Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stray Dogs here, stray dogs there, stray dogs everywhere in East Ft. Worth

The three Districts that use more of your tax dollars for Animal Control services than any of the others are: District 5 (East Ft. Worth), District 2 (North Ft. Worth) and District 8 (East Ft. Worth).
Reference: Public Health Dept. of Ft. Worth

Ft. Worth does not have an animal Adoption Center, Ft. Worth does not have a Spay & Neuter Clinic (under construction as of 2008), Ft. Worth Animal Control Services does not have the staff, nor funding for staff to conduct the needed sweeps nor the space to impound dogs. Ft. Worth has no spay/neuter law requirements, Ft. Worth does not strictly enforce the dog laws that are now on the books. These factors contribute to the lessened Quality of Life in East and North Ft. Worth. Why? Because we cannot safely ride our bikes and walk down our neighborhood streets for fear of stray dogs, our children (and adults) see the improper care of dogs and think that it is normal to neglect dogs, people can't sleep at night for the sound of a crying dog stuck in a crate day in and day out, etc.

What can we do about this concern? Elect people to the City Council who will actually care enough to speak up for and fight for your tax dollars to be spent in appropriate places, for the laws to be strictly enforced and for the tax payers to be properly and effectively served by listening to your concerns.

Humane Society of North Texas is a blessing for the City of Ft. Worth. It is a privately funded organization and without it, the CFW would have millions more stray, diseased, dangerous, neglected, abused dogs.

And the Winner is.....

East Ft. Worth, District 8 is my pick for winner of the most water main breaks in the City of Ft. Worth. This morning as I was leaving, I could see a large stream of water running down three or four blocks to the nearest water drain. On any given day, you cannot drive around my neighborhood w/out seeing scenes like the picture above. The picture you see here is on a main, very busy street, Oakland Blvd. Try driving down this street during the rush hour or when a day of school at Meadowbrook Middle is beginning or ending.

I say it's time we elect people who care about where our tax dollars go and will fight for them to be put and spent in the proper and appropriate places so that they will actually serve the people from whom our local government collects them year after year.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Neighborhood Politics Getting in the Way of Progress in East Ft. Worth, District 8

I went to the West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association meeting this past week. The President, Don Boren told me that he doesn't reply to my emails because my emails "aggravate him" and therefore, go in his junk mail. When I asked him what it was about my emails that aggravated him, he replied, "Suzette, YOU aggravate me!"

I asked him what kind of leader are you if you ignore or brush off someone who "aggravates you?"
Don Boren, Wanda Conlin (married couple, both in leadership positions of WMNA), and Louis McBee - all long time activists in East Ft. Worth, do not like it when someone asks questions, especially questions that question their leadership or lack thereof. Very ironic that I have heard Wanda Conlin (and Louis McBee) beat down Mayor Moncrief for not listening to them and not handling City business in the way that they think he should, and yet they promote someone who can't return emails because the sender aggravates him/them. I wonder who it is that I aggravate more, Don Boren or his wife, (the unofficial Co-President of West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association), Wanda Conlin. Don Boren tells me that I could "come by his office" but don't email him. Some say that he doesn't like emails because he doesn't want a trace of his words to be on paper. Appears this may be a fact.

People wonder why the West Meadowbrook Neighborhood does not have one nice, clean grocery store, Starbucks coffee shop, a few nice restaurants and has some of the highest number of code violation calls, highest number of Animal Control calls, record # of water main breaks, streets so in need of repair that it's difficult to drive through the neighborhood, residential streets and neighborhoods being used for Industrial Business access & egress, street projects taking months on end to complete, more and more people littering the neighborhood streets and disrespecting the neighborhood properties, Urban Village zoning taking ten years and more to complete, etc.
Perhaps West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association's boundaries are way too large since they have no interest in representing residents and/or business owners who reside on certain sides of streets w/in the neighborhood. Nor do they have an interest in upsetting their beloved friend at City Hall, Kathleen Hicks who also serves as a representative of West Meadowbrook Neighborhood. Furthermore, when the neighborhood demographics show large black and brown residents & business owners and those numbers are not represented at the Association meetings, you know there is a disconnect between the Association and the people.
Perhaps if more of the true closed door & telephone conversations between Don Boren, Wanda Conlin & Kathleen Hicks were exposed and more people started asking more questions, we could get some visible and tangible progress going on in West Meadowbrook Neighborhood.
Hey this is America; all of us are suppose to be able to voice our opinion, ask questions, expect complete transparency. True leaders will welcome different opinions, suggestions, & more transparency, that's my personal belief and that's what I will continue to expect, push for and work towards.
"Projection, like all defense mechanisms provide a function whereby truth about a part of themselves that may otherwise be unacceptable is shielded."

""People attribute their own undesirable traits onto others."

The Drug War on our future...our Youth, especially Urban Youth

This man says it better than I can

"The war on weed endangers the health and safety of our children. It enables young people to have unregulated access to marijuana — easier access than they currently have to legal, age-restricted intoxicants like alcohol and tobacco. It enables young people to interact and befriend pushers of other illegal, more dangerous drugs. It compels young people dismiss the educational messages they receive pertaining to the potential health risks posed by the use of ‘hard drugs’ and prescription pharmaceuticals because kids say: “If they lied to me about pot, why wouldn’t they be lying to me about everything else too.”
Most importantly, the criminal laws are far more likely to result in having our children arrested and placed behind bars than they are likely to in any way discourage them to try pot.
These are the facts, and it’s about time we start shouting them from the rooftops.
For three decades now, our opponents have framed this issue from the standpoint that they care more about the health and safety our young people more than we do — that we’re just a bunch of self-centered pot-heads that are willing to sacrifice the lives of our young people so that we can catch a buzz. Well, it’s time for us to respond.
Yes, we do favor changing the marijuana laws. We care about protecting the health and safety of our children too. And by changing the laws, we are protecting the health and safety of America’s young people. After all, under prohibition it’s America’s young people that are being lied to; it’s our children that are being approached by drug dealers; it’s our children that are smoking pot in cars and putting their lives and others at risk to try and avoid the detection of their parents or the law; and it’s our children that are being busted in unprecedented numbers.
Finally, let me close with one final reason why we as a community must begin acknowledging this reality and that is this. Even though young people suffer the most under our current marijuana laws, they lack the financial means and political capital to effectively influence politicians to challenge them. Young people also lack the money to adequately fund the drug law reform movement at a level necessary to adequately represent and protect their interests.
In short, if we ever want the marijuana laws to change, that we as a community have to better represent the interests of young people, and we must do a better job speaking on their — and their parent’s — behalf.
We must also do a better job allying with organizations that speak on behalf of youth, particularly urban youth — who are most at risk of suffering from the lifetime hardships associated with a marijuana conviction. We must do a better job reaching out, engaging, and recruiting students to continue to take this issue seriously after they graduate college — and that includes offering them internships and employment once they’ve received their degrees. Finally, reformers must do a better job reaching out to the parents of young people, and urging them to become active members and financial contributors of the cannabis law reform movement.
They say it’s the so-called “parents movement” that derailed the “pot-progress” of the 1970s. Well then I say that it’s high time we recruited our own “NORML Parents” movement to finish the job once and for all."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So what happens to parents when they don't act responsibly and their 2 yr child is found wandering the streets?

Are they held accountable to ANY degree? Is there an excuse for this behavior? Furthermore, what are the chances of this little girl growing up to be independent, self-sufficient, educated, no teenage pregnancies, no drug addiction, high degree of self worth and esteem? Who will pay? The child and the taxpayers, not the parents! Why?

"A 2-year-old girl found Monday night walking in the middle of an Arlington street will remain in foster care for at least two more weeks, a judge ruled Tuesday afternoon.
Despite repeated pleas from Ty'tianna Weatherspoon's parents, LaQuianta Weatherspoon and Maurice Stewart, and a grandfather to return the child, Judge Jean Boyd decided to leave the toddler and the family's other two children -- a 10-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl -- in foster care.
A fourth child, a 13-year-old girl, will be allowed to live with a family member."


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Meadowbrook Middle School Needs Saving

It was heartbreaking to see the headlines in the Star-Telegram about Meadowbrook Middle School being knocked down another notch and on the brink of being closed. Meadowbrook Middle has improved greatly because of a great energetic, intelligent and rare leader like Cherie Washington, Principal. Cherie Washington says in the video, why not a certain percentage of improvement count for something? The school's test scores have improved, but not enough according to current law laid down by our politicians in Washington.
Once again, parental involvement is one of the key ingredients missing in action when talking about the children's test scores and grades. (politically incorrect thing to say)

Even Barack Obama agrees and mentioned the need and importance of parental involvement regarding Education last night in the debate, so maybe all of you that want to label me as something other than a caring and concerned citizen, will back off your rhetoric since this very idea is being touted by someone of color and has the name of Barack Obama.

Somehow, someway, we must find a way to require, coax, encourage, demand, push, teach parents to assume their responsibilities in regards to their children that they have chosen. Someone asked me the other day, "How in the hell can the parents teach what they don't know?!" My reply was that we have to find a way. We have to dig in and find solutions and it can't ALL be placed on the school districts and/or taxpayers.

When Government doesn't listen to the people this is what happens

it ends up taking much longer for things to improve, much longer for businesses to thrive, much longer before the tax revenue is increased to its potential, many more lives lost and on and on and on. I know for the past 3 years I, along with Mike Phipps, Flora Brewer and others, have been pleading with my City Council representative, Kathleen Hicks and Mayor Moncrief to do something about the drug business and criminal activity along E. Lancaster by the homeless shelters and on down into the neighborhoods of East Ft. Worth. Asking that they provide more treatment beds, accountability and stop the revolving door in the jails. Finally, as their re-election season is slowly coming around and they are hearing the same words from people in the influential political circles to do something about it, seems that may be taking some action.

On another note, yesterday at the joint meeting with the Gas Drilling Task Force and City Council, we heard several times, experts tell the members, and members admit, that time is not on their side with cleaning up the environmental damage that they have, and are, allowing the gas drilling operators to do to our air quality. Perhaps if our local government, including Neighborhood Associations, would have listened to the concerned citizens about environmental issues with drilling that were raised years ago, studied the issue like they study other things such as Modern Street cars, our air quality would be much better and we could wholeheartedly believe Mayor Moncrief when he so emphatically says that "Quality of Life has always been a top priority here in this City and will continue to be."


Sunday, October 12, 2008

We Could Revolutionize the World........

if it were politically correct to be transparent in our being -- if people allowed their feathers to be ruffled before reacting --if we could look at things from the big picture point of view rather than from the limited and personal point of view only -- if we could truly understand the meaning of appreciation, toleration, effective communication and love.

How's that for a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Ft. Worth? Life is good and I love Ft. Worth.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Help the animals, order a specialized license plate

Did you know that if you purchase this specialized license plate that you help control our out of control animal population here in Texas that our law makers and enforcers are allowing to happen day after day?

Thanks to Texas drivers’ support of the Animal Friendly Fund, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has been able to distribute grant funds for spay/neuter surgeries for 30,241 dogs and cats in Texas. This has potentially prevented the unwanted births of approximately 1 million cats and 500,000 dogs over the next seven years! An additional benefit is that the 30,241 animals have received rabies vaccinations. By the conclusion of the 2008 fiscal year, DSHS will have distributed $1,196,493 in grants toward the low-cost spays and neuters.

If you would like to help reduce pet overpopulation in Texas, click here to order your Animal Friendly license plate.

If you already have an Animal Friendly license plate, thank you for being part of the solution!
Spay/Neuter Myths and Facts
Myth: Female dogs and cats should have at least one litter before having them spayed.
Fact: The best time to spay your female dog or cat is before her first heat. Early spaying greatly reduces the possibility of developing uterine, ovarian, or mammary cancer.
Myth: An animal’s behavior changes drastically after surgery.
Fact: The only changes in behavior you will see are positive ones. Male cats tend to reduce their territorial spraying, depending upon the age they are neutered. Male cats and dogs fight less, wander less, and greatly reduce their chances of being hit by a car or getting lost.
Myth: Animals become fat and lazy after being spayed or neutered.
Fact: Overweight animals are usually overfed and do not get enough exercise. If your pet is fat, reduce his calories and increase his walks and play time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tax dollars still going down the drain in East Ft. Worth

Because our City Council members of the recent past and present (supposedly representing the people of the Meadowbrook Neighborhoods) haven't made the case of the need for infrastructure dollars be spent in prevention and maintenance of our aging water pipeline system. We are watching millions and probably billions of gallons of water going down our drains every single day due to pipe breaks in the neighborhood. Today, once again, the taxpayers of Ft. Worth are paying for another expensive band aid type fix it to our water problems in East Ft. Worth, District 8. If City Hall was a business it would not survive. We need some new members of the political system in Ft.Worth.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why Respect Politicians just because they have an office?

Many people in this world believe in "respecting the office" and frown upon those of us that tell it like it is and hold nothing back when it comes to placing the truth in the laps of elected officials who do not do their jobs of "protecting the people" which is the reason for government in the first place! It is absolutely disgusting to me to see the Senate leaders, including both of our Presidential candidates saying that "we as leaders must step up to the plate and ask the taxpayers to pay for our corruption." It is despicable, fraudulent, corrupt and certainly not deserving of any respect whatsoever! People say, well Suzette, you just aren't smart enough to understand all the implications, etc. I say, I am smart enough to know that we elected you to do your job of PROTECTING and speaking up for WHAT IS RIGHT for the people and you have been caught at doing neither! We the people should NOT reward your actions and you get no support from me in asking me to cover your lack of moral judgement in your choices -- no matter how your choices (or lack thereof) affect me and my household or livelihood. I'd rather take my chances with recession/depression than with any of you supporting this crazy bill no matter what kind of "sweeteners" you throw in. And No, I am not responsible for making sure that every person in America owns a home or has health insurance. Exception being, individuals who do not have the physical or mental ability to provide for themselves due to non-self inflicted reasons. I am so sick of politicians robbing the tax payers of more and more money on all levels of government: Federal, State and LOCAL! And so many want to whine and point fingers when we "disrespect" their offices! Give me a break!! They deserve nothing more than disrespect from every single one of us average tax payers! All the more reason we should pay closer attention to our local politics and support their campaigns when we find one that we believe in. If we don't, we leave it to Corporate America to buy our politicians. Hence, Presidential Election 2008!