Monday, July 30, 2012

Vote for Carlton Smith

Carlton Smith Gets D&B Vote for Commissioner.
In the election for Lumpkin County Commissioner, District 2, many voters are going to the polls to vote AGAINST Tim Bowden, the district's uber controversial commissioner. Bowden's single-mindedness and seemingly disregard to the electorate are reasons enough to cast a ballot for another candidate.

However, in D&B's case, we are not voting AGAINST Bowden. We are voting FOR Carlton Smith. Carlton is a neighbor, a man whom we know personally. In fact, he was one of the first people to welcome us to Lumpkin and extoll the virtues of our new county.

Carlton is a successful small business owner. He knows the challenges that businesses face. He's familiar with budgeting and the need to make wise financial decisions. He was a public safety worker for years so he values the roles that our fire fighters and sheriff deputies play.

Carlton is a husband, father, and grandfather who values the quality of life we have in Lumpkin. Most importantly, he loves Lumpkin, he's a true leader, and he will make a darn good commissioner.

P.S. Carlton spoke out months ago on giving Lumpkin voters the right to vote on the Sunday alcohol referendum. While he may not vote for Sunday sales, he strongly stands for letting the people vote on such a controversial issue.

Why We're on the Guy LaBoa Team

D&B have joined the Guy LaBoa team for Lumpkin County Commission Chairman. In fact, we've already cast our votes for him as early voters.

According to experts, the race between Guy and his opponent Chris Dockery is going to be tight. Both men definitely have their merits, but for us, Guy just is the better choice.

Guy graduated from the same university that D&B did (although a few years apart) so we know the values, ethics and code of honor that was instilled in him as part of his education. That alone would sway our votes his way, but there are other reasons to vote for Guy LaBoa. Here are a few:
  1. Guy's a retired U.S. Army retired Lt. General. Now I ask you, how many communities have the opportunity to have a three star general as their leader?
  2. Guy is a leader. He's lead men in battle; he's managed companies; he's built teams of disparate groups; he's been elected to public office. 
  3. He's a conservative who is fiscally responsible. As a businessman and military officer, he's managed multi-million dollar budgets and knows the importance of smart spending and staying on budget.
  4. He loves Lumpkin and Dahlonega. After living in over 20 places all over the world, he and his wife Pat SELECTED Lumpkin as their home. They could have retired anywhere, but they fell in love with Dahlonega. And, after all, this is where Pat and daughter Mary Kaye went to college.
But probably the best reason to vote for Guy is that he can be a full time commission chairman. With the challenges that our county is facing (and will face), we need a chairman who isn't juggling his chairman duties with another job or jobs. Guy is retired and has the time to devote to the chairmanship. Dockery has a full-time job as a builder and serves in the Army Reserve. Now I ask you, with those major responsibilities, just how much time will he have to handle the Lumpkin's critical issues?

Put Lumpkin first. Vote for Guy LaBoa for Lumpkin County Commission Chairman.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It was Bill Scott!

Commissioner Bill Scott Said YES
Thanks to one of D&B's loyal readers for pointing out a major error made in the Dahlonega and Beyond post of July 19. D&B incorrectly identified the stalwart commissioner who has repeatedly allocated for giving the people of Lumpkin the right to vote on the Sunday alcohol sales referendum.

The Commissioner who voted YES on three different occasions for the referendum is Commissioner Bill Scott. Thank you, Commissioner Scott, for speaking for the voters of Lumpkin County. You listened to the people when others on the commission suddenly became hard of hearing.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Liquor Referendum Makes the Ballot - At Last

Clarence Stowers casts deciding vote.
The Sunday beer and wine sales referendum will be on the ballot in November! The decision came Tuesday morning at the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners' meeting, with Commission Chairman John Raber breaking a 2 - 2 tie by voting YES to the referendum.

Commissioner Clarence Stowers, who had voted twice against the referendum, switched his vote to YES, joining Commissioner Bill Lewis on the YEAH side. Commissioners Tim Bowden and Clarence Grindle voted NO, as they had done previously when the issue was before the Board.

The pressure has been on the commissioners for months as Lumpkinites (including D&B) argued that the commissioners had denied voters the right to vote.

That public pressure seemed to be what changed Stowers' vote. When asked by The Dahlonega Nugget why he switched his vote, Stowers said he had not changed his mind on Sunday sales, but that he had changed his vote because "of the attacks," including attacks on his wife and mother. Some county employees had trouble doing their jobs because of all the calls on the Sunday sales issue, he said.

No matter what his reasons may have, Dahlonega and Beyond says, "Thank you, Mr. Stowers, for joining Mr. Lewis and Mr. Raber in giving the vote back to the people."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Nuts Are Coming to Town

Yep. That's right. Nuts are coming to town - Alabama nuts to be exact. The Jim Lovell family is opening the first franchise of The Nut Shop, an uber popular Alabama nut business right here in Dahlonega.

Nut Shop products - from peanut and pecan brittle to roasted and boiled peanuts - are currently only available online, at Alabama and Mississippi convenience stores, and at University of Alabama's Brant-Denny Stadium. In fact, Nut Shop peanuts are the official peanuts for U of A athletics.

It took some convincing of the original Nut Shop owner, Cecil Williams, to franchise his brand, especially out-of state. After several months of conversation between the Lovell family and Williams, a deal was struck. Besides the store in Dahlonega, the Lovells also have the rights to wholesale their products throughout Georgia.

We're not sure all the 60 products found in the Alabama Nut Shop will be available in the Dahlonega store. So a trip to the Dahlonega Nut Shop is a must do. We need to see firsthand if the Lowells will have almonds, pecans, mixed nuts, chocolate covered nuts along with the beloved peanut.

While neither D or B can stand boiled peanuts, we're anxious to taste the shop's roasted peanuts and some of the shop's infamous pecan brittle. After all, will the Alabama peanut be as tasty as a Georgia peanut? Only a taste test will tell for sure.

Monday, July 16, 2012

We've Got Readers

Sometimes as a blog writer, you wonder if anyone out there is reading your blog....and then it happens. You introduce yourself and the person say, "You write that blog about Dahlonega, don't you?"

Guess that means that the blog is getting noticed. One person we met even commented that there had been an absence in blog entries. (Which was true - It's hard to write a blog when you are sailing the high seas or spending a week in small town Louisiana.)

So to the small but mighty group of Dahlonega and Beyond readers, thank you. Stay tuned for more musings from a North Georgia lover. Better yet, how about signing up as a follower?

Let the People Vote

The Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners has a giant decision to make Tuesday night, July 17. Should they, or should they not, let the Lumpkin voters vote on Sunday liquor sales?

In two other 'Should the Voters Vote' decisions, three of the four county commissioners said NO. Only Commissioner Bill Scott voted to let citizens decide on the sale of beer and wine on Sunday.

The hope of an ever growing group of Lumpkinites is that at least one of the Negative Three will switch his No vote to Yes. If that happens, the tie breaker goes to Commission Chairman John Raburn, who has publicly stated that he supports the referendum.

The pressure is on the commission. Last month, the Dahlonega City Council voted to put the liquor referendum on the ballot for voters WITHIN the city of Dahlonega. If the city's referendum passes, then county businesses. This fact was acknowledged by all four commissioners in last week's issue of The Dahlonega Nugget.

D&B are not the only ones who feel that our right to vote is being held hostage by three men. The Nugget's editor Wayne Knuckles, in a strongly worded editorial in the same issue of the Nugget, urged the commissioners to "let the people have the final say." After all, he wrote, "The proper course of action, the fair thing to do, is to put the question before the voters."

D&B will be part of the crowd Tuesday night to see just what the commission decides.

It's time, commissioners, to let the people vote.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Potato Chips in a Pie? Oh yeah!

Lay's Wavy Potato Chips and Ghirardelli chocolate in the same recipe? You know that combination is going to be a winner...and that's just what the Sweet and Salty Chocolate Pie was.

Baked to perfection by Christopher A. Taylor, the melt-in-your mouth combination of potato chips and bittersweet chocolate took first prize recently in the Lumpkin County Pie Squared Event sponsored by Lumpkin Literacy.

I'd show you a picture of that yummy pie, but by the time I got to taste a sample, the pie plate was empty. But I did get the recipe!

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Pie
by Christopher A. Taylor (Atlanta, GA)

Crust and Topping
6 oz Ghirardelli Bittersweet (60%) Chocolate
10 oz potato chips (I prefer Wavy Lays, but Ruffles work, too)

4 oz Ghirardelli Bittersweet (60%) Chocolate
4 oz Ghirardelli Extra Bittersweet (70%) Chocolate
3 eggs
5-1/4 oz (3/4 cup) sugar
2 tbsp water
1 cup heavy cream (I prefer 40% pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized)

1 tbsp large flake sea salt (I prefer Maldon sea salt flakes)
1 cup chocolate curls

From the potato chips, select and set aside about 12–15 whole chips to use as the garnish.  

Crush half of the the remaining chips.  The baker prefers to place the chips in a sealed Ziploc-type bag and lightly beat the bag with a rolling pin. You don’t want the chips to turn to dust. Stop bashing the chips when they are about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch in size. Empty the chip pieces into a bowl.

Melt the 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate in the microwave (stirring every 20 seconds) until it is completely melted.

Add the melted chocolate to the chip pieces a spoonful at a time and stir the chips and chocolate after each addition. Stop adding chocolate when the chips are thoroughly coated and the mixture begins to hold together when lightly smooshed into the side of the bowl.

Pat the chocolate-chip mixture evenly into a 10-inch pie plate. Make sure the mixture is even across the bottom and up the sides. The mixture will be thickest where the bottom of the pan meets the sides. Press into this area with your thumb to thin out and push the mixture up the sides. The edges of the crust may seem ragged, but we’ll cover them up with the chips later.

Place the crust into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set before you begin preparing the filling. Dip the remaining whole potato chips into the remaining melted chocolate, gently shaking off any extra chocolate. Place the dipped chips on a sheet of wax paper to set at room temperature.

For the filling, chop both chocolates and melt in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until melted.  Set aside.

For the filling, heat a 1/2-inch of water in a sauce pan until simmering. Combine the eggs, sugar, and water in a small bowl.  Place the bowl over the simmering water ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat the egg mixture over the simmering water until the mixture is thick and fluffy and temperature reaches 160˚F, 5–10 minutes.

When the mixture reaches temperature, remove the bowl from the heated water and continue to beat the egg mixture until it reaches warm temperature, about 5–10 minutes more.

Once the mixture is cool, add the melted chocolate and stir until combine. Whip the heavy cream until it reaches stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula or whisk (I prefer a whisk) until no streaks remain.

Add the filling to the crust and smooth. Immediately place the chocolate-dipped potato chips into the filling along the crust of the pie allowing the chip to curve over the edge of the pan.

Allow the pie to set in the fridge for several hours. Sprinkle the salt and chocolate curls evenly over the top of the pie before serving. (Adding the salt earlier risks it dissolving into the filling.)

Slice a piece and enjoy that yummy combination of sweet and salt!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Say No to Tim Bowden

No Bowden signs throughout Lumpkin County.
Tim Bowden, who is running for re-election to Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners, District 2, is not a popular man. That is if the signs posted throughout the county recently are indication on his popularity.

Why the Bowden animosity? The primary reason is that he has been the strongest voice on the County Commission against the referendum to vote for Sunday wine and beer sales. Bowden voted at least twice to keep the referendum off the ballot and was the most vocal against proposal.

The overwhelming opinion in the county seems to be that the people want to vote on the issue. It's what the voters in dozens of counties across Georgia have done. But Bowden says No.

His contention, according to his public statements and articles in the Dahlonega Nugget, is that Sunday liquor sales will cause an increase in highway accidents and put a burden on our public service officers. Really, Mr. Bowden?

Fortunately, Bowden has an opponent in the upcoming July 31 election, Carlton Smith, who supports giving the public the right to vote on the referendum. Smith, like others who are running for the commission this year, believes that such an important decision should be up to the people, not by three commissioners.