For More News…

facebook-logo-3

Visit our Facebook Page!

Grant Imahara, host of MythBusters, dies at 49

940x0Grant Imahara, an electrical engineer who co-hosted “MythBusters” as well as the Netflix show “White Rabbit Project,” has died, a spokesperson for Discovery confirmed. He was 49 years old.

“We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant. He was an important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Discovery said in a statement to Variety.

A company spokesperson told the New York Times the cause of death is believed to be a brain aneurysm.

Read more from The San Francisco Chronicle…

GPISD Board of Trustees Votes to Rename Elementary School

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 4.04.51 PM

Grand Prairie, Texas – On the heels of unanimously adopting a Racial Equity Resolution, the GPISD Board of Trustees voted last night to rename the current Robert E. Lee Elementary School after longtime GPISD educator and principal Delmas Morton.

The school’s new namesake, Mr. Delmas Morton, was raised in Grand Prairie and attended Dalworth Elementary School, now known as David Daniels Elementary Academy of Science and Math.

Because he was not allowed to attend Grand Prairie High School and there were no high schools available for students of color in Grand Prairie, Morton attended Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas.

He went on to attend Texas College on a band scholarship, and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 1952. He later earned his master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University.

Mr. Morton is an Army veteran and fought in the Korean War. After the war, he returned to Grand Prairie to begin teaching at Dalworth. In the mid-70s, he transferred to Adams Middle School. He later moved to Austin Elementary School, where he served as principal for 17 years. In total, Mr. Morton has served the schoolchildren of Grand Prairie ISD for more than 40 years.

“I want to thank my fellow trustees for their care and attention to this important issue,” said Board President Aaron King. “I’m proud that we have the opportunity to honor Mr. Morton and his legacy as a great man and a great educator.”

The school, originally built in 1942, was renamed Robert E. Lee Junior High in June 1955 when the District opened its second junior high school named after Thomas Jefferson. The school was converted to an elementary campus in 2010.

A Message from Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate

Dear Friends,

108950414_10164233766805268_8008274536047627185_nThese times are trying the souls of all humankind. We are dealing with an unknown enemy that is threatening our health, our economy, and our way of life. Our knowledge of ways to defeat this virus is limited. Short of a cure or a vaccine, which now is beyond our reach, we must come together. Many projections have been incorrect and the data has been inconsistent. People are not sure what to do and do not know what to believe. However, it is clear that we are all in this together and we need every citizen to join our army to defeat it. The medical community nor public officials cannot defeat it alone. You are the best weapon that we now have.

Efforts across Texas must be unified, so we depend on County and State orders to ensure all Texans are working together in combatting this disease. We have been ordered by the Governor and the Tarrant County Judge to practice social distancing, to wear a mask when out in public, to use good hygiene, and stay at home as much as possible. I realize people are tired of staying home and many do not want to wear a mask, especially in this Texas summer heat.

I have heard the arguments made by those against wearing a mask and I believe they all pale compared to the devastating consequences we will all suffer if we do not comply. Additionally, I have seen much of the scientific evidence, which has convinced me that masks do effectively reduce the community spread of COVID-19. The requirement to wear a mask is only temporary, so to comply does not give up any civil rights in my opinion.

It remains unknown which of us will get the disease and which of us will die from it. Therefore, we need to protect ourselves and those we love. If you feel invincible to the virus and feel you do not need to wear a mask, then I ask you to do so for the following reasons:

  • Do it for the elderly and those who have underlying health conditions whose lives are most at risk.
  • Do it for the medical personnel that have treated the sick until they are exhausted.
  • Do it for the teachers who soon will be at risk and have to work twice as hard to teach in the classroom and online.
  • Do it for the schoolchildren so they will have a chance to get back in the classroom this fall.
  • Do it for those who have lost their jobs and are unemployed, to give them a chance to get back to work and support their families.
  • Do it for the millions of Americans in danger of their homes being foreclosed on in the next few months.
  • Do it so you can look back when this period is behind us and feel proud that you did your part in defeating COVID-19.
  • Do it to set a good example.

If for no other reason, do it because it is the polite thing to do.

Not wearing a face-covering could result in civil penalties. However, even more harmful would be for our economy to be shut down again. We cannot afford this alternative, so I ask that everyone voluntarily comply.

I appreciate the majority of our citizens who have already joined the fight and are doing everything they can to conquer this virus. Please encourage others to do the same.

Be blessed and stay encouraged, Grapevine.

Mayor William D. Tate

GPD Warns Against Leaving Vehicles Unlocked

1D6lwT_S_00C7RLyQ00The Grapevine Police Department is still taking burglary reports involving UNLOCKED cars. Many are happening in apartment complexes and parking lots. Items taken included wallets, credit cards, and in one case a firearm.

These types of burglaries often lead to credit/debit card abuse and identity theft. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to limit a criminal’s ability and opportunity to commit crime.

While it only takes a few seconds to secure your valuables and lock the doors, it also only takes a few seconds for thieves to check the handle and steal from unlocked cars.

Remember, the appearance of something valuable is enough to lure a thief. You may know your backpack is empty, but a thief could think it’s holding a laptop. One reason SUVs and pickups are common targets is because they don’t have a trunk to hold valuables. Owners generally just hide their valuables out of sight. Thieves know this, and can check glove compartments, behind seats, and under seats in mere seconds.

38th Annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza

Grapevine-Fireworks-Stream-Web-Header

NOTE: If attending the 38th Annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza in person, face masks are required and must be worn at all times. Parking permitted in designated lots only.

On Saturday, July 4, celebrate the red, white and blue at Grapevine’s 38th Annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza. This is Grapevine’s biggest fireworks display to date, shooting the largest shells ever fired. This free 24-minute fireworks spectacular over Lake Grapevine begins at 9:30 p.m. and is set to patriotic music, The fireworks display is the perfect way to celebrate America’s birthday and this will be Grapevine’s biggest display to date!

Go to special soundtrack to accompany the show!

For more information about Grapevine’s Fourth of July activities, call 817-410-3185.

Lake Parks Viewing Areas

Final_map_for_lake_parks_2020_web_601a4e32-b790-4e53-b305-528c5d5ac76d

  • Oak Grove Park
    o    Oak Grove Baseball Field ($10 per car entry fee)
    o    Minnow Loop (Drop-off Only) 
    o    Trawick Pavilion ($10 per car entry fee)
    o    Oak Grove Soccer Complex ($10 per car entry fee)
    o    McPherson Slough (No fee)
    o    Oak Grove Softball Complex (Boat traffic only)
  • Rockledge Park ($20 per car entry fee, card only, no cash)
  • Scott’s Landing Marina  (Private parking & cash only)
  • Silver Lake Park by Silver Lake Marina (Private parking & cash only)

Due to capacity limitations, cars will not be allowed to leave and re-enter the park without paying an additional fee.

Viewing Areas/Parking

July4th2020_Viewing_ParkingFINAL_web_95f3b2cf-384e-4681-a60b-f805cc019618

VIEWING AREAS WITH RESTRICTED ACCESS:

  • The Vineyards Campground & Cabins (Accessible to guests only with pre-scheduled reservations for that Friday night. Gates are closed to general public. Click here to make your reservation)

LAKE PARKS WITH LIMITED VIEWING:

  • Lakeview Park ($10 per car entry fee, card only, no cash)
  • Meadowmere Park ($10 per car entry fee, card only, no cash)

OTHER LOCATIONS:

  • Hotel Vin / Grapevine Main Parking Garage – 255 E. Dallas Rd. (No fee)

Read more HERE.

GPISD Board Adopts Resolution to Address Racial Equity

NEWS RELEASE

Picture1

On the June 22 called meeting of the GPISD Board of Trustees, the Board made a bold statement to address issues of racial equity in our community.

By an unanimous vote, the Board adopted a sweeping resolution that commits the Trustees and the Superintendent of Schools to taking action. The resolution calls for equity and cultural bias training as well as the formation of a Racial Equity Committee comprised of Board-appointed community members and at least two Board members.

“This resolution is about action,” said Board President Aaron King. “Our Board is committed to modeling behaviors and practices that will ensure we’re part of the larger solution for our students, their families, our staff, and community.”

The resolution states the Board stands in solidarity with its students and community to declare that the lives of black students and black people matter. It goes on to clarify that this declaration “does not negate the commitment to serve all students but rather reaffirms the Board’s commitment to addressing the disparities and inequity of different student groups.”

Also noted in the resolution is previous action taken by the Board in December 2019 to approve an African American Studies course to begin in the fall of 2020. Grand Prairie ISD is among the first group of districts in the state to offer this course.

The full text of the resolution may be found on the GPISD website at www.gpisd.org.

For more information, please contact Sam Buchmeyer, GPISD Public Information Officer, at (972) 237-5380 or by email at sam.buchmeyer@gpisd.org.

Editor’s Corner – World Weary and Confused: The Crazy Times We Live In

Well, crap. Just when the “ordinary world” was emerging again, my county (Tarrant) has made it (basically) a law that people who go into any business must wear face masks.

Of course, it’s up to the store owners/managers to ask patrons to leave if they don’t have protection, but from what I have seen, most folks have been cognizant about the state order and have complied, whether it be a bandana or a cute Pikachu face mask. And I have also seen some pretty offensive masks. We can’t leave out the rebels! Fortunately, most of their messages are directed toward the virus, as in, “F*ck COVID.” But I have also seen political messages on some masks that make me sigh with exhaustion.

Where do these people get their energy to keep this constant stream of hate going? Whether it’s COVID or race relations, people have to be tired. I volunteer for the local NAACP and they are saying, “We are just tired.” So am I.

I call it, “world weary.” Even keeping my parameters (no voluntarily watched TV news) has lost its luster; it seems that I’ll hear about news one way or another, whether I want to or not. Yes, I am depressed.

I do have a couple of college degrees in psychology, but it’s rather hard to diagnose or help yourself. We are too close to our thoughts, feelings, biases, etc. to point out to ourselves what the heck is up. The best giveaway for me personally is isolating myself, not doing anything I used to like to do and sleeping a lot, as an escape. No, it’s NOT my first rodeo. I experienced suicidal depression after the birth of my daughter (postpartum depression). Obviously, I didn’t carry out my plan (or did I? I could be a ghost writer! Haha…total Dad joke).

With basically zero income right now, getting constant calls from, “I’m determined to get blood from you, Turnip,” and a depressed spouse, I’m not surprised I’ve gotten back into that black pit o’ depression.

Confusion also adds to these feelings. Who to believe? Expert X is saying one thing and Expert Y is saying another. I hate to disrespect our Federal Government, but….WHAAAAAT? One thing on Monday morning, the opposite on Monday night. I wish people would quit lying (or twisting the truth) to us. I feel like Austin Powers in that scene where he gets stuck in a golf cart, trying to turn around in a narrow hallway. Bump, bump, bump.

It IS in my control as to how long I stay down here in the pit.. Hopefully, I will start to feel more balanced soon, after walking the local track every day, eating healthier, blah, blah. I don’t feel like doing any of it. And I can’t help but wonder if there is more to the story that the general public is not privy to. I just read that 90-something percent of the COVID tests are giving false positives. But is that true? And if it IS true, what does that mean for the general population?

How are you feeling about this stage of the pandemic? What are your coping mechanisms?

Face Masks To Be Required in Tarrant County Businesses Beginning Friday

61M4dTyfhHL._AC_SX425_Face coverings will be required in all Tarrant County businesses, the county judge announced Thursday, mirroring measures taken across the state amid a “massive” spike in COVID-19 infections.

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said the countywide executive order will go into effect at 6 p.m. Friday. The order will be in effect through 6 a.m. Aug. 3 and also applies to outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more.

Read the Executive Order in its entirety HERE.

Read more and see videos at NBCDFW…

[Editor’s Note: Yes, it’s basically a law for all citizens and store owners in Tarrant County to wear masks in public. Businesses have been encouraged to refuse service to patrons who are not wearing face protection.]

Dallas-made “Illegal” short film director Edgar Arreola elaborates on the project

Article 2 of 2 by Stacey Doud

***Spoiler Alert***

IllegalLogo

The 24-minute short film, “Illegal,” which was written, directed, produced and brought to life by a cast and crew that reside in Dallas/Fort Worth, premiered on Facebook and YouTube on Friday June 12.

The story is about a fictional Hispanic man, Felix Martinez, who allegedly stole over $500 in gaming merchandise for his son’s birthday and was arrested because he took the goods out of the store because he was allegedly going to get a credit card from his wife, who was in a car in the parking lot. He did not speak English, nor did his wife.

The body of the film is set in the jury deliberation room, where six people had to decide Martinez’s crime and punishment, which could include deportation for him, but not necessarily for his children, who were both born in the United States.

edgararreola20203Director Edgar Arreola, whose acting credits include Guillermo in Sicario (2015) starring Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin; and proudly working beside Tom Hardy in his latest release, Capone (2020), directed by Josh Trank; as well as roles in 2 Guns (2013), featuring Golden Globe winner Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, and Edward James Olmos. Other projects include Machete (2010) and Machete Kills (2013) with Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofía Vergara, and with Kevin Sorbo in Walking Tall: Lone Justice (2007).

Arreola, who has lived in the Dallas area for 30 years, shared his take on Dallas, as well as the film.

“Dallas is my home. I have made my acting career from Dallas. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, but then I came to Dallas because everyone was [very different] in LA. The funny thing is that my whole career I have made from Dallas. Aspiring actors think they need to go to LA to get work. That’s not true. My career has probably been slower to develop than some people in LA, but I’m not in a big rush,” Arreola said.

“After I read the script [for Illegal], as weird as this may sound, I was attracted to the ending. I like it because I want people to feel a bit frustrated, which could lead to conversations and discussions about these issues. The script itself was good, but what drove me to directing it was the ending.

“I am all for people having their own opinions and to build up their own ending. It’s a very personal choice because we can all have different points of view. I think every person, regardless of color and status, is always going to have a different perspective as to why this should/should not happen or why this did/did not happen. That was something that really impassioned me to direct the film because as I was reading it, I was already visualizing what I wanted to do.

“As far as me relating to the script [as a Mexican American], I probably had a connection to about 20-30%. I was making my mind up as I was reading. I was trying not to get personal with it, but to stay objective, so what happened in the film was for the sake of the film. I tried to detach myself from it in certain ways. I’m not going to say that some things didn’t made me mad or whatever, but you have to disconnect yourself and put your personal feelings to the side as a director, producer or an actor.

“The actors that we had were amazing and it was very easy for me to direct them because we were all professionals. They knew exactly what the perspective was from our end, as in from behind the camera’s point of view.

“The cinematography was amazing, too. I had a wonderful cinematographer. From the minute we started production, this guy was reading my mind. Sometimes we would have discrepancies, and I would say, ‘I want this done because this and that,’ and he would totally understand where I was coming from,” Arreola explained.

This short film was Arreola’s first directing job, though he has co-directed in the past. He also offers acting classes every Wednesday evening at his studio in Garland. For more information about classes, visit http://earrtistic.com/.

Local filmmakers make short film about racism and perception

Article 1 of 2 by Stacey Doud

***SPOILER ALERT***

IllegalLogoThe 24-minute short film, “Illegal,” which was written, directed, produced and brought to life by a cast and crew that reside in Dallas/Fort Worth, premiered on Facebook and YouTube on Friday June 12.

The story is about a fictional Hispanic man, Felix Martinez, who allegedly stole over $500 in gaming merchandise for his son’s birthday. He did not speak English, nor did his wife, who was out in the parking lot, allegedly holding the credit card to pay for the merchandise.

The body of the film is set in the jury deliberation room, where six people had to decide Martinez’s crime and punishment, which could include deportation for him, but not necessarily for his children, who were both born in the United States.

Producer Justin Kenyon shared some of his thoughts about the film.

Justin Kenyon“[The film’s reception is] so far, so good. Looking at the analytics, it looks like about 3,500 people have watched it so far. There’s a lot of conversations, especially about systematic racism and prejudice and stuff like that. That’s kind of why we decided to release it when we did. We wanted to inspire the people that are unsure about a lot of the stuff going on and give them a clearer understanding as to where a lot of these movements are coming from,” he said.

The idea was presented to Kenyon by Andy Trusevich, who would later become Executive Producer, in May of 2019, and Kenyon and his team started writing in late May or early June.

“We hired on a screenwriter because I’ve written plays, but I’ve never written a screenplay. It was a great process. We hired on Natasha Paris. I basically took the original idea and just ‘word vomited,’ and she wrote down everything I was saying, and we just kept workshopping it for a good two or three months because we filmed in August. We wrote it very fast,” Kenyon said.

“Andy Trusevich is an attorney, so he’s had a lot of insight in terms of legal issues, especially the systematic issues within the judicial department. So, when he came up with the idea and I heard about it, I thought, ‘Wow, this is incredibly relevant.’ I’m super passionate about the judicial system and the flaws within it,” said Kenyon.

“Felix Martinez [the man on trial in the film] was based on, “kind of like a group or an idea of a lot of people that face things like that. Especially, given that we live in Texas, not everybody speaks fluent English. While I was writing the film, I had an incident almost exactly like it, but being that I was an English-speaking white person, I didn’t have the trouble that [Felix Martinez] had,” Kenyon explained.

“I was at Lowe’s and I grabbed a grill, and I talked to the cashier because I needed to get more building supplies. So, I was just taking the grill outside to set it down for a second, so I could go grab the other stuff and bring it to the cashier because I didn’t want to block people’s way. Then [the employees] got onto me, saying, ‘You can’t leave with that grill!’ I was like, ‘Oh, my bad. I was just trying to keep it out of the way.’”

How differently would that have gone if a black or Hispanic person did this?

“That’s a lot of the points we make [in the film]. Say Felix wasn’t actually stealing; that he was actually just going to his car for his wallet. Had he been confronted, he could have said, ‘I’m just going out to the car for my wallet.’ But he couldn’t communicate [because he spoke Spanish].

“Morality is also a big question that everybody’s asking. I saw something recently about the looting and all that. I thought, ‘Stop condemning them for looting and ask them why they felt compelled to do all that.’

“I think [rapper] Killer Mike said it well. I can’t remember the exact words, but it’s basically making a point: They’ve been taken from for so long that they’re [#BLM] basically showing [non-blacks] first-hand, ‘This is what it feels like to have things taken from us.’ It’s like large corporations. Turning it into a metaphor, I think it is very symbolic and it works because [the big box store] Target, in their next stage [after the riots], are saying, ‘We’ll stand with you, yada yada.’ So, it works.,” said Kenyon.

He also believes that the COVID pandemic contributed to this climate of unrest.

“I think the reason, other than it just being ‘enough is enough,’ people are glued to their phones. They’re not busy working. They’re not doing other things because a lot of people were unemployed during all of this. So, everybody’s paying attention,” he said. “I think we need to pay attention because too often, we have been busy and had other things going on in our lives, and so we can’t address these issues because we have more pressing issues going on. But now, this [COVID/Floyd] IS the pressing issue,” Kenyon concluded.

“I think the film was relevant a year ago but is especially relevant now. The big point and the reason that we released it at this time is that we [producers], being myself and Lauren Lamb, were skeptical about the film because we are both white. It almost didn’t seem like our place [to release it], but given the current movement and everything else, and [minorities] saying, ‘It’s time for white people to step up not necessarily to ‘take the mic,’ but and stand with us and fight back against a lot of these systematic issues because they were all created by white people, so it’s up to white people to help fix it.

“All the protests that I’ve gone to have been Hispanic, white and black, and everyone is standing in solidarity in the Black Lives Matter movement, and I think that is amazing. A majority of Americans aren’t [overtly] racist people, but one apple spoils the bunch, so we have to take care of all of the [rotten] apples,” Kenyon said.

“Everybody has some sort of imbedded amount of racism, and we talk about this unconscious bias. I went to school in a very white and Asian town, and I had so many unconscious biases, so when I got out in the world I thought, ‘I was so wrong and acted like a jerk.’

“In school, saying the ‘N’ word was okay, but when we left, I realized how much it wasn’t okay. I discovered that I had actually been part of the problem. When you are in your little ‘bubble,’ you don’t know. It’s our job every day to learn something new and go out of our way. My co-producer Lauren Lamb is really big on that. She’s been doing a lot of activism in terms of this. We need to grow and try to get better and unlearn our ideals and biases and educating ourselves,” Kenyon explained.

As for the film itself, the writers shied away from blatantly categorizing characters with political leanings.

“We tried to make the story and characters split down the middle as far as politics go. But we never actually said, ‘so and so is a Republican’ or whatever,” Kenyon explained. “We are leaving that for the audience to come to a conclusion based on how the characters speak and act. We are trying to unite all people and point out that we are all the same species, we are all human and we are all Americans. It’s kind of a metaphor for putting yourself in other people’s shoes.

“As for the ending, we wanted to leave the verdict up to the audience as well and let them decide. Once you see all the facts, you choose what’s right and wrong. You have your moral compass. It’s kind of a metaphor for America. Everybody has the things they want to believe, but at the end of the day, you are making your own decisions, and I wanted to help inspire people, no matter what they believe or what they were told to believe, that they have every right to do what is right in their minds.”

One of the main questions that the film brings up is can compassion ever really intersect with the law?

“[Juror] Anton makes really great points: the laws are not always right. Segregation was legal over 50 years ago. Slavery was legal a couple of hundreds of years ago. Laws don’t depict what is right and wrong because not all laws encompass the whole of society but tend to put certain people ‘ahead’ of other people,” Kenyon said.

“I guess the message is that nothing is black and white. Everything is a gray area. Everything is interpreted differently by different people, and every situation is unique. I think the issues with some of our laws is that they are very black and white. You’re either guilty or you’re not.”

No matter what the viewer’s verdict is, one must consider if the punishment fits the crime, which is a common question in the penal system today.

Part 2 coming soon!