Once again, The Lewisville High School Student Council is seeking donations for its “Angel Tree” program. Now in its 11th year, the program helps to fulfill the holiday wish lists of local children in need. Counselors within schools throughout the Lewisville High School feeder pattern discreetly identify children who are in need, and are not receiving help from other organizations like Christian Community Action, or the Marine Corps Reserve’s “Toys for Tots” program. LHS Student Activities Director Allison Stamey then compiles an anonymized, coded list of the kids and the gift items they need. Community members then look at the list and choose an “Angel” to adopt for the season.
Here are some examples of children who need help:
Central Elementary School - Female - Age 7: Bicycle, other age appropriate toys . CLOTHING: Pant size 7/8, shirt size 7/8, coat size 7/8, underwear size 8, dress size 7/8
Degan Elementary School - Male - Age 6: Dinosaurs, cars, legos, drawing, and coloring supplies . CLOTHING: Pant size 6/7, shirt size M, Shoe size 13.5, coat size M
Durham Middle School - Female - Age 13: Skyrim game, headphones, nano block building statue of liberty . CLOTHING: Pant size 7, shirt size M, shoe size 8.5, coat size M, underwear size 7, dress size M
Huffines Middle School - Male - Age 13: Football, basketball, game stop gift card . CLOTHING: Pant size 34X30, shirt size L, shoe size 10, coat size L, underwear size M
Lewisville High School - Female - Age 17: Needs food card . CLOTHING: Pant size 5, shirt size M, shoe size 6, coat size L, underwear size 34B, dress size M
Lewisville High School - Male - Age 15: Basketball, Football. Gift card for clothing and food.
The Lewisville Police Department has released information from the following incidents which occurred in the past week:
Deadly Conduct Under Investigation On Thursday, November 7th, at approximately 11:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to an apartment complex in the 1000 block of Valley Ridge regarding gunshots. Officers arrived and contacted witnesses who reported that multiple shots had been fired. At least two bullets passed through the bedroom windows of two different apartments. People were inside of both apartments at the time the shots were fired. This deadly conduct incident remains under investigation.
Convenience Stores Robbed On Saturday, November 9th, at approximately 9:00 p.m., officers were dispatched to a convenience store in the 600 block of Fox Avenue regarding an aggravated robbery. The employee stated that a male came into the store wearing a Halloween mask. The suspect displayed a handgun and demanded money and cigarettes. The employee complied with the suspect’s demands and the suspect fled from the store. Responding officers were unable to locate the suspect.
A short time later, officers were dispatched to another store that was about a block away from the convenience store. An employee there reported that he was robbed at gunpoint. The suspect was wearing a Halloween mask similar to the one worn during the earlier robbery. This suspect, too, demanded money from the register and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money. Both of these aggravated robberies are under investigation.
Shots Fired During Disturbance On Sunday, November 10th, at approximately 1:15 a.m., officers were dispatched on a “disturbance” call that involved gunshots. The disturbance spilled out into the parking lot of the business in the 1400 block of South State Highway 121 (Business). Occupants of one car reportedly shot at the occupants of another car. As officers arrived on the scene, witnesses pointed out the suspect vehicle as it was attempting to leave the area. Officers Kevin Tice, David Nicaud, and Neal Merchant stopped the suspect vehicle a short distance away. The occupants were detained and their vehicle was searched. Officers did locate a handgun in the vehicle. All of the occupants were eventually arrested for outstanding warrants. One of the occupants of the car, a 19 year-old male from Dallas, was also charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. No one was injured during this incident.
Police Arrest Suspect Following Theft of Ferraris During the first week of November, two brothers reported that they had both sold their Ferraris to a single suspect. The suspect paid the brothers with a business check. It was later learned that the business checking account had been closed for several years and that it did not even belong to the suspect. The case was assigned to Detective Jeff Darlington for investigation. Darlington tracked down the suspect and arrested him for theft over $100,000. Additionally, both Ferraris have been recovered.
Today is the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, which was founded at Tun Tavern on 10 November, 1775. Here is a message from General James F. Amos, and Sergeant Major P. Michael Barrett - Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.
Happy Birthday, Marines! I will be hosting a small get-together for Marines tonight at 7 p.m. at my home in Lewisville, where we'll have birthday cake, cigars, and port wine. (And some other non-traditional stuff). Email me @ email@example.com or text me at 214-280-6439 for the address if you would like to join us.
For some reason a bunch of tarantulas were released at LLELA - just South of the Lewisville dam. *Shudder* I do not want to see them. I will make the tarantulas a deal: They stay out of my sight, and don’t drop on me when I’m walking out there, and I will leave them alone. If one gets on me, I cannot control what I might do.
America’s least favorite neighbors: renters. I know this has been the case in Lewisville, and I keep hearing it from people who think the city should just “stop building apartments”. Look, first, the city doesn’t build apartments. We can’t stop people from building them on land that is already zoned for multi-family, either. We can’t just yank zoning out from under land owners either. I don’t believe that apartments have to mean “ghetto”. And I don’t think we ought to be prejudiced against people who live in them. Not everyone is ready for home ownership, or in the financial position to do so. It doesn’t mean they can’t be invested in the community, and it doesn’t mean they are less of a citizen. I love this community, and am sometimes frustrated with the fact that a large proportion of our population is transient. But I don’t think the solution is to hate on apartment dwellers. We need to engage them.
Writing for free is mostly what we do here at the Lewisville Texan Journal. It’s not because we don’t value the work; it’s just that advertising and the donations we get do not provide enough to pay people for their time. I’m always thankful for the volunteers here. I thought I’d share this article from someone who doesn’t mind writing for free.
Texas Education Agency released final ratings this week for the state’s public and charter schools. Of the state’s public school districts, 4.5% were classified as “Improvement Required”, while 14.9% of charter schools needed improvement. Lewisville schools did pretty well for the most part. We hope to post a separate article on this soon, with links to each school’s results.
A Doctor’s lawsuit alleging that his rights were being violated because a Pennsylvania law prevented him from discussing the dangers of fracking fluid with is patients, (by requiring a non-disclosure agreement if the contents of fluids were disclosed to him), was thrown out for lack of standing. He never actually treated a patient where he received information he was not allowed to share, so the alleged injury was deemed conjectural.
Local restaurants sampling their fare in "Taste of Lewisville"
This Saturday, November 9th, from 10 a.m to 3 p.m., the Lewisville Area Chamber of Commerce will host its 6th annual Community Showcase event. Hosted at the Lewisville High School Ben Harmon Campus at 1250 W. Round Grove Road, the free, family-friendly event will feature booths from local businesses showing off their products and services, as well as a "Taste of Lewisville" put on by local restaurants.
Restaurants offering samples of their food include Canes, Hooters, Johnny Carino's, Kristi G's Cupcakes, Las Tortugas, Priceless Caterings, Savanna Café & Bakery, Seven Loaves Catering, Smokin' J's BBQ, and Tierney's Café & Tavern.
Medical Center of Lewisville will host a health fair at the event. A list of vendors with booths at the event is here.
What: 6th Annual Lewisville Community Showcase Where: Lewisville High School Harmon Campus - 1250 W. Round Grove Road [Map] When: Saturday, November 9th, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Who: General public invited Cost: FREE.
2012: LTJ Clean Stream Team members loaded a pickup truck with garbage pulled from a 1,000 foot section of Fox Creek in Lewisville. The team consisted of Steve and Seth Southwell, Jennifer, Tim, and Tory Lane, Todd and Zak Simpson, Jennifer and Alex Linde, David Taylor and family, and Karla and David Scott.(Photo by Karla Scott)
Hoping to raise awareness and appreciation of the Trinity River, Lewisville Lake, and their respective shorelines, Keep Lewisville Beautiful (KLB), the City of Lewisville, LLELA, and Kayak Power are teaming up to host KLB’s 22nd annual Trinity Trash Bash (TTB) waterway clean up.
As part of a regional effort, KLB’s TTB will be held on Saturday, November 16th from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at the Lake Park catfish picnic area.
Many volunteer opportunities are available, including shoreline clean ups, creek clean ups, and a guided kayak cleanup of the Trinity River.
KLB is currently looking for both volunteers and sponsors for this event. All individuals and groups are welcome to join in the effort. Please note that kayak space is limited and reserved for volunteers 14yrs+ on a first come, first serve basis. Youth 13 and under are still encouraged to participate, with many other clean up locations to choose from along shorelines and in creeks.
Groups will be assigned locations and supplies to clean on the day of the event. All cleanup materials will be provided by KLB. Shirts, door prizes, and goodie bags will be given away to volunteers after the cleanup. Please wear long sleeves, pants, and sturdy tennis or hiking shoes.
In addition to the cleanup, a waterway educational expo has been added to the event with information about water safety and waterway education from various community organizations and businesses, include the City of Lewisville environmental programs office.
Voters went to the polls Tuesday to decide on state constitutional matters as well as several local issues. Here are the final unofficial tallies.
In Lewisville ISD, voters chose Angie Cox as the new trustee to take the place 3 seat vacated this summer by Mark Welding. With 44.66% of the vote, Cox has the plurality, and school board races do not have runoffs.
This precinct map from Denton County Elections shows the story on the school board races: The green shaded precincts on the West side are mostly Flower Mound and Highland Village, and show where Cox won. Shoven won the teal-colored precincts in the central zone around Lewisville, but only came up with 26.21% of the vote. Flower Mound, at less than half the population size of Lewisville had 4,343 voters, while Lewisville only had 2,694 - well below the turnout expected for a local option election.
Lewisville voters said YES to liquor sales with a solid 63.66% FOR and 36.34% against. Only one precinct rejected the measure, with precinct 3018 going against by three votes.
Only 2,694 voters turned out to vote on this measure, compared to 1,708 in this past May's City Council place 4 race. In 2005, when Lewisville first went wet for beer and wine sales, voters turned out to support that by 4,222 to 2,766. Tuesday's turnout was only about 39% of that number. In fact, the petition that put the liquor option on the ballot had 4,542 signatures, but only 1,715 voters turned out to actually vote for the proposition - meaning that only 38% could be bothered to go to the polls.
The votes that the measure did receive were costly for the sponsors, Fine Wines and Spirits of North Texas, LLC, which put up $80,000. All of that was paid to The Eppstein Group for consulting fees, according to documents filed so far by "Lewisville Citizens for Jobs". That number could increase, if expenses were incurred after eight days prior to the election. That amounts to an incredible $46.65 per vote!
In Flower Mound, voters turned out to support a Public Improvement District or PID for the Riverwalk development, which passed with 73.06% of the vote. A PID is a taxing overlay district that can borrow money for public improvements, and levy a special property tax to the owners within the boundaries to pay it back. PID debt is not a debt of the taxpayers of Flower Mound, but the Town Charter required an election any time a PID is to be created.
The Dallas Observer reported today that a local area Mom's group called the "Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas" tried to make a sizable donation to the Denton County Children's Advocacy Center, but was refused "due to the conservative nature of our organization".
We contacted Children's Advocacy Center Executive Director Dan Leal today to inquire about the rejection, and what the group meant by "conservative", and got this response:
"The Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County appreciated the generous offer made by the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas organization; however, the money was raised with a pin up calendar that could be perceived by some as sexual in nature and our Children's Advocacy Center's mission is to provide justice and healing for children who are the victims of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, we could not accept the proceeds of this pin up calendar's sales because of the calendar's possible perception, and not the hard working mothers who sponsored it."
What do you think? Has CACDC just hurt its cause by making a giant leap from "pin-up" to "sexual"? Why are pictures of women being themselves considered sexual? How does this even have anything to do with victimizing children?
Mayor Dean Ueckert presents a proclamation honoring the Salvation Army(Photo via City of Lewisville)
By Steve Southwell and Raymond Daniels
The Lewisville City Council met in its regular scheduled meeting Monday night, November 4th, 2013. The agenda for this meeting may be found here. These are our unofficial (and sometimes rough) notes on the proceedings. Minutes are generally posted by the City Secretary after the following meeting.
Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign kick off, funding for I-35 expansion, sign variance for Medical Center of Lewisville approved.
In workshop session before the regular session, in addition to going over regular agenda items, the City Council heard a presentation from the Youth Target Foundation to use city park land near Toyota of Lewisville Railroad Park to build and operate a trap, skeet, and archery training center. The Lewisville Texan Journal hopes to be able to provide a separate story about this proposal soon.
Regular Session Special Visitors / Proclamations / Presentations Mayor Ueckert declared November 16, 2013 as the official kick off for the Salvation Army of Lewisville Red Kettle Campaign the Mayor rang the bell, and people from the dais and the gallery came up with money to shove into the kettle.
Jeff Pelletier received several awards for serving as a member of the charter review committee, and a corridor advisory committee, the tax increment zone committee, and the park board. Mayor Ueckert also presented a certificate of merit to John Gorena for the Lewisville Parks and Library Corporation, and received a certificate from the Lewisville local government corporation.
No one wished to speak at the visitors/citizens forum.
Consent Agenda - Items 1 - 8: These items passed unanimously: Item #2: $2 million for the City of Lewisville’s share of I-35 Development with regards to the improvement of the FM 407 interchange.
Item #3: $1.5 million from the Utility Fund Reserves for the relocation and improvement of certain utilities crossing under I-35, including water and sewer lines and size upgrades.
Item #4: $65,705 for ADA renovations to Central Park.
Item #5: $60,960 from 4B (1/4 cent sales tax) fund for turf replacement, accessible walkways, and parking improvements at Lake Park.
Regular Agenda Items
Item #9: Consideration of a Variance to the Lewisville City Code, Section 9.5- 207 (b) Sign Requirements - Lighting, for Two Wall Signs Located at 475 Elm Street, as Requested by Accent Graphics Representing the Property Owner, the Medical Center of Lewisville.- Stephen Morris and Gary Collins spoke in favor of this item.
Current signage is already lit, says Morris. Senior citizens will use the building, and they need signage. Mayor Pro-Tem Vaughn supported this item due to making it easier for the elderly to have easier access.
Councilman Ferguson stated particular building is not on Main Street and faces south, so it is really on the periphery of Old Town. He stated that he would normally side with OTDC, but this time it’s the right thing. Might feel differently if it were facing Main Street. Passed unanimously.
Item #10: Consideration of the Cluster Grouping for the Regional Transportation Council.
The cities of Lewisville, The Colony and Roanoke, and the Towns of Flower Mound and Trophy Club are currently grouped together. Durham explains there are 43 total spots on the board. RTC is trying to rearrange seats to ensure proportional representation. Durham moved to direct staff to urge the RTC to cluster Lewisville more with cities that share the same transportation needs. Passed unanimously.
The Council then decided to skip past item 11, due to consultant who was presenting running late. They then went onto reports than closed session.
Reports: None from staff Deputy Mayor Pro-Tem Gilmore: Chamber has 6th annual community showcase this Saturday at LHS Harmon Campus. Councilman Ferguson: Reminder to vote Tuesday. Fire Chief Tittle is doing well (after being hospitalized for a serious illness) Visual Art League - Acoustic Fridays Cowboy Culture exhibit still open through November 9th Lake Cities Ballet - the Nutcracker will be at Marcus High School Vaughn: Keep Lewisville Beautiful will hold the Trinity Trash Bash on November 16th at Lake Park - 8 - 11. Studio Movie Grill is selling tickets through KLB for $9.50 - 50% proceeds go to KLB.
Council convened in closed session to discuss the Camelot Landfill lawsuit and some real estate acquisition issues.
Following that, the council heard a presentation from Catalyst Commercial - the consulting firm that has been examining retail prospects in the Old Town sector.
LTJ will post the video of the meeting when it becomes available.
Tuesday is Election Day. Voters who vote on election day must vote only at their assigned precinct location. Precinct numbers are printed on your voter card, but if you are unsure, you can click the link above to check your registration and get your exact polling location. Beginning with this election, you must have a valid government-issued photo ID acceptable to the State of Texas, such as a drivers licence, military ID, passport, Texas ID or CHL. If you don't have the ID available, you may still be able to cast a provisional ballot, and come back with your ID after the election.
Hours Election Day hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
On The Ballot Various issues are on the ballot for various municipalities, but in Lewisville, residents will vote on the following:
Lewisville Local Option Liquor Election: Residents will vote on a proposition to allow the sale of liquor for off-premise consumption. A "For" vote would be to allow stores to sell liquor in accordance with state law. Read more...
Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees - Place 3 The place 3 board seat was vacated this summer, and has 2 1/2 years remaining on the term. This special election is to fill the position.
Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said you're either "moving forward with courageous reforms" and "piloting new and better assessments" (the graduate school term for "standardized tests"), or you're one of the "arm chair pundits who insist our efforts are doomed to fail." Duncan exposed his own fallacy when he said, "Many people in the real world, outside the beltway and blogosphere, have tuned out this debate." Actually, the opposite is true. In the birthplace of the legislative dumpster fire known as No Child Left Behind, most Texans are lining up against test-driven reforms.
Pressured by local school boards, parents, and superintendents, the Texas legislature rolled back the number of tests required to graduate from high school from 15 to 5. Lawmakers even made it illegal for testing lobbyists to give them campaign contributions, a rare move in a state notably hostile to limits on lobbying, business or campaign contributions.
The only thing wrong with these limits on testing, say Texans in a recent poll, is that they didn't go far enough. The Texas Lyceum polled 1,000 adults and found only 14 percent preferred the status quo. Slightly more (17 percent) liked the recent changes. The shock of the poll is that 56 percent of Texans wanted either to get rid of standardized tests entirely because they encourage "teaching to the test" or leave accountability standards up to local school boards.
That's a lot of armchair pundits.
Texas hasn't gone soft. As a parent of two sons in public school, I can vouch that we all still want our kids to get good grades so they can go to good colleges. But the tests, which were promised to bring improvements, are increasingly impediments to education.