Archive for the ‘Joppa’ Category

Bishop Larry McGriff – Funeral Information

February 23, 2010

RIP Bishop Larry D. McGriff

February 18, 2010

For those that have not heard, Bishop Larry McGriff had a brain aneurysm and stroke overnight and passed away this morning. He was recently married to Dr. Karen Hollie, the pastor of Lifeway Church and a columnist at the Elite News.

I still can’t believe Bishop McGriff is gone. He was a great pastor and love to sing with the choir, but he truly loved doing God’s work “outside the walls.”
From toy giveaways to helping people get jobs, he did so much that people will never know. He was a driving force in rallying the community to help us close multiple hot-sheet hotels, and he brought teens to City Hall to participate in Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway’s Teen Summits.
If you rode anywhere with him and he hopped out of his car, especially at a store or somewhere like that, people would run up to the car to say hello or ask for some help. It didn’t matter if you were homeless, formerly incarcerated, or just down on your luck, you had a friend in Bishop McGriff.
I always jokingly called him my “surrogate uncle” because he treated me so well and I looked up to him a lot. He never asked me for anything, other than to keep him abreast of what we were trying to clean up in the community.
When you drive down Lancaster and look across from the VA Hospital, you can see Bishop’s work. Those motels are dust! Ironically, today, I saw the 3-D model for the development that will go on the land where the Sunset Motel and Southern Comfort Motel once stood and plagued the community.
Notice that the news heading in one of the videos below says “into the sunset.” How appropriate.
For the most part no more stories will be done on this blog for a while. I can’t imagine anything meaning more than this right now.
RIP Bishop McGriff. Thank you for everything. I would not be where I am without him. To a pastor that had the guts to step out on behalf of the community, you are already missed.
I’m glad I got to say goodbye. I found a few videos of him and I wanted to share them with you. Please pray for him and his family.

If you ever went to Church of the Living God, you heard this song:

Sunset Motel will be Closed – May 2007 (closed and demolished)

Southern Comfort Motel is on Notice – July 2007 (closed and demolished)

Rebuilding District Four – A Block at a Time

December 24, 2008

For years, we have been complaining about the lights being out on the Corinth Street Bridge. This is the bridge that starts near the Longhorn Ballroom at Industrial and takes you to Oak Cliff near the Corinth Street DART rail station. In 2006, a wheelchair-bound man was struck and killed on the bridge because no one could see him.

For years, no one at City Hall would see to it that the lights were fixed. Why? I have no idea.

Dwaine Caraway made it a priority, and some months ago the project began to repair all of the lights on the bridge. For everyone that uses the bridge, I know it’s been frustrating to sit in one lane of traffic going each way.

View Larger Map

It took some time but the lights are now back on! I can’t remember a time when the bridge lights were fully functional. For those that drive it on a regular basis, you know that you used to have to drive with your high beams on just to make sure no one was in the street at night.

I hope that these improvements make the the holiday trips a little bit safer for residents of Oak Cliff.

This bridge marks the northern point of the Corinth/Lancaster Road Initiative that we have talked about since the campaign trail. The actual term came from us (well, actually Dwaine) It’s one piece of a bigger puzzle.

Here are some of the projects approved or under construction along Lancaster:
*Mixed-use development at the corner of 8th & Corinth.
*Brand-new supermarket just south of the Illinois DART Station.
*DART Police HQ moving to the Monroe Shops.
*Job training and office space complex where the Sunset and Southern Comfort Hotels once stood.

The eastern part of District Four is also undergoing change. Our “east side” neighborhoods are working on a comprehensive plan which will immediately go into effect once approved. And right in the middle of district four, Joppa is undergoing a transformation thanks to the Trinity River Project, volunteer groups, and a mass of determined neighbors.

A block at a time, District Four will be revitalized.