Arlington Citizen-Journal

Notable and quotable

What better than to spring forward into March by dusting off our Facebook page?

Take a look at our new cover photo submitted by Arlington local Zane Adams. Adams’ photo is the second installment of the Arlington Citizen-Journal’s winter contest where we asked y’all to submit photos of what A-Town means to you.

Adams’ ballpark photo was shot in late January, and we thought it would be particularly fitting to use at this juncture, what with spring training underway and Opening Day right around the corner. Let us not forget the other stadium that will host some of college basketball’s best players for the NCAA Final Four in April.

“The Rangers and Cowboys stadiums have put us on the national stage,” Adams said. “We have been the host of major events in the sporting world because of these two stadiums. The Rangers’ ballpark was a leader in the national ballpark revival when it was built. It is both modern and a throwback symbol of our national game. The Cowboys’ stadium is a modern wonder of the world.”

We once again want to thank y’all for your photos and look forward to picking April’s cover photo next month.

How to be a freshman, or something like it

Taking a remedial algebra course for no college credit is one thing, but a first-year-experience course? UT Arlington is rolling out a one-hour-a-week class in the fall that will be required for all incoming students.

Students enrolled in first-year seminars through the Freshman Interest Group program, nursing, theater, or management tracks are exempt.

The 14-week course comes with zero credit hours but will orient students to Maverick Town, UTA! All students will receive free Maverick All-Sports passes, which will get them into any athletic home game. Sorry football fans.

According to the university, the course will help students network, “describe their own cultural identity,” learn how to overcome academic obstacles and so forth.

Food Truck Fridays are coming to Arlington

Food trucks, those marvelously mobile and eclectic eateries that have become all the rage among foodies, are on their way to downtown Arlington for springtime lunch dates.

“We wanted to do something where people could enjoy good food at the Founders Plaza park lawn with their friends,” said Michael Debrecht, rental and lake services manager, said in a news release. “Three different food trucks each week will be there to sell their wares.”

Food Truck Fridays will start March 21 and continue through April 18 at Founders Plaza, 100 W. Abram St.

Trucks will be around for the lunch crowd, from 11 a.m until 2 p.m. There could be more: Arlington Parks and Recreation Department staff members are working on a plan to get some live music going from local bands to accompany the food.

For more information, contact Debrecht at 817-575-8283 .

— Shirley Jinkins

UT Arlington will host resource fair for veterans

The University of Texas at Arlington will offer information and assistance for military veterans at its Veterans Resource Fair on Wednesday.

Resources will include a panel presentation on veteran educational benefits, scholarships, student loans, financial literacy, affordable housing and more. Individual sessions will be available. Lunch will be provided for student veterans. The event is free.

Location and hours for the fair are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Veterans Assistance Center, 406 Summit Ave.

UT-Arlington is considered one of the best colleges for military veterans in the United States, according to rankings released November by Military Times, with a number of new programs and grants aimed at helping veterans.

A February grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. will help the School of Social Work’s Student Veteran Project, which focuses on veterans’ retention, on-time graduation assistance and career preparation.

A 2013 College of Nursing federal grant supports increased enrollment and graduate rates for veterans.

A new School of Social Work program helps to better serve veterans and active members in the military with mental health needs.

Grants recently awarded to UT Arlington will enhance sports programming for disabled veterans through the university’s wheelchair basketball team, the Movin’ Mavs.

Police officers, employees are honored for service

The Arlington Police Department honored its own at its annual awards ceremony last week at a luncheon at HighPoint Church.

The 2013 award recipients include Tim Pinckney, Supervisor of the Year; Caleb Blank, Officer of the Year; Richard Morrison, Community Support Officer of the Year; Jason Vire, Operations Officer of the Year; and Haley Thedford, Rookie of the Year.

East Officer of the Year is Duane Utt, South Officer of the Year is Karen Donahue, and West Officer of the Year is Rodney Rundles.

Administrative Professional Employee of the Year is Leslie Ogrodnik, and Technical/Exempt Professional Employee of the Year is Shahrzad Pakbin.

Teresa Sims earned the Citizen Community Award, and The REC/North Davis Church of Christ won the Business Partnership Award.

Residents can air concerns, ideas at town hall Monday

Residents are invited to share their thoughts or concerns about neighborhood and citywide issues Monday at a town hall meeting.

District 3 Councilman Robert Rivera said he scheduled the meeting at the request of residents who were seeking a forum to discuss issues such as crime, neighborhood aesthetics, volunteer opportunities, redevelopment opportunities and aging apartments.

“Ultimately it is to hear ideas directly from the citizens what is important to them, what is their vision, what they would they like to see Arlington do. There is always room for new ideas in shaping the future and direction of our city.”

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 101 W. Abram St.

Rivera said the meeting is designed to allow a free exchange of ideas and formulating specific strategies that could be implemented to address problems.

“The key component here is citizen involvement. There is only so much government can do. With the combined effort of a citizen-driven initiative with assistance from City Hall, we are limitless in our possibilities.”