Freeway lighting along
East Loop 820 planned this year

Posted Feb. 21, 2017 – Freeway lighting improvements along parts of Loop 820 will take place in three phases:

    Phase 1. I-30 to Rosedale. Work is underway with scheduled completion in September 2017.

    Phase 2. Rosedale to MLK Freeway-US287. Construction is scheduled for January-September 2018.

    Phase 3. MLK Freeway to I-20. TxDOT will perform these improvements as part of median barrier reconstruction. TxDOT estimates completion toward the end of 2017 or early 2018.

For each phase, improvement efforts included new electrical wiring, LED lighting fixtures and new poles if necessary. Funding for these improvements is provided through the General Fund’s annual freeway lighting budget and PayGo capital.

The City of Fort Worth is responsible for operating and maintaining freeway lighting along East Loop 820. This includes furnishing and funding electrical power, providing maintenance services and obtaining approval from TxDOT before making any major changes to the lighting system.

Project planning for the East Loop 820 improvements began during the summer of 2016 following an assessment of all freeway lighting infrastructure. This improvement effort was initiated in response to the poor condition of the existing lighting infrastructure and in coordination with TxDOT as that agency initiated other median barrier improvements that impacted freeway lighting.

Construction on wastewater mains to begin in the Carter Riverside area

Posted Feb. 10, 2017 – The city’s Water Department is hosted a community meeting at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15 to discuss the construction schedule and impacts to residents during replacement of wastewater lines in the Carter Riverside area. The meeting was held at the Riverside Community Center located at 3700 East Belknap. St.

Streets affected include:

  • Belknap Street from Yucca Avenue to North Beach Street
  • North Beach Street from Belknap Street to Springdale Road
  • Springdale Road from North Beach Street to North Riverside Drive
  • Carnation Avenue from west of the Carnation Avenue/Brittain Street Intersection to east of the same intersection
  • Brittain Street from Springdale Road to Selma Street
  • Selma Street from Brittain Street 500 feet east
  • Kearby Street from Beryl Street to 200 feet east
  • Easement between Barbell Lane and David Drive from Hollis Street to 1,050 feet north
  • Easement located 150 feet south of N.E. 28th Street/David Drive from 150 feet west to 250 feet west
  • Easement between Fairview Street and Robinwood Drive from Hollis Street to Selk Avenue
  • Easement between Robinwood Drive and Brittain Street from Hollis Street to Selk Avenue
  • Easement between Brittain Street and Beryl Street from Hollis Street to Selk Avenue
  • N.E. 28th Street from 1,000 feet west of Beach Street/N.E. 28th Street intersection to 600 feet east
  • Elinor Street from N.E. 28th Street to 1,250 feet north

Utility work is expected to be finished by late March 2018.

After the utility work is completed, a temporary asphalt repair will be done until the street can be scheduled for rehabilitation or reconstruction by the Transportation & Public Works Department.

For more information contact Project Manager Robert Sauceda at 817-392-2387.

East Brentwood Stair at Loop 820 gets divided median-no left turns

The city is nearing completion on the one block section of East Brentwood Stair, in between Loop 820 and Handley Drive, in front of the QT station. The street will now have a raised curb-median to prevent left hand turns in both directions.

This will help with traffic flow during rush hours, and hopefully, will prevent the crashes caused when someone turns in front of oncoming traffic. All three entrances to the QT station remain open while the construction is occurring. Photo taken the morning of Feb. 17.


Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood Association votes to "adopt"
West Handley Elementary School

Brentood-Oak Hills had their quarterly meeting on Thursday, February 16, at the Handley Meadowbrook Community Center.

The guest speaker for the evening was the newest principal at West Handley Elementary, Julie Moynihan, invited by Rita Vinson.

As some of you know, Rita Vinson just completed two years of service on the board Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations, serving as its president for 2016.  On August 15, 2016, she saw an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram which listed 22 FWISD schools rated as "Improvement Required."  A few days later she  thought it would be good to link up neighborhood associations with these 22 schools to see if there are ways the Associations can provide a variety of community support, tailored to the needs of each school.

There is not a school within the BOHN boundaries, and the schools nearby that BOHN children attend are Eastern Hills Elementary School, which is not on the "IR" list, and Eastern Hills High School, which is, but by just one point.  Those schools already get support from Eastern Hills NA and from alumni of EHHS.

Rita proposed that the Brentwood-Oak Hills NA (BOHN) learn about the needs of West Handley Elementary, which is on the IR list.  It is one of three IR schools which are in the area of the Handley NA, and three schools is too many schools for one NA to "adopt."

Rita has proposed that BOHN partner with West Handley ES students, parents, and staff for the April 1 Cowtown Cleanup activity as a way to get acquainted.   (The school is located at 2719 Putman St., which runs alongside the Assured Faith Church of God in Christ, where BOHN used to hold meetings.)

The major problem in FWISD elementary schools citywide is literacy, and volunteers are needed to help students learn to read at grade level by the third grade.  They especially need volunteers who are bilingual in Spanish and English.

The possibilities are limited only by our imagination on ways we can support the school.  West Handley is starting a garden, and Rita talked with master gardner, Dawn Hancock, about lending assistance.  Dawn is willing to do this and is already doing it for Meadowbrook ES's garden.

One school asked for books for the students to read while on the school buses.  All the students at another school received free toothbrushes when it was learned that most of them didn't have one.

After Julie spoke, we also heard from Trustee Christene Moss, and Eastern Hills Charles Hodges, and student Makayla, member of the Joy Club and the Gardening Club. She told what the 2 clubs do for students, and what the plans and goals are for the community vegetable garden.


Following the meeting, Rita composed this letter on behalf of the Association:

Dear Ms. Moynihan:

Thank you so much for taking time to meet with the Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood (BOHN) Association last night to tell us about your school and its students and the school's needs.

After you spoke we also heard from Charles Hodges, Director of the FWISD Eastside Alliance Community Partnership (EACP) of the 13 schools in the Eastern Hills High School pyramid.  He brought with him an EHHS student, Makayla Parsons, as his first Community Engagement student to visit a neighborhood association.  She talked about the EHHS Joy Club and its Garden Club, and she lives in the BOHN neighborhood.

Later in the meeting, spontaneously, a member made a motion, which passed, for the BOHN Association to

1.  Donate $200 to West Handley ES, to be used at the principal's discretion, and

2.  Donate $200 to Eastern Hills HS in support of its Garden Club.

I am proud that our organization made this level of commitment to the two "IR" schools that are closest to our neighborhood.  Since our dues are only $5.00 per year per household, these two donations represent about 70 per cent of our annual income.  I hope this is an indication of our members' willingness to help your school in other ways, as well.

Best of luck in all of your endeavors as principal of West Handley ES.  Go Owls!

Rita M. Vinson, BOHN VP Communications


A presentation ceremony is being planned. Details to come.

Volunteer with VITA to help provide free income tax assistance for families in Tarrant County

Posted Feb. 3, 2017 – The City of Fort Worth is partnering with the United Way of Tarrant County to offer free income tax assistance for local families through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. The VITA program targets low- to middle-income families with a household income of $55,000 or less and offers free tax assistance and income tax filing. VITA also offers additional financial education training on how to manage finances by reducing debt and building assets.

This year, taxpayers can use VITA services three ways: through traditional visits to the VITA site, through VITA On The Go and through

VITA On The Go gives taxpayers the flexibility to drop off their tax information, have their taxes prepared within three days and return to the site to review and complete their tax filing. gives taxpayers the ability to prepare and file returns through computers at VITA sites. Certified tax preparers are available to answer questions.

All VITA volunteers are IRS-certified in tax law and must receive a score of 80 percent or higher to achieve this certification. Volunteers are also required to complete ethics training through the Volunteer Standards of Conduct.

This year, VITA sites will be located across Tarrant County, including the Tarrant County College Opportunity Center, the south campus of Tarrant County College, Opening Doors for Women, Community Enrichment Center, GRACE in Grapevine, Southside, Andrew Doc Session Community Center, Martin Luther King Community Center and Northside Community Center.

Volunteers needed

The Fort Worth VITA program is seeking volunteers to assist during the upcoming tax filing season, which runs through April. Volunteers can get involved by becoming:

Greeters, who welcome and direct customers while during sign-in.

Intake specialists, who ensure customers have the necessary documentation to complete their income tax return and help them complete the information in their VITA packet.

Interpreters, who provide free interpretation and translation services to customers not fluent in English, or customers who need additional assistance.

Tax preparers, who prepare simple tax returns and discuss the return with the customer after the quality review process is complete.

No prior qualification is required to be a VITA tax preparer, and VITA volunteers are not liable for mistakes, per the Volunteer Protection Act. A VITA staff person will be present with the volunteer at all times, and each tax return is reviewed before being submitted to the IRS.

Continuing education credits are available for tax return preparers and other enrolled agents who work as volunteers for the VITA program. These credits could include up to 14 hours of credit as quality reviewers or tax return preparers, eight hours of credit as tax law instructors and up to 18 hours of credit by meeting the requirements for quality reviewers, tax return preparers or instructors.

Qualifying volunteers must complete the Volunteer Standards of Conduct Training, certify in tax law using Link & Learn Taxes and meet the minimum requirements as quality reviewers, tax return preparers or instructors.

Become a volunteer by visiting the United Way website or by contacting VITA by email.

What’s the point?

Ever heard of Epicurus?  Maybe not, he lived centuries ago.  However many live as if they were his disciples.  You see, among other things he taught men to “eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”  Sound familiar; does it come close to your own thinking?

 Trent Reznor of the band, Nine Inch Nails, said, “The biggest revelation I’ve had about my own life is that I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted to do, and I’m still pretty miserable.”  Clarence Darrow who stated, “I do not believe in God” also found that life without God is like “a ship in the sea, tossed by every wave and wind; a ship headed for no port and no harbor, with no rudder, no compass, no pilot; simply floating for a time, then lost in the waves.”  Living only for the moment provides no purpose for living.

By contrast Jesus Christ reminds us that life is more than our possessions (Luke 12:15).  Since He came that we might have life, “and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) and is the only source of salvation (Acts 4:12), He can invite, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  Follow Christ and find purpose!


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

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