Thursday, January 31, 2008

Find Your Match in a President

Click here, answer 14 questions and see your match:

My results were:

highest with Hillary/Obama with tie score of 61 - inwhich I will vote Hillary

then Gravel which I've never heard of

then Romney over McCain, I was glad because I may vote for Romney if Obama were the Democratic nominee (as of today) WOW, me voting for Republican President??!! That shocks me! I don't like ALL of Romney's views; however I like the way he "reasons," especially about business/economy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

City of Ft. Worth doing the right thing.

Protecting people who choose to live in shelters year after year, from overcrowdedness and disease. It's all about accountability and I am thrilled to see it. It would be nice to ask the Chairperson of the Board of Directors along with the entire Board, why they let this go on for so many years. Good for Fort Worth. Good for the City of Ft. Worth holding the "Non Profit" business accountable, let's hear it for accountability.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

What kind of Democrat Am I?

Or do I still fall under the Party Beliefs/Platform at all?

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Am I a Democrat?

I do believe in the Death Penalty.
I do believe in the choice to abort a fetus w/in the first 4 weeks of conception.
I do believe in debating.
I do believe in public schools.
I do believe in values, morality and honesty.
I do believe in rock-n-roll.
I do believe in gay marriages.
I do believe in the human soul.
I do believe in helping the needy.
I do believe in what's right and what's wrong.
I do believe in consequences of wrongdoing of any kind.
I do believe in the pursuit of happiness for all.
I do believe in Global Warming.
I do believe in Building Green.
I do believe that marijuana should be legal with restrictions much like the drug of alcohol.
I do believe that there is no proof that God exists.

I don't believe in my tax dollars being spend on undocumented immigrants in any way.
I don't believe the "War on Drugs" is working in America.
I don't believe we should have gone to war with Iraq. I knew it at the beginning.
I don't believe in giving handouts to adults (tax "rebates" for people who didn't pay taxes included).
I don't believe in the Texas indigency law.
I don't believe in organized religion.

With all that said, where does this place me on the scale of Democratness?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Vote Now, Vote Here

Save the Polls on this site, VOTE NOW, Vote Here

Monday, January 21, 2008

Questions for Fort Worth's Mayor's Advisory Commission on Homelessness (MACH)

Below is an email that I sent to my City Council Representative in hopes that she can help me or maybe direct me to the proper place to obtain some answers about the $2.4M dollars that the City is planning to spend on homelessness. At first, the City wanted a 10 year plan to "erradicate" homelessness, now I hear that erradication has been abandoned and "management of" has been substitued for the word erradicate. I am all for helping this segment of our population; however, I don't believe that the taxpayers of Ft. Worth can afford, nor would a majority of us want to, have an ever increasing budget for welcoming homeless to our City and providing them free services w/out any accountability, self empowerment thru consequences for their choices year after year. I am exercising my American right to ask questions to our elected officials and/or persons whos salaries are paid with our taxdollars.

Dear Ms. Hicks -

Below are just a few of the questions some of us have in regards to the homeless issue. Is it possible to get answers to these questions now, before the City (MACH & Otis Thornton) make their firm decisions on what budget and plans to put before the Council regarding Homelessness? I have attended several meetings on the topic, however, have been unable to find the correct and appropriate venue to ask such questions. Your help in finding out how, when, and from whom to get answers would be greatly appreciated.

1. What exactly is the $2.4M going to buy? Specifics?
2. What are the salaries of the all social workers involved in the Homelessness budget?
3. Where exactly is the $2.4M coming from? How much from City funds? What City Account is it coming from?
4. How "green" is this new building going to be? What energy saving designs and lighting is proposed?
5. Who exactly is going to be doing the accessing of individuals? Degree'd? What is the salary for such person?
6. What does one have to do to get free services? ie, watch educational video, attended class of somesort, etc.
7. What measurable systems are in place for benchmarks on decreasing # of homeless individuals?
8. How much money is going towards street outreach? (Other than engagement team)
9. Is workforce commission on site at Day Resource Center (DRC)? If not, whynot?
10. Where do the persistently and severely mentally ill individuals go? Live? What services are offered to them?
11. Since your plans are promoting "erradication" or "decreasing" homelessness, when does your annual operations budget start to decrease from $1.0M - $1.5M? If not, whynot?
12. How many x-cons does the City currently employ?
13. Is MACH looking at new City employment positions that could hire xcons? If not, whynot? If so, who is investigating this?
14. Explain how housing will help individuals who don't, and have no desire, to work?
15. What systems of accountability are planned for individuals who do not have job and have no desire to work?
16. Is the City doing anything to hold indigent offenders of the law accountable? If so, who can we contact for proof of such?
17. How many individuals claim indigency in Ft. Worth on an annual basis?
18. What is the path of an individual who commits a Class C Misdemeanor such as panhandling or PI? (Pub Intox)
19. If this individual claims indigency, what is path they follow? What consequences are paid for the crime? (Can't say community service - the City does not allow individuals claiming indigency to do Comm. Serv. as the State Law advises)
20. Is anything being done to obtain the enhancement upgrade of the law for Class C Misdemeanors? If so, What? If not, whynot?
21. Who would have the authority to institute more rehab/educational type programs in the City Jail for people who commit Class C Misdemeanors?
22. For the non profits who get hundreds of thousands of dollars to "help" the homeless popluation, what measuring systems are in place for accountability of the dollars spent by these orgs? Are the org's books open to public? Why or Whynot?
23. What systems are planned to ensure that "affordable" and "transitional" housing projects will not become blights in the future?
24. What systems are planned if measurable benchmarks are not obtained? In other words, if the homeless popluation doesn't significantly decrease year after year, what happens then?
25. What homelessness model system in the country is having success after 5 years? If there is one, what are the major contributing factors and are we using them? If none, why are we copying and believing others?
26. Is the City doing anything to promote local companies hiring individuals with criminal background? If so, what? What is the success of such promotion? If not, whynot? If not, what does MACH suggest for these individuals to do for income?
27. How many members of MACH (Mayor's Advisory Committee on Homelessness) are providers, or affiliates, of service providing companies and organizations to the homeless population?
28. How many members of MACH are ordinary individuals (persons w/out any potential to make money from the homeless population) from the direct surrounding area of shelters that have first hand experience in dealing with this population?
29. How much money, if any, is being spent on holding irresponsible, unloving, un-nuturing parents accountable for early childhood parenting (as this IS a "root" cause of homelessness as opposed to a root cause being affordable housing)?

Please don't get me wrong, I'm all for "helping" the homeless individuals as I employ as many as I possibly can and I talk to many of them constantly; I'm just not convinced that the City is spending our monies prudently and as effectively as possible in truly "helping" this population of our community. Again, thanks in advance for any time, help and leadership you can offer me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"I thought we were friends" Politics gone wrong.

Finally, I am getting my thoughts together regarding this topic and putting them down in black & white which I've been wanting to do for some time now.

I was having a discussion last night with a couple of persons who are passionate about their community and neighborhood. One of them said, "I went to a City meeting and asked a question (which revealed his opinion on the issue) and after the meeting, the Chairman came up to me and said, 'I thought we were friends'." That's what I needed to hear to validate, once again, my personal passing thoughts on politics, especially local politics and I suppose all politics regardless of the level. Let's take for example, a City Council persons job and responsibilities, I believe that it is the job of a City Council Representative (get it -- "Representative") to make it easier for City Hall to "move" for you as a constituent, and "you" as part of a constituency (group of "you"). In order to do that the Representative needs to know how to get my and/or the constituent's problems, concerns, issues and questions addressed and/or answered. In other words, be the liason between "the people" and City Hall. You know the Directors of departments like Code, Police, Planning, Zoning, etc. You can feel the pulse of your constituents and deliver their needs or at least answers or complications with their concerns. The problem that I see today is people getting in politics, getting to know the Directors of Departments, thinking of them as "friends" and not being able to conduct business in fear of being perceived as a "boat rocker," "troublemaker," simply for addressing or asking tough questions. Like the, "I thought we were friends" comment. Why does a hard question provoke the comment of "I thought we were friends?" We can still be friends if you are the Director of Code, I am Council Rep and I bring an issue to you, or I ask a pointed difficult question at a Pre-Council meeting -- it's just a question, it doesn't mean that I am "black balling" you are wanting to cause trouble or I am against you as a person....that's nonsense, can't we all just be mature adults? It may mean, that I do an excellent job and I expect it from all others. Even if I don't agree with "how you run a department" doesn't mean that I don't like or love you as a person. Why are we so afraid of discussions and/or questions? I don't get it! Perhaps because there are too many individuals (drop the "folks" ok) who go into politics without a strong backbone of principles and/or without an agenda to do what's right and best for "the people" in which they represent......too many people who go into politics because they had the money to buy the most signs, tv commercials, name, etc. OR because there is too little of people who really study and know WHO they are actually voting for, too few voters who really know where the candidate comes from, what they stand for, what they are made of, etc. Bottom line, we as mature adults SHOULD be able to AGREE to disagree or DISAGREE to agree. (This is really a rant for me....I would beat my hands on the counter top to get this point across). Tip toeing and cronyism, it's gotta go.

I will probably edit this post as I just sat down, put it down and on the go.....Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Being enslaved to a chain is no life for a social animal

Fort Worth City Council may approve to make it illegal to chain a dog. Hoo-ray Hoo-ray!

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Last Stand of John Edwards

Excellent advice for the much needed retooling of Edwards' message if he wants more of America to take a closer look at him. He got my vote in 2004, he'll get it in 2008; however, he needs to tweek his message for Tuesday's debate in Nevada.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A "Drifter" accused of murdering and decapitating hiker

All the reason why shelters that house the "poor ol helpless homeless" (Presbyterian Night Shelter - East Lancaster) should be required to know who it is that they are housing. If you've ever lived or worked near homeless shelters, there are all kinds of "drifters" around the neighborhood. It's a public safety issue for all involved. PNS requires no identification on the 1000 people they provide shelter for per night. They may say they do, but ask to witness the required identification and you'll find it doesn't exist.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Little Girl left behind -- who will pay the consequence?

Perfect example of when a parent(s) should be held accountable for their lack of responsible parenting. We wonder why people end up on the streets and the bill for their adult life is paid from the pockets of tax payers? It's because we don't value responsible parenting enough to hold them accountable for their irresponsible actions.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Why Fort Worth Needs a New Police Chief

Dear Mayor & Kathleen Hicks:

Once again I am writing you about the very same topics that I have been writing about in the past. Below are the facts of what happened on Saturday, January 5, 2008:

I placed a call to 911 -- 4 to 5 people criminally trespassing at 2101 Riverside Drive. (posted private property - call #S080051230). A few mintues later, the operator calls to ask the address again as the responding Police Officers found no such address. As has happened many many times before the dispatch operator had put in the call for SOUTH Riverside. I never said anything about SOUTH Riverside. I asked you months ago to please do whatever necessary to get the dispatch operators to QUIT putting in South or North Riverside when a call is placed. It is just plain Riverside Drive. This has been a problem for the two years that I have been heavily involved in making calls to 911 and it is STILL a problem. (Leadership Needed Now.)

#1 - the dispatch operators need to be told to quit assuming addresses

Not only were the people trespassing, they were drinking alcohol within 1000 feet of a shelter, I added this tid bit of information to the call.

Police officers arrive on site, Officer Tyler (#3663) calls me and asked me to walk over and sign the criminal trespass warning (while offenders were sitting there). This is absurd -- it is a public safety issue and furthermore, as I have said before, the whole written warning deal is not a part of the criminal trespass law. If a property is posted and somone crosses the line, it is considered a violation of the law. Officer Tyler did not know anything about the no alcohol consumption w/in 1000' of a shelter and didn't even know about the Salvation Army Shelter just down the block from the site. (Leadership Needed Now.)

#2. Educate the Police Officers on how to perform their jobs.

What is the point of us taxpayers paying money for all of the layers of beauracracy in the Police Department? What exactly is it that they do as I see first hand time and time again that on street level and at dispatch level, things are completely scattered, in need of leadership and direction.

Attached is a picture of the location of 2101 Riverside Drive. In the past two years, I have made more than 10 - 15 calls about this very location.

Lastly, why didn't I get a copy of the written trespass warning that was supposedly written to the individuals? I thought this whole trespass ordeal had been solved months ago. Why do I have to keep spending my many hours of volunteer time on educating the Police Department personnel on items that have been addressed, and to my understanding, resolved? The answer: because there is not strong leadership at the top which leaves nothing to trickle down to street level.

I would very much appreciate your help in handling this City Business so that I can devote more of my time to my own personal business and much less of the City's business.


Response from Kathleen Hicks, City Council Representative, District 8:

I am forwarding your complaints on Chief Mendoza who can respond directly to you.-KH

My response to Kathleen Hicks:

Mendoza has responded before and the problems are still the same. He hasn't been as good as his word; therefore, I don't have much faith in his words, I'd rather "actions" from people responsible for the duties of the Chief of Police and/or the Fort Worth Police Department. This type of lack of organization should be a concern to people who have any say whatsoever in how the Police Department functions which would be the Council and the Mayor for starters.


Chief Mendoza's Response:

Ms Watkins,

I appreciate your confidence in our Department. I say this because of your comments and compliments in regards to the actions of Capt Sudan who had command responsibility for this geographical area. I also say this because I have seen the action of our officers and have had numerous individuals praise their hard work in this area over the past year. In addition I have traveled thru this area and see a marked improvement over the trash ridden area I saw last summer.

I have never said we were a perfect Department nor will we ever be perfect. We will continue to strive to provide a quality service. With that said please be understanding when I say you have not been perfect as well. In your e mail dated January 1st, it would have taken little effort on your part to pay your employee and avoid the unnecessary call to our Department. I hope that you will be receptive to all solutions to problems.

In regards to this e mail and your e mail dated January 1, 2008 I will forward both to Captain Cordell. Capt Cordell will contact you in regards to setting up a meeting to discuss your issues.

In closing while I may not be your favorite Chief please know that I have done my best to protect you and the community. I will continue to do s until my last day at work.

My response to Chief Mendoza:

Mr. Mendoza -

Just stay on topic and answer the questions at hand:

1. Why hasn't the problem been solved of dispatch assuming South and North Riverside? No mention of such is called in when call is made and police officers being sent to the wrong address? This has been an ongoing problem for two years!?

2. Why don't our officers working this beat know about the new Ordinance of no alcohol consumption w/in 1000 feet of a shelter?

3. Why isn't there a Standard Operating Procedure for enforcing the Criminal Trespass Law?

4. Why are our officers asking us reporting persons to walk over and sign the ticket in front of the offenders? (I believe the City would be liable if we were to get shot while following those orders which we have discussed many months ago!)

Yes, Captain Sudan has cleaned up the intersection at Riverside & E. Lancaster. This particular email is not about those issues, which for now, have been resolved.

In regards to me paying my employee instead of making an uneccessary call to your department, payroll is not ready at 2pm on Sundays, everyone follows rules here at Riverside Kennel and will continue to do so. For me to stop and cater to a drunken employee and keep customers waiting would be a dis-service to our customers. By doing business that way, it wouldn't be long before we would be out of business which would mean less tax dollars to pay for the waste in departments like yours.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Dude, What? Ex-Narcotics Officer Sells Don't-Get-Busted DVD

The War on Drugs is not working. Prosecute the behavior and not the drug...put responsibility and accountability on the individual, not the drug. That's how to win the "War on Drugs" that we are wasting billions of tax dollars every day (much like the Iraq war). Save a family - legalize marijuana, save a life - legalize marijuana, do more "teaching" in jails, especially for the youth, than you are doing now and start holding parents accountable for their irresponsibility in raising their very young children. Otherwise the taxpayers foot the bill for these children all thru adulthood because these adults end up looking for love in drugs and alcohol (Brittany Spears w/out money)!

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The workings of the FWPD at Street Level

Dear Mayor -

Sunday, December 30th, 2007 I had one of my "homeless" employees come in around 2pm (opening hour on Sundays) to pick up her paycheck. I did not have payroll completed at 2pm and I told her she would have to return around 6pm to retrieve her paycheck. She said she was not leaving my lobby until she got her money. Of course she was intoxicated or she would have never acted that way as she is a loving, giving, nice person at heart. I had three cars of customers in the parking lot about to come in to the lobby. I have always had a no tolerance policy in regards to employees coming to my business when they are under the influence of alcohol (I don't allow other types of drug addicts to work here such as cocaine, meth or heroin addicts). I was forced to call 911 and report a criminal trespassing case in order to get this employee off of the property as I cannot risk losing any of my business over a drunken employee being on the premise.

First of all, it took way to long on the phone with the 911 operator to make the report. I must have had to answer 20 questions before I could hang up! That is ridiculous and a public safety issue that needs addressing. If I give the address, name of person, reason, my name, that's enough to make a call. If the caller says they have to go then the operator should say, "OK, please put the phone down but don't hang up" or something along those lines but to keep the caller on the phone is dangerous if the caller tells the operator that they need to go.

Secondly, when the two cars of police arrived. Officer Read (#3589) ask me for my ID. I have a folder full of criminal trespass warnings and I have NEVER had to show my ID. I was busy with customers and to stop and go get my ID was an inconvenient request and an unnecessary one. I asked if the officer could step inside the lobby as I had customers to take care of and my ID was inside. His reply was a snotty one of, "I'll will wait for a little while but not for long." Excuse Me??!! Obviously, another Fort Worth Police Officer with an inappropriate attitude. Something that the top denies exists, but I'm here to tell you, it does exist and is a reflection of the lack of leadership in the Fort Worth Police Department down to the officer/street level. I asked him if a showing of my ID was a new policy, he said, "It's standard policy." I said, I have made many of these calls and never have I had to show my ID, are you telling me that this is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Police Department. He changed his wording and said that it was "his" personal procedure. He proceeded to tell me when we got inside that I did not have to show my ID if I didn't want to!

PERFECT EXAMPLE of why I say that the top (Chief) has no idea what is going on at street level in our Police Department. This needs to change drastically and I hope that it will with the new Police Chief!

The other officer, McCreery (#3444), said that they could not give my employee a Public Intoxication because she was not intoxicated. I asked if they had tested her of P.I. He said, "No, there is no test." I asked how a P.I. was ever issued if there was no test. Office McCreery replied that the "person had to be down on the ground, unable to get up and in danger of oneself." PLEASE! How many calls have I made that the person WAS down on the ground and not a darn thing happened? Public Intoxication arrests are TOTALLY subjective for the officers and that needs to change. I guess that won't happen until some homeless drug addict is hit by a car and someone is killed out here in Homeless Town, Ft. Worth. OR the tickets that the police officers bother to write means something, as opposed to a waste of their time and our tax dollars, and these "indigent" claiming individuals are made to pay consequences as are we tax paying, working citizens are made to pay consequences when we break the law.

Thirdly, the employee that I am speaking of has been on the streets of E. Lancaster for more than 10 years. She is an excellent employee when she is sober, out of money, tired of picking up cans, tired of the pimps, and in the mood (one more time) to change her life. She is an asset to my business and has been working here, off and on, for two years. I'd like to still employee her. However, according to the Sgts. in the Police Department, once someone has been written a trespass warning, they aren't suppose to be allowed back on the property. What is your suggestion for us Business Owners who are actually "helping" (not enabling) homeless individuals earn their money legally instead of illegally, in dealing with incidents such as this?



OMG, a "Principle" based, no red faced, no backing down guy

What an atypical leader. He's in Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth region? WOW! Good for us! Maybe he'll get us some light rail in here. I'll definitely research his views more and keep up with his tactics. I may learn how to be less red faced more of the time which is on my "to do list" this New Year. A person who stands their ground, doesn't back down and sticks to their principles gets auto respect from me (generally speaking). It's so rare and it is the kind of leadership that helps bring back honesty and more ethical practices in government. The fact that he demanded to pay for his lunch for the reason of: allowing someone to buy you lunch results in them expecting something in return is so very true in my book of theories and is what CREATES this corrupt way of doing business. Alot like a City Council member telling me "I thought we had everything worked out when we went to lunch" (I paid). No!, just because I buy you lunch doesn't mean, I won't call you on your............."wrongdoings!"

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