Author Archives: StaceyD

DART Holds Bus Operator Hiring Event on August 3

DART is hiring Bus Student Operators and Rail Student Operators in preparation for the planned redesigned bus network scheduled to launch in January of 2022, providing greater frequency and longer hours, as well as better access to jobs.

  • What: DART Bus and Rail Operator Hiring Event
  • When:     Tuesday, August 3, 2021
  • Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m
  • Where:     DART Ways, Structures & Amenities – North Division, Building, 9717 Abernathy

DART offers employees a competitive salary and benefits package, including:

  • Paid training for CDL licensing
  • Health, vision, dental, life and AD&D insurance
  • Medical coverage after 30 days
  • Retirement Plan and 401K
  • DART paid training begins at $17.60/hour; after successful completion of training, pay will increase to $20.31/hour
  • Opportunities for advancement

The full job description for the DART Bus Student Operator and Rail Student Operator positions can be found online. An overview of the DART benefits programs can be found on the DART website.

Editor’s Corner: DUH about COVID

If you are COVID-shot exempt (hope you get stay healthy/get better), then please ignore this article. This is about my personal feelings about the vaccinations, mask policies, etc. I hate that this is still a topic. But, it is what it is, as some dork said.

When all this shizznit hit us last year, there wasn’t a whole lot you could do except wear masks and get on a county vaccine lists that were a million miles long. Since then, there have been vaccines available on that list, and recently, you can get a shot anywhere – Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Blah, Blah. Oh, did I mention it’s all FREE?

So when lots of folks got the vaccine, etc., many businesses that had been shut down were able to reopen and actually make money and feed our weepy economy, with permission from our state and federal government.

All of a sudden, there were HUGE amounts of people who showed up everywhere without vaccines OR masks. Well…not all of a sudden…there were a huge group of people who rejected both (each to their own).

I’m a journalist, and so I was able to talk to a plethora of folks on both sides of the line.

Many folks said something like, “I don’t know what the long-term effects of the vaccine are.” Hey – I hear you!

Some people said that they are scared of needles. I always said, “Well, if a vaccine could guarantee you don’t get AIDS or Ebola, would you take it?” And they would (rightly) say that this vaccine is no guarantee.

But here we go again. And the really sad thing is that this new strain of COVID (Delta – the 4th) is effecting folks who have been inoculated or not, no matter what age, etc. Yet people WILL NOT WEAR MASKS.

I’m as big of a conspiracy theorist there is. I’m not a fan of the government. BUT if they’re actually trying to clear some of the population, wouldn’t you want to do all that you can to prevent it? Don’t get the shot if you don’t want to, but PLEASE do everything else. For all we know, they wanna get rid of the people that think it’s a big government conspiracy, whether that’s true or not.

I’m just tired of seeing the death toll rise once again…maybe we all are next, but, on the slim chance we are not, get your vaccine or at least make sure you and your family wear masks and gloves whenever possible.

Be safe, America.

Hate emails can be sent to: staceydoud33@gmail.com.

PEACE.

Editors Corner: DUH about COVID

If you are COVID-shot exempt (hope you get stay healthy/get better), then please ignore this article. This is about my personal feelings about the vaccinations, mask policies, etc. I hate that this is still a topic. But, it is what it is, as some dork said.

When all this shizznit hit us last year, there wasn’t a whole lot you could do except wear masks and get on a county vaccine lists that were a million miles long. Since then, there have been vaccines available on that list, and recently, you can get a shot anywhere – Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Blah, Blah. Oh, did I mention it’s all FREE?

So when lots of folks got the vaccine, etc., many businesses that had been shut down were able to reopen and actually make money and feed our weepy economy, with permission from our state and federal government.

All of a sudden, there were HUGE amounts of people who showed up everywhere without vaccines OR masks. Well…not all of a sudden…there were a huge group of people who rejected both (each to their own).

I’m a journalist, and so I was able to talk to a plethora of folks on both sides of the line.

Many folks said something like, “I don’t know what the long-term effects of the vaccine are.” Hey – I hear you!

Some people said that they are scared of needles. I always said, “Well, if a vaccine could guarantee you don’t get AIDS or Ebola, would you take it?” And they would (rightly) say that this vaccine is no guarantee.

But here we go again. And the really sad thing is that this new strain of COVID (Delta – the 4th) is effecting folks who have been inoculated or not, no matter what age, etc. Yet people WILL NOT WEAR MASKS.

I’m as big of a conspiracy theorist there is. I’m not a fan of the government. BUT if they’re actually trying to clear some of the population, wouldn’t you want to do all that you can to prevent it? Don’t get the shot if you don’t want to, but PLEASE do everything else. For all we know, they wanna get rid of the people that think it’s a big government conspiracy, whether that’s true or not.

I’m just tired of seeing the death toll rise once again…maybe we all are next, but, on the slim chance we are not, get your vaccine or at least make sure you and your family wear masks and gloves whenever possible.

Be safe, America.

Hate emails can be sent to: staceydoud33@gmail.com.

PEACE

US Covid-19 cases rise as Delta variant spreads

“IDIOTS” cutline courtesy of me; photo courtesy of AP – leave hate stuff in the comments.

What we covered here:

  • new study showing the Covid-19 Delta variant produced similar amounts of virus in vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they get infected motivated the CDC to recommend wearing masks indoors, experts say.
  • In the US, 49 states are seeing a surge in cases, and some experts say stricter vaccine mandates may be the best way to prevent a full downward spiral.
  • President Biden announced new measures to boost vaccinations, including requiring that all federal employees must attest to being vaccinated or face strict protocols.

Our live coverage has ended for the day. Follow the latest on the pandemic here.

Read more from CNN…

Seamless Summer Option Free Meals in Grand Prairie for the 2021-2022 School Year

Grand Prairie Independent School District announced its policy today that this school year, healthy meals will be offered every school day to all students at no cost. Typically, a student’s household must meet income eligibility requirements to qualify for free or reduced-price meals; however, the United States Department ofAgriculture (USDA) issued guidance that allows schools to offer meals to all students at no cost for the 2021-2022 school year.

While no application or eligibility determination is required for students to receive free meals this school year, income eligibility requirements will likely resume in the 2022-2023 school year. As such, Grand Prairie ISD will process household applications during School Year 2021-2022 to ensure student eligibility for free or reduced-price meals during the first 30 days of the 2022-2023 school year while 2022-2023 applications are being processed. Each school/site or central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed upon request.

Starting on August 1, Grand Prairie ISD will begin distributing letters to the households of the children in the district about these 2022-2023 eligibility benefits and actions households need to take to apply. Applications are also available at www.gpisd.org/mealbenefits, at all children’s schools, and at the Child Nutrition Department at 2341 S. Belt Line Rd. Grand Prairie, TX 75051.

Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits to Start School Year 2022-2023

The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits at the beginning of School Year 2022-2023:

Income: Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels:

Categorical or Automatic Eligibility

  • Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

Program Participant:

  • Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
  • Child’s enrollment in Head Start or Even Start

Income Eligibility:

For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must complete the free and reduced-price meal application and return it to the child’s school or to the Child Nutrition Department at 2341 S. Belt Line Rd. Grand Prairie TX 75051. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:

  • Names of all household members
  • Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
  • Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for “No Social Security Number.”
  • Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct

Categorical or Program Eligibility:

Grand Prairie ISD is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically and program eligible. Grand Prairie ISD will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application.

Any household that does not receive a letter and feels it should have, should contact the Grand Prairie ISD Child Nutrition Department at (972) 343-4410 or www.child.nutrition@gpisd.org.

Any household that wishes to decline benefits should contact the Child Nutrition Department (972) 343-4410 and/or www.child.nutrition@gpisd.org.

Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used to determine eligibility. Applications may also be verified by school officials at any time during the school year.

Determining Eligibility:

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, Raquel Loya, Food Services District Clerk, will review applications and determine eligibility. Households or guardians dissatisfied with the Reviewing Official’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the Reviewing Official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Tracy Ray, Interim Deputy Superintendent of Business Operations, 2602 S. Belt Line Rd. Grand Prairie, TX 75052, or by phone at (972) 237-5500.

Unexpected Circumstances:

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the current income eligibility guidelines.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/how-to-fle-a-program-discrimination-complaint,and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to  USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for CivilRights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Honorable Mayor William D. Tate and City of Grapevine to Honor Wally Funk with Parade, Community Celebration

WHO: The City of Grapevine will honor resident and hometown hero, Wally Funk, for her history-making experience aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin ‘New Shepard’ suborbital space tourism
rocket.

WHAT: Parade and Community Celebration
Parade along Historic Main Street immediately followed by a presentation by aviation leaders, peers, Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate and Grapevine City Council.

WHEN: Saturday, August 7, 2021, Parade Starts at noon

WHERE: Parade will head south on Main Street from Wall Street toward Dallas Road.
Parade will culminate on Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station, 815 S. Main St., with
remarks by dignitaries and Wally Funk.

Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk emerges from the ‘New Sheperd’ capsule (Photo: Blue Origin)

DART Holds Bus and Rail Operator Hiring Event on August 3

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will host a second hiring event for Bus and Rail Operators on Tuesday, August 3, from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the DART Ways, Structures & Amenities – North Division Building (9717 Abernathy Avenue, Dallas)

With DART’s redesigned bus network scheduled to launch in January of 2022, providing greater frequency and longer hours, as well as better access to jobs, DART is hiring passionate and motivated Bus and Rail Operators in preparation for the planned increase in service. DART is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer, supporting diversity in the workplace.

At the event, jobseekers will have the opportunity to meet with DART staff and interview on-the-spot. It is recommended that candidates complete their applications online (Bus Student Operator and Rail Student Operator) to expedite their interviews, but there will also be an opportunity to apply on-site at the event.

DART offers employees a competitive salary and benefits package, including:

  • Paid training for CDL licensing
  • Health, vision, dental, life and AD&D insurance
  • Medical coverage after 30 days
  • Retirement Plan
  • 401K retirement plan
  • Wellness Program
  • DART paid training begins at $17.60/hour; after successful completion of training, pay will increase to $20.31/hour
  • Opportunities for advancement

The full job description for the DART Bus Student Operator and Rail Student Operator positions can be found online. An overview of the DART benefits programs can be found on the DART website.

DART Discount GoPass Tap Card Supports Riders in Need

Graphic courtesy of DART

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Discount GoPass Tap Card provides riders using any one of nine support assistance programs with a 50% discount on the regular price of a DART pass.

DART launched the pilot-program to ensure riders who qualify have access to jobs, health care and educational opportunities, reducing social and economic inequalities by making mobility financially feasible to more people.

All new and current DART riders who participate in any of the following programs are now eligible for DART services at half the fare:

  • CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program)
  • TANF (Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  • CEAP (Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program)
  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
  • Housing Choice Vouchers
  • DHA Housing Solutions for North Texas program
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Texas WIC (Texas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)

Online registration is available at DART.org/TapForHalf. Discount Tap Cards can be used on any DART bus or light rail, including Trinity Railway Express (TRE) between EBJ Union Station and CentrePort/DFW Station.

More information is available at DART.org/TapForHalf or by calling DART Customer Service at 214-979-1111, Option 1.

Celebrate the Anniversary of Women’s Voting Victory with a Ride on Vintage Railroad’s Women’s Suffrage Train

Photo courtesy of Grapevine CVB

All aboard! Travel back to the 1920s on Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s Women’s Suffrage Victory Train excursions to commemorate the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote. Dress in your finest suffragist style to commemorate this momentous moment in American history. During the journey, hear stories of those who fought to secure this powerful and important right for all women. 

Specialty trains run Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29. A specialty one-hour train will travel the Tahwahkarro Creek path on Saturday, August 28, departing at 11 a.m. The Cotton Belt Route to the Historic Stockyard Station in Fort Worth transforms into a Women’s Suffrage Victory Train on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29, departing at 12:50 p.m. each day. 

The immersive experience begins on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad platform where passengers encounter living history characters dressed in their best 1920s attire. The entertainment continues once passengers board the Victorian-style coaches where living history characters will share pamphlets derived from historic documents and offer insight into the achievements of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, both in Texas and across the nation. Guests are welcome to get in the spirit of the event and wear their own 1920s clothing. 

Purchase tickets online at GVRR.com. Ticket prices vary from $10-$26 depending on excursion destination and preferred coach seating. 

While in Grapevine, explore Historic Main Street’s many boutiques, galleries, and historic museums. Enjoy WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE VICTORY TRAIN time with friends and family as you stop for a bite in our many bistros and cafes or sip Texas wines in our wine tasting rooms. 

About Grapevine, Texas 

Historic Grapevine, Texas, centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, is the premier go-to destination when planning a getaway or vacation in North Texas! Step back in time on Historic Downtown Main Street with a collection of charming boutiques, art galleries and bistros and cafes. Enjoy fantastic hotels and resorts, great attractions for the entire family, a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, exquisite winery tasting rooms, world-class shopping and much more. For more information, visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com

Peace Circle Art Installation Unveiled at Grapefest®

Photo Courtesy of Grapevine CVB

WHAT:  The Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce the unveiling of the “Peace Circle” public art installation, an interpretation of the meeting of Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and 10 American Indian chiefs/ captains on the Grape Vine Prairie in 1843. Sam Houston and the tribal leaders met in a spirit of friendship, peace, hope and trust in an effort to establish a place – a line that would not be crossed – where the tribes could live in peace.  The Peace Circle meeting later lead to the signing of the Treaty of Bird’s Fort on September 29, 1843.

The installation features11 bronze statues standing 1.25 times life size, representing Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and American Indian chiefs/ captains from the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Biloxi and Cherokee nations.  

The City of Grapevine commissioned Grapevine artist-in-residence Linda Lewis to recreate the moment of this historic meeting on the Grape Vine Prairie.  Lewis, along with members of the Peace Circle Advisory Committee, thoroughly researched Sam Houston and the American Indian representations to ensure their accuracy. The statue of Sam Houston depicts him as he was dressed in that final meeting – wearing his velvet, fox-embroidered suit, his silver spurs and an Indian blanket thrown over his shoulders. Each chief’s physical attributes and the finest details of their 1843 clothing were developed from consulting tribal members, studying photographs, paintings and/or relatives to ensure that the representations are accurate to each tribe. This information has been approved by the tribal nations they represent. The installation will be placed near the intersection of Main Street and Dallas Road in Historic Downtown Grapevine.

The art installation dedication will consist of representatives from the tribal nations, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and members of the advisory committee.  Though the Comanches were invited but did not attend the original Peace Circle meeting on the Grape Vine Prairie, they will be attending the “Peace Circle” unveiling ceremony.

Some of the dedication events will include Comanche drum music led by June Sovo, Comanche Nation; Sia Eagle display and presentation by co-founder Bill Volker, Comanche Nation; the “Wyandotte Thanksgiving Address,” the words before all else, shared by Sallie Cotter Andrews, Wyandotte Nation; a Smoke Ceremony and Blessing by Eddie Sandoval, Apache Nation; presentation of the American, Texas and tribal flags with a Comanche flag song and more.  

WHEN:  Saturday, September 18 Dedication Ceremony from approximately 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. with festivities from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. during the 35th Annual GrapeFest® – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West

WHERE: Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station, located at 815 S. Main St. 

PEACE CIRCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE:
Paul W. McCallum, Executive Director, Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau; Dr. Sam Haynes, Professor and Director, Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, The University of Texas at Arlington; Matt Reed, Pawnee Nation, Pawnee, Oklahoma; Eddie Sandoval, Apache Nation, Fort Worth; Leslie Thunderhawk, Rosebud Sioux Nation, Duncanville; Sallie Cotter Andrews, Wyandotte Nation, Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau; Cody Jolliff, Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Linda Lewis, Artist, Grapevine Founder

INDIAN NATIONS ADVISORS: 
Delaware Nation, Sonnie Allen; Chickasaw Nation, Laura A. Stewart; Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, Gary McAdams; Caddo Nation, Derek Hill; Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, John Barbry; Cherokee Nation, Elizabeth Toombs;Mount Tabor Indian Community, Rusk County, J. C. Thompson.

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Grapevine artist-in-residence, Linda Lewis, born in Lubbock, Texas, received her art education in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Utilizing detailed research by the Peace Circle Advisory Committee, Lewis has created and overseen the production of “Peace Circle” at the Grapevine Foundry located in the Cotton Belt Railroad Historic District, 701 S. Main St. For more than five years, she has been the owner/operator of the Grapevine Foundry and Fine Arts Program, bringing two decades of experience working with bronze to Main Street. She also is an art instructor, does mold making, wax working, sand blasting, bronze casting, welding and patina finishing.

ABOUT GRAPEVINE, TEXAS:

Historic Grapevine, Texas, centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, is the premier go-to destination when planning a getaway or vacation in North Texas! Step back in time on Historic Downtown Main Street with a collection of charming boutiques, art galleries and bistros and cafes. Enjoy fantastic hotels and resorts, great attractions for the entire family, a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, exquisite winery tasting rooms, world-class shopping and much more. For more information, visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com.