Two citywide meetings provide opportunities to learn about upcoming bond election

Over the past few months, public meetings were held in each of the eight council districts to allow residents to learn about the proposed bond projects and provide feedback. Now, two citywide meetings are planned:

  • Oct. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Heritage Church of Christ, 4201 Heritage Trace Parkway.
  • Oct. 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Fort Worth Botanic Garden Lecture Hall, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.

City staff is recommending that the City Council call for a bond election in May 2018. If approved by voters, the bond package would provide funding to build new roads and repair existing ones, new park amenities and community centers, and public safety facility improvements.

Once all of the community meetings are completed, city staff will revise the proposed project list based on public input and will present the list to the City Council.

Learn more about the proposed projects.

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Get your flu shot, the earlier the better

Local health care workers are reminding residents that it’s never too early to get flu shots. According to Tarrant County Public Health, it takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to take full effect.

Flu is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. It can be spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal secretions. Symptoms usually come on suddenly. Key indicators include fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, body aches and extreme fatigue.

Good hygiene is the first step in stopping the flu.

Fortunately, people can get flu shots at many local pharmacies and supermarkets, as well as public health centers in Tarrant County.

Everyone six months of age and older should receive a shot. It’s especially important for people at risk of severe influenza, including children under the age of 2, people more than 65 years, pregnant women and people with chronic conditions.

Here’s what you should know for the 2017-2018 influenza season.

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There’s still time to weigh-in on historic preservation ordinance

The city’s Planning & Development Department will meet with residents at a second public meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 25, at Thistle Hill, 1509 Pennsylvania Ave., to further discuss public comments and receive more input.

The city is updating the Historic Preservation Ordinance in an effort to streamline the approval process.

Work on ordinance revisions began in 2016. Updates for consideration include:

  • Eliminating redundant text.
  • Clarifying text that is confusing.
  • Streamlining the project review process.

Make plans to attend the meeting to hear all the updates and give feedback.

Learn more about historic preservation in Fort Worth.

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Fort Worth wins 2017 WaterSense Excellence Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the City of Fort Worth with a 2017 WaterSense Excellence Award as a leader in water conservation efforts. Fort Worth was honored at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference last week. It was one of six cities nationwide to receive an Excellence Award in promoting the WaterSense Program, which helps residents use water more efficiently.

More than 1,700 utilities, manufacturers, retailers, builders and organizations partner with WaterSense. Only a select few, however, are recognized each year for their significant program contributions. This is the second Excellence Award received by the Fort Worth Water Department.

Fort Worth has engaged residents in a variety of programs to save water, such as the SmartFlush toilet program, which distributed more than 2,400 high-efficiency toilets in 2016, saving more than 15,241,708 gallons. In addition, Fort Worth offered more than 233 WaterSense-labeled showerheads at community events free to residents.

Since 2006, Fort Worth and other WaterSense partners have helped consumers save 1.5 trillion gallons of water, more than the amount of water used by all households in California for a year. In addition to water savings, WaterSense-labeled products and homes have helped reduce the amount of energy needed to heat, pump and treat water by 212 billion kilowatt hours since the program began in 2006 — enough energy to supply a year’s worth of power to more than 19.4 million homes.

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Shred it on America Recycles Day

It’s the one day a year where Fort Worth residents can have items shredded, recycled and donated all for free. Fort Worth celebrates America Recycles Day by hosting Shred Day on Nov. 4. The event will be held rain or shine, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at La Grave Field, 301 N.E. Sixth St.

Last year, residents recycled 58,300 pounds of paper at this event.

Residents of Fort Worth and unincorporated Tarrant County, along with members of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Tarrant County can bring up to five boxes of personal documents to be securely shredded by Tarrant County. (Boxes should weigh no more than 40 pounds each.)

Other items that can be dropped off:

  • Electronics (computers, televisions and small appliances).
  • Household items such as furniture and clothing. No mattresses or large appliances.
  • No business waste.

The event is sponsored by the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Waste Management, Goodwill and Better Business Bureau of Greater Tarrant County.

To learn more, call 817-392-1234 or visit the Keep Fort Worth Beautiful page.

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Navy Blue Angels to soar above Alliance Airport Oct. 28-29

The Bell Helicopter Fort Worth Alliance Air Show will feature the world-famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels Oct. 28-29 at Fort Worth Alliance Airport.

Gates are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. General admission remains free, and parking ranges from $15-$30. Premium seating options are available for purchase.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels is one of America’s premier flight demonstration squadrons. Blue Angels performances draw more than 11 million spectators over a typical air show season. Based at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, the Blue Angels fly six powerful Boeing F/A-18 Hornets during their tightly choreographed, high-energy demonstration — sometimes flying as little as 18 inches apart.

In addition to the Blue Angels, performers include the U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight, Patriot Parachute Team, Trojan Phlyers and stunt pilot Gene Soucy with wing walker Teresa Stokes. Static displays include warbirds, military and general aircraft and helicopters.

Additional attractions include a Kid Zone, simulators, interactive exhibits, helicopter rides, food, Honor Guard Memorial and more.

Since 2006, more than $620,000 has been distributed to more than 60 nonprofit organizations. This year’s proceeds benefit local nonprofit organizations and local school STEM programs.

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Work begins on First Street pedestrian improvements

Construction is underway on pedestrian improvements to enhance access and connectivity from First Street to Third Street downtown.

Construction is expected to take about 150 days and will include adding sidewalks, ramps, pedestrian lighting, landscaping and bridge improvements. Infrequent detours can be expected as work takes place under the bridge.

Downtown Fort Worth Inc. is managing the project on behalf of the City of Fort Worth; Fain Group is the contractor.

Due to concerns raised by Downtown Fort Worth Inc. (DFWI) and other stakeholders regarding the closure of First Street during the Tower 55 negotiations, the City of Fort Worth received $750,000 from BNSF to pass through to DFWI for design work and to construct pedestrian improvements.

Tower 55 is at the junction of the Union Pacific and BNSF lines, roughly at the intersection of I-30 and I-35. The project included at-grade improvements to relieve congestion at one of the nation’s busiest railroad crossings, including adding track, sidings, upgrades to bridges and other infrastructure. The $103 million project closed four street crossings, including First Street.

To learn more, contact Sevanne Steiner at 817-392-8012.

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Pothole? Traffic signal out? Here’s how to report it

You can help the city keep its streetlights, storm drains and other structures in good repair.

When you see something that needs to be fixed, report it by calling 817-392-8100 to speak with a customer service representative. When you make a report, be ready to describe the issue and give the location or address.

You can request maintenance or repairs for alleys, bridges, curbs and gutters, traffic signs, pavement markings, potholes, railroad crossings, school zone signs and flashing lights, sidewalks, street lights, traffic signals and parking meters. You also can report flooding, blocked storm water inlets, tree limbs or obstacles in the roadway and water pooling in the street.

View a short video to learn more.

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Sign up for Cowboy Santas distributions

It’s just October, but it’s time to start thinking about Christmas and Cowboy Santas.

The Cowboy Santas program is a charitable organization that provides toys to children 12 and under from low-income Tarrant County families during the holiday season. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 2.

There are three ways to sign up, including a new mail-in option:

1. Register at a CAP Center

Register at these locations:

  • Andrew “Doc” Session Community Center, 201 S Sylvania Ave.
  • Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive.
  • North Tri-Ethnic Community Center, 2950 Roosevelt Ave.
  • Northside Community Center, 1100 N.W. 18th St.
  • Southeast Arlington CAP Office, 1601 E. Lamar Blvd., Arlington.
  • Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale St.
  • Worth Heights Community Center, 3551 New York Ave.

Registration is available at these sites on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.

2. Register at the Cowboy Santas warehouse

Families can register at the Cowboy Santas warehouse, 541 N. Main St., on Saturdays by appointment only. Call 817-392-5790 to set up an appointment. No walk-ins are allowed at this location.

3. Download and mail the application

New this year, families can download an application and mail it to Community Action Partners/Cowboy Santas, 4200 South Freeway, Suite 2325, Fort Worth, TX 76115.

Copies of these documents are required:

  • Proof of current Tarrant County address.
  • Proof of all household income for the past 30 days for occupants 18 years and older. This can include pay check stubs, Social Security benefits letters, disability letters, workers’ compensation or retirement benefits.
  • Picture identification of the applicant, who must be 18 or older.
  • Proof of age for children ages 12 and under, such as a birth certificate or immunization records.
  • Social Security cards for all household members (this is preferred, but not required.)

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PD to sponsor community forum at Diamond Hill Community Center

Learn about the latest initiatives from the Fort Worth Police Department at a community forum from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 9 at Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 N.E. 36th St.

Chief of Police Joel Fitzgerald and his staff will discuss new changes at the Police Department and what it means for the community. Assistant Chief Charles Ramirez will lead a discussion on Senate Bill 4, and a question-and-answer session will include members of the command staff.

All COP members, Crime Watch neighborhood groups, school PTAs, PTOs, neighborhood associations, church groups and others are urged to attend.

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