City Council votes to update smoking ordinance

Posted Dec. 13, 2017

The City Council approved an ordinance that prohibits smoking in bars and bingo parlors as well as prohibiting retail smoke shops within 300 feet of schools, universities and hospitals.

“Fort Worth joins all other major Texas cities in going smoke-free,” Mayor Betsy Price said. “Fort Worth has made great strides in health and wellness, with many of our initiatives receiving national attention. The adoption of this ordinance, which will go into effect in 90 days, is another step forward in creating a healthier environment for all of Fort Worth — from workers to patrons, musicians to expecting mothers.”

This was the first update to the city’s smoking ordinance since 2008. The new law also governs the use of e-cigarettes in prohibited locations.

The new ordinance continues to allow smoking in outdoor dining areas and patios of public places as long as the area is at least 20 feet from entrances and exits. Smoking in private clubs will still be allowed.

The new ordinance prohibits retail smoke shops within 300 feet of schools, universities and hospitals. A retail smoke shop is defined as a business that earns 90 percent of its gross annual sales from tobacco, smoking and e-cigarette products.

Smoking in cigar lounges, defined as a business that earns 30 percent of its gross annual sales from cigars and cigar accessories, will be allowed.

The updated ordinance goes into effect March 12, 2018.

Trinity River to be stocked with trout

Get out on the river and fish for freshly stocked trout in the coming weeks.

Anglers, get ready to fish the Trinity for trout.

The river will be stocked with 2,100 fish by the Tarrant Regional Water District before noon on Dec. 21. The stocking will take place at Trinity Park and River Park.

While some of the fish will be caught within the first few hours of being released, it takes up to 48 hours for the fish to fully adjust to their new surroundings and to resume their normal feeding pattern. This process creates terrific fishing throughout the first weekend following trout release days.

Future stocking dates:

    Jan. 3, 2018, Trinity Park (1,000 trout).

    Jan. 4, 2018, River Park (1,000 trout).

    Feb. 7, 2018, Trinity Park (1,000 trout).

    Feb. 9, 2018, River Park (1,000 trout).

    March 10, 2018, Flyfest at River Park (2,000 trout).


Additional land acquired
for Mosier Valley Park

An additional acre of land has been acquired to build a park that will serve the Mosier Valley community.

The City Council voted to acquire an additional acre of land to expand a city park in Mosier Valley, the historic community where the first freed Texans settled after news of the Emancipation Proclamation spread across the nation.

Mosier Valley Park is currently under construction. Amenities will include a playground, trails, shelter, benches, picnic tables, multiuse court and security lighting. The park will be accessible to the neighborhood and have an interpretive commemoration or historical designation area.

The city will pay $73,120 plus closing costs for the additional land at 11304 Mosier Valley Road.

“The establishment of Mosier Valley Park has been a wonderful vehicle that is unifying the community,” District 5 Councilmember Gyna M. Bivens said. “I will never forget the outdoor meeting we convened to show the community how they could participate in acquiring displays to be used at the park. I was literally blown away when we had a formal community meeting. Within 15 minutes, the crowd was at capacity, filling every seat at the historic St. John Missionary Baptist Church. We knew we were on the right track.”

“I commend city Park & Recreation workers who have embraced this project with respect and sensitivity,” Bivens said. “Considering the fact this location is where the first freed slaves settled in Texas, I am confident it will be one of the state of Texas’ destination spots.”

Mosier Valley was established in the 1870s on the north bank of the Trinity River just south of Hurst, Euless and Bedford, according to the Texas State Historical Association. It was founded by Robert and Dilsie Johnson and 10 other emancipated slave families.

Trinity River bottomland was given and sold to the freedmen by the Mosier and Lee plantation families, and the families established a close-knit farming community.

The heyday of Mosier Valley was from about 1910 through the 1930s. During this time it reached its peak population of perhaps 300. The area was annexed by Fort Worth in 1963.

In 2014, the City Council approved acquiring about four acres of land on the south side of Mosier Valley Road and west of Vine Street and Knapp Street from the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District and Tarrant County to build Mosier Valley Park.

Bivens, Jordan selected to lead National League of Cities

Two Fort Worth councilmembers were named to National League of Cities (NLC) leadership positions at the 2017 City Summit conference in Charlotte.


District 5 Councilmember Gyna Bivens

District 5 Councilmember Gyna Bivens was named community and economic development chair.

District 6 Councilmember Jungus Jordan

District 6 Councilmember Jungus Jordan was named to the board of directors.

The NLC, which helps city leaders build better communities, represents 19,000 cities, towns and villages and more than 218 million Americans.

Is the “Christmas Story” a myth?

Myth is defined as, “a traditional or legendary story.”  So it is that the account of the birth of Jesus Christ is spun into the “Christmas story” along with Santa and Rudolph, creating the “myth” that is dismissed by many as a children’s story.


Many things in the “Christmas story” have nothing to do with the Bible account of Christ’s birth. For example, the term “Christmas”; December 25 as the date of His birth; the visit by three kings (Matt.2:1-2, they were “wise men” or magi [astrologers] and there is no mention of their number).


Of greater concern is the dismissal of the birth of Jesus as a myth!  To do so is to ignore the evidence of prophecies made hundreds of years earlier which gave specific details of His birth, showing that He is, “God with us” (Matt.1:23).  Then there is the evidence He provided during His ministry, plus the seemingly incidental details involved in His death that also fulfilled prophecy.  Then the greatest of all, His resurrection from the grave, which proved with power that He is indeed “the Son of God” (Rom.1:4).



Renee Higginbotham-Brooks

5601 Bridge Street, Suite 300, Fort Worth, TX 76112

(817) 334-0106 office


Over 30 years experience in:

• Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

• Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney

• Probate Administration

East Fort Worth Business Association donated $5,400 to purchase 500 library books for 9 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 at bottom of page.

East Fort Worth Business Association

Honoring the Outstanding People
at Fall Banquet

Gilma Avalos was Keynote Speaker at EFWBA Banquet

Gilma Avalos was the Keynote Speaker for theEast Fort Worth Business Association's annual Outstanding Awards & Scholarships Banquet, held on Thursday November 9, 2017 at the Woodhaven Country Club.

This year's banquet focused on Education. Gilma holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and Spanish from Columbia University. Born in El Salvador and raised in South Florida, Gilma learned English as a second language. She credits her teachers with helping her discover her love of academics. It is why she is passionate about speaking to school children about the value of education.

Congratulations to:

Outstanding Youth of 2017 – Scholarship Winners

Carrington Baxter, Polytechnic High School

Jacob Crockett, Young Men’s Leadership Academy

Chloe Dickens, Eastern Hills High School

Emma Lopez, Fort Worth Can Academy

Divine Webber, Nolan Catholic High School

Ja’Kayla Womack, Dunbar High School

Outstanding Project of the Year

Fort Worth Public Art - Signal Box Wrapers

Outstanding Organization of the Year

Eastside Blossoms

Outstanding Educator of the Year

Lindsay Laster

Outstanding Man of the Year

Tom Cook

Outstanding Woman of the Year

Debra Williamson

New plan provides road map for city's economic development

Fort Worth will unveil a new strategic plan for its economic development efforts to ensure the city can compete regionally and internationally.

“The City of Fort Worth has an opportunity – even a responsibility – to capitalize on its growing size, influence and economic potential,” said Robert Sturns, director of the Economic Development Department. “The plan is a road map for the city’s economic development program. Just as important, it is a call to action so that Fort Worth can embrace its status as a major U.S. city and compete on the national and international stage.”

The executive summary and four supporting volumes are available online.

The plan is structured around a bold vision: To compete successfully on the national and international stage for creative, high-growth businesses and the talented individuals who fuel them.

Supporting that vision are goals addressing competitiveness, creativity and community vitality.

There have been internal strategic plans and annual work plans for the City of Fort Worth Economic Development Department, but no comprehensive economic development strategy. Partner organization have had their independent strategic plans, but this plan is intended to provide some overall goals and insight to provide alignment in priority areas, Sturns said.

The strategic plan outlines key metrics for the city and partner organizations. Consultants also will conduct a one-year assessment to see how the Economic Development Department is progressing with the goals and metrics.

While some of the 200-plus recommendations are longer term, the plan is focused on a five-year time frame, 2018-2022. There should be progress in a fairly short timeline, Sturns said.

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