Some Vista Ridge Mall tenants remain optimistic about the future in spite of the mall’s recent difficulties.
“We’re doing really well right now, so it’s kind of weird that the mall isn’t,” said John Yates, the manager at Zumiez.
Yates said the company has a lease through 2017. Zumiez, which sells action sports clothing and accessories, occupies a space on the second floor that was a FastForward location before Zumiez bought out the company.
“We don’t think the mall is actually going to close,” Yates said. “From processes that other malls go through in this situation, the loan will go back to the bank and they will try to sell it to another company.”
Yates has been at this location since the end of October. He says business at the mall has improved since he arrived and the company isn’t worried about losing its place in the mall or decreases in business.
But other store owners are concerned.
Mohammed Hossain, the manager of Toys & Gifts on the first floor, has been in business for eight years, but said he’s worried about the foreclosure and what will happen next. If ownership changes, he said he’d be fine with that. But if the mall closes, he will have to find a new location.
A community wide social is coming up on April 17th organized by the Seniors Standing Tall Coalition. This year the theme is “A Salute to the Greatest Generation” with USO style decorations, dinner, and dancing at the Cross Timbers YMCA. The YMCA was one of the four original founders of the United Service Organizations (USO) designed to support troops in 1941 at the onset of World War II.
The Lewisville High School Naval Jr. ROTC is providing the color guard and will stay to volunteer. The Rotary Club’s InterAct students and local businesses will also volunteer with decorating, serving, and dancing with guests throughout the evening. Dallas Acme Swing Dance Company performs each year and will give dance lessons to willing participants. The Texas Photo Booth Company is providing a photo booth for instant fun. Local photographer Colleen Drew will take professional photographs for lasting memories available for take home at 9pm the same evening.
Doors open at 5:30 with dinner served from 6pm to 7pm. The cost is $5 per person and the proceeds go to the local YMCA. Tickets are available at local senior centers, area senior communities, or by calling Home Helpers at 972-318-5054. Cross Timbers YMCA is located at 2021 Cross Timbers Road in Flower Mound.
Volunteers Saturday converged on Copperas Branch Park East to plant hundreds of trees in anticipation of its opening this Spring. The park, which is not yet open to the public, was funded by the I-35E expansion project as mitigation for taking out park land on the West side of the highway.
Volunteers from local environmental and civic organizations including Keep Lewisville Beautiful, Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas and the University of North Texas gathered at the park where they were welcomed by AGL representative Kimberly Sims, and Denton County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell.
The park includes nearly a mile and a half of brand new walking and bicycling trails. A 20-space parking lot has been added near Tower Bay park at the trailhead. A 12 foot wide section of trail over 2,300 feet long runs from the trailhead along a newly constructed embankment just east of the DCTA tracks to the Copperas Point peninsula. There, a one-mile 10-foot-wide hike and bike trail loops around a considerable portion of the peninsula. The trees were planted on either side of the trail, and will provide shade for walkers and bicyclists once mature.
AGL’s environmental compliance manager Eric Huff explained that crews have been working on the park, removing invasive and non-native vegetation. In addition to the 250 trees planted Saturday, crews were preserving various native and established plants and shrubs, and will install more than 1,500 native or adapted plants including oak and pecan trees, native grasses, and wildflowers such as bluebonnets and black-eyed susans.
The area of the park that will open had previously been accessible to the public, but In 1988 after the completion of Ray Roberts Lake, the Corps of Engineers increased the conservation pool level of Lewisville Lake from 515 feet to 522 feet above sea level. This submerged the road leading to the peninsula, making the area basically inaccessible.
The entire park, including permanent restroom facilities, is fully accessible to the disabled. While it is not designed to be accessed by vehicles, the trails will allow park maintenance vehicles and first responders to access it by vehicle. The park will be managed by City of Lewisville Parks and Leisure Services.
We will provide an update when we learn when the park will open to the public.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality sent a letter today to interested persons noting that the application for expansion of the Camelot Landfill has completed technical review, and a draft permit has been issued. The executive director of TCEQ has made a preliminary decision granting approval.
The City of Farmers Branch, which owns the landfill within the Lewisville city limits, wants to expand the landfill's footprint, and add 200 feet of height.
The City of Lewisville sued Farmers Branch and Camelot over contamination at the site, and just recently reached an agreement to settle that lawsuit. But that settlement did not include any agreement to go along with the expansion plans. The City of Lewisville still contests the expansion plans, and insists that landfills, even if permitted by TCEQ, must abide by special use permitting required under the city's zoning ordinance. Mayor Pro Tem TJ Gilmore said Saturday that the city had sent another letter to TCEQ and is requesting a contested case hearing with TCEQ.
Those of you who have followed The Lewisville Texan Journal for a year or two know that keeping Lewisville clean and beautiful is one of our pet issues. For years now, we have fielded cleanup teams for Spring Cleanup. We hope you'll join us this year. Read on for the details on the cleanup, then join us again at the bottom to see how you can be on the LTJ cleanup team.
Keep Lewisville Beautiful is partnering with the City of Lewisville to host its 29th annual citywide cleanup on Saturday April 25th, 2015. An environmental expo will also be held onsite. This FREE Earth Day event will be held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful Great America Clean Up activities. Volunteers are needed for cleanup teams and on site help. Sign in and registration begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Residential Convenience Center parking lot (330 Jones Street). Clean Up is from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Clean up supplies, free lunch, KLB t-shirts, door prizes and FUN will be provided. Last year, 686 volunteers showed community spirit by working hard and picking up 9.8 tons of litter off of Lewisville streets, parks, and creeks. With your help, we can pick up even more and help beautify our great city. All ages are welcome! Register online today at the Keep Lewisville Beautiful website.
Current event donors and sponsors include: City of Lewisville, Waste Management, Republic Waste Services, Dale Downing CPA, DATCU, Texas New Mexico Power Company, Lone Star Storage, Bahama Bucks, Dallas Zoo, LLELA, Blue Bell, Hyena Comedy Club, Lewisville Lake Symphony, Texas Rangers Ball Club, La Hacienda Ranch, Spaghetti Warehouse, Joe’s Crab Shack, Market Street, UTRWD, Lewisville Lions Club, Lewisville Police Department, Army Corps of Engineers, LISDOLA, Keep America Beautiful, and Keep Texas Beautiful. If your business would like to donate a door prize or help sponsor this event, please contact the KLB office.
For more information, to sign up or to donate funds to Keep Lewisville Beautiful email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 972-538-5949 or fax information to 866-727-8526. Please include number of people anticipated in your group. T-shirts are on a first come, first served basis.
(We are still working on updating the calendar for this week. Bear with us...)
As always, there are many arts and leisure events and educational opportunities coming up in Lewisville and the surrounding cities. Here are some selected events that you may find interesting.
March 26th - 29th: "Ordinary Days" at MCL Grand Theater Our Productions Theatre Co. presents “Ordinary Days” for four shows, March 26-29, at Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles Street.
Performances in the MCL Grand black box will be held March 26, 8 p.m.; March 27, 8 p.m.; March 28, 8 p.m.; and March 29, 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $25 and are available by visiting ourproductions.org or calling 972.724.2147.
“Ordinary Days” tells the story of four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Through a score of vibrant and memorable songs, their experiences ring startlingly true to life. “Ordinary Days” is an original musical for anyone who has ever struggled to appreciate the simple things in a complex place. With equal doses of humor and poignancy, it celebrates how 8.3 million individual stories combine in unexpected ways to make any city a unique and extraordinary home.
Saturday, March 28th: Creekside Elementary Spring Community Garage Sale 7am-1pm - To rent a space visit the website. You can set up as early as 6am.
Creekside Elementary; 901 Valley View Dr.; Lewisville
Saturday, March 28: Kayaking Tour on McWhorter Creek 2-4 p.m. at LLELA. All skill levels are welcome; paddlers receive an introduction to kayaking on dry land before pushing off into the water. All equipment is provided. Don’t delay in registering; these trips fill up quickly. $20/paddler. Ages 7 years and up. Registration is required at 972.219.3930 or email@example.com
Thursday, April 2nd: LISD Student Holiday LISD Student Holiday
Friday, April 3rd: Good Friday LISD Student Holiday
Also, we mentioned this briefly in another article, but Roger Myers all but withdrew from the LISD board race against Trisha Sheffield, leaving just one race in play.
It's a bit dated by now, but earlier this month, Denton Record Chronicle's Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe had a great article about the region's drought, and reservoir levels. As of 5 a.m., Lewisville Lake sat at 517.92 feet, or just a little more than 4 feet below conservation pool. We're doing much better than we were last month. Lewisville Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Neil Ferguson shared this letter this morning:
"Attached for your information and use is copy of a memorandum from Mr. Mark McDaniel, Assistant City Manager, City of Dallas, to the Mayor and the Dallas City Council regarding Drought Update.
Dallas will not implement Stage 1 of its Drought Plan on April 1, 2015 as we’d originally anticipated in January 2015. Since January 2015, we have seen a significant improvement (>10% increase) in total water supplies to 76.34% remaining as of March 18, 2015. Our models now project that Dallas may enter Stage 1 of the Drought Management Plan as early as late summer 2015 if drought conditions persist. Dallas will continue to monitor the ongoing drought conditions and provide you with periodic updates on the status of our water supply.
We are thankful for the water management efforts of all of the wholesale customers and appreciate your continued support.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.
Best Regards, Jacqueline (Jackie) Culton, P.E., Program Manager Wholesale Services Division City of Dallas/Water Utilities Department"
Lewisville purchases all of its water from Dallas, so this is good news.
The talk of the town, with a record-breaking 566 comments on the City of Lewisville Facebook group has been that Vista Ridge Mall appears headed for foreclosure. Most folks saw the DMN blog about it, but The Dallas Business Journal has a pretty informative article about it. The long and short of it is that the mall doesn't earn enough from rents to cover its debt service payments.
Ex-pastor Jeffrey Dale Williams, formerly of The Church of Corinth was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to "injury to a child". He spent two hours trying to persuade a young girl to take off her clothes in 2013, and the whole thing ended up being audiotaped. Be sure to read the comments for some additional background.
The time is right for residents in much of Texas to keep an eye on the sky.
Texas-New Mexico Power, which operates power lines serving 236,000 homes and businesses across Texas, would like to recommend to customers that they also prepare for the possibility of power outages that can result from spring thunderstorms.
Lightning and wind often accompany the much-needed rain that spring can bring, and they can affect our equipment and disrupt power. The spring months typically are the busiest outage-restoration time of the year for our techs, with long afternoons and evenings spent making repairs and restoring power.
“We watch weather forecasts closely when storms are expected so that we can be prepared to respond and restore power,” TNMP President Neal Walker said. “Our customers can be ready for that time until power is restored by having a plan for their families or businesses.”
Steps Customers Can Take - Put the power company’s phone number in a convenient location. For TNMP customers, call 888-866-7456 to report an outage or get an update. (Ed note: Oncor: 888.313.4747, CoServ: 800-274-4014)
- Check flashlights or electric lanterns in advance.
- Ensure they have fresh batteries for flashlights and hand-held radios.
- Charge phones, tablets, rechargeable lanterns and hand-held video games in the hours before a storm is expected to arrive.
- Have snacks and drinks ready to go – but not in the refrigerator, which should stay closed while the power is out.
- Prepare a backup plan if someone in the home depends on powered medical equipment.
Customers also may wish to discuss with children, in advance, what a power outage means, particularly after dark.
How Customers Can Stay Safe
- Avoid using landline phones if there is lightning in the area. Cordless and mobile phones are OK.
- Teach everyone in the home to stay far away from any downed power lines, regardless of whether power is on in the area.
- Run portable generators outside and well away from any buildings.
- Portable generator owners also should know why they should only power specific appliances – not an entire home or business.
This post is a work-in-progress, as it takes time to produce, upload, and post each video. We have a lot of work to do, so this will take several days.
The Lewisville City Council held its annual retreat this year at The Worthington Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. The annual retreats are typically three days for the council to spend an extended amount of time reflecting on the progress towards the city's existing goals, and discussing future goals for the coming year. Many of the items discussed each year at retreat will come back later in the year for official votes and action.
The Lewisville Texan Journal was there to capture video of the meetings. We'll be posting video as soon as we can get them processed and uploaded.
Community members and commuters to receive update on I-35E Expansion
Commuters, residents and business owners are invited to learn more about the 35Express Project, an expansion of Interstate 35E between U.S. Highway 380 in Denton County and I-635 in Dallas County, by attending one of three community meetings. All meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and will highlight a different segment of the 30-mile corridor.
North Segment (Cities of Corinth and Denton) Tuesday, March 24 - 6:30 p.m. Glory of Zion Ministries, Global Spheres Center 7801 I-35E South Corinth, Texas 76210
South Segment Meeting (Cities of Farmers Branch and Carrollton) – NEW LOCATION Tuesday, March 31 - 6:30 p.m. City of Carrollton Senior Center 1720 Keller Springs Carrollton, Texas 75006
Middle Segment (Cities of Lewisville, Highland Village, Hickory Creek, and Lake Dallas) Thursday, April 2 - 6:30 p.m. MCL Grand Theater 100 North Charles Street Lewisville, Texas 75057
Those not able to attend the meeting in person can follow along on Twitter, @35Express, use #35ExpressChat to ask questions or join in on the conversation. For more information about the 35Express Project visit www.35Express.org, or call 214-483-7777.