East Fort Worth Business Association donated $5,400 to purchase 500 library books

East Fort Worth Business Association donated $5,400 to purchase 500 library books for 
9 eastside schools
Diverse Books Donated to Spark Student Interest in Reading

Diverse and culturally-relevant books will soon be in the hands of 
Fort Worth ISD students attending elementary schools within the Eastern Hills Pyramid.On Tuesday, Nov. 14, nine librarians from the Eastern Hills High School Pyramid, elementary feeder campuses to the high school, met to sort and label books purchased with a $5,400 donation from the East Fort Worth Business Association.
Librarians at each school received $600 to purchase books culturally-and-racially relevant for their student populations in an effort of sparking an interest in reading among students at an early age. ﷯
Recipients of the books are Sagamore Hill, Meadowbrook, Eastern Hills, West Handley, East Handley, Atwood McDonald, John T. White Leadership Academy, Lowery Road and Bill J. Elliott Elementary Schools.
“We hope our donation serves as an example that other civic, social, professional, community and neighborhood groups choose to follow,” said Wanda Conlin, East Fort Worth Business Association president. “Just think of the positive difference we can make if we all band together to support our schools either through books, volunteerism or other forms of activism.”
The book donation falls in line with the community-wide 100X25FWTX initiative, an effort to have all third-graders reading on grade level or above by 2025. Superintendent Kent P. Scribner is partnering with Mayor Betsy Price and Matt Rose, BNSF executive chairman on the collective effort to engage families, caregivers, businesses, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations and the faith-based community in accomplishing the goal.
Additional photos are on EFWBA.org at bottom of page.

Obituary for Reverend Mart Gayland Pool

East Fort Worth has lost a good man, Reverend Mart Gayland Pool
(Editor’s note: This obituary was originally published by Katie on her Facebook page Dec. 13. Many of our readers do not use Facebook, and may have missed mention of this in the newspaper.
Our deepest condolences to the community of St. Luke’s in the Meadows, their friends & family, and most especially, Katie Sherrod, an East Fort Worth activist, author, and so much more.

Katie broke the news to us with a poem by W.H. Auden:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W.H. Auden

Obituary by Katie Sherrod
The Rev. Mart Gayland Pool, 80, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Fort Worth, died Monday, December 11, in the arms of his wife, Katie Sherrod.
The funeral will be at 1 pm on Friday, December 15, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 3401 Bellaire Drive So., Ft. Worth, TX 76109. The Rev. Karen Calafat will celebrate, the Rev. Bruce Coggin will preach.

Gayland was born April 23, 1937, in Plainview, TX, where his father, Mart Pool, was a hotel manager and community leader. His brother, Larry, was born in Ada, Oklahoma, when Mart was managing a hotel there. The family then returned to Plainview where his father managed the Hilton Hotel. The fact that Gayland lived his most formative years in hotels may help explain his love of playing host.
The Pools were Presbyterians and Gayland went to Presbyterian church camp each summer. He graduated from Texas Tech in Lubbock with a degree in history, but was pulled toward the ministry. He went off to Union Seminary in New York City as a Presbyterian. He served First Presbyterian in Spur for two summers as a student pastor. In July of his second summer at Spur, when he was 23, his father died suddenly.
After his first year at Union, he became an Episcopalian. He transferred to General Seminary in New York City, graduating in 1962. He was ordained a deacon on April 27, 1962, by Bishop George Quarterman, bishop of the Diocese of Northwest Texas, in St. Christopher Episcopal Church in Lubbock. He was ordained a priest on November 30, 1962, by Quarterman at St. Mary’s, Big Spring, where he was curate.
He then became assistant chaplain at St. Mark’s School in Dallas and curate at St. Luke’s, Dallas. In 1966, he spent one year as the Canterbury Chaplain at SMU. And in 1967, he moved to Fort Worth to be Canterbury Chaplain at TCU.
In his seven years at TCU, Canterbury went from having less than 10 students to having more than 100 show up for Wednesday dinners. The students called him Super Priest.
While he was at TCU some life-changing events happened. His mother, Mattie, was living with him while she dealt with terminal cancer. After a visit, his brother Larry, sister-in-law Ginger and his two nephews, first-grader Jeffrey and baby David, left to drive home to Plainview. In avoiding a drunken driver making an illegal U-turn, their car flipped into a deep culvert. Larry and Jeffrey were killed, Ginger badly injured. Baby David survived in his infant seat.
Mattie died nine months later. Driving home from his mother’s funeral in Plainview, Gayland was overcome with grief and rage. Pulling over to the side the road, he realized he could either let the grief devour him, or he could resolve to let happiness, care, and hospitality to define his life. He knew he could best honor his lost loved ones by being a happy person. But these losses informed his ministry from that point on, making pastoral care a main focus. The teachings of Dr. Paul Lehman at Union that we need to continue what God is doing in the world “to make and keep human life human” became formative for him.
Back at TCU, the Vietnam War was going on, as was the national debate over our nation’s involvement in that war. Never one to shrink from controversy, Gayland marched in anti-war protests in downtown Fort Worth and sponsored speakers such as Jane Fonda, David Harris and comedian Dick Gregory. TCU refused to have Fonda on campus, so they moved that event to UTA. And when the City of Fort Worth refused to let rock concerts continue at Trinity Park, Canterbury sponsored them at TCU.
After seven years at TCU, Gayland was called to be rector of Christ the King Episcopal Church. Under Gayland’s leadership, they moved a charming old country church onto the Christ the King property on Lackland Road. It arrived in several pieces in December, 1975 and opened for the first service on July 4, 1976, as part of the Bicentennial Celebration in Fort Worth. When Gayland left in 1980, all the debt was retired, Christ the King had three Sunday services, and an average Sunday attendance of 200.
While he was at TCU, Gayland had arranged for interfaith groups of chaplains to study in Cuernavaca, Mexico. After a 1978 sabbatical there, he left Christ the King to become rector at St. Michaels and All Angels in Cuernavaca. He was there two years and then worked two more years as assistant to the Rt. Rev. Jose Guadalupe Saucedo, bishop of Central and South Mexico. He also became fluent in Spanish.
In 1985, he returned to the United States and accepted a call to St. Luke’s in the Meadow, Fort Worth. He spent the next five years at St. Luke’s, after which he accepted a job as executive director at Tarrant Area Community of Churches. And he got married.
He first met his wife, Katie Sherrod, when she was a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram sent to TCU to report on what this “controversial priest” was doing. They met again after she became an Episcopalian in the late 1980s. To their mutual astonishment, they fell in love and got married in 1991.
After Gayland left the Tarrant Area Community of Churches, he briefly became interim rector at Christ the King, and then opened the Market on Montgomery, a restaurant and gallery. He served on the Executive Council of Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission as well as taking a number of groups on trips to Israel. His love of travel caused him to become a travel agent. He continued his ministry with services at All Saints’ Episcopal Church and All Saints Hospital.
He served as an interim priest at St. Paul’s Oak Cliff, Dallas, for two years and served four years at Holy Trinity, Rockwall/Heath, and then a second time at St. Paul’s. After that, he began assisting at various continuing congregations in the reorganized Diocese of Fort Worth.
One of the gifts that marriage brought to Gayland was another extended family in addition to all the Pools to whom he is related. He married into the large Sherrod family, which includes Katie Sherrod’s daughter, Daniella Judge, and eventually, two wonderful grandsons. Gayland became “Da” – the most indulgent grandfather on the planet.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mart and Mattie Pool, by his brother, Larry, his nephew, Jeffrey, and his sister-in-law, Ginger Pool.
He is survived by his wife, Katie Sherrod; his step daughter, Daniella Judge; and his two grandsons, Curran and Gavin Judge; his nephew, David Pool and his wife Vel Pool; his great niece Courtnie Pool Wise; his great nephews, Jeffrey, Matthew, and Jack Pool; along with various in-laws, numerous cousins, and wonderful great nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Luke’s in the Meadow Episcopal Church, 4301 Meadowbrook Drive, Fort Worth, TX, 76103; Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, 7424 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX, 75231, or the Humane Society of North Texas, attn: Donor Services, 1840 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, TX, 76103.

Fathers’ Hall of Fame 2017 recipient is Thaddeus Young of Handley

Fathers’ Hall of Fame 2017 recipient is Thaddeus Young of Handley
Induction into the Fathers’ Hall of Fame is an honor the Fatherhood Coalition of Tarrant County gives to area fathers who are present and involved in the lives of their children, responsible, virtuous, and have integrity.
Handley resident Thaddeus Young was nominated by his neighbor Carolyn McCauley, and she was more surprised that his nomination was selected for this honor. Thaddeus received his award on Thursday, September 28.
Every year, the Fatherhood Coalition of Tarrant County provides recognition to fathers who have been selected for induction into the Coalition’s Fathers’ Hall of Fame. After several months of accepting these nominations from all over Tarrant County, a committee consisting of Coalition members reviews all the submissions and selects winners in three categories: Emerging Father, for those who have positively impacted children under 10, Established Father, for those impacting children 10 and older, and Seasoned Father, for those whose parental role extended to adults when they were children.
You were nominated by Carolyn McCauley who believes you deserve to be in the Fathers’ Hall of Fame and you were selected as the winner in the category of Emerging Father! Congratulations!!

Here is the letter she submitted to the Fatherhood Coalition of Tarrant County:
Thaddeus Young has three children: 2 twin girls (4 years old) and one boy (3 years old). He and Vannessa Motley are parents of the children. A more excellent father you will not find. His children adore him.
Mr. Young goes to work at the sanitation Dept. for the City of Ft. Worth and leaves the house at 5:00 a.m. and gets home at 6:30 p.m. – 6 days a week. The minute he comes home and pulls into the driveway the children come running out to greet him-they can’t wait for him to get home! He must be very tired but always spends time playing with his kids in the yard. Although not a man of great financial means he always manages to save enough to pay for the children to have play toys in the yard: slides, swings, a play house, summer time baby pools and children’s battery-operated riding cars. It is obvious to all how much he cares for his children and how much they care for him. The family goes to church and is involved in church and family activities. In the four years that I have known him I have never heard Thaddeus raise his voice to the children yet for their age they are the most well discipled children. Thank you for your time in considering Mr. Young for the Father’s Hall of Fame 2017.
Carolyn Mc Cauley

Stop Six Neighborhood Safety Improvements

Stop Six Neighborhood Safety Improvements
A press conference provided updates about Stop Six safety improvements. District 5 Councilwoman Gyna Bivens led the event held Thursday, Sept. 14, 10:30 a.m. at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, 5225 Ramey Ave.
Councilwoman Bivens said “The entire council was surprised when City Manager David Cooke announced this innovative approach to improving neighborhoods. I was especially pleased when announced the pilot for this new project would take place in District 5. I didn’t lobby for the $2.5M that funds the project and council members are not lobbying to be next. There are specific criteria that validate the awarding of this allocation. Cooke looked at high poverty, high crime, scholastic achievement challenges and other areas of concern.”
Stop Six Neighborhood Improvement Strategy
Stop Six has been selected as the first Neighborhood Improvement Strategy target area. A first-of-its-kind project, the pilot program will use funds set aside by City Council to improve neighborhood vitality and give residents paths to self-sufficiency.
Why was Stop Six selected?
With an unemployment rate two-and-a-half times the city average, 78 percent of the population categorized as low-to-moderate income and a crime rate where 65 per 1,000 people are victims of crime, the area needs an aggressive effort to improve neighborhood vitality
The area does have several programs that promise quick, measurable improvements with improved coordination and investment:
Cavile Place Redevelopment
Fort Worth Independent School District Historic Stop Six Initiative
Blue Zones Program Expansion
To help address area needs, $2.56 million was allocated in the city’s 2017 budget to respond. The program will be focused on reducing the number of felony incidents, enhancing pedestrian safety, improving residents’ perception of their community, improve neighborhood aesthetics, and leverage additional public and private investment.

Surveillance cameras being installed as part of Stop Six revitalization program
As the next step in a $2.56 million investment in the Cavile Place/Stop Six community, surveillance cameras are being installed to help improve public safety.
About two dozen mobile surveillance cameras are being installed to help the Fort Worth Police Department keep a 24-7 eye on known hot spots of criminal activity.
About the Stop Six initiative
The targeted area is bordered by Rosedale Street on the north, Ramey Avenue on the south, Stalcup Road on the east and just west of Edgewood Terrace on the west.
The City Council set aside $2.56 million in funding to implement capital projects aimed specifically at improving neighborhoods. This funding may be designated for targeted neighborhoods on an annual basis.
The revitalization has a dual purpose: increase public safety and improve the looks of the neighborhood.
Depending on results, similar revitalization programs will be rolled out in a different neighborhood in the coming years.
View a new video that shows the positive impact this program is having on Stop Six.
This survey is avalabale for Stop Six residnets.

Handley has a meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 21 at Handley United Methodist Church at 6:30pm. see the events page for more information.
“With so much street construction already underway, I want to stress the importance of attending the September 21st meeting. This street work will impact the travel plans of quite a few people who live in the Handley area,” says Councilwoman Gyna Bivens.
Attendees will also get a chance to meet District Director Sandi Breaux. Bivens says Breaux comes to the District office with a wealth of experience. ”She supported the late Councilman Chuck Silcox and former Councilman Zim Zimmerman. We are blessed to have her.”

What does SB4 mean for residents and visitors in Fort Worth?

Posted Sept. 13, 2017, City of Fort Worth

Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 (SB4) on May 7, 2017. The law went into effect on Sept. 1, 2017. However, there are court challenges to parts of the law that the court has not ruled on yet.
Here is some information on what this means for residents and visitors in Fort Worth.
What is Senate Bill 4?
Under SB4, the following is allowed:
Asking someone who has been lawfully detained or arrested about their immigration status.
Sharing information and cooperating with immigration authorities.
Permitting federal immigration authorities into local jails.
The Fort Worth Police Department remains committed to their philosophy of Community Policing and building relationships with the community.
Officers provide police services to the community in a nonpartisan, fair, equitable and objective manner without consideration of race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, disability, economic status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, membership in a cultural group or an individual’s ability to speak English.

What does Senate Bill 4 do?
SB4 requires local police to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and allows police to ask the immigration status of people they have lawfully detained.
It allows officers to arrest a lawfully-detained person if the person is untruthful about their identity.
It also says that local authorities can not adopt policies that would prevent a police officer from asking about a person’s immigration status.
If law enforcement officials, public colleges, city staff and elected officials adopt policies that prohibit a police officer from asking about a person’s immigration status, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and possibly jail time. They can also face civil penalties from $1,000 to $25,000.

Fort Worth Police and our community
Fort Worth Police Officers will:
Enforce state and federal laws in a responsible and professional manner without regard to race, ethnicity or national origin.
Activate a body-worn camera when inquiring about a person’s immigration status.
Complete a “Verification of Immigration Status Report” if immigration status is discussed and an offense report is not completed.
Ensure that any juveniles or vulnerable people with the detainee are transported safely to another relative or responsible adult.

Fort Worth Officers will NOT:
Ask for immigration status of a victim or witness unless the inquiry is necessary to investigate the offense or the officer is providing information on how to get a federal visa
Engage in racial profiling.
Stop a motor vehicle or conduct a search of a business or residence solely to enforce a federal law relating to immigration, unless they are providing assistance to federal law enforcement or under an agreement between our police department and the federal government
Arrest a person who refuses to identify themselves, unless there is probable cause to arrest the person on another crime.
Honor a detainer request if the person produces proof of residency

Fort Worth police officers are prohibited from assisting or cooperating with federal immigration officers at a place of worship such as a church, mosque or synagogue. Note: SB4 does not apply to a religious organization hiring or contracting with a peace officer. For example, a church that hires a police officer to work off-duty CAN enact a policy prohibiting officers from inquiring into immigration status while working for the church. If you see any police officer who is not following these procedures, please contact the Internal Affairs department at 817-392-4270.

Your rights & SB4
What are my rights if a police officer approaches me on a sidewalk or other public space and I am not a suspect in a crime?
You do not have to answer questions about your identity or immigration status.

What can a police officer do if I am stopped for a criminal offense, including a traffic violation, or I am a suspect in a crime?
Ask you for your identification and your immigration status.
Contact ICE to inquire about your immigration status.
If you are arrested for a crime and there is an ICE immigration detainer, you may be taken into custody by ICE.
If the person being detained has a juvenile with them, the officer will locate another family member or responsible adult to come and get the child.

What happens if I call police to report a crime?
You should not be asked about your immigration status if you are a victim or witness to a crime, unless it is necessary to investigate the crime.
Texas law prohibits racial profiling and discrimination. Police may not stop a person or take them into custody if they suspect the individual is in the country illegally, but is not suspected of another crime.
The Fort Worth Police Department exists to safeguard the lives and property of those we serve, to reduce the incidence and fear of crime and to enhance public safety through partnering and building trust with our community.

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:
“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:
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.)

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:
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:

(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.

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:
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.

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.