiddleheads will continue to build their fan base and one day receive the same accolades as another Dahlonega popular musical group... the Grammy Award Winning Zac Brown band.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where will you be on World Book Night?

If you love reading, then you'll want to be part of World Book Night, a celebration of reading and books taking place across the U.S. on April 23, the official World Book Night.

This is the first year that World Book Night, which originated in the U.K., will be celebrated in the U.S. Supporting this event are such corporate entities as Barnes and Noble, Ingram, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Random House, UPS, International Paper, Scholastic and more.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to celebrate reading on this night of books, according to organizers. Here in Dahlonega, the celebration is sponsored by the Lumpkin County Literacy Coalition and local Chick-Fil-A restaurant.

Part of Chick-Fil-A's Family Night Series, the Dahlonega World Book Night will be an opportunity to showcase the work the LCLC does to promote literacy and the importance of reading. The Dahlonega World Book event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Chick-Fil-A on Morrison Moore Parkway.

FYI... April 23 is not just any random date for book lovers. That day just happens to be the date of William Shakespeare’s and famed Spanish writer Cervantes' deaths.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

LaBoa for Lumpkin Commission Chairman

Let's be honest. D&B are new to Lumpkin County and new to Lumpkin County politics. Yet, even a relative newcomer can see that Lumpkin County is suffering from economic pains, financial restrictions and lots of leadership in-fighting. The county government needs a leader with strong leadership skills, a long term vision and definitely the ability  to 'work well with others.'

Guy LaBoa, who is running for Lumpkin County Commission Chairman, definitely fits that description.  First, he's a retired three star U.S. Army General with an impressive military record that includes four Silver Stars and three Purple Hearts. Anyone with that kind of background is what we call a real leader.

After 35 years of military service and a stint as a corporate executive, Guy and his wife Pat could have retired anywhere. They chose Dahlonega where Pat had graduated from North Georgia State College. Since they moved to Dahlonega, Guy has quickly became part of the community and local politics. He served on the Northeast Regional Boy Scouts Executive Committee, the Chestatee Regional Hospital Board, and Board of Directors of the Dahlonega Rotary Club. He was even elected to the Dahlonega City Council.

Now he is running for Lumpkin County Commission Chairman. He has our vote. Not just because of his leadership experience (and the fact that we graduated from the same college in Louisiana), but because he has the vision that Lumpkin needs. We encourage you to support Guy LaBoa.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Finding the Right Vet is Like Finding the Right Pediatrician

This Scottie Dog Loves Her Vets.
Pet parents know how hard it is to find that perfect veterinarian, the one who treats your pet like a patient, not like an animal. And if you have a hard-headed, extremely spoiled 3 year old Scottie, then that search is even more difficult.

Scotties aren't easy pets to vet. In fact, one vet we took one of our Scotties to, actually insisted on putting a muzzle on the dog  because, as he said, Scotties have a reputation of 'biting' vets. (Needless to say, that Scottie never returned to that vet.) Some groomers even refuse to cut a Scottie's hair or trim the nails without muzzling the dog.

Because the beloved Nessie the Scottie dog is more people than pet, finding a vet who would treated Nessie with love and care was paramount. And, we did find that veterinarian. In fact, we found two -  Dr. Rebecca Babcock and Dr. Karen Donovan - at The Red Barn Veterinary Clinic in Dahlonega.

Both Dr. Babcock and Dr. Donovan have treated Nessie, and if all the licks Nessie gives them is any indication, Nessie loves them. In fact, the dog actually jumps out of the car and seems to eagerly head to the Red Barn front door each time she visits.

You won't find many vet clinics as well equipped, well staffed and exceptionally spotless as Red Barn. And pets are treated as patients here, which is oh so important.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lumpkin Commissioners to Consider Sunday Liquor Sales AGAIN

The people spoke, and obviously the Lumpkin County Commission listened...this time. In a meeting Tuesday, the commissioners agreed to ANOTHER hearing on a vote for Sunday Wine and Beer Sales.

For those of you who haven't been following the Great Sunday Liquor Sales controversy in Lumpkin, in February the County Commissioners voted 3 to 1 AGAINST a referendum to allow Sunday sales of beer and wine. After the commissioners' vote, people across the county were 'riled up', angry that they had been denied the right to vote on this issue. (A 2011 act by the Ga. Legislature allows local voters to decide on Sunday Liquor sales in their communities.)

One of the Commission's No Votes, Commissioner Tim Bowden, argued that if Sunday sales are allowed, Lumpkin would see 'possible and even probable' increase in DUIs and domestic violence incidents.

The lone Commissioner who wants Lumpkin voters to decide on this controversial issue is Commissioner Bill Scott. For his support of a public referendum, Commissioner Scott has been criticized by many in the county. Alternately, many (such as this writer) strongly support Commissioner Scott (who describes himself as a tea-teetotaler) for his belief that 'the people should decide'.

Dahlonega and Beyond will be attending the Tuesday, April 17, Commission meeting when the topic of a Sunday Wine and Beer Sales referendum is discussed again. Maybe this time, more proponents of the vote will be in attendance and those commissioners who voted NAY last time will be more OPEN to discussion. We're hoping the NO will become a YES.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dawsonville bids Eastwood, Timberlake Goodbye

Movie Crew Packs Up (Gainesville Times Photo)
After over a week in Dawsonville, Ga., the cast and crew of "Trouble with the Curve" have packed up and moved out...leaving behind a partly remodeled motel and quite a few starstruck people.

The movie's main star and producer, 81 year old Clint Eastwood, wowed the citizenry with his in the local grocery store, eating at the local restaurants and warmly conversing with locals. In fact, on his last day in town, Clint was spotted in front of a deli on the town square, patiently signing autographs and talking to fans.

Most Dawsonvillians and other star-struck fans who came to town weren't able to meet-on-one with Clint or his co-stars Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman. However, a fortunate few residents actually interacted with the cast and crew. Dawson County Sheriff deputies helped guard the celebrities as part of the movie's security team, and local restaurant servers and caterers provided the food day-after-day. (Rumor has it that on the final day of shooting, the Dawsonville Pool Room served over 200 of their world famous Bully Burgers for the crew's last meal in town.)

D&B weren't able to capture any first-hand pictures or video of the movie's filming. Every time we were in Dawsonville, all we saw was traffic backed up from the movie set. BUT, others were lucky to video the stars on set, filming in front of the Amicalola Lodge, which was renamed the Grey Squirrel Motel for the movie. (Word of caution: These videos aren't quite movie theater ready.)