|Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/5/10 22:10:20 (598 reads)
By Philip Moulard
Good Times Cajun Cuisine
1565 W Main St #225, Lewisville, TX 75067
Good Times Cajun Cuisine has scratched a long-standing itch I have had since my relocation to Lewisville from Louisiana eight years ago. Many a cajun establishment I have visited, most of which have been disappointing. At many, the food would be good, but the atmosphere and attitude would be all wrong. At others, the atmosphere was there, but the food was lacking. Good Times is the first time, that as soon as i stepped out of my car and looked at that swampland themed mural painted on the windows, I knew I had found a place with genuine love for the Cajun culture.
I remember the day I moved from my small town of Baker, Louisiana like it was yesterday. I was twenty years old, unemployed, and lacking any sort of motivation to set any goals in my life. Unimpressed and disconnected from the culture and food of my homeland, I could not see past the crime, the drug problems, and the overall feeling of being stuck in a poverty stricken city that didn’t pique any of my interests. Months prior to this, I had been offered an opportunity by my loving Sister to move to the Great State of Texas with her and her family. Without any second thought, I packed up my small selection of clothes and large selection of video games, and loaded them into the back of that SUV, whose make and model escapes me. I shed a few tears, hugged my parents and never looked back. Eight years have passed since that pivotal day and though I love this vast new land I have made my new home , I find myself often daydreaming of the zydeco festivals, royal colors, and french cuisine of my birthplace.
As soon as you walk into the establishment, lavish colors of purple and gold decorate the entirety of the quaint little cafe. You're quickly greeted by an impressive statue paying homage to the gators of the wetlands. Hanging from the ceiling are inflatable crawfish holding a beer in one hand and a packet of Louisiana Fish Fry in the other. The familiar sounds of Warren Storm and Wayne Toupes took me back to the many Cajun weddings i attending growing up, with all their synchronized dancing, plethora of beer, and more jambalaya than you could physically eat. My daughter and I took a booth toward the back of the restaurant, near the big purple curtain that separated the interior from the kitchen. Quickly we were approached by blonde gentleman who had sense of genuine neighborly attitude you only would from a small parish cafe back home. Doing my research before coming, I ordered up the recommended dish of catfish with a side of fried okra, and a small cup of the dirty rice. Within minutes, Brenda Brown; the owner and head chef made her way out to our cozy little booth to introduce herself and give us samples of her prized bread pudding. The little plates of the bread pudding were prepared with a sense of culinary care that is no stranger to any cafe you would frequent in New Orleans or Metairie. She also followed up the small samples with a much appreciated coloring book and crayon box for my daughter. We spent the next 12 minutes or so turning that dastardly Swiper The Fox green, and before we knew it, we were graced with a large plate of catfish, okra, and dirty rice.
|Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/5/10 19:00:00 (3617 reads)
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was releasing 80,000 fish at Lewisville Lake Monday afternoon. The approximately one-inch Palmetto Bass fingerlings are a hybrid made by fertilizing eggs from striped bass with milt from white bass.
The 80,000 fingerlings arrived in a TPWD trailer from San Marcos this afternoon. The water in the trailer is kept oxygenated by tanks on the trailer bubble it through the water. Once the TPWD personnel were able to get into Lake Park, they took the trailer to the boat ramp, and began pumping water from the lake into the tank with the fish to get the fish accustomed to the temperature.
The plan was to take the fish out of the trailer, and load them into a boat to be stocked in various locations in the lake by hand from dip nets. Unfortunately the conditions at the lake's boat ramps were less than ideal due to flooding, and at the time we left, they were discussing whether to release them from the shore, or find another ramp. As far as we could tell, all of Lake Park's boat docks had their walkways submerged.
The 80,000 fish to be released today add to the 132,000 released last week, according to TPWD personnel.
Correction - 5/12/2015 - We originally referred to the tiny fish as "minnows", but we have been told they are referred to as fingerlings. We learn something new every day. Hey, at least we didn't call them anchovies.
|Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by jbcglc on 2015/5/10 16:20:00 (544 reads)
During a cursory inspection of our Valley Vista neighborhood following the severe storm this Sunday morning, we observed some damage, primarily tree limbs down.
When we got to the 1000 block of Monarch we saw a Lewisville Fire Rescue vehicle, Engine 163, parked in front of a residence.
A closer look revealed two firemen on the roof. A neighbor told us the chimney cap of the house had been blown off during the morning storm. The firemen, with the support of the rest of the engine crew on the ground, were covering the chimney with a tarpaulin to prevent further damage.
Some people might see nothing remarkable about this incident, but I have lived in several communities where the residents would have been provided with a list of available companies (If they were lucky.) who would have charged a substantial fee for a Sunday call.
It is hoped these first responders receive some gratitude from us taxpayers.
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/5/10 7:20:00 (31318 reads)
Update - 5/11:
This story has been recapped here.
Update - 8:17 p.m.:
We've had some technical difficulties attaching images to the map we posted. For photos, please see our Facebook Album.
Here's a Google Map we made of this morning's damage:
You can click the markers for more detail. I'll be adding photos to these markers as I can.
Update - 2:45 p.m.
There is a tornado warning for northeastern Denton County right now.
We spent the last couple hours walking around Old Town and taking a look at the damage. We'll have a writeup and more photos in just a bit. It's going to take some time.
Lewisville Lake continues to rise, and is now at 525.87 feet. It has risen over a foot today.
Update - 12:08 p.m.:
The National Weather Service just issued another severe thunderstorm warning for the northwestern part of Denton County, which does not include Lewisville. I pass it along, because this is nearby, and over our watershed.
Update - 11:53 a.m.:
Mill Street Diner is damaged, and the power is out there. Blurry photos posted on Facebook showed a hole in the building that would appear to be from an impact. We'll try to get a better photo in a bit. In the mean time, these folks are going to lose their food if we can't find them a gas-powered generator. If you own one, and would be willing to lend it, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll put you in touch.
Update - 11:33 a.m.:
Here is the National Weather Service radar-based rainfall estimate from Friday afternoon until almost 11 a.m. today. As you can see, rainfall amounts in Denton County range from 1 - 5 inches. Lewisville is in the 1 - 3 inch range. The National Weather Service has issued numerous flood warnings, which seem to come with increasing frequency. We should just say that if you are driving near creeks and streams, use caution, and please do not try to cross running water. If you live in a low-lying area, be prepared to move if waters rise. Stay tuned...
Update - 11:25 a.m.:
As of 10:20, Lewisville Lake had climbed up to 525.5 feet, which is 3.5 feet into its 10 foot flood pool. This level is HIGHER than before they started releasing massing amounts of water last weekend. At the moment, the Corps of Engineers reports that Lewisville dam is releasing 3,803 cubic feet per second. The Elm Fork Trinity River near SH 121 is running about 3,970 CFS.
Update - 10:50 a.m.:
The storms continue. Most Counties in North Texas are part of a tornado watch that is set to last until 9 p.m. tonight.
Krause's Auto Shop appears to have partially collapsed, and Metric Motors Automotive, is missing its roof, and has also apparently partially collapsed.
Here are photos by Russ Sims:
Update - 10:15 a.m.:
The Lewisville Office of Emergency Management tweeted two photos of an auto repair shop damaged in Old Town.
(Photos via Lewisville Office of Emergency Management)
Update - 10:05 a.m.:
TNMP says there are about 320 customers in Lewisville without power that they know of.
Update - 10:00 a.m.:
TNMP followed up to say that some restoration crews are currently working on fixing the outage. "Please keep in mind that lineman safety will come first and, if conditions dictate, we’ll delay restoration efforts to keep them safe," he said. "However, once it’s safe, they’ll be on it." He also noted that since lightning and wind were still around, there is a possibility for more outages.
Update - 9:50 a.m.:
We just spoke with a representative from Texas New Mexico Power, who said they are now currently aware of 16 outages in Lewisville, the largest of which affects 88 customers. He said that many of the outages affect only one or two homes. At the moment, there is no restoration time estimated, because crews are waiting for the lightning to stop. Once it becomes safe to work on restoration, crews will begin restoring power, prioritizing the outages that affect the largest number of customers. Again, do not assume that TNMP knows about your specific outage. Call TNMP at 1-888-866-7456 to report your outage.
Update - 9:30 a.m.:
Lt. Butterworth with the Lewisville Police Department confirmed that PD still has not had any reports of injuries. He said that most of the structural damage reported so far was east of Mill street. He said there were some downed power poles and lines, and that a car lot down that way had an awning blown off. We did have a reader near Central Elementary School report that they had a power loss, but police and TNMP seem not to be aware of any power outages. If you have lost power, please do not assume that someone else has called it in. Call TNMP at 1-888-866-7456 to report your outage.
Update - 9:00 a.m.:
Lewisville first responders are busy assessing a swath of damage that seems to have stretched from the area of the Braums at Fox and I-35, down through the neighborhoods around Central Elementary, near Mill Street Cafe, the McKenzie Hembry Neighborhood, and Purnell street, down through Railroad St.
Fire Chief Tim Tittle says there are not any injuries yet reported with this storm. Tittle said at this time it is unknown whether the damage was from straight-line winds, or tornadic activity. Numerous trees could be seen down and blocking roadways. TNMP and Atmos were out assisting with electric and gas utilities.
Mill street was closed between High School, and a few blocks south of there as emergency crews worked around downed power lines. It appeared that the roofs of some buildings in the area right around Mill Street Cafe had peeled off and at least one section wrapped around a power line and pulled it down.
A tree was in the middle of Purnell Street by the bus barn.
This flagpole at Renaissance Village was knocked over.
This morning at 6:41 a.m., the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning until 7:15 a.m., based on radar-indicated rotation seen near Grapevine.
At our house, I woke up to loud bangs, and what sounded like something hitting the side of our house. Seconds later, the phone rang with a tornado warning message from City of Lewisville Emergency Management. Storm sirens sounded, and we set about waking up the kids to get them ready to take shelter.
Although the tornado warning has been cancelled now, we are still under a severe thunderstorm warning until 7:45 a.m.
At this time, we have not yet heard any damage reports. We'll be checking in, and would like to hear from you if you had any damage in your part of town.
|Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/5/9 16:30:00 (1984 reads)
Update 8:55 p.m.:
Dallas County votes have come in. Rudy Durham picked up 2 votes today, and Winston Edmondson picked up one. City Secretary Julie Heinze said that she heard from Denton County that they have five provisional ballots that have not yet been counted. She said that Dallas County has not provided any information about any provisional ballots. Two more Denton County precincts have reported, making the total 20 of 22.
There are 1,849 votes total right now in the Mayor's race. A majority there requires 925 votes. Rudy Durham has 928. Gorena has conceded the election to Durham: "Congratulations to Rudy Durham on his win. There will NOT be Run Off Election. I do not think it will change much or at all for the final counts. I did call and left Rudy Durham a voice mail congratulating him."
We do note that if all 5 of the known provisional votes were counted, the total votes would be 1,854, and the majority of that number would be 928 - which Rudy has already even if he got none of the provisional votes. We say there will NOT be a runoff.
Congratulations to Rudy Durham, who has won the Mayor's race.
Congratulations also to Brent Daniels who has won the City Council race for place 5.
Update - 8:05 p.m.:
Just updated with 16/20 Lewisville Denton County precincts reporting. Looks like Rudy Durham has won the Mayor's seat with 50.16% of the vote. There are still 4 precincts for Denton County and two for Dallas County not yet reported. Those 4 precincts in Denton County are sparsely populated and only had a handful of early votes.
There are 1846 votes shown in the Mayor's race. 50% + 1 would be 924 votes. Rudy has 926. That is the slimmest of margins.
Update - 7:39 p.m.:
Nothing new to report, but that I'm on my second beer, and I have an unlit cigar hanging out of my mouth waiting impatiently to see some precincts come in.
I really want Rudy Durham to win this race outright without the added time and expense of a runoff election.
Update - 7:10 p.m.:
We're not yet getting any early voting totals for the Dallas County portion of Lewisville.
With regards to the mayor's race, what we can say is that mathematically, its's not possible for Winston Edmondson to make the runoff.
Rudy Durham's current 50.38% is likely not going to be a strong enough early voting lead to counter what I believe will be an advantage for Gorena on election day. Gorena typically does better on election day than in early voting. You can infer what you want about that, but I tend to think it's older voters who are habituated to vote on election day. In 2013, against Greg Tierney, Tierney had 52.75% in early voting, but Gorena turned it to his advantage with 51.97% on election day. The 2013 election went to Tierney because election day turnout was depressed. Today, the weather was terrible, so it may be low turnout. It's hard to say.
Update - 7:05 p.m.:
The early and absentee votes for Denton County are in. Rudy Durham is leading in Lewisville with 50.38% of the vote, to John Gorena's 35.63%. Kronda Thimesch has 46.62% of the vote.
Based on Early Voting results, we call these races:
Trustee Trisha Sheffield has retained her seat.
Councilman Neil Ferguson has retained his seat.
The others are too close to call.
Update - 7:01 p.m.:
OK, so I wanted to share a very non-scientific poll that we ran on the City of Lewisville Facebook group page:
The poll asked people who had already (early) voted who they voted for in the Lewisville Mayor race. You can see that there are 62 responses, out of the 4,500 or so members of the City of Lewisville Facebook group. Rudy Durham had 42 votes there, for about 67% of the vote.
I don't think he gets that much at the ballot box, because I think the Facebook audience skews younger, and I think John Gorena's vote relies on some far-right partisan voters who I believe skew to the older side.
My feeling is that Rudy Durham probably wins this with just over 50%, and that Gorena comes in second with 32% to Edmondson's 18%. I give myself +/- 5% on any of these numbers, so I would not be surprised to see a runoff election.
With regards to place 2 in the Lewisville Council race, I think Ferguson takes it easily with 75% or better.
In place 5, the race has been very low key, and both candidates are pretty closely matched. However, Brent Daniels has an edge in terms of being out there and active in the community a bit more than MaryEllen Miksa - although neither of them are rookies. I'm going to say Daniels probably gets 55% to Miksa's 45%. This was a hard race, and I really would like to have them both on Council.
In the Lewisville School Board races, I'm going to guess that Kronda Thimesch take 50% or more of the vote. She only needs a plurality, and I think she'll have it. Duke started late, and Smith is just not as well known. Trisha Sheffield will retain her seat with 80% or better of the vote, since her opponent dropped out, but didn't get his name out of the first ballot position.
After the polls close tonight at 7 p.m., we will begin posting election results just as soon as they come in. Stay tuned.
As for my predictions, I do have some, but I will wait until 7:01 p.m. to post them here.
|Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/5/9 6:59:30 (275 reads)
The election for school board and city council is held today: Saturday, May 9th, 2015.
Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On election day, you must vote at your assigned precinct polling location.
If you live in the Denton County portion of Lewisville, you will vote here:Lewisville Municipal Annex
1197 W. Main St
(Next to the Library)For more Denton County voting locations...
For Lewisville's Dallas County
voters, you will vote at this location:Coppell Town Center
255 Parkway Blvd.
On The Ballot
Up for election for this year for Lewisville residents are two seats on the Lewisville Independent School District Board of Trustees, and the office of Mayor of Lewisville, and two Lewisville City Council Seats. (For coverage of Flower Mound Town Council elections, please see The Cross Timbers Gazette.) Please note that this year, The Lewisville Texan Journal did not conduct a candidate questionnaire due to time constraints, but we have provided links to the Dallas Morning News candidate questionnaires for each race, since they did a decent job on that this year. Candidates are listed in ballot order:
Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees - Place 1
For candidate questionnaires, please see the Dallas Morning News Voter Guide.
- Kronda Thimesch
- Mary Smith
- Kathy Duke
Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees - Place 2
For candidate questionnaires, please see the Dallas Morning News Voter Guide.
- Roger Myers (Not really running, but name still on the ballot)
- Trisha Sheffield
City of Lewisville - Mayor
For a discussion of these candidates and more background information, please read our article. For candidate questionnaires, see the Dallas Morning News Voter Guide. You may also wish to watch our video of a candidate forum.
- John Gorena
- Rudy Durham
- Winston Edmondson
City of Lewisville - City Council Place #2
For a discussion of these candidates and more background information, please read our article. For candidate questionnaires, see the Dallas Morning News Voter Guide.
- Osman Paracha
- R. Neil Ferguson
City of Lewisville - City Council Place #5 (Unexpired term)
For candidate questionnaires, see the Dallas Morning News Voter Guide.
- Brent Daniels
- MaryEllen Miksa
|Lewisville Area Calendar and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2015/5/8 7:00:00 (994 reads)
Update 5/8/2015 - 12:00 p.m.:
The City of Lewisville has rescheduled the performances for 30 minutes earlier due to possible severe weather tonight. The jam session will begin at 6:30, and the Killdares will play at 7:15. In the event of severe weather, attendees will be escorted into Lewisville City Hall for shelter. Bring umbrellas and chairs.
Hundreds of firefighter bagpipers, drummers and honor guard members from across the country are expected to participate in the annual KTA Jam Session scheduled for Friday, May 8, on the steps of Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church Street.
The free event, which has become a community favorite drawing more than 1,000 spectators, will include a series of performances and presentations by participants and instructors at the Keeping Tradition Alive Symposium being held that week at the Lewisville Convention Center.
Also performing that evening will be The Killdares, a Celtic-themed rock band that has quickly become a Lewisville favorite at the KTA Jam Session and the free Sounds of Lewisville summer concert series.
Keep Tradition Alive is one of the premier training events for firefighter bagpipe and drum corps members across the country, and also includes classes for public safety honor guards conducted by the National Honor Guard Academy. It was started by Lewisville Fire Department in 2008 and is held each May at the Lewisville Convention Center. The public Jam Session held in conjunction with the symposium has become a popular regional activity for participants and spectators.
The two-day symposium will feature highly regarded teachers, headed by lead pipe instructor Don Shannon and lead drum instructor Andrew Hoinacki. Shannon is a native of Northern Ireland and has been playing the bagpipes for more than 40 years, including performances for the British Royal Family. Hoinacki started drumming at age 6 and has a distinguished performance and competition history.
|Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/5/7 21:42:23 (189 reads)
Keep Lewisville Beautiful celebrated its 29th annual citywide cleanup on Saturday April 25, 2015 with a special Earth Day Expo. This free event was held in conjunction with the Keep Texas Beautiful Trash Off and the Keep American Beautiful Great America Clean Up activities. 605 volunteers showed community spirit by working hard and helped remove more than 6.25 tons of litter from Lewisville streets, parks, historic cemeteries, and creeks. Volunteers contributed 2,420 volunteer hours valued at $55,829 in litter abatement services for the Lewisville community. Lunch, T-shirts, goody bags, and door prizes were provided by KLB and event donors. An environmental expo and Earth Day Celebration were also held onsite. A big thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who worked so hard to make Lewisville a better place to work, live, and play!
Five teams were awarded trophies for their hard work: Youth group winners included the Jim Boland Family with Sam’s Club who picked up 15 bags of trash and illegal dumping from a historical cemetery site for youth small group, and Killough High School’s AVID group who picked up 31 bags of trash in the youth large group category. For the adult small group, Texas New Mexico Power Company removed 14 bags of trash plus shopping carts from the canal behind Toys R Us. The Lewisville Texan Journal team took home the adult large group trophy, and removed 66 bags of trash from Timber Creek.
Several unusual items were found, including a homemade tetherball stand, a futon frame, an American express card, illegally dumped concrete culverts and bathroom fixtures, a corked champagne bottle, a giant pink eraser, and a 1974 Who’s Who plaque from the State of Texas. Tanya Primivera won “most unusual item” trophy for bringing back the Who’s Who plaque.
Keep Lewisville Beautiful would like to thank all of the volunteers and sponsors that made this event possible. Sponsors of this event include City of Lewisville, Waste Management, Republic Waste Services (Lewisville Landfill), Texas New Mexico Power Company, DATCU, Dale Downing CPA, Keep Texas Beautiful, Keep America Beautiful, LLELA, LoneStar Storage, Dallas Zoo, Bahama Buck’s, Starbucks, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Lewisville Lion’s Club, The Lewisville Police Department, Blue Bell Creameries, La Hacienda Ranch, The Texas Rangers Ball Club, Hyena Comedy Club, Walmart, Lewisville Lake Symphony, Taco Cabana, Spaghetti Warehouse, Joe’s Crab Shack, BJ’s Restaurants, Inc., Blue Goose Cantina, Texas Motor Speedway, Lowe’s, and Market Street.
|Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2015/5/7 20:27:29 (5411 reads)
The 35Express Project will reach a major milestone this month. Crews working on the $1.4 billion project will permanently close the FM 407 bridge and begin preparations to demolish the structure Friday, May 29.
As part of the 35Express project, the FM 407 bridge will be demolished and replaced with an at-grade roadway that will increase capacity and improve mobility on the east-west connection. Once the bridge demolition begins, traffic will be detoured using Valley Ridge and Garden Ridge Boulevards. The new FM 407 roadway is expected to fully reopen to traffic summer 2016, but crews expect to have one lane of traffic open in each direction by the end of the year.
The bridge will close at 8 p.m., Friday, May 29 and traffic will not be allowed across the structure. Once traffic across the bridge is severed, crews will begin the task of demolishing the western half of the bridge that is over the southbound I-35E traffic. Once the western half of the bridge is demolished and crews construct the new final portion of the southbound mainlane and managed lane bridges, all traffic will be placed onto the new pavement. The eastern half of the bridge over the northbound lanes of I-35E will be demolished and work will then focus on constructing the northbound mainlane bridges.
Work on the new FM 407 began December 2014. Crews constructed a new southbound frontage road that facilitated construction of the new southbound mainlane bridge that will eventually travel over FM 407.
When complete, the newly constructed FM 407 will have two traffic lanes in each direction, a dedicated turn lane in each direction and Texas U-turn lanes on each end. The retaining walls supporting the mainlane bridges over FM 407 will include aesthetics that reflect the lake theme of this portion of the project.
The traveling public can view a video detailing the phases of construction of the structure by visiting the 35Express YouTube Channel (35Express).
The demolition and reconstruction of FM 407 is related to the 35Express project, an expansion of I-35E between U.S. Highway 380 in Denton County and I-635 in Dallas County. The overall project is expected to be substantially complete by mid-2017.
All closures are subject to weather conditions and may be postponed, if necessary. For more information about the 35Express project or to sign up for traffic alerts, please visit www.35Express.org.
From a submitted report
Related Story: FM 407 Bridge Demolition to Begin Soon (Includes photos and diagrams)