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Stimulus Rebates for Appliances in April

The Editor's Column
 Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/9 19:10:00 (1548 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowIf you will soon need a new appliance, water heater, central A/C or heat pump, and you live in Texas, you probably want to pay attention to this.

If you purchase these items between April 16th and April 25th, 2010 you can get some pretty substantial rebates thanks to the Stimulus bill. In order to get your rebate, you need to first reserve it by calling a toll free number beginning on April 5th.

See the attached flyer for details.

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LISD Board Notes and Video - 3/8/2010

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/9 9:20:00 (1874 reads)

Open in new window

The biggest news is that the $48 million tear-down and rebuild for a smaller Lewisville High School that will only accomodate grades 11 and 12 was approved by the board as a construction-manager-at-risk project.

School start times next year will change in order to get cost savings on transportation. The Lewisville Leader has more detail on that, but basically what this means is that if you have a child in elementary school, and another in middle school, then they will start 55 minutes apart; middle school will start at 8:45, but elementary school will start at 7:50. Just to mix things up, high school will start at 8:15.

All of the school rezonings that were being considered passed, with the exception of Briarhill. Since Highland Village has 3 board members who listen to citizen complaints, that rezoning is on ice, although they will allow students to transfer out if they request it.

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Councilman Gorena Fails to File or Pay Business Property Tax

The Editor's Column
 Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/8 18:40:00 (5470 reads)

One of our readers recently supplied a story tip that Lewisville City Councilman John Gorena, who is up for re-election this year, doesn’t pay his business personal property (BPP) taxes as required by state law. Because that was a serious charge, and this writer is not by any stretch a property tax expert, we decided to investigate and make sure we had all of the facts.

Unfortunately, what we found is disappointing; the accusation is true. John Gorena, who operates a full-time computer-related business, JMG Enterprises, out of his home is required to render a personal property valuation and pay business personal property taxes on the equipment used in his business. Although he claims to have been in business since 1982, and filed an assumed name certificate with Denton County as early as 1998, the Denton County tax assessor’s office has no account of Gorena or JMG filing a rendition or paying BPP taxes.

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Texas Blog Roundup for Week ending 3/7/2010

Texas Progressive Alliance - Blog Roundups
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/8 9:59:07 (1239 reads)

The Texas Progressive Alliance would like to thank the Academy by presenting it with this week's roundup.

TXsharon went undercover this week to Map Methane plumes in the Barnett Shale: "Stealth" measurements contradict Shale Gas industry safe air claims, new technology shows. Big Gas is so BUSTED! And it's all reported on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

This week on Left of College Station, Teddy covers all of the results of the primary elections including the surprising defeat of Don McLeroy in the State Board of Education District 9 Republican primary. Left of College Station also covers the week in headlines, and this week will begin coverage of the local municipal elections.

The Texas Cloverleaf provides a Denton County and Texas primary roundup.

Texas Vox celebrated last week as the student governments of two Texas rivals, UT and A&M, passed "green fees" to support sustainability initiatives on campus.

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Update on Flower Mound Cares and Lewisville ISD (Corrected)

Local News, Notes and Events
 Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/7 18:50:00 (5553 reads)

Recently, we've reported on the efforts by the Flower Mound group "Flower Mound Cares" to circulate a petition calling for a 180 day permit moratorium on new gas wells in the city.

One story we posted related to the group's planned use of Lewisville ISD elementary school parking lots in the first weekend of signature gathering, and how the district had seemingly been prepared to tolerate their presence, then sent another email seemingly revoking the permission.

Since the accusation by some readers / commenters was that somehow Flower Mound Mayor Jody Smith had gotten to LISD ans asked them to stop the group, we sent an open records request to Lewisville ISD, and received 69 pages of emails this past Friday.

To get directly to the point, although we do know that Board President Carol Kyer did have a conversation with Smith, there were no emails from anyone associated with the Town of Flower Mound, related to Flower Mound Cares or the petition group.

Rather, the emails seem to suggest that LISD was content to tolerate the petitioners using the property on weekends, but that they were unable, by district policy to grant any sort of permission. As Kyer described it, the district does not have personnel to enforce this rule, which is mostly related to liability.

It appears the district did send a more direct message to Ginger Simonson of F.M. Cares only after hearing from an angry Flower Mound Resident who opposes the group.

Marsha Gavitt, former director of the political action committee "Flower Mound Voters United" emailed Superintendent Dr. Jerry Roy and all 7 board members on Tuesday, February 16th with a list of questions and accusations about the group.

Full text of the emails is here.

Gavitt refers to the group as a "politically-motivated organization" and claims that the group "planned to recall several town officials because two large HOA's disapproved of a council vote". Gavitt also alleges in the email that "this group and its affilliations have engaged in activities that have jeopardized the welfare of hundreds of other LISD families (including non-HOA's) directly impacted by gas drilling"..

In a followup email, after Dr. Roy explained that the group had no permission to use the campuses, Gavitt asked whether LISD should "notify the Flower Mound Police to prevent the unauthorized use and protect LISD from any potential liability issues".

We attempted to contact Gavitt on Friday, and she has not responded. Flower Mound Cares member Ginger Simonson was puzzled by the allegations, and reiterated that the group was only about stopping the centralized waste collection. She also reiterated that Flower Mound Cares is not a PAC, and said she didn't know Marsha Gavitt or have any idea why she would have objected.

So there you have it: The former director of a political action committee whose website seems to show concern about gas drilling accuses a non-partisan, non-political group of being "politically motivated", then seeks to have the Flower Mound police keep the group from exercising their first amendment rights to assembly, speech, and the redress of grievances.

Correction 3/8/2009: Although Gavitt's name was on the group's website, Gavitt is no longer a director of Voters United, as former Mayor DeLuca says below.

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Rube Goldberg Video from OK Go.

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/7 17:49:57 (1095 reads)

Enjoy this Rube Goldberg machine music video from OK Go!

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Is LISD Rushing the New LHS Construction?

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/7 14:00:00 (1692 reads)

Open in new windowThe Lewisville ISD School Board will meet this Monday Night to discuss and possibly approve the plans for reconstruction of Lewisville High School.

Remember the $700 billion “Bailout Bill” that Congress rushed to pass back in 2008, when the financial sector was snowballing towards hell? Just for perspective, let’s look at a bit of the timeline. The markets first reacted to rumors of a bailout on September 18th, 2008. On Saturday, September 20th, Congress first got the proposed legislation, and Secretary Paulson was on the Sunday talk shows pushing the proposal. By September 25th, lawmakers had reached a tenuous agreement in principle, but the first attempt to pass the bill had failed on September 29th, causing the Dow to plummet 778 points. In that case, the bill hadn’t been widely available to the public to read, and Members of Congress were rushed, as changes were made until the last minute. WhosPlayin did post a draft of the bill on September 29th. On October 1st, H.R. 1424 passed the Senate. We posted the text of that bill.

That bill passed on October 3rd, 2008 by a 263 to 171 vote, and was signed into law by President Bush that very day.

As rushed as that bill was, as crappy of a situation as it was, and for as much as Congress felt their hands tied, it was still at least 14 days from proposal to final vote, and the text was available online with wide discussion in the media.

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Local Happenings for Lewisville Area - Week of March 7th

Lewisville Area Calendar and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/6 12:00:00 (1716 reads)
Lewisville Area Calendar and Events

From submitted reports - email with your items

General Announcements

Purple Martins Back in Lewisville
On March 1, local spotters reported seeing the first Purple Martins making their annual return to Lewisville. These graceful migratory songbirds spend half of the year in the Southeastern United States and half in Brazil. Between 50,000 and 100,000 of the birds make their spring and summer home in Lewisville.

During March, April and May they will nest in manmade housing throughout the area (including houses at Herring Recreation Center and Lewisville City Hall) before moving to a common roost just off west Main Street to raise their young and prepare for their non-stop return flight across the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information on Purple Martins, or to view a brief video on becoming a Purple Martin Landlord, please visit

Tax assistance available at the Lewisville Senior Center
Free tax assistance will take place each Monday through April 12, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Lewisville Senior Center, 1950 A S. Valley Parkway.
This free tax help from the AARP is open to individuals (no businesses) 50 years and older. To make a reservation, call 972.219.5050. Phone in registration can be done one week in advance starting at 8:30 a.m.

Library Offers Weekly Storytimes for Kids
Parents are invited to bring their children to the Lewisville Public Library for free storytimes. Mother Goose Time (ages up to 15 months) is held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday; Toddler Time (ages 15-36 months) is held 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 11 a.m. Tuesday; Preschool Time (ages 3-6 years) is held 10:30 a.m. Monday, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday; and Prime Time (Kindergarten through 3rd Grade) is held 4 p.m. Monday.

All programs are held in the Cynthia Bennett Children’s Wing Storytime Room.

The Lewisville Public Library is located at the Municipal Annex, 1197 W. Main Street. For more information, please call the Youth Services Desk of the Lewisville Public Library at 972.219.3577 or log on to

Calendar of Events

Open in new windowFebruary 26 - March 7 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The Actors Conservatory Theater presents Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Feb.26th - March 7th, 2010
7 PM Friday and Saturday, 2 PM Saturday and Sunday
Crawford Center for the Arts
1720 S. Edmonds, Lewisville, TX

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowMarch 6th - Scouts Can Earn Emergency Preparedness Badge
Boy Scouts can earn the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge at a fun-filled and active day at Lewisville’s Central Fire Station on Saturday, March 6, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Scouts will work their way through the many requirements with the city’s emergency manager. Those who attend will see the Lewisville Fire Department Life and Fire Safety group present life-saving techniques. Attendees will also get to participate in an emergency service project and will act as victims and responders. There will also be time for one-on-one consultation to sign blue cards and talk with scouts about other requirements they may have completed. The class will cover all requirements except 8 and 9.

There are only 30 spots available. Scouts can register by calling 972.219.5012 or sending e-mail to

Open in new windowMarch 7th - Lewisville Lake Symphony: "Peter and the Wolf"
Sunday, March 7th, 3:00 PM
Fred Herring Rec Center
191 Civic Circle, Lewisville, TX 75967
$15 adults / $8 children / $35 family
More Information...

March 8th - Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees Meeting
LISD Board of Trustees meetings are held in the Board Room of the William T. Bolin Administrative Center, 1565 W. Main St., Lewisville, at 7 p.m.

Official notices of these meetings are posted online at least 72 hours prior to each meeting.

March 9th - LISD School Board Candidate Forum
The Castle Hills Conservative Club will be sponsoring a candidate forum on Tuesday at the Golf Club at Castle Hills (699 Lady of the Lake Boulevard, Lewisville, 75056). The doors will open at 6:30, and the forum will begin promptly at 7pm. After an introduction, candidates will be given 4 minutes each for opening remarks.

Open in new windowMarch 13th - Bird Walk at LLELA
Bird Walk — March 13, 7:30 a.m. Later this month, Baltimore Orioles, Magnolia Warblers, White-eyed Vireos, and other feathered gems will be making their way through North Texas as they migrate north to their nesting areas. Join Keith Lockhart at 7:30 a.m. as he guides visitors to the best birding locations at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area. Some of the best spots are not normally available to the public, outside of a scheduled tour. Birders of all skill levels are welcome, ages 10 and up. There is a $2 program fee for the bird walk, in addition to the regular gate fee ($5/person). Reservations are required; call 972.219.7980.

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LISD Board Races 2010 - All 3 Incumbents Draw Challengers (Updated)

Lewisville ISD Notes
 Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/5 18:00:00 (19833 reads)

All three of the incumbents on Lewisville ISD's Board of Trustees who are up for re-election this year are being challenged for their seats. Fred Placke, Tom Kim, and Kathy Duke are all from Highland Village.

Place 5

Open in new windowFiling for the 2010 School Board elections for Lewisville ISD began Monday, and already long-time incumbent Fred Placke has drawn two challengers from Lewisville for his Place 5 seat. Placke, 58, is a real estate agent from Highland Village seeking a 5th term.
Frisco Enterprise has more on Placke

Open in new windowBrenda Lynn Latham, 40, of Lewisville filed on Tuesday for Place 5. She lists her occupation as "Risk Infrastructure" and has lived in the district for 40 years and 9 months. Latham was one of the founders of the Lewisville Task Force.

Brenda Latham's campaign website.

Latham's issues: (See her platform...)
- School zoning should preserve neighborhood integrity
- Carefully reduce the $18 million budget deficit, but avoid impacting the classroom
- Incentivize experienced teachers to stay in the district
- Work to get dual-credit (high school/college)classes for college bound students.
Lewisville Leader has more on Latham.

Open in new windowPatrick Michael Kelly, 41, of Castle Hills (Lewisville E.T.J.) filed Wednesday for Place 5. He lists his occupation as "Chief Information Officer" and has lived in the district for 11 years, 4 months. Kelly is one of the founders of the RoundTable Project in Castle Hills - a group that has pushed for accountability in the governing districts there. He will be rolling out a website by the end of this week.

Kelly's issues: (See Kelly's Facebook site...)
- Stopping certain language changes in social studies textbooks
- Transparency and accountability
- Keeping tax increases to a minimum.
- Reducing bureaucracy to increase efficiency

School Board elections are won by simple plurality, meaning that whoever gets the most votes wins the seat - even if there is no majority. This means that multiple filings tend to favor the incumbent.

Place 4

Open in new windowTrustee Kathy Duke, 42, of Highland Village (left) has filed for re-election to Place 4. Duke is an insurance broker seeking a 3rd term on the board. Duke has lived in the area her whole life, and attended K-12 in LISD. She also serves on the Flower Mound Presbyterian Hospital Governing Board

Duke's Issues:
- Finance for Education which has caused our deficit,
- Hiring of a Superintendent,
- Dealing with growth and changes within the district.

"These are only a few issues. There are many items that make our district outstanding and I want to make sure that all continues. We are very blessed to have the best teachers, staff and Administrators in the State!"

Open in new windowDuke is challenged by real estate agent Ryan Collinsworth, 35, of Flower Mound (right). Collinsworth has lived in the district all of his life, and graduated from Lewisville High School. He serves on the boards of the Greater Lewisville Association of Realtors, and Denton County Friends of the Family.

Collinsworth's Issues:
- Hiring a new superintendent - should look inside and outside the district
- Would look at allowing the Frisco portion of LISD to move to Frisco ISD
- Would like to see Lewisville residents get more involved in the district, but not certain single-member districts are the way.
- Open information and transparency, including videotaping board meetings.
- Wants to be able to give back to the community.

Open in new windowJulie Linnea Foughty, 35, of Frisco filed today for Place 4. Foughty has lived in the district 4 years and 3 months, and is a former teacher who left full-time employment to take care of a special needs child. She holds a masters degree in library and information sciences from University of North Texas, as well as her bachelors in elementary education.

Foughty's Campaign Website has a lot of detail, but here are some of her issues:
- Striving for Excellence in Education, so that LISD can achieve exemplary status
- Improve communication between the district and the community, possibly including the use of focus groups for things like rezoning.
- Being financially prudent, trying not to raise taxes in the coming year until all other options are exhausted
- Searching for a new Superintendent who fills gaps in LISD's capabilities and strengths, again possibly using citizen input.
- Increasing focus on health and fitness among our students.

News Connection article on Duke...
Carrollton Leader article on Collinsworth...

Place 3

Open in new windowTrustee Tommy Kim, 41, of Highland Village has filed for re-election. Kim, who lists his occupation as "Managing Director" is seeking his 5th 3-year term.

Cross Timbers Gazette article on Tommy Kim.

Open in new windowKim will be challenged by Jeffrey Allen Knapp of Lewisville who filed for Place 3 on February 17th. Knapp, 49, is a Certified Public Accountant who has resided in the district for 15 years, 6 months. Knapp has served with several community organizations such as YMCA, FMYSA, LBA, Upward Basketball, LHS Farmerettes Boosters, and LHS Baseball Boosters.

Knapp's Issues:
- Getting the community to get involved and take ownership of their schools
- Solving the district's budget deficit
- Transparency in the decision-making process of the Board.

Lewisville Leader Article on Knapp
Dallas Morning News on Knapp

Open in new windowMichael Edward (Mike) McDaniel, 57, of Highland Village is also running for Place 3. McDaniel served as an LISD trustee from 1998 to 2004.
McDaniel runs a self-storage business, and has lived in the district for 18 years. He serves as a deacon of his church, and is on the board of directors for Denton County Child Protective Services.

McDaniel's Issues:
- Performing an exhausitve outside search for a new superintendent when Dr. Roy retires
- Cutting back on extravagant spending, such as $295 per square foot athletic field houses.
- Putting building projects on hold until the economy recovers.

Lewisville Leader article on McDaniel

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Updated: Flower Mound Council Refuses Call for Petition Initiative

Oil and Gas
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/3/3 18:30:00 (4313 reads)
Oil and Gas

Open in new windowFrom the "Flower Mound Citizens against Urban Drilling" blog.:

Monday night at the Flower Mound Town Council Meeting, Ginger Simonson, co-founder of the Flower Mound Cares Petition Drive asked the Town Council to make a motion to put the petition initiative on the May 8th ballot. The initiative calls for a 180 day moratorium for any acceptance and processing of a SUP (special use permit) for Centralized Collection Facilities, pipelines, gas gathering and compression stations. Ms. Simonson stated by putting it on the May 8th ballot, the town would save the cost of special election. The petition has passed the 5% signature threshold required in the Town Charter to submit for a vote of the people. The Flower Mound Cares petition has over 50% of the signatures needed to call for a special election.

Update: 2/5/2010
Flower Mound Cares Petition Association released this statement this morning:
On Monday, March 1, 2010, the Flower Mound Cares Petition Association (FMCPA) made an offer to the Flower Mound Town Council to submit its petition with 3,000 signatures the following morning. The 3,000 signatures are well above the five percent threshold needed to be placed on the municipal election ballot. In return, the FMCPA simply asked the town to certify the petition in time for it to be placed on the May 8 ballot. The Council refused to act on this request.

However, during the same meeting, a prominent land developer with close ties to a gas drilling company was able to secure an item on the May 8 ballot that, if passed, will authorize an unprecedented swap of town property. This land swap will require moving the town's current soccer complex to another, less-desirable parcel of land adjacent to a mobile home park. The current soccer fields will be converted to retail use which, in turn, will allow a gas company to expand its drilling operations on the site. (Drilling cannot take place now as the pad site is within roughly 600 feet of the soccer fields.) Once again, the gas company's agenda prevailed, while the will of 3,000 concerned Flower Mound citizens was disregarded.

FMCPA's March 2 offer to submit the petitions was made in close consultation with the group's attorney, Robert Hemphill. The goal was to give the Town Secretary sufficient time to validate the required number of signatures for the May 8 election, saving the town the expense of holding a special election. Despite the Mayor and Town Council's efforts to dissuade us, the FMCPA remains committed to enacting an ordinance that places a 180-day moratorium on accepting applications for centralized collection facilities (CCF) and their related pipelines and establishes a process for reviewing and revising the CCF ordinances. Once the remaining signatures are collected -- roughly 3,000 more are needed to reach the 15 percent threshold necessary to call a special election -- the petition and proposed ordinance will be presented to the Town. Town Council will then have a choice to make: either accept and enact the ordinance as written, or schedule a special election.

If you would like to sign the petition or host a signing event, please contact the Flower Mound Cares Petition Association at

FRI. Mar. 5th, SAT. Mar. 6th, & SUN. Mar. 7th

Z-Grill –2321 Crosstimbers
Friday - 4pm-7pm
Saturday - 3pm-6pm
Sunday- 10am-6pm

Given the number of signatures gathered so far, I'd say it's a big mistake, politically, for Smith to dig in her heels on this. The Council and the Town don't have to verify all the signatures unless they really want an excuse not to act. It shows a definite bias in favor of gas drilling at any cost, over the objections and concerns of citizens to allow a vote on the land swap.

Whether one is for or against the moratorium, I think you have to agree that putting it out to the voters during a regularly scheduled election is the most cost-effective and democratic way to handle it.

- TopPosts2010

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