APRIL 2024: (GREEN) Our Town Gwinnett/Walton Monthly Magazine

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GWINNETT Our Town Grayson Dacula Lawrenceville Snellville Loganville Gwinnett/Walton Community & Family Magazine APRIL 2024 Up Close with Lavida Massage of Grayson, see story on page 5.
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April 2024 Our Town Gwinnett PAGE 3
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Catching Up on Care with LaVida Massage of Grayson

Since October of 2021, TiAnn Walker and her team at LaVida Massage of Grayson have been providing Gwinnett with something we all need: whole body wellness. And while two-and-a-half years have passed since LaVida Massage of Grayson opened its doors, this group is not slowing down any time soon. In fact, TiAnn and her team of dedicated therapists are going full steam ahead with their desire to bring as much wellness in as many ways as possible to the Grayson community and beyond.

“We pride ourselves in being a customized massage center,” said TiAnn of her booming business. “When a therapist brings a new certification or modality in-house, we like to incorporate it.”

TiAnn’s massage therapists meet all of the licensing requirements of the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy, which means their education literally never stops. Some therapists like to brush up on old skills, while others are exploring new concepts to offer guests who visit LaVida Massage.

For instance, some of TiAnn’s therapists have learned the cupping therapy technique, which is often found in sports massage and treatment. While cupping does not have to be used for athletes only, TiAnn says she is looking forward to offering this service to local athletes who need assistance with managing the wear and tear that playing sports can have on their bodies.

When you visit LaVida Massage of Grayson, you will also now find prenatal massage specialists and lymphatic massage specialists. TiAnn’s goal, as always, is to create an opportunity for guests to experience whole body wellness that treats the root of their pain and not just the symptoms.

“We always want to take the opportunity to explore new modalities or techniques,” said TiAnn. “Many of our therapists have been here since we opened, and they know what guests request and hope to see us offer.”

While both staff and guests alike are excited to see these changes take place, one thing that has not changed about LaVida Massage of Grayson is the team’s commitment to giving excellent care to every person who comes through their doors.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” TiAnn quipped, noting that her team continues to make it a priority to get to know each guest individually so their needs can be met. “Many people come here to treat an injury; some come for relaxation. Whether you work on your feet all day or sit at a computer, this therapy will benefit you.”

If you want to learn more about how you can be treated at LaVida Massage of Grayson, the process is still as easy as it can be. Just fill out the (recently expanded!) intake form to allow the team to assign the therapist that will be the best fit. Once you come for your appointment, your therapist will take some time to understand what your goals are and why you have come to therapy.

And if you want to make it a regular thing, LaVida Massage of Grayson has you covered. They offer a benefits membership program that is specifically designed to allow returning guests to get monthly (or more) massages at a dis-

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April 2024 Our Town Gwinnett PAGE 5
the Cover:
3050 Amwiler Road Suite 200-C Atlanta, GA 30360 167 Lee Street Jefferson, GA 30549 CIVIL • CRIMINAL ESTATE PLANNING & WILLS 404-228-2629 Email: info@wblegal.net
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5 On the Cover: Catching Up on Care with LaVida Massage of Grayson 7 From the Publisher: Ryan’s Remarks 8 Investing in Gwinnett’s Youth with Flush Athletics 11 World Homeopathy Day 2024: Celebrating Healing through Hahnemann’s Legacy 11 Legal Talk: My Mom Said Lawyer 12 Getting to Know: MarketRight Agency 13 Learning Lessons: Tips to Help Young Children Learn Through Play 13 Mentoring Matters: Kids Hope USA Provides Mentoring to Area Students 14 Apps to Help You Accomplish Life-Improving Goals 14 City Talk: Matthew Pepper Named Snellville City Manager 14 Pet Perch: Domestic Cats Causing Extinction 15 One Man’s Opinion: Let’s All Give C-SPAN a Hand 15 Enjoy the Water: Boat Confidently with These Tips 17 Alignment…A Word for Your Day Our Town Gwinnett is published and direct mailed to select homes in the Gwinnett/Walton area. Opinions expressed by the writers and staff are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town Gwinnett reserves the right to edit and/or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town Gwinnett is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made by advertisers. Entire contents copyright 2024 by Our Town Gwinnett Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without written permission from the publisher. — An EndResultz Media Company EndResultz.com Publisher/Owner Dr. Ryan T. Sauers Ryan@EndResultz.com Creative Director Elsie Olson Elsie@EndResultz.com Editor Catherine L. Osornio Editor@EndResultz.com Photography Emil Powella Photography Distribution Coordinator Holly Cooks Cover Story Feature Writer Kristen Eleveld Feature Writers Victoria R. Crosby Tana Poncsak Traci Sanders Contributing Writers Bill Crane Jane Bishop Dr. Kerith Powell Tanisha Turner Michael Weinstein Terie Hansen

From the Publisher:

Ryan’s Remarks

Wow, it is April 2024. Spring is here, and warm weather should stay. In this column, I want to share some things I do and believe in. These are things that help people achieve success in all parts of life, and they are based on a great deal of research as well as decades of real-world experience.

I believe in a relentless work ethic, a passion for excellence, and unwavering grit and perseverance. Success is not a matter of luck or talent, but a result of hard work, dedication, and resilience. There is no substitute for putting in the time and effort required to achieve your goals or your dreams. Success is not “working smart,” but “working hard and smart.” Or, in other words, being both efficient and effective at what we do. I always encourage people to adopt the Keep Pushing Forward (KPF) mindset, as I have done for so many years. This means digging deep, finding a way to make things happen, never giving up, and displaying grit.

Grit is the deep drive and courage to persist in the face of all types of adversity. Success is not a straight line, but a journey filled with achievements, setbacks, failures, and obstacles. My advice is to work hard but enjoy the ride. We can do this and grow our grit by embracing challenges and learning from failures. People with more grit are likelier to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. We must be authentic as well. Such authenticity and consistent behavior build integrity, credibility, and respect, which are critical elements for long-term success. We must always be honest, transparent, and genuine in our actions, which are built on trust. And when we make a mistake (which we all do as human beings), we must step up and make it right.

Passion is also vital to success because it is the fuel that drives success. It is more than just enthusiasm; it’s an intense desire to achieve your goals and make

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April 2024 Our Town Gwinnett PAGE 7

Investing in Gwinnett’s Youth with Flush Athletics

For the team at Royal Flush Plumbing, excellence is always the goal – and it’s one they are good at meeting. But while Royal Flush Plumbing first gained its reputation for its top-notch plumbing services, they have continued to add to that reputation by taking steps to combine athletics and apprenticeship opportunities that will allow Gwinnett’s youth to take greater steps into their futures.

“We were motivated to start Flush Athletics because we believe that travel sports are an excellent way for children to find belonging and meaning in their lives,” said Ryan Perry, CEO and co-founder of Royal Flush Plumbing. “The program also helps the team members stay on a good, healthy path.”

Founded in 2022, Flush Athletics has actually been in development since 2016, as Ryan and his team worked to find a way to create athletic opportunities that would not be cost-prohibitive.

“The costs to participate in most baseball or softball organizations are only getting higher,” said Ryan. “This keeps many deserving, hard-working children from ever getting the chance to participate at higher levels. Flush Athletics is our attempt at a solution to this problem.”

Flush Athletics currently has a baseball and softball program that are offered to youth in Gwinnett County as an opportunity to develop not only the skills that are required to play sports, but also skills like leadership, self-discipline, and persistence. At its helm is former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Joey Hamilton, who brings his considerable experience as a professional baseball player to every team in the program.

“Ryan and I first crossed paths in January of 2022,” Joey said. “Six months later, I started doing some lessons for some of his players, which led to helping with winter workouts. Ryan was looking for a coach for his son’s team and someone to lead the organization.”

Joey added, “After meeting with Ryan, hearing his vision and seeing his heart, it was an easy decision to get on board. He is one of the most genuine people I have ever met.”

Not only was Joey a top-ten MLB draft pick out of college, he has gained nearly fifteen years of coaching experience following his retirement from a nine year career in the MLB. His skillset and desire to teach students what the game is really

about has made him an ideal director of the Flush Athletic baseball program.

“There are so many life lessons that can come from sports, especially baseball,” he said. “It is set up around failure and the lessons that can be taught and learned from the game are immeasurable. If you can succeed at this game you can succeed at life.”

In order to keep costs down and allow more students to participate, Flush Athletics sponsors the teams in this program, meaning uniform and participation costs are covered. Players still need to provide equipment, but otherwise, their time on the team is financially covered.

And Flush Athletics is hoping this model will spread. They are encouraging other local businesses to follow in their footsteps and create an opportunity for an athletic team to be formed and sponsored through the business itself. The model is simple: the business sponsors the team so more players have a chance to learn. And the business gets marketing exposure through uniforms and other branded items they provide, making this model the definition of a win-win. Flush Athletics is relying on the community to spread the word about this plan so anyone who wants to play but can’t afford to will no longer have to sit on the sidelines.

“The community can partner with us in a very specific way,” said Ryan, “which

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LaVida Massage of Grayson

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counted rate. Family members can even share a membership, meaning that each guest has the opportunity to get a top-rate massage at a price that meets their budget. TiAnn has seen some guests gift a massage to loved one to celebrate a birthday or to mark a special occasion. Best of all, the membership is a great way to be locked into a great rate without being locked into a contract, since you can end your membership at any time.

Not to mention, benefits members get 10% off retail products, like the increasingly popular CBD muscle and joint balm – but you will want to hurry, because TiAnn says that one is so popular she can barely keep it on the shelves. If you want to learn more about the benefits membership, just ask the front desk when you arrive for your appointment, and they can set you up.

If you are looking for a place that values whole body wellness, understands your individual needs, and wants to create an opportunity to stay within your budget, LaVida Massage of Grayson checks all of your boxes. Give them a call today to set up your next therapy session.

More information at https://lavidamassagegraysonga.com/, 770.559.9441

Ryan’s Remarks

Continued from page 7

a difference. I encourage each of you to find your passions and pursue them relentlessly. When people are passionate about their work, they are more likely to work harder, dig deeper, take risks, and overcome obstacles.

One more thing that is key to success is perseverance. I think of perseverance as the will to succeed. It emphasizes that success requires a long-term commitment and a willingness to stick with things in good and challenging times. As people develop, they begin to set realistic goals, create a plan of action, and stay focused on their objectives. It is a fact that people who have perseverance are more likely to achieve their dreams and make a difference in the world.

So, here it is – my thoughts on success. However, we can never lose sight of one thing, perhaps the most important thing: the people around us are vital. We must first work to help others achieve success, as we can get to where we want if we help others get to where they want to be. Finally, I thank our fantastic community and partners for all your support. You all play a paramount role in our success. Also, and as always, thanks for continuing with me on the journey of my town, your town, OUR TOWN!

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World Homeopathy Day 2024: Celebrating Healing through Hahnemann’s Legacy

April 10th marks World Homeopathy Day, commemorating the birth anniversary of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy. This day serves not only as a celebration of his remarkable contributions, but also as a testament to the enduring relevance of homeopathy in modern healthcare.

Dr. Hahnemann’s journey into homeopathy began in the late 18th century, amidst growing disillusionment with conventional medical practices characterized by their often-harmful side effects. Dissatisfied with the prevailing medical norms of his time, he embarked on a quest to discover a safer and more effective approach to healing.

Experimenting with various substances commonly used as medicines in his era, including antimony, rhubarb, arsenic, and belladonna, Hahnemann meticulously documented his findings. Through rigorous self-experimentation and observations on others, he formulated the fundamental principles of homeopathy.

Legal Talk: My Mom Said Lawyer

Ever since I was a little boy growing up in New York, my Jewish mother said I was going to be a lawyer. Was it so she could brag to her friends? Did she think I was going to make a lot of money? I don’t know, maybe both. When I graduated law school, and passed the bar exam, and started practicing law, I was not sure why I became a lawyer, other than because my mother told me so. And this lasted for a while. But, as I got older, and as I gained experience, I realized that I am a lawyer so I can help people.

At the core of Weinstein & Black, we are there to help our clients. When clients come see us, it is usually because they need help. Whether it is fighting with a homeowner’s association, contesting a denied insurance claim, or even going through a divorce, our job is to make the situation better. This requires individual attention to each case because everyone’s definition of “better” is different. Once we understand what your definition of “better” is, that is the outcome we set out to achieve, but maybe even a little better.


Central to Hahnemann’s approach was the concept of “like cures like,” wherein a substance that causes symptoms in a healthy individual can, in minute doses, alleviate those same symptoms in someone who is unwell. This principle, known as the Law of Similars, forms the cornerstone of homeopathic treatment.

Today, the essence of Hahnemann’s teachings continues to guide homeopathic practitioners worldwide. By carefully studying the unique symptoms and characteristics of each patient, practitioners strive to match them with the most appropriate remedy from a vast materia medica.

The concept of the “drug picture” as elucidated by Hahnemann remains pivotal in prescribing homeopathic remedies. By considering not only the physical symptoms but also the mental and emotional aspects of illness, practitioners gain a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s condition. The more detailed the symptomatology provided by the patient – what exacerbates or ameliorates their symptoms – the more accurately a suitable remedy can be prescribed.

Critics often question the scientific basis of homeopathy, citing its reliance on highly diluted substances and challenging its efficacy through conventional scientific methods. However, proponents argue that homeopathy’s effectiveness cannot be solely measured by conventional standards, but must also be understood within its holistic framework, considering the individual’s overall well-being and vital force.

In an era where modern medicine sometimes grapples with issues such as antibiotic resistance and adverse drug reactions, homeopathy offers a gentle yet profound alternative. Its emphasis on stimulating the body’s innate healing mechanisms and restoring balance aligns with the growing demand for integrative and personalized healthcare approaches.

On World Homeopathy Day 2024, let us not only honor the legacy of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, but also recognize the enduring relevance of homeopathy as a therapeutic modality. As we celebrate this day, let us continue to explore, study, and embrace the potential of homeopathy in promoting health and well-being for all.

Dr. Kerith Powell is the owner of Dr. Chris’ Natural Remedies. More information at https://drchrisnaturalremedies.com/

April 2024 Our Town Gwinnett PAGE 11
Weinstein is a Partner at the law firm of Weinstein & Black. More information at www.wblegal.net or call (404) 228-2629.

Getting to Know: MarketRight Agency

Zaira Bhatti is a seventeen-year-old high school junior at Brookwood High School in Snellville. Her family is originally from Pakistan, but she was born here, the second youngest in a family of three sisters and a brother. In 2022 Zaira started a marketing business as a sophomore, MarketRight Agency in Snellville, through Brookwood’s Entrepreneurship program.

With teachers and mentors that she describes as amazing, Zaira qualified for Snellville’s Shark Tank, won a $500 grant, and won Entrepreneur of the Year. This accomplishment led her to other business owners who in turn led her to working with more business owners and political leaders.

“I mostly work with people in the political arena and started as a volunteer before starting my company,” Zaira said. She used the money to buy a camera and now meets with her clients once a month, and promotes them on social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok and LinkedIn. “Posts on Instagram, like an ad, will boost content for a week.”

She charges for monthly packages, with levels of bronze, silver, or gold, ranging from $180 to $280, depending on the number of posts on social media, from twelve to twenty posts.

“Ever since joining the entrepreneurship program for a 2-year program, freshman year, I learned how to market a business,” she said. “I’m certified in marketing and very active on social media.”

Tom Trippany is a retired elementary school principal who was an interim at Crews Middle School for two weeks and was very impressed by Zaira’s presentation at the Continued on page 17

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Learning Lessons: Tips to Help Young Children Learn Through Play

Children and play go hand in hand. Playing goes beyond entertainment for young children. It is how they channel their natural curiosity and learn about the world around them. While learning occurs naturally through play, parents and caregivers can help guide play-based learning and extend children’s thinking by getting involved in the fun!

Play, especially make-believe or pretend play, allows children to explore, imagine, create, and interact with others. Make-believe playtime promotes cognitive, language, physical, social, and emotional development in children, helping to build a strong foundation for future learning. Creating opportunities for play and helping to guide it can help make children’s learning experiences even more meaningful and can challenge them to think outside the box.

Following are a few play activities and tips for maximizing children’s learning that parents and caregivers can implement at home. Infusing playtime with props, prompts, and questions will allow children to stretch their imaginations. Also, remember to follow their lead and get down on their level when playing together!

Finger Theater (Ages 0-2)

Use your hands and fingers to act out stories while you and your baby build stronger bonds as he develops language skills. This Little Piggy is a great story to act out with your child’s fingers and toes.

Pretend Animals (Ages 1-4)

Inspire make-believe time by reading animal books to your child, such as The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, or The Lion and the Mouse by

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Mentoring Matters: Kids Hope USA Provides Mentoring to Area Students

During many holidays we spend time searching for that perfect gift to give to a loved one. But perhaps one of the best gifts we can give someone is our time.

Kids Hope USA is a nonprofit organization that offers mentoring to elementary school students across the nation by way of local churches and faith-based businesses and organizations. It’s through the relationships built between the mentor and the student that brings about distinct benefits to all.

According to Brandon Waite, director of program success with Kids Hope USA, after just one year of mentoring 87% of the students improved academically, 86% of the students improved behaviorally, and 79% of the students improved in social emotional competency based on teachers who were asked to evaluate growth after school and student participation in the program.

“We know kids can benefit from focused care and attention for as little as one hour a week, which is what we offer,” Brandon explained.

For the mentor, it’s a way to live out their faith in a real and tangible way and to make friendships that have the potential to last a lifetime.

“Mentors are often motivated by going into a school to help a student, and what they find is that they actually change in the process,” Brandon said. “There’s just something about building a relationship with a young person when you show up faithfully. It becomes a friendship, and we are all formed by our friendships.”

And for the church, the mentoring ministry is a bridge to their community for

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April 2024 Our Town Gwinnett PAGE 13

Apps to Help You Accomplish Life-Improving Goals

Setting a goal to improve your life is simple, but holding yourself accountable and tracking progress can make it a challenge to stick with your objectives. Make your new attempts to reach your goals different by utilizing apps to stay on track.

1. Stay Connected with Loved Ones. With busy schedules and loved ones living near and far, keeping track of life’s special moments can be hard. Luckily, the American Greetings ecards app makes celebrations easy and affordable. With more than 1,000 highly personalized digital greetings including ecards, SmashUps™ personalized video greetings, Creatacard™ virtual greeting cards, and Pics & Wishes multimedia cards, you can quickly create, personalize, and send greetings for every holiday, occasion, or just because. Plus, with the ability to schedule cards up to a year in advance and receive reminders for birthdays and anniversaries, the app will ensure your loved ones’ special days are never forgotten.

to your goals, lifestyle, and personal data.

3. Dive into a New Book Series. Exercising your mind is equally as important as exercising your body. Reading can boost your vocabulary, knowledge, and creativity and make you more empathetic. Plus, studies from the Mayo Clinic reveal that incorporating reading into your nighttime routine helps with sleep. Now, finding a new series or page-turner is easier than ever with the Goodreads app. Users can set annual reading goals, see what their friends are reading, write book reviews, and track what they want to read. Struggling with motivation to finish that hefty novel? Online book clubs available in the app can connect you with other readers.

4. Track and Manage Your Finances. Take charge of your finances and keep an eye on your spending. Utilizing a personal finance app like the Spending Tracker – Budget app helps you create a budget calendar, keep track of transactions, and manage your accounts, all in one place. Gaining insight into spending habits can make saving goals much more manageable.

2. Hit Your Workout Goals. Achieving your workout goals is within reach –even if you are short on time for the gym. Whether you are aiming to start a more active lifestyle, build healthy habits, lose weight, get fit, tone up, or feel amazing, there is a workout routine out there for you. The FitCoach app creates a weekly workout plan that includes cardio, strength, recovery, and other exercises tailored

City Talk: Matthew Pepper Named Snellville City Manager

The City of Snellville is proud to announce the hiring of Matthew Pepper as City Manager. Pepper replaces James “Butch” Sanders who retired after twelve years in the post.

“I am humbled that the mayor and council have shown their faith in me by naming me City Manager of the City of Snellville,” Pepper said. “During the last two years, I have learned the position from my predecessor Butch Sanders, and am confident I can help Snellville prosper for years to come. I am eager to continue serving our community and helping make Snellville the best it can be.”

Mayor Barbara Bender said she and members of the council are excited for Pepper in his new role.

Pet Perch: Domestic Cats Causing Extinction

You may never think of your cuddly cat as a killer, but domestic cats are causing the extinction of other species at an alarming rate. To date thirty-three species worldwide have become extinct due to cat predation.

The Stephens Island wren, one of only three flightless songbirds ever known, was discovered by lighthouse keeper David Lyall, only to be hunted to extinction by his pet cat and a number of others shortly after.

While the majority of mortalities are caused by unowned cats (which include farm/barn cats, strays that

5. Cook a New Recipe. Stuck in a culinary rut? Find new recipes in the Kitchen Stories app. With more than 10,000 recipes, Kitchen Stories can help users of any skill level and diet preference find a new recipe daily, complete with instructional videos and tips from expert chefs. Once you find a favorite meal, add it to your personal cookbook so friends can see what you have been up to in the kitchen. Grab your phone and start downloading! With these simple and helpful apps, you can make your goals stick. (StatePoint)

“We are very pleased Matthew agreed to step into this role as City Manager,” Bender said, noting Pepper’s previous experience and recent on-the-job training. “We are confident he will excel in his new position.”

The city manager is responsible for the city’s daily operations, working with the various city departments and department directors. The policies adopted by and the vision for the city set forth by the mayor and council provide the parameters for both basic service provision and special projects, all intended to best serve Snellville’s citizens.

In addition, the city manager is responsible for producing the annual city budget for general operating needs and longer-term capital projects, planning and managing all major city projects, and ensuring the public is well informed and knowledgeable about all city initiatives and activities.

One of the city manager’s most important duties, professionally and personally, is to build a city staff that is dedicated to always serving the public good and providing for that staff the best possible working environment, all needed supplies, and strong moral support to enable our team to meet the goal of excellence in local government.

Pepper comes to Snellville after serving as the City of Oxford Manager in Newton County. He previously worked for the City of Alpharetta’s Economic Development Office.

Pepper earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia.

More information at mpepper@snellville.org.

are fed by humans but not granted access to habitations, cats in subsidized colonies, and cats that are completely feral), owned cats that have access to the outside also pose a large threat. It’s estimated that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.3–4.0 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually.

Many owners don’t believe their cuddly kitty is a killer. A recent study from the University of Georgia attached cameras to sixty pets and found almost half were active hunters. It also revealed that they ate roadkill, lapped at sewer water, and dodged cars. Yikes!

“Through the use of Kitty Cams, our research team measured cat predation on wildlife and quantified common factors threatening the health of owned free roaming cats.” To learn more visit http://www.kittycams.uga.edu/research.html

How can you help? One of the easiest ways to minimize the impact that your cat may be having on local wildlife is to put a bell on its collar. This simple act can give at-risk prey a heads up that your cat is close. Keeping your cat inside at night can reduce kills by 50%. Spaying and neutering helps eliminate the possibility of your cat adding to the feral population.

To take it a step further, trap, spay/neuter, bell, and release neighborhood feral cats. Every little bit helps to preserve other important species inhabiting our world.

Terie Hansen is Owner of Good Dog! Coaching & Pet Care. More information at www.gooddogcoaching.com

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One Man’s Opinion:

Let’s All Give C-SPAN a Hand

During the late 1970s, Brian Lamb, then the Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief of an industry trade publication called Cablevision, proposed a channel on the growing cable spectrum to provide gavel-to-gavel coverage and airing of the U.S. Congress in action. Though a handful of congressional hearings had been televised as early as the Army-McCarthy Senate Hearings of 1954, the day-to-day business of law-making and the many “non-business” functions of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate were largely shielded from public view.

Lamb came up with the concept, and with the help of an early cable TV pioneer, Bob Rosencrans, and an initial investment of $25,000, in 1979, C-SPAN, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, was on the air. Then, and now, a private nonprofit organization, C-SPAN, receives no government funding. The network has a staff of around 250, offering 24-hour coverage and programming across three different programmed networks. C-SPAN’s focus is the U.S. House of Representatives. It covers the U.S. Senate, shifting weekend programming to American History on Saturdays and Book TV on Sundays. It also covers congressional hearings, conferences and public events, campaigns, and press briefings by the White House, as well as members of Congress.

C-SPAN, a unique nonpartisan entity, strives to be apolitical while offering a level of detail and nuance about the Congressional legislative process that surpasses any other news outlet worldwide. It sustains itself through voluntary funding from the cable TV industry, with households paying roughly ten cents per viewer, per channel, per month. These three networks are accessible on approximately 7,900 cable systems in 86 million U.S. households. However, these

Enjoy the Water: Boat Confidently with These Tips

Spending time on the water with your crew this summer? There’s no better place to be! Boating, a longstanding American pastime, has seen a surge in popularity as millions of people recognize it gives you the freedom to explore and is one of the most fun, relaxing ways to escape stress on land. Plus, studies show being on the water improves health and wellness. It makes sense why a record number of newcomers purchased their first boat over the past two years.

Whether you’re new to boating or an experienced captain still navigating best practices for enjoying a day on the water, remember it should be fun, not intimidating. Understanding the basics on what to do and what to bring will help make you a safer, more confident boater while creating lasting memories.

“If you are looking for fun and adventure this summer, on the water with friends and family is where it’s at,” said Ellen Bradley, senior vice president of Discover Boating. “There’s nothing more enjoyable and relaxing than a day on a boat with your favorite people. Before you take the helm, learning the basic boating essentials will help ensure a fun and safe experience for all involved.”

Below are some tips from Discover Boating to improve your nautical know-how in no time to ensure the best possible experience on (and off) the water.

1. Learn the rules of the water. It is important to have the boating information and certifications you need to be a safe and responsible boater. By consulting Discover Boating’s safe boating tips,

numbers are declining as viewers shift to streaming content, particularly in rural and ex-urban areas without fiber or broadband access.

Although perhaps lesser known than CNN (launched in Atlanta on June 1, 1980), C-SPAN has continued to grow its programming and influence. Still, its greatest impact may be the copycat gavel-to-gavel coverage of numerous state legislatures as well as city and county governments across the United States. C-SPAN began coming into its audience and its own as newspaper readership and influence began its wane. Lamb, now 81, is still active as its Board Chairman.

A fixture of cable television for nearly thirty years, C-SPAN is facing financial difficulties as cable penetration decreases and the network refrains from advertising. While other television news networks have adopted the cable news network models, C-SPAN remains a unique news source, refusing to take a side or show any obvious partisan bias.

Congressman and later U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was among the first to use C-SPAN as a megaphone for conservative thinking, giving speeches to a frequently empty House Chamber. C-SPAN’s camera was trained only on the podium and speaker in the well. Gingrich didn’t care if he was giving the remarks at 2 a.m.; he knew they would eventually find their audience. This quickly became such an effective propaganda tool by the GOP for campaign fodder and propaganda that then-House Speaker Tip O’Neil (D-Massachusetts) ordered that its cameras also focus on the empty house floor seats during “order of the day” speeches. This quickly became known as Camscam.

I say now, in C-SPAN’s 45th year, they deserve a strong round of applause for the increased transparency of Congress’s inner workings. Though there are twelve SPANs covering legislatures in states that receive some degree of public funding, C-SPAN does not seek to become part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting nor to become captive to the funding whims of political bodies and officeholders who frequently threaten PBS and its state affiliates with funding cuts tied to programming.

I still have access to C-SPAN content via YouTube.TV, though I am not certain whether YouTube is passing along anything similar to the 30 cents per day per C-SPAN channel, roughly $1 per month, that was coming to them from my cable provider. And though we all have more subscriptions than we probably need these days, I would be more than happy to be giving C-SPAN $10 per month (or more) to keep C-SPAN keeping on. It is time to start giving C-SPAN a hand.

Bill Crane owns the full-service communications firm CSI Crane. More information at www.CSICrane.com

developing a safety checklist and obtaining the necessary training or certificates in your state, you not only protect yourself and your passengers but also other boaters on the water.

2. Take a class. Take the helm and become a confident boater. Sign up for a boating lesson to hone your powerboating, sailing, or watersports skills by mastering the basics while having fun along the way. On-water training courses, watersports camps, youth boating programs, and more are offered across the U.S.

3. Visit a boat show. Boat shows are an ideal place to immerse yourself in the boating lifestyle and provide a unique opportunity to meet face-toface with – and shop – a variety of boat dealers and marine product companies all under one roof. Most boat shows also offer educational opportunities (often complimentary) whether you’re a seasoned skipper looking to improve your skills or a new boater looking for tips on everything from boating safety to navigation and boat operation. Find a boat show in your area.

4. Look for the seal of approval. When shopping for a boat, whether at a boat show, online, or at a dealership, check to make sure it is NMMA Certified. NMMA Certified boat and trailer manufacturers have been independently inspected to ensure they meet strict industry standards for safety and construction, as well as all federal regulations. Look for the NMMA Certified sticker near the helm of a boat.

5. Preserve your boat with proper maintenance. Like cars, there are a few areas that require regular maintenance by the owner, and a few areas that require maintenance at routine intervals, which most leave to the professionals. Prepare a boat maintenance checklist that covers everything from engine needs to cleaning to electrical systems to ensure your boat has a long lifespan.

Enjoy your next boating adventure and be sure to use the social media hashtag #SeeYouOutHere to share your favorite moments on the water. (BPT)

April 2024 Our Town Gwinnett PAGE 15
PAGE 16 Become an Advertising Partner: Info@OurTown Gwinnett.com or 678-825-2049

Alignment…A Word for Your Day

In a recent conversation with a friend, we explored the profound impact of alignment on our journeys. We had not seen each other in several years and found ourselves discussing the importance of staying true to who we are in our current seasons of life and discovered that aligning with our core values and standing firm on them is a key to consistently leading forward in life. We also discovered that we had “connected” and “aligned” years ago that created this lasting bond we were celebrating, and acknowledged that because we had remained connected virtually, it kept the connection aligned and functioning.

Alignment of self requires Awareness, Assessment, Adjustment, and Action to be in the best position to be effective. When you are Aware that something is “off,” you can Assess what is needed. Then you Adjust and take Action to reset the alignment and continue leading forward. That is like driving or being a passenger in an automobile that is out of alignment. The ride is not smooth, it may be difficult to keep in between the lines, and it creates unnecessary wear/tear on the tires. In short, the owner must take action to get the adjustments required to reset the alignment, or it significantly impacts the performance of the vehicle.

The same principle is true with our physical core, the group of muscles in our midsection that stabilizes our spine and pelvis and is vital to physical alignment.

Flush Athletics

Continued from page 8

is by encouraging businesses and take a leap of faith by creating and sponsoring their own travel sports teams. We have hard data that shows the return on investment can be very high if the system is followed closely. Our ultimate goal is for all travel teams to one day be free to all players from all walks of lives. This can only happen if there is prodigious participation from other businesses.”

The passion for giving these students an amazing opportunity is not limited to the sports teams. Once a student graduates high school, they have the opportunity to become an apprentice with Royal Flush Plumbing, learning valuable industry skills that will allow them to advance in their field quickly and make a living that will allow them to continue to increase their opportunities. As these students advance in the plumbing industry, they have the chance to pass on their much-needed skillset and give back to the community that helped them succeed. More information at https://rfpacademy.my.canva.site/flush-baseball

MarketRight Agency

Continued from page 12

school. It was Tom who brought Zaira to the attention of Our Town Gwinnett. Ziara was mentoring 8th graders on how they could start a business. She was the only teenager on the panel working with the younger students, the others were all adults with many years more experience.

MarketRight Agency currently has no office or website, but Zaira finds new clients by attending local events. “I’m always very civically engaged, so that’s how I meet politicians, representatives, etc.,” Zaira explained. “On the business side I meet more people through word of mouth, and by the help of my school always introducing me to new mentors. My clients are my mentors, and they help me market my business and support me. Without my clients I wouldn’t really be anywhere.”

Her schoolwork and business take up a lot of her time, but Zaira enjoys hanging out with her friends, volunteering as a tutor, and helping people to register to vote. She plans to go to college and has been to Boston to visit her older sister who is a student at Boston University. The University of Georgia is also a possibility, as according to Zaira it is the top school for Management Information Systems and merges computer science and business.

“This business is something that I want to keep going,” she said. “Some accounts I’ve worked on have received millions of views, so I’m not going to stop. I want to keep up with it in college.”

Zaira added, “I’m grateful to my parents who have been supportive and helpful. I wouldn’t have my business without them.”

More information at marketrightagency@gmail.com

The stronger our core, the more stable our body. All the muscles in our midsection keep us steady and upright. When our core muscles are weak or compromised, it impacts our daily activities.

When we are unclear about our self-alignment or how to strengthen our core and stand confidently on our story, we experience unnecessary stress and unhealthy influences, and we pursue a path that is contrary to who we are. When we practice the four A’s of alignment, we are better equipped to withstand the pressure or potential detours of life. The key question to ask before making any decision is “How does this align with who I am?”

Alignment is not perfection. “Strive for consistent excellence, not perfection” is a JANEism that I practice. It’s about navigating life with a sense of purpose and genuineness, even in the face of challenges. Think about your core values, your operating system, your relationships, and your ethics. These elements form the essence of who you are. Standing aligned with them, without compromising, strengthens your self-leadership and allows you to stand out in any space or field you find yourself in. “When we align WHO we are with WHERE we are, exceptional results can be experienced.” – A JANEism

More information at www.janeblishoplive.com.

Learning Lessons

Continued from page 13

Bernadette Watts. As you read, ask questions about the behaviors and appearances of different animals. After story time, pretend to be your favorite animal by crawling around on your hands and knees and making animal noises.

Grocery Bag Costumes (Ages 2-6)

Use large brown grocery bags and paper plates you may have around the house to create costumes for imaginary adventures. Cut out holes in the grocery bags to create vests, and decorate your costume pieces using paint, crayons, and markers. Let your child lead as you act out different scenarios while wearing your costumes!

Creating opportunities for children to use their imagination, offering guidance, and participating in the fun is a great way for parents and caregivers to nurture children’s development – and you’ll enjoy quality time together along the way!

Mentoring Matters

Continued from page 13

Tanisha Turner is the Owner of Primrose School at Sugarloaf Parkway. More information at www.PrimroseSugarloafParkway.com or call 770-513-0066. building long-lasting relationships.

Davina Pennington, program support director with Kids Hope USA, says that in Gwinnett, Kids Hope USA is under the leadership of the Community Based Mentoring Program in Gwinnett County Schools where about 145 students are mentored specifically through Kids Hope USA.

Churches and faith-based businesses and organizations can contact Kids Hope USA about starting a mentoring program. Kids Hope USA requires at least one director be appointed, screened, and trained to set up the program at the church. Then they can actively recruit within the church body. The director is also trained on how to screen volunteer mentors, and there’s a clear observance of separation between church and state by mentors. Davina says to lead the program is a significant ask of a director and volunteers, but the rewards are well worth the time and effort.

Often the church already has an existing relationship with a school they want to partner with. If not, Kids Hope USA can introduce a church to a nearby school to see if it may be a good fit.

Churches also include a prayer partner who prays for both the mentor and the student. No confidential information is released. It’s just the simple power of prayer at work.

Mentors in the program are Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support (PBIS) Tier 2 support, which means volunteers aren’t interventionists, counselors, or tutors.

“We are there to build relationships with the kids,” Brandon says. “We can help with homework, play games, and engage in other activities that reinforce academics.”

And while relationships start at the elementary school level, mentoring can continue into middle school and beyond.

Teachers, counselors, and school principals select students who they feel can benefit from mentoring. Brandon stresses that the program is one-on-one mentoring for one hour per week and set up so the student can take part in mentoring during school hours, so there are no additional transportation needs for the students, teachers, staff, and administrators at the school benefit from the additional support mentors provide.

Knowing a person is there for him/her for one hour every week and isn’t paid to be there, communicates something very powerful to that student. It’s a special gift – the gift of time, and a friendship that can last a lifetime.

More information at https://kidshopeusa.org/

April 2024 Our Town Gwinnett PAGE 17
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