An airplane equipped with floats flipped upon landing in Lake Lewisville this afternoon, killing at least one. As you can see in the video, the landing gear appears to have been deployed from the floats - which could have caused the flip.
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.
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.
The group Texans Exposing Petland want Lewisville residents to know that they'll be protesting the Petland store in Vista Ridge plaza on F.M. 3040 on Saturday from 3:00 - 4:30 PM.
The group is asking local animal rights supporters to join them. The store is located on Round Grove Rd (FM 3040), just west of MacArthur Blvd, on the south side of the street. From Interstate 35E going north or south, take the Round Grove/FM 3040 exit, head west on Round Grove, and just after MacArthur Blvd turn left between the Bank of America and Sonic Drive In. Park in the Bank of America parking lot, since the bank will be closed. Bed Bath & Beyond and Babies R Us are in the same strip of stores.
The Lewisville Citizen’s Fire Academy, the closest civilians can come to being a firefighter short of joining the department, is accepting applications for its 2009 class. The free 10-week program runs from March 2 through April 27 and will include instruction and training experiences in the classroom and in the field.
The academy, which is open to Lewisville residents age 21 and older, is designed for people who have a genuine interest in fire department operations and fire and life safety awareness. Classes meet every Tuesday evening, 7-9 p.m., and once on a Saturday. All sessions are taught by fire department personnel.
Lewisville Scheduled to Participate in Fourth Annual Great Texas Warrant Round-Up
The Fourth Annual Great Texas Warrant Round-Up is scheduled to take place on Friday, March 12, 2010. Numerous counties, justices of the peace, and municipalities of all sizes will participate in the round-up this year.
The round-up is designed to target thousands of defendants with traffic, parking, city ordinance, penal code, and higher charge warrants from more than 250 participating jurisdictions. Officers will be out in full force, attempting to contact wanted persons at their homes and at their places of business.
Citizens who think they might have an outstanding warrant in Lewisville can check the Municipal Court's warrant list and follow the instructions there to pay their fines and resolve the warrant.
The popular free concert series "Sounds of Lewisville", with its popular Summer and Fall lineups is without a budget to operate this year, due to declining revenues in the city's hotel-motel occupancy tax fund.
The budget for this year's series had been $45,000, but according to James Kunke, Director of Community Relations and Tourism, that number is about the amount of this year's shortfall in revenue.
Kunke said that the series can continue for 2010, but that it would have to be moved to the Vista Ridge Amphitheater. The Amphitheater location already has a stage and electricity, and the city has a sound system that can be used, although it's not as good as the ones typically rented for the concerts which have been held in Wayne Ferguson Plaza. Last year's series used $6,800 for stage rental, and $6,400 for sound, lights, and generator rental.
In addition to saving the money for stage and sound, Kunke said the city would need to look for acts willing to perform at no charge, either as a way to increase their visibility or as a public service.
When pressed on whether the city might be able to find sponsors for the concerts, Kunke said the city would certainly be willing to accept help, but that due to economic conditions, the city has found that sponsorships are declining. He added that the city was already looking for sponsors for events like Western Day, which the Council wants to expand, and that the city would be pressing for donors for the acquisition of pianos for the new Arts Center currently under construction.
Mayor Dean Ueckert said this afternoon that he expects this year to be the only year the events are scaled back - barring any further economic slow-down. Ueckert said that if something had to give, he preferred it to be the concert series instead of cutting library hours or something similar. Ueckert expects the series to be back in Old Town next year, as the plaza across from city hall is improved, and the Art Center is completed. Ueckert also reiterated that sponsorship by local businesses to keep the series in Old Town would be welcomed.
Any businesses, individuals, or bands wishing to step forward and help keep the concert series running during this tough year can contact Parks Director Bob Monaghan at 972-219-3550
This past Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I attended my first Lewisville City Council Retreat - a yearly event where our City Council and City Manager and Staff meet to discuss our local issues in much more detail than they normally would have time for.
There were two sessions on Thursday night that I wasn't able to attend, but these were covered by Council candidate (and fellow blogger) TJ Gilmore in his live-blog of the meeting. My Thursday night video sucked because I was missing my tripod mount and had a crappy angle. But my video from Friday and Saturday turned out remarkably well.
I should note that I shot all of this video in HD, but I compressed it down in order to more quickly post it online. If anyone wants an HD copy of any of this, just bring me a thumb drive or CD-R
About 35 protesters from the group "Texans Exposing Petland" gathered Saturday afternoon along Round Grove Road in Lewisville, TX to raise awareness of what they believe to be the inhumane practices of Petland, a chain of pet stores believed to sell puppies from puppy mills.
These folks said they would be back every week until Petland corrects the practices or closes.
The group's co-founder, Dr. John Pippin had this comment: "Please check us out again at 3:00-4:30 PM this Saturday. We will be blowing the whistle on the recent parvovirus outbreak in the store. We know several puppies died, and those who survived were not reclaimed by the store."