Texas Department of State Health Services this week confirmed the city's first positive West Nile Virus mosquito trap for 2014. The positive sample came from a trap collected Aug. 5 near Rachel's Court, behind the Renaissance Village Retirement Community on Edmonds Lane.
Due to the history of positive tests in the area, plus the high-risk senior population adjacent to the testing site, ground spraying will be conducted in a half-mile radius (See map) of the testing location. Spraying is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 18, and Tuesday, Aug. 19, starting at 10 p.m. each night. Spraying will be conducted by trucks from public streets. The insecticide being used is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and poses minimal risk to humans and the environment.
City crews are regularly walking through and visually inspecting creeks and drainage channels to look for potential mosquito breeding sites. The city has nearly a dozen workers in the Parks and Animal Services divisions who are state-certified to apply anti-larval dunks or localized pesticide to curb the mosquito population. Residents also are encouraged to report standing water on city-maintained property by calling Lewisville Animal Control at 972.219.3478.
The Texas Department of Health operates a toll-free WNV information line in both English and Spanish at 888.883.9997, and has expanded information posted on its Web site at tdh.state.tx.us. Denton County Health Department also has information about West Nile virus online or at 940.349.2907.
Celebrate Homecoming at Flower Mound Presbyterian Church
On August 24, historic Flower Mound Presbyterian Church, Denton County’s oldest Presbyterian Church, is celebrating 160 years along with the 100th birthday of our oldest member, Miss Oleta Simmons Greer. Ms. Greer’s family were some of the earliest residents of Flower Mound. Simmons Road is named for her family. A special Homecoming Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM, that will include a “Blessing of the Backpacks” for all school children. This will be followed by a potluck at 11:30. The entree will be provided and all are welcome!
Homecoming celebrates the history of the church and Flower Mound and recognizes those who attended the original Donald School. The church was founded in 1854 by Reverend Matthew B. Donald. The school was founded in 1877 and named for the Donald family who were among the first families to settle in the Flower Mound area and helped to develop the community. The church is located at 1501 Flower Mound Road in Flower Mound, TX. Sunday School starts at 9:30, followed by Worship Service at 10:30. Church members and former attendees of the Donald School are invited to share their memories and stories during the service. All children are invited to participate in the blessing to start their school year off on a good note. See www.fmpcweb.org or call 972-539-7184 for more information.
Former Lewisville Assistant Fire Chief Brian Freed, 42, was arrested Wednesday in Lewisville on a felony charge of theft of at least $6,210 from the Fill-the-Boot fundraiser that the department conducted on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association from April 28th to May 3rd of this year.
According to the probable cause affidavit, obtained by The Lewisville Texan Journal, Freed aroused the suspicion of Division Chief Mark Richards after texting him late at night on May 4th of this year stating that he had moved six five-gallon buckets containing bags of money from where they were being kept at Station 7 to Richards’ office at Central Station. At the time the money was moved, Freed had been placed on paid leave just two days earlier for what he told police was an addiction to hydrocodone and Ambien that he had bought over the internet.
Community Relations Director James Kunke explained that all public safety employees are subject to quarterly random drug testing, as well as testing upon hire, promotion, or reasonable suspicion. Employees who test positive for drugs may be terminated immediately, but employees who self-admit* a drug problem are referred to the city’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for treatment. Employees referred to EAP can retain their employment if they successfully complete treatment and comply with more frequent drug testing, but can be terminated immediately if they have another positive test.
On May 6th, Detective Bryan Gibbins with Lewisville Police Department investigated the situation and determined that two of the six bags of cash that had been collected were missing. Bags containing $4,284 from B shift, and $3,427 from A shift were found to be missing from the buckets.
Thanks to recent rainfall and cooler weather, Lewisville Lake now sits at 516.96 feet, which is a little over 5 feet low, or about 77% full. Overall, Dallas water reservoirs are 26.61% depleted. As of last Thursday, the Southern half of Denton County is still in extreme drought, while the Northern half has been moved down to severe drought.
The DFW area has received 1.08 inches of rainfall so far this month, compared to a normal value of .26 inches for the first 5 days in August. However, we are still quite a bit behind on rainfall. So far this calendar year, we have received 12.65 inches of rainfall, compared to the normal value of 22.46 inches, or a 9.81 inch deficit. Even with the drought last year, we had 17.35 inches by this point.
Given that we are almost in Mid-August, we think that chances are really good that we can make it through the rest of the year without further water restrictions in Lewisville, but conservation is still important. Lewisville is still in Stage 1 of its Emergency Water Management Plan, which means mandatory restrictions on outdoor watering.
LTJ would like to point out that there is nothing particularly dangerous about Lewisville Lake, compared to the others. Any ranking of lake safety ought to be normalized based on the lake's size and number of visitors/boaters. The number one factor in lake safety is whether visitors will take responsibility for their own safety by wearing life jackets and avoiding boating under the influence of alcohol.
The Lewisville Police Department is celebrating 75 years of dedicated service to the community. At Monday night's Lewisville City Council meeting, Mayor Dean Ueckert recognized the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Lewisville Police Department on August 9th, 1939, proclaiming August 9th, 2014 as "Lewisville Police Day".
LPD invites residents to join them for an Open House this Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Lewisville Police Department. Hot dogs, chips, and drinks will be provided. In addition to building tours, there will be a variety of displays in the south Police Department parking lot off of Main Street.
Lewisville Police Department is located at 1187 W. Main St. The best parking for the event would be behind the Library, accessible from Civic Circle.
The Lewisville Police Department shared the following information on recent crimes:
Aggravated Kidnapping Suspects Arrested On August 2, at approximately 8:30 p.m., a local police agency sent a message out to area agencies to be on the lookout for a stolen vehicle that had been stolen during an aggravated kidnapping. Officer Joe Fernandez thought he may have seen the vehicle at an apartment complex in the 200 block of East Southwest Parkway earlier in the shift. He relayed that information to other officers, who began checking that area for the vehicle. Officer Kevin Tice observed the vehicle travelling eastbound on Southwest Parkway and then turn into an apartment complex. Officers converged on the vehicle and detained three suspects.
Officers learned that the victim of the aggravated kidnapping had been lured to Lewisville via social media. He was met by three males who threatened him with a handgun and forced him into the backseat of his own car. The victim said that the suspects demanded money from him and assaulted him repeatedly. Eventually, the suspects took the victim to another city to try to get money from a relative of the victim. One suspect was detained in that city after robbing the victim’s relative. The other suspects fled the city until they were eventually located back in Lewisville. Lewisville officers arrested two suspects for aggravated kidnapping.
Editor's Note:LTJ's Arrest Blotter shows that the two suspects arrested are Perry Paul Gonzales, 19, and Ismair Santiago Tenorio, 20. Gonzales is held in lieu of $140,000 bond on charges of aggravated kidnapping with a deadly weapon, theft, and engaging in organized criminal activity. Tenorio is held in lieu of $115,000 bond on the same charges, and is also held on an ICE detainer. Later in the day on August 3rd, police arrested Yadira Tenorio-Santiago, 17 on the same charges. She is held in Lewisville jail in lieu of $75,000 bond on the same charges.
Boyhood (August 2014) Written & Directed by Richard Linklater Starring Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke & Patricia Arquette Rated: R Review: 10/10
By Doug Lane
Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” is unlike any film you have ever seen before. It’s very rare that a movie that not only meets expectations, but raises the bar in which films should be made; in short, it’s a masterpiece.
The movie follows Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane), his sister (Lorelei Linklater) and their divorced parents (an excellent Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) for twelve years, but the only real antagonist they face is just life itself. In particular, we literally see Mason Jr. grow from an inquisitive, curious boy to a critical, but still curious young man. But to understand how the movie functions, you have to understand how it was made. Linklater fits twelve years of production (with the same actors) into 165 minutes without the film feeling compromised. It feels more like a compilation of Raymond Carver stories as opposed to a Hollywood film.
One would think a project of this magnitude is bound to run into problems, or at the very least lose consistency throughout. However, the film captures the same poignancy from the first frame to the last. Every shot is delicately staged, every song effectively picked, every frame filled to the brim with the stuff that makes the movie flow instead of simply exist. By flow, I mean that time ceases to be a frame. What feels like twelve years is actually only 165 minutes of screentime.
In that aspect, the film is a technical marvel. But even then, the Transformers franchise falls under the same category. The reason I consider this movie a masterpiece is the combination of the technical and the narrative. The movie isn’t concerned with cinematic conventions like an intricate plotline, or an actual antagonist, or really anything that most people would recognize as a movie.
Much like in real life, the mundane becomes extraordinary. Sometimes the best drama comes from a simple conversation between father and son about magic, or remembering the first real conversation with a significant other, or even talking about the perception of time. These are real moments, unfolding off-screen and enchanting us as we live (or relive) vicariously through Mason and his family.
It’s this immersion that gives the movie its real power. We see and feel each character grow, develop and react to each other, their environment, and themselves. Never before have I felt life so accurately depicted on-screen. Watching the movie took me back five years, when I was in Mason’s place, and I empathized with him, but it also individualized Mason as his own character: similar to me, but with a story wholly original to him.
I was genuinely moved by the end of “Boyhood” and don’t know if I will ever experience another movie quite like it. It is a beautiful piece of art that transcends its category of being a “just a film” and into something greater: a generation-defining masterpiece.
Writer's note: MPAA gave this film an "R" rating, but the film's distributors IFC states that they consider the film appropriate for "mature adolescents." 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
In a ruling released Tuesday, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court ruling from last year that had dismissed a lawsuit against the City of Lewisville over the constitutionality of a city ordinance restricting where registered sex offenders can live.
Aurelio Duarte was convicted in 2006 for online solicitation of a minor. After serving his sentence in prison, he came back to Lewisville in 2010 to live with his family. Due to the city’s sex offender residency restrictions, Duarte and his family were unable to find a suitable residence within the city. Lewisville’s ordinance makes it unlawful for a sex offender to live within 1,500 feet of public parks, playgrounds, private and public schools, public and semi-public swimming pools, rec centers, day care centers, and video arcades. Violating the ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 per day fine. After trying in vain to find a residence where he and his family could purchase a home in Lewisville, Duarte and his family sued the City of Lewisville in federal district court in 2012.
The trial court last year dismissed Duarte’s family from the lawsuit, under the rationale that since the ordinance only applied to the offender, the family didn’t have standing to sue. The City of Lewisville had argued, and the trial court had agreed that Duarte had no standing because he hadn’t actually violated the law, and thus had not suffered “actual injury” from it. The City also had argued that Duarte didn’t have enough money to buy a house, and thus didn’t have an actual injury. Lastly, the City of Lewisville argued that the case was moot, since in the intervening time, the family had moved out of their motel room, to a residence in a nearby city.
Map showing 1,500 foot exclusion zones (red) around various parks, pools, schools, daycares, and other places where children congregate. The ordinance has effectively taken the whole City of Lewisville as off-limits.(Via City of Lewisville Map Service)
The appeals court reversed the trial court, and reinstated Duarte and his family as plaintiffs, remanding the case back to district court without judgement on the actual constitutionality of the ordinance. The appeals court ruled that the case is not moot, because Duarte is seeking both compensatory and nominal damages, and those still stand, even if injunctive relief would be moot at this point.
The ruling means that Duarte and his family can proceed with the lawsuit, and the trial court would consider the plaintiff’s assertion that the ordinance violates the US Constitution. The plaintiffs specifically claim that the ordinance violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment, as well as the Double Jeopardy clause of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and it constitutes an ex post facto law in violation of Article I, section 10 of the Constitution.
Plaintiff's attorney Richard Gladden said that the ruling marked the first time nationally that an appeals court has ruled that family members can sue in these cases. "That's a first nationally, although it doesn't seem to have ever been considered by another State or Federal Court," said Gladden.
Lewisville City Councilman TJ Gilmore said that the Council had been made aware of the decision by email today, and that City Attorney Liz Plaster would be consulting with the City’s outside counsel to discuss next steps. Gilmore said that any further discussion on the matter would take place in future closed sessions, but would not offer any further comment on the pending litigation.
Well, it has been a busy couple of weeks since the last update - but I guess that's nothing new. This week, we had a nice little break from the typical Texas July climate with cool weather and much-needed rain. Of course the side-effect of all that rain is that now we're going to have to mow the grass a little sooner.
As of Tuesday, all of Denton County was still in Extrem drought, but we'll find out on Thursday whether that rain changed our official level. According to the National Weather Service's DFW records, we've had 0.81 inches of rain this month, but as you may have heard, there were parts of Denton County that got almost 11 inches in one day. Most of that fell in the Lewisville Lake watershed, and that has caused the lake to rise from a low of 513.60 feet to its current level of 515.23 feet - a 1.63 foot rise. That means we are still 6.77 feet low, but that's much better than where we were at. Dallas Water Utilities reports that overall lake depletion for its reservoirs is at 28.67% - well short of the 50% number that would trigger the next step of water conservation measures.
For what it’s worth, scientists think that higher temperatures and dryer soils are contributing to a lack of needed rains and resultant runoff needed to keep our lakes full over the long run. According to this Texas Tribune article, state water planners are only focusing on water needs of a Texas with a larger population, not a Texas affected by climate change. Pretty bad when even Oklahoma figures climate change into their planning, and we don't.
In Denton, you may have heard that citizens there started a petition to ask their City Council to completely ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing. The problem has been that despite the City’s ordinances and setbacks, owners of pre-existing old-fashioned wells have claimed they were not subject to the city’s ordinances due to “vested rights”. This past week, the Council met to consider whether to pass the ordinance or send it to the voters to decide. After hearing citizen input in the public hearing until the wee hours of the morning, it almost seemed like the Council was going to talk itself into passing a ban, if for no other reason than to get the drillers to the table to put the burden on them for negotiating an ordinance they would obey. But in the end, with great frustration they decided 5-2 to send the issue to the voters in November. Denton Record Chronicle’s Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe has done a great job covering the ongoing story, so we don’t have much to add.
Lewisville Fire Chief Tim Tittle is a leukemia survivor, and is being honored in an event called the Big D Climb, 2015, which will raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
According to a WFAA article, Denton County Criminal Court Judge Jim Crouch threatened a domestic violence victim with jail if she failed to show up and testify at her batterer’s trial. The woman had a pre-scheduled and very expensive trip to Romania that she could not reschedule, and that she had informed the court about months in advance. Crouch should face discipline from the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct for re-victimizing a victim, and telegraphing a message to women that if they report domestic violence, they should expect to have their lives disrupted at great expense for many months.
The Lewisville Citizens Police Academy is taking applications. This is an opportunity for citizens to learn how their police department operates, and get a taste of the training that their police officers must go through. Your editor did this a few years back, and considers it invaluable experience that gives him much better insight on the department.
I should be clear that although it’s common knowledge that Denton used to be the home of a nuclear missile base, we can’t vouch for the accuracy of the claims made by this website, but you might find “Denton Underground Secrets” interesting. Anyone interested in renting a backhoe, and going exploring?
Years ago, I used to attend a local mega-church, which shall remain nameless. At the time, my oldest son was a baby, and I stopped going because it was just such a hassle dealing with him and the crying and diaper issues. When he was a little older, I went back, but only a time or two, because I really didn’t like the fact that it had turned into a cloister flock - a church that seemed to want to serve to further isolate its members from the community at large by having its own book store, coffee bar, sports leagues, and all those manner of things. Anyhow, this article in the Texas Observer struck home to a degree.
If you’ve read LTJ for very long, you know we love satire. There’s now a satire website for the University of North Texas in Denton called The North Texas Pigeon. I’ve often thought about separating the occasional satire we do here into its own website, but it would have to have a really good name. Too bad “Pigeon” is now taken.
Here’s a common problem with today’s political discourse though: assuming that the words or actions of one person reflect the thinking of the party that person is purportedly affiliated with. For example, there was backlash a couple weeks ago when a supposed Democratic Party candidate for office tweeted some dumb stuff, and was then targeted by conservative pundits. Thing is: he’s not even a real candidate. To some extent, you can hold a party responsible for its candidates, but to do so, you have to 1) actually have a candidate, and 2) have competitive primaries.
When Weird Al’s lyrics are better than the original ones, you know something is wrong. Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines has such a nice funky groove to it, but it was too bad the lyrics were as some described: “rapey”. Here’s a version you can listen to guilt-free.