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Each year, Fort Worth Weekly publishes a Best List, listing the best businesses, services and people in the city. This year, Wanda made the critic's choice list as Best Old Gal. (on page 61.)
If you have not picked up a copy of their print edition, or visited them online at fweekly.com, here is the editorial:
"Having just turned 85, Wanda Conlin is certainly entitled
to some spare time. She's long been a tireless advocate for
economic and environmental improvements on the East Side.
For 17 years, she has published the Greater Meadowbrook News,
a paper delivered free to thousands of Eastside households. The
final print edition went to press in late August, although it's still
published online. Conlin shows no signs of slowing down her
efforts on behalf of her neighbors."
GMN readers know how hard Wanda works for all of us on the Eastside, but it is especially sweet when another publication recognizes her hard work and tells the rest of Fort Worth just how important she is to this city. Congratulations Wanda!
David Cooke became Fort Worth's city manager June 30, 2014, following a national search. With extensive experience in high growth urban areas, Cooke has
provided myriad local government services to the City of Charlotte and
Wake County, both in North Carolina.
His experience includes managing large public organizations with
growing capital infrastructure and daily public service needs. The City of Charlotte
is approaching 800,000 in population and Wake County is approaching one million citizens.
In January 2014, he was hired by Mulkey Engineers and Consultants, a full service civil engineering firm located in Cary, N.C., to be its newest principal and director of business development. As Deputy County Manager for Wake County he oversaw an organization of 3,600 employees with a $1.2 billion operating budget.
Cooke was instrumental in leading 13 successful bond referenda, and helped recruit companies like Fidelity Investments, Novartis, and Metlife to Wake County. He successfully implemented partnerships with municipalities, including the development and operation of a regional landfill, the planning and implementation of the Raleigh Convention Center, the Neuse River Greenway, open space acquisitions, and public
Cooke received his undergraduate from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982 and continued at the university to
receive a masters in public administration in 1984.
Read more in Running With Wanda on the Neighborhood News page.
by Wanda Conlin
With a quick shift in speakers East Fort Worth Business Association had a fun and very informative September meeting on their usual first Thursday of the month date, More than thirty members and guest took the time to network and chow down on the good food prepared for us by Paul and Rosco at Smokey’s.
The speaker was Malcolm Wentworth from Texans Can Academy, who graciously stepped in at a moment’s notice when Leonard Firestone had to go out of town. Wentworth had been scheduled for October, but when I notified him that we needed him in the next two days he didn’t hesitate. I heard back from him within ten minutes that he would be delighted. We hope that Mr. Firestone will reschedule for October.
The topic of Wentworth’s presentation was Texas Can Academy which has recently opened a new facility on East Lancaster in the shelter area. Our association had been in opposition to this during the period of time when the relocation was happening. This was not from any opposition to the school, but to the positioning of young people in a bad area.
Wentworth explained the reason for the location by telling us that the reasoning would be that when the students, who are in school by their own choice, saw what bad things can happen to people their choice would be to stay in school and prepare themselves for a better life. Young people who come to the school have already made bad choices and are not in school. Can Academy does not compete with other schools for regular students. Their thrust is to find the drop outs and teach them how to read and become successful, productive citizens. Most of the student body is there because a friend has told them it’s a good place to be.
Wentworth gave surprising statistics. This is a regular charter school. They try to keep the ratio of istructors to students at 15 to 1. They have a day care facility for the students who have children, and a for-profit business wrapped within the school to help with jobs. There is no waiting list because a student can show up, go through the enrollment proceedures, and be in class the same day. This is any day of the year, with two four hour sessions during the day to accommodate the students possible work schedule. Their major objective is to get the students, who average a fourth grade reading skill, to become proficient in reading. They recognize that if you can’t read you can’t succeed.
The goal is for 300 students in the facility on East Lancaster. During the first two weeks of the school year they have 200. The graduation rate is phenomenal when it’s recognized that these were dropouts. The age ranges from 14 to 21.
Wentworth was asked a lot of questions from these small business owners who have seen the effect on the community of an undereducated work force. The assembled group got a lot of information about an organization which can be a very positive part of our East Fort Worth Family.
photo by Tobi Jackson
The Handley Neighborhood Association gathered in numbers on Monday September 8th to honor longtime East Fort Worth advocate, Wanda Conlin, for years of service to the community. The recognition was for years of community activism and publication of Greater Meadowbrook News. With the advent of Conlin’s 85th birthday and the ending of the print edition of the paper, Association President Judy Taylor decided not to wait until Wanda was dead to tell her how much Handley appreciated the help and encouragement which had been given through the years.
Mayor Betsy Price was on hand to present a Certificate of Appreciation and a gift from the City Council. Price told the audience how much the council appreciated the fact that Wanda had not only communicated with them when she disagreed over a decision, but the words of appreciation and support even when there was disagreement.
Councilman Danny Scarth agreed that even when Conlin disagreed with him she did it with love and respect. Councilwoman Gyna Bivens praised Conlin for her honesty and willingness to help with any problem. School Board Trustee Tobi Jackson gave Conlin credit for changing the attitude of the community toward the East Fort Worth schools.
Testimony from Judy Taylor spoke of love and trust she felt for Conlin, Paul Kerpoe and Nedria Dryden both thanked Conlin for help in understanding the way city government works.
The most touching testimony came from Wanda Conlin’s husband, Don Boren. He gave the definition of a lady is how comfortable she makes people feel. In his words, “Wanda has the ability to bring people together. She treats everyone with the same respect and kindness. She works tirelessly for the community, and never feels like she had done enough.” His praise ended with, “I’m the lucky one.”
It was a fun party with great food, flowers, presents, and cake. It was truly a love fest shared by friends who have become entertwined by their love for East Fort Worth.
Historic Handley has started a letter writing campaign to Jay Jay Café American Food. Jay Jay's has two locations in Arlington, one at S. Bowen, and the other on Little Road. The owners have expressed an interest in expanding to another location.
Historic Handley wants them to expand in the Handley area, specificially over at the empty property once occupied by the hotel. Handley has started a letter writing campaign to the owners encouraging them to come to East Fort Worth. If you visit either location, please tell the owners you would enjoy having them closer to home.
On August 27, 2014 at 10:00am, Bank of America opened a Time Capsule buried 50 years ago. This capsule was set in concrete at the front of the bank when it was built and opened as First National Bank in 1964. This was just 4 months after the assassination of President John F Kennedy.
In the time capsule was a collection of items: a small Bible, coins, a dog's sock toy, newspapers, a magazine, letters written to young grandchildren (who would now be adults) and what will prove to be very interesting, a roll of undeveloped film (with photos of the event in 196?).
There were 2 reels of film provided by WBAP TV, one is of the speech given by President Kennedy in Fort Worth, only a few hours before he was killed in Dallas.
Councilwoman Gyna Bivens (District 5) was on hand to
greet the group gathered:
students from Saint Rita Catholic School, the Eastern Hills High School ROTC Color Guard
who presented the flags and led the Pledge of Alliegance.
Bank dignitaries, the building owner, various neighborhood association members, business owners and citizens who were living in the area as children, came to see what was in the time capsule.
Big trucks going by drowned out some of what was being said, but I believe the bank will display the items. Bank of America is on Lancaster Avenue, across from the Police and Saint Rita.
Photos from this event are on the Neighborhood News, photos by Charles Hodges are on the School News page.