Sunday, September 30, 2012


I am trying to establish an incentive program for the kids a Rocquemore Elementary.  I have enlisted the help of two very dynamic personalities in that area to operate the program, Deanna Palla and Dara Wandel are my two pit bulls that are co-ordinating the project.  They have met with Evonne DuPont, the principal of Rocquemore, and will implement the program through her.  Last week Dara and I met with Mr. Mike Walker who is a property manager that oversees about five properties in the Lamar/Collins Overlay area.  He is one of the good guys and is putting funds back into the apartments to make them better and offer a Good living experience to his occupants.  Mike is not only very willing to participate he will solicite participation by other property managers in the area.  This next week I will also meet with Pam Dawson who manages Lincoln Square.   I want to discuss what incentives the businesses at Lincoln Square can bring to the table.

Essentailly the program will be set up to entice all family members to put the education of children on the front burner.  Property managers will look at report cards and reduce rent for the students that have broken out of the pack in the areas of academics, citizenship, and attendance.  Businesses can contribute coupons such as free ice cream and complimentary food and services.  We need to engage the community in supporting the education of our children.  This program is an attempt to do just that.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Walk The Block

Yesterday was interesting.  First off there was a solution to a potentially dangerous problem that was affecting traffic on Center St..  The Summit School lets out and there is usually a line of cars that extend out the front of the school.  Now Center has a blind curve, and as you come around that curve at speed, cars could be stopped, thus creating a serious situation.  Large signs were placed before the curve stating, "Stopped Traffic Ahead" complete with flags etc..  This should stop the problem or at least alert drivers that there is a problem up ahead.

Walgreen's on Davis seems to be working as a drug store again.  The grace period is over and the kids that can't get it in there head to stop loitering will get a free ride downtown, starting Monday.

Last night I participated in a "Walk the Block" exercise with the Arlington Police.  My guess was that we had about 10 officers and we covered all of the Presidents streets.  The purpose was to talk to the neighbors and find out what their perception of the Police force was in their area.  Discuss problems of the past and the current level of presence of Police activity.  It was the people's opportunity to vent to the Officers that protect them on their beat.  It was a great exercise and I want to thank Chief Leland Strickland for initiating and implementing the program.

This morning I will be down at the Farmers Market on Front St. from around 9:30 till around noon talking to people and supporting the Market in their effort to bring fresh produce to the greater downtown Arlington area.

Hey it's going to be a great weekend in Arlington.  The Rangers need some wins, the Cowboys and Bears on Monday night, and if you are a frog fan TCU is home, and the Ryder Cup is on for the Golfing Guys.  Enjoy the weekend and remember that the National Night Out is Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Sept. 26th

This morning I started out with a staff meeting concerning Greater Southwest Industrial Park.  It was noted that we have spent 20.8 million dollars on Randal Mill and Ave F refurbishment.  We are going to spend 66 million on Abrams and various streets in the industrial park.  Three other streets are being included in the next bond ammendment.  The GSW park is huge to the commerce of the city and the 18 wheelers that travel those streets are really destroying them.  We are really fighting an uphill battle in this area.

My next event was an enlightening lunch with the President of the Chamber of Commerce Steven Zimmer.  We talked about several issues but his main points were mobilization and redevlopment.  It was interesting listening to the concepts that the Chamber would like to implement.

Then it was off to the Luraco Company to essentially listen to them describe how they need help in the area in front of their building, to allow the 18 wheelers dock in their facility.  To be honest I didn't think that their road was all that bad but the area that the 18 wheelers use to dock is pretty messed up.  Andy Nguyen, the County Commissioner was there and he pledged to utilize his manpower if the city would supply the materials.  This could be a win, Nguyen situation.

Then it was off to the Walgreens at Davis and Lamar.  Most everything was quite today.  There were only about 6 students out front of the store today.  I told them that an announcement was made at school and that flyers went out at school and that this week was a grace week.  Since two of the kids were 18 I informed them that next week they would be going to jail and the rest could go to Juvenile Hall for parent pick up.  They moved on.  Next week the fun will really begin.

Lastly I met with a group of concerned neighbors at Brenda Langly's house.  I briefed them on items that the Council is working on and they seemed genuinely interested as concerned neighbors should be.  A myriad of subjects were covered and the major theme was to stay involved and stay observant in the neighborhood's activities.  I'm looking forward to National Night Out coming up next Tuesday.  It should be fun.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Operation Mend

We give to several charities and one of them is Operation Mend.  I know, you've never heard of it.  My wife found it and I am glad that she did.  Last night we attended an event sponsored by T. Boone Pickens, who is a supporter of this effort, at the Dallas Country Club.  I was way out of my league.  Mend is essentially a group of specially skilled surgeons from UCLA Medical Center that take horribly disfigured soldiers and gives them new faces.  They coordinate with Brookes Medical in San Antonio to find candidates for their surgeries and then start the slow process of giving them an identity that they can live with.  Some soldiers simply can't cope with their disfigurement and take their own lives.  Mend also does surgeries on hands and fingers to get them working properly again.  All of the soldiers were in vehicles that went over IED's (roadside bombs).  These guys were the survivors, and to listen to them speak of the long road to recovery will literally tear the heart right from you chest.  I met some remarkable heros last night, some surgeons but mostly warriors doing work to preserve your liberties that have suffered unbelievable injury, that are getting their lives back together.  Look it up Operation Mend. 


I am going to post twice today for two very important things that happened yesterday.  First I had a meeting at Lamar High School with several people.  Notables were Principal Harmin, Chief Strickland, and Jamie Saenz (District Manager of Walgreens).  Essentially the problem was the kids at Walgreens.  We kicked the can around a little, I listened and then I had had enough.  I told Mr. Saenz that until he states without question that he doesn't want kids on his property, the problem will continue.  That is when he finally stated "no kids".  Principal Harmin stated he would make the announcement on Monday that Walgreens will be off limits and send out flyers that parents were not to pick up their kids up at Walgreens.  The Police will spend this week, with spiritual leaders, telling the kids that facilities will be open to them at local churches in the area if they want to utilize them. 
Starting next week kids that are at the Walgreens will be told to leave in front of a Police Officer, if they return for a period of one year they will be taken to Juvenile Hall or if they are 17 jail on criminal trespass charges and their parents can pick them up there.  Mr. Saenz has stores next to High Schools all over the state and Louisiana and this is the only store with a problem like this one.  I told him that until HE empowers the police there is nothing that can be done.  He finally got the message.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Looking Forward and Looking Back

I haven't posted for awhile because I have been on a little tour of the hill country with the wife.  We don't get out much and it was enjoyable to spend some actual wife time for a change.  We visited Llano, Fredricksberg, Lukenbach (population 3) San Antonio, and Austin.  I needed to get out for some R & R.  I have a very busy week planned with meetings all afternoon and tomorrow evening.  Then a full Council Day on Tuesday and meetings on Wednesday concerning the Walgreens, to include their district manager, the North Police Chief and Principal Harmin.
While I was away a dear friend of mine passed away.  We call it flying west in the aviation industry.  Dave Nimmer was my backseater in 1976, a life long friend for the last 37 years, the Chairman of the Norfolk Republican Party for 6 years, Kiwana's President in Norfolk and he was my campaign manager.  Dave and I have literally traveled the world together.  At 8:00 pm on Friday evening his battle with cancer ended.  He will be dearly missed and I am a much better person for having him as my friend.  I will attend his memorial service in Norfolk.  Via Con Dios Amigo. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This morning is the 11th anniversary of 9-11.  There are only 3 days in my life where I can tell you where I was when something happpened of significance.  The Kennedy Assination, drawing my draft number, and 9-11. 
Luckily I was home on that day and not flying.  I was a Captain for TWA LLC flying 767's based out of New York, but I was off that day.  A guy that I went through Navy flight training with, was the Captain who's aircraft  hit the Pentagon.  His name was Charles Burlingame.  The world changed that day in many ways.  Your lives changed.  Heros died, and the never ending war on terror was started.  In a few minutes I will start putting up flags in service of my Rotary Club, but more in rememberance of those who died that day.  It reminds me of people jumping off the World Trade Center just to end their lives quickly.  It reminds me of the Firefighters who lost their lives trying to save others.  It reminds me of the families that have lost mothers and fathers.  And it also reminds me that no matter how long it takes, the resolve of the United States is backed up by the true warrior spirit that rests in our military forces.  SEAL Team Six is in my thoughts today and my heart swells with pride.  Bin Ladin sleeps with the fishes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gene Patrick

Last night I was informed that former City Councilman Gene Patrick had passed away.  I had talked with Gene just the day before and although he was having some trouble with his current round of chemo therapy he stated that he was bouncing back.  Gene truly loved Arlington.  He will be missed very much by his family, friends and his community.  I will miss his honest candid nature and his wealth of knowledge concerning the city of Arlington.  Rest in Peace my friend. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday 5 Sept

Today was interesting.  Yesterday I found out that Gene Patricks Escalade was stolen out of his drive way.  There has only been one car stolen out of beat 220 in a year and it was his.  We never have crime in Forest Hills.  I have plenty of items in motion but the one that I seem to be working on the most is Walgreens, on Davis.  Today we had our first fight.  Two girls, one pregnant at age 15 got into it.  The police were all over it and were on the scene quickly.  We are going to task the SRO at Lamar as a resource.  Our North Arlington Police can't baby sit the kids after school.  They have a job to do and people should be responsible for their kids.  Usually it is all over about 30 minutes after school lets out.  We are going to redeploy the HEAT team and see where that brings us.  Also on the crime front we are addressing the area between Lamar and I30.  Hopefully there will be some success on this issue.

I got to play a little host tonight to about 40 Germans from out sister city.  It was  a great evening and the Germans will be here for about 10 days enjoying the culture of Texas.  We have a ton of activities planned for them.  They are truly nice people, and it is a pleasure for us to have them here.

Tomorrow is huge, I have to check out a sink hole that is encrouching on a citizens home, lunch with Jay Buris of the entertainment district, and an evening East Arlington Renewal Meeting with Sue Phillips.  8:30 am to 9:00 pm.  All interesting and it never stops.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Council Meeting

The only real issue that was a little sticky for me this evening was the Truman Drill Zone modification.  Originally, it only had 68% approval of the people from 300-600 ft. from the well head.  If you have less than 70% it requires a super majority of the city council.  Chesapeake addressed this problem and got 71.4% and took the requirement from the city council.  What was big for me was that they got all of the residents to approve, and that was important in how I looked at the special use permit SUP.  The site has been operating successfully and complying with the three stipulations imposed upon them by the council.

The second item was one of a no smoking ordinance.  Essentially the committee recommended that smoking be banned in sexual oriented businesses, public parks, pool halls, and night clubs.  It will go to council in that form and be voted upon soon.  The one question that is outstanding is the Rangers Ball Park.  Currently people smoke near the exits.  If they were to ban it from the Park the smokers would have to leave the building and walk across the street.  We are awaiting feed back from the Rangers as to how to best deal with this problem.

It was said that there was not police presence at the Walgreens today.  Since I was in meetings all day I was unable to see first hand how bad the problem was.  I did tell the Police Chief that citizens were very grateful for the police work that was being done concerning this issue.

Good Night

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

I trust that your Labor Day Weekend was remarkable.  There are always things to do on Labor Day.  The concerts at the Levitt downtown are always a hit.  Bruce Robinson & Kelly Willis on Saturday and the Pentanonix on Sunday.  The crowd was over 12,000 just on Sunday alone, and of course the performances were very entertaining.  Patti Diou does a great job at the Levitt and the entire crew that promotes the event is priceless.

If sports is your thing, then how about ESPN College Game Day being at Jerry World this weekend.  Michigan and Alabama were on the card for our pleasure, right here in North Arlington.  Or how about them Rangers.  Although they weren't at home the played great baseball.  And if you don't know who Jurickson Profar is, I'm sure you will be hearing about him for many years to come.  They are 3 games up on the scoundrel Oakland A's with a month to go.  Go Rangers!

I'm looking forward to another great week.  I feel revitalized after a long weekend.  See you out in town!