Regardless of your political affiliation, one cannot deny the kingmaking machine that is the Fort Worth District 9 City Council seat! The District 9 City Council chair, which includes downtown Fort Worth, has sprung forth two consecutive council members each of whom have recently attained their own prominence on an international level. The Honorable Joel Burns, our current City Councilman, had gained worldwide recognition overnight for a passionate “It Gets Better”-style speech he delivered from the City Council dais on October 12th, 2010. Literally within an hour after the City Council video was available online, it was already viewed by over a million people. This led to a multitude of major news outlets covering the story, and by week’s end the video had been watched over 2.5 million times.
Burns’ immediate District 9 predecessor, Senator Wendy Davis, had gained international notoriety for her recent filibustering of Senate Bill 5 which centered on new standards to be mandated for abortion clinics. As word spread of the ongoing filibuster, scores of websites started posting links to Texas Tribune’s live feed of the Texas Senate floor, with several hundred thousand viewers watching the events unfold live as the night drew to a close. The following day, Senator Davis’ filibuster efforts unexpectedly became the top news story across the globe, dominating domestic news programs in the US, and sparking a week’s worth of dialogue fodder for every radio talk show imaginable.
MSNBC’s Rachael Maddow, who has professed numerous times to be a personal fan of Wendy Davis before previous interviews, had punctuated her reporting on the recent filibuster by saying “Texas. Who knew?” That sentiment was echoed throughout the Internet as Joel Burns’ clip made the rounds as well. While we’d like to think that being the councilperson over the greater downtown Fort Worth area is a springboard to national-scale political notoriety, the real picture is that from these two people alone, Fort Worth has received a tremendous amount of attention for illustrating that some cities in Texas can indeed have a progressive and cosmopolitan side, debunking stereotypes that are held by folks in larger cities across the country.
In what can only be described as “A Doozy”, DowntownFortWorth.com’s infamous annual letter-hunting contest, known and loved by many as both a drama-inducing local newspaper journalist bridge-burner as well as enabler of self-guided tours where entrants become hypnotized in their search of signage obscurities, the 10th installment promises to raise the bar in titillating fashion.
“Sure, it’s more challenging than ever, but the prize haul will justify all that time spent scrutinizing downtown’s vast array of fonts and bevel-styles,” explains Robert McKee, chief provocateur of Downtown Fort Worth.com’s Game and Wildlife Division.
For the first time in over a decade, the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival begins with nary a wind — a tradition that, year after year, seemed to bring all sorts of torrents, hail storms and wind shears powerful enough to knock over tents prior to downtown’s biggest event. As veteran meteorologist Rebecca Miller of WB33 had explained to us, areas such as downtown Fort Worth are more susceptible to more violent winds as the flow of air through the city is blocked and redirected by the buildings, causing turbulence and increased wind speeds on the ground; though this weekend appears to be trouble-free weather-wise. The Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival runs until 10:00pm Thursday, 10:30pm Friday and Saturday and 8:00pm Sunday.
Who knew the best endorsement a downtown establishment could ask for would come from not the Dallas Cowboys but… Pittsburgh Steelers? Pete’s, the dueling piano bar upstairs from The Library bar at 6th & Houston, has been mentioned by name by a myriad of sports networks and news websites due to a surprise visit and serenade by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Tuesday.