City Council recognizes fourth quarter Blue Zones Project accomplishments

Representatives of new Blue Zones Project-approved entities gather at City Hall to be recognized by the City Council.



Almost two dozen businesses, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, organizations and faith-based communities were recognized during the Dec. 13 City Council meeting for their efforts to improve the community’s well-being.

All recently became Blue Zones Project Approved or Participating Organizations by completing their respective Blue Zones pledges and adopting or supporting a variety of best practices designed to make the healthy choice the easy choice in Fort Worth.

Hundreds of participants wearing blue Blue Zones Project t-shirts filled the Council Chamber for the presentation. Many were students as Paschal High School, which became the Fort Worth ISD’s first high school to reach the designation. The Applied Learning Academy is the first middle school to do so.

Lockheed Martin becomes one of the largest worksites to reach approval. In addition to completing the worksite pledge, the employer’s onsite restaurant, the Aero Café, was also recognized as a Blue Zones Project Approved restaurant.

Texas Wesleyan University is the first four-year university to become an approved worksite. And Bank of America’s Fort Worth campus is the first financial institution in the city to become approved.

With these new additions, Fort Worth continues on its way to becoming a certified Blue Zones Community.

Recently recognized Blue Zones Project Approved Worksites:

    Acme Brick

    Bank of America Fort Worth Campus

    Child Care Associates

    Gus Bates Insurance and Investments


    Lockheed Martin

    Richardson Aviation

    Texas Wesleyan University

    XTO Energy

Recently recognized Blue Zones Project Participating Faith-Based Communities:

First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth

Recently recognized Blue Zones Project Approved Grocery Stores:

    Tom Thumb-Hulen

    Tom Thumb-Camp Bowie

    Whole Foods Market

Recently recognized Blue Zones Project Approved Schools:

    Applied Learning Academy

    De Zavala Elementary

    Carter Park Elementary

    Clifford Davis Elementary

    Paschal High School

    Westpark Elementary


Recently recognized Blue Zones Project Approved Restaurants:

    Aero Café at Lockheed Martin

    Bell Helicopter Employee Center

    Bird Café

    Sip Wine Bar and The Cup Espresso Bar

Recently Recognized Participating Organizations:

    House of Hustle

    Kingdom Fitness


The holidays are a great opportunity to recycle more. Let's face it, recycling helps preserve the longevity of our landfill and gives a second life to items made from plastics, aluminum and metal.

The City of Fort Worth makes it easy to recycle with curbside collection as well as providing three drop-off stations for larger items.

Bag it for the brown garbage cart: broken ornaments, foil/mylar wrapping paper, bubble wrap, bows & ribbons.

Toss it in the blue recycling cart: envelopes & Paper wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, paper gift tags.

Place at curb for Bulky Trash pickup: artificial trees.

Place with Green Cart, for yard collection: real, live trees, plain or flocked. MAKE SURE there are NO electrical lights or ornaments on them. These are shredded for mulch, available to shovel yourself at the bulky trash collection centers.

Take to a drop-off station:

    Large cardboard boxes, Outdoor or indoor tree lights, Electronics & appliances, Bicycles.

What Does “The Season” Mean To You?

The Festive Season is on us once again, and with it comes all the hustle and bustle of hunting for just the right gift, planning and attending special functions and getting kids to their parties and events.  Rather than “festive,” it may be closer to “frantic”!

Of course, for many it is a special time of the year as they observe the denominational tradition of celebrating the birth of Jesus.  We should note, however, that no such observance is either taught or implied in Scripture.

For many others there is very little about “the season” that is merry.  All the fun and laughter and the family gatherings taking place about them only heightens their sense of loss.  The season serves as a sharp reminder of those who once made it special.

Scripture does emphasize a season, today!  Proverbs issues a warning, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth”  (27:1).  The New Testament makes it plain, “... behold, now is ‘THE DAY OF SALVATION’” (2 Corinthians 6:2).   Something you need to change, or good deed to perform, today is the day!

New information delivery platform helps residents connect and engage with city government


Posted Dec. 16, 2016 — Early in 2017, Fort Worth will launch a new information delivery system that’s customized to residents’ interests.

With the addition of the GovDelivery platform, subscribers will be able to choose the topics they wish to read about and will determine when and how often these topics are delivered to them. Daily and weekly digests of information will be available.

If you’re interested in athletic leagues, sign up for recreation-oriented bulletins. If you’re really into sustainability, sign up for environmental news. You get the idea.

All city departments will be using GovDelivery as their delivery mechanism for news and information to residents.

The last edition of City News will be distributed on Dec. 26. Don’t worry, no content is going away — it will just look a tad different and will be delivered in a new, more convenient format.

“Fort Worth is an open city government, responsive to the information needs of our residents,” said Michelle Gutt, director of communications and public engagement. “We strive to provide information that residents want in their daily lives and that they require to fulfill their roles in local government. The addition of GovDelivery is another tool in our toolbox for providing news and information early in the decision-making process to allow residents to provide input and to become engaged.”

More than 1,800 public-sector agencies use GovDelivery to increase digital engagement, grow their digital audience and build communities.

Current City News subscribers will receive an email message detailing how to subscribe to the new system and how to choose preferred topics and delivery times.

(GMN has signed up for everything.)


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
2016 Outstanding Awards Banquet

The East Fort Worth Business Association was pleased to present five Scholarship Stipends to five outstanding High School Seniors representing the Eastside of Fort Worth.

Checks and Certificates were presented to:

Bennie Tarrant

Dunbar High School


Carmen Martinez

Eastern Hills High School


Keila Zavala

Polytechnic High School


Raquel Garcia Geary

Nolan Catholic High School


Alexandria Guerra

Fort Worth Can Academies

EFWBA was pleased to present the OUTSTANDING AWARD to the following people who do so much to make our side of town better:


2016 Outstanding Business of the Year:

Pearle Vision, Alex Nason, owner

2016 Outstanding Organization of the Year:

Eastern Hills Homeowners Association

2016 Outstanding Educators of the Year:

Terri McGuire, Principal

Paula Brooks, Principal

2016 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year:

Elizabeth Cooper

2016 Outstanding Woman of the Year

Sharon Burran

2016 Outstanding Man of the Year:

Bill Schwennsen


There is more good news regarding our local students on the Neighborhood News page!

Good news and progress, on a project near and dear to Wanda Conlin's heart.

Proposed Eastside Library branch will focus on children and youth

Posted Dec. 14, 2016 – A new Fort Worth Library will serve as a community hub and will have a special focus on serving the needs of young learners up to 18 years old. The opening is planned for fall 2019.

The 8,000-square-foot, $5.5 million facility will be at 3851 E. Lancaster Ave., in Council District 8, on land acquired in 2015. There are three Fort Worth libraries within three miles of the Eastside Branch that provides services to adult users.

During the 2014 bond election public input process, the public asked for a library specifically for children. Including an educational curriculum with an emphasis on early education would position the city as a partner with the citywide Fort Worth Literacy Partnership, supporting its two goals: school readiness and grade-level reading.

The Library Advisory Board has endorsed the concept. Next steps will include issuing a request for qualifications in January 2017 and selecting a design and architectural firm.

Residents will have opportunities to provide input on conceptual designs.

Funding will come from the 2014 bond election ($3,252,000), gas well revenues ($1,400,000) and general capital funds ($845,725). A public art project at the library will cost $65,000.

Other cities with designated children’s libraries are Gallup, N.M.; Alexander City, Ala.; Dallas; Kensington, Md.; New Rochelle, N.Y.; Biloxi, Miss; Westbury, N.Y.; and New Orleans, LA.

Fort Worth joins Waze Connected Citizens program

The City of Fort Worth launched a data-sharing partnership with Waze, a free, real-time crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app.

Designed as a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information, the Connected Citizens Program promotes greater efficiency, deeper insights and safer roads for Fort Worth drivers.

The Waze Connected Citizens Program gives municipal leaders a look at real-time road activity, empowering partners to harness driver insights to improve congestion and make better-informed planning decisions. Established as a two-way data share, Waze provides partners with anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information directly from the source: drivers themselves. In exchange, Fort Worth provides construction, crash and road closure data to Waze to return succinct, thorough overviews of current road conditions.

The Waze map evolves with every driver and data point it receives, promoting safer roads and sharing more knowledge with users, called Wazers, about potential delays to their commutes. The Connected Citizens program yields even more data, giving motorists the ability to circumvent road closures and traffic jams using the app.

Fort Worth can also provide Wazers with advanced notice of major traffic events such as parades and dignitary visits that could affect daily routes.

You can download the free Waze app for iOS or Android.

Can you handle driving during a North Texas ice storm?

FORT WORTH, TX— During ice or snow, maintain at least a five-second distance behind snow plows, sanding equipment and other weather-response vehicles to ensure your safety and the safety of equipment operators.

As North Texas natives know, the weather here can change dramatically from one week to the next. (Really, its more like One DAY to the next. Remember it was only a few years ago we had a terrible ice storm which got named "cobblestone ice".)

Ice is more likely to accumulate on North Texas roads than snow, and ice is often more dangerous to negotiate than snow.

With that in mind, are you ready to drive in a North Texas winter?

The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) prepares throughout the year to battle icy conditions when they arise. Smart driving is the next level of defense:

    Heed warnings: If icy conditions exist, avoid getting on the road.

  • If you find yourself on the road during icy conditions, slow down. This is the most important thing you can do. High speeds increase your risk of losing control of your vehicle.
  • Use your brakes sparingly. Applying the brakes is one of the most common triggers of loss of control.
  • If you begin to slide, turn your wheel into the slide (the direction the rear of the vehicle is going), not against.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated, and ensure that tire tread is not worn. Driving on wet or icy roads with inadequate tires can cause hydroplaning, which leads to crashes.

NTTA staff monitors sensors embedded in the pavement and placed underneath bridges and overpasses. Those sensors provide temperature readings and detect ice formation, so crews can apply substances that lower the freezing point of water and melt ice.

Prepare your pipes for below freezing temperatures!

This Saturday, temps will be in the 70s. It will be the last nice day to take care of all this winterization.

With winter weather now a reality, residents and businesses should take steps to keep water pipes from freezing and possibly bursting.

These tips can help:

  • Make sure all outside pipes are insulated.
  • Check to see that pipes in unheated parts of your home or business (including crawl spaces and attic spaces and under cabinets) are insulated.
  • Make sure outside faucet washers are secure.
  • Keep the lid on the meter box so the meter won’t freeze.
  • Turn off or unplug your irrigation system during the winter to prevent ice on sidewalks or streets. Drain the lines to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Use a licensed irrigator if you cannot do this yourself.

Commercial buildings with fire sprinklers should leave the heat on overnight and on weekends when subfreezing temperatures are forecast.

For residences, make sure everyone in the household knows where the main water shut-off valve is in case a pipe breaks and it is necessary to turn the water off in a hurry. Check this valve now to make sure it is working.

If you must leave your house vacant for a long period, turn off your water supply at the gate valve on the resident’s side of the meter box and have a plumber do the necessary work to prepare pipes to prevent damage.

During prolonged freezes, you may want to open all cabinet doors that contain water pipes to allow heat to enter. You may want to place a lamp in the cabinets so the bulb can keep the area warm, but be certain no flammable materials are near it. Relocate any toxic materials so children and pets cannot get to them if cabinet doors are left open.

Keep extra water drawn up during freezing weather in case a main break or frozen pipe cuts off your water supply.

If you have no water and think it may be because of a frozen pipe, follow these steps:

Call the Water Department’s 24/7 phone number (817-392-4477) so a representative can be dispatched to see if your meter is frozen. The customer is notified about the outcome of this investigation.

If a pipe is frozen, it is safest to call a plumber* to handle the problem. The pipe may be cracked and will burst when thawed. Using an electrical appliance to heat the pipe could cause the pipe to burst, creating the risk of electrocution.

If you suspect a water main is broken, report the location immediately by calling 817-392-4477 so it can be repaired as soon as possible. Signs of a broken water main are water running down the street and buckled pavement. Don’t assume your neighbor called and do not use email or social media to report main breaks. These are not constantly monitored, and this could cause a delayed response.

Citizen-scientists document living species at Tandy Hills Natural Area

Science nerds, nature lovers, adventurers and families spent an entire weekend documenting all living species at Tandy Hills Natural Area, a 160-acre urban prairie just east of downtown Fort Worth.

The 36-hour BioBlitz event was held in April and attracted scientists and naturalists from across Texas who supervised photo documentation and data collection. Residents and visitors made their own contributions via the iNaturalist web app while exploring the biodiversity of the park.

Here’s what the team counted:

    350 flowering plants

    163 insects

    32 birds

    10 arachnids

    10 mammals

    9 reptiles

    8 fungi

    4 mollusks

    1 amphibian


BioBlitz was intended to motivate and encourage community engagement at the park, and to generate data that will serve as a permanent scientific record for managing Tandy’s natural resources.

Help Mayor Price plan for 2017 town halls

Whether you walked, biked, tweeted or sipped coffee at one of Mayor Betsy Price’s town hall events this year — or would simply like to suggest a location for next year — share your thoughts with the mayor by completing a quick survey to help plan for 2017’s town halls.

Due to today’s hectic and busy society, getting residents involved in charting the course for their city requires more creative approaches than the typical town hall meeting. That’s why Price implemented walking, rolling, caffeinated ant Twitter town halls to break the mold of the traditional and sometimes boring town hall meeting with a casual way for residents to connect with their elected leaders.

“Thanks to the hundreds of individual residents, neighborhoods, businesses and to our premium sponsor, Comerica Bank, for participating in the 22 town halls we had in 2016,” Price said. “We’re looking forward to connecting with you at an upcoming town hall.”

Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald shows one of the enhanced ballistic vests that will be purchased with a major donation from a local firm.

Fort Worth business contributes funds for enhanced ballistic vests for FWPD

The Mallick Group, a Fort Worth real estate and energy investment firm, is donating $355,000 to the Fort Worth Police Department SWAT Support Group to purchase 900 enhanced ballistic vests for front-line officers and graduating recruits. These vests offer protect against high-velocity rounds and armor-piercing ammunition.

The donation launched the Protect the Fort initiative, which is coupled with a holiday call to action by the Mallick Group to residents, organizations and businesses to help protect those who protect our community. Additional contributions will be used to purchase enhanced ballistic helmets and other protective equipment for Fort Worth police officers.

“This generous donation from the Mallick Group exemplifies both the incredible community support for our first responders and the strong culture of public-private partnerships that we are blessed with in Fort Worth,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “I’m excited to see the Protect the Fort initiative open the door for others to tangibly give back to our officers. I trust that these vests will not only provide additional protection for our police force, but also convey to our officers that we as a community support their sacrifice to Fort Worth.”

Co-chairmen of the Protect the Fort effort are former Mayor Mike Moncrief and his wife Rosie, and Gary and Marilyn Randle, who are affiliated with Hope Farm Inc.

“This donation inspires our department and provides a level of support that may not be as evident in other major cities,” Chief Joel Fitzgerald said. “It is our hope that others will answer the call to action of the Protect the Fort initiative by participating in this endeavor with the goal of augmenting the safety of all public servants.”

© 2016 Greater Meadowbrook News • Photographs © Lloyd Jones Photography. All rights reserved.

To Purchase Hi-Quality Film Prints of photos by Lloyd Jones, published on GMN, visit his site:   or view his portfolio at

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