Wednesday, January 30, 2013

SUPER BOWL OF CARING: Arlington volunteers team up for food collection

The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched television events every year.
One nonprofit also wants to make it the nation’s biggest weekend for giving and serving.
North Texas Souper Bowl of Caring hopes to raise $1.3 million in cash and food donations for the needy while recruiting volunteers to serve on Feb. 2, the Saturday before the Ravens and 49ers battle for the top prize.
Organizers say they want to harness the energy of the Super Bowl — which is the second-largest day for food consumption in the U.S. — to help relieve hunger.
“This is the perfect time to engage young people to give back to their community,” said Cristina Barbe, North Texas director for Souper Bowl of Caring, which is supported by the Dallas Cowboys, among others. “For a lot of food banks and pantries, inventories run low after the holidays, and we can help them restock shelves.”
Arlington residents who want to donate can purchase pre-packaged bags of food items or make cash donations at 200 participating Albertson’s, Market Street, Kroger and Tom Thumb stores.
Volunteer opportunities are available at local nonprofits across North Texas, including Mission Arlington and Tarrant Area Food Bank.
Mission Arlington is recruiting 200 volunteers to help sort through clothing and other donations, stock shelves and organize the food pantry on the Saturday before the big game.
Now in year 27, the nonprofit serves roughly 1,000 clients a day. Donations are accepted 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, and canned and non-perishable foods, clothing, diapers and toiletries are needed.
“The Super Bowl is such a fun, celebratory day,” said Jim Burgin, a Mission Arlington pastor. “Turning that excitement into something that makes a difference in people’s lives is a wonderful idea.”
No time to volunteer? Organizers suggest hosting a canned food drive or asking guests at Super Bowl parties to donate.
“It’s never too late,” Barbe said. “Every little bit counts toward our goal.”
To sign up to volunteer or learn more, visit Souper Bowl of Caring.
Souper Bowl of Caring is a national youth-led movement of schools, congregations and community organizations joining together to combat hunger and poverty. Since the program started in 1990, volunteers have collected more than $91 million in dollars and cans, with 100 percent of proceeds going directly to food banks, soup kitchens and charities.
The organization expanded to North Texas six years ago.

Friday, January 25, 2013

ENHANCED MOBILITY FOR ARLINGTON: One of four council priorities for 2013

The city’s leadership hoped to initiate renewed momentum in Arlington to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of transportation connections within and beyond the city’s borders.
It’s not an easy task. Arlington – the 50th largest city in the country -- is not just the most populous city in the country without a mass transportation system. It’s the only one in the top 100 without such a system.
But the powers-that-be believe a vision is taking shape in a mobility plan designed for those who see Arlington as a world-class entertainment destination, students who know it as a genuine college town and everyone who calls Arlington home.

For all of those reasons, the Arlington City Council has identified the Enhancement of Regional Mobility as one of four priorities for 2013. Residents can expect to see progress in that area, and in other council priorities over the coming months. The City of Arlington will track progress, measure achievements and highlight connections between city spending and work being done in the community through quarterly newsletters on each Council Priority.
The first of these newsletters, Enhancing Regional Mobility Quarterly Newsletter, is available now.

Council Priorities for 2013 are: Enhance Regional Mobility; Build A Thriving Community; Support Quality Education; and Define An Identifiable Brand. First quarter newsletters on each priority are scheduled in the coming weeks and will be posted at
(Modified city of Arlington release)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

RICHARD GREENE: Things you may not know about Arlington and Texas

All of the following 15 well known cities have something in common. Do you know what it is? New Orleans, Tampa, Anaheim, Honolulu, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Newark, Buffalo, Orlando, Norfolk, Lubbock, Reno, Scottsdale, Birmingham.

The answer is at the end of today’s column but don’t look before you think it over and then see if you are right.

We live in a really remarkable city in a really remarkable state. Most of us just routinely accept our good fortune and go about our business. That includes being the beneficiaries of the things that make us different and often better than what is available in lots of other places.

Texas continues to lead the nation in population growth. We are the second largest – only California is bigger – and the fastest growing. Now with more than 26 million people, some 600,000 were added in the last year.

That’s more people than live in the entire state of Wyoming – just in the number added to Texas in the past year.
Richard Greene
There are 15 states with fewer people than the number who live in Texas’ largest city.

There are 33 states with fewer people than the number who live in the Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth region.

Our region, with a population now exceeding 6.6 million, is the fourth largest urban area in the country and the fastest growing of them all.

Only the urban areas of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are larger and we are gaining on them all.

And, the growth is not expected to slow down. The Texas Office of the State Demographer projects that Texas could increase to 50 million by 2040.

More than half that growth will be a continuation of people moving here from all over the country. In-migration reflects economic opportunity and quality of life that simply cannot be found in lots of other places.

We are also a young state. More than a fourth of our population is under the age of 18 and only ten percent of us are older than 65.

We are a family oriented state. Texas ranks third among all states for the percent of households that consist of married couple families with children. That is also the same position we hold among all states of households that are multigenerational – those with children who enjoy living with parents and grandparents.

Growth among Hispanics is also a significant part of what is happening. The State Demographer says it will only take about another ten years for that segment of our population to become the largest among all ethnicities.

That could also foretell a change in Texas’ political makeup. Today ours is among the reddest of the all the country’s red states.

Right now it takes the national news networks about five minutes to declare Republicans as winners across the entire state on any election night.

Republicans control every statewide elected office and hold significant majorities in both houses of the state legislature. Our Republican governor is the longest serving in Texas history and currently the longest serving governor of any state.

Of the 36 members of the U. S. House of Representatives from Texas, 24 are Republicans. Both senators are Republicans.

The last time Texas voters cast a majority of their ballots for a Democrat presidential candidate was 36 years ago.

Our strong conservative leanings are profoundly reflected in the current debate over guns. Our attorney general, who is a likely candidate for governor someday soon, placed an ad in New York papers last week following that state’s adoption of new gun control laws.

It read – “Keep your guns. Come to Texas. You’ll be able to keep more of what you earn (because Texas has no income tax) and use the extra money to buy more ammo.”

As for Arlington’s part in the great state, we continue to be ranked by the U. S. Census bureau at or near the position of the 50th largest in the country.

That means there are 22 states without as many people as the number who live here. There are 40 state capitals smaller than Arlington.

Which brings us to the answer to the question posed in the opening paragraph above. All of those immediately recognizable cities are smaller than Arlington. They are ranked in order from New Orleans with a population of 360,740 to Birmingham with 212,413.

My guess is that if you asked audiences in any of these cities if they know about Arlington, only sports fans would say they are aware of us – assuming the national sportscasters quit misidentifying Rangers and Cowboys games as being played in Dallas.

It is our ever-lasting benefit to be centered between two big Texas cities but to our ever-lasting frustration that being so denies us an identity.

I once said that Arlington is nobody’s damn suburb. It’s truer all the time.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor, served as an appointee of Pres. George W. Bush as Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and currently is an adjunct professor in UT Arlington’s Graduate School of Urban and Public Affairs.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Aaron Neville & Ellis Marsalis star in upcoming Arlington bonus concert

Grammy Award-winning musician Aaron Neville (pictured right) brings his inimitable voice and timeless lyrics to College Park Center for an added installment of UT Arlington’s 2012-2013 Maverick Speakers Series.
Neville will be joined by Ellis Marsalis (pictured left) for “A Night with New Orleans Music Legends,” starting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at College Park Center, 601 Spaniolo Drive.
General admission tickets are free but required. A premium-seating package is available for $25 and includes reserved seating, parking and more. Tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. Friday, March 1, at
Neville has been making music for five decades and released his latest project, My True Story, earlier this month. The selections range from pop to R&B and soul, and he collaborated with music giants such as the Drifters (“Under the Boardwalk”), and the Imperials (“Tears on My Pillow”).
“I attended the university of doo-wop-ology,” Neville explains on his website. “Anything I do has got some doo-wop in it. It’s just part of me — it’s the texture that I’m singing in, it’s the endings, it’s the harmonies.”
My True Storyrepresents the culmination of Neville’s career, which has seen him move seamlessly back and forth between solo work and his role in the first family of New Orleans music, the Neville Brothers.
His first hit single was the landmark “Tell It Like It Is,” which held the top spot on the R&B charts for five weeks in 1967. He went on to win Grammy Awards for his triple-platinum 1989 collaboration with Linda Ronstadt on “Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind,” and reached the Country charts with the title track of 1993’s “The Grand Tour.” A member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, his last project was the gospel album I Know I’ve Been Changed in 2010.
Marsalis, also a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, is one of the most respected pianists in jazz. In 2011, he was honored with the opening of the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in Musicians’ Village in New Orleans. Each of his four sons is a jazz musician, including music legends Branford and Wynton Marsalis.
The April 2 event will close out the fifth season of the Maverick Speakers Series.
(Article written by Bridget Lewis,UTA)