Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Downtown Arlington Inc. launches website reflecting of surging redevelopment process

Have you seen Downtown Arlington’s new website? It’s colorful, dynamic and packed with great information about all that downtown has to offer.
The new site reflects the flavor, excitement and news about what’s happening in downtown Arlington.
“We are so excited to launch the new website,” says Tony Rutigliano, president of Downtown Arlington Management Corporation. ”It really captures and highlights the wonderful amenities and events in downtown. We hope everyone will bookmark the site, and sign up to receive our email alerts to stay abreast of the exciting things that are going on.”
Over the last several years, downtown Arlington has seen new restaurants pop-up, rising attendance at the Levitt Pavilion, and the opening of UT Arlington’s College Park Center. Downtown Arlington is not only growing with new businesses and events, but it is also home to arts organizations, city government, and some of our largest churches and non-profit organizations.
Through its contract for services with the City of Arlington, which began in August 2006, the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation is charged with initiating and managing economic development efforts and forging alliances between property owners, business interests, residents and city leaders. In other words, it’s their job to improve and enhance the economic vitality and overall environment of downtown Arlington.
The downtown area is expanding rapidly and improvements have been made that have enhanced its appeal and attracted more visitors and investment, making it a “first choice” destination for music, culture, dining, and more.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

UTA nursing graduate just has that healing touch

UT Arlington alumna Kaci Hickox takes a reasoned approach to everything. She’s enthusiastic about nursing, but her career choices follow a logical order.
“I always felt a strong desire to work overseas with vulnerable populations, and nursing seemed to be a perfect avenue,” she says.“On top of that, I knew there was—and still is—a nursing shortage and that I would have job security.”
While working with Doctors Without Borders, nursing graduate Kaci Hickox spent two years managing three primary health care clinics in Myanmar in Southeast Asia. Her passion for helping vulnerable populations has also taken her to Indonesia and Nigeria. She’s now serving a two-year postgraduate fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Las Vegas.
It just made sense to pursue a two-year postgraduate fellowship in applied epidemiology with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Las Vegas.
Think of the CDCP’s Epidemic Intelligence Service as the CIA of public health. EIS teams respond to crises such as the West Nile virus in the 1990s, the anthrax terrorist attacks after 9-11, and the pandemic H1N1 influenza outbreak. Hickox’02 works with the country’s top epidemiologists to analyze and improve health and disease surveillance.
Her first overseas project came in 2004 with the International Medical Corps after the tsunami in Indonesia. “While the work there was difficult and challenging, both professionally and emotionally, it also made me feel alive in a new way,” she says.

After being turned down by Doctors Without Borders, she enrolled at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and received a Diploma in Tropical Nursing. She also graduated from Johns Hopkins University’s dual program for a Master in Public Health and Master of Science in Nursing.
Her perseverance paid off. She landed that position she wanted with Doctors Without Borders in Myanmar in Southeast Asia, where she spent two years managing three primary health care clinics. In 2010 she was working on a measles outbreak in northern Nigeria when the Doctors Without Borders team conducted a medical investigation. Children were dying in one village, and the team discovered the cause to be acute lead poisoning from poor gold mining practices.
“After that experience and others like it, I realize that we need to find better ways to improve health surveillance and outbreak response in resource-poor settings,” Hickox says. “My training in the EIS with the CDC will allow me to learn the gold standard of this kind of work.”
(UTA release)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Spooktacular Halloween coming up. The trick is to keep everything and everyone safe

Halloween is coming up fast, as in  Wednesday, October 31, and the City of Arlington encourages everyone to be safe out there.
The Arlington Police Department offers a smart list of safety reminders for trick-or-treaters and motorists. Consider the following:
  • As a safer alternative to trick-or-treating, consider attending a carnival or haunted house.
  • If trick-or-treating, travel in groups and carry flashlights.
  • Children should always be accompanied by an adult.
  • When walking on neighborhood streets, face the traffic.
  • Carefully plan trick-or-treat routes to avoid repeatedly crossing the street.
  • Stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on.
  • Never allow a child to enter an automobile or residence.
  • Check all treats in a well-lit area before allowing children to eat them. Immediately discard suspicious candy or items.
  • Select bright costumes or decorate with reflective tape for increased night visibility.
  • Purchase costumes, masks, beards and wigs labeled “flame resistant.”
  • To prevent trips and falls, keep costumes short and avoid ill-fitting shoes.
  • Try make-up instead of a mask. If a mask is worn, be sure eye holes are large enough for full vision.
Motorists are reminded to be extra cautious of pedestrians on Halloween.
  • Use headlights before nightfall to increase your vehicle’s visibility.
  • Do not exceed 10 or 15 miles per hour when driving through residential areas.
  • Keep your thumbs on the wheel. Do not text and drive.
Halloween can also be a traumatic time for pets. The Arlington Animal Services Division and ASPCA offer these reminders:
  • Do not leave pets in the yard on Halloween.
  • Be sure your dog or cat is unable to exit the home when a door is opened for trick-or-treaters.
  • Consider keeping pets in a separate room during trick-or-treat hours
  • Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets. Chocolate can be poisonous.
  • Be extra careful around lit pumpkins. Pets could knock one over and cause a fire.
For more information about Halloween safety for pets, go to or call the City of Arlington Animal Services Center at 817-451-3436.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So just how far did you walk? New markers in parks measure out the miles.

The City of Arlington and Texas Power are partnering together to provide you another way to get outside and get active. New mile markers have hit the pavement in city parks to indicate how far you have walked.
Thanks to support from the City’s retail electric partner, Texas Power, trails in the city have a concrete sticker that displays your distance traveled. Markers indicate to park users how far they have walked by the quarter mile on linear parks and how long the loop is within smaller parks.
“We are excited to partner with the city to encourage residents of Arlington to get outside and stay healthy, stated David Chase, vice president of Texas Power. “The trail stickers represent not only our continued strong support of the city but also our commitment to healthy, sustainable lifestyles.
The stickers are not just about exercise. Each marker has an educational component with a park fact and an electricity fact.
For more information on Arlington Parks and Recreation go to or
Texas Power is open from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. To reach a Texas Power representative, call 855-MY-TX-PWR / 855-698-9797 or visit online at
(City of Arlington news release)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When it comes right down to it, do women take fewer risks than men?

A purple balloon appears on the screen. With a click of the mouse, the balloon swells and a cash jackpot grows. But if the balloon pops, the jackpot empties.
Do you cash out quickly and collect your winnings? Or do you go for the big payoff and risk losing everything? That might depend on your gender.
Called the balloon analogue risk task, the test measures risk taking and decision making in participants. Using neuroimaging, UT Arlington researchers studied the brain’s responses during wins and losses, which can trigger changes in blood flow.
In a recent test of 40 adults ages 25-44, women were far more likely to avoid risk, and women demonstrated stronger brain activation when they lost, says nursing Assistant Professor Mary Cazzell (pictured left), who is spearheading the research.
“We know males and females are different, but it is fascinating to see the brains respond so differently. Nobody has really looked at gender differences and risk decision making using neuroimaging, and this could have major applications.”
The research is a collaboration between Dr. Cazzell and bioengineering Professor Hanli Liu (pictured center). The pair met at a monthly roundtable of UT Arlington cognitive science researchers that includes faculty in engineering, nursing, linguistics, social work, psychology, physics, and education.
Rather than use fMRI, or functional magnetic resonance imaging, Dr. Liu suggested that Cazzell study the brain with fNIRS, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, a relatively new, low-cost, non-invasive, and portable imaging technique that monitors brain activity in the prefrontal cortex.
Liu had already used fNIRS to study post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans and pain in nonveterans. Because it costs less to run than fMRI, it’s possible to involve a larger sample size.

Functional near-infrared spectroscopy, a low-cost and non-invasive imaging technique, allows researchers to monitor activity in the brain.
A fiber optic device placed on the subject’s scalp measures changes in intensity of near-infrared light, which allows researchers to monitor blood flow in the front of the brain. That worked well for Cazzell’s research because the prefrontal cortex is responsible for making decisions related to risk.
The partnership led to a published study in the scientific journal NeuroImage. Cazzell and Liu plan to run the same test on adults 65 and older. They eventually hope to determine whether gender differences in risk taking exist across all stages of life.
The project is funded by start-up money from UT Arlington and a grant from the Southern Nurses Research Society. Congressional funding enabled the University to purchase the fNIRS technology.
The research could have far-reaching applications, from understanding why certain people are more likely to engage in risky behavior—heavy drinking, gambling, reckless driving—to helping counselors tailor therapy based on age and gender.
The work also could help parents better understand their children’s behavior. For example, parents could learn that taking away privileges from a risk-averse teenage daughter might work better than taking them away from a teenage son.
“This could offer parents a glimpse into how their children think and how they view risks and rewards,” Cazzell says. “Imagine having the ability to understand how people will respond to certain environmental stressors.”
Cazzell, a longtime pediatric nurse, began researching brain activity in adolescents and young people by studying impulsivity and reward-seeking behaviors. The exploration has eased her transition from nursing to academia.
“For 27 years I made a difference at the bedside,” she says. “But I have found there are many other ways to make a difference, and this research has the potential to make a difference on a big level.”
(Article courtesy of UTA Inquiry Magazine)