As Fort Worth grows and develops, we want to make sure we are conserving high priority natural areas for future generations. We want your input on the types of spaces you would like to preserve. Please take the survey today and plan to attend our October 22 public meeting!
The first public meeting will be held digitally on Thursday, October 22nd at 6:00 PM. Here is the link for that meeting: https://bit.ly/3k7XV2I
Program Website: www.FortWorthOpenSpace.com
Direct Survey Link (English): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FortWorthSM
Direct Survey Link (Spanish): https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/FortWorthEs
The city’s Transportation & Public Works Department will host a virtual community meeting to discuss the upcoming Museum Way realignment project.
Museum Way will be realigned to the east to align with Stayton Street at the West Seventh Street intersection. The project includes paving, new traffic signal and street closure during construction.
The virtual meeting will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 26 via Webex. The meeting number is 126 217 2377; the meeting password is museumway. The phone-in number is 469-210-7159.
To learn more, contact JT Auldridge at 817-392-7252.
Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the executive committee of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo has cancelled the 2021 Show. Consultations with numerous infectious disease and public health professionals indicate the Stock Show – with more than 1.2 million guests, exhibitors and competitors converging on the Will Rogers complex – would rank as a “very high risk” for further spread of COVID-19 and potentially impact populations and healthcare systems in Fort Worth and beyond the North Texas area. We urge everyone to do their part in the effort to bring this dreaded disease under control.
The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) has assumed nonprofit management of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, ushering in a new era for the 86-year-old community favorite on its way toward becoming a world-class garden.
The Fort Worth City Council approved the 20-year management agreement with BRIT on May 19 after extensive review, assessment and public involvement, including a community task force that determined transformational change was needed for the garden’s long-term sustainability.
“Today we honor those who helped establish one of the largest botanic gardens in Texas, as well as those who had the vision to establish one of the leading botanical research and educational institutions on the very same campus,” said BRIT President Ed Schneider.
The close proximity of two organizations with plant-based missions led to a natural collaboration and a positive public-private partnership that allowed the community to see the success possible when they joined forces.
“The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is an incredible community asset,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “Thanks to this important partnership, residents and visitors will be able to continue to enjoy the gardens and experience everything it has to offer.”
The newly-combined resources of botanical research, education and fundraising expertise with historically-significant grounds and horticultural expertise has laid the groundwork for Fort Worth to become host to one of the leading gardens in the United States.
“BRIT welcomes the long-term stewardship of the beautiful Botanic Garden that the City of Fort Worth has entrusted to us, and we anticipate a bright future ahead for both organizations,” Schneider said.
New brand identity emerges
To mark BRIT’s new union with the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, both organizations will use a newly-designed common brand identity. The new transitional logo uses both organizational names joined by a unifying logo mark: a single leaf made up of two distinctive halves. The top half of the leaf is green, rich with the beauty, vibrance and life found in the Botanic Garden; the other side is gold, a perfectly-preserved fallen leaf representing the preservation, study and research taking place at BRIT. The two halves fit perfectly together to form one leaf – one common brand identity.
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas will work to grow the brand with unified marketing efforts, a new combined website, integrated social media marketing and public relations efforts. The campaign will launch over the next six months.
The Arts Council of Fort Worth received a Cultural District grant award of $225,000 from the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) for a free community event that premieres art works by internationally-recognized new media artists Quayola from Italy and Refik Anadol from Los Angeles.
These new media works will be projected on all four sides of the historic Pioneer Tower at Will Rogers Memorial Center, illuminating the 204-foot structure in the night skies of Fort Worth during the last weekend of February 2021.
Combined with City of Fort Worth and other grant funds, this $1.2 million project supports the creation and presentation of the first of four major iconic public artworks that will join the Fort Worth Public Art collection.
Two years ago, the City of Fort Worth engaged local artists to assist with planning infrastructure improvements during the Pioneer Tower rehabilitation project and the selection of a New York-based new media curator to recommend artists for the premiere project. In May, Quayola and Anadol presented proposals that involve the use of complex computer algorithms and artificial intelligence to interpret large data sets of images into vibrant composite works, which will be projected onto Pioneer Tower, evoking Fort Worth’s natural beauty, rich diversity and storied history.
The grant is part of TCA’s Cultural District program, which funds programs and activities that encourage residents and tourists to spend time in state-designated cultural districts, which in Fort Worth now includes two districts: the area south of West 7th Avenue and west of downtown that features multiple museums and performance venues, and, as of a few weeks ago, the Near Southside district. These are walkable areas with a high concentration of visual and performing arts organizations, creative industries, restaurants and other cultural offerings.
In addition to the Texas Commission on the Arts grant, the Arts Council of Fort Worth received a National Endowment for the Arts $10,000 grant for the project.
Support from local, state and national organizations is vital to the continued success of bringing great art to our community. The Arts Council of Fort Worth is seeking additional sponsorships for this groundbreaking event in February 2021. Those interested in supporting the arts in Fort Worth can contact Director of Advancement Wesley Gentle at 817-298-3029.
Fort Worth, one of the five fastest-growing cities in the United States, continues to attract new business, even as 2020 takes its toll on cities across the country.
Brandom Gengelbach, the new CEO at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, aims to shine a bright light on the future ahead for the city.
“Business leaders from all around the country continue to tell me how they feel hamstrung in high-tax states,” Gengelbach said. “While having a tax-friendly business environment certainly helps, we are seeing an unprecedented amount of growth in Fort Worth for a variety of reasons, including a cohesive, supportive government infrastructure, as well as an overwhelmingly affable environment, a career-ready talent pool, ample transportation opportunities and a favorable cost of living.”
Fort Worth added more than 50,000 jobs in the past year. These new jobs were a welcome career opportunity for both locals and to those new to the city. The new jobs included highly-skilled positions in biotechnology, aviation and transportation automation and health care. Businesses like Linear Labs, M2G Ventures and Bell Helicopter chose to grow in Fort Worth, and their leaders are enthusiastic about the upshot of that decision.
“Fort Worth embraces innovation in all forms,” said Linear Labs co-founder and CEO Brad Hunstable. “In doing business in this city, new ideas are welcomed, and informed key collaborations allow businesses from here – and those planting a flag here – to flourish. Fort Worth has embraced our big dreams and plans, and we’re excited about being a part of the next tech innovation hub right here.”
Gengelbach took the reins as the leader of the Fort Worth Chamber this summer and said he’s proud of Fort Worth’s “Where the West Begins” roots and charm. He also said it’s important for people to know of the aggressive and business-friendly environment of the city.
Fort Worth has lot to offer
“Those living outside of Texas might imagine Fort Worth (if they imagine it at all) as a sleepy town filled with citizens in cowboy boots, riding their horses alongside cows and tumbleweeds on the way to the oil derrick,” Gengelbach said. “And while this North Texas city embraces its heritage, business leaders around the country and the world may be astonished to learn what Fort Worth has to offer.”
Mayor Besty Price, a longtime advocate for the Chamber, said the facts speak for themselves when it comes to the quality of life.
“Fort Worth ranks among the top 15 cities for young professionals, is considered among the best places to raise a family and is among the very best places for first-time home buyers,” Price said. “Culture lovers delight in our local attractions – like the Kimbell Art Museum and Modern Art Museum. Nature lovers enjoy days out at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden or exploring the striking Trinity Trails, all complemented by top restaurants and dynamic entertainment.”
Put simply, Fort Worth boasts that yearned-for small-town feel with big-city perks, with a surprisingly low cost of living that further underlines its desirability.
Chamber’s annual meeting goes online
Now, Gengelbach said he hopes to bring further energy, vision and a collaborative approach to the ongoing development, enhancement and growth of the area’s economy.
“We know what it’s like for a business owner to feel unappreciated, and we believe that ambitious leaders deserve a city that has vision and resources to pour into the company”s future,” Gengelbach said. “Our mission is to ensure Fort Worth delivers.”
To hear more about the Chamber’s vision, join the Fort Worth Chamber’s 138th annual meeting online at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 29 online. Guest registration is free online or by calling 817-336-2491.
The theme of this year’s event is Fortitude, signifying the city’s strength, resilience and commitment to moving forward. Jonathan Morris will serve as keynote speaker. Morris embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of Fort Worth and will share his message of shifting gears, taking on new challenges and pressing forward. Morris will also talk about his breakout role as the star of Self-Employed, set to launch on the Magnolia Network, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ newest venture, in 2021.
The City Council approved a $782 million fiscal 2021 general fund budget Tuesday and voted to keep the property tax rate at 74.75 cents per $100 assessed valuation.
The general fund budget is only a portion of the city’s Capital and Operating Budgets that total just under $2 billion for fiscal 2021. The general fund pays to operate city services and facilities. Fort Worth’s budget includes several other funds, including debt service and those that operate the water and wastewater utility, airports and special projects, among them.
The fiscal 2021 budget will continue to fund new facilities, improve equity of city services and enhance community policing.
The city’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
The Council also approved an $86.5 million Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) budget that calls for increased spending with community partners and nonprofits, and the expansion of the Fort Worth Police Department’s crisis intervention team, among other things.
The operating budget also includes a $394.3 million Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal 2021. The plan calls for evaluating infrastructure maintenance and investment based on equity and continuing neighborhood and transportation-related improvements.
Numerous residents attended and spoke at several recent budget meetings and hearings.
The University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC) at Fort Worth will administer the Texas portion of a $12 million National Institutes of Health award for outreach and engagement efforts in ethnic and racial minority communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Several Texas counties, including Tarrant, are among high-priority regions that will receive special focus. The project connects communities with accurate public health information and informs communities about clinical research and vaccine trials.
The Texas Community Engagement Alliance Consortium will be administered through HSC and led by Dr. Jamboor K. Vishwanatha.
“HSC is committed to leading the way in creating solutions to address health disparities that affect members of underrepresented and diverse communities,” HSC President Dr. Michael Williams said. “COVID-19’s disproportionate impact has shined a bright light on the need for more partnerships and resources to solve these disparities.”
Other high-priority areas in Texas include Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Hidalgo counties.
“The Texas Community Engagement Alliance Team has brought together academic partners and multiple community partners with whom trusted relations have been built over many years,” Vishwanatha said. “With this statewide effort, we hope to provide science-based information to overcome the misinformation and mistrust in our communities regarding the clinical and vaccine trials, and to increase participation of ethnic and racial minority communities in Texas in these trials.”
The Community Engagement Alliance research teams will focus on COVID-19 awareness and education research, especially among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and American Indians — populations that account for over half of all reported cases in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“With strong interest and commitment from academic and community partners, the Texas CEAL team came together rather quickly to address the urgent national need to diversify the clinical trial participation in development of COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines,” Vishwanatha said.
Two new restaurants offering international cuisine, as well as two new health, beauty and wellness service offerings, have opened or are opening soon at Crockett Row at West 7th. Among the openings are Taco Paseo, a Tex-Mex restaurant, in Crockett Hall and Japanese cuisine-focused The Blue Fish at 2932 Crockett St.
As the state moves toward allowing restaurants to open to 75% capacity, several Crockett Row flagship restaurants and entertainment venues have reopened after the initial lockdown and have announced their social distancing protocols.
Here’s some more information about the new openings:
Taco Paseo (opened September 2020 at 3000 Crockett Street) – An expansion of the newly reimagined Crockett Hall serving Tex-Mex specialties and authentic Mexican tacos, including beef, pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, veggie and breakfast options, as well as Mexican beers and fresh margaritas – www.TacoPaseo.com
The Blue Fish (opening fall 2020 at 2932 Crockett Street) – Award-winning Japanese cuisine serving premium selections of sushi and sashimi, as well as Asian-inspired hot dishes – www.thebluefishsushi.com
The Pretty Kitty (opening fall 2020 at 2831 West 7th Street) – Known for its signature Brazilian Bikini Wax, The Pretty Kitty will offer full-service waxing and cater to Fort Worth’s active, stylish, woman on-the-go – www.prettykittywax.com
Formula Wellness (opening fall 2020 at 2937 West 7th Street) – Health spa offering energizing and youth-restoring services such as hormone replacement, nutrition and supplement therapy, IV therapy, and medical weight loss – www.formulawellnesscenter.com
In addition, here are some changes taking place in the development, along with some new social distancing protocols.
Crockett Hall – The former Food Hall at Crockett Row – now named “Crockett Hall” – has reopened with 11 new eateries, new operators and management, lower price points, and a fresh new look, with fluid indoor-outdoor spaces that allow for social distancing and a contactless experience. The new Crockett Hall has a total of 15 food and beverage options – offering everything from poke, burgers, barbeque, pizza, pasta, pot pies, tacos, salads, sandwiches, craft coffee, cocktails, and even a neighborhood mini-market.
West 7th Movie Tavern – Fort Worth’s favorite movie tavern has reopened after being temporarily closed for more than six months. Movie buffs are welcome to return to enjoy the big screens, dynamic sound, and gourmet eats and cocktails in a safe, comfortable setting. Updated health and safety measures include limited occupancy and what the theatre bills as its “S-T-A-R” treatment for guests: Social Distancing, Thorough Cleaning and Sanitizing, App/Website Ordering Available for Low Contact, and Respect for All Guests and Associates.
Social House – Casual restaurant-bar with an award-winning scratch kitchen and 100 beers on tap, brunch on weekends, and 28 televisions
MASH’D – World-class food and neighborhood comfort, with an array of craft cocktails, many made from the Moonshine that inspired its name
Concrete Cowboy – 8,000-square-foot nightspot that’s part honky-tonk, part sports bar, offering drinks, dinner, lunch and brunch
Fireside Pies – “Crockett Row original” featuring wood-fired pizza, hand-made pasta, fresh salads, craft cocktails, and a commitment to well-sourced ingredients and exceptional service
Toasted – Eatery and bar featuring fresh, all-natural ingredients to create a variety of gourmet toasts, specialty sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts, as well as locally roasted coffees, teas, beer, wine and cocktails
Cinnaholic — Locally owned and operated bakery specializing in custom gourmet cinnamon rolls and homemade cookie dough, brownies, and cookies, all of which 100% vegan, dairy & lactose-free, egg-free, and cholesterol-free
Voicebox Karaoke – Private party suites with karaoke, food, drinks, and personal service
“As the economy finds its way back from the lockdowns, this momentum couldn’t come at a more welcome time,” said Monica Bermea, marketing director for Vestar. “Crockett Row at West 7th has always been a development with so much energy, appeal and fun, so the lockdowns and capacity restrictions definitely took a toll on us. Needless to say, this late summer wave of openings, reopenings and new leases is giving us a much-needed adrenaline boost, and we are THRILLED to welcome Taco Paseo, The Blue Fish, The Pretty Kitty, and Formula Wellness to our vibrant Crockett Row community.”
Parking at Crockett Row is free, with both street parking (free for two hours) and covered garage parking (free with validation) available.
Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference to provide an update on the state’s ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19. During the press conference, the Governor issued Executive Orders expanding occupancy levelsPDF File for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums and libraries, and re-authorizing elective surgeriesPDF File for a majority of the state of Texas. The Governor also announced new guidance related to visitations at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state.
In addition, the Governor implemented the use of reliable, data driven hospitalization metrics used by doctors and medical experts to help guide the state’s ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19 and expand occupancy for businesses and services. This metric focuses on areas with high hospitalizations — referring to any Trauma Service Area (TSA) that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospitalized patients exceeds 15%, until such time as the TSA has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospitalized patients is 15% or less. A current list of areas with high hospitalizations will be maintained on the dshs.texas.gov/ga3031.
Using this metric,PDF File 19 of the 22 TSAs in Texas qualify to increase occupancy levels to 75% for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, exercise facilities and classes, museums and libraries beginning Sept. 21. In addition, these 19 TSAs can also resume elective surgeries.PDF File Three of the 22 TSAs (S-Victoria, T-Laredo and V-Lower Rio Grande Valley) must remain at 50% occupancy and continue postponing elective surgeries until the hospitalization metric requirements are met. These three TSAs contain the following counties: Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca, Victoria, Jim Hogg, Webb, Zapata, Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy.
“With the medical advancements we have made and the personal hygiene practices we have adopted, Texans have shown that we can address both the health and safety concerns of COVID-19 while also taking careful, measured steps to restore the livelihoods that Texans depend on,” said Governor Abbott. “Achieving both goals requires safe standards that contain COVID-19, emphasize protecting the most vulnerable, and establish clear metrics that the public can depend on. That is why today we have announced expanded occupancy standards for a variety of services. But, Texans should remember that a steady and significant decline in COVID-19 cases is not a sign to let up in our vigilance against the virus. Instead, Texans must continue to heed the guidance of medical experts by wearing a mask, social distancing and practicing proper sanitation strategies. By maintaining health and safety standards that are proven to mitigate COVID-19, we can continue to slow the spread while opening up the Texas economy.”
The Governor announced new visitation guidance for eligible nursing homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, home and community-based service providers, and inpatient hospice effective Thursday, Sept. 24. Under the new rules, residents will be allowed to designate up to two essential family caregivers who will be provided necessary training to allow them to safely go inside a facility for a scheduled visit, including in the resident’s room, to help ensure their loved one’s physical, social and emotional needs are being met. Designated caregivers will not be required to maintain physical distancing, but only one caregiver can visit a resident at a time.
A long-term care facility resident (or legal representative) can designate the essential caregiver, who can be a family member, friend or other individual. Facilities are required to train essential caregivers on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other infection control measures. Proper PPE must be used at all times during these scheduled visits, and the caregiver must test negative for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days before the initial visit.
For general visitors who are not a designated essential caregiver, these updated emergency rules will allow approved facilities to schedule outdoor no contact visits, open window visits or indoor visitation with the use of plexiglass safety barriers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical contact between residents and general visitors is not permitted. Facilities also must continue to meet all additional visitation requirements outlined in the emergency rules.
View the Governor’s Executive Order related to expanded capacity of certain services.
View the Governor’s Executive Order related to hospital capacity.
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