Category Archives: Uncategorized

Q&A: Candidates for mayor of Keller discuss relevant city issues

Three people, Tag Green, Armin Mizaniand Mark Mathews, are throwing in their hats for the position on Keller City Mayor. Here’s what they had to say:

Tag Green:

Why did you decide to run for office?

TG: Passion for people. Our family searched for two years to find our home in Keller. That was almost 15 years ago. Our two youngest children graduated from Keller schools, and we have two grandchildren in Keller schools now. We love our city, our schools and our neighbors—hose who live in our cul-de-sac and those across all of Keller. Five years ago, I felt led to step out to be an influence in our community for positive things. That culminated in being elected to Keller City Council, where I have served you the past three years. Keller is a great place to live and has so much to offer, so much to preserve and protect. We need leadership with vision that looks beyond this month, this year or even this decade to assure we steward our city’s resources with excellence and integrity.

Mark Mathews:

Why did you decide to run for office?

MM: We all have a choice. We can complain or choose to help make our city better. I choose to be “for” something. I’d like to see Keller do better.

Armin Mizani:

Why did you decide to run for office?

AM: Keller is and will always be my home. As a husband and [as a] father to two young kids, I could not be more committed to making sure that Keller is prepared for a prosperous future. The vision I share for Keller is an ambitious one: to be recognized as “Texas’s Most Friendly City.” To do this, we must appreciate the past all the while keeping our sights towards the future. We must bring real taxpayer relief, attract quality economic development that is both vibrant and experiential, prioritize our roads, sidewalks and infrastructure, ensure public safety and maintain Keller’s unique character through our parks and trails. Above all else, we must put our residents first—all 45,000 residents, regardless of whether they voted for you or your opponent.

Read more questions and answers at Community Impact…

Chess inspires 17-year-old student to help others locally and internationally: PART 1

The 86th Annual Southwest Open Chess Championship, sanctioned by the Texas Chess Association (TCA) and hosted by the Dallas Chess Club (DCC), was held at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Irving from September 4 to September 7.

Anirudh Ganesh (Photo courtesy of Cole Blakeman)

The TCA has a long history in Texas. It was founded in 1935 by Dallas resident John Charles Thompson. After WWII, the Texas State Championship Series began, and its founder won several titles before he moved abroad in 1952. Thompson passed away in 1999.

The DCC has about 300 members and is recognized as one of the United States’ major chess organizations. It is governed by The United States Chess Federation (US Chess or USCF), which is the governing body for all chess competitions in the United States and is the representative for the U.S. in the World Chess Federation, also referred to as the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), which governs international chess organizations.

The tournament was broken down into Open, Reserve, Novice and Scholastic Sections for chess enthusiasts from grades K-12.

Parents of the contestants were hurrying around, keeping up with when and where their child or children needed to be, as well as rankings after rounds were played.

“I have two boys here today,” said parent Ganesh Raghu. “The elder one, Anirudh, is a 17-year-old Senior at Coppell High School and is playing in the Open Section. He started [playing chess] when he was in second grade. His school had a chess program where he had some chess lessons, so that’s how he got started. And then he started playing some tournaments and kept going, and that’s how we got involved. We just continued playing,” Raghu said.

“[Anirudh] went to a school called Universal Academy [a Charter School in Coppell] in his early years, and there, chess was a standard part of the curriculum. They had like 40 minutes of chess every day. Then, he started entering tournaments and started doing very well. In fact, he founded, and is the president, of his high school Chess Club. He takes chess very seriously. He has been consistently ranked in the Top 50 players in the country since 2012,” said Raghu.

“Anirudh achieved a peak rating of 2115 (USCF) and peak national ranking of 36. He has played in over 324 tournaments in nine years in different parts of the US. Lately, he has been focusing his time on training kids of all levels in Chess,” said Raghu.

Anirudh ‘s most recent accomplishments from the Texas State tournament held in McAllen, Texas this March include Texas State K-12 Chess Blitz, 1st place Champion; Texas State High School Bughouse, 2nd place; and Texas State High school Championship, 4th place.

“His [younger] brother, Siddharth, is just starting out. He’s seven and just now starting to play. Anirudh teaches him. He also goes to Universal Academy,” said Raghu.

After some commotion in the hallways and texts coming in on cell phones, Raghu said, “We just got word about who [Anirudh] is going to be playing, and now that he knows which color he is, he has about 45 minutes to prepare for his next game.”

An algorithm is used to determine which color and opponent each participant will get.

“They use the Swiss Pairings algorithm, which matches you up by splitting the whole playing field,” Anirudh said. “Let’s say you have 16 players on the playing field. Then you will have #1, which is the highest rated player, playing #9. Number 2 will play #10, #3 will play #11 and so on. It’ll go like that so that you’re not playing equally rated players in the first round. But that will change in later rounds,” he explained.

“The colors are important because the player beginning with white pieces has a slight advantage because white moves first. They are already ahead by one move. So, Anirudh will go to a practice board and play the black pieces [that he got assigned to] and look at all the possibilities he can do and just refresh his mind,” said Raghu.

“I don’t play chess, but we have an independent coach for Anirudh, and Siddharth is being taught by his older brother,” said Raghu. “We’re letting our youngest figure out if this is what he wants to do. Of course, you win some and you lose some.”

“Basically, I played in a high section with a lot of competitive players. This is another way to improve my ratings and get better at the same time. We go to tournaments like this because they provide a more competitive atmosphere,” said Anirudh. “Chess is a really broad sport in the sense that you have kids from about 6 years old to adults. Sometimes the adults are aged 60 and higher. These players can be equally rated, but vastly different at the same time.”

“I haven’t played [in person] in about 5 months in outside tournaments due to COVID,” Anirudh said. “Around that time, I was just preparing my openings and the lines that I had prepared. I was making sure that I was still in touch with the game. Every day, I would just play online with a lot of other strong players. There are also a lot of online Blitz tournaments going on, which involve Grand Masters and International Masters and a lot of other strong players.”

“One thing I like about this sport is that you see wins and losses, so it makes you better as a [person] because you don’t just gloat on your high days because you know the next day may be very different,” Raghu explained. “This is the first time in nine months that [Siddharth] has played against a real person. He’s been practicing on ChessKid.com, where he can play against other kids. But it is very different from being here, where he’s sitting opposite another chess player in reality.

“Siddharth had some good success at the Texas State grade level tournament last year in Houston by placing in the Top 10,” said Raghu.

Anirudh had an average performance in this tournament, but still holds formidable state and national rankings. He ranks at 97th percentile Nationwide, 99th percentile in the Junior category and 99th percentile in the state.

However, he has gone above and beyond, giving back to the sport that he loves.

Texas’ Driver Responsibility Program ends next month – what you need to know

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(Source: Rachel Zein, The Texas Tribune)

After years of failed attempts to eliminate it, the Driver Responsibility Program will end on Sept 1, 2019. A measure signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, House Bill 2048, shutters the 16-year-old program that left more than 1 million people unable to keep or renew their driver’s licenses. Lawmakers from both chambers and parties criticized the program for adding additional annual fees — ranging from $100 to $2,000 depending on the offense — on top of the price of traffic tickets.

Read more from KLTV…

Grapevine Water Report

Our Drinking Water Meets or Exceeds All Federal (EPA) Drinking Water Requirements

Goal_3Providing safe and reliable drinking water is our highest priority. We are proud to produce and deliver water that meets or exceeds state and federal standards. This report is a summary of the quality of the water we provide our customers. The analysis was made by using data from the most recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required tests and is presented in the following pages. We hope this information helps you become more knowledgeable about what is in your drinking water.

Special Notice for the Elderly, Infants, Cancer Patients, People with HIV/AIDS or Other Immune Problems:

You may be more vulnerable than the general population to certain microbial contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium, in drinking water. Infants, some elderly, or immunocompromised persons such as those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer; those who have undergone organ transplants; those who are undergoing treatment with steroids; and people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders can be particularly at risk from infections. You should seek advice about drinking water from your physician or health care provider. Additional guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791 or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/

All Drinking Water May Contain Contaminants

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. When drinking water meets federal standards, there may not be any health based benefits to purchasing bottled water or point of use devices. More information about contaminants and potential health effects may be obtained by calling EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791 or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/

Awards

The City of Grapevine received the EPA Award for Excellence in 1992, 1995, and 1998 for the best maintained and operated water system for Region VI for water systems of similar size. Region VI consists of Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. In 1991, 1998, 2001 and 2004, the City of Grapevine’s water was awarded the best tasting water award in North Central Texas, by the North Texas Laboratory Association. The City of Grapevine was awarded the best tasting water in Texas in March 2002. In 1994 and 2013, the Trinity River Authority water was awarded the best tasting water in North Central Texas by the North Texas Laboratory Association. The Trinity River Authority was awarded the best tasting water in Texas in March 2014.

Where do we get our drinking water?

Sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material. It can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

  • Microbial contaminants – such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.
  • Inorganic contaminants – such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff.
  • Industrial or domestic wastewater discharges- oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
  • Pesticides and herbicides – which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
  • Organic chemical contaminants – including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from stations, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
  • Radioactive contaminants – which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

Grapevine uses surface water from Lake Grapevine and purchased water from the Trinity River Authority (TRA). TRA raw water is pumped from Cedar Creek Reservoir and Richland-Chambers Reservoir into Lake Arlington.

A Source Water Susceptibility Assessment for your drinking water source(s) is currently being updated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. This information describes the susceptibility and types of constituents that may come into contact with your drinking water source based on human activities and natural conditions. The information contained in the assessment allows us to focus source water protection strategies.

TCEQ classified the risks to our source water as “High” for most contaminants. “High” susceptibility means events or activities near sources of the City of Grapevine drinking water make it very likely that chemical constituents may come into contact with our source water. It does not mean there are any health risks present.

For more information on source water assessments and protection efforts of our system, call 817.410.3330.

For more information about your sources of water, please refer to the Source Water Assessment Viewer available at the following URL: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/gis/swaview

Further details about sources and source-water assessments are available in Drinking Water Watch at the following URL: http://dww2.tceq.texas.gov/DWW/

Lake Water Treatment

At the Grapevine and TRA water treatment plants, the lake water goes through several treatment processes where chemicals such as chlorine, ozone, alum, fluoride, caustic soda, ammonia, potassium permanganate and polymer are added to purify the water. After the water is purified, it is pumped into your homes through more than 299 miles of distribution pipelines.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From Us to You…

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Private Fireworks Display Oct. 27

DqNGSNjUcAIy67TThere will be a three-minute fireworks display for a wedding taking place at Paradise Cove on Grapevine Lake this Sat, 10/27 at 9:30pm.

Police were called out to a fight at Walmart. Instead, a football game broke out

Police came looking for a fight. Instead, they found more than a dozen teenagers and young adults who they say were playing football late at night. The young people said the heat has kept them trapped indoors during the day.

Officer Rachel Ayuso, one of three officers to respond to the fight call at about 1 a.m. Thursday at the Walmart Supercenter on Southwest Wilshire Boulevard, said the 15 to 20 people stopped playing when police rolled up.

“They looked in our direction, maybe thinking we were going to tell them to leave,” Ayuso said.That’s when the officers hatched another plan, Ayuso said. Officer Jason Tauch came up with the idea to line up next to the players and light up the parking lot with their vehicles’ bright takedown lights.

Read more from The Star-Telegram…

Task Force Vet Visits coming to Addison August 5

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The Task Force will be coming to Addison on Sunday, August 5 from 11 am – 5 pm at 4800 Spring Valley Rd 75244. Stay tuned on the latest details by watching this Facebook page and make sure to “Like” the main page.

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Task Force Vet Visits‘ mission is to visit and assist U.S. Veterans of all ages, branch, color or religion. We are a brother and sisterhood that is like no other. We want to share as much information to all of Our Brothers and Sisters that have served Our Country. No Active Duty, Veteran, Gold Star or Blue Star should ever feel alone nor feel like there is help available.

We try to put the spotlight on many national and local resource and organizations that help our Brother and Sister Veterans.

In the summer of 2018 we will be doing our 2nd official cross country trek on motorcycles to visit as many Active Duty, Veterans, Gold Stars or Blue Stars as possible. In 2017, we travelled 8200 miles across the country with 19 stops. 17 stops were to visit with individuals. 2 were larger publicized events which we were able to introduce our Brothers and Sisters to local organizations.

If you are Active Duty, Veteran, Gold Star or Blue Star and would like a visit then let us know. There is no pressure. We are not selling anything. We don’t ask for money or anything else. We offer our time to get to know you and let you know you are not alone. We care about you because you are our family regardless if we have met you or not. We can meet for coffee, lunch, dinner or a bottle of water at a gas station. Your choice.

If you are an organization supporting Veterans then let us know. We will share your message on our facebook page and help you spread the word.

We are based out of Massachusetts. Throughout the year we will visit with Veterans in New England. We also have team members in Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia that are available to visit throughout the year in addition to our annual trip.

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For more information about the Task Force, visit https://www.taskforcevetvisits.org/tfvv/

FATALITY CRASH SHUTS DOWN RAMP TO I-635

GRAPEVINE, Texas – Grapevine Police are investigating a deadly rollover crash involving an 18-wheeler.

The rig crashed at approximately 12:50 a.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. in the 1800 block of International Parkway. According to a preliminary investigation, the truck was on the ramp traveling from northbound SH-121 to eastbound I-635 when the driver lost control.

The 18-wheeler flipped onto its side and struck the guard rail. The driver, a man believed to be in his 20’s or 30’s, was trapped inside the truck and did not appear to be breathing. Crews had to first stabilize the truck before the man could be extricated. He was pronounced deceased a couple hours later, and removed from the truck at approximately 3:15 a.m.

Firefighters from Grapevine and DFW Airport assisted with the crash, while TxDOT will assess damage to the guardrail. The accident remains under investigation. The ramp to I-635 will remain closed until police clear the scene.

The driver’s identity will be released after notifications are made to next of kin.

Happy Summer!

Happy Summer Solstice to you, GrapevineTX! Enjoy the sunshine!

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