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Recent News and Opinion
2014/8/20 - Neighborhood Gets Help from LISD and Police on Litter, Crime Problem
2014/8/20 - Letters: Freed Should Be Considered Innocent
2014/8/17 - Sunday Evening Update - End of Summer Vacation Edition
2014/8/17 - Pictures of Local High Water
2014/8/17 - Lewisville to Spray for Mosquitoes Monday and Tuesday
2014/8/16 - Flower Mound Presbyterian Church Celebrates 160 Years with Homecoming
2014/8/8 - Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft
2014/8/6 - Lewisville Lake and Drought Update
2014/8/5 - Saturday, August 9th: Lewisville Police Day - PD Hosts Anniversar...
2014/8/5 - Kidnapping Suspects Arrested; Police Dog Finds Fugitive
2014/8/2 - Movie review: "Boyhood"
2014/7/22 - Lewisville Loses Appeal on Sex Offender Ordinance
2014/7/20 - Monday Morning Update
2014/7/20 - Take the Win in Iran
2014/7/19 - Combating Post-Traumatic Stress Event in Denton Saturday
2014/7/14 - Lewisville City Council Adopts Vision 2025 Plan
2014/7/6 - Photos from Lake Park on Independence Day
2014/7/6 - Updated: Council to Consider School Zones for LHS Campuses on Main...
2014/7/6 - Sunday Morning Update - Independence Day Weekend Edition
2014/7/5 - Local Groups Organizing Toiletry Drive for Unaccompanied Minor Imm...
2014/7/3 - Area Independence Day Celebrations and Fireworks
2014/6/30 - Movie Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction
2014/6/29 - Sunday Afternoon Update - Half-Way Through 2014 Edition
2014/6/25 - Updated: DCTA A-Train Tracks Damaged by Floods, Repaired Already
2014/6/24 - Police Arrest Serial Robber
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Area Independence Day Celebrations and Fireworks

Lewisville Area Calendar and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/7/3 11:00:00 (1094 reads)

Open in new windowHere is a listing of the various local fireworks displays around Lewisville for the July 4th Independence Day celebrations:

City of Lewisville: The annual "Red White & Lewisville" 9:30 p.m. just South of Vista Ridge Mall. Best viewing location: Mall parking lot, Convergence office park lot

Town of Flower Mound: Flower Mound hosts its annual "Independence Fest" at Bakersfield Park (Duncan Lane, South of FM 3040) with free admission to the public beginning at 5 p.m. The festival has numerous attractions including a children's parade, car show, free Kid's Zone, and concerts by Back in Black and KANSAS (Yes, that KANSAS). Fireworks begin right after the concert at about 9:45 p.m. Best viewing location: Lewisville High School Ben Harmon Campus parking lot on F.M. 3040, or on the festival grounds itself.

Grapevine: This 25 minute show begins at 9:30 p.m. and is syncronized to an MP3 music file that you can download. The show can be viewed from the rooftop of the parking garage at the Gaylord, but can also be viewed from various parks around town. There are $5-$10 charges for parking.

The Colony: Liberty by The Lake festival lasts all day, but fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Fireworks are choreographed to music on 99.9 FM. Best viewing location is Stewart Creek Park.

Lake Cities: The Lake Cities 4th of July Celebration, put on by Corinth, Lake Dallas, Hickory Creek and Shady Shores. The free event at Lake Dallas' City Park will include a concert by Eleven Hundred Springs at 7 p.m. to be followed by fireworks afterward at about 9:15 p.m.

Coppell: The City of Coppell holds its fireworks show on THURSDAY, July 3rd, starting at about 9:40 p.m.. The 27 minute show is best viewed from Andy Brown Park East, but can also be seen well from Southern Lewisville and other locations in Coppell.

Farmers Branch: Independence Day festivities in Farmers Branch are held THURSDAY, July 3rd at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Admission is free, and gates open at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks begin approximately 9:30 p.m., right after the concert by Groove Knight. Lewisville residents can take the A-Train to DART's Trinity Mills station, then ride to the park on DART light rail.

Carrollton: The City of Carrollton is hosting a 15 minute community fireworks display over Josey Ranch Lake at 1700 Keller Springs Road, at approximately 9:30 p.m.

View 4th of July Fireworks Displays in a larger map

Residents of all North Texas cities are reminded that personal fireworks are illegal in town, and can result in steep fines as well as accidental fires. Pet owners are reminded to ensure that pets are wearing their collars and tags, and are kept indoors after dark, since fireworks are a leading cause of runaway pets on July 4th and New Years.

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Movie Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction

Blogs and Columns
Posted by DougLane on 2014/6/30 14:10:00 (592 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowTransformers: Age of Extinction (June 2014)
Directed by Michael Bay, Written by Ehren Kruger
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer & Stanley Tucci
Rated: PG-13
Review: 1 / 10
Open in new windowBy Doug Lane

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is an experiment in temperament and patience. In Michael Bay’s fourth outing with the series and third with writer Ehren Kruger, the duo once more cram a surprisingly whole lot of nothing into 165 minutes. What the film creates in explosions and action sequences, it forgets in everything else. A talented cast, including Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer, can’t save this insipid script from collapsing onto itself.

It’s hard to describe the plot of this film because it feels like six different movies going on at the same time. Cade Yager (Wahlberg) and his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) discover that the truck they want to scrap and sell for parts is none other than Optimus Prime. But CIA specialist Harold Attinger (Grammer) wants to kill all the Transformers, so they make an agreement with bounty hunter Transformer named Lockdown to hunt them down, while Joshua Joyce (Tucci) wants to melt old Transformers down for he makes a deal with Attinger to give him the scrap Transformers he destroys in exchange for money, which leads back to Yager and company. Then there’s a bunch of running, fighting, screaming, more running, more get the idea. The few plot points and story beats that get sprinkled throughout only confused the already bloated story or detract from the explosions and effects.

This seems to be a consistent problem with this franchise: the movies get longer, the plots get increasingly contrived, confusing, and the tone gets surprisingly grimmer. Remember how silly the first “Transformers” was, but it seemed to recognize that it was a movie about transforming cars, so it didn’t take itself seriously? Sure, there were plenty of flaws, but they were manageable in terms of the entire film.

Sure, one could argue that this film isn’t meant to be taken seriously, that it’s just “fun” and that you shouldn’t try to critique a Transformers film. But that seems to bring up two problems, one being how “fun” is this film? Of course that’s a subjective point, but comparatively speaking, I find Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers” a fun (if silly and ultimately inconsequential) film. That sense of adventure, character and color is completely drained in this film, leaving only a bleak and grim shell of what this movie could be.

But the second problem, and most importantly, is this: how much does one want to turn off their brain in exchange for actual value? Meaning comes from artistic vision, not spectacle. Bay’s movie falls into the latter: a barrage of meaningless images and sounds, hastily put together so that it feels comfortable, but not engaging. It’s a pure economic transaction between producer and consumer with the art completely stripped away. Producer gets a marginal surplus profit, consumer gets a workable product, everyone’s happy, onto the next one.

With “Transformes: Age of Extinction,” the Hollywood capitalistic machine becomes that much stronger, the magic of filmmaking eradicated, ironically reflected in the film’s tone. The question now isn’t how the Transformers films could become better, but how much worse can they become. It seems that while the money rolls in, Michael Bay will continue being Michael Bay; being one of the best businessmen, while being one of the worst artists.

Doug Lane is a Lewisville resident, attending the University of North Texas, where he studies literature. Lane graduated from Lewisville High School, where he wrote movie reviews for the Farmers Harvest
Copyright 2014, Doug Lane - Licensed to the Lewisville Texan Journal

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Sunday Afternoon Update - Half-Way Through 2014 Edition

Blogs and Columns
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/6/29 16:20:00 (1296 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowIn case you haven't noticed, the past few weeks, articles have been sparse here. Honestly, I've had a bit of writer's block. I've got several things I have been working on, and researching, so it's not really a shortage of ideas. Actually, I think it's probably the opposite: being overwhelmed and sometimes not being able to start. I've also been a little stressed out in that I've spent a lot of time at work lately using maximum brainpower, which makes it hard to come home and jump on the computer to do this. It is frustrating, and the kind of thing that forms its own feedback loop that kills motivation. As always, I appreciate all of the volunteer writers I can get here to help us in our mission of filling in the gaps around local coverage. As for me, I don't know what it will take to get over the block, but I need to find something.

Today is June 29th, the 180th day of 2014, which is about half-way through the year. Can you believe half of 2014 is gone already?

Applications are being accepted for Leadership Lewisville - a program of the Lewisville Area Chamber of Commerce.

City of Lewisville’s Horizon Newsletter

My friend Daniel Barnett is the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party’s gun owner caucus, and he and the caucus were featured on this KERA radio report. Texas Democrats are not generally anti-gun. In fact the local Denton County Democratic Party has had shooting events. We do generally support practical and reasonable regulations intended to keep guns out of the hands of bad guys and the mentally ill. Of course, the right-wing noise machine, and the gun rights organizations derive their power from scaring the hell out of people, and continually trying to convince them that someone wants to take their guns away.

In case you hadn’t heard, the State of Texas will soon be getting rid of inspection stickers for passenger vehicles. You’ll still get your vehicle inspected, but your inspection results will be transmitted to the state, and you will not be able to renew your vehicle registration until you have it done.

Mayors see nature as weapon in battle against climate change.

The Frisco City Council considered whether council members need an increase in compensation. Locally, the Lewisville City Council receives $50 per meeting - an amount that probably is below minimum wage, given the number of hours they put in, not just in meetings, but in reviewing agendas, corresponding with constituents, and researching issues. My thought is that in Lewisville, Council compensation ought to be something decided by the citizens as part of a charter election. I will be serving on the Charter Review Board this year, and that is just one of the various issues to look at.

Conservatives and Liberals choose differently when it comes to buying consumer products, according to a study published in the journal Psychological Science. Conservatives favor established brands, while liberals are more likely to go with generic or new brands.

The United Kingdom and Germany are breaking records for solar power generation. On June 9th, Germany generated over half of its electricity demand from solar energy.

A black 2003 Peterbilt 379 show truck with trailer was stolen in Lewisville this week. The truck was a Gold Star Mothers show truck decorated with patriotic graphics honoring fallen soldiers.

The HomeE is a touch-screen device for managing family life that is being developed by Lewisville entrepreneur Mir Ali and his family. It will have calendar and meal planning features, allowing families to securely connect and share information. The Android-based device, still in the design process, will be free to households that request it. The company hopes to find advertisers willing to pay for highly geographically targeted ads on the device. The company is developing mobile apps to let family members interact with the device and its data. If you sign up by June 30th (Monday), you can get a device beginning in January, 2015.

The Dallas Observer says that Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden is alienating voters one Facebook post at a time.

Speaker John Boehner’s attack on President Obama’s executive orders ignores history, says the Washington Post.

Here is a SWAT Team Demonstration by the Lewisville Police Department from 2002, just uploaded to YouTube this past week.

Speaking of SWAT teams, did you see the officer look to see what was in the room before he threw the flash-bang device in? I didn’t either. Here’s the heartbreaking story of a SWAT team who threw one into a baby crib in the middle of the night, looking for a drug suspect who wasn’t there. The child was severely burned, and had a hole blown in his chest that still exposes his ribs. The mother says she was held at gunpoint while her son was screaming, and she could see a pool of blood forming.

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, public SWAT teams operated by law enforcement councils, funded by public tax dollars, have refused open records requests, claiming that they are private corporations. Their officers carry badges and deadly weapons, empowered by the government to arrest or even kill, but they say they are not accountable to the public.

For what it’s worth, I’m not against the concept of SWAT, but I am very concerned about the over-militarization of our police forces. There is a time and place for the use of deadly force by police, such as when someone has taken hostages or is threatening imminent physical harm to another person. But I think that the “war on drugs” has gone too far. As a society, we tell people they shouldn’t do drugs because they are dangerous, but then we lump in harmless substances with the extremely harmful substances, then use our police and courts in a way that is imminently more harmful in many cases than the substances themselves.

Lewisville Police helped bust a Utah school teacher who had allegedly uploaded child pornography. Edward Greene, 54, a 5th grade teacher in Alpine School District, was charged with 10 felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, according to the report.

Here is a nice article about last weekend’s Best Little Brewfest in Texas.

A bicyclist who was the last to see Wesley Hixson before he went missing and was later found dead, has spoken out about the experience. Hixson was 30. The cause of death is still pending toxicology and histology, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

Do-it-yourself abortions are on the rise in Texas.

Don't sneak.

The petition to require all elected officials in Texas to take all of the standardized exams they require of Texas kids has 816 signatures. In one sense, yes - I think this idea has a snowball’s chance, but in another sense, the ridiculousness of the idea of adults taking it to prove themselves does make a broader point. In school, they beat every ounce of creativity out, and replace it with rote memorization of a bunch of facts that stuffed shirts in Austin think are so vitally important to remember, that they are happy to deny a high school diploma to a kid who can’t fit them all in his head. By the time we are adults with our own children, we lose a lot of that shallow knowledge, and couldn’t pass many of these tests, but remain imprinted by being exposed to it. Politicians intuitively know this, but still insist that if we just test more, and raise the stakes by tying it to teacher pay, we could have more “rigor” and these “lazy teachers” would find sufficient motivation to try to get these kids to remember the stuff that we have all forgotten.

Please be safe on the water, and we beg: wear a life jacket!

Chicago Tribute Authority played the Sounds of Lewisville this past Tuesday.

Coming up on Tuesday for this week's Sounds of Lewisville is The Free Loaders - Tuesday, July 1st, 7 p.m. at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater at the corner of Charles and Main Streets.

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Updated: DCTA A-Train Tracks Damaged by Floods, Repaired Already

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/6/25 18:10:00 (682 reads)

Update 6/26/2014 - 8:40 a.m.:
DCTA Spokeswoman Kristina Brevard said that the necessary track repairs were completed last night, and that DCTA trains were running on schedule this morning. Brevard said that the speed restrictions had been lifted and they expect no service delays today.
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This afternoon, flash flooding damaged a portion of Denton County Transit Authority's A-Train track as it runs along Railroad Street, just South of their maintenance and operations center.

DCTA is currently running a bus bridge to transport passengers from Hebron Station to Old Town Station. There is no word at this point how long it will take to restore the tracks. Workers were present and surveying the damage when we were on-site.

As you can see in the photos, flood waters washed over and under the tracks, carrying all of the ballast out into the ditch.

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The National Weather Service rainfall maps show that most of the Lewisville area got between 1 and 2 inches of rain in this afternoon's storm.

We will post more updates when we get them.

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Police Arrest Serial Robber

Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/6/24 21:53:33 (664 reads)

Open in new window
Lewisville Police reported that from April through June of this year, a lone suspect committed ten offenses in Lewisville (seven aggravated robberies of convenience store clerks and one aggravated robbery of an individual). The suspect was also suspected of committing several similar offenses in a neighboring jurisdiction. Patrol officers and detectives were working to identify and locate the suspect during that time frame.

On June 18th, an off-duty peace officer discovered a suspicious person sleeping in a vehicle at an apartment complex. Lewisville officers responded and discovered that the subject had outstanding warrants for disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia. After his arrest for the outstanding warrants, officers located items that seemed to connect the subject to the string of local robberies. Lewisville Detective Scott Kelly looked into the matter further and ultimately developed probable cause to charge the suspect with the crimes. During his interrogation, the suspect confessed to a total of 15 offenses.

Lewisville police have charged 22 year-old Charles Ray, Jr. with seven counts of aggravated robbery, one count of robbery, and one count of theft in connection with the Lewisville offenses. Ray is currently being held on a $210,000 bond. Ray is also expected to be charged in connection with the offenses from the other jurisdiction.

From a submitted report

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Brewfest Photos

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/6/24 20:30:00 (444 reads)

Best Little Brewfest brought in breweries from across Texas and the United States to sample their products for about 4,000 attendees on Saturday, 6/21/2014. Gates were closed with 3,500 attending the Brewfest, and organizers estimate another 500 attended a car show associated with the event. The event was held in Old Town Lewisville by Cloud 9 Charities to raise money for local non-profits, and from the looks of the attendance, we would say it was successful. Attendees each received a tasting glass, and a card that entitled them to 12 samples of their choice from among all of the breweries represented. There was also a car show prior to the event. Two long air-conditioned tents were packed to the seams with vendors and thirsty attendees. Bands entertained the crowds.

We posted these photos from Best Little Brewfest in Texas on our Facebook page Sunday, but wanted to share them here too:

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Monday Night Update - Welcome to Summer Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/6/23 20:53:37 (753 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowWelcome to summer!

Lewisville actually got some rain over the weekend, and on Monday morning, and it was desperately needed. The total rainfall from Sunday was .59 inches, according to the National Weather Service, and early totals from Monday show about .45 inches. So before Monday morning’s gully-washer, we were still over 10 inches of rain shy of where we should be for this time of year. The lake barely budged, even with all the rain, and is sitting at 514 feet even right now - 8 feet low.

Speaking of the lake, we had plans over the weekend to go kayaking on the lake Sunday morning, but the sky had other ideas for us. So we ended up hanging out in the garage all morning, getting some cleaning done. The sky finally did clear up, and we got out on the lake just a little after 3 p.m., and it was really nice. The water was calm, and it was very serene-- until the airplane landed in the water. We heard this noise and looked across the lake to see what I at first thought was a very fast boat. But Fluffy quickly noted that it was an airplane. As far as we could tell, it wasn’t even the type of airplane with pontoons. I couldn’t even see landing gear of any sort. I wish I had my camera out at the time. Anyway, the guy actually lands on the water with the belly of the plane, then accelerates out of view. The whole time I’m seeing this, I’m thinking that we are witnessing a crash landing, and hoping it doesn’t turn out like this one. I'm not sure what the point of that was, other than to take unnecessary risk.

There was another drowning in Lewisville Lake last week. Michael Quach jumped into the water to save his nephew, who was wearing a life jacket, but drifting away from the boat. Quach went under, and never came back up. Please wear a life jacket any time you are in the water. They save lives. It is difficult for us to continue seeing these stories, then see people who let their children swim in the lake without this very basic protection. One thing that we have noticed in swimming areas of other parks, such as Lofers Bend in Lake Whitney, and Westlake Park on Lewisville Lake, are life jacket stations where anyone can just go up and grab one to use while they are out there. Fluffy and I would really like to see this get done at Lewisville Lake, and we are willing to chip in or help build one and stock it if we can get some help from others. Maybe we could even get the City of Lewisville to maintain it.

The big story today was about the missing bicyclist in Flower Mound. Unfortunately, Flower Mound Police report that they have found a body they believe to be Wesley Andrew Hixson, the missing cyclist. The body was found in a ravine Northeast of Twin Coves Marina. His body will be transported to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office to determine the cause of death.

Arrests in Lewisville this past week

Lewisville Morning Rotary has a video advertising their flag program. The group raises money by bringing a flag to your home or place of business on patriotic holidays.

One of the frustrating things about writing your Member of Congress has been the stupid web forms that you have to use, rather than just sending an email. A couple of non-profit organizations have fixed that.

The Leader’s Chris Roark has an article about LISD’s approval of funding to continue the district’s technology initiative.

They can have my guitar when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

But you should need a background check before being allowed to operate one of these.

Denton County Transit Authority is looking for new office space.

Lewisville is still looking for a Poet Laureate. The deadline has been extended until June 30th.

Twitter lets you send messages of 140 characters. Yo just lets you say “yo”. You can’t see me, but I’m rolling my eyes.

The Railroad Commission of Texas, the agency charged with regulating the state’s oil and gas production has barred staff from talking to reporters. That should tell you all you need to know about who they work for, and whether they feel accountable to the citizens.

DHS/I&A assesses that lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States. Information from law enforcement and nongovernmental organizations indicates lone wolves and small terrorist cells have shown intent—and, in some cases, the capability—to commit violent acts.”

The Texas GOP finally released their official platform from the 2014 convention, and it is still just as incoherent and self-conflicted as the draft that we shared last week. If you are a literate adult, and think that you are conservative, you really should give this a read, and see if you can figure out the grade level of the people who wrote it, and think about whether you would like to have this band of idiots actually governing things. These people can’t even spell right, or use the right words for things. Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri at least spoke out against the “reparative therapy” for gays plank.

As another example of their conflicting planks, note that the GOP pays lip service to “local control” for school districts - as long as the GOP-controlled state government has total control over that local control. They also hate unfunded mandates, except the things they want to mandate, like textbook approval

Local Control for Education- We support school choice and believe that quality education is best achieved by encouraging parental involvement, protecting parental rights, and maximizing local independent school district control. District superintendents and their employees should be made solely accountable to their locally elected boards...

Textbook Approval- The Texas Education Code (TEC) must be amended to empower the SBOE to require each ISD that adopts non-state approved instructional materials to conform to the state approval process to protect citizens’ right to petition, correct factual errors, prevent corruption and fulfill legislative intent in the TEC. Local ISD boards must hold public hearings on such materials. Parents should have access to review classroom materials upon request.

Unfunded Mandates- We oppose all unfunded mandates by the federal, state, and local governments. Amend the Texas Constitution and statute to restrict the power of the legislature to impose unfunded mandates on local governments.

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Lewisville Prepares for Once-a-Week Trash Pickup

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2014/6/21 11:40:00 (704 reads)

Open in new windowWaste Management, Lewisville's contracted trash hauler, released a map this week of what the new trash pickup days will be for various parts of the city when the new once-a-week pickup goes in to effect. You can view the larger version of the map by clicking the image to the right.

In March, the Lewisville City Council renewed the contract with Waste Management, moving from our current twice-a-week pickup schedule to a once-a-week schedule using carts provided by Waste Management.

The new routes begin Monday, August 4th. Waste Management will deliver the new carts the week of July 21st and pick up the old recycling carts on the week of July 28th.

For more information, see our previous article, or visit the City of Lewisville Website.

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Saturday Afternoon Update

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/6/14 17:30:00 (1955 reads)

Open in new windowThe Lewisville High School family was shocked and saddened Friday to learn of the sudden and unexpected passing of a teacher who was adored by many, and deeply involved in the community. Darren Ryan was a teacher, and Social Studies Department Chairman at Lewisville High School for 22 years. Ryan graduated from Lewisville High School in 1983. Ryan played in a band called “The Grenadines”, and loved to teach. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 10:00 am at Trietsch Memorial Church at 6101 Morriss Road in Flower Mound.

LHS activities director Allison Stamey had this to say about Ryan:
“He was an amazing teacher and man. Everyone adored him. I'm sending my thoughts and prayers to his family and wife, Pam. They were a large part of the Lewisville HS activities. He was the junior state of America advisor for years and brought his students on many trips and held many political debates. He was a constant for us. He graduated from LHS in 1983 and loved the farmers with all his heart. He had just worked graduation on Monday night tweeting and posting about it. All who knew him are devastated by his loss. We will miss him every day.”

The Lewisville Texan Journal staff also extend our sympathies to Ryan’s family, friends, and students. A video of Ryan’s band is at the end of this article.

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowLewisville ISD is required under House Bill 5 to submit community-based accountability ratings to the state for all of its campuses for eight areas of concern that are not the standard high-stakes testing numbers. Ratings for Digital Learning Environment and Gifted and Talented were the most likely areas to fall short of the exemplary goal. See how your kids’ campus did.

DFW National Cemetery aerial flyover.

Best Little Brewfest in Texas is this coming Saturday to Old Town, Lewisville.

LISD posted season ticket information for the 2014 Football season. For Lewisville High School games, the cost is $41 for 5 home games plus the Battle of the Axe. Ticket sales begin July 7th for current season ticket holders, and July 14th for the general public.

The third annual Lewisville Hey! Day will take place Friday, Aug. 15 from 6-9 p.m. at Lewisville High School’s Max Goldsmith Stadium. The event is a welcome-back to all students who go to schools within the Lewisville High School feeder pattern. Suitable for all ages, the event showcases the local schools and their extracurricular programs, and connects students and parents to resources.

- Hey! Day Twitter: @Farmer_Hey_Day
- Hey! Day Hashtag: #HeyDay14
- Hey! Day Facebook
- Photos from last year

Lewisville ISD posted a demographic summary for the first quarter of 2014. Housing starts and closings are strongest in the Castle Hills area. The report also provides some interesting ecomonic data.

The Lewisville City Council recently renamed what had been College Street Park to “Wayne Frady Park”, honoring a lifelong Lewisville resident.

Navy Seaman Apprentice David R. King, son of Marty E. Kennedy of Tyler, Texas and Cathy E. King. Of Lewisville, Texas, was recently promoted to his current rank upon graduation from U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill. King received the early promotion for outstanding performance during all phases of the training cycle. King is a 2008 graduate of Lewisville High School, Lewisville, Texas.

Army Sgt. Andrew W. Peck stood on hallowed ground in Normandy, France, as he and hundreds of other American service members commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy D-Day invasion. Peck is a member of A 307th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., and spent approximately a week in the Normandy region, participating in ceremonies and representing the Americans who fought here 70 years ago. "I'm a proud American and a proud paratrooper. I'm extremely proud and grateful to participate in this jump in honor of those brave men who jumped in 70 years ago. God bless Texas. God bless America and God bless France," Peck said. Peck is the son of Steven and Debbie Peck of Shady Shores, Texas, and is a 2005 graduate of Lewisville High School.

The Lewisville Leader’s Heather Goodwin has a great article about how Lewisville police work to combat crimes against women. If you ever look at our police blotter, you see that there are quite a few arrests on family violence charges. Rape and family violence happen much more than what even gets reported. These are problems that cross all races and socioeconomic levels, as well as both genders. We all need to be aware, and do our part to stop rape and family violence, and to raise our children not to do it.

A Lewisville woman had her phone stolen from a Dallas grocery store, and used an app to track it down and recover it from a nearby neighborhood. Moral of the story: Shop in Lewisville. ;) - nah, just kidding. Police say keep your phone in your pocket.

Here is a nice profile article about 2014 Lewisville High School graduate and all-around impressive young lady, Samantha Martinez.

And here is a nice profile article of City of Lewisville Human Resources Director Melinda Galler, who is an asset to our city and a very nice person.

Lewisville ISD School Board will vote Monday on procurement of $11.7 million in technology as part of continued implementation of its 1:X technology program. On the list are 427 iPad minis, 11,670 iPads, 60 iMacs, 44 MacBook Airs, 4 MacPro servers, 200 Dell Laptops and Desktops, and 9150 Chromebooks. Chris Roark has an article in the Carrollton Leader that provides more detail.

CNN cut its stated number of 74 school shootings since Newtown, to only 15. Apparently, going into a school with the intention of murdering someone there with a gun doesn't actually count as a school shooting. Glad the gun nuts were able to convince CNN that shootings that happen to take place in a school are not necessarily school shootings.

Lewisville Animal Shelter’s pet of the week

Idiotic school administrators being idiotic: Banning sunscreen.

In Texas, we still have a problem with racist elected officials. Connie Trube, a two-term city council member from La Marque advocated “getting those blacks off the school board”. Meanwhile, the Keller ISD trustee we mentioned last week, Lynn Haussmann, has been formally censured for her remarks about a Muslim city council member.

Two Proud Gun Nuts Second-Amendment Each Other To Death In Road Rage Incident

It has been a week already, and the Republican Party of Texas has still yet to publicly post their 2014 platform, (We’d be embarrassed too.) but we did want to share this early draft we found. Not only is it basically a bat-shit crazy caricature of a caricature of what the Republican Party used to be, but it’s fairly incoherent, and self-conflicted - reading a bit like a laundry-list of conspiracy theory and insane ramblings from that weird uncle who always makes for uncomfortable conversation at family reunions. People who consider themselves conservative might want to actually have a read, and ask themselves whether the party is still connected with reality.

Example of two items that are literally 3 paragraphs apart:
Item 1-5: “We decry the appointment of unelected bureaucrats, and we urge Congress to use their constitutional authority to defund and abolish these positions and return authority to duly elected officials, accountable to the electorate...”
Item 1-8: “Expand the Sunset commission to be a majority citizen-led commission on government reform (appointed by Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House)”

How about these items that are literally one paragraph apart:
Item 1-26: “We strongly oppose any constitutional convention to rewrite the United States Constitution. We urge the Legislature to rescind its 1977 call for such a convention...”
Item 1-27: “... We urge the Texas State Legislators to take the lead in calling for an Article V Amending Convention of States for the specific purpose of reigning in the power of the federal government.”

Or two sentences in the same paragraph:
“We support the U.S. maintaining continued control of the internet. We also demand that no American government at any level should have any kind of “kill-switch” capability, either by executive order or by statute.”

Well, which is it? Should the U.S. control the internet or not? Perhaps the terms “U.S.” and “control” do not mean what you think they do.

Further down, the RPT would like juries to have the ability to judge and overturn (or nullify) the law, but want elected judges to exercise restraint. (See sections 1-60 and 1-61)

Lewisville band “The Grenadines” featured the late Darren Ryan :

Comments? - Rating: 8.00 (3 votes) - {$lang_ratethisnews}

Movie review: "The Fault in Our Stars" - 8/10

Blogs and Columns
Posted by DougLane on 2014/6/12 19:00:00 (768 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new window
The Fault in Our Stars (June 2014)
Directed by Josh Boone, Written by
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Starring Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort
Rated: PG-13
Review: 8 / 10
Open in new windowBy Doug Lane

"The Fault in Our Stars" is a movie that, by its own definition, defies conventions; it begins by narrating (or outright demanding) to the audience that this isn’t a happy or traditional love story. And while the film does willingly fall into these conventional trappings it fights so hard against, it doesn’t make the journey any less worthy.

To say this film has a plot would be an overstatement, but what this film does have is actors digging deep to find what a life shaped by death would be like. Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus “Gus” (Ansel Elgort) are terminally-ill cancer patients struggling to find meaning before their life becomes inevitably cut short. Hazel recludes herself to a life of reality shows and chemotherapy, wishing her life was as glamorous as the ones on television. So of course when she meets hunky bombastic Gus, making glamourous speeches about oblivion and being remembered, she’s instantly attracted.

They seem like a legitimate young couple, not worrying about the future while time seemingly stops between their eyes. She sees the glamour in him, while he sees an audience in her. In a sense, they both find missing meaning within one another: the inevitable future seems to cease and for a moment, it seems that they’ll both make it out of this alright.

Woodley and Elgort’s chemistry oozes, but this is Woodley’s movie more than anyone. Even when the movie descend into campy rom-com territory, Woodley’s Hazel is strong, powerful, but vulnerable. She’s the heart and soul of this movie, radiating from ecstasy to pure heartbreak and back to hopeful again. While Elgort’s acting flaws are more noticeable by comparison, it only detracts in select places.

Some critics have called the third act manipulative, and indeed it is. Director Josh Boone and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500) Days of Summer) are not subtle with their manipulation, nor do they try to be. From an emotional standpoint, it’s perfect: the acting, the soft-beating soundtrack, the close-ups of teary-eyed faces really jam their way right into the heart.

But this also seems to be the movie’s conceit: a movie that claims to be against romantic cinematic conventions falls neatly into them, only slightly altering how we look at them. It’s self-perceived subversion is just that: self-perceived. It doesn’t break any new grounds, but it explores familiar territory well. You feel for Hazel and Gus, you feel their love and their sadness, even though you know what’s going to happen. Maybe an alternative rock album or soft-focus close-ups aren’t realistic, or necessarily helpful, but maybe that's the point.

Art constantly struggles to depict life, and at best, it's only a description, a perception of it. The Fault in Our Stars isn't making a strong argument against romantic cinema, but an argument for it: maybe putting these conventions in a particular fashion can still mean something. Sadness is a journey, always seeming unending and awful, only given real perspective upon retrospection. So while we all know the ending to our lives, we don’t feel that way. It's the moments in between that are definitive.

Doug Lane is a Lewisville resident, attending the University of North Texas, where he studies literature. Lane graduated from Lewisville High School, where he wrote movie reviews for the Farmers Harvest
Copyright 2014, Doug Lane - Licensed to the Lewisville Texan Journal

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