Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is Catching Fire Coming to Dawsonville?

Rumors are that filming starts September 10 for the Catching Fire, sequel to the archery-laden film Hunger Games. Film directors decided not to go back to North Carolina where Hunger Games was filmed but to use movie-friendly Georgia as the set for part two in Suzanne Collin's Hunger Game series.

Casting for movie extras for Catching Fire has already started. There might even be an extra spot or two still available. Check out the movie's casting call.

What's great about Catching Fire's filming, according to the rumors, is that movie crews may be coming to Dawsonville, Ga., again. Earlier this year, movie crews spent a week in Dawsonville filming Clint Eastwood's new movie, Trouble with the Curve. (Who knew that Dawsonville was so photogenic?)

And it's with tremendous anticipation that we wait for some of the stars to actually appear in Dawsonville. Here's hoping we run in to a star or two in Walmart or at The Varsity - Dawsonville.

Here are just a Catching Fire Cast that we could see:
  • Jennifer Lawrence 
  • Josh Hutcherson
  • Liam Hemsworth
  • Donald Sutherland
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Stanley Tucci
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Elizabeth Banks
  • Amanda Plummer
  • Woody Harrelson

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No to Bowden. Yes to the Stealth Candidate.

The people have spoken. Tim Bowden was voted out as District 2 Commissioner for Lumpkin County in the recent run-off election.

Steve Shaw, sort of a stealth candidate, bested Bowden by about 15% of the votes. The total was BOWDEN 1257 (42.55%) and SHAW 1697 votes (57.45%).

As District 2 residents who weren't too happy with Commissioner Bowden, we can only hope that Mr. Shaw will be a better representative for our area. Unfortunately, we don't know  that much about Mr. Shaw. He's what we call the stealth or mystery-man candidate.

The soon-to-be Commissioner Shaw didn't spend a lot of time handshaking, kissing babies, riding in parades, hosting fundraisers or going to campaign events. He was a no-show at the major candidate debates. The Dahlonega Nugget even had a hard time tracking him down for an article on candidate position statements and qualifications.

Let's hope that newly elected Commissioner Shaw has time to devote to his new part-time county job, and that he won't be so hard to find when a constituent has a question or wants to talk to him. We can also hope that if Mr. Shaw is given a key to the county, he won't lose it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's a Bee-utiful Life

Yes, life in Dahlonega and Beyond if bee-utiful. In fact, because of all the buzz in the air, this author hasn't had much blog posting time.

Why, no blogging you ask? Well, this is D's first year as a board member of Lumpkin County Literacy Coalition (LCLC), a non-profit devoted to improving the literacy rates in our area and to improving people's reading skills. As LCLC Awareness Chairperson, D's role is to promote our organization and, of course, to 'Bee Cool."

That's just what we have been doing. Instead of blogging, we've bee-come bee-centered, working hard to create a bee buzz, and spreading the honey on thick to promote the Lumpkin Literacy's Annual Adult Spelling Bee. (Yes, that sentence isn't exactly English teacher worthy.)

The Bee, one of LCLC's major fundraisers, is Sept. 11, at the Holly Theater in Dahlonega, at 7 p.m. It's is such a fun night. Adults in teams of three attempt to spell such challenging words as chimerical and farraginous. Go ahead. Admit it. You could correctly spell these without any trouble, right? We will be the first to admit, neither of these words appear in our vocabulary often. But then, a lot of words on last year's list that aren't exactly every day words for we Lumpkinites.

Oh, and if you would LOVE to attend this year's Spelling Bee, we've got tickets to sell. Just $10 each!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eastwood, Timberlake and Dawsonville, Ga.

The trailer is out....the one to promote Trouble with the Curve, the soon to be released movie starring Clint Eastwood and Justin Timberlake and featuring scenes filmed in nearby Dawsonville, Ga.

In Trouble with the Curve, Clint is an aging baseball scout, who with his daughter, played by Amy Adams, comes to Atlanta to scout a promising young pitcher. The movie was filmed throughout Georgia - At the Atlanta Braves' stadium, in Georgia minor league ball parks, in an Athens bar, and in Dawsonville.  

If you look closely in the movie's promo, you can see shots of a motel - the Amicalola Motel, a not-so-upscale motel just outside of downtown Dawsonville. As the trailer flies by, look closely near the end for scenes with Clint, Justin and Amy pictured in front of the motel.

Once you see the trailer (and the motel), bet you can't wait to see the real thing. But wait you will. Trouble with the Curve doesn't hit the theaters until September. (Wonder if they will have a premier showing at Dawsonville's 400 Cinema?)  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quadruplets in Dahlonega

No one even knew Georgia was pregnant, so when she gave birth Friday, everyone (and I mean everyone) was surprised. The surprise was even greater when not one, not two, but four babies arrived.

Rare baby white tigers. Photo from Gainesville Times.
Georgia and the quadruplet's father Magnum are Siberian Tigers, who make their home in the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega. The baby tiger cubs are rare white Siberians, like their mother.

Normally, Siberians usually have two or three cubs, so having four is not a common occurrence. The quadruplets join ten other Siberian Tigers at the Chestatee Preserve, which is home to a large number of big cats.

"'It's just a miracle that all four are still living,'" said the Preserve's General manager C. W. Walthen. According to him, the babies, each weighing less than 3 lbs., were taken from Georgia because she was not nursing them. The cubs are now being bottle fed and seem healthy. "It's just like having four new babies at home." The baby tigers will grow to be between 700 and 800 pound adults.

The Chestatee Preserve is known world-wide for its unique collection of animals, including an extremely rare mother-daughter set of Zedonks, a half zebra - half donkey combination. The Preserve, open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is the only exotic animal rescue and wildlife preserve in North Georgia. Obviously, this is a must-go-to spot when you visit the North Georgia mountain region.

For more details on the baby tigers, you'll want to read this Gainesville Times article -

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

13 Votes Made the Difference

Just 13 votes. That's all that separated candidates Steve Shaw and Carlton Smith for the crucial run-off spot for Lumpkin County District 2 Commissioner when the votes were counted last Tuesday, July 31 after the primary election.

The vote was so close that Shaw and Smith had to wait until Friday (Aug. 3) for the provisional and military votes to be counted before they knew which one of them had captured the run-off spot against incumbent Tim Bowden.  Finally after EVERY vote had been tallied, 13 votes still separated the two candidates. Steve Shaw had 13 more votes than Carlton Smith. (It's a shame Smith didn't make the run-off. He would have made a terrific commissioner.)

Steve Shaw now faces Commissioner Bowden in the August 21 run-off. If Shaw can capture a large portion of the Carlton Smith votes, he will win the commission seat. (Bowden only managed 38 percent of the votes in the July 31 primary with Shaw and Smith splitting the other 62 percent.)

D&B is not so sure what kind of candidate Steve Shaw is. We do know that he wasn't much into campaigning. He failed to show up at the candidate debates, he wasn't at the Lumpkin County Republican Party event for candidates, and he wasn't spotted at any fundraisers or campaigning at large county social gathering.

The next two weeks until the run-off will be interesting. Will Shaw continue his non-campaigning campaign? Or is Shaw's strategy one of hoping there will be enough anti-Bowden votes that he (Shaw) can cruise to victory? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Politics in Lumpkin County

As they say, "You win a few. You lose a few." That's what happened yesterday in the primary elections in Lumpkin County.

Big Loss
D&B actively supported two candidates - Guy LaBoa and Carlton Smith. Unfortunately, Guy wasn't able to pull out a victory in his race for Lumpkin County Commission Chairman. He definitely fought the good fight, but as a Lumpkin newcomer (he's only lived here 9 years), he was an underdog the minute he decided to run. Guy, a retired Lt. General, would have made a great leader for Lumpkin.

Big Maybe
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Carlton is still in the race - just 12 votes away from making the run off for the District 2 Commissioner seat. With military ballots and some absentee ballots still to be counted, Carlton gain enough votes to come in second and face incumbent Tim Bowden in a run off. Hang in there, Carlton. You still have a chance!

Big Win
In another big vote, Lumpkinites voted over 72% (one of the highest ratios in the state election) against the 1% transportation sales tax. In this economy, the people in this mountain area just weren't ready to pay more taxes, especially when such a small amount of the money raised in the Mountain District were for Lumpkin highway projects.