January 17, 2014

City by City: Arlington, Mansfield, Northeast Tarrant

Eat slowly to savor the handmade organic foods. Take only as much as you can eat, and ask for more if you want it.


Potager Cafe to throw a birthday party Saturday

Eat slowly to savor the handmade organic foods. Take only as much as you can eat, and ask for more if you want it.

With no ballgame commentary, nor loud music blaring through conversation, you might notice the tinkling of a wind chime or the rustling of a lace curtain.

These are the experiences appreciated by a loyal cadre of diners in downtown Arlington that have supported a small cafe called The Potager for five years now at 315 S. Mesquite St.

Perhaps it’s time to get rowdy, in a manner of speaking. Potager’s is hosting an all-day party on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. to mark the anniversary, and the acceptance of its slow-food concept in a fast-moving town.

Potager is unique, no doubt. Owner and cook, Cynthia Chippendale, is known for serving up local, fresh, handmade meals. Then she leaves it up to guests to decide what to pay for it.

Diners get a different menu every day, depending on what is available and in season, and they are encouraged to pay according to what they believe the meal is worth. (There is a note suggesting price ranges for the truly timid.)

Small servings make sure food isn’t wasted, but second servings are gladly offered so no one goes away hungry.

A number of Chippendale’s like-minded business associates and friends plan to be at the party. It isn’t a business relationship between them as much as it is their common beliefs about food, what it should mean, and the growing and eating of it.

On the birthday guest list is Taylor Cooper of Livestock First Ranch, who raises chicken, beef and pork. Nanci Taylor, publisher of Edible Dallas & Fort Worth, is also there.

Local farmers find in Chippendale a marketer for their nutritious and gently-raised foods, so success is shared. Burgundy Pasture Beef, known for raising grass-fed beef in North Texas, will have someone at the party to celebrate. Mary Tedei of Eden’s Organic Farming Center and Community Supported Agriculture program also plans to attend.

“They underestimated, first, how good people are in Arlington. And how much people would respond to food that actually tasted like food and didn’t come out of an industrial kitchen,” said Chippendale on the restaurant’s web site.

Guests are invited to purchase wine and beer at Potager’s Other Stuff, a sister shop located across the street at 208 S Mesquite St., or BYOB. Other Stuff also includes organic cheese, pottery, heirloom seeds, condiments and the like, all from local craftspeople.

Potager’s Other Stuff is also expected to begin serving organic coffee and pastries soon, opening at 7 a.m.

If you come to Potager’s, remember to bring cash or checks, as credit and debit cards are not accepted.

And relax, chew your food, and don’t be in such a hurry.

—Shirley Jinkins

Dress up your pet for prizes in Animal Services contest

You probably missed this, but National Dress Up Your Pet Day is on the horizon. Naturally, this calls for a photo contest.

There is still time to put together a costume, wrestle it onto your cat or dog, and take a (probably quick) picture.

Submit the snap to Arlington Animal Services at by Wednesday.

Use the same address to vote for the winner.

Group shots of multiple pets are acceptable, but only one picture per Facebook user is allowed.

If your pic is picked, you could be awarded a gift basket from Pet Supermarket at their grand opening on Dress Up day, Jan. 25 at 1112 N. Fielder Road (in front of Tom Thumb) between 11 a.m. and noon.

— Shirley Jinkins


Legos building boom on horizon in Bedford

The city is offering a new academic-year program for ages 6-12 that focuses on building with Legos.

Each session, conducted the second Wednesday of the month, will have a different building theme. Registration is not required.

For more information, call 817-952-2374.

—Yamil Berard


Historical presentation recalls frontier justice

Interested in learning more about the Wild West of murder and mayhem?

Meg Hacker, who is director of the National Archives in Fort Worth, will talk about the Wild West as personified by Fort Smith, Arkansas, where “Hanging” judge Isaac Parker and lawmen like Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves tried to keep order.

Hacker’s program will be featured at the Mid-Cities Genealogical Society meeting on Feb. 6 at the Euless Public Library, 201 N. Ector Drive.

Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. followed by the group’s short business meeting at 7 p.m.

The society meets every first Thursday of the month at the library.

For more information, email Evelynn Kelly at


Treat teen girls to a beauty workshop

Help young girls, pre-teens and teens gain self-confidence, good grooming habits and the experience of modeling with a Girls & Style/Girls & Beauty workshop.

North East Mall, 1101 Melbourne Road, is again offering Susan Huston’s eight hour workshop over four consecutive Saturdays, from Feb. 8 through March 1. All students will model in the mall’s Spring Fashion Show at 1 p.m. March 22.

Huston, a well-known North Texas fashion, beauty and etiquette expert, has more than 43 years of experience teaching students through her workshops.

Classes for ages 8-12 are from 10 a.m. to noon; those for the 13 to 16 age group are 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. An advanced workshop for girls 12-16 who have already taken the basic series is 3 to 5 p.m.

Cost for the basic workshop is $165. Cost for the advanced workshop is $195. The classroom is located in the Nordstrom Wing across from Kidgets play areas.

For more information or to register, visit

—Shirley Jinkins


Meetings set for new diploma requirements

Keller school officials will host a series of informational meetings for parents of current eighth-grade students to go over new high school graduation requirements from House Bill 5 and the district’s iGraduate individualized graduation plans.

Each middle school will host a meeting to explain the potential impact of HB 5 and the expectations for high school students beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

All students entering high school next year are required by the state to have a four-year graduation plan.

Possible graduation plans or “endorsements” can be found on the iGraduate page at

Below are scheduled times for the House Bill 5 meetings:

• 6 p.m. Thursday at Indian Springs Middle School
• 6 p.m. Feb. 4 at Timberview Middle School
• 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at Hillwood Middle School
• 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Keller Middle School
• 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at Fossil Hill Middle School
• 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at Trinity Springs Middle School

Parents and guardians are invited to attend any of the meetings, regardless of their student’s school.

For more information about Keller ISD’s iGraduate program and HB5 graduation requirements, please visit

Production channels Monty Python

Keller High School Theatre will present the musical Spamalot this weekend at the Fine Arts Center.

Monty Python’s musical comedy tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail, with a side trip into the here and now.

Performances of are scheduled for 7 p.m. today and Saturday. There will also be 2 p.m. matinee Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students.

All performances take place at the Keller High School Fine Arts Center, 601 N. Pate-Orr Road.


Free rainbow trout fishing for youths

Keller anglers 16 and younger can join friends at Bear Creek Park on Saturday for a day of free rainbow trout fishing.

Keller Parks and Recreation is partnering with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to host the first “Fishing for Fun” event of 2014 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Bear Creek Park Pond.

The event also includes contests and prizes.

All participants should bring their own fishing gear and an adult.

For more information, visit

—Taylor Prater


Oliver Nature Park grand opening planned

Mansfield gains a new natural beauty spot with the Jan. 25 official opening of the Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park, 1650 Matlock Road.

A ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. will open the park to visitors, and nature activities will run from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Special events include a 1 p.m. viewing of hawks and owls at the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center, a 2 p.m. presentation by reptile experts from the DFW Herpetological Society, and a 3 p.m. Texas Parks and Wildlife program on urban biology, specifically predators such as bobcats and coyotes.

Concessions will be available, and parking is located at Mansfield High School, 3001 E. Broad St.

Shuttle service will be provided beginning at 9 a.m.

The park skirts Walnut Creek. Learn more at

— Shirley Jinkins


District opens volunteer registration

Starting this month, the district requires all school volunteers who work with students on campus during school hours to complete an online volunteer application and background check.

More than 1,200 individuals have applied. The process is fast, easy and confidential. Visit the Volunteer Program page on the district’s website,

Nominations sought for Hall of Honor

The Carroll ISD Athletic Hall of Honor salutes the contributions of a coach, teacher, administrator, athlete, fan, or booster club member who has contributed significantly to the advancement of athletics in Carroll schools.

Individuals will be honored at Carroll ISD’s annual Athletic Hall of Honor Awards Day and will have a plaque placed in the Athletic Hall of Honor. The district is taking nominations for the next class of inductees. The deadline is March 1.

—Shirley Jinkins


Tarrant property taxes are due on Jan. 31

The last day to pay 2013 property taxes to avoid penalty and interest is Jan. 31.

Tarrant County Tax Office’s eight locations are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist taxpayers, but paying online saves time, officials say.

Property taxes can be paid online at with Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards. Credit/debit card payments are subject to convenience fees.

In addition, online eCheck payments can be made for no additional convenience fees.

Pay-by-phone is available 24/7 at 817-884-1110.

If payment is being made by mail on Jan. 31, taxpayers should request a postmark validation from the Post office.

The office’s Customer Service Center, at 817-884-1100, is available to assist residents with property tax and motor vehicle registration questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents who cannot afford to pay in full may make partial payments. Only the remaining balance will be subject to penalties rather than the full original amount due.

Visit for tax office locations or more information.

Indie film wraps up filming in Aledo today

It took a while, but Aledo now has its first close-up for the big silver screen — with Kevin Sorbo, which can’t hurt.

A namesake enterprise called Aledo Film Group is shooting the final scenes for the independent film Gallows Road today in historic downtown Aledo, capping a summer of under-the-radar filming at locations in Aledo, Weatherford and Fort Worth.

“This is the first time a movie has been filmed here,” said Lori Wedgeworth, Aledo’s community events planner. The company didn’t want publicity until the last day of filming on Friday, she said, and “finally they came in and said, ‘Blast it out.’ ”

The movie stars noted actor Ernie Hudson ( Ghostbusters, Congo) along with Sorbo ( Hercules). Gallows Road is the story of a man who takes refuge in isolation after his wife and children are killed but eventually must make a choice between seeking revenge or learning to forgive.

Aledo Film Group produces inspirational and faith-based motion pictures for theatrical, home video, television and Internet release. Bill McAdams Jr. is co-founder and CEO of Aledo Film Group. Mary Jean “MJ” Bentley is founder and CEO of Little Faith Pictures, a family-film production company. McAdams is writer and director of Gallows Road, and Bentley, his sister, is its producer. It was Bentley, a Fort Worth resident, who suggested Aledo for the setting. Aledo has everything from quaint shops, beautiful countryside, railroad tracks and small town feel we need to make this film and bring the Gallows Road story to life,” said Bentley in emailed remarks.

McAdams flew in from Los Angeles to scout locations when the film was in pre-production and fell in love with Texas in general and Aledo in particular. He named his film group after Aledo. “I have been so impressed with the talent in Texas from local actors to crew, vendors and production facilities that I want to bring films to Texas,” said McAdams, a Virginia native.

— Shirley Jinkins

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