2017 Neighbor of the Year

The Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods presented the 2017 Ben Ann Tomayko Neighbor of the Year Award to Rita Vinson at the Mayor’s Neighborhood Awards Luncheon on January 20.

Neighbor of the Year Rita Vinson and Gene Bibb, President FWLNA

Rita lives in the Brentwood – Oak Hills neighborhood where she has been an active volunteer for more than two decades. She was involved with the formation of the Brentwood – Oak Hills Neighborhood Association and served as its first president. She held that office for 12 years and has remained active in association leadership. She is currently the Vice President of Communications. She has been the co-editor of the newsletter for more than 20 years.

Rita was one of five neighborhood leaders that met to organize an alliance of neighborhoods in her area. In 1999, they founded the Neighborhoods of East Fort Worth which has now grown to nineteen neighborhoods.

Rita was elected to the Board of Directors of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations in 2015 and was elected President of the league in 2016.

Her sustained service to Fort Worth and its neighborhoods shows her dedication to her hometown, where she has lived all her life.

 

 

January Board Meeting Cancelled

The first Board of Director’s meeting, scheduled for the evening of January 15th, was cancelled. There was a winter weather advisory that night and an abundance of caution ruled. The next meeting will be the regularly scheduled February meeting on the 19th.

December Membership Meeting

The FWLNA held its last meeting of 2017 on December 7th.

The program was the Future of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Big changes underway in our Garden and it was  very interesting to hear from the experts about those changes. League Director Susan Urshel, a professional gardener, moderated a panel of the following Botanic Garden principals:

Sandra Youngblood, Assistant Director, Fort Worth Park & Recreation
Bob Byers, Director, Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Laura Harrison, President, Fort Worth Garden Club
Judy Koslow, Past President, Fort Worth Garden Club

It was a very interesting discussion revolving around the 2010 Master Plan and the 2016 Strategic Plan for the garden. The biggest change may not be visible but will smooth the operation of the garden and the implementation of needed improvements. That change is to the organizational structure, allowing better financial management and control. The strategic plan may be found on the Botanic Garden website.

In addition to the program, the following  officers and directors were elected to serve through 2018.

League Board of Directors – 2018

Name Position Neighborhood
Gene Bibb President Stoneglen at Fossil Creek HOA
Doyle Willis, Jr. VP Oakhurst NA
Belinda Fenter Secretary Ridgmar NA
Julie Alexander Treasurer Central Meadowbrook NA
Andrea Anderson Marine Creek Ranch HOA
Peggy Carr Western Hills North NA
Paul Clark Meadows West HOA
Maureen Corns West Byers NA
Fred Fernandez White Lake Hills NA
MeLinda Hamilton Carver Heights East NA
Donald Jones Overton South NA
Carl Pointer Glencrest Civic League NA
Susan Urshel North Hi Mount NA
Sarah Walker United Riverside NA

 

The next membership meeting of the League will be March 1, 2018, and subsequent meetings will be quarterly on the first Thursday.

September Membership Meeting

Program – Neighborhood Air Quality Monitoring

At the September 7, 2017 membership meeting of the FWLNA, we were pleased to have a reprise of an event held in June that was very well received. On June 26, FWLNA partnered with Downwinders at Risk and the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center (UNTHSC) to spend an evening discussing air quality sensors in neighborhoods and how they might be used by individuals, especially those with respiratory problems, to plan their day. We asked the same speakers to present the information again at our league quarterly meeting.

Currently air quality is monitored by very few, very accurate sensors that are few because they are very expensive. In the last few years, small and inexpensive sensors have been developed that might be used in monitors that are more densely located. It might be possible to have one or more in a neighborhood with everyone having real-time internet access to their local conditions.

Dr. David Sterling, UNTHSC

The role that air quality plays in our day-to-day well-being, the potential uses of actual, real-time local air quality, and the participation of Fort Worth neighborhoods was discussed by Dr. David Sterling of the UNTHSC, Mr. Jim Schermbeck of Downwinders at Risk, and by Libby Willis, past-president of the League of Neighborhoods.

Jim Schermbeck, Downwinders at Risk

Jim also introduced Kari Northeim, a doctoral candidate in Environmental Sciences at the University of North Texas, who brought a very small, very portable ozone monitor for us to see.

The program was very interesting to all in attendance. Many thoughtful questions were posed to these experts and their answers helped us have a better idea of what we might do now and what we can expect in the future.

Libby Willis, FWLNA

The League is grateful to these excellent speakers for providing such a memorable experience. Their command of the subject was awesome and their passion was contagious.

Tomorrow’s Air Today

The Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations joined with Downwinders at Risk to present an evening of science and socializing on Monday, June 26, at The Ginger Man, 3716 Camp Bowie. The evening introduced an exciting collaboration between area universities and citizen groups to bring air quality monitoring to the grass roots. Some of the area’s leading researchers were on hand to field questions.

June 2017 General Membership Meeting

The Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations was happy to have Matt Zavadsky of MedStar as our speaker for the quarterly membership meeting on June 1 at University Christian Church.

Matt Zavadsky, Chief Strategic Integration Officer, MedStar Mobile Healthcare

Mr. Zavadsky explained the structure and governance of this public agency, why it was created in 1986, the unique economic model for MedStar, how ambulances are deployed in the community, how 9-1-1 calls are processed, and the numerous innovations that have made MedStar one of the most recognized EMS agencies in the country. Matt’s presentation was  informative and entertaining. You may view it at this link. There were lots of good questions and Matt had all the answers. There was considerable interest in the membership plan, MedStar Saver. The League is very grateful to Matt for an excellent program.

March General Membership Meeting

The Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations held its March General Membership Meeting on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at University Christian Church. The intent of this meeting was to learn more about getting ready for the upcoming election of city leaders on May 6, 2017.

Our guest speaker was Jeane Grisham from the League of Women Voters of Tarrant County. Her topic was about practical planning to increase neighborhood awareness of local elections. She told us about herself and her passion for electorate education and about the League of Women Voters and its history. She covered voter registration, voter education, and sponsoring a candidate forum, and about resources available from the League of Women Voters. She concluded with a list of important election-related dates between now and May 6.

Jeane answered quite a few questions from the group. She was a delightful speaker. The League of Neighborhoods is grateful to Jeane, and to Sharon Austry for the St. Patrick’s Day themed table settings and Melissa Hunter for the cookies.

The candidates that have filed for the May 6 election are listed on the City’s website. More information about and from the LWV of Tarrant County can be found on their website.

Alyce Boyd Named Neighbor of the Year

 

The Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods gave its most prestigious award posthumously to Alyce Boyd of Ryanwood Neighborhood Association on Jan. 7, 2017, at the City’s annual Neighborhood Awards luncheon.  Alyce’s long-time friend and neighbor, Charlene Lawrence, accepted a certificate in her behalf and a check for $100 to the Ryanwood Neighborhood Association.

The League’s award is called the 2016 Ben Ann Tomayko Neighbor of the Year award.  It recognizes an individual who demonstrates a high level of support to an individual neighborhood, a group of neighborhoods, or neighbors throughout Fort Worth.  Their spirit of volunteerism may be recognized for work on a single, significant project, a single year, or long-term service to neighborhood(s).  The award is given in memory of the late Ben Ann Tomayko, a co-founder of the League in 1986 and longtime Fort Worth neighborhood advocate.

Eva Bonilla, a past recipient of this award, chaired the awards committee that made the selections and presented the award at the luncheon.  The other finalists were Linda Denison of Heritage Homeowners Association and Fred and Phyllis Anglin of Oakhurst Neighborhood Association.

Alyce Boyd met all—not just one—of those criteria of community engagement.  She devoted the last 22 years of her life to neighborhood advocacy, never slowing down until her health became an issue in the last 2 years.  She and her husband, Obie, moved to Ryanwood neighborhood in 1961. They had been married 54 years at the time of his death in 2008.  She died July 20, 2016.

 

Neighborhood Support:

In 1994 Alyce became very involved in Ryanwood Neighborhood Association and served as President for 16 years from 1996 to 2012.  In 1998 it received the “Organization of the Year” award from the East Fort Worth Business Association.

In 1997 Alyce joined Ryanwood’s Citizens on Patrol (COPs) team patrolled for many years.  She was a graduate of the Fort Worth Citizens Police Academy.

 

Eastside Advocacy:

In 1998 and 1999 Alyce served on the Steering Committee/Nominating Committee of the Community Advisory Committee of the Neighborhood Patrol District No. 5 (CAC NPD5.)

In 1999 Alyce and four other presidents of CAC NPD5 met to form a neighborhood alliance they named the Neighborhoods of East Fort Worth.  Soon, they expanded it to include the neighborhood associations north of I-30 in CAC NPD4.  Alyce was a co-sponsor of this group and worked to keep it going for the next 15 years.

Councilmember Danny Scarth appointed Alyce to represent his Eastside District 4 on the City’s Sustainability Committee and on the Parks Board.

Alyce served for 9 years as Executive Secretary of East Fort Worth Business Association, advocating quality business development.

Alyce served as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

 

Citywide Engagement:

In addition to serving on the City’s Sustainability and on the Parks Board, Alyce also served on the board of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations, completing several terms as Secretary in the early 2000’s.

First and foremost, Alyce was a long-term, dedicated leader and tireless advocate for neighborhood issues at all levels. She fostered a sense of community and belonging with events like National Night Out and with preparation of newsletters and conducting the regular meetings and business of the Ryanwood Neighborhood Association.  She fought for a neighborhood post office and for demolition of substandard apartments. She galvanized support for passage of crucial Multifamily Dwelling and Landscape Ordinances.  For the past 22 years she influenced the direction of residential development, quality business development, stronger zoning and code enforcement, landscaping and beautification, crime prevention and safety.

The Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations is proud to recognize Alyce Boyd’s achievements with its Ben Ann Tomayko Neighbor of the Year Award.

Rita M. Vinson
2016 President FWLNA

 

[See the City of Fort Worth news article for other neighborhood awards.]

December Membership Meeting

The Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations held its December General Membership Meeting on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm at University Christian Church, 2720 South University Drive.

Our guest speaker was Mr. Jeff Law, Chief Appraiser, Tarrant Appraisal District. Mr. Law gave a very informative overview of the appraisal and property tax systems and helped us understand the demarcation between the appraisal process and the tax rate and collection activity.

Jeff Law, TAD Executive Director and Chief Appraiser
Jeff Law, TAD Executive Director and Chief Appraiser

In addition, we elected the board of directors and officers for 2017.

We are very grateful to Olivella’s for providing a huge and tasty selection of pizza for our meeting. It was super! Olivella’s Neo Pizza Napoletana is located at 6333 Camp Bowie Boulevard.