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2014/8/31 - Sunday Evening Update - Labor Day Edition
2014/8/30 - Football Scores - Friday, August 29th 2014
2014/8/29 - Letters: Legal Defense Fund Established for Freed
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2014/8/26 - Burger King Inversion Update
2014/8/25 - Officers Receive Life Saving Awards
2014/8/24 - Lewisville To Spray Again for Mosquitoes Monday and Tuesday Nights
2014/8/23 - Motorists Reminded to Be Careful as Kids Head Back-to-School
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
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2014/8/15 11:43 - Re: Former Fire Official Arrested in Fill-the-boot Theft (Anonymous)
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Lewisville Council Mulls Restaurant, Bar Smoking Ban

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2012/6/19 8:42:35 (3027 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowIn workshop session Monday, the Lewisville City Council received a presentation from City Attorney Liz Plaster on a possible new anti-smoking ordinance, and provided some direction on what they would like to see.

Lewisville's current ordinance allows smoking in restaurants if there are separate areas for smoking and non-smoking. Bars can allow smoking, and there are currently no rules about patios or entrances.

In neighboring Flower Mound, smoking is prohibited in all restaurants and bars, and within 25 feet of an entrance. Although there is no specific language about patios, smoking is allowed on portions of patios greater than 25 feet from the entrance. Hotels and motels (how many are there in Flower Mound exactly?) must have no more than 10% of the rooms allowing smoking, and all rooms must be contiguous and on the same floor. Highland Village is similar, except that patio smoking is allowed at bars and restaurants as long as it is at least 5 feet from a door.

The proposed changes, which came from the February Workshop (See video segment 8), are the following:

- No smoking indoors at restaurants or bars, or within 25 feet of a door or operable window.

- Patio smoking would be allowed as long as it is not within 25 feet of the establishment's front door.

- Owners would be in violation if they fail to advise patrons that they cannot smoke in a prohibited area.

- Hotels and motels would be limited to no more than 10% of rooms allowing smoking. They must be contiguous, on the same floor, and their status cannot change, except to make them non-smoking if the owner desires.

- Current exemptions for restaurants under 50 seats or 500 square feet would be removed.

Mayor Dean Ueckert, and Councilmen Gilmore, Vaughn, and Ferguson are in favor of the smoking ban, and Councilmen Durham and Gorena are opposed.

The discussion got animated at several points, with Councilman Gorena taking an ideological stand, calling it a "rights" issue. "If we start passing stuff like this, what's next on the menu? Big Gulps?" asked Gorena. To which, Councilman Gilmore replied "If I get second-hand carbs from them, then maybe we'll do that.". The facetiousness of Gilmore's comment was lost on Gorena, who then asked "So you want to ban Big Gulps too?" This argument continued for several minutes, with Ueckert and Ferguson jumping in. Gorena said that patrons have a choice to frequent these restaurants or not, but Gilmore and Ferguson reminded him that restaurant employees don't have the choice, and are exposed to second-hand smoke in their jobs. Gorena asserted they could just get new jobs, but Ferguson asked Gorena how the job market was, and whether he could get new jobs for all the waitstaff who are affected by smoke.

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Links and Cartoons for Tuesday Morning

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2012/6/19 7:55:14 (801 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowHappy Juneteenth!

Dallas Morning News has a great article about the case of Isaac Bruce, and the lynchings and other frontier justice that used to take place in Texas before the rule of law was respected.

If you didn't watch the Dallas premier last week, D Magazine has a nice recap.

The Texas Comptroller's office is granting amnesty to state taxpayers who come clean this summer and catch up with their delinquent taxes.

NBC 5 has a story about Lewisville's new animal shelter opening. Since the story aired, the City Council has approved waiving all adoption and licensing fees for animal adoptions from the shelter from the grand opening on June 30th through the month of July. (More about that later)

The Anti-Corruption Pledge. I took it, and I hope you will too. Encourage your elected officials to sign on. It's time to take back control of our country from corruption.

I meant to post this on Fathers Day: Consider that 27% of U.S. children now live apart from their fathers.

If this is true, it's terrible. (Warning: disturbing image) It shows that China still has a long way to go for basic human rights.

In Murphy, $150,000 worth of military style weapons, including AK47s were stolen from a storage unit that the owner had simply padlocked. What are the chances they'll turn up in Mexico?

Redistricting is supposed to be about voters having their choice-- not about putting X number of minorities in office. People often forget that, but Ross Ramsay has a good article explaining it.

Collin County man drowned Sunday at Lake Lewisville.

The Lewisville Chamber of Commerce received an award over the design of its new membership directory. I must be missing something. It doesn't look all that special to me.

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Titan Operating Acquired by Atlas Resource Partners

Oil and Gas
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2012/6/16 10:36:06 (1377 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOn May 17th, Titan Operating, LLC, which holds numerous gas leases in Lewisville and Flower Mound, as well as two operating well sites, was acquired by Atlas Resource Partners, Limited Parnership. Titan has several units operating in Northern Lewisville, but had walked away from its Ingram project in Southern Lewisville, letting those leases expire.

Here's the press release, in its entirety:

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A Big Tent Flap

Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2012/6/15 11:50:00 (569 reads)

Open in new windowBy Robert Sisson

My good friend, Mike Stafford, formerly a Republican state party official in Delaware, has renounced his membership in the GOP. It was a newsworthy moment because Mike has been front-and-center in the fight to restore the party to its traditional values. This week, he walked out of the Big Tent. One can imagine the derisive shouts from a far corner of the party, "Don't let the flaps hit you on the way out."

As president of ConservAmerica, the national organization dedicated to making conservation a priority once more in Republican circles, I, too, have had the nauseating feeling that I'm swimming against a current filled with jetsam cast overboard by pirates. Yet, I remain firmly committed and in the party.

On a daily basis, in our office we receive kind notes from people across our country. Some say, "Thank God for ConservAmerica—it is the only thing keeping me in the party." Others say, "I didn't leave the party, it left me."

I remain in the Republican Party because I believe in its five basic principles.

First, the best government is one closest to the people, and government should only do for the people those things that cannot be done by individuals. As a city commissioner, I can vouch that local elected officials are held to a much higher level of accountability than federal or even state office holders. Only at the local level can voters show up on their representative's doorstep to petition for help or point out the errors of one's ways.

This principle also gives Republicans the green light to act on environmental issues. As an individual, I can't stop the big coal plant up wind of me from spewing mercury, soot, and other toxins into the air my family breathes. Good government can.

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If you can read this...

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2012/6/14 20:40:00 (1293 reads)

Open in new window... then your power is probably still on.

Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP) is reporting that some 5,800 customers are without power right now, and may not be restored until about 9 p.m.

DCTA notified its A-Train customers that they should expect delays due to the outage.

It was also reported that sparks from the equipment caused a grass fire near Railroad Street and Hebron Parkway.

A spokesman for the City of Lewisville said Traffic signals were out along FM 3040 near Business 121, and along Denton Tap, and that Walmart was closed during the power outage.

Update: TNMP Reported that all power was restored around 10:30 p.m.

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Links for Wednesday Night

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2012/6/13 21:44:08 (749 reads)

Open in new windowI'm back on the road this week, and had such a day today, that I needed a beer. I found a little hole-in-the-wall here in Piqua, Ohio that serves a bucket of Yuengling for just $5. That's more than I normally care to drink, but I gave it the college try.

It was one of those kinds of days at work where every thing seems to go wrong, and at every turn, when you think it can't get worse, it does. Nevertheless, I got a fleeting glimpse of productivity today at around 4:50 p.m., right before everyone got the heck out of there, and my last bit of brain power oozed out of my ears. Technically, I'm supposed to be teaching this week, but that's sort of gone out the window as my students and I have been trying to fight fires and beat them back long enough to make some forward progress on our project.

Anyhow, here's some news:

LISD Notes:
The Lewisville ISD Board met Monday night. I tried to follow along with the webcast, but there were some technical difficulties with the feed.

There were a few things I was interested in, and since I'm short on time to really go into detail on them, I'll just share some documents and info.

1. LISD Strategic Plan: It was approved by the board. I'm happy with this. Here's more info, including an initial implementation timeline. Here's our initial write-up.

2. Board reorganization: Carol Kyer is President of the school board again. Jeff Knapp is Vice President, and Julie Foughty is secretary.

3. SB.1557 Application. SB 1557 allows high-performing schools to join a consortium that will lead in the transformation of public schools in Texas. Schools like LISD, if accepted, can apply for exemptions to some of the various state and federal laws and mandates that stand in the way. Dr. Waddell was excited about the response by the district's Principals, most of whom are interested in having their schools in the program. Here's more about the district's application, which the board approved. This is exciting stuff, and it fits in really nicely with our strategic plan.

4. LISD Faculty and Staff pay plans: The board approved a fundamental shift in how teachers and staff are paid. Although, I don't think the word itself is used, it seems to be more about merit, and market-based compensation. Pay scales have been wacky, and inconsistent between years of experience, from what I've seen. What it looks like they're going to do is set a midrange, minimum and maximum based on each position, and pay people in each position based on their experience in that position. Here's the agenda item. After a year of no salary increases due to last year's uncertainty over how bad the legislature would stick it to public schools, this year we at least know how much. So there will be a general raise of about $1,600 for teachers, and 3% to the midpoint of other positions. We'll keep an eye on the budget and see what this means. At any rate, the district has a web page with some documents to explain the changes.

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Nothing to Crow About

Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2012/6/13 6:53:46 (484 reads)

Open in new windowBy Peter Funt

Two crows were in the road. The older bird was dead; the younger, we'll call him Frankie, was standing guard and wouldn't budge.

I moved the dead bird off the pavement hoping the little guy would follow. But Frankie, about three or four weeks old and unable to fly, held his ground. So I took him home, and soon found myself rethinking my view about charities— specifically those dedicated to helping animals rather than humans.

Here's the backstory: A few months ago I wrote a column in USA Today about people who donate to good causes— the school volleyball team, the animal shelter, etc. — while so many Americans are hungry. We give roughly $300 billion to charities each year, but only 10 percent goes directly to social and human services.

I wasn't criticizing the well-intentioned efforts of any particular charity, but suggested that donors should apply a triage system at this time of profound human need.

I put Frankie in a large box, and Googled "caring for young crows and ravens."

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Why I Gave Up On Being a Republican

Blogs and Columns
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2012/6/13 6:40:00 (630 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowBy Michael Stafford

I'm a life-long Republican. My political affiliation has been woven intrinsically into the very fabric of my being.

My first political act was passionately lobbying my fourth-grade classmates to vote for Reagan over Walter Mondale in a mock election in 1984. As an adult, I continued to be a rock-solid Republican- I helped run my law school's chapter of the Federalist Society and its Republican club. And after the election of President Obama in 2008, I served as an officer in my state Republican Party. For the next two years, I devoted substantial amounts of my time, my talent, and my treasure to supporting local candidates running for office and to building the Party organization.

Today, however, I am a registered Republican no longer.

I came to the decision to leave the GOP not with a heavy heart, but with a broken one.

As a local GOP official after President Obama's election, I had a front-row seat as it became infected by a dangerous and virulent form of political rabies.

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Thoughts and Links on Sunday Night

Blogs and Columns
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2012/6/10 23:56:42 (1117 reads)

Well folks, I'm sunburned and all pooped out now, but I had a great weekend. My father-in-law took my sons camping, and my wife and I joined her roller-derby friends at a rented house in New Braunfels for a group vacation. After hours of driving the backroads of Texas' Hill Country, we arrived Thursday night, and hung out, drinking beer and telling stories. It was there that I was given my official roller derby name. As a non-skating participant (videographer), I didn't choose my name; it was forced upon me. Although the name was not insulting, it's not fit to print here, but for the weekend, I was not Steve, I was B.D. (to use the initials).

On Friday and Saturday, I floated down the Guadalupe river on a big black inner-tube that had a plastic bottom attached with straps around it. Friday's float was mostly a nice, relaxing one with just a few of the group there. Fluffy (my wife) had decided to join Tata and her husband Captain Motorboater in a pilgrimage to a semi-famous barbecue joint in Lockhart, so I joined with a group of her friends that I had just met, and didn't have my wife as a crutch. I know it may be hard to believe, but I'm not naturally social, and I typically will try to blend into the scenery when I'm in a place where I don't know anyone. But something about this group really made me feel at ease— and I can see why Fluffy likes them so much.

We had no sooner launched ourselves into the water Friday afternoon, when the clouds opened up and deluged us with cold, annoying, driving rain. Yet, we were there to get wet anyhow, and the rain did finally give way to sunshine only a short time later. We only floated for 2 or 3 hours Friday, on a wide, slow part of the river, where there was only one "rapid", which was a man-made dam with one spillway just a little deeper than the others.

Friday night was another night of drinking and partying at the house, but I only had a few and went to bed early. Fluffy and I had our own bedroom, which was only separated from the front porch by a window, so we got to hear all the drama well into the night. It seems one of the girls there had gotten drunk and inappropriate (even for this crowd) and her boyfriend basically broke up with her there in a loud argument.

I was surprisingly energetic Saturday morning. Fluffy didn't sleep well because several scorpions had been spotted in the house, and one person had been stung. She says she kept imagining them crawling on her in the bed. We all grabbed our gear and headed down to one of the local outfitters, Gruene River Company. They supplied the tubes, and the transportation up-river from their location in Gruene. We rode an old beat-up short school bus, towing a beat-up trailer full of inner tubes and inflatable rafts and kayaks.

So, I think there were about 21 of us there for what I am now calling the "clusterfloat". Once we launched, on what was supposed to be a 4-hour float, we tried to stay connected as a group - either by holding onto one another's tubes, or lashing them together with rope like Fluffy and I did. We rented an extra tube to put our small cooler in. The first half of the float was pretty nice and relaxing - even if a little loud at times from the cackling of some of the more talkative girls. There were a few mild rapids to go through, and they were mostly fun. At best, you got accelerated forward and bounced around a bit, and at worst, the plastic bottom of the tube would catch on some of the rocks, and you would have to stand up and take your tube forward or to another part of the current.

The not-so-fun part of Saturday's adventure was toward the end, when we went down this rapid that really was too dangerous to do in tubes. It was one of these things where we didn't know the river, and didn't know what was ahead until it was too late. It was so loud with the rushing water that we couldn't even hear others warn us. I don't know for sure what the drop was, but Fluffy and I think it was 10 - 15 feet over the course of maybe 50 feet of boulders. I damned near came out of my tube, and several people did. The woman in front of me did come out of hers, and got her leg bashed against one of the rocks. Somehow I managed to stay on, and she didn't drown. One of the guys was thrown out of his tube, hit his head, and was pulled under for a bit.

We got everyone's tubes back to them and regrouped after that. Then the river went into wide, slow mode for awhile, and it seemed like the wind was blowing us upriver as hard as the current was trying to take us down. We had to paddle just to keep moving. I think quite a few of the folks considered themselves to be done with tubing after that rapid. But the only way out was to continue on until we reached the outfitter's place along the river, so that last couple hours seemed like it took forever. My arms are worn out from that. Also toward the end, it became apparent that I didn't apply enough sunscreen to my legs, which began to burn. I did put some on, but I think it was too late.

After what seemed like forever, we got back to the tube place and returned our tubes. The consensus was that short floats are good, long floats are bad. My thought was that I want to do this again, but in a kayak instead of a tube. And even though it may look goofy, I'd want to wear a helmet.

Saturday night, Fluffy and I went out by ourselves and ate dinner at a Mexican place in Gruene, which was just awesome. We got a good night's sleep Saturday night, and left fairly early on Sunday to come back.

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Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation Awards $5000 to Keep Lewisville Beautiful

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2012/6/5 23:24:54 (689 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowDonation to support grant program for local community improvement project

Keep Lewisville Beautiful and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) today announced a major gift in support of Keep Lewisville Beautiful’s mission to empower the citizens of Lewisville through education to take greater responsibility for enhancing their community environment and engage individuals in local community improvement and environmental projects.

The Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful Community Improvement Grant of $5,000 is one of 120 merit-based grants awarded nationally to support grassroots community improvement projects ranging from community gardens and tree plantings to litter and debris cleanups, recycling programs, park and playground restorations and beautification efforts.

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