Todd Cline

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CLINE: The lack of commercial appeal

These days live TV is my main, and usually only, impetus to sit through commericials. In the age of streaming and DVRing, there’s no need to spend a minute (or even 30 seconds) away from your show of choice. In fact, I barely know what days the shows I watch actually air; they are just collected and watched when the schedule permits, commericials relegated to fast forward.

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CLINE: A look back at the people (and columns) of 2013

The world can be a rough place, something we are reminded of on a daily basis, especially if you work for a newspaper. That’s one of the reasons I tend to lean toward the fun, positive and uplifting when it comes to my personal column. We can all use a pick-me-up at times, and I hope relaying occassional feel-good stories achieves that (for me and the readers).

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CLINE: Buford girls basketball team great example for Christmas giving

Sue Rudnik is a big fan of the Buford High School girls basketball team. And not because of their prowess on the court. Over the years, the team coached by Gene Durden has made it a tradition to sponsor children from Division of Family and Children Services (DFACS).

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CLINE: Enjoying traditions of the season

Those of you who travel for the holidays know about the pressure of getting everything done on time. The Christmas season brings with it some inherent stress with all the tasks that need to be completed, and deadlines get moved up when they have to be finished in time to drive or fly to your destination.

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CLINE: A Toys for Tots tradition

Doug Reid’s 15th Annual Toys for Tots event will be held Friday through Sunday at Suite 110 in the Village Shoppes at Creekside, located at 860 Duluth Highway in Lawrenceville.

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CLINE: The story of John J. Thrasher, founder of Norcross

After making the family connection, David Sumner, now a journalism professor at Ball State University, became enthralled with his ancestor’s history. Two years ago he published a short book entitled “Railroad Man” — which the city of Norcross now distributes at its welcome center.

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CLINE: Making an impact at Moore Middle

Lamont Mays molding new Lawrenceville school

What stands out at Moore is the STEP Academy, a program designed for at-risk, over-aged eighth-grade students that allows them to complete eight and ninth grade course work in one school year. Those who complete the program transition to 10th grade and remain on track to graduate with their peers.

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CLINE: The true story of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura

After watching the piece on “60 Minutes,” I dare you to come away without thanks for what you have and without a feeling that you really should do more with it. At its heart, that is what this story is. As Chavez says: “The world sends us garbage. We send back music.”

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CLINE: A unique Eagle Scout project

The race is to benefit the charity Better Health for Haiti, which was started by Mark Coughlin, an assistant coach at Peachtree Ridge who runs with and helps train Isaac Penman and his teammates. For Penman it was a win-win situation, a chance to create an Eagle Scout project that included running and supported his coach.

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CLINE: Cecil Flowe leaves a legacy at Parkview

What I have always liked most about Cecil is how human he is. When he was upset you knew it, and when he was elated you knew that too. He was honest with his feelings, and I think the players picked up on that.

CLINE: Keep local food banks in mind

This is just one of many promotions you’ll hear about around Gwinnett, as various businesses and groups pitch in to help local food banks. A thumbs up goes to Holtkamp for spearheading this drive. The company’s website said its mission is twofold — to raise both food for struggling families and awareness for the need to continue to do so, especially outside of the holiday season when there is a heavier focus to help.

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CLINE: A legacy of love for Right to Hike

To me, that’s where Right to Hike stands out — hitting the right notes of helping and healing, of being fun yet poignant.

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CLINE: A slow, but Sweet(water) commute

Craft beer is like a lot of things: You think you are an afficianado until you find people who really are. I enjoy drinking (and reading about) all styles of craft beer, seeking out unique brands and styles at the liquor and growler stores. But I met my match in Denver.

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CLINE: Great Days is Gwinnett at its best

Whether it was students bringing in canned food, young adults doing landscaping work or professionals working on high-end projects, Great Days of Service had projects that worked for all ages. And though it can’t be calculated like the aforementioned numbers, that feeling of what it’s like to give back to your community may be the most impactful part of the event.

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CLINE: Teaching awards provide nice recognition

But all awards are not equal, and some do a better job than others in bringing deserved recognition to the people (and their profession) that are nominanted. Which is why I like the yearly Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year competition, which announced its list of 26 semifinalists this week.