The fight continues against Concrete Plant

The fight continues against Concrete Plant
Thursday, July 13, from 6–8pm
 learn more about the TCEQ permit process when you attend a public meeting at Nolan Catholic High School.
by Linda Fulmer
Alex and I spoke with Sheldon Wayne with the Public Interest Council at TCEQ this morning. The Public Interest Council is supposed to represent the interests of the public in these matters; althouogh, they are not permitted to represent any specific group of individuals.

Continue reading “The fight continues against Concrete Plant”

Keep America Beautiful Presents 
Polytechnic’s Ana Gomez
with 2016 Youth Recognition Award

Fort Worth, TX – Ana Gomez received a Keep America Beautiful Youth Recognition Award at the annual Keep America Beautiful National Awards program, which took place during the recent 2016 Keep America Beautiful National Conference in Orlando, Florida. Ana Gomez was nominated by her Polytechnic High School teacher Jamie Cox.
Ana Gomez distinguished herself for her outstanding community work at Polytechnic High School. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful consists of a national network of more than 600 community-based affiliates whose programs, initiatives and efforts, supported by millions of volunteers, help transform public spaces into beautiful places.
Ana, a junior at Polytechnic High School, has been working hard to keep Fort Worth beautiful since she joined her school’s Environmental Club as a freshman. She is in the Engineering Program of Choice program at Poly, which has a unit on Environmental Engineering. Ana totally embraced the unit when it was covered, and her concern for the environment increased immensely. Although new to campus, she immediately embraced the importance of reducing litter and “reducing, reusing, and recycling”. Her first litter cleanup experience for the community was the fall Trinity River Water District (TRWD) Trash Bash in 2013. She loved the opportunity to volunteer in her community, and it led her to volunteer for more cleanup activities in the Fort Worth Area. These include the Cowtown Great American Cleanup, additional TRWD Fall and Spring Trash Bashes, Poly Environmental Club’s Weekly Trash Bash on campus, and cleaning Sycamore Park through her schools monthly Adopt a Park cleanup program.
“Ana has been attending Keep Fort Worth Beautiful board meetings since last summer as well as participating on periodic calls with Keep America Beautiful and is enthusiastically working to make her high school a litter free campus. It is exciting to watch!” said Debbie Branch of Keep Fort Worth Beautiful.
The Keep America Beautiful Youth Recognition Awards are open to individuals, youth groups or schools for program activities taking place in the past year.
“Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards celebrates some of our country’s most dedicated community leaders – representatives from our affiliates and partner organizations – who personify the words imagine, inspire and transform through the work they help lead every day to keep America beautiful in local communities nationwide,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO, Jennifer Jehn. “It’s my privilege to honor Ana Gomez and celebrate her dedication to making their community become more socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound through the Keep Fort Worth Beautiful program.”
Keep America Beautiful’s National Conference, its premier educational and networking event, brought together more than 350 leaders from Keep America Beautiful’s national network of more than 600 state and community-based affiliates, business leaders, policymakers and other experts who shared innovative ideas and proven strategies to help end littering, improve recycling, and beautify America’s communities.

About Keep Fort Worth Beautiful
The mission of Keep Fort Worth Beautiful (KFWB) is to educate and engage Fort Worth residents and businesses to take responsibility for improving their community environment. KFWB programs include backyard composting classes, America Recycles Day (formally known as Shred Day) and the Fort Worth Earth Party. The signature event of Keep Fort Worth Beautiful is the Cowtown Great American Cleanup – now in its 31st year. In addition KFWB will also provide litter cleanup supplies to any community group conducting a cleanup at any time throughout the year. To learn more visit the webpage at www.fortworthtexas.gov/KFWB. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country where every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering in America, improve recycling in America, and beautify America’s communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. To learn how you can donate or take action, visit kab.org. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

We need Tiny Houses in Fort Worth

Fort Worth Needs a Tiny Home Village! One for Millenials & Retirees who want to live tiny, another to help end Homelessness!
Dear Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and City Council Members, Homeless Commission & Zoning Commission Members
by Kathryn Kroll, President of Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood Association
Why can’t we find a place here in the city (but NOT on the Eastside) to build a tiny home village like this?
Here is a story about a group in Missouri who have found a way to solve homelessness for Veterans. There is a similar community just down the road in Austin that you can use as your “feasibility case study.”
My suggestion is to start the first community for homeless in an industrial area with a structure that could be converted to a community resources center/ kitchen and showers. It would put these houses in a job-central location, away from traditional residential locations.
Another Tiny Home Village area should be created for all the retirees who want to downsize but do not want to live in an apartment or retirement home, and for millenials who cannot afford traditional housing, but want to settle down and establish roots in a community of smaller, more affordable homes.
Both age groups are looking for a legal, zoned just for them location to park their tiny homes. Zoning needs to consider this housing trend in housing and get on it while the housing market has little competition for tiny villages.
Fort Worth could be the national leader in Tiny Home Villages, and infill the city with tax paying citizens! Over 60 THOUSAND people attended the Tiny Home Jamboree, a 3-day weekend event this summer in Colorado Springs, showcasing small cottage size homes, many on trailer frames to be mobile. Commercial tiny home builders and DIY kit manufacturers were there. Sixty thousand attendees is a small sampling of just how many people are interested in living in a tiny home!!
I have been promoting this idea for a Tiny Home Village since I discovered tiny homes a few years ago. (I plan to have one built to my specifications when I retire.)
Even allowing 4 tiny homes to share one traditional lot would help with urban infill and provide a low cost housing option. Four tiny homes on one lot would use as much water as a family of 5 in a single traditional home.

Here is another article about a tiny home community for veterans that’s completely finished in St. Petersburg.
“But wait, there’s more!”
Texas Monthly (magazine & website) reported on this tiny home village near Amarillo:
http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-post/texas-using-tiny-houses-solve-big-problem/
“The benefits of housing the homeless in tiny homes are manifold: they’re cheap and quick to construct, aesthetically quaint, environmentally friendly, and save cities tens of thousands of dollars with each person who gets to live in one. Thanks to donations and volunteers, Denning’s home in Amarillo will cost just $2,000 for Yellow City Community Outreach, the non-profit organization building his tiny abode. According to the Globe-News, this is the first of many tiny homes Yellow City hopes to build in Amarillo.”

The tiny village for the homeless in Austin is called Community First Village. Here is their website: http://mlf.org/community-first/.

I think several smaller versions of this could be located in each quadrant of Fort Worth without disrupting existing housing values. The villages could be futuristic, implementing solar power and LED lighting, organic gardening, upcycling craft center & retail store.
ONCE people have a real roof over their head, and a door they can shut and lock (something they never get in a shelter situation) then they are no longer HOMELESS.
Now they are just poor, in need of many medical and social services, but not out roaming the streets, resorting to crime to survive.
We should treat our fellow human better than we do pets and livestock.
Please implement this idea! Let me know how I can help. –KEK

Ryanwood – Handley Community Meeting with Police, City, Housing

Ryanwood – Handley Community Meeting with Police, City, Housing
East Fort Worth communities surrounding Ryanwood and Handley came together with Police and local leaders to discuss the effects affordable housing might make on a community. The meeting with Q & A lasted 2 hours. Attendees were engaged the entire time.
The myth that affordable housing causes problems was dispelled in exchange for the thought that responsible housing owners can and will make for positive community improvement. Though the subjects of crime from multiple housing was a big issue, the examples of three units in particular, Palm Tree, Quail Ridge and Handley Oaks apartments were discussed. These examples of how communication and cooperation between responsible owners, City Police, Code Officers and community leaders can make positive impact on the community.
Police Captain Michael A. Shedd and Allen Speed answered a lot of questions, and told ofthe Police Department’s plans to improve these areas.

Capt. Shedd had these additional comments after the meeting:
“During the meeting, it came to my attention that we might have an opportunity to enforce our Crime Free Multi-housing ordinance. Officer Speed mentioned that there were some apartment communities that were not in compliance but we weren’t issuing citations. Those fines could be up to $2000 each day. Following the meeting, I approached Officer Speed and asked him for a list of apartments that weren’t in compliance.
From my perspective, it isn’t fair to the apartment communities that are in compliance, if we aren’t enforcing the ordinance. Furthermore, it isn’t fair to the community that wanted the ordinance in the first place.
A second point I took away from the meeting was there might be a possibility to enlist volunteers to improve the look of the various apartment communities in our neighborhoods. A fresh coat of paint, a clean parking lot, trimmed bushes, and freshly painted lines for parking will go a long way towards improving the look and might help the property owners increase their rent. Increased rents might translate into improved clientele. I hope to bring this up with my Economic Development Committee and develop strategies. My emphasis will be on locally owned properties.
Finally, I think there is an opportunity to partner with Fort Worth and Tarrant County Housing. They mentioned the good neighbor classes for those with vouchers. Following the meeting, I met with Ms. Mitchell and she extended an offer to allow me to send an officer to those classes to offer training on Code Blue. That could be a unique recruiting opportunity, and allow us to engage tenants in our efforts to deter crime.
In that way, they become more part of the community. It might also be beneficial to approach the apartment communities about hosting some sort of “welcome to the community” event to allow members of the various neighborhood associations to introduce themselves and extend an invitation to become part of their community.”
Time was spent discussing the fact that irresponsible apartment owners are negatively impacting the area with crime, code issues and deflating property values. Along with business owners who allow activities with crime, drugs, gaming on their properties is making our lives miserable.
As for solutions, I can not say they were the total outcome, yet we believe the City listened and people saw the faces of leaders with Housing, Police and Code willing to work together as a unit.
Can we, will we, make a difference, remains to be seen, but 50 people came together to listen and communicate. With 5 days of a holiday weekend being the time frame where this meeting was planned the organizers feel we had a tremendous response of City, State, Federal and Community in attendance.
Flora Brewer of Palm Tree Apartments has a great example of what dedication, determination and work can accomplish. The complex is an inspiration to those who look into what is happening there. She took Palm Tree Apts., 1965 from failing and loosing money, with multiple violations, to a profitable business. 100 % section 8 residents, she has 80% occupancy, ZERO violations.
Eric Vodicka from the Neighborhood Services Department has been communicating with the Asssociation presidents and has detailed the plan going forward:
For the Community
Engagement portion of our Assessment of Fair Housing, the City has opted to hold Public Meetings in each Council District through the months of July and August. We were initially attempting to use local community group meetings as a platform for these events, but there were quite a lot of issues with facilitating the amount of time and space required for an event of this nature. Based off of the interest expressed by many of the Councilmembers in this process, we have opted to do these events at community centers and other local venues in each of the districts.
With that said, we strongly encourage each of you to reach out to your community groups and plan to attend and participate in this process. This is an opportunity to allow the community members to have an intricate part in the Affordable Housing planning process, and gain a better understanding of what the City aims to achieve, and the different roles associated with groups throughout the City. The agenda of the meeting is still being designed with our partners in the process, Fort Worth Housing Solutions and UTA. Once I have a completed agenda, it will be posted with the public meeting notice for each district.
This event is still in the planning process, with all the details currently being worked out; but if you have questions, feel free to contact me directly and I will be happy to help!
Below are the scheduled dates and times for our Community Outreach Events for each Council District:
District 2:
Northside Community Center; Senior Facility room 
10-Aug, 7:00-9:00 PM

District 3: CM Byrd, 
Como Community Center; Kids Café room, 
14-Aug, 7:00-9:00 PM

District 4: CM Moon
North Park YMCA; Multi-purpose room, 1-Aug 7:00-9:00 PM

District 5: CM Bivens
MLK Community Center: Community room
20-Jul, 7:00-9:00 PM

District 6: CM Jordan
Chisholm Trail Community Center;
Multi-Purpose room
12-Jul, 7:00-9:00 PM

District 7: CM Shingleton
Eaton High school (Northwest ISD);
Student Union room
7-Aug, 7:00-9:00 PM
UNTHSC; MET room 109-1011
8-Aug, 7:00-9:00 PM

District 8: CM Gray
Bethlehem Center; Gym
31-July @ 7:00-9:00 PM

District 9: CM Zadeh
Worth Heights Community center;
Activity Room 4
3-Aug, 7:00PM-9:00 PM

Eric Vodicka, Planner
Neighborhood Service Department
(817) 392-7583

Observations from some of the attenders:
“I thought it was interesting to learn that the apartments with the most crime do not have any residents with section 8 assistance. Maybe if this is widely known, it can change the way people look at section 8 vouchers.”
“Positive, working owner templates and models should be used to drive improvements at failing apartments. A multitude of regs and statutes are on the books to block irresponsible apartment owners. Section 8 requirements have some of the most demanding rules. A felony will get you evicted. Section 8 doesn’t equal crummy apartment complex. In fact Section 8 apartments are among the most successful and well run. ”
“I felt encouraged and appreciative that so many city staff, police officers, and community members were present at this meeting. It is a first step toward positive change for neighborhoods impacted by neglectful and irresponsible owners and management of Multi family properties. As a community I hope that we continue to support our successful and conscientious multi family property owners such as Mel Ashton of Handley Oaks.”
One person said “this is the most productive meeting on the subject I have attended, something I thought I would have have found at one of the other meetings”.

If you were not aware of the meeting, the neighborhood association presidents each said “Join your neighborhood association. Get your name on the official neighborhood mailing list. Get involved!”
Neighborhood Associations are the first rung in the city leadership ladder. The Mayor and City Council members personally know the NA presidents in their districts, and they do listen to what comes from these organizations. Citizen participation gets results.

Texas Returns Life Insurance Benefits — and Closes an Expensive Loophole

Texas Returns Life Insurance Benefits — and Closes
an Expensive Loophole

(AUSTIN) — Since fiscal 2013, the Comptroller’s office has returned more than $41 million in unpaid life insurance benefits to its rightful owners. We examine the issue of life insurance — and an important new Texas law affecting it — in the latest issue of Fiscal Notes.

Traditionally, life insurance companies were not required to pay benefits, even when they knew an insured person had passed away, unless they were notified by the beneficiaries. That practice even allowed companies to continue drawing on a deceased person’s policy for premium payments, sometimes until its value ran out.

“I’m proud to say Texas has joined 24 other states by adopting a new law that shifts the responsibility of notification away from beneficiaries, giving the insured some additional peace of mind,” Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “This policy change will also have a significant impact on one of our agency’s key responsibilities — the return of unclaimed property by reuniting lost benefits with the families of loved ones.”

In this issue, we also look at the work of our Economic Growth and Endangered Species Management Division, which works with university scientists, federal regulators, industry stakeholders and communities to ensure we can protect endangered species in a way that also preserves private property rights and local economies.

Fiscal Notes is available online and also can be received by subscribing via the Comptroller’s website. An additional, online exclusive details how to search and claim unpaid life insurance proceeds.

Fiscal Notes helps promote and further explain the Comptroller’s constitutional responsibility to monitor the state’s economy and estimate state government revenues. It has been published since 1975, featuring in-depth analysis concerning state finances and original research by subject-matter experts in the Comptroller’s office.

The fight continues in Concrete Plant application

The fight continues in Concrete Plant application
“Team Little Guys” needs you to get involved to stop this plant.

The TCEQ survey was extended! We are now in the middle of another 30 day timeframe to post comments. At this point there are 513 comments on their site, we need more, my thought another 500 would be wonderful. Please help us get more people to send their opposition, more than one report is accepted if people would consider another statement.
Add your comments TODAY. You can file an electronic statement easily by using the link below and the registration number:
http://www14.tceq.texas.gov
Registration Number 146263
Act NOW, and ask friends and relatives to join us in this fight.

The July 13 meeting, brought to us by Representative Nicole Collier, is going to be extremely important because the more bodies they see in the room, the more impact it will make on these people from Austin.
We will listen and respectfully ask questions, before they return home to make a decision. This is not a time when people will be allowed to make speeches, we will be hosting people from many other areas and need to show them what great RESPECTFUL people we can be.
Plan to be on your best behavior, we can do this. We may not be big business but we are community. So far we have been seen by the city, who then wrote a beautiful Resolution to TCEQ asking for denial of Mr Hall’s permit request. (resolution link published below)
This is an ongoing issue and you need to keep up daily with where we stand. Will Mr. Hall apply for another Zone Change, or keep trying new aproaches, hoping to catch us not watching. (slim chance of THAT happening, there are more of us than he realizes.)

TCEQ MEETING is July 13
This meeting with TCEQ and representatives at Nolan High School, Thursday, July 13, 6-8pm will be important for many reasons.
1. We will get a better understanding of how they can help.
2. Why they can not help.
3. Show them through numbers that this is something that will not be accepted along East 1st Street.
4. It will bring even more attention to our case.
My understanding is we will listen, ask questions then they will go home and hopefully work to protect us.
Take time now to mark your calendar, then invite others to join with us at Nolan High School ready to listen and ask your questions in a positive way with respect for everyone. This is not a time to be combative we have to take the high road regardless what is being said and done by others.
We are being told Mr Hall is planning to attend, this is our chance for him to see our determination with numbers attending.
Possibly there will be some kind of change presented that can help us all.
Please help us get the word to hundreds of concerned citizens.
UPDATE! June 20, 2017
from Judy Taylor, Handley Neighborhood Association: 
The City needs to know we appreciate and support their efforts. Please post this link on your Facebook, Nextdoor and send an email to friends and relatives, we need to be seen as concerned about our community and city. I think that at the very least, we need to encourage people to go online today, June 20, and post comments supporting the resolution.
That can be done online:
http://apps.fortworthtexas.gov/council_packet/create_council_agenda.asp
Scroll down to XX: Resolutions.
Click on the Speaker / Comment button
A Resolution Opposing the Application for an Air Quality Standard Permit to East First Recycling LLC, (Registration No. 146263) for a Permanent Concrete Crusher at 5317 East 1st Street, Fort Worth, Texas.
Resolution – RESOLUTION.pdf

Alice Barr of NBC5 did a story on our “Team Little Guy” fight. View the video here:
http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/East-Fort-Worth-Neighbors-Prepare-for-a-Fight-as-Concrete-Recycling-Plant-Proposal-Resurfaces-429512643.html

(June 19, 2017) by State Representative Nicole Collier
My office has been in communication with TCEQ and Councilmember Moon’s office regarding Mr. Hall’s application and we have confirmed that city zoning trumps the air quality permit that TCEQ issues.
Also, I did request an informational hearing for his permit. TCEQ is ready to schedule the informational meeting for Mr. Hall’s application.
The type of application that this company has applied for does not lend itself to a public hearing. It will be an “informational” meeting only.
You will be allow to ask questions and voice your concern but it will not be like the other hearing where the information was for the record and used to process the application.
As I get responses and room availability, meeting time & place will be published.
–NC

In this fight, eastsiders are sending their comments in to the TCEQ and to their neighborhood associations. Handley NA President Judy Taylor is leading the letter writing campaign for her neighborhood. William Burns sent in multiple letters and sent this report to Judy Taylor:
“Judy,
Just being a good neighbor that does not want to breathe micro-silicon particles caused from crushing cement, or avoid the 18-wheelers jack-knifing to turn left on Oakland and on Randol Mill.
Good news – both the Senate and the House member called me back after my long diatribe of letters and reports, and both called TECQ and the house member requested a public hearing which will be set for a date this summer. I assume that they talked to Cary Moon’s office as I suggested. Regardless, the more comment letters to TECQ, the better.
The goal should be at least 500 with many references to health, traffic, the local schools, and reduction in property values leads to tax loss for city. We now have another 30 days to comment! So keep reaching out! And now is the time for anyone in HNA who has news contacts to reach out and have them cover the hearing and spread public awareness.
Hopefully, the neighborhood associations can garner another showing of 400+ residents, if not more this time. Channel 11 CBS News ran stories at 5pm and 6pm. The more press coverage, the more likely to attract focus from elected leaders in city hall and the state.
William and Luciana Byrnes”
I received a call from Judy Taylor earlier asking me to send everyone a message regarding Concrete Crushing plant. Channel 5 will have a news story regarding this plant at 4 & 5 pm for those that would like to watch.

Zero to 60: Six Decades of Growth for Edward Jones’ Branch Offices

Zero to 60: Six Decades of Growth for Edward Jones’ Branch Offices
In 1957, the Ford Fairlane was the country’s best-selling car, gas cost about 25 cents per gallon – and Zeke McIntyre opened Edward Jones’ first branch office in Mexico, MO. Today, the Fairlane is just a memory, 25 cents might buy a tenth of a gallon of gas – and Edward Jones’ 43,000 associates include 15,000 financial advisors serving more than 7 million clients from more than 13,000 branch offices across North America. But 60 years ago, in May 1957, Zeke Mcintrye was the first, and the firm is celebrating this milestone.
Edward Jones actually was founded in 1922, but up until 1957, all its financial advisors were housed in one office in St. Louis. The opening of Zeke McIntyre’s office launched a new phase for the firm, permanently transforming the way in which investors receive financial advice from Edward Jones.
“Since we opened our first branch office 60 years ago, establishing trusted relationships with our clients has been critical to our success,” said Edward Jones Managing Partner Jim Weddle. “Providing tailored solutions and a high level of service has enabled us to grow to more than 13,000 locations and we are excited to offer our services to a new generation of clients as we enter the next 60 years.”
The firm has come a long way since Ted Jones, son of the firm’s founder, met McIntyre and encouraged him to open the first branch office, located in a coat closet of an accounting firm situated above Scott’s Five & Dime Store.
“I remember my dad telling us about trying this ‘experiment.’ It seemed like a good opportunity,” said Bill McIntyre, Zeke McIntyre’s son. “It really was the American Dream and a good example of somebody with a good idea who acted on it and it became successful. Zeke and Ted Jones had very similar personalities and were down-to-earth people. I think he liked Ted and thought it would be a great working relationship. I’m sure neither of them envisioned there would be this many other offices today.”
The firm has not forgotten its humble beginnings, but continues to look toward the future – with no signs of taking its foot off the gas. As has been the case for the last six decades, Edward Jones’ success will be fueled by its growing numbers of financial advisors, growth in clients being deeply served and continued focus on ensuring clients’ interests always come first.
McIntyre’s pioneering spirit led Edward Jones to name one of its most coveted awards the Zeke McIntyre Pioneer Award, which recognizes financial advisors who achieve high levels of success early in their careers. The award is given annually to a select group of financial advisors during regional meetings with their peers and families.
McIntyre was an inaugural member of the Edward Jones Hall of Fame, which honors special individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the firm. In its inaugural year, the Hall of Fame recognized those who have helped shape the firm and who have been most responsible for its success with bronze sculptures placed in the firm’s St. Louis-based headquarters.
Recipients embody the firm’s values, culture and spirit of caring by routinely making a difference in the lives of others. In a way, these are individuals whose fingerprints can be found all over the firm because they have fundamentally helped to create it.
Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 15,000-plus financial advisors work directly with more than 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 5 on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2017, is headquartered in St. Louis. The Edward Jones website is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

Obituary: Eugene “Gene” Kuhler

Brentwood-Oak Hills NA Past President, Gene Kuhler, passes


It is with great sadness that I report the news that Gene Kuhler died on Sunday, June 11. He had been at a rehab facility for a few weeks, (for strength and balance exercises) came home last week, took a rapid downturn, and hospice services were engaged Friday evening. He died at home, surrounded by his wife and family.
Gene was President of the Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood (BOHN) Association for 4 years from July 2009 through June 2013, and he volunteered as a BOHN COP from 2003-2015, attended the Code Blue meetings and CAC meetings held at the HM Rec Center.
Gene also served faithfully on the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations during some of those years when he was BOHN president, never missing a monthly board or quarterly general meeting of the League.
Gene was the BOHN team leader for the Cowtown Cleanup, and in his daily walks with his dog, picked up trash on his street.
Tobi Jackson sent in this picture of Gene from a recent Eastern Hills High School game. The five Kuhler children attended EHHS, & Gene loved Football.
Gene will be dearly missed by his neighbors and many friends.
Truman and Patsy Marshall were close friends and kept in touch with Gene and Gene’s wife Patricia. Services will be at Shannon Rose Hill. (Where two of their sons are buried.)
Funeral Services for Gene Kuhler have been set for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at Shannon Rose Hill Funeral Chapel and Cemetery, 7301 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76112. 817-451-3333

Obituary
Eugene (Gene) F. Kuhler, 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at home in his beloved neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas.
Celebration of life for Gene is at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 24th at the Shannon Rose Hill Funeral Chapel Fort Worth, Texas.
Gene was born in Rhineland, Texas on January 31, 1931 to Lawrence Joseph and Minnie (Bruggeman) Kuhler. Gene was a graduate of St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas and was a veteran of the Korean War. Throughout his professional career, he was a salesman with various companies. His greatest passions were the news, politics, gardening, bird watching, golfing, traveling around the country, NASCAR racing and fishing. He loved his neighbors and neighborhood. He served as President of his neighborhood association from 2009 to 2013 as well as participated in many other community efforts. He loved getting to know people, taking care of friends and family, making people laugh and helping everyone he knew. He was a great husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather and will be incredibly missed by all of us. He had a huge impact on all our lives and left us with many great memories.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years Patricia (Thompson); sisters Anita Thresher (husband Colby), Corine Gieb (husband Hal) and brother Tim (wife Darlene); four children David (wife Dawn), Amy Groff (husband Jerry), Michael (wife Toi), Richard (wife Peaun); 3 grandchildren Ryan Groff (wife Katie), Emily Groff and Nicole Kuhler; and great-granddaughter Skylar Groff. He is preceded in death by his three sons Robert, Steven and James; and sister Dolores Watson and husband Mort.

At his funeral service, friend, neighbor and first BOHN President, Rita Vinson gave the following Eulogy:

Eugene “Gene” F. Kuhler Eulogy

By Rita M. Vinson    

My name is Rita Vinson.  I met Gene Kuhler in 1998 at a meeting of the fledgling Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood Association, which is sometimes referred to by its acronym “BOHN.”  I had just become its president, by default, when our first, interim president James Willingham died following heart surgery in September 1997. With gradually escalating roles, Gene became the glue that helped me hold this organization together over the ensuing 12 years I served as its president.

Simply put, Gene was a good man.  But it goes much deeper than that may sound.  He took his responsibilities seriously, whether to family, neighbors, or the to the community at large.  His dedication and hard work were unsurpassed.

Gene served from 2003 to 2015 (12 years) as a BOHN Citizens on Patrol (or COPs) volunteer.  The cadre of BOHN COPs has been the backbone of the neighborhood association.  In fact, the neighborhood association was an outgrowth of the BOHN COPS, which were created as part of the Code Blue community policing program initiated by Police Chief Tom Windham.  If you look around, you’ll see some people here today proudly wearing their Code Blue shirts to honor one of their own who has fallen.  Gene, like the other BOHN COPs, viewed those weekly patrolling responsibilities as a sacred trust, looking after the safety and well being of the neighbors.  And our group has continued to function long after COPs groups in many other neighborhoods dissipated.

On the first Monday of the month the FWPD has held public meetings since 1998 providing speakers covering a wide range of topics with officers reporting on crime stats in their district.  These meetings were called Community Advisory Committees (CACs.) Originally there was one for each of the 12 police districts in the city, but now the only one that has continued to meet is the one in East Fort Worth, which meets at the Handley Meadowbrook Community (Rec) Center for Neighborhood Police Districts (NPD) # 4 and 5.  Gene Kuhler served as recording secretary for these monthly meetings for at least 3 years:  2004, 2005, and 2006, with Harvey Roberts from Central Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association as its president.  Together they kept these meetings going and relevant.

In the Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood (BOHN) Association, Gene filled many roles.  He served on the nominating committee at least 3 years (e.g., 2005, 2007, and 2015.)  This is a key role for the future of any organization: to identify and persuade viable candidates to serve on the board for the coming year.  He also served on the audit committee.  Then he was elected to serve as vice president for membership for 2 years (July 2007 to June 2009.)  That led into his being elected to serve as BOHN president from July 2009 to June 2013 (two terms), planning quarterly meetings of the general membership and annual events with Eastern Hills Neighborhood Association for the July 4 Parade and the fall National Night Out on Crime.  Gas drilling was a hot topic during all of those years, and he also fought to keep the Meadowbrook Branch Library open.

There are two activities for which Gene made a profound contribution to the BOHN Association for many years, not just during his years as president.

From 2003 to 2015 Gene single handedly coordinated BOHN’s annual participation each spring in the Great American Cowtown Cleanup with volunteers bagging trash to beautify our neighborhood.

The other activity—which cannot be overstated in terms of his effort and commitment—was distribution of the BOHN Bulletin newsletters to BOHN’s 458 houses at least three times per year.  He and I rotated in coordinating the effort to recruit about 30 block distributors, but we never, ever had enough distributors.  Gene always did more than anyone else in distributing newsletters door to door for  extra blocks—rain or shine, hot or cold.

As BOHN president, Gene was automatically a voting member of the Neighborhoods of East Fort Worth, an alliance of neighborhood associations in East Fort Worth.  Also, he was the voting delegate to the quarterly meetings of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations during those 4 years.  And he became a board member of the League for 3 of those 4 years, missing only 1 of the monthly meetings of that citywide group of neighborhood leaders. Gene was director of municipal affairs for the League’s board.

So this gives you some idea of the scope of his involvement in neighborhood and communitywide issues and the level of volunteer work and the type of leadership he exemplified. It doesn’t tell you what a kind and considerate and modest person he was.  Maybe you were one of the fortunate ones who received tomatoes fresh from his garden or zucchini bread fresh from Patricia’s oven, or a Christmas card, and even a Thanksgiving Day card.

I am reminded of a time when my mother left one job to go into another one.  It took three people to fill her old job.  It will take at least three people to fill Gene’s shoes, and even so, none would match his heart.

May is Elder Abuse Prevention Month

May is Elder Abuse Prevention Month
Adult Protective Services urges Texans to get involved to stop self-neglect
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) works to protect the unprotected, and that includes the elderly members of our communities. May is Elder Abuse Prevention Month in Texas, and it’s the perfect time to check on elderly friends and neighbors.
Do you have an elderly neighbor who can no longer keep up their home, isn’t taking care of his or herself, or needs medical care? You may be the only person who knows or cares.
“Abuse may get the headlines, but one of the most common situations we encounter is self-neglect,” said Kez Wold, DFPS associate commissioner for Adult Protective Services (APS). “Sometimes when people become ill or depressed, they quit trying or simply can’t care for themselves without some help. That’s when someone needs to make a call to the Texas Abuse Hotline.”
State law requires anyone who suspects adult abuse, neglect or financial exploitation to report it to the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or online at TxAbuseHotline.org. Callers can remain anonymous. Learn how to recognize adult abuse, neglect and exploitation at EveryonesBusiness.org
In May, APS is joining with community, civic and professional groups to raise awareness and understanding about abuse, neglect and exploitation through conferences, presentations and other events. Learn about events in your area at EveryonesBusiness.org and please share them with your friends, neighbors and colleagues.
Last year, APS investigated the situations of 83,534 people who were living at home and found that 51,608 of them suffered one or more forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Self-neglect was at least one factor for most of those people. APS’ job is to investigate these situations and connect people with the services in their communities they need.
Adult Protective Services Facts and Figures
APS is a program of DFPS and a part of the Texas Health and Human Services system. The mission of APS is to protect adults, who are elderly or have disabilities, from abuse, neglect and exploitation. APS does this by investigating allegations and by providing or arranging for services to alleviate or prevent further mistreatment.
APS serves Texas residents who are 65 years or older or who are 18 to 64 and have a disability. There are 3.3 million Texas residents who are 65 or older and more than 1.7 million people with a disability who are ages 18-64.
More information is available in the Department of Family and Protective Services Annual Report and Data Book on the DFPS website (dfps.state.tx.us).

Convention center arena, Trader’s Oak among Fort Worth’s endangered places

Convention center arena, Trader’s Oak among Fort Worth’s endangered places
Posted May 9, 2017 – The ‘spaceship-style’ Convention Center Arena deserves to be repurposed for a different use, according to Historic Fort Worth.
As part of National Preservation Month, Historic Fort Worth Inc. annually releases a most endangered places list. The program recognizes the changes that impact those places that comprise the unique, historic identity of Fort Worth.
The 2017 list includes:
Fort Worth Convention Center Arena, 1201 Houston St. Designed in the 1960s as an urban renewal project, it is destined to be torn down to make way for new space that fits the needs of today’s meeting planners.
Ellis Pecan Building, 1012 N. Main St. The building, constructed in 1920, is in need of repairs, including a new roof, and is threatened by neglect.
Grand High Court of Heroines of Jericho, 3016 E. Fourth St. The social and benevolent organization for African-American women built this distinctive structure in 1952.
Texas & Pacific Warehouse Building, 401 W. Lancaster Ave. This enormous eight-story building was the outgrowth of a 1920s Chamber of Commerce effort to building $100 million of civic and business improvements. A developer has been working to restore the building as part of the Lancaster Corridor project.
Trader’s Oak, 1200 Samuels Ave. Under the magnificent live oak three, one of the first trading posts in North Texas was established in 1849. With development planned for this area, the tree is vulnerable.
Access to the newly restored Van Zandt Cottage, 2900 Crestline Road. This house is thought to be the oldest in the city on its original site. Eliminating vehicle access to the cottage would limit the success of this important historic resource.
Wedgwood’s California modern houses, 5716 Winifred Drive and 5320 Wooten Drive. Wedgwood is threatened by a lack of enlightenment about the design value of mid-century modern buildings and the perception that Wedgwood is not a desirable place to live.
To learn more, contact Historic Fort Worth Inc. at 817-336-2344.

West Handley Elementary Cleans up at Cowtown Cleanup

West Handley Elementary School students and parents showed up early on Saturday morning to participate in the annual Cowtown Cleanup. They worked the school grounds and the 4 blocks surrounding the school. Over 65 volunteers signed in, and by 11am, had collected over 100 bags of trash to take to the city dropoff centers.
After the cleanup, everyone was treated to hot dogs and sides for lunch. Principal Moynihans announced to the students that they could wear their bright orange Cowtown Cleanup shirts to school on Monday, which was met with cheers and applause.
Joining the West Handley OWLS were members of the Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood Association who joined in cleanup duties. BOHN President Kat Kroll was the designated driver to take the trash to the Bulk Trash drop-off center. She hauled 2 full truck-loads to the center, and a second BOHN member took another 15 bags.
If you have photos from your Cowtown Cleanup event, please email them to Kat so we can publish them online.   editor@greatermeadowbrooknews.com

CCPD seeking nonprofit proposals for reducing crime, violence

CCPD seeking nonprofit proposals for reducing crime, violence
Posted April 7, 2017 – Would you like to help Fort Worth become the nation’s safest major city? Fort Worth, in partnership with the Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD), is seeking community-based organizations interested in applying for the Community-Based Funding Program.
Programs should meet one or more of these goals:
Support efforts to reduce violent crime and gang-related activities through enhanced enforcement activities and crime prevention programs.
Support efforts to increase the safety of residents and decrease crime throughout Fort Worth neighborhoods.
Support efforts to increase the safety of youth and reduce juvenile crime through crime prevention and intervention programs.
Additionally, programs must include a literacy component.

Nonprofit agencies that can address one or more of these goals are invited to apply for funding. Application forms and instructions are available.
Pre-proposal conferences will be at 6 p.m. April 19 and 6 p.m. April 26 at the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, 505 W. Felix St. The conference will help ensure applicants understand the program requirements.
Deadline to submit proposals is June 1.
To learn more, contact Darian Gavin at 817-392-2057.

State Representative 
Nicole Collier hosts Community Forum with Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton

State Representative 
Nicole Collier hosts Community Forum with Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton
Injection Disposal Well approval process
The Handley-Meadowbrook Community center gym was filled with over 150  citizens from Arlington and Fort Worth who are concerned about the Bluestone Natural Resources proposed injection disposal well on the west side of Lake Arlington, in Fort Worth.
State Representative Nicole Collier hosted the community forum. She brought Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton and his staff to educate the public on the process the Railroad Commission uses in the approving sites for gas or disposal injection wells.
Commissioner Sitton  gave us insight on what an acceptable application looks like, and the types of concerns that the Commission takes into account when they hear from the public. He stated ‘Public objection alone is not enough to prevent a permit from being issued. SAFETY issues are a reason to not permit a site.’
Collier reiterated that the Texas legislature passed HB 40 during the last session, (she voted against it) which removed local control to regulate gas and oil industry drilling sites. This is the reason the Fort Worth City Council cannot just prohibit the well from being built.
In addition to Nicole Collier, representing State District 95, and City Council member Gyna Bivens, representing FW District 5, Historic Handley Neighborhood Association; other groups oppose this well site and are actively writing letters to the Commission.
Councilwoman Gyna Bivens said “It is the goal of every member on the Fort Worth City Council to continue making our opposition to the Bluestone application very clear and very focused.  We believe the right to govern land use is in the hands of our local government.   Councilman Dennis Shingleton and I first met with Bluestone leaders in mid-January.    We made the city’s position quite clear:  We will oppose the construction of any salt water injection well on Fort Worth property.  Most may not be aware, but there is other property owned by Bluestone in Fort Worth and Tarrant County.    Arlington Councilwoman Kathryn Wilemon and I work very closely together and we have been on one accord since Day 1 of this matter.
What is troubling is The Railroad Commission tends to be energy friendly and I hope we are able to make the TECHNICAL case that Lake Arlington is unsuitable as a location for such a well.  We want the City of Fort Worth’s ban on  injection wells to be respected by any and all governmental entities.”
Audience members asked the Commissioner a variety of questions, and Collier’s office  recorded the questions to type up and submit to the Commissioner’s office for response. (As soon as she sends us their reply, we will publish it here.)
Some in the audience were less than polite in their questions/comments, and the Commissioner got a bit defensive in his responses. The Railroad Commissioner strongly rejected the idea that his agency is only concerned about ‘rubber stamping’ approvals for the gas and oil industry. Sitton stressed that his number one concern is public safety. He repeated that if a well site is not safe, his agency will shut it down and plug it.
Judy Taylor, President of Handley Neighborhood Association, felt there were just as many informed people as there were frustrated people in attendance. She was hoping the Commissioner would be able to tell us the language we need to use in letters to the commission objecting to this type well site. She said ” Commissioner Sitton did a wonderful job controlling the audience, staying on topic, giving us insightful information into how the commission functions, but after 2 hours, we walked out just as helpless as before. Hopefully, Nicolle Collier will be able to host another meeting where we can obtain helpful information on how to address the commission.” She added “We thank Commissioner Sitton for coming to speak to us in person.”
After the meeting, many of the people who had asked pointed questions (and were perceived as hostile or yelling) went up to the Commissioner and shook his hand and thanked him for coming to Fort Worth to speak to us directly. He stayed to pose for photos before heading out to a radio interview. The commissioner said he will be in Fort Worth to participate in Earth Day activities.
As additional information becomes available, we will publish it.
Collier stated that she will plan another public forum meeting with Bluestone and other experts in this field.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call Nicole Collier’s office at (817) 332-1180 – Fort Worth or (512) 463-0716 – Austin.
The Railroad Commisssion has added GMN to their mailing list. Long press releases will be published on FB and here on the website.

Neighborhoods of East Fort Worth holds INJECTION WELL meeting Tuesday, April 25 at TCC

Neighborhoods of East Fort Worth holds INJECTION WELL meeting Tuesday, April 25 at TCC
by Judy Taylor, Handley Neighborhood Association, 
VP Neighborhoods of East Fort Worth Alliance
We have just learned of another meeting with the Company on the proposed Salt Water Injection Well on the East shore of Lake Arlington.  The meeting will be Tuesday, April 25 at 6pm TCC off 820
TCC Opportunity Center
5901 Fitzhugh Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76119
These meetings are informative and show the company and state WE are out to protect our Community, Lake, Water and surroundings if at all possible if we do not try we will not get results.
PLEASE Inform others that have an interest. We need all the facts we can get to properly object to the construction of this well on Lake Arlington.

Three East Fort Worth Restaurants Now Serving Up Blue Zones -Inspired Choices!

Three East Fort Worth Restaurants Now Serving Up Blue Zones -Inspired Choices!
FORT WORTH, Texas – Three restaurants on Fort Worth’s east side began showcasing Blue Zones-inspired menu items this month as they begin their efforts to become Blue Zones Project Approved™. Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth is a community-led well-being improvement initiative that partners with restaurants and other organization throughout the community to make healthier choices easier.
Blue Zones-inspired dishes offer healthier alternatives and plant-based ingredients, in keeping with diets in the world’s Blue Zones areas, where people live longer with less chronic disease. Each restaurant also is taking part in a 10-week pilot program designed to drive more traffic to the restaurant by offering three to four new plant-based options and implementing best practices to make healthy choices easier for customers. They are:
 Lady and the Pit, a local barbeque and home-style cooking favorite at 2220 Handley Dr., is adding four new side options—sautéed spinach, baked sweet potato, fruit salad, and sautéed zucchini and squash, served individually or as plates.
Italy Pasta & Pizza, which has been serving the east side since 1990, now offers baked eggplant rollatini, a veggie pasta, a Mediterranean salad, and gluten-free goat cheese alfredo. The restaurant is located at 800 E. Loop 820.
The Library Café, at 1280 Woodhaven Blvd., is adding three new options—six-bean and veggie soup, roasted veggie wraps with creamy hummus, and veggie burgers on whole wheat buns served with tomato, lettuce, and pickle. Both sandwiches come with fresh fruit on the side.
The restaurants also are training staff and offering incentives for servers, said Clay Sexauer, retail foods coordinator for Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth. “We have seen promotions of Blue Zones-inspired items drive up orders as well as revenue, so it’s a win for everyone.”
Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth was honored with the Best Practice in Innovative Promotion Award at the national Blue Zones Project Summit last fall for creativity in supporting healthy dining options. Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth conducted a server incentive program, in which restaurants discovered a marked increase in Blue Zones-inspired orders and food sales.
To find a list of Blue Zones Project Approved restaurants, visit fortworth.bluezonesproject.com.

West Meadowbrook NA City Affairs gets RESULTS on Trashy Retailer

West Meadowbrook NA City Affairs gets RESULTS on Trashy Retailer

Mike Phipps is one of those people you WANT to have as a neighbor. He is always looking out for the City and residents, his neighbors, when it comes to keeping property clean and attractive, and your pets safe & well cared for. As the Chair for the West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association City Affairs committee,  Mike  has been on a letter writing campaign since last August to get the Fallas grocery store on Lancaster  to clean up its commercial property.
Mike said “One trashy property makes the whole area look bad. We have to keep our houses & yards neat and clean. Businesses should too.”
The first two letters resulted in NO clean up of the store property. Not willing to continue looking at the trash accumulating daily, he followed up with more letters, and calls to Code Compliance. Mike wrote the store managers first, and when they did not resolve the problem, he wrote to the Corporate offices. He finally received a response from the Chief Operations Officer.
Mike told GMN “It’s only taken about a year of letter writing and complaining, but I think we’ll finally get some action on cleaning up this mess.  I guess that’s what it takes – go to the owner of the corporation.  The funny thing is, the “landlord” of that property is the parent company!”  TAD records show the property is owned by National Stores Inc.

A quick search reveals this information on Wikipedia:
“National Stores Inc. does business as: Fallas, Fallas Paredes, Fallas Discount Stores, Factory 2-U, Conway, CW Price, Falas (spelled with single “l” in Puerto Rico) and Anna’s Linen’s by Fallas,[1][2] and offer brand name and private label clothing for men, ladies, boys, girls, juniors, infants and toddlers along with lingerie, shoes and household items.[3] Fallas Paredes caters to the Hispanic American community.[4]”
The corporate website is: http://www.fallasstores.net.

Mike first wrote to the Fallas store manager in August 2016:
Good afternoon Mr. Vecchio,
First let me say thank you for taking my call today. I appreciate your time.  Also I would like to say, do not feel singled out.  Fort Worth District 5 representative Gyna Bivens just held a very well attended meeting for the residents of the eastside who are joining together to address the horrible condition of commercial businesses throughout our neighborhood and the eastside as a whole.
Your property, 4616 E. Lancaster is located in Ms Bivens District, D5.  As I suggested when speaking with you, we want and need good examples so others will follow suit. Will you please be a business that can be used as an example of how to upkeep and maintain your property?  As you can tell in the pictures this is a long term accumulation of trash and debris, not something someone just recently dumped. There are tall grass, weeds and brush growing in the back alley way and along the sides of the building as well as out in the right of way.  Please keep in mind, this is our neighborhood. Lancaster is an older commercial corridor that has fallen against tough situations and it is time it be turned around.  It needs tender care, responsible property owners and business owners / managers.  Can we please get a commitment from you and the company you represent to put your best foot forward and treat this property as if it were in your backyard? Keep in mind, your paycheck is at least partially funded off by residents of our neighborhood. I would expect to receive better care and maintenance of your store in return.
Thank you very much.
Mike Phipps, West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Assoc., City Affairs Chair

Not getting a satisfactory response, Mike wrote to the next store manager at Fallas in March 7, 2017:
Good evening Ms. Wiegref,
My name is Mike Phipps, I have addressed concerns pertaining to this store since it has opened.  I presented the previous manager, Mr. Vecchio back in August 2016.  The first seven pictures that are attached to this email are of the trash that was present back then, the last five are of recent.  I have many more.  We were glad when we heard that Fallas was moving into the old Carnival property after they had moved out.  The excitement was short lived.  It was almost immediate that we begun seeing the decline in property management.  Trash cans always full and overflowing, the parking lot and sidewalks in front of the store never cleaned up of the litter.  The property for over a year has not ever been clean of trash and debris.  There are trees beginning to grow up all along the sides of the building that also hold all the trash that blows around.  I am asking, can you please see that this property is cleaned up and cleaned up on a daily basis.
Thanks you for your time,
Mike Phipps, West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Assoc., City Affairs Chair

After waiting a week, Mike sent the 2 letters above to the Corporate offices. On March 19, Mike received a response from the Corporate Offices of Fallas:
Good evening Mr. Phipps,
My name is Craig Levra, I work for Mr. Fallas and National Stores, Inc., as the COO.  I just left you a voice mail apologizing for the condition of this store.  It is unacceptable, and clearly not how we do business.  Our Facilities team is on it, we will not wait for the landlord but correct it ourselves immediately.   Please feel free to reach out to me any time you have a concern.
Thank you for letting us know about the situation.  We want your business and we will work hard to earn it.
Craig Levra, National Stores, Inc. / Fallas

West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association is one of the largest Associations on the Eastside, and remains a leader for citizen activism to improve the quality of life for East Fort Worth residents.