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  • 16 Mar 2021 10:51 PM | Anonymous

    graphic that says mayoral candidate forumPublished by the City of Fort Worth

    The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce and the Star-Telegram will host a moderated forum with Fort Worth mayoral candidates from 11 a.m. to noon April 14.

    The forum, held virtually on Zoom, will touch on issues facing the business community, including economic development, education and workforce. The panel is open to the public and free to attend. Registration is limited to 500.

    “We’re excited to host and hear from our mayoral candidates on policy and plans for the future of our city,” said Brandom Gengelbach, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. “Our new mayor will inherit a hefty agenda that includes assisting the business community get back on its feet after this pandemic. Our goal is to provide a platform that allows them to hear from candidates directly and make informed decisions at the polls.”

    Confirmed candidates include City Councilmembers Brian Byrd and Ann Zadeh; Deborah Peoples, chair of the Tarrant County Democratic Party; Mattie Parker, Mayor Betsy Price’s former chief of staff; and Daniel Caldwell, educator. Additional candidates will be added as confirmed.

    Ryan Rusak, opinion editor at the Star-Telegram, will moderate the forum and ask questions relevant to the business community.

  • 10 Mar 2021 11:12 PM | Anonymous

    two Japanese performers in traditional dressPublished by the City of Fort Worth

    The Fort Worth Botanic Garden-Botanical Research Institute of Texas invites visitors to celebrate spring in the Japanese Garden while exploring the arts and culture of Japan during the March 27-28 Spring Japanese Festival. Tickets are now on sale.

    Hosted in cooperation with the Fort Worth Japanese Society, the festival includes cultural demonstrations, performances, unique shopping opportunities and traditional foods.

    Japanese Society member Harvey Yamagata said this year’s zodiac symbol represents a new perspective from last year’s Year of the Rat. “We look to 2021 and the Year of the Ox as a sign of new hope, new prosperity and new wellness,” Yamagata said. “With emerging foliage, warmer weather and the chance to be in beautiful outdoor surroundings, the spring festival corresponds nicely with those attributes.”

    Festival admission this spring offers a triple benefit, said Vice President for Horticulture and Assistant Director Bob Byers. “The thousands of tulips we planted in the fall will be on impressive display that weekend,” Byers said. “As well, the large outdoor Stickwork exhibit is complete, waiting for in-and-out discovery and exploration.”

    As with the Fall Japanese Festival, the same safety requirements will be in place. “Being outdoors, wearing masks, safe distanced and timed entry seemed to provide the assurance guests needed based on the encouraging feedback we received,” Byers said.

    Japanese culture highlights from the Spring Festival will include:

    Performances by two Taiko drumming groups, karate experts and Master Swordsman G.K. Sugai.

    Displays of the miniature worlds of bonsai trees from the Fort Worth Bonsai Society, and demonstrations in origami, calligraphy and Japanese games.

    Vendors selling treasures from origami jewelry to anime plush figures, star charts to crafts made with vintage kimonos.

    Traditional dances.

    Food from Asian food trucks preparing delicious meals and snacks, as well as authentic Japanese cuisine prepared by the Fort Worth Japanese Society.

    Safety protocols and other event details include:

    Tickets are included with the price of Botanic Garden admission ($12) and must be bought online to adhere to admission limits for the Festival. Purchase tickets online.

    Members receive free entry, but still must register in advance. Become a member.

    Guests entering the Garden must wear masks, which are required for this event.

    Performances have been moved outside of the Japanese Garden to ensure plenty of space between performers and the public.

    Hand sanitizing stations will be positioned around the Garden, and vendors will provide sanitizer at their booths.

  • 10 Mar 2021 11:09 PM | Anonymous

    Published by the City of Fort Worth

    Fort Worth has proposed several dozen projects to be considered as part of a $400 million transportation bond program being developed by the Tarrant County Commissioners Court. The bond program will go before voters countywide in November.

    In 2006, Tarrant County voters approved a $200 million transportation bond program that funded improvements to many roadways in the county.

    “Since 2006, Tarrant County has become one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, resulting in an increased demand on our transportation system,” County Administrator G.K. Maenius said when announcing the 2021 transportation bond program.

    Fort Worth’s Transportation & Public Works staff has reviewed the county’s bond policy, criteria and three main funding categories to identify eligible projects with the best opportunity for county bond funding.

    The city would be required to provide at least a 50% local match of the total cost of each project. The proposed 2022 city bond program funds are expected to provide the bulk of the local match, along with available transportation impact fee funds and other sources as available.

    Tarrant County will establish a project evaluation committee to develop a priority list of projects that will be sent to the Commissioners Court for approval.

    These projects have been identified for city funding and Tarrant County bond funding:

    • Arterials, 12 projects with a $302,200,000 total project cost.
    • Intersections, 12 projects with a $32,800,00 total project cost.
    • Traffic signals, 15 projects with a $9 million total project cost.
    • Grade-separated railroad crossings, $60 million total project cost.

    The city’s identified projects total $404,100,000, with $204,500,000 of that amount coming from the city’s 2022 bond and other funding sources.

    “City staff is constantly looking at projects that are candidates for a bond election and have been working on the proposed 2022 Bond program since the summer of 2019,” said City Manager David Cooke. “The selected projects are an excellent opportunity to partner with Tarrant County to make some roadway improvements throughout the city.”

    On Jan. 28, city staff was officially informed of the $400 million 2021 Tarrant County Transportation Bond Program. City staff have reviewed the criteria and three main funding categories as outlined in the county’s bond policy to put forward projects with the highest opportunity for selection.

    Two public meetings are scheduled to allow Fort Worth residents to learn about the bond program and the identified city projects:

    Tuesday, March 23, 6 p.m. Meeting conducted via Webex. The meeting number is 182 003 1908; the meeting password is transportation. The call-in number is 469-210-7159.

    Saturday, March 27, 10 a.m. Meeting conducted via Webex. The meeting number is 182 033 1979; the meeting password is transportation. The call-in number is 469-210-7159.

    Fort Worth plans its own city bond election in May 2022. Public meetings for the city’s 2022 bond election will begin this summer.

    On April 6, the City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution of support for the county bond program. Commissioners Court approval is expected to come in the August-September timeframe.

  • 6 Mar 2021 8:08 AM | Anonymous

    Hotel Dryce renderingWritten and posted by Culture Map

    Fort Worth’s Hotel Dryce hasn’t even opened its doors yet, but it’s already generating some serious buzz.

    In a January 23 Forbes article, travel journalist Roger Sands lists Hotel Dryce as one of "the world's most exciting hotel openings" in 2021.

    “The modern 21-room hotel will include a trendy lobby bar-café hybrid meant to be a gathering place for residents and visitors alike," Sands writes. "The hotel has an art grant with Fort Worth art gallery Art Tooth to exhibit local BIPOC artists’ work throughout the hotel."

    Along with business partner Allen Mederos, Fort Worth entrepreneur Jonathan Morris is building his first boutique hotel in an old dry-ice factory across from the new Dickies Arena in the Cultural District. Morris also owns the Fort Worth Barber Shop and is hosting a new show about entrepreneurs set to debut on Chip and Joanna Gaines’ forthcoming Magnolia Network.

    In December, Travel + Leisure gave a nod to Hotel Dryce in a piece ranking Fort Worth among the 50 best places in the U.S. to visit this year. Also in December, Fodor’s Travel named Hotel Dryce one of its 15 most eagerly awaited new hotels in 2021.

    The hotel broke ground in March 2020. In a recent Instagram post, Morris wrote that construction on the three-story, 10,645-square-foot hotel is a couple of months away from being finished. “Can’t wait to share this dream with y’all,” he wrote.

    That dream, he has said, is to create a gathering place that welcomes travelers from around the world and reflects the culture of Fort Worth.

    “I feel so bullish about Fort Worth and the way the city is growing,” he said last August in an interview about his new show.

    Fort Worth-based architecture firm Bennett Benner Partners designed Hotel Dryce, and Fort Construction is the general contractor.

    Hotel Dryce is the only Texas hotel to appear on the Forbes list of nine anticipated openings. It keeps company with hotels in Republic of Seychelles; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cancun, Mexico; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Birmingham, Alabama; and San Diego, Los Angeles, California.

  • 4 Mar 2021 1:03 PM | Anonymous

    aerial shot of the prescribed burn with the skyline in the backgroundPublished by the City of Fort Worth

    A remarkable sight greeted drivers rolling down University Drive on Jan. 13: fire on the prairie behind the Fort Worth Botanic Garden-Botanical Research Institute headquarters.

    But this was no uncontrolled blaze, and no one was in any danger. In fact, the fire was carefully planned to renew the grassland.

    “Fire is a natural part of the prairie ecosystem,” said BRIT Vice President for Education Tracy Friday. “For thousands of years, fires regularly swept the prairies of North America.”

    Flames warm the soil, reduce accumulated leaf litter, release nutrients and increase microbial activity.

    “After a fire, blackened fields quickly revive with new, green grass and bright, colorful wildflowers,” Friday said. “It’s a remarkable transformation.”

    The Fort Worth Fire Department was on scene to ensure the safety of participants. The FWFD wildland team has traveled nationally to respond to wildfires on the West Coast. The highly trained team used January’s prescribed burn as a way to educate the attending organizations on the role they play in wildland management and the importance of regulating and managing wildlife refuge locally.

    FWBG-BRIT scientists will use plant and soil data to improve their understanding of prairie ecosystems. At the same time, the organization’s education experts will use photos and videos of the fire to create new teaching materials and programs.

    “The burn creates a unique opportunity for students and teachers to view this incredible natural phenomenon through an environmental STEM lens,” Friday said. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

    Families can learn more by reading books about prairies. One recommended book for preschool and young elementary-age students is The Prairie That Nature Built by Marybeth Lorbiecki. Available from the Fort Worth Public Library, the book includes detailed drawings of the prairie ecosystem along with activities and resources for families.

    “We think of fire as destructive. But fire can also renew the natural landscape,” Friday said. “The prescribed burn can help both children and adults understand that sometimes fire is part of a larger process that leads, ultimately, to new growth.”

    The FWBG-BRIT prairie is at the corner of Trail Drive and University Drive.

  • 3 Mar 2021 11:15 PM | Anonymous

    Published by the City of Fort Worth

    A City Council-appointed, 11-member Redistricting Task Force presented its proposed redistricting criteria as part of its final report this week.

    In 2016, Fort Worth voters approved an amendment to the City Charter to increase the number of City Council members from nine to 11 following the completion of the 2020 Census. The Task Force on Race and Culture in December 2018 recommended the goal of ensuring that the City Council reflects the diverse communities that it represents.

    On Tuesday, Redistricting Task Force Chair Lorraine Miller and other members presented 10 criteria for redistricting.

    High-priority criteria (not in any particular order):

    1. Districts should be approximately equal size. The population of the largest district should be no more than 10% greater than the population of the smallest district.
    2. Redistricting should be completed in compliance with the U.S. Constitution, Voting Rights Act, Texas Constitution and other applicable laws, with no packing of minority voters, no fragmentation of minority communities and no retrogression in the ability of minorities to participate in the electoral process.
    3. The process should create minority opportunity districts, in compliance with federal law, to further reflect the growing diversity of Fort Worth.
    4. The new district alignment should contain communities of interest in single districts. Community of interest is defined as “a local population with shared socio-economic characteristics and political institutions that would benefit from unified representation.”
    5. Districts should be contiguous territory.
    Lower-priority criteria, in no particular order of priority:
    1. Compact districts, with the goal of attaining a Polsby-Popper ratio of >0.050. Learn more about the Polsby-Popper ratio.
    2. Identifiable geographic boundaries.
    3. Contain whole voting precincts.
    4. Contain whole census blocks or block groups.
    5. New districts should not take into consideration the places of residence of incumbents or potential candidates.

    The task force also suggested that software training be provided to residents who are interested in the redistricting process, and that proposed redistricting plans submitted by residents be analyzed and presented to the City Council.

    The group is urging for transparency in the redistricting process by requiring all map drawing to occur at public meetings, with computer screens visible to all parties.

    Upcoming activities for the Redistricting Task Force:

    March 9, 7 p.m. The City Council will consider authorizing a contract with outside counsel to review and comment on the proposed criteria.

    April 6, 7 p.m. The Council will vote on a resolution accepting the final report and establishing the criteria and procedures.

    April through September 2021. City staff will provide software training for interested residents, using unofficial population estimates pending the release of official population counts. During this period, residents may register communities of interest for redistricting purposes, and the city will hire an independent contractor to propose an initial map in compliance with the approved criteria.

    In addition, the task force has requested a joint work session with the City Council, to be held sometime in the fall after the U.S. Census Bureau releases block-level population data from the 2020 census. The Census Bureau is expected to release these population counts by Sept. 30, 2021.

  • 3 Mar 2021 6:36 PM | Anonymous

    Published on March 03, 2021 by the City of Fort Worth

    The City Council on Tuesday evening approved several agreements that lead to construction of a major mixed-use development in Fort Worth's Cultural District.

    Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate LLC said the project will include a premier boutique hotel with a chef-driven restaurant, luxury residential and a Class A office building at the corner of Camp Bowie Boulevard and Van Cliburn Way, adjacent to the city’s museums, Dickies Arena and Will Rogers Coliseum.

    The Council approved a lease agreement, with an option to purchase, for two parking garages; sublease agreements for the garages; a hotel room block agreement; and a loan of up to $900,000 through the city’s EPA Revolving Brownfields Loan Program.

    “We are excited to bring a first-class mixed-use project to the Cultural District,” said John Goff, chairman of Crescent. “The Crescent brand is known around the country for our luxury hotel, office and residential properties. Now, for the first time, we are coming home. I've lived in Fort Worth since 1981. We are going to build the finest hotel in the city that we hope will become the living room of Fort Worth. We can't wait to bring the Crescent brand to Fort Worth in a major way.”

    Groundbreaking is scheduled to take place in summer 2021, and the project will open in mid-2023.

    “Between the city's nationally renowned museums, Dickie's Arena and the stock show at Will Rogers, Fort Worth's Cultural District is a major destination for residents and tourists alike,” said Fort Worth Director of Economic Development Robert Sturns. “Crescent’s hotel and associated development project fills a real need that's been a priority in this fast-growing part of the city.”

  • 3 Mar 2021 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday issued an executive order lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100%. 

    “With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” Abbott said. “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100%. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed. Today's announcement does not abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it is a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others. With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”

    While masks are no longer required statewide, individual businesses may still require patrons to wear masks or follow other sanitary measures in their establishment.

    During his remarks, Abbott discussed the advancements that Texas has made that allow the state to open fully and lift the mask mandate, noting the rapid increase of vaccines. Nearly 5.7 million vaccine shots have been administered to Texans, and the state is now administering almost 1 million shots each week.

    The executive order rescinds most of the governor's earlier executive orders related to COVID-19. Effective March 10, all businesses of any type may open to 100% capacity. Additionally, the order ends the statewide mask mandate in Texas. Businesses may still limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols at their own discretion.

    If COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas get above 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, a county judge in that region may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. However, county judges may not impose jail time for not following COVID-19 orders nor may any penalties be imposed for failing to wear a face mask.

    If restrictions are imposed at a county level, those restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any type of entity.

    View fact sheets about the governor’s order:

    To learn more about the new order, contact the City of Fort Worth COVID-19 hotline via email or at 817-392-8478.

    Visit Website

  • 2 Mar 2021 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    graphic that says Inc 5000

    As the 13th largest city in the country, Fort Worth continues to compete on a national stage for creative, high-growth businesses. That’s because high-growth companies create jobs, drive innovation and invest dollars into the local economy.

    But there’s strong competition for these businesses, especially in Texas.

    Between 2016 and 2019, 49 Fort Worth companies made Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the top 5,000 fastest growing companies in America. By comparison, Austin had about seven times as many as Fort Worth with 340 companies, and Dallas had about five times as many as Fort Worth with 254 companies. Even San Antonio weighed in with 86 companies.

    Inc. Magazine’s prestigious list is an important national indicator of a city’s economic potential – it’s basically similar to the Forbes 500 list of the largest U.S. companies, but for startups. The three-year median growth rate of companies on the list is an impressive 165%. As local startup resource Sparkyard notes in its in-depth analysis, inclusion on Inc. Magazine’s list “means your company is doing something right and is growing at warp speed.”

    But it’s important to note that unlike many similar lists, Inc. Magazine requires companies to apply for potential inclusion on their list.

    In other words, Inc. Magazine doesn’t scour the financials of thousands of companies across the nation to compile their data, and instead relies on business owners to reach out if they think their business has shown exponential growth over the past several years.

    How many Fort Worth businesses would be on the list, if only local business owners knew to apply?

    Eligibility and how to apply

    Fort Worth companies are encouraged to submit their information to Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in America in order to better showcase Fort Worth’s growing business community to a national audience.

    Companies don’t have to be a startup to be part of the Inc. Magazine list. They just have to meet these qualifications:

    Companies must have generated revenue by March 31, 2017.

    Companies must have made at least $100,000 in revenue in 2017.

    Companies must have generated at least $2 million in revenue during 2020.

    Companies must be independent, privately held, for-profit entities based in the United States.

    Companies must be prepared to submit their financials for the past three years to Inc. Magazine for verification.

    Business owners interested in submitting their companies can visit the Inc. Magazine website to learn more, submit their application fee and get started. Early-bird rates are in effect through March 26.

    Currently, the highest-ranking Fort Worth company on the Inc. Magazine list of fastest growing companies is Circle L Solar at No. 176, which grew 2,251% between 2016 and 2019.

    By: City of Fort Worth

  • 1 Mar 2021 5:02 PM | Anonymous

    The city’s Transportation and Public Works Department is hosting a community meeting to update the public on the upcoming construction for the West Seventh Street Design and Connectivity project. Please make plans to attend the meeting to hear about the upcoming construction details.

    Meeting Details:

    Wednesday, March 3 at 6 p. m.

    www.Webex.com, select "Join"

    Meeting Number: 126 443 7106

    Meeting Password: west7th

    Phone in number: 469-210-7159

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