Neighborhood News

Cook Children's ER doctor urges gun safety after five kids shot, one killed in a single day in Fort Worth

Posted Sept. 18, 2019

a child's hand reaching for a gun on a shelf

Make sure all guns are equipped with effective,
child-resistant gun locks.

In only one day, five children were shot, one fatally, in incidents throughout Tarrant County on Sept. 15.

Dan Guzman, a Cook Children’s emergency physician, called the day gut-wrenching for the victims, their families and the medical staff that treated the kids, ranging from ages 3 to 14.

Gun awareness and gun safety is a passion for Guzman. He is the medical director of the Aim for Safety program at Cook Children’s, which promotes firearm safety for children. The program is a multi-step interactive experience that provides parental awareness and teaches children the steps they should take when they encounter a firearm.

“I think most people think this ‘won’t happen to us’ because we’ve taught our kids to never touch guns,” Guzman said. “But if you aren’t taking the proper precautions as the adult and parent, it’s probably only a matter of when, not if, your life may be affected by an unintentional discharge involving someone you know, and maybe even your child.”

Firearm-related fatalities are a top-three cause of death among children in the United States.

Guzman said before the weekend, the medical center staff sees about one child per week. Already in 2019, three gunshot wounds treated at the medical center have been fatal.

“Unfortunately, the tragedy of children falling victim to unsecured firearms continues to happen daily,” Guzman said. “These preventable incidents and the pain and suffering they inflict can be reduced by properly securing your firearms.”

As part of the program, Guzman offered these safety tips:


The 3 Ts of firearm safety and children

Talk. This includes your family, neighbors and friends. When your child visits other homes, ask the owners if there are guns in their homes and how they are stored. Guzman said this question is not to be insulting, but to keep your children safe from unsecured firearms.

Teach. Have a conversation with your kids about what to do if they see a gun:


    Don’t touch the gun.

    Run away.

    Tell someone.

Take. Guzman is asking gun owners to take action and store their firearms properly. And, to take personal responsibility for our children’s safety.


The most secure place for a firearm is in a safe with the ammunition stored separately. Unsecured firearms should always be in your possession. If you are unable to purchase a gun safe, then separating the ammunition from the firearm and using a cable or trigger lock will help reduce the risk of unintentional injury to a child.

Neighborhood awards how-to workshops planned


Posted Sept. 16, 2019

Ten award presentations are part of the Mayor's Community Engagement Workshops and Neighborhood Awards.


Learn best practices for completing the 2019 Neighborhood Awards application when you attend an In It to Win It workshop this fall. Choose from one of three dates:


Sept. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Sept. 28, 9-11 a.m.

Oct. 3, 9-11 a.m.


The workshops will be at Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Missouri Ave.

Registration is free. Residents who attend a workshop will receive an advance copy of the 2019 Neighborhood Awards application. Reserve your seat.

The neighborhood awards that will be presented early next year include:

    Fort Worth Pride.

    Spirit of Fort Worth.

    Mayor’s Civic Engagement and Community Collaboration.

    Mayor’s Health and Wellness.

    Neighborhood Newsletter.

    Danny Scarth Trailblazer Award.

    Neighborhood Patrol Officer of the Year.

    Code Compliance Officer of the Year.

    Neighborhood of the Year.

    Fort Worth Neighbor of the Year.


To learn more, you can contact Community Engagement at 817-392-6201.

Learn about plans for the future of Butler Place

Posted Sept. 17, 2019

view of the Butler Place Development


Butler Place opened in 1940 and was expanded in the early 1960s. It is one of 52 Public Works Administration projects for low-income housing under Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.

Public workshops to discuss the future of Butler Place, a 42-acre public housing property adjacent to downtown Fort Worth, are planned:

  Sept. 23, 3:30-5 p.m. The focus will be on historic preservation.

  Sept. 24, 9-10:30 a.m. The focus will be on development.

Both meetings will be in the Auditorium at Fort Worth Housing Solutions, 1201 E. 13th St. Use the side entrance from the main courtyard.

The City of Fort Worth will lead the workshops on behalf of Fort Worth Housing Solutions. Briefings will be given about Butler Place’s history, the relocation plan for its residents and proposed transportation improvements to the site. City staff will facilitate small-group discussions.

A cross-section of groups will be represented, including the NAACP, I.M. Terrell High School Alumni Association, Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Fort Worth Inc., Southeast Fort Worth Inc., Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society, Historic Fort Worth, Tarrant Transit Alliance and Fort Worth ISD.

The community’s input is important to Fort Worth Housing Solutions as it moves forward with decisions about Butler Place, the city’s oldest public housing property. For nearly two years Butler’s residents have been relocating to apartment communities of their choice in neighborhoods across the city with better access to jobs, grocery stores, schools, parks and other amenities. Once all residents are relocated, Fort Worth Housing Solutions will no longer receive HUD funds to manage the property. The disposition of all or part of the property would be used to support the agency’s efforts to develop new housing options for individuals and families in need.

To learn more, contact Margaret Ritsch at 817-333-3405.

So what's the difference between a weather watch and a warning?

Posted Sept. 17, 2019

Many people question what it means when the National Weather Service issues a watch or a warning. Knowing the difference is important, especially when it’s a tornado or flash flood warning.


Here’s a quick way to tell the difference:

    A watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop in or near the watch area. The watch area, when shown on a map, will usually cover several counties or large portions of the region. Residents should translate this as: “Good chance we’ll get some weather.” Stay alert and keep your eyes and ears open as the weather may be changing soon.

    A warning means a dangerous weather event is occurring or will shortly occur at or very near a specific location. The warning area, when shown on a map, is normally much smaller, such as the size of a town, city or single county. Residents should translate this as: “If you’re in that location, take cover right now!”

The National Weather Service will issue a weather watch or warning for tornados, severe thunderstorms, flash floods and excessive temperatures. Stay a step ahead of the storms by purchasing a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio to receive watch and warning information directly from the National Weather Service.


The bottom line on watches and warning:

In a watch, keep your eyes open and watch for changing weather conditions.

In a warning, find sturdy shelter immediately if you are in the warning area.


Deborah Tate-Lewis,

Deborah Tate-Lewis, Dunbar HS class of ’72, has a passion for developing and managing programs and events designed to uplift the hearts and spirits of people. She holds a BBA in Accounting from Texas Wesleyan University and a MBA in Management from Dallas Baptist University.

The Annual Tarrant County Harambee Festival is the brainchild of Deborah Tate-Lewis, conceived in 2008 and brought into fruition in 2010. Harambee means “All Come Together” in Swahili, and each year the festival brings the Tarrant County community together to  promote love and harmony for people of all colors.

The festival offers two fun-filled days of art, entertainment, food and activities; as well as culture, health and community awareness.

SAVE THE DATES for October 4 and 5 for the Tenth Annual Harambee Festival, 1050 Evans Avenue, Fort Worth.

With the help of board members of the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society and community volunteers, Ms. Lewis has made great strides in increasing participation in the festival each year. Last year, a Friday night “Seafood, Chicken and Blues” event was added to the festival.  There was such an overwhelming response from the festival attendees that the decision was made to keep the Bluesfest as a permanent event of the festival.

Through sponsorship, the festival is free to the public, and serves as the major fundraiser for the day-to-day operations of the Lenora Rolla Heritage Center Museum.

Deborah gradeuated from Dunbar High School in 1972. She is a recent retiree from Lockheed Martin, after 35+ years in Accounting and Finance. She serves and receives her spiritual guidance at The Potter’s House of Fort Worth. Ms. Lewis is the proud mother of Carl Lewis, Jr. and Jock Jamaal Lewis, the mother-in-law of Chastity Lewis and the grandmother of Gabriel Jamal Lewis.

Wait, those names rings a bell? Carl L. Lewis, Jr., is a FWISD School Counselor and is the proprietor of Positive Principles and Precepts.

Youngest son, Jock, is the Gospel Jazz Saxophonist – known as the one man band – and Minister of Music at Harvest United Methodist Church.

Daughter-in-Law Chastity is a CPA and a Corporate Manager at Lockheed-Martin. Grandson Gabriel just graduated in 2019 as Valedictorian at TCC Marine Creek Collegiate High School with an Associates of Arts Degree, as a dual credit scholar.


For more information on the festival:


Fort Worth embraces the value of continuous improvement for sustainability

Posted Sept. 18, 2019

cyclists ride a trail with the skyline in the background

Numerous City of Fort Worth actions support sustainability.


On Sept. 20, concerned residents in Fort Worth will join their counterparts across the world for the Global Climate Strike, a grassroots movement designed to bring attention to climate justice and to encourage local actions to promote sustainability.

“The City of Fort Worth understands the importance of taking actions which foster sustainability for future generations to come,” said Cody Whittenburg, environmental manager for the Code Compliance–Environmental Quality Division. “From a global perspective, there is a lot of work that can be done in this area; acting locally, I anticipate Fort Worth will only continue to explore sustainable actions that make sense for our community.”

Some city actions that support sustainability include:

U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement

This early agreement, signed by former Mayor Mike Moncrief in 2007, set a goal to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land-use policies to urban forest restoration projects to public information campaigns.

Clean Energy Scorecard

A 2019 report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked Fort Worth 44th among 75 large U.S. cities in energy conservation. Fort Worth performed best in buildings policies and energy and water utilities. The report also offers areas where the city can improve to advance its rank in future editions.


  • The City of Fort Worth supports and promotes the Fort Worth BCycle bike sharing program, with 350 bikes at 46 stations across the city.
  • The city has purchased hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and other alternative fuel vehicles — supporting alternative fleet options, where possible.
  • The Solid Waste Division is replacing diesel-based illegal dump collection vehicles and other lightweight units with CNG-based vehicles over the next several years.
  • The Commuter Benefits Program encourages city employees to participate in activities that help reduce air pollution during ozone season
    (between May 1 and Oct. 31).
  • The city is working with Trinity Metro and other partners on developing a mobility/transit plan.
  • The city works closely with regional partners through the North Central Texas Council of Governments on regional transportation planning which also promotes clean air actions that can improve air quality, including taking alternative transit options.
  • The city has an electric charging station available to the public at its Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.


Energy and water

    The city, in partnership with the State Energy Conservation Office, is updating its Municipal Energy Management Plan, first published in 1981 in response to the 1970s energy crisis.

    In 2012, the city joined the Better Buildings Challenge under the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. With city encouragement, the local partnership committed to reducing the energy intensity of 20 million square feet of community buildings by 20%. As of 2018, a 16% reduction has been achieved.

    In 2016, the city joined the Department of Energy’s Better Communities Alliance, a program to bring together public and private sector leaders to deliver energy efficiency, sustainable transportation and renewable energy solutions that create cleaner and more prosperous communities.

    The city’s streetlight maintenance program replaces streetlight fixtures with new LEDs and completed a pilot program installing more than 3,400 residential streetlights.

    The city continues planning for future outdoor LED projects, including lighting throughout city parks and at other city facilities.

    A city resolution establishes a goal to reduce city facility electricity consumption by at least 5% per-year through 2021 to comply with Texas Senate Bill 898; city energy and water utilities ae publicly reported on its website in compliance with House Bill 3693.

    New city buildings are designed to meet, at minimum, LEED Silver standards. While the city does not always pursue formal LEED certification, city standards ensure implementation of energy- and water-conserving features.

    Nearly 50% of city government buildings, and the largest of its 11.8 million square feet in facilities, have undergone comprehensive energy- and water-efficiency retrofit over the last decade.

    Approximately 50% of city energy consumption is for water treatment and pumping. Over the past five years, energy efficiency improvements were implemented at all of the city’s water utility facilities.

    The city’s Water Department participates in area conservation programs such as Save Fort Worth Water and SmartWater to encourage residents to better manage the community’s water resources. City facilities have participated in these efforts to save water.


Electricity generation

Energy recovery efforts have reduced the Village Creek Water Reclamation Facility carbon footprint by an estimated 58,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The city has installed solar panels at seven public facilities, including the Southwest Community Center, the East Regional Library, the Hillshire Drop-Off Station and the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.

The city continues to explore renewable energy options to power its facilities, including the installation of an onsite solar- and wind-power and purchase of renewables by contract for all city facilities.


Trees and the urban heat island

 The city owns and operates the Rolling Hills Tree Farm and runs a citizen forester program. Trees are grown from seeds harvested in the city and planted in parks and public spaces. They are also given to residents through the Tree Grant Program and the Neighborhood Tree Planting Program.

    Fort Worth has been recognized annually by Tree City USA since 1978 for its sound forestry practices.


Waste diversion

Fort Worth has increased the diversion of yard waste (tree limbs, grass and leaves) and organic (food scraps) materials from the Southeast Landfill.

Staff members continue to explore opportunities to divert materials from both the residential and commercial sectors away from the Southeast Landfill.

Materials management staff continue to support sustainable behaviors that include the well-known basics of reduce, reuse and recycle.


Long-range planning

The city is finalizing a draft Environmental Master Plan, the first plan of its kind, which is planned for release this fall for public comment.

 The city worked with stakeholders to develop the Lake Worth Greenprint plan, which identifies lands to be targeted for conservation.

The city’s Comprehensive Plan incorporates core themes of sustainability, as the community continues to grow and evolve.


To learn more about environmental quality or sustainability topics, contact

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