EFWBA February 4, 2016
Guest Speaker:
Joel Fitzgerald
Fort Worth Chief of Police

 

Joel Fitzgerald became Chief of Police of the City of Fort Worth Police Department in October 2015. He possesses over 24 years of law enforcement experience with 18 years at various command ranks as a member of the City of Philadelphia Police Department. In each position, Chief Fitzgerald was instrumental in those agencies becoming benchmarks for jurisdictions seeking to promote community problem solving, violent crime abatement, and the enhancement of procedural justice.

Fitzgerald holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration, an M.B.A. in Executive Management, a B.A. in Liberal Arts, and served on the IACP Forensics Committee and the Northcentral University School of Business and Technology-Program Advisory Committee. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program, the FBI National Academy-LEEDS Program, DEA (DUCA), Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, and the Police Executive Research Forum.

He and his wife Pauline, have three children and two grandchildren.

Come eat lunch with us on the

First Thursday of the Month

at Smokey's Barbeque

5300 E. Lancaster Road, Fort Worth 76112

 

To ensure enough accommodations for everyone be sure to call in your reservations & please bring a guest!

 

Reservations: 817-496-9477

or email treasurer@efwba.org

 

Lunch $15 members • $20 non-members

Doors Open 11:30, meeting at 11:45 a.m.

February 2016

A Short Month, But ...

Being “leap year” February has one more day than usual, but still it usually flashes past as the shortest month of the year.  However a fixture on the calendar is the 14th, Valentine’s Day, the day traditionally set aside for lovers to express their love.

In a day when love has become increasingly associated with feelings, and commitment lasts as long as the feeling lasts; those who desire heaven as their home must keep some principles in mind.

“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 1. The loose and casual attitude taken for granted today regarding relationship is contrary to our own best interests.  Lasting happiness and fulfillment comes only by obeying the word of God!

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her”  (Ephesians 5:25).  Note again, the standard for success is not found in magazines or the example of movie stars, but rather in Christ.  His is the example of unconditional love that seeks the best for others, and that’s why we have hope.

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Frauds and Scams

Every day, Texans lose money to scams and frauds. It happens in more ways than you can imagine. Decent, intelligent people are duped out of their life savings by smooth-talking, utterly unscrupulous crooks. These are people who will look you in the eye and lie.

You have been warned about mail fraud, telephone fraud, internet fraud and door-to-door fraud. But how will you know it when you see it? Whether they reach you by mail, by phone, by email or by talking to you in person, they will give themselves away if you know what to look for. No matter what the bait they offer you, underneath it is a hook. Don't get hooked by consumer fraud!

FIVE HOOKS: Tell-Tale Signs of a Scam

THEY contacted YOU. Think about it. If you look up a business and call to make an order, you know who is on the other end of the deal. With a con artist, all you know is who that person says he or she is. You are already at a huge disadvantage.

They dangle BAIT in front of you. It is almost always a large sum of money, like a prize or an easy loan, or a large income. It sounds so easy! But we all know that people don't give away large sums of money so easily, or pay large incomes for nothing. Only in daydreams.

They want your PERSONAL INFORMATION. Anytime someone tries to get your bank account number, Social Security Number, or other sensitive information, you should automatically be on red alert.

Don't do it.

First, YOU have to pay THEM. Don't be blinded by the promise of a large sum of money in the future. If they are asking you to give them money first, back off. It is illegal for someone to require up-front payment before funding a loan or paying out a sweepstakes prize. And real employers don't generally ask new hires to shell out money.

You have to WIRE or AIRBORNE money instead of MAILING it. This is your last warning: if you are on the brink of wiring somebody money in order to get a prize or a loan, an inheritance or any other large sum of money, STOP! It's a scam, and they are trying to avoid the stiff penalties for mail fraud. You are about to be robbed.

By mail, by phone or face to face, con artists dangle baited hooks in front of honest people every day of the week. It usually begins with an unsolicited contact from a company, individual or organization you never heard of. You do not know who the caller really is. Real lotteries don't call you to say you've won. You don't get grants without applying for them. You don't get easy loans if you have bad credit. Real money is hard to get. It doesn't just come to you. But there are people who would like to take whatever money you have to lose. Don't get hooked!

How a Con Artist Scams You

Do you ever wonder, "How on earth did they fall for that?" Sad to say, many sensible, intelligent people find themselves asking, "Why did I do it?"

Learn how you can avoid falling for a con artist's schemes by reading, The Five Tricks of a Con Artist.

What to Do if You've Been Scammed

If you have been scammed, it's important you know how to properly report the scams and the steps to take to prevent being scammed again. Find valuable tips about both on our page, What to Do if You've been Scammed.

If Your Family Member Is a Victim

We are often contacted by frantic family members of victims of fraud, who are unable to convince the victim that the scam is not real. Phony lotteries and sweepstakes can be very persuasive to some people. Some people are particularly vulnerable to scams. Seniors may be lonely, trusting, and confused.

If you are having a hard time convincing someone to stop sending money to a scam artist, you can call this office at (800) 252-8011 for assistance. You may also wish to approach your family member's bank, where staff may be willing to alert you of withdrawals. In addition, law enforcement officers may be willing to visit the victim; the uniform can be persuasive. A law-abiding victim can sometimes be swayed by the knowledge that it is illegal to receive the proceeds of a foreign lottery.

Victims are often ashamed of having been duped. It can help them to understand that the con artists who perpetrate the scams are highly skilled and sophisticated. Intelligent, educated people can be fooled.

 

When the Business Can't Be Found

This problem is as old as the expression "Fly by Night," which describes the crook who sells you a raw deal and leaves town before you realize you've been had. Today, thanks to the Internet, the disappearing business is more common than ever.

Every single day, consumers contact the Office of the Attorney General saying, "They don't answer their phone, return my messages, or respond to my emails. They said they would give me a refund if I changed my mind, but I can't get hold of them." Or, "They said I had 10 days to cancel, but I have called and emailed every day for two weeks without being able to reach them!"

Businesses in Texas are required to register with the Secretary of State or the local county clerk's office. You can con-tact the SOS to find out the name of the registered agent for the business. Unfortunately, crooks tend not to bother re-porting themselves to the proper authorities. However, if you have lost money to a business that you can no longer reach, you can try to find contact information from the Secretary of State, or the county clerk where the business is located.

But don't wait for this to happen. Instead, before you do business, make sure the company is real. It should have a real address and real people registered to do business in this state or another state or country that registers real business-es. Seek independent confirmation that the business is what it claims to be.

Our best defense is education. Even if you have been scammed already, it's not too late to arm yourself against its happening again. When people know how to spot a scam, they can stop short before they lose their money. We want you to keep your hard earned money.

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Fresh Produce Mobile Vendors Zoning Commission Scheduled to Conduct Hearing on March 9th

Fresh produce could become more readily available in Fort Worth neighborhoods if changes to city regulations are approved.

 Amendments to both the City Code and the zoning ordinance for mobile vendors and pushcarts have been proposed to allow vendors to sell fresh produce in residential areas.

The amendments support a Blue Zones Project https://fortworth.bluezonesproject.com/ initiative to bring fresh produce to residents in underserved areas where few stores provide healthy food choices. The amendments also support the Plan4Health Tarrant County collaborative, which received an American Planning Association grant http://fortworthtexas.gov/news/2015/11/APA-fresh-food-grant/ to improve access to fresh, local food in three southeast Fort Worth ZIP codes.

Produce is currently allowed to be sold by mobile vendors and pushcarts, but only in nonresidential zoning districts. Proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance would create a fresh market mobile vendor category with limits on the products that could be sold. To be considered a fresh market mobile vendor, no less than 75 percent of the inventory should be fresh produce; the remainder can be prepackaged foods.

 The changes would allow produce sales from a mobile vendor on vacant lots in nonresidential districts with the permission of the property owner. They would also allow sales in residential zoning districts on property used for nonresidential purposes such as schools and churches, but not on vacant lots.

Fresh market mobile vendors would also be permitted to function as a transient vendor - in one place less than 60 minutes - and as an on-street vendor, similar to the requirements of an ice cream truck.

 The Zoning Commission is currently scheduled to conduct a hearing and vote on the proposed amendments on March 9th. The City Council is scheduled to conduct hearings and votes on the amendments on April 5th. More detailed information can be found on the attached IR.

 Should you have any further questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact:

 Jocelyn Murphy AICP, CNU-A

Planning Manager, Zoning and Land Use Section

City of Fort Worth, Planning and Development Department

1000 Throckmorton  76102.   Office: (817) 392-6226

Email: jocelyn.murphy@fortworthtexas.gov

 

GMN Editor's Note: for over 100 years, my hometown of El Paso, Texas has allowed  produce truck vendors to deliver farm-fresh fruits and vegetables directly to the consumer.  For a mom cooking dinner, it allows her to grab a few more items without having to load the kids in the car to make a trip to a store, usually several miles away.

When I was a kid, Mom always purchased  fruits and vegetables from the neighborhood truck vendor, and she learned how to prepare new dishes from many of the Abuelas on our block.  As an adult, I did the same. I will be very happy to see this service allowed in Fort Worth.

PASTOR’S CORNER

Max Brennan is pastor of

St. Matthew United Methodist Church

 2414 Hitson Lane, Fort Worth 76112.    817.451.6980

Sundays at 11:00 am

LIFE GOES ON

Bill is 85. He lost his beloved wife, Doris, about two years ago.

Just before worship recently, Bill stepped into my office. His first words puzzled me.

“Max,” he said, “I’m not going to let this eat me up.”

“What happened, Bill,” I asked him.

“I saw Doris this morning. I was getting out of bed—had just put my feet on the floor—and I looked over to the right and there she was in a chair.”

“Are you sure about this, Bill?”

“It was clear as can be. I have no question about it.”

“Did she say anything to you?”

“She said ‘Willy is real bad off.’ And then she just faded away.”

Bill explained that Willy has been a close friend for most of his life.

I could tell that Bill was shaken by this.

“Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I’m just not going to let it eat me up. I’m not going to let it stay on my mind.”

“But Bill,” I said, “this is a good thing.”

 “I know it is,” said Bill, “but I don’t know how to deal with it.”

 “Just accept it and give thanks,” I said.

 A  few  days  later, Bill   called  the

friend Doris had spoken of. The friend was indeed ill and having a hard time.

 I was talking to a woman whose husband had died suddenly. She had left the house for a short trip to the grocery store. When she got back home, she found him lying in the entrance hall. He had died of a heart attack.

 “I didn’t get to tell him goodbye,” she said. And the fact that she was not there when he died added to her sorrow. Her grief was overwhelming.

 But a week or so after he died, she saw him again. She was sitting in her usual chair, looking over at his empty one, and then she glanced toward the open door into the hall.

 He was standing there in his old red plaid shirt. Then he began to move toward her.

 “I knew he was going to kiss me,” she said. “I thought I may as well enjoy this so I closed my eyes and waited.”

 She felt a touch on the lips, opened her eyes, and he was gone.

 But some of her sorrow was gone, too. She knew then that her husband was doing just fine.  This is reality.

 What Jesus told us about life, death, and life after death is true.

 Let’s accept it—and give thanks.

(Sunday worship is at 11:00.)

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