Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sycamore Creek Bridge

In attempting to get some revitalization going in East Ft. Worth, about 1 mile east of downtown off E. Lancaster Ave (State Hwy 180), I'm hoping to convince Kathleen Hicks (City Councilperson for the area) and Marc Veasey (State Rep) to obtain some money for restoring and beautifying Sycamore Creek Bridge, Sycamore creek bed with some lighting, bike trails that connect to Trinity Trails and a bike lane for East Lancaster. I noticed yesterday, that this bridge was part of the Works Progress Administration of 1935:

( "work program for the unemployed that was created in 1935 under U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. While critics called the WPA an extension of the dole or a device for creating a huge patronage army loyal to the Democratic Party, the stated purpose of the program was to provide useful work for millions of victims of the Great Depression and thus to preserve their skills and self-respect. The economy would in turn be stimulated by the increased purchasing power of the newly employed, whose wages under the program ranged from $15 to $90 per month.")

The beginning of this request will be today at the Lancaster East Business Association meeting - see post below for details.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lancaster East Business Association (LEBA)

LEBA's purpose is to promote revitalization and gentrification of the East Lancaster Business Corridor. We are poor and don't have big money backing us or our area of the City so we really need concerned Fortworthians to please attend this important meeting Tuesday, April 29th at 2pm and voice your vision to the City of Ft. Worth planning department who is suppose to be in attendance to listen. Our Association's boundaries are from I35 (really Riverside due to West of 287 being Near Eastside Urban Village) to Beach Street only.

Meeting will be held in the small chapel of the Salvation Army 1855 E. Lancaster just east of Riverside Dr.

All interested people are welcome. Please come share your thoughts & ideas with the City and help us get something going over here just east of the beautiful and energetic downtown Ft. Worth.

A few of my ideas/thoughts are:

1. Beautify Sycamore Creek Bridge and the creek bed to include bike trails that connect to the Trinity Trails.

2. Get rid of the nasty motel/hotels and put in mixed use zoning in those areas.

3. Create bike riding lanes from downtown to at least, Sycamore Creek.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marijuana should be Legal

With the same sort of restrictions as the drug of alcohol. It sends many young people (black men in high numbers) to jail and prison which puts a enormous burden on the rest of their young lives. It's almost impossible to find a job, rent an apartment, buy a car and the like with a criminal record. That in itself leads to more crime because we all (thanks to simple math) have to have money coming in... if money is going out. For other reasons too, but I'll cut it short.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Please call Animal Control for every suspect case of Dog Abuse

I have Animal Control's phone number programmed in my cell phone so that I can report abuse anytime. Will you do the same? The phone number is 817-392-3737. Messages are checked several times per day. If all else fails, call 911.

December 19, 2007

Neighbor smells foul odor; officials find dead pit bulls
Arlington police found dead dogs either chained up or locked in kennels in the backyard of a 24-year-old man now facing 11 counts of animal cruelty.
Three of the seven dead dogs were pit bull puppies in a crate. Arlington officers also found a bag of dog bones and a dog skull in the back yard of the east Arlington home rented by Christopher J. Clark (right).
Animal services officers also seized five emaciated pit bulls from the home and are trying to get them to rescue groups so they will not have to be euthanized. Three of the dogs were inside the home and two dogs were chained on a short metal chain to trees in the backyard. None of the dogs had food or water.
The investigation began Dec. 8 after a resident reported a bad smell coming from next door.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pitt Bull Abuse is out of control in Frank Moss' District 5 East Ft. Worth

As usual when driving thru District 5 (South Ft. Worth) around Miller Ave & Ramey, I noticed a gorgeous white Pitt Bull in a backyard tied to a chain. I backed up to take a picture and noticed many Pitts tied to chains throughout the backyard of this house. If you look closely, you can see at least 3-4 dogs in the pictures. I have called Animal Control previously on this address. The problem with people breeding these dogs to sell to more ignorant dog owners for extra money and/or for fighting is totally out of control in District 5 and probably other parts of Ft. Worth. If you care about the well being of dogs, please email the Mayor and all of the council members in this great City of Ft. Worth and let them know that something more must be done about the abuse of Pitt Bulls. Again, I support strict spay & neuter laws, the strictest of enforcement of current Ordinances such as the newly passed no tethering of dogs to stationary objects (trees, cars, pipes, etc.), a watch list for offenders of dog laws, and mandatory educational classes for dog abuse offenders, community service working in Ft. Worth Animal Shelter. I mean if dogs have been taken out of your custody before, you should be on a list for random Animal Control checks every 6 months. Yes, this will cost more of your tax dollars. However at the rate we are going, the dog situation is so out of control that your tax dollars that are spent on Animal Control now, aren't near enough to make a dent in the situation.

Where are City Services in East Ft. Worth - Districts 8 & 5?

Now really, what would you do if you saw scenes like this every single day on your side of town and in your neighborhoods? After you have had time consuming & costly forums, meetings, discussions, and all that crap that the City Council members arrange instead of getting the job done of enforcing City Ordinances -- all of the dancing around issues instead of bringing it up in pre-Council meetings that their constituents and neighborhoods are being ignored or that the demand in the City is so great for enforcement of laws that the problem is out of control. Really, what would you do?

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm tough, I have a Pitt Bull

This dog was running down the street yesterday with an employee from Humane Society of North Texas (much different than City of Ft. Worth Animal Control) trying to rescue her which ended in success. Our Mayors and City Councils have not made Animal Control a priority and allocated the funds to make sure that we have a spay & neuter clinic until now. To this day, no dogs that leave the City's Animal Shelter are spayed/neutered. However, a voucher is given to adopters and they sign a sterilization agreement to have it done w/in period of time. Yhea right, and who checks on that process? Puh-leeze! Evidently construction started on new spay/neuter clinic one month ago and should be complete this coming summer. This City is so full of irresponsible, ignorant dog owners, you just don't realize how bad the problem is unless you live in East Fort Worth or near diverse communities of uneducated, low income residents. Please take the time to email the Mayor and City Council regarding this issue. I am a supporter of making it a law (like progressive Cities are doing) that all dogs 4 months of age be spayed/neutered unless the owner has breeding permit and has passed educational classes on proper, humane care of dogs. Drive deep in the neighborhood of East Ft. Worth and you will see how many pregnant, starving dogs there are running the streets. Mayor and City Council email addresses are: mayor@fortworthgov.org, district2@fortworthgov.org, district3@fortworthgov.org, district4@fortworthgov.org, district5@fortworthgov.org, district6@fortworthgov.org, district7@fortworthgov.org, district8@fortworthtgov.org, district9@fortworthgov.org

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Erradicating Homelessness in Fort Worth, Texas

I'm not a believer in one size fits all approach (most of the time). So, it is frustrating to see Ft. Worth's Mayor, other City leaders and some non profit orgs. push for PSH (Permanent Supportive Housing) as the top priority in "erradicating" our homeless population here in Cowtown, Texas. So what that we are the "only major City in the U.S." that doesn't have a 10 Yr. Homeless Plan!" Don't let Peer Pressure get to you, Ft. Worth. However, there is a significant homeless population and yes we need a plan of dealing with it, but because we are the only ones w/out one, isn't a good reason to have one, IMO. I really sort of dislike using the word "homeless" because most all of them have homes -- they are located in tax paid or privately owned bushes, easements, tax paid streets, sidewalks, alleys, shelters, programs, vacant buildings, vacant houses, parks, and/or lands.

When I specifically asked, Otis Thornton (City of Fort Worth's Homelessness Coordinator), what the City was doing about a few of the top three "root causes" of Homelessness (as per my non-scientific study): Lack of Job due to Criminal Record & Bothering Childhood Memories such as Irresponsible/Non-nuturing/Non-Involved Parenting which allowed them to stay drunk at 14, or doing drugs at 12, pregnancy at 13-16, high school drop outs, and have been looking for love or a way to ease their pain ever since their childhood. Otis' response was that basically those were poverty issues and the the City of Fort Worth can't solve social poverty issues of our Nation here in Cowtown. The great part is that Otis asked for suggestions, so that was a positive.
Common sense tells me that if we really are planning to erradicate homelessness, or even make it a rare occurence, how can we possibly do it w/out investing in erradicating root causes? IMO, we can't. It's really not rocket science. Is it just me?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Responsible Parenting - Where are Fort Worth's investments?

Leaders in Austin, Texas understand. Fort Worth, Texas doesn't. I know that subsidized housing (permanent supportive housing) will happen in Fort Worth because the buzz around the country is that if you build housing for the "homeless" x-cons & addicts that your tax dollars will be saved (in the short run). However, I haven't found a housing program yet, that has been in existence longer than 5 years and has reduced the budget that a city spends on homelessness. Sure it will look good for the first couple of years because a large percentage of the chronically homeless individuals will go for it, especially in the months of cold weather when their camps are an inconvenience to their lifestyle. Where in the 10 year homeless plan does it show that the Mayor's Advisory Commission on Homelessness (MACH), have allocated funds for programs that address the "root" causes of homelessness, such as irresponsible parenting?

Meadowbrook Middle School (East Ft. Worth) is a Category 4 school (which means if test scores don't go up, the school closes) with mostly minority children. Fortunately the school has an awesome Principal who is turing the school around. However, guess what the #1 problem is for her? Getting parents involved in their children's education.

Talk to any homeless person and ask them what their childhood was like, you will learn that 99% of them had irresponsible, "dead beat" parents.

So, tell me again why the City of Fort Worth is not investing in rewarding responsible parents and holding irresponsible parents accountable as part of their "erradification" plan for homelessness. Tell me again what our County Commissioners are doing about irresponsible parenting.



Piper Sandals at Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival

I bought a pair of these sandals years ago, still love them. Couldn't find the booth last year, but will make a point to find them this year. Piper Sandals' booth will be in parking lot between 3rd & 4th Streets. Another small business that's survived past the crucial first and second years!!


Thursday, April 10, 2008


CAPS-MI it's goal is to find a house for 5-7 mentally ill Fortworthians

The founder, Lynne Curran, has just received her 503C non profit designation which means that if you donate to the org, you are eligible for a tax deduction. Lynne is very experienced and knowledgeable in working in peer run (very inexpensive) facilities. She has been in a leadership role with The Paradise Center ( paradisefwtx@yahoo.com ) which is a peer ran Community Center for persistently and severely mential ill individuals. There is absolutely no place for m.i. people to go in Fort Worth except jail and JPS for 3 days, homeless shelter and nasty, filthy, abusive group homes. If you ever care to stop by The Paradise Center (505 S. Jennings), you can hear for yourself how life changing the center has been for many severely m.i. people who were on the verge of suicide everyday. If you would like for Lynne to give her 10 minute "sales pitch" at your next neighborhood meeting or organizational meeting, or would just like more info in general, or would like to hold a fundraising event to help the org get started, please contact her at http://www.capsmi.org/ . You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bush signs Second Chance Act into law..will it help homelessness in Ft. Worth?

"The Second Chance Act is designed to help reduce the number of convicted felons who become repeat offenders by funding job and literacy training, substance-abuse treatment, counseling, education, housing and mentoring services for ex-offenders upon their release."

According to the founder of Tarrant County Re-Entry Services and the local police officers that work the beat around ALL of the homeless shelters in the City of FW (East Ft. Worth-- not a good decision by Mayor & City Council years ago), we can count on 99% of the "chronically homeless" individuals that roam the streets of E. Lancaster and other parts as being x-convicts. Hopefully, the City of Ft. Worth and Tarrant County will ask for funds to "help" people get integrated with society and become self sustaining legally as opposed to continuing a life of crime in order to put money in their pockets. Notice that "housing" is not the first, second or third on the list in this article unlike our City government who say that "housing" is first priority. That's hogwash in my opinion and makes no sense long term.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Obama walks on water

Is there really a "need" for Permanent Supportive Housing in Fort Worth?

Below is from the City's 10 year homeless plan:


Using Tarrant County’s 2007 PIT data to determine the size and demographics of the homeless
population, we have been able to develop an annual estimate of homeless households and the need for
permanent supportive housing. The PIT (point in time) report contains two key pieces of information:

1) a total point-intime
count of homeless persons and

2) self-reported characteristics of the homeless persons that
completed PIT surveys.

Based on Tarrant County’s 2007 PIT, CSH estimates that at a single point-in-time, Fort Worth has:
• 2,878 homeless persons or approximately 1,548 homeless households3 and,
• Of those surveyed, 36% are in shelters, 7% are outdoors (unsheltered), and 56% are in transitional
housing and all are in need of permanent housing ,
• 19% have been homeless for more than one year and 18% were homeless four or more times in
the past 3 years, and
• Approximately 53% of homeless persons surveyed have potentially chronic and disabling
conditions that would call for supportive services to remain stably housed.
o 26% report a mental illness and of those 36% believe their mental health condition limits
their ability to live on their own,
o 23% report a permanent physical disability,
o 9% report testing positive for HIV4,
o 23% report chemical dependency issues and of those 17% report chemical dependency as
a contributing factor to their homelessness, and
o 17% report a problem with alcohol dependency and of those 11% report alcohol
dependency as a contributing factor to their homelessness."

IMO, No there is not a need yet, in Fort Worth for more subsidized public housing units and just because other major cities are doing it doesn't mean it works long term or erradicates chronic homelessness. It just means that Mayor Mike Moncrief and Otis Thornton aren't willing to think outside of the box and try something different, even on a small scale. They don't really want to "invest" in long term solutions. They want to do what everyone else is doing and hurry and put up some walls and say, "look what we did." While year after year the taxpayers will be footing the bill for more and more and more subsidized public housing because the "need" will continue to grow until you do something different, think outside the box and invest in people's mental and emotional health, which BTW, includes tough love and paying consequences for their actions and choices. What Fort Worth needs are:

1. Central Resource Facility - with all the contacts for services that are necessary for homeless and the 20% of homeless who are diagnosable severely and persistently mentally ill.
2. Many more Long Term Rehab facilities

3. Highly paid social workers and counselors who conduct self improvement classes (which serve as community service hours for #5 below) and one-on-one counseling services (which can also serve as commnity service hours for #5 below).

4. Good paying jobs for x-cons.

5. Self help educational consequences for ALL Class C Misdemeanor offenders, including indigent individuals.

Give us the five things above and then and only then, let's see how much of a dent we've made in the chronically homeless population BEFORE you spend millions of our tax dollars on public housing.

At this moment there are at least 71 (25 Project-Based Facilities and 46 Tax-Credit Facilities) properties in the City of Ft. Worth inwhich rent is based on income and/or available to households below the median average income. In Tarrant County, there are over 1000 units of low income public housing units with no time limit for homeless individuals. They are:

Ft. Worth Housing Authority, Butler Place 412 units, Caville Place 300 unites, Fair Oaks 76 units, Fair Park 48 units, Hunter Plaza 234 units, Samaritan House 8 units (prefer HIV+), Union Gospel Mission, 16 units. Are every one of these units filled? I will report back, more to come on this post.

Friday, April 4, 2008

MHMR of Tarrant County - What are they doing exactly?

OK, so I go the CB Sports over off E. Lancaster (just east of Riverside) to drop off some shirts for embroidery. When I get out of my car. I see this woman (looks like a man in one of the pics, but she's a really "pretty" female, believe or not) sitting at the next business doorstep sort of in a fetal position with her shirt pulled over her knees. The next day my friend, who owns a business nearby, calls and says that there is this woman hanging around who obviously is mentally ill, what should she do. I say, call The Paradise Center (South Jennings - blue awning) or Lynne (http://www.capsmi.org/) or the police but they won't do anything unless she is in "emminent harm to herself or others."

Long story short, this afternoon I went over to where the woman was laying and asked if she was ok, she said "I'm alright." She got up and walked away. I called the police, spoke with the officer for about 15 mintues picking his brain for how to improve the system and help these people. After the officer left, I sat there in my car watching this lady peek around the corner of the fence to see if I was waiting in my car. Finally I decided to move the car, a little so that she would come back to the church parking lot and I could have a better chance of "engaging" (buzzword buzzword) her in conversation. She proceeded to walk back to her church doorstep home and few belongings. I rolled down my window and said, "What are you doing out here sleeping on doorsteps, are you alright?" She replied, "I'm alright." We went back and forth from opposite sides of the street for a minute or two. She was actually sort of fun to talk to. She said she was wealthy. When I asked who she was talking to when she wasn't talking to me, she said she wasn't talking, she was singing. After a while, I asked if there was anything I could get her, or do for her. She said get her some food. She wanted fries, hamburger and soda. I went down to the local hamburger joint and got her just that, brought it back, parked, to see if she would come over to the car. She did. I looked straight in her eye and asked, "Why are you living on the streets, I worry about people like you?" She said, "Bless your soul. I'll be alright."
I told her that my friend owned a business around here and to please let us know if she needed anything. She said she lived at the Salvation Army and had been here since Christmas.

My point is:

1. What is MHMR of Tarrant County doing for people like this woman?
2. How much money does MHMR take in for helping the mentally ill in Tarrant County?
3. Where is the money going?
4. Is it true that the CEO of MHMR of Tarrant County makes $300K per year in salary?
5. If so, why? What is it exactly that the CEO is doing for MHMR?
6. Why is Mayor Moncrief and Otis Thronton so focused on "Affordable Housing?"
7. Why is money for social health mental/emotional/psychological services always last on the list for which to spend money on?
8. Why is housing always first? It's easier to get and build, that's why.

Yes, along with this story we called MHMR hotlines, etc. There is no real help.

The solution? HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE! In other words, for this piece of free bread, you have to go talk to this lady right over here in the next room, you have to watch a video, you have to do something....nothing is really "free." We have to find a way to "engage" these lost souls in conversation, even if it's two or three words, and show them that someone DOES care and that their life is worth having, living, caring for and taking care of. That's the bottom line and it's expensive, up front, but pays off in the L O N G R U N . Otis Thornton, (CFW Homeless Coordinator) has to get off the "affordable housing" (walls) fix, and put our taxdollars in social/mental/emotional health services! Which is expensive and more "in depth," more of an "investment." Pay social workers/counselors close to top end pay, open Central Resource Facility where ALL SERVICES that homeless & mentally ill need!! Hold people accountable, even if it's say something before getting a hand out. For this is HOW you BUILD SELF RESPECT AND WORTH in people who have NONE!!! Hello, am I reaching your brains Mayor Moncrief, Otis Thornton and all of you people who don't have any "contact" with the homeless and persistently and severely Mentally Ill "folks" (buzzword buzzword) in our great City of Fort Worth? We MUST "invest" in mental health services and emotional r-e-h-a-b-i-l-i-t-a-t-i-o-n. Otherwise your homeless bill will go up every single year from now till eternity.
No overbearing caseloads!! MHMR pays too much at the top and not enough at the "street level!"

"Black America has reputation of biting the hand that feeds them," Dr. Manning explains

This man says just about everything that I have been saying about The Obama campaign for Black America - just in a much more concise way and with authority and permission to say it because he is black. Thank you Dr. Manning -- you are a courageous man, something Barack Obama tries to be, but fails the test IMO.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Obama say's to female, "I'll give you a kiss!"

PUH-LEEZE spare yourself Dude!! This guy is .........I'm at a loss of words....but this sites says it all, I love it!!!


Ooops, I forgot to add the link for the post, here it is (link added 4/4/08)


Cowtown Chronicles

Pete Wann has changed my life, really. I don't really remember how I came to know of his blogsite http://www.cowtownchronicles.com/ but I did, and I am an "enhanced" person because of it. Pete and I, obviously, are in "different camps" on the issue of the Presidential Race 08, however; we are still on "hugging terms" as of last Saturday, March 29th, 2008 (County Democratic Convention date (except for Collin County which had their's a day late)). I remember when I really first started visiting his site often, it was during the District 9 City Council race when his friend Bernie Scheffler ( http://www.iheartfw.com/ )was running for City Council against Joel Burns (winner and seated Councilperson). Pete's website ( http://www.cowtownchronicles.com/ ) was a place I could go to get the lastest on what happened at public debates between the candidates. I felt like I "related" and agreed with every word he said -- so http://www.cowtownchronicles.com/ became a daily addiction for me. Then I heard about http://www.westandclear.com/ (which Pete is one of the four founders of) -- as a matter of fact, I believe I commented on the first day of public exposure of http://www.westandclear.com/ . Anyway, to make a long story short, Thanks to Pete and his friends that I can now "express" my thoughts and that's important in life; not to mention that Pete Wann is helping me "express my thoughts" and teaching me all about "sustainability" and the happenings of our great City of Fort Worth. As I say in my profile or somewhere on this site that I "enjoy" and "appreciate" the journey of life. It is indeed, very short.