Keep Lewisville Beautiful will hold a June Garden Secrets class at the Lewisville Library’s Crawford room on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 from 6-7pm. This informative class on “Landscaping with Stone” is the perfect class for learning about using hardscapes that don't require watering, how to implement different types stones in your landscapes, and the many ways stones can be used-pathways, retaining walls, borders, and even birdbaths! The key speaker for the class, Rudy Ramierez, is with Green Meadows, a local landscaping business. Bring your family, friends, and neighbors for this informative garden secrets class. We look forward to seeing you there! Don’t forget to bring your questions for the question/answer session.
This FREE gardening class will be held at the City of Lewisville Library in the Crawford room located at 1197 W. Main St., Thursday, June 13, 2013 from 6:00-7:00pm. Please call to reserve your spot! RSVP required by June 10th. This event is open to all participants (Lewisville residency not required).
The Lewisville City Council met in its regular scheduled meeting Monday night, June 3rd, 2013. The agenda for this meeting may be found here. These are the unofficial notes on the proceedings. Minutes are generally posted by the City Secretary after the following meeting. Councilman Leroy Vaughn was absent due to illness.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the LHS Lady Farmers Softball Team. The Mayor then introduced the team to the audience, and praised them for bringing home the state championship. Farmers Coach Lori Alexander then presented Mayor Ueckert with a softball signed by the team. Mayor Ueckert presented the team with a proclamation celebrating their victory.
Business Next, the Council went into closed session to consider the appointments of Mayor Pro Tem, and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem. Back in open session, the Council selected Councilman Leroy Vaughn as Mayor Pro Tem, and Councilman TJ Gilmore as Deputy Mayor Pro Tem. The Mayor Pro Tem serves as a backup to the Mayor. In the Mayor’s absence, the Mayor Pro Tem (or Deputy Mayor Pro Tem) will take over the Mayor’s duties. It is typical for the Council to select these positions each year after elections, and for the positions to rotate among council members.
After a public hearing, the council approved a zone change for 432 Barfknect Ln. - from agricultural to light industrial.
No citizens wished to speak in the citizens’ forum portion of the meeting.
The consent Agenda - Items 1 - 7 passed unanimously without comment. Among these items was the approval of expenditure of $238,193 in consulting, materials, equipment, and installation for an upgrade of the AV and recording equipment in the Council chambers and work room at City Hall, as well as in the video control room. LTJ will explain more about this item in a future post, but what it means is that the city will be able to broadcast Council meetings, including workshop sessions on the city’s cable channel. The funding comes from a state-mandated 1% charge added to everyone’s cable bill, and can only be spent on capital equipment such as this.
Item 8: Council approved the preliminary plat of Highpoint Oaks Estates addition, which is a 21.245 acre parcel zoned estate townhouse (ETH) with 86 residential lots and five HOA maintained right-of-way areas located on the southwest quadrant of Vista Ridge Mall Drive and Denton Tap Road With one associated variance, as requested by JBI Partners, Inc., representing the Property Owner. Councilman Gilmore noted the council has approved over 250 single family houses this year.
Item 9: This was the consideration of a Brownfields assessment program application for the property at 1099 West Main St. Gilmore moved approval as presented, and Councilman Ferguson seconded. This item passed unanimously.
Item 10: This was a consideration of waiving the third floor rental fee for Community Services, Inc., to hold their energy assistance program workshop on June 22nd, 2013, as requested by Pauletta Hines, the Executive Director. Gilmore moved approval, with a second by Councilman Tierney. This item passed unanimously.
Item 11: Council approved dates related to the city’s budget process for next year. Council set the workshop session for Saturday August 3rd, with follow ups on August 5th and 6th if needed. LTJ will post a reminder as the date gets nearer, as well as an update afterwards regarding the proposed tax rates and budgets.
Item 12: Was the discussion and consideration of appointments to various City Boards/Commissions/Committees. The Council decided to take the normal route, which is to split up into three teams of two people each to interview candidates and make recommendations. Gilmore and Vaughn will work together; Ferguson and Tierney will work together; and Ueckert and Durham will work together. The specific committees to be worked on by each team was not formalized as far as we could tell, but Ueckert seemed to indicate in workshop that Ferguson’s team would take on Planning and Zoning.
Announcements: There will be a public pep rally Wednesday this week in front of City Hall to honor the Lady Farmers, Wednesday, June 5th, at Lewisville City Hall, 6PM.
Police Chief Russ Kerbow reminded everyone that Thursday is early release day for schools - pay attention to school zones. Battle of the Badge will be held at Toyota of Lewisville Railroad Park this Saturday, June 8th. Admission $5 - Children are free. Proceeds go to Denton County Childrens’ Advocacy Center. Several cities are participating.
Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Gilmore noted that Lewisville’s 2025 Plan kick-off is Tuesday night at Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 4-8 p.m.
Councilman Ferguson urged residents to bring a lawnchair Tuesday night for the Downtown Fever concert right after that event at the MCL Grand. Leave it in your car until the concert. He also noted that on Friday nights, Visual Art League has acoustic jam sessions in the MCL Grand’s art gallery. There is a Dan Lattimore solo exhibit in the gallery. Asked about the Chalk This Way arts festival by Councilman Tierney, Ferguson said it “was awesome”. Ferguson said it was a good turnout, and that the brief rain did not hurt the artwork, and that vendors and the public seemed to be happy.
Mayor Ueckert once again thanked the softball team for representing our city so wonderfully.
The Lewisville Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a person who robbed the Bank of the West at 329 West Main Street on Friday, May 31.
The unknown suspect entered the bank at approximately 10:00 a.m., displayed a note and demanded cash. The suspect fled the bank in an unknown direction.
Detectives believe the suspect is a black male, 5’00”-5’02”, slim-medium build, with a dark complexion. He was wearing large sunglasses, jeans, and a long-sleeve button up shirt. Please note the unique markings on his cap.
Anyone with any information on this robbery should contact the Lewisville Police Department at 972-219-TIPS (8477) or Denton County Crime Stoppers at 800-388-TIPS (8477).
We're told that yesterday's Chalk This Way art festival in Old Town Lewisville may have had as many as 1,200 visitors over the course of yesterday, which is good for any event's first-year attendance - especially on a day where there were weather concerns. Here are some photos:
The Lewisville High School Lady Farmers Softball team has just won the state 5A championship in softball, with a 3-2 win over Kingwood.
It was an exciting game to watch. We'll link to the sportswriters' coverage of this as soon as we can, but I wanted our readers to know that parents and community members are planning an impromptu heroes welcome for the girls tonight as they roll back into town sometime around midnight to 1 a.m.
Update: 6/2/2013 - 2:18 a.m.:Lewisville, you are awesome! That is how a city welcomes home champions. We estimate that some 300-500 people lined up in the street for a grand welcome home for Farmer Softball at 1:30 in the morning. We have the video, and we'll try to get that posted this morning.
Update: 6/2/2013 - 4:32 a.m.: Here's the video from earlier this morning:
Well, it's been awhile since the last update post, and as I sit here looking at the links I had been gathering, it's clear that some of them have aged a bit. In all honesty, I've been just a little burned out on everything lately. Maybe it's the job, or maybe it's that elections wear me out. Maybe it's something else. It took awhile to for me to realize that I have been procrastinating from writing here. How silly is that, procrastinating from something I do because I love it?
It's frustrating because I think there are a lot of stories here in our fair city that need to be told, and believing in our mission of filling in the gaps and adding some depth to the discussion, it's hard to just sit back and let myself rest. In reality, even though I've been lax in posting the past couple weeks, and tried to give myself permission not to worry about it, it's been this constant nagging voice in my head about all the posts I've started to write, but not finished, or the ones I said I would write, but haven't started. And I even have a couple of videos I still need to finish. Writer's block - burnout - giveadamnbusted - whatever you want to call it, the longer it lasts, the more paranoid I am that it will stick, and that I'll just end up saying "screw it". After 9 years of doing this site, it's not going to end that way. So help me God.
So, that being said, I'm asking once again for help. If you would like to write for the Lewisville Texan Journal, all we can pay you is our attention and gratitude. Email email@example.com with your ideas. If you can write, but don't know what to write about, I've always got a ton of things that need looking into.
Events: The Lewisville High School Farmer Softball Team, if you're not aware, has been kicking serious butt this year, and will be playing in the state semi-finals Friday at 6 p.m. The event will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest. We wish the girls good luck in their game against San Benito. We hope our readers will all take a moment to visit their Facebook Page and offer some encouragement.
Saturday is the "Chalk This Way" arts festival in Old Town Lewisville. Festival hours will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Planned activities include professional chalk artists, amateur sidewalk chalk competitions, a children’s gallery for on-site chalk creations, arts and crafts vendors, festival food, sidewalk games, and live entertainment. Entry to the festival is free, although participating in some activities will carry a nominal charge.
“Chalk This Way” has been held the past two years in The Colony and has drawn crowds in excess of 2,000 people each year. Event organizers believe the new location and expanded marketing efforts will help draw an even larger crowd in 2013.
Durham SCHOOL SERVICES & B.A.D.D. Ministry are doing a "Toys for Moore OK " Drive to benefit the children affected by the Moore, Oklahoma tornado. New & "gently used" toys are being collected through Thursday June 6th at Durham School Services, 601 Purnell St., Lewisville. Organizers hope to fill two buses. For more information, contact T-Ronn Hicks at 214-815-5292.
Lewisville turns 100 in 12 short years. Do you know what you'll be doing when you're 100? As a city we have to plan for that future and it starts with the upcoming 2025 plan.
Tuesday, June 4th at the MCL Grand Theater in Old Town there will be an Open House from 4-6 and Interactive Presentations from 6-8 regarding the 2025 plan and how you can participate. Right after the event you can stay and enjoy the first of our Sounds of Lewisville Summer Concert Series being kicked off by Family Favorite Downtown Fever.
Education Notes Dallas Morning News has a story about Lewisville ISD moving to 9-week grading periods. The Strategic Design Team was briefed about this a few weeks ago, and what we were told was that teachers thought it would be helpful. I'm supportive of that. What is even more exciting to me is the prospect of phasing out number and letter grades in favor of a system called Standards-Based Grading that will actually provide more information about the actual learning the student has done, and what they have mastered as well as what they are having trouble with. Numeric grades are an indication of how kids are doing, but they have been worshipped as if they mean everything. They don't.
What number grades show is fairly arbitrary if you really think about it. They are an average of a bunch of snapshots of what a student could do at a given point in time. So if a student had started a grading period and missed an important point in their math class, they might have had trouble doing that specific type of operation as well as others in the unit that depend on that knowledge. They could go along for weeks just a bit behind, making poor grades, then suddenly "get it" at the end of the semester and be able to do the work just as well as their cohort. So their grading period average would be low on the report card, but not really tell you anything about what they ended up with. The student is penalized for being slow to catch on, but really all we care about is that they finally did understand it. Conversely, folks like me were always good at cramming, and I could do quite well on tests, even without having a deep mastery of the material.
I'm in favor of any system that will let professional teachers use more intuition about how their students are doing, and that will assess students in a way that is less about ranking students, or labeling them, but more about cluing the student and their parents in on what they need to do to master the subject and move on.
It will take years to phase in standards-based grading in LISD, but I think it is worth it.
LISD held an online Town Hall this week. You can watch the video if you want. Really, there wasn't much new ground covered, and they pretty much avoided anything that would be of any controversy. There wasn't much depth.
In women's roller derby action Saturday night in Denton, the Main Street Mafia defeated last year's champs, the Muertas Locas 166-155 in a very close bout. Going into this bout, the undefeated Mafia was assured a spot in the league championship game, but it was do-or-die for the Muertas, whose 1-2 record meant they had to win for a chance at the number two spot in the league championship game.
In the second bout of the evening's double-header, the Trauma Queens defeated the Elm Street Nightmares 156-135. This puts both teams in a tie for second place in the league, each with a 2-2 record. They will go for a rematch on June 29th to determine who plays the Mafia in the July 27th league championship bout.
Pictured in the Photo from left to right: Alex Buck, Rotary Club President; Victoria Bartlett, Student of the Month; Ms. Teresa Wells, LHS Asst. Principal, and Keith Long(Submitted Photo)
Victoria Bartlett, the daughter of Jeffrey and Allison Barlett, is Lewisville Rotary’s Student of the Month for May 2013. She entered the LISD system in 3rd grade at Degan Elementary and attended Huffines Middle School and LHS Killough before moving to the LHS Main campus. Victoria has been a member of the band for 4 years and currently holds the position of Cymbal Captain. Victoria is also a member of the following clubs: German Club member for 3 years and has held the positions of Secretary, Vice President and is the current club President; Delta Epsilon (German National Honor Society) member for the past 2 years and currently serves as Vice President; and a National Honor Society member for the past 3 years.
Victoria is not only in the top 10% of her graduation class but is ranked number 20 among over 900 graduating seniors at Lewisville High School. In her spare time, Victoria is active in her youth group at Northview Baptist Church in Lewisville.
Victoria received the $500 Jared Louis Crane Memorial Scholarship and a $1,500 Top Ten Percent Scholarship to attend Texas A&M at Galveston this fall. Her major is in ‘Ocean and Coastal Resources’ which should help her achieve her goal of becoming an Environmental Consultant to oil companies with off-shore oil drilling rigs in her effort to make off-shore drilling more efficient and environmentally friendly. Congratulations to Victoria and her parents on this accomplishment!
Atlanta wasn't an isolated incident. Neither was El Paso, or Washington, DC, or Columbus. A new General Accounting Office report demonstrates that cheating by school officials on standardized tests has become commonplace despite the use of security measures the report recommends. The only solution is one that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has so far refused—removing the high stakes attached to standardized testing.
The latest embarrassment is in Columbus, where this month Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost seized records at 20 high schools. This is part of a two-year-old investigation into "scrubbing" 2.8 million attendance records of students who failed tests. Yost has recently widened his investigation to look into whether school administrators also changed grades to boost graduation rates.
A GOA report released on May 16 recommends adopting "leading practices to prevent test irregularities." However, the report reveals that every state and the District of Columbia already use at least some of the recommended best practices, and that didn't stop test cheating in 33 states in the last two school years. And states where the worst offenses are occurring already have adopted most of the practices identified in the report, making it unlikely that greater security will improve test integrity.
Ohio employs five of the nine security plans recommended by the GOA report. Atlanta, where the superintendent and 34 other educators were recently indicted for changing test answers, has adopted eight of nine security practices, as has Texas, where the former El Paso superintendent is now in federal prison for a scheme to encourage low-performing students to drop out. And Washington, D.C., where 191 teachers at 70 schools were implicated in a rash of wrong-to-right erasure marks on tests, uses every single security measure.
Memorial Day is a time to remember the fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Republic. It should be more meaningful than just a time for mattress sales and barbecuing.
We've made a yearly habit of making a personal observance at the Veterans Memorial in front of Lewisville City Hall. Again this year, we would like to invite anyone who is interested to join us at 8:00 a.m. Monday morning, May 27th.
There's no agenda, and nothing formal about it. We'll just gather around for some silent prayer and reflection, and if anyone would like to say a quick prayer or few words in gratitude to the fallen, or offer any thoughts, they're welcome to do so. But this is not about speeches, and there is nothing political about it. It's just fellow Americans taking some time to stand together in unity and honor those who have given their lives for us.
Where: In front of Lewisville City Hall, 151 West Church Street by the Veterans Memorial When: Monday, May 27th, 8:00 a.m. (Stay as long as you want; I'll probably leave by 8:30) Who: Anyone is invited. What: Informal remembrance of our veterans who have died in service of our country.