October 2018

“Healing is the journey. The destination is yourself.’’

There are times in each of our lives when we feel like we’re stranded in a month of Mondays. The day-to-day dilemmas, drama, and dredge grip us at our ankles, pull on our hearts, and seem to make our mind wander off in any number of directions. Without the blessing of understanding friends who can see through our pride, point out that it’s okay to hurt, and offer their support, we may often find ourselves playing possum, retreating into our shell, or just building up those walls.

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KidsFest & Halloween Safety Tips

On Wednesday, October 31, the City of Woodstock is celebrating Halloween with all our younger ghouls and goblins in The Park at City Center, 101 Arnold Mill Road, from 3:00-8:00pm. As a safe alternative to trick or treating, bring the family, and enjoy activities for children of all ages. With activities such as a moonwalk, DJ Ronnie playing some spooky tunes, Tim the Magician, Adam the Juggler, festive games, and the ever-popular stringed apple and pumpkin bowling, this event is sure to be a haunting good time.

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Fall for Johns Creek

The fall is upon us, the leaves are changing, and at the risk of jinxing us all, the Georgia humidity should finally be behind us. In general, it’s a great time to be out and about and enjoying the community at one of our City events, or in one of our parks and on the trails.

One of our most popular events of note is the Police Department’s annual Trunk or Treat event, which takes place near the Police Department headquarters building in Technology Park on Wednesday, October 24 at 6:00pm. It’s a great opportunity for the kids to dress up and get a jump start on Halloween — especially for the little ones. This fun and safe event has grown so much that we have to continue to find larger parking lots each year. The kiddos have a chance to visit with Johns Creek’s finest, as they move from one police car to the next collecting candy.

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Decisions, Decisions?

Every waking moment we have decisions to make. That is just one of the reasons I enjoy a restful night’s sleep. Each choice we make, or choose not to make, affects our individual timeline of events and often someone else’s. Hit snooze again on that alarm clock? Eggs scrambled or fried? When you get dressed in the morning, you’re often deciding about your behavior the rest of the day. For example, if you put on flip-flops, you probably won’t be doing much running and should be nice to others, especially those wearing sneakers. If you decide to wear a hat because it’s a “bad hair day,” you’re going to have hat head all day, so select a good hat.

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May 2018

After years of writing these perspectives, I must admit that I sometimes find myself struggling to find topics that motivate me enough to begin tapping the keys. Of course, working in an office where your coworkers are often anxiously waiting on you, so they can edit and design around your ponderings to meet an already extended deadline, adds to the stress and freedom of thoughts that the “squirrels at a party” inside my head have already scattered. On a few occasions, I’ve resorted to jumping on the web and typing in a random character trait out of curiosity to see what inspires me. I do hope you’ll forgive me.

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City of Woodstock Announces Upcoming Bacon & Banjos Schedule

The Bacon & Banjos festival will be held on May 19, 11:00am-6:00pm, at Northside Hospital - Cherokee Amphitheater.

Presented by VisitWoodstockGa.com, this first annual festival will feature a convergence of bacon-flavored food and the downhome sounds of bluegrass music all in one event.

Focusing on the music of north Georgia favorites such as Cedar Hill, Curtis Jones and Primal Roots, The Wiseman Brothers, Frances Mooney and Fontana Sunset, Honeywood, and Blue Road will take to the main stage throughout the day. Festival-goers can browse food and restaurant vendors that will be selling their best bacon creations. These creations will also be sampled by a panel of judges for Bacon & Banjos accolades.

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Johns Creeks’ Great Outdoor Amenities

As our warmer and normal spring-time temperatures have finally overcome the winter chill, it’s that time of year to take our active lifestyles outside again, and enjoy all that our city has to offer.

Between Johns Creek’s four parks, three national park recreation areas, and thirteen miles of the Chattahoochee River, outdoor opportunities abound. The City staff is continuing to move forward with construction documents and design concepts on five new parks as well. Please be on the lookout for document access notifications on the City’s Facebook and Twitter sites, on your neighborhood NextDoor platform, and via the City’s monthly electronic newsletter.

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Fill Your Summer with Family Fun

After a cold winter and rainy spring, I’m looking forward to the warmer summer months, spending time outside with my family. Though I have to admit, the rain has been a real plus — it’s nice to see Georgia’s lake levels back up and the Level 1 drought restrictions lifted after several years.

Spring is always a busy time around the Lockwood house because this is when I’m preparing to plant my garden. I typically plant beans, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. I plan to add corn this year. I’ve even purchased thirteen baby chicks, so our family is looking forward to some much healthier and tastier eggs.

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Get Lost

When I first got started working with magazines back in the mid-nineties, I was doing quite a bit of traveling around the southeast. Driving from town to town provided ample opportunities to meet people of many different walks of life. One day I might find myself in a chicken house antique shop on a backroad in Carrollton, Georgia, rummaging through a box of dusty, leather-bound, pre-Civil War books, and on another day I might be pulled over on a gravel patch next to Lake Eufaula to take a few casts at a largemouth bass and chat with a local before zipping off to sell an advertisement based on some random concept that I thought up while changing lures. Being on the road has always had a way of making me think. There was always someone somewhere with a story to tell that made me feel at home wherever I happened to be.

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Stay Connected in Woodstock

The City of Woodstock believes that excellent, open communication is essential in encouraging civic engagement. Excellent communication provides a better understanding of each party’s purpose, views, and goals. By fostering an environment where citizens are informed and involved, the City of Woodstock will continue to excel as an ideal city in which to live, work, and play.

We encourage our residents and businesses to “Stay Connected,” and here are some ways you can do just that:

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What Makes Milton So Special?

March is always an exciting time for families. Local schools are more than halfway through the school year, and spring break is just around the corner.

Just like many families are checking off annual financial tasks, it’s also a key time financially for local government. The City of Milton is halfway through its fiscal year, and it’s at this point that we begin the early steps of budget planning. This fiscal year has been a little more challenging for schools and cities alike because of the delayed property tax assessments from Fulton County. Despite those difficulties, I’m proud of how our City staff responded to keep citizens informed, and the proactive approach our finance department has taken in helping us shift how we report tax revenues going forward.

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February 2018

We have all been there.

At some point in our life, someone got their feelings bent over something you accidentally did. Let that sink in — it wasn’t in your design. Sometimes, we find opportunities to help others and accidentally make things worse. For instance, rushing to open a door for someone who has their arms full and unknowingly sliding a wrinkle in the doormat, causing them to stumble. Other examples may include pushing in a chair for someone as they sit down and having one of the chair legs break; tossing them their keys and seeing those keys fall straight into the sewer drain; or sliding them their beverage and watching it all go into slow motion when the cup bumps against their plate as a wave of sweet tea washes their dinner into their lap.

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How Woodstock Fire Department Marketing Benefits Citizens

Recently, the City of Woodstock has started “marketing” the fire department. Why would we need to do that? Who benefits from this marketing? Obviously, serving the Woodstock community is a high priority. However, how citizens are served has changed over the years. Of course, emergency calls are still handled, but the list of how the Woodstock Fire Department (WFD) serves in addition to emergency situations has expanded. Here are some examples of how the WFD is now marketed:

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A Letter From Roswell’s New Mayor, Lori Henry

There is a new energy in Roswell, which is born of new leadership and new attitudes. As Roswell’s first female mayor, communication and transparency are my cornerstones in building a more open and accountable city government.

As a first step, we have begun to utilize technology to encourage citizens to participate in city government by video recording all City Council, committee, and work session meetings, which are then posted on the City of Roswell website within 24 hours. Our next goal is to redefine “being there” by live streaming these events. The heart of Roswell is her people, and increased transparency and accountability are keys to an informed and respectful debate on the direction we are heading and what we want to be as a city.

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January 2018

Well, I hope everyone is finished with their to-do lists from 2017 because like it or not, the new year is upon us. With challenges and changes of her own, the upcoming year promises to keep us on our toes and ready for action. Best to not be too concerned or anxious about it, the only thing we can do is be prepared. So, get ready now; get pumped up — here it comes.

Sometimes, when it seems like we have so many things on our plate, we may find ourselves wondering if we can possibly handle anything else. We will make mistakes. We will fail and falter. That is when we must reach into our bag of tricks, pull out our faith card, and make things happen. It is exercise that makes our bodies healthier and more fit. In that same fashion, our faith also gets stronger when we exercise it and lift our problems up.

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New Park Coming to Woodstock

In the Fall of 2017, City officials, together with Greenprints Alliance, announced plans for a new park in Woodstock. The yet unnamed park will be located off Trickum Road, on the east side of the city, where limited park and recreation opportunities exist.

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Milton's Long-Term Vision — Enhancing the Quality of Life for All Residents

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. It’s even harder to believe that I’m heading into my fourth and final term as Milton’s mayor. I am humbled by the support offered during the recent election, and I’m honored to serve Milton residents for another four years. Together, we’ve accomplished so much in a short period of time. Every chance I get, I tell people that Milton wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of our residents.

While we’ve accomplished a lot, there’s still so much more we can do. In my last term, I look forward to growing our tax base by maximizing our economic development efforts in our Deerfield/Highway 9 commercial corridor, working with county and state officials to ensure that we have a fair and accurate property tax appraisal and assessment process, fully executing the city’s greenspace strategy, and delivering the next generation of parks and trails to the citizens of Milton.

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December 2017

Have you ever stopped to wonder how much you might have in common with Santa — not regarding the jolly physique that may mean extra padding around your waist after Thanksgiving and Christmas, making you want to join a gym the next week — but regarding the fact that he is a symbol of giving without expectation? Of course, there is a correlation there that simply cannot go unnoticed. However, sometimes, we may discover a little more of that giving spirit within us. The holidays are some of those special times.

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Christmas in Downtown Woodstock

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And Woodstock traditions and events make this time of year even more special for our community. Kick off the Christmas season with Christmas in Downtown on December 1, 6:00-9:00pm. Do some Christmas shopping in downtown Woodstock, as stores stay open late.

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Award-Winning Johns Creek Seeks Citizen Input to Maintain Excellence

Johns Creek recently received two notable accolades being named as one of the most successful cities in Georgia (Zippia.com/advice/most-successful-cities-in-georgia/), and for the second consecutive year, we have been recognized as the fourth best city to live in America (247WallSt.com/special-report/2017/10/12/americas-50-best-cities-to-live-2/2/).

As impressive as the two accolades are on their own, it’s even more remarkable when reflecting on the many superlative lists Johns Creek has been recognized in over the past couple of years (JohnsCreekGa.gov/live-work-play). From the safest city and tops in education, to premier residential living, Johns Creek continues to be a highly sought-after community in which to live, work and play.

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