Promoting East Fort Worth since 1974

– 2017 Meeting Reviews –

Pete Geren

Preston Murdoch Geren, III, known as Pete Geren (born January 29, 1952) served as the 20th United States Secretary of the Army from July 16, 2007 to September 16, 2009. He is a Democratic former member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas's 12th congressional district. He is currently president of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in Fort Worth.

Geren was born in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, from 1970 to 1973, where he was the starting center for the football team. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas in 1974 and his Juris Doctor from University of Texas Law School in 1978.

Pete's military career is impressive:

  • 20th United States Secretary of the Army In office March 9, 2007 – September 16, 2009, under both President  George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
  • United States Secretary of the Air Force, Acting. In office June 29, 2005 – November 4, 2005.
  • Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas's 12th district,  In office September 12, 1989 – January 3, 1997.

Currently, Pete is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation and Sid Richardson Museum in Fort Worth. Sid W. Richardson established his foundation in 1947.  Although Sid's interests reached beyond Texas, he retained his utmost concern for the people of his home state.  For this reason, he provided in the Foundation’s charter that all grants be awarded to recipients within the state of Texas.The Richardson Foundation also operates the Sid Richardson Museum, an art museum that features exhibitions of paintings and sculptures of the premier artists of the American West, including paintings from Sid Richardson’s personal collection and art on loan from other nationally renowned collections.  The art museum is located in Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas.

Wikipedia & www.sidrichardson.org

December 2017

What a wonderful year we have had! We have reached a hundred in membership, bought books for nine elementary school libraries, dedicated an art piece at Meadowbrook Elementary, given financial aid to six local high school seniors and just had a wonderful November event. We had more participating sponsors this year and will have money left over for another project to be decided on by our members. Just to get you thinking about it…do we stick with education or should we perhaps honor our service personnel? Just asking.

The event itself was really fun and well attended. We had Gilma Avalos from CBS 11 as our co-host. The students were delighted to have pictures taken with her, and she was one of the most gracious celebrities we’ve had the privilege to meet. She really enjoyed being with us and was instrumental in showing the pictures of her with the students on air during the four o’clock newscast the following day. Gilma also sent a CBS 11 photographer to the ceremony on Friday, where I was honored to be at a thank you party with the librarians who were sorting the books we had donated for the nine schools. The photos of that event were shown on Channel 11 at the five o’clock hour. We had good publicity for our organization for the first time in my memory and this is my 25th year as a member of East Fort Worth Business Association. Photographs of the book distribution event taken by photographer Lloyd Jones, can be viewed below.

Thanks to Jason Ray, Bill Schwennsen, Charles Hodges, and my own dear husband, Don, for the great job they did on the event.  We had a wonderful committee from start to finish. Each of them have already almost volunteered to do their jobs again next year.

Our speaker for December 7th (Pearl Harbor Day) is a former Secretary of the Army, Pete Geren. I won’t say a lot about him in this part of the newsletter because Kat will have his bio for you elsewhere. I will say Pete is a homegrown hero. His family has done much over the years to make Fort Worth a better place. Pete represented us in congress and had the good sense not to stay there forever. He has served us well and continues to serve. I’m proud to call him a friend and look forward to his visit.

School Library Books Distribution Party!

In keeping with our "Education is Good Business" theme, East Fort Worth Business Association donated $5,400 to the school libraries of the nine elementary and middle schools in the Eastern Hills pyramid.

Each school's Librarian selected the books they wanted for their schools, and almost 500 books were ordered. On Friday, November 10, the librarians were treated to a small party to receive their new books.

A small label was placed inside each book to let the students know that EFWBA donated the book to their school to encourage their love of reading for knowledge and enjoyment.

EFWBA members Christene Moss and Charles Hodges, along with FWISD Librarian Zenobia Hood were on hand to help distribute and label the books. To the Librarians – it was Christmas come early.

2017 Awards Banquet

Recognizing Outstanding Members of the Community and Outstanding Scholars from Eastside High Schools

Thursday, November 9, 2017 • 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Woodhaven Country Club, 913 Country Club Lane

Outstanding Awards Banquet Keynote Speaker: Gilma Avalos

Avalos joined CBS 11 in October 2014 from WTVJ-TV in her hometown of Miami. During her time in Florida, Gilma covered several stories that made national headlines, including the death of Trayvon Martin and subsequent arrest of George Zimmerman. Gilma previously served as an anchor and reporter for News 12 The Bronx in New York City, where she received a regional EMMY nomination for Hurricane Isaac coverage.

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. Gilma holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and Spanish from Columbia University. She began her broadcasting career at the age of 12, as the host of Paleokids, a Spanish Language show for Discovery Kids Latin America.

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, discovering good restaurants, and walking her rescue Dachshund, Lola.

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

Outstanding Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

440 Fort Worth Firefighters

 

Gold Sponsors

Don Boren & Wanda Conlin

Pinnacle Bank

Texans Can Academies

Whiz-Q Stone

Paul Kerpoe / East Fort Worth Inc.

 

Silver Sponsors

Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP

Alex Nason – Pearle Vision

First Southwest Properties
Management Company

Police Officers Association

 

Bronze Sponsors

Southside Bank

 

Scholarship Sponsors

Commissioner Roy C. Brooks

Schwennsen Financial

Judge Ralph Swearingin

Whitt Inspections

Medford Remodeling

October 5
Guest Speaker
Robert Sturns

Our October guest speaker has progressed from the U.S. Army Reserve to the economic development leader of Fort Worth. Sturns has been written about in the Fort Worth Business Press and was featured in TCU Magazine, story by Mark Wright.

In the TCU magazine article, Wright states “Sturns saw the value of public service early in life. He is the son of Vernell Sturns, former Fort Worth city manager and Dallas/Fort Worth Airport executive director. “I grew up with municipal government,” he says of his father. “I just never really thought of it as a career path.”

He is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council.

Sturns attended Eastern Hills High School, 1985; he earned his BA in Radio/TV at Stephen F. Austin, 1990; and his MBA from TCU, 1997. In between, he served as Captain, U.S. Army Reserve from 1990-2001.

OCTOBER

The October meeting with Economic Development Director Robert Sturns was informative and well attended. He gave us an overview of the economic development study commissioned by the city to develop a guide for economic development in Fort Worth. There are five target areas to be given special attention. East Lancaster Avenue is on that list. We're not real sure what that means other than that we're on the list.

East Lancaster is probably the most studied street in the city and we've seen a steady decline. We are beginning to see a little upward movement with three new buildings in the corridor. One Golden Chick, an Advance Auto Parts and one where the old Sonic was. This means we're at least on somebody's radar. For the first time ever, we heard a city staff person admit that the homeless issue is a big detriment. We appreciated Sturns’ honesty.

Our East Fort Worth Business Association Spirit Night at Mexican Inn was a huge success. We filled the parking lot to overflow three or four times with cars parked across the street and down the street. Standing room in the lobby with wait times for tables and a great representation from all our neighborhoods with the possible exception of Woodhaven.

I don't believe I saw anyone from there.

We had one couple from the TCU area who were asking how often we had this so they could schedule their night for being present. There was a lot of cross visiting among different groups and it was just a real party for East Fort Worth. Thanks to all who shared our support for this loyal business in our community.

Don and I only had to run off five panhandlers. Disgusting.

The next big item on our agenda is the November Awards Banquet at Woodhaven Country Club on November 9th• The invitations have been sent, we have wonderful sponsors and are looking forward to a fun evening. Get your reservations in early as we're only selling spaces for 150. This is our opportunity to say thanks to outstanding people and to give a little hand up to deserving students from our local high schools. We shifted the officer installation to December because the evening gets a little long for a week night if we try to include everything. We want our special guest, Gilma Avalos, from CBS Channel 11 to have time to share her experiences with us.

Don't forget to put on your calendar the Trunk Show at Pearle Vision. Alex is going to share a portion of the proceeds from that day with us, but the best part will be savings for the folks who buy frames that day. He has a plan for free lenses if you buy frames. This is one more opportunity to show a long time business in East Fort Worth how much we appreciate them.

The December regular meeting will be at Smokey's at 11:30 as usual on Thursday December 7th, Pearl harbor Day. Judge Ralph Swearingin will swear in the new officers and our speaker will be Pete Gerin, former Secretary of the Army and former Congressman. More than just a regular meeting.

Later,

Wanda

 

Traffic Signal Box Public Art Dedication

The City of Fort Worth Public Art Program recently installed original artwork by 12 local artists on a series of 14 traffic signal control cabinets along East Lancaster Avenue from Pine Street to Sandy Lane. A dedication took place from 10-11 a.m. Oct. 7 at the East Division Police Station, 5650 E. Lancaster Ave.

The original designs by local artists were selected by a panel of community members, artists, elected officials and city staff.

Recommended as a long-term temporary public art project by artist Jack Mackie in the East Lancaster Public Art Plan as an “opportunity for the city to invest in its utilities poetically,” artworks are featured at Pine, Riverside, Beach, Collard, Ayres, Sargent, Oakland, Rand, Edgewood, Tierney, Weiler, Canton, Handley and Sandy. The Weiler, Canton, Handley and Sandy cabinets are located in Council District 5 with all other cabinets in Council District 8.

 

The panel selected artworks from more than 260 images submitted by local artists. Themes represent transportation, reading, recreation, environmental stewardship and the history of Fort Worth’s east side. Original artworks were formatted to fit the traffic signal control cabinets and printed on a special 3M vinyl media designed for outdoor use.

Local artists whose work is represented: Gregory Beck, Amy Behrens, Casie Caseboldt, Teresa Foster, Chris Gonzalez, Maria Haag, Brendan T. Kelly, Suzanne McNeill-Sparks, George Peak, Andrew Postell, Kim Robbins and Armando Torres.

Gyna Bivens
District 5

Kelly Allen Gray
District 5

Cary Moon
District 4

September meeting with Eastside City Council Members: Gyna Bivens, Kelly Allen Gray, Cary Moon

The September meeting was well attended, as we expected it would be. The three council members who were elected to represent East Fort Worth always draw an interested crowd. We did not have the overflow crowd of seventy which came in August, but a very comfortable fifty came to hear an updates on Council Districts 4, 5, and 8. District 8 with Kelly Allen Gray was first to speak. She gave an overview of city issues which include budget and upcoming bond. The bond – once again – will include enhancements such as libraries and community centers. There was nothing of that nature in our immediate area. What the bond covers for East Fort Worth as proposed is mainly streets.

Gyna Bivens, representing District 5, was second to speak. There are interesting things occurring in this district. There have been sweeping zoning changes which are designed to implement the Lake Arlington Master Plan and major improvements occurring in the Stop Six area.

A push to upgrade the Stop Six community include code compliance, crime fighting, and new residential development. The Trinity Boulevard development by Ken Newell is also moving forward, although it seems at a snail’s pace. This development includes a major grocery store and other retail.

District 4, Cary Moon, has a lot going on in his district, but not a great deal in East Fort Worth. He was instrumental in bringing the large charter school to Woodhaven, which meant a twenty five million dollar investment, and he is also working to bring the companion high school to Randol Mill, which is another thirty million dollar investment for our community. The northern part of District 4 is growing so fast it’s hard to keep up with all the infra structure needs, but it is getting a much needed new library and police station.

The three Council representatives had to leave for a bond meeting before there was a chance for questions on needs we felt needed to be addressed from our group. At our board meeting, we decided to host a different format for this meeting next year. We’ll plan an actual forum/town hall type when more of the community can be present, and the representatives will have time to address our needs and wants.

As to the items we’d like to see on this bond program there are at least three that would make a difference to the overall health of our area. We need a community center which serves the western end of East Fort Worth. We have a small meeting room at East Regional Library and an aging rec center in Handley which is used to death. West and Central Meadowbrook, Eastern Hills, BOHN, White Lake Hills and Woodhaven have never had a place to call home. We depend on the generosity of schools and churches for our meeting needs. A good place would be on the Oakland/East 1st Street end of Gateway Park. We need the sidewalks along Oakland and Bridge finished to accommodate pedestrian access to the park. The third thing for the bond program would be the actual finish of Randol Mill / East 1st Street. It goes from Loop 820 as a divided four lane boulevard, changes to two lanes, and then flows back to a divided four lane. This is dangerous and should have been corrected years ago. These are the three bond construction projects I feel are necessities. There are other issues which are governmental in nature which should be addressed, but not for mention as bond program inclusions.

August

Our August meeting was one of those ‘Awe Moments’ we come across at unexpected times. We had 70 members and guests present, filling our meeting space with an enthusiastic crowd. Councilmember Cary Moon introduced the speakers from the International Leadership of Texas charter school. The contractor who built the school facility was first to speak, and he was joined by one of the coaches who gave us a personal view of the tri-lingual academic process.

We learned a lot about the building of the school and all the infrastructure problems they ran into. We also learned that plans are in the works for a companion high school with dorms for international students. That location will be just west of Riverbend Estates, on the large property with the big utility easement adjoining Randol Mill Road. This is  another very large financial investment and educational opportunity in East Fort Worth.

Other things on the agenda for the meeting was a presentation of a check to Charles Hodges, Fort Worth ISD Liason for the Eastern Hills Pyramid, and School Board Trustees Christene Moss and Tobi Jackson, for fifty-four hundred dollars to purchase books for nine elementary school libraries.

Five thousand dollars was from East Fort Worth Business Association,

one hundred dollars from Danny Scarth, one hundred dollars from Maribeth Ashley, and two hundred from Don Boren and Wanda Conlin.

The schools receiving the new books are the feeder schools in the Eastern Hills High School pyramid.

This is EFWBA recognizing that “Education is Good Business.”

The other presentation was in recognition of a new US Citizen. Patty Henderson, wife of our past president, Doug Henderson, was sworn in as a citizen on July 6th.

State Senator Koni Burton, represented by Leigh Collins, presented Patty with a resolution and Congressman Marc Veasey had sent a flag which had flown over the Capitol in Patty’s honor. I had the honor of presenting the flag.

Our next meeting will have the three city council members who represent our area as our guests.

I expect reports on the next bond issue and new budget in addition to issues each district faces. This is always a well attended meeting and we need to know you’re coming.

Please RSVP so we’ll have enough food and chairs.

See you on September 7th.

Save the date for the Blessing of the  Buffalos at Meadowbrook Elementary School at 10am on Friday, September 22. Open to the public.

August 3
Guest Speaker
Eddie Conger

Eddie Conger, is the superintendent of the new International Leadership of Texas campus. Eddie Conger is a former Dallas ISD administrator, who recently served as principal at Thomas Jefferson High School, left DISD to run this new charter school located in East Fort Worth, TX.

 Conger has previously served as Principal in the Hillsboro and Garland, TX school districts.

After serving 20 years as a United States Marine Corps Infantry Officer and traveling to numerous countries throughout the world, he fully recognized the critical importance of ensuring that children receive the highest quality education that is humanly possible.

As a successful middle school and high school principal, he knows from experience that when students are held to high expectations for both academic excellence and appropriate civil behavior, they will rise to that high standard.

At ILTexas, children will be given an incredible opportunity to develop and model servant leadership and to master three languages – English, Spanish and Chinese.

Mr. Conger said “I look forward to personally meeting you and would love the opportunity to answer any questions you may have. Most importantly, I look forward to watching your children grow and excel at the International Leadership of Texas Charter Schools.”

 

Learn more about this new school at:

https://www.iltexasdistrict.org/

June 1 Guest Speaker

Our June 1, 2017 guest speaker is Joe Prud'homme, Texas Wesleyan RAMS Head Football Coach.

Seven-time TAPPS state football champion Joe Prud’homme was named as the new head coach of Texas Wesleyan’s reinstated football program in 2016.

Prud’homme previously served as head football coach at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth for 24 years, where he built a perennial powerhouse in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) 5A division. During his tenure, the team won seven state championships between 2004 and 2013. Prud’homme was named Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s Private School Coach of the Year in 2008.

Steve Trachier, athletics director, underscored Prud’homme’s commitment to the same values that make Texas Wesleyan a unique, student-centered experience that puts education at the forefront of a student’s time at Texas Wesleyan.

“Joe is a truly phenomenal coach who has shown he knows how to build and sustain championship-caliber programs,” Trachier said. “He’s done that with student-athletes that have talent on the field and who excel in the classroom.”

“We’ve had interest in the head coach position from across the country,” President Frederick G. Slabach said. “We believe we have found a coach that will build a championship program and will bring great pride to Texas Wesleyan and all of Fort Worth.”

http://bit.ly/2p5hHnd

June

Our May meeting was not the largest attendance we’ve had, but the topic was very interesting and the crowd was enthusiastic.

 Naomi Byrne had just been fired by the Fort Worth Housing Solutions  board, without being given a reason, so she was very hesitant about coming at all.

We told her to come on, as we needed to hear from an expert about what actually constitutes affordable housing.  Those present were surprised at what we heard. We’re talking about a severe shortage of housing options affordable for police officers, teachers, young workers with starting salaries, young professionals with children, all these treasured individuals we want in our neighborhoods. Fort Worth is pricing them out of being our neighbors.

Statistics Naomi gave us were staggering about the shortfall in decent housing for people making less than fifty thousand dollars a year. Developers are saying their least expensive units are $250,000. That for a small bare bones with no property. We saw a different face of affordable housing than what our preconceived notion was. Naomi Byrne is an engaging speaker and an expert in her field. We wish her the best in her job search. We suspect it won’t be an extended one.

The membership voted on a project for buying books for nine elementary school libraries to aid in the push for having all our children reading at grade level by third grade. We learned from Charles Hodges that one of the things being discussed at administrative level in Fort Worth ISD was how to bring the level of service in the school libraries up. East Fort Worth Business Association will give $500.00 to each of the nine elementary schools which feed in to Eastern Hills High School to aid in this effort. Bill Schwennsen made the motion which was seconded and the vote was unanimous. Danny Scarth donated a $100.00 bill to the project.

Football is returning to Texas Wesleyan University! Our speaker for June is Joe Prud’Homme the Wesleyan head coach. We have two season tickets for home games as a door prize. (You must be present to win.)

We need to support this new enterprise for a school which is already a winner in many sports. Texas Wesleyan the “Smaller, Smarter” school which has been in our midst for a very long time is a major cog in our effort to make East Fort Worth an Education Destination. The new charter schools in Woodhaven are another. I say schools because I have it on good authority there will be a high school to complement the new K through 8 which is slated to open in the fall.

Wanda

May Guest Speaker

Our May 4, 2017 guest speaker was Naomi W. Byrne,
immediate Past-President of Fort Worth Housing Solutions.

Ms. Byrne has over twenty years in the affordable housing industry. Chosen by Fort Worth Housing Solutions (FWHS) to assume agency leadership in June 2014, Ms. Byrne oversees approximately 1,000 public housing units, nearly 3,000 affordable housing units, 655 market-rate units, and over 6,300 vouchers.

Prior to FWHS, she served as Chief Operating Officer for the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, a Moving to Work (MTW) agency. Ms. Byrne has also served as the Executive Director of the Housing Authorities of the City of Texarkana and Georgetown, TX.

  Naomi is also a trainer and presenter for the Texas Housing Association. Credentials include a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Analysis from Texas A&M University – College Station, and a Master in Business Administration through Texas A&M University –Texarkana.

She also currently serves on various Boards, including:

• DFWI Housing Committee

• Tarrant County Continuum of Care Board

• National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials

• North Texas Housing Association

• Real Estate Council of Greater Fort Worth

• Southwest National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials

• Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers

• Texas Housing Association

• Texas National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials

 

Presidents Message  |  May 2017

Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner drew a full house for his update at our April Meeting. Scribner was a very engaging guest speaker and he gave us a good overview of his first full year. Last year he told us, at the beginning of his time in Fort Worth, that he would evaluate where the schools with the greatest needs are, and that he would direct additional resources to those schools. Just recently he chose 5 schools for that extra attention.

Sadly, those schools are all in East Fort Worth. We look forward to Scribner’s visit next year for a report on the success rate. We do have our bright spots to point to in this community. Meadowbrook Elementary is a gem with Terri McGuire as Principal. Meadowbrook Middle is performing well, and so is Sagamore Hill Elementary. Eastern Hills High School is still not where we want it to be, but there is a lot of attention now being directed that way by graduates of our schools and by community advocates. Community support can make all the difference. Volunteer.

East Fort Worth Business Association is doing our part to support the schools.

We know that good education is good business.

On October 22nd we will have the dedication ceremony for the Buffalo art pieces at Meadowbrook Elementary. Eddie Sandoval, a Native American from the Apache tribe and local member of the Tribal Council, will conduct the dedication ceremony which is the culmination of a week of learning about the heritage we all share with the Plains Indians and their relationship with the buffalo. Our organization will host a reception for invitees after the ceremony. We’ll give more information on this later.

Our May guest speaker will be Naomi Byrnes. She is the director of Fort Worth Housing Solutions. Housing is a hot topic we are all concerned about now, as the sticker shock of rising property valuations has made us aware that Fort Worth is fast becoming a city where young teachers, firemen, police officers, etc. can’t afford to live. Affordable housing in Fort Worth is rapidly disappearing and we need to start educating ourselves what actual “affordable housing” is.

Questions like: What protection can we give our beautiful older neighborhoods, which are beginning to be the last affordable sanctuaries for these treasured young people we want in our community?

If you haven’t renewed your membership, it’s that time. We have a lot of new members and would love more.

– Wanda

Spirit Night at Mexican Inn

April

FWISD Superintendent
Dr. Kent Paredes  Scribner

Dr. Kent Paredes Scribner is superintendent of the Fort Worth Independent School District, where he serves more than 87,000 students and 11,000 employees.

Dr. Scribner began this job in October 2015, and he immediately began laying the groundwork for system-wide improvement and for fulfilling their mission. “Preparing all students for success in college, career, and community leadership.”

Dr. Scribner reduced executive administration and other central office positions to better support teachers and students by redirecting those resources to schools. Also, in the last year:

The District placed a renewed emphasis on universal pre-kindergarten, which impacts elementary literacy and success in all subjects for years to come.

Fort Worth ISD broke ground on the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and Visual and Performing Arts, a learning center for students interested in engineering and computer science careers and for students wanting to advance in dance, music, theater, or visual arts.

 In his first year, college scholarships grew by 40 percent to more than $50 million. This amount is projected to grow even more significantly as the District increases efforts to make sure students and their families know about scholarship opportunities.

 Scribner, together with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and BNSF Chairman Matt Rose, 100X25-FWTX, an early literacy goal for the District to have 100 percent of third-grade students reading at grade level by the year 2025. This unprecedented effort includes the mayor, the city’s business sector, higher education, non-profit organizations, philanthropic and faith leaders.

March 2

 

Jack Fink

Jack covers politics for KTVT-TV CBS 11 and has been with the station since September 2003.

This year, he has interviewed Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, as well as Gov. Greg Abbott.

In addition to politics, Jack loves investigative reporting and has also covered numerous hurricanes and tornado outbreaks.

Jack has won an EMMY for his investigative report on DFW Airport spending, and Texas Associated Press awards for his stories about the previous indictments against former Gov. Rick Perry, his coverage of the federal courts in Dallas, and his weather coverage.

He began his journalism career in Syracuse, where he was an anchor and reporter at WHEN-AM. Before moving to North Texas, Jack reported for television stations in Orlando, Southern California, Fort Myers-Naples and Utica, New York.

Jack has been happily married for 22 years to Amy, who is a morning news anchor at a local radio station. They are the proud parents of two daughters.

Jack and Amy both graduated from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. While they still bleed Orange, they love Texas and are happy to call it home.

President’s Message by Wanda Conlin

We had another full house for our February meeting of East Fort Worth Business Association. Members and guests came to hear Paul Paine, Executive Director of Southside, Inc., as he gave us an update on all the progress which has been made in what was once an almost abandoned part of Fort Worth.  As the Medical District grew by leaps and bounds, and citizens interested in preserving historic structures in Fairmount, made that residential community one of the most desirable in town to live in. We have seen Magnolia and Rosedale explode with new restaurants and shopping areas. This renaissance has taken twenty years to bear fruit, but the community persevered and the revitalization happened.

It took co-operation and partnership between the business community and residents to make the Southside blossom and become one of the most desirable places to live and do business.

The message those of us in attendance came away with was that efforts we make in East Fort Worth will someday bear fruit, if we continue to move in a positive way to address problems and make the area more attractive.

We have seen a few successes. We have the streetlights along East Lancaster shining brightly and the poles painted. We have new signalization in two of the major intersections so that pedestrians can get across the wide boulevard without risking their lives, and we have a new library on the way.  There are enhancements planned for Handley-Meadowbrook Recreation Center, and we’ve been told by our Council members to start planning what we want for the next bond package.

 

We have also been invited to take part in an exercise with the City Economic Development Department to study ways that department can help to maximize opportunities in this community.

Our task force, Vision East Lancaster, has already been in meetings with two staff members from that department to devise ways to help with economic development along the East Lancaster Avenue corridor.

The “elephant in the room” is, of course, the vagrancy problem we have been facing in even larger numbers. We are encouraging the city to take a more aggressive role in pushing for fewer emergency measures and more permanent housing opportunities. Moving people who will take advantage of the help offered to move out of homelessness and into productive living should be our only goal. Those who don’t want to use that advantage to better themselves should be told by all of us to move on.

There will be a public meeting with the Directions Home Commission and City Council on March 30th.  We’re hoping a number of citizens who have been impacted by the campers and trash they leave behind, will address the fact that we need housing, not shelters, and especially not tents.

Our next speaker will be reporter from Channel 11, Jack Fink. He was covering the silly election season and Don thought he could give us a few insights and comments on things we might have missed. This should be a fun program so get your reservations in.

We plan a survey among our members to determine what you need or want the organization to do. We should have this online soon and will have a questionnaire ready for the meeting.

Wanda

Paul Paine gave us a great overview of what was involved in getting infrastructure, development and commercial buy-in for the near South area.

Fort Worth South, Inc. is now 22 years old and leads on several popular community events like Arts Goggle, Fridays on the Greens. The organization has helped bring in new restaurants to the area, including Greater Harvet Bread and Justice Chicken. A member with personal experience stated that "Justice serves better chicken than Babe's in Arlington."

The reconstruction of the just south of downtown area is an $8.6 million dollar project, with 3 million in grant money for mixed use development. Since part of Main Street is designated a state highway, TXDOT had to oversee the funds, at a price of over $300,000, which Paine stated "slowed us down."  He expects the project to be fully completed by the end of May.

The project was in development for years, and is a major accomplishment for the organization. The project included trees, wider sidewalks, brick accented crosswalks. Utilities were put underground with strategic access points for the utilities: water, electric, gas and for the 'franchise utilities" - phone, fiber optics, cable tv.

From Rosedale south, the water main pipe was doubled in size which tripled the capacity, and allows for full density growth. The road was designed to be load bearing to handle future light rail development.

Paul was able to get 2 million dollars, adn matched it with another 2 million, and with some strong backing by Mayor Betsy Price, the project moved forward.

Now that the construction is nearly complete, more projects are starting. the old Moncrief building will be torn down and new mixed use apartments will be constructed. The site will include real restaurants and retail.

He mentioned how bike use is up in the area. The hospital district is continuing to grow, and is nearly as state of the art as hospitals in Dallas. He had high praise for Baylor and JPS Hospitals. That area continues to grow and EFWBA should follow their planning to see the same type of development on East Lancaster.

 

February 2

 

Paul Paine

President

Fort Worth South, Inc.

 

Paul served in the US Navy for over 26 years. He accumulated over 3,400 hours in various tactical fighter jets, Commanded a F-14 Tomcat Squadron, spent three years in the pentagon, and was the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Carswell Field from 2002 to 2004.

Paul joined Fort Worth South, Inc. (FWSI) as President in 2005.  FWSI is a private non-profit organization responsible for leading the strategic plan and management of the policies, programs, and initiatives for the economic revitalization of the Near Southside of Fort Worth that includes the Fort Worth Medical District. Paul also administers the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District #4 for the City of Fort Worth that is used for public improvements associated with new developments throughout the Near Southside.

Paul has been married to his wife Carmel for 35 years.  They have two children, Emily and Robert.

La Vida News | The Black Voice featured EFWBA on the front page of their January 12 –18 weekly edition. Story and photography by Sandy Joyce, Editor, La Vida News, with additional photography by Madison Hogan III. Slide show photos by Lloyd Jones Photography.

Thank you for the fabulous story. Eastsiders have much to be proud about, and this one sheet of newsprint features many of our great citizens and civic leaders.

January 5, 2017

Mayor Betsy Price

 

Betsy Price, a Fort Worth native, was elected in 2011 as the 44th mayor of the City of Fort Worth.

Along with her focus on promoting jobs, strengthening education, fighting crime and improving mobility, Price has made significant strides along the path toward her vision of a healthy, engaged and fiscally responsible city.

Price believes in a community that naturally promotes physical activity throughout the day. During her first term, Price led a community effort to build a city that’s more fit, happy and productive. The result was FitWorth, a citywide initiative focused on promoting active lifestyles and healthy habits in both kids and adults.

Building a healthy community is about designing a city that gives residents the opportunity to leave the car at home, opting for alternate modes of transportation. Under her leadership, Fort Worth has become a foremost cycling community, adding miles of new bike lanes and trails.

As Price likes to say, “It’s Your Fort Worth.” She understands a city is nothing without an active and engaged citizenry.

In her spare time, Price is an avid cyclist and enjoys spending quality time with her three grandsons.

EFWBA  P.O. Box 8861  Fort Worth, TX 76124-0861

817.496.9477

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