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Storms Moving South (2014/4/21)
Storms Moving South
Changing Signs (2014/4/19)
Changing Signs
Fire at Lake Park (2014/4/19)
Fire at Lake Park
LISD Westside Aquatic Staff (2014/4/15)
LISD Westside Aquatic Staff
Spring Cleanup 2014 (2014/4/12)
Spring Cleanup 2014
Recent News and Opinion
2014/4/22 - Candidate Profile and Questionnaire: Tracy Scott Miller for LISD ...
2014/4/21 - Candidate Profile and Questionnaire: Kristi Hassett for LISD Boar...
2014/4/19 - Videos: Lewisville City Council Retreat - April 17th, 18th, 19th
2014/4/18 - Council Offering Donna Barron the City Manager Post
2014/4/17 - Video: Trustee Candidates at LTJ/Parents4LISD Student Voter Forum
2014/4/17 - Board Tours LISD Westside Aquatic Center
2014/4/13 - LTJ, Parents4LISD to Host Student Voter Forum April 15th
2014/4/13 - Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition
2014/4/11 - City-wide Spring Cleanup Set for Saturday, April 26th
2014/4/11 - Sheriff's Office Warns About Bogus Warrant Calls
2014/4/9 - Updated: FBI Announces Arrests in Child Sex Trafficking Cases
2014/4/7 - Lewisville Woman Wins Big on Price is Right 8,000th Episode
2014/4/7 - Lewisville Implements Year-Round Water Restrictions
2014/4/5 - Flower Mound to Use Social Media to Warn About Traffic Enforcement
2014/4/5 - Friends of the Library Host Book Sale Saturday and Sunday
2014/4/1 - Lewisville Buys Land Previously Proposed as Gas Drilling Site
2014/4/1 - Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with Free Beer
2014/3/31 - Annual Charity Art Gala Scheduled for April 18th
2014/3/29 - Saturday Morning Update
2014/3/26 - Video: 35Express Project Holds Community Meeting in Lewisville
2014/3/24 - Old Town Resident Opens Little Free Library
2014/3/23 - LISD School Board Meeting Notes - March 17th, 2014
2014/3/18 - Economic Development Agreement Reached for Three Restaurants to Se...
2014/3/13 - Thursday Night Update
2014/3/8 - Dutch Oven Cookers Share Food, Fellowship, and Fun
Recent Reader Comments
2014/4/22 13:07 - Re: Council Offering Donna Barron the City Manager Post (kjudk1955)
2014/4/21 21:00 - Council offers Barron position effective May 1st (WhosPlayin)
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2014/4/20 11:40 - Re: Videos: Lewisville City Council Retreat - April 17th,... (jbcglc)
2014/4/13 15:00 - Re: Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition (fvaughan)
2014/4/1 23:20 - Re: Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with... (Anonymous)
2014/4/1 23:06 - Re: Time to Come Clean - April Fools! (Anonymous)
2014/4/1 22:42 - Re: Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with... (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/1 22:19 - Re: Lewisville Resident Makes Splash in Neighborhood with... (WhosPlayin)
2014/4/1 21:43 - Re: Time to Come Clean - April Fools! (WhosPlayin)
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2014/4/1 21:32 - Time to Come Clean - April Fools! (WhosPlayin)
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2014/3/30 20:36 - Re: Mary Smith files for Place 6 on LISD Board (Anonymous)
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2014/3/29 23:20 - Re: Mary Smith files for Place 6 on LISD Board (Anonymous)
2014/3/26 6:18 - Cane Russo: $1,000 for a side of ranch dressing (WhosPlayin)
2014/3/26 4:07 - Re: Was Texas House Candidate Pat Fallon a Resident of De... (Anonymous)
2014/3/24 22:48 - Krista Stone for Place 6 (WhosPlayin)
2014/3/23 12:43 - Moving school board elections would be a terrible idea. (WhosPlayin)
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This topic is for links to relevant news, interesting websites, quick opinions and inane ponderings. Postings in this thread are considered "open-thread", meaning that anyone can post a comment on any of the articles, whether the comment relates to the post or not. If you have something random to say, this is the place.
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Sunday Morning Update - Almost Tax Day Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/4/13 10:50:00 (422 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowIt's Sunday, April 13th, and we are two days away from the April 15th deadline to file federal income taxes. Although we've already filed our federal taxes, we've been procrastinating from doing our business property tax renditions, which are also due Tuesday. Honestly, I don't know why I procrastinate. It's not that hard, but maybe just a bit tedious. I guess I might just run up to the office later and work on that.

Once again, we've gone too long without an update, so a few of the links I had been saving to share ended up so stale that I removed them. Here's what we have for today:

Technology was an issue at one of the recent LISD candidate debates. We want to remind everyone that The Lewisville Texan Journal and Parents4LISD will be co-hosting a candidate forum for voting-age students on Tuesday of this week.

Teacher engagement was another issue. Gallup has some background information about teacher engagement, and how that compares to other professions. Not only does general K-12 engagement exceed most other professions, but at 45% engagement, LISD’s teachers far exceed the national K-12 engagement of 28-35% (based on experience levels), and LISD teacher engagement also far exceeds the national average of all occupations, which is 30%. Despite the narrative that somehow our teachers are not engaged, and that it somehow relates to strategic design or 1:X or something else that our district leadership is doing or not doing, the numbers plainly show that LISD is different. Now, any organization of any size is going to have some that are actively disengaged, and if you listen to any of them, these folks are going to paint a picture that “everybody” is just like them.

KERA had a radio story about a Lewisville student: “Class Of '17: Ricky Rijos Is On The Road To Getting His Learner's Permit”


The Texas Tribune is hosting a symposium on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education on May 5th. It’s free and open to the public.

You may have heard about the new study regarding gas drilling, that challenged the results and methodology of the Texas Department of State Health Services cancer cluster study in Flower Mound from a couple years ago. Here’s the full text of the new study. Yes, I’ve skimmed it, and plan to revisit it when I have some time. Flower Mound has responded, and so has the TDSHS, which intends to update their study based on new data, giving results with both 95% and 99% confidence.

I will tell you that my initial take on the state’s study was that it was weak. I can’t seem to find my initial analysis of the DSHS study, but if memory serves me, the level of confidence they chose - 99% meant that even though they found a given disease was twice as likely to occur in their study area, it would have had to be around 10 x more likely to occur before they could definitively say it was a cluster. I also thought the study area was too large. Of course, the existence of a cluster, if proven, doesn’t imply causality. For all we know, there could have been certain construction materials used in the homes in these neighborhoods that are off-gassing and causing problems. I just can’t say that this type of study is capable of proving or disproving much of anything with regards to causality. Back in 2010, I posted my thoughts on what may be causing health issues.

The Dallas Observer had a good article about Animation Celebration (nee BronyFest) that happened in Lewisville a couple weeks ago. We have a lot of good photos on this, and you can see them on our Facebook page. It's cool that Lewisville has an event like this.

The University of North Texas Dallas College of Law will enroll its inaugual class this fall. The school aims to train lawyers who want to be lawyers for the “right” reasons.

Lewisville resident Danielle Lane attended the Clinton Global Initiative University, and intends to be active in promoting marriage equality in Texas.

Neighbors Go has a summary of the 35 Express community meeting that we videotaped a couple weeks back.

TxDOT’s land purchases for the I-35E expansion are part of a federal grand jury investigation right now. While we can’t say whether or not there was any wrongdoing, we can tell you first hand that TxDOT has been less than transparent on the land deals, withholding public information about how it arrived at the values it paid, and has apparently vastly overpaid for the land it has acquired, allowing land speculators and one county official to cash in. TxDOT needs to be more realistic in its values, and not be afraid to take people to court if they need to. We all know that governments have the power of eminent domain, and we all want them to use it sparingly and fairly, but there comes a time when you just have to do what's right for the public - speculators be damned, because their profits are not our concern.

Greg Abbott has been in hiding after coming out against equal pay for women, and also for citing Charles Murray in his education plan. Murray has made a lot of controversial comments about the inferiority of women. SPLC lists Murray as a White Nationalist. Here's a quote from SPLC:

Charles Murray, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has become one of the most influential social scientists in America, using racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor. According to Murray, disadvantaged groups are disadvantaged because, on average, they cannot compete with white men, who are intellectually, psychologically and morally superior. Murray advocates the total elimination of the welfare state, affirmative action and the Department of Education, arguing that public policy cannot overcome the innate deficiencies that cause unequal social and educational outcomes.


Pooping on bluebonnets. Don’t do it! Speaking of wildflowers, volunteers will be pulling up the invasive “bastard cabbage” species on The Flower Mound on Saturday, April 19th from 8 - noon.

Lewisville Police have been testing security at local schools, sending undercover officers to try to get in, and seeing whether they can do it.

“Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal.”

You have have heard of the accidental shooting of a Marine at Camp Lejeune. The Marine killed was Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf, of Crowley. Signs point to a negligent discharge from another Marine.

Fina Mart on Old Orchard was fined $12,856 by the TCEQ over violations of state rules governing underground storage tanks.

Lets be honest here. There is only one reason why election officials would restrict access to restrooms for voters. Republicans these days can only win elections when they can suppress the turnout. They do this by reducing polling places in poor and minority neighborhoods, and making it as damned inconvenient to vote as possible. If this is what you have to do to win elections, maybe that should be a clue that your ideas just suck, and you should go back to what conservatism used to be instead of making it a haven for anti-intellectual, anti-minority, anti-poor, anti-woman, and anti-progress cranks.

Girls Chase Boys - by the exceptionally talented and beautiful Ingrid Michaelson

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Sunday Afternoon Update - Texas Independence Day Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/3/2 13:37:15 (1822 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowToday is Texas Independence Day. On March 2nd, 1836, Texas declared independence from Mexico. In honor of Texas Independence Day, we hoisted the Texas flag here at the house, cooked a pot of Texas Red last night, and drank a couple of Shiners. You might say we’re just a little proud of being born in Texas, but we thank our lucky Lone Star that Texas joined the United States of America. You can learn more about the brief history of Texas independence here.

Light Guv candidate Dan Patrick was being accused of having hired undocumented workers. If only something could take the attention off it. Oh yeah, how about after the court ruling this past week overturning Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage, Patrick tweeted "MARRIAGE= ONE MAN & ONE MAN. Enough of these activist judges. FAVORITE if you agree. I know the silent majority out there is with us!"

I’ve generally considered Texas Tribune to be a decent and reliable source of news in Texas, and from time to time we re-publish their stories. We have even at times considered going non-profit to follow their model. But they've been getting some criticism for taking money from big donors who have an interest in avoiding bad coverage. The criticisms there do cause me to reflect on our own operation and how we might avoid that kind of bias. Even if you take money completely out of the equation, it is easy to find yourself thinking twice before publishing something derogatory about a newsmaker who provides you with access and information.

We recently had a big conversation on the City of Lewisville Facebook group regarding license plate recognition systems, and specifically the storage of data in them. Councilman Neil Ferguson wrote a response, which we posted here. I wanted to share with you the article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the national database. I would just say that I’m wary about there being too much storage of that information, and the potential for abuse. The information collected definitely is useful in law enforcement; I don’t dispute that. It loses utility the longer you keep it. At some point, the usefulness crosses below a point where it outweighs the potential for abuse. I don’t know where that point is, but I hope that Lewisville Police Department and others will keep that in mind when determining how much data to keep.

This is some interesting drama: Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs bought a condo in Dallas for some reason, and is involved in a lawsuit because he refuses to return a $175,000 piece of art that was in the unit. He bought the unit as-is, and without an inspection, but is holding the art hostage over what he considers to be defects in the unit.

I am not sure if this is a first or not, but Denton County Commissioners actually voted to recommend the TCEQ say “NO” to a proposed special utility district near Aubrey.

The University of North Texas has hired auditors to look into revenue shortages and budgetary inaccuracies. Three top finance officials recently resigned.

One Ale of a Trail 5 mile trail run is Saturday, April 26th at LLELA. It’s the same day as the Keep Lewisville Beautiful Spring Cleanup. LTJ will have a cleanup team for the latter.

As you know, the Lewisville City Council as well as surrounding cities took steps to reduce the availability of e-cigarettes to minors. This NPR article discusses the rationale (or lack thereof) for banning their usage. For what it’s worth, I don’t feel there is enough evidence of harm from second-hand vapor to justify any bans. But property owners are free to do as they wish for their own establishments.

Here is something that gets me: We left-leaning folks genuinely believe in the process of science, and we think science should not only be taught in schools, but should shape public policy. We poke fun at idiots like Joe Barton, and the people who want to teach creationism as if it’s a scientific theory with equal footing as evolution. Yet, so many of our lefties also are willing to set aside discernment and jump on all sorts of bandwagons where the science is either non-existent, or has been totally ignored. A lot of folks are familiar with the Facebook page “I Fu**ing Love Science”, but do you know about “I fu**ing hate pseudoscience”? I recommend that everyone who professes to love science follow both - especially the latter.

Speaking of pseudoscience, this article blasts Whole Foods as America’s Temple of Pseudoscience.

Scientists found a crystal that has been dated to 4.4 billion years old - the oldest known rock ever found, and only 100 million years younger than the formation of the Earth itself

The Myth Behind Public School Failure: how good schools + bad math = the appearance of bad schools. Privatizers are more than willing to cash in on the mistake.

NPR has a very good graph of taxation and spending in the United States over four decades - showing you proportionately how much is spent on what over time, and where the pay-for is coming from.

Inequality in America is now worse than on the TV show Downton Abbey, says Brett Arends in his article for Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch.

If a gas well blows up in your neighborhood, you had better hope it was Chevron’s well, because then you might get a free pizza out of the ordeal.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson lives on a luxury estate in Denton County near Bartonville. He has joined a lawsuit against the Cross Timbers Water Supply Corp., which is building a water tower near his home. The lawsuit claims it will be an eyesore and hurt his property value, which is the main BS argument. What had gas drilling opponents fuming, and asserting hypocrisy was the suit’s assertion that the tower could be used to supply drilling operations, and that would result in a lot of truck traffic. Here is an open letter to Tillerson from a former oil company executive who now fights against the industry’s practice of “fracking” or hydraulic fracture stimulation.

FM 1171 from Shiloh Road in Flower Mound, all the way to I-35W will be widened from two lanes to a six-lane divided thoroughfare.

Being originally from Waco, I enjoy drinking Big Red. I especially like Big Red vanilla ice cream floats. Here is a list of 10 things you may not know about Big Red.

Lewisville ISD is not happy with progress on the new natatorium, which is behind schedule.

Here is a website about the study of passenger rail service between Texas and Oklahoma.

Ag Commish Todd Staples stopped in Lewisville the other day to spew some butthurt over the gay marriage ruling.

Brendan Hartman of Lewisville received a full-tuition scholarship to Centenary College of Louisiana.

Flower Mound will not have a city election this year because none of their candidates drew opponents. This could work to the disadvantage of Flower Mound candidates in the LISD races. Those candidates usually have an advantage because of Flower Mound’s high voter turnout.

A secret tunnel was found under a drug kingpin’s bathtub. I’ve always wanted a secret tunnel, but I’m not sure where it would lead to.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Excuse me if I’m appalled at the negative reaction to this sculpture by some folks who think Jesus wouldn’t be a ‘vagrant’.

The big international story right now comes out of Ukraine, where citizens ousted the Russian-affiliated leader, and Russian troops have now occupied Crimea. President Obama warned that there would be a price for Russia’s actions there. Here is a map that can help you understand the situation, and here is an article that explains some of the history behind Ukraine, Russia, and Crimea. It’s not a clear-cut situation of Russia invading because they just want it. Russia clearly has some interests to protect, but we should be concerned about the unilateral nature of their actions. I’m not sure their motives are entirely summed up by what they have stated. Nevertheless, the US has confronted them about it, and when two nuclear superpowers have words like, it concerns me greatly.

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Tuesday Morning Update

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/2/18 8:43:20 (788 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowHere are some various links of interest from other news outlets:

Some residents of Denton, fed up with gas wells in their neighborhoods as close as 250 feet to homes in spite of their city ordinance’s 1,200 foot setback, have launched a petition for a ballot initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in their city. Such a move would effectively shut down new gas well development or reworking of existing gas wells, although currently-functioning wells could continue to operate. The group’s website has more information about the effort. It is hard to say whether such a move would be legally defensible in court, but it’s a sure bet that if it passes, drillers will sue.

Redflex, the firm that installs red light cameras in cities in exchange for a take from fines, is accused of bribing officials in 13 states. Lewisville had been one of the cities considering the cameras, but that was derailed in 2008.

A chat bot wears down anti-science twitterers.

Lewisville’s softball team is younger this year, but may be even better. They are number 3 in the state rankings.

The University of North Texas is going to have to figure out how to support its library. Sadly, the University has not seemed to focus on its core mission.

Here’s a move that I just can’t understand: The Dallas City Council put its water supply at risk by allowing the Seaway Pipeline, which will carry heavy tar sands oil, to pass through a piece of property that Dallas Water Utilities owns, and has water pipelines on. Don’t worry though: They got paid $1,600. All better now. I’m sure that any accident with the oil pipeline won’t cost any more than that. Dallas Water Utilities supplies treated and untreated water to the City of Lewisville.

This is an interesting article about Attorney General Greg Abbott prosecuting voter fraud. It seems some right-wing types were zealous about special taxing districts, and decided to claim voter registrations at a hotel so that they could legally vote themselves onto the directors of a road utility district that had been put together by developers and was in use to fund infrastructure for a business area.

Speaking of debt, the Texas Municipal League has an article about local debt.

Lewisville has a teen celebrity. Lewisville High School student Paola Andino stars in the Nickelodeon series “Every Witch Way.”

If you like to dine out in Flower Mound, you might like to see the food inspection scores.

Crackpot of the week

Lewisville-based Responsive Education, which operates charter schools, recently had to pull a biology workbook out of classrooms due to it teaching creationism in violation of the constitution.

In our last update, we told you about a Lewisville woman who had a huge ovarian cyst, and no means to have it removed. Thanks to a huge outpouring of financial support from the community, she was able to have the surgery, and has now been discharged from the hospital. Godspeed.

Lewisville ISD has launched a website to allow residents to track the results and status of the 2008 Bond package. You can see all of the projects in each zone, and track what has been built, and what remains.

At Hicks Elementary School, students earn badges.

Sears sucks hard, and has for quite a few years, but here is the latest nail in the coffin.

Good news: Fire ants are on the way out. Bad news: Crazy ants are replacing them.

Chalk This Way is coming up on May 17th.

Ted Nugent is a dirtbag draft-dodger, racist, and misogynist who in the past has made statements about affairs with underage girls. But Greg Abbott is traveling with him, and the two will be in Denton today. If you want to know someone’s values, pay less attention to the words they say, and more attention to what they do. Abbott talks a game about family values, and going after predators, but he’s hanging out with one today - showing that politics is really more important to him.

Kraig Parker will be performing at Sounds of Lewisville this June 3rd. Here's some video of Kraig from last year:

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Wednesday Night Update - Livin' the Good Life Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/1/29 23:01:58 (516 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowHere are some various links, notes, and cartoons we've been collecting over the past week or so:

In the last update, I mentioned that I wanted to start including some music from local artists in each of these. Tonight's music is from "Livin The Good Life" by Terry Bloss of Lewisville:


Lewisville High School sophomore Kenwoo Kim took first place at the 2014 American Legion District 13 Oratorical Competition.

Flower Mound residents organized a Walk for Unity. Not to be outdone, Lewisville residents organized a nap for apathy. ;) (Go ahead and RSVP "Maybe"...)

Zebra mussels continue to move.

Lewisville Lake Symphony - free concert January 31st

Hackers did not steal records from the Healthcare.gov website.

The death of expertise.

A person was injured after driving off a bridge on I-35 last Friday.

Lewisville’s Old Town Business Association changed its name to Main and Mill Historic District. Lindsay Holladay writes about what the organization is planning.

A Lewisville woman is suffering from a basketball-sized ovarian cyst, but can’t get treatment because she is unable to work and has no money for the surgery or even insurance. Compounding the problem is that she cannot get a subsidized premium under the Affordable Care Act because she would qualify for Medicaid under federal law, but the State of Texas refused to expand Medicaid. A collection is being taken up, and some nice folks have stepped up to help. But it shouldn’t have come to this. Texas should have taken the federal money and expanded Medicaid.

Aerial tour of Rheudasil park in Flower Mound.

There was a meteor over North Texas

Flowchart for a sexual decision-making process that would seem to fit with certain modern American extremist political factions.

State Farm Insurance is making a major expansion and will be hiring up to 700 people for the planned Richardson office.

Texas and Oklahoma have finally reached an agreement on Texas water rights in Lake Texoma. There had been some controversy due to a boundary problem.

The price of postage stamps went up by 3 cents.

Apparently the audio from that O’Keefe video purporting to show Democrats laughing at Attorney General Greg Abbott’s disability was deliberately spliced to mislead. There’s a "big surprise", considering the source.

Another day, another GOP Texas Lt. Governor candidate debate. Each one wants to prove they toe the Tea Party line, and are fully on-board with an extreme-right agenda.
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Sunday Evening Update - MLK Weekend Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/1/19 19:20:00 (784 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowMonday is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. We don’t have the day off work, but I will take some time to reflect on what Dr. King accomplished.



I have had this idea now for a few years, and have shared it with a few, but never pushed it. I think now is the time to put it out there. In the City of Lewisville, we do not have a street named after Dr. King. I think we should make that happen. I think that Martin Luther King Jr.’s street should be in a place of prominence in our city, rather than being hidden in a neighborhood somewhere. My suggestion is to rename Civic Circle, which runs from Main Street to Summit Ave, and crosses Valley Parkway. The new name would be “Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Circle”. The street mostly has businesses and governmental uses such as the Post Office, and the Library. It would be a place of honor. We could install some nice street signs, and maybe the City of Lewisville could place a small monument on city property at the corner of Main Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Circle. What do you think, Lewisville? Could we get this done in time for an unveiling on January 19th, 2015? If you agree, will you sign my petition, or contact a city council member? So far, I would say that based on early response to the idea via Facebook, Lewisville residents may not be ready for this. A few of the comments are actually a little sad. It's okay if you don't like the idea, but the reasoning from some carries no small amount of prejudice.

Last week, a big rig caught fire in Lewisville on the I-35 service road.

A car was found underwater in a lake near Hebron Parkway. LFD divers did not find anyone inside.

Lewisville and Farmers Branch need more time to settle the Camelot landfill lawsuit.

A Lewisville family was involved in making a float for the Rose Bowl parade.

Food Court Wars recently filmed an episode in Lewisville. The series airs starting in February we are told, although we’re not sure when this specific episode will air. Many Lewisville residents were extras for the show.
From the show's website:

"Food Court Wars pits two teams of aspiring food entrepreneurs against one another as they battle to win their own food court restaurant, rent-free for a year. Each week it’s a different U.S. city mall. The mall wants to open a brand-new "local" eatery in the food court that offers a fresh region-specific menu. Stakes are high as teams must test their concept, market their brand and run their outlet for a full day feeding hungry shoppers. The team whose restaurant makes the most profit wins their eatery space — a prize worth $100,000! The losing team must vacate the premises."


We attended a mini-concert at Vista Ridge Mall with 80’s teen pop singer Tiffany. Here’s a post from a fellow who made the most of the opportunity to meet Tiffany.

Larry Smith passed away last Sunday morning.

Flower Mound woman returns Denton man’s class ring, lost 60 years ago near Lewisville Lake.

Alternet has a pretty good writeup about conservatives literally seeking to rewrite the bible, because it’s “too liberal”. Funny the lengths people will go to avoid cognitive dissonance. I think it shows what their true religion is.

Dallas considers dealing with tires in the Trinity river. I just gotta say that after umpteen cleanups with Keep Lewisville Beautiful, somehow tires end up at just about every one of them. I wish people would dispose of them properly.

A Miami firm has bought the Vista Point North office and industrial park in Lewisville.

Texas Senate candidate Don Huffines is against taxes. Unless they are taxes that he created to subsidize his private land developments.
http://watchdogblog.dallasnews.com/20 ... ss-has-created-both.html/

Via Dallas Morning News: LISD set new graduation requirements. LTJ will have a post coming up here pretty soon, covering that last board meeting.

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, Texas ranks 38th in the nation for emergency medical care.

Denton County is paying out $125,000 to settle a lawsuit against Precinct 3 Constable Jerry Raburn. Raburn is accused of discrimination in firing then-Deputy Richard Tackett. The County admitted no wrongdoing.

A brush fire consumed 15 acres in Flower Mound Saturday.

Stupid hipsters...

Each day’s news - without words.

The first amendment protects free speech - including warning motorists of a speed trap.

Denton County Republicans are keeping it “classy” by name-calling.

Meanwhile, Lewisville resident Labib Basta is running a write-in campaign for Denton County Republican Party Chair. There is some drama there about the current chair blocking his filing to run against her. It's a long, but interesting read.

Here’s a little musical interlude from a talented friend of mine: Lisa Markley - Real Women, Real Songs 2 - Week 1: Vulnerable


I was thinking: Wouldn't it be nice to showcase some local musicians here each week? If you know a musician in North Texas who needs a little more exposure and has some videos online, why don't you email us at editor@lewisvilletexan.com and let us know.

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Thursday Night Update

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/1/9 21:40:00 (668 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowLewisville 7th grader Lydia Kizziar, 13, has died of the flu.

A Flower Mound man stabbed and killed his mother, and himself.

Here is the latest edition of LISD’s “Insights” video program.

In Flower Mound, Mayor Tom Hayden has managed to polarize citizens there by declaring 2014 the “Year of the Bible”. The proclamation carries no legal weight, but nevertheless has galvanized evangelical Christians in his support, while angering many (including some Christians) who favor separation. I have been thinking about what I could say about this that hasn’t already been said, and I may yet write a column on this if I get time. What I will leave you with is what I’ve said for years: When you mix politics with religion, it cheapens both.

The Texas Railroad Commission held a meeting in Azle on those earthquakes, and it didn’t leave residents feeling warm and fuzzy.

Farmers Branch will have a 3-way race for Mayor. The city, which has now spent $6.1 million in legal fees to defend an ill-advised ordinance that targeted illegal immigrants, now has three candidates who all say immigration enforcement is a federal issue.

Lewisville Mayor Dean Ueckert had a column in Neighbors Go, looking forward to the progress in Lewisville for this coming year.

Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis called for the resignation of Cash America Vice President William White from the Texas Finance Commission, which regulates payday lending. Unfortunately, in Texas, the commission is set up to require foxes to guard the hen house, protecting the loan sharks from consumers.

Of America’s top 100 cities by population, Plano was rated the number three best managed.

The Denton Guyer Wildcats and the Argyle Eagles are both state champion football teams.

Kris Hughes says the University of North Texas Mean Green football team is a waking giant after their impressive 36-14 Heart of Dallas Bowl win.

LISD Superintendent Steve Waddell answers questions about the school district’s direction in 2014.

Dallas Morning News has a story about how craft distillers are a growth industry in North Texas. The article mentions Lewisville’s Witherspoon Distillery.

Did you know the origin of the “Fighting Farmers” mascot? Good Morning Texas interviewed James Kunke, who explained that it relates back to the story of a bank robber who was chased down by the Farmer Football team.

The relative lack of coverage of the Fukushima nuclear disaster by the major news outlets has created a vacuum that is unfortunately being filled by a lot of misinformation from numerous disreputable outlets. The proliferation of blogs and other sites then using that misinformation as source material has made it hard to find good information about what is going on there, as well as the realistic risks to people and the environment. Here are a couple of articles from reputable sources: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has an F.A.Q on radiation from Fukushima, and Deep Sea News has an article with some various facts.

There are many things wrong with our healthcare system in America. Despite the ideological pipe dream of some that the free market can fix the problems, the healthcare market doesn’t conform to the conditions necessary for capitalism to work. For example, there is a lack of price transparency. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas claims that it fired an employee for the grievous sin of revealing what the customary pricing of a surgical procedure is.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram put out a really shoddy piece of “journalism” about people “suffering” under the Affordable Care Act. Somehow 3 out of 4 people they interviewed who claimed to be losing under the program were Tea Party members, and surprise: they didn’t like “Obamacare”. Unfortunately, the paper did not fact-check the assertions of the people they interviewed, and it turns out some very simple investigation would have showed the truth.

In response to the article about the Star Telegram’s failings, the Executive Editor Jim Witt wrote an apologetic response, which was then picked apart by The Fort Worth Weekly.

The embattled news show 60 Minutes did a hit job on clean power technology that also seems to have missed the mark.

Phil Robertson: Marry girls when they are 15 or 16 years old. (Otherwise, they’ll pick your pocket)

It has always been interesting to me how the conservative movement makes folk heroes of people. Joseph Guyer gets to the heart of the matter in this article describing the phenomenon.

Greg Abbott has a Koch problem, says Burnt Orange Report.

A study says low-intelligence adults gravitate towards racism and conservative ideologies.

Walking across New Hampshire to reform campaign finance.

More from the school administrators behaving badly department: Principal fired for stopping free-lunch hand stamp shaming of poor children.
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Saturday Morning Update: Kwanzaa Edition.

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2013/12/28 0:20:00 (641 reads)

 
Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowWell, we hope everyone had a nice Christmas. We had a beautiful Christmas here at our household, and we are extremely blessed. We had several generous readers chip in and donate to the cause here, and we ended up having almost enough for that new camera we’ve been needing for ages. My wife chipped in the rest, and now we have a decent camera. I took my youngest son out to LLELA today to try out the new camera, and ended up with some really nice shots. I’ll be posting some of those in the photo section here soon. Here’s my current favorite: Sniffy the Armadillo.
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Kwanzaa is a fairly new holiday created in 1966 as a celebration of African heritage. It is celebrated each year for the week after Christmas. If you celebrate Kwanzaa, have a good one.

The I-35 expansion project, 35Express has an updated project website with information about project status and lane closures. Denton Record Chronicle has a story about how TxDOT is saving some by expanding the highway within the existing rights of way as much as it can.

One of the results of HB5 is that the requirement for high school social studies has been reduced from 4 to 3 credits. But, as we mentioned before in the last LISD Board Meeting recap, some social studies teachers are not happy with that. While I’m a proponent of social studies, just like I’m a proponent of English, math, and science, I also think we need to have some flexibility so that students can pursue their interests. If a kid wants to take 6 credits of social studies, and only 3 credits of math, that’s fine. If a kid wants to take 6 credits of science, and 5 maths, but only 3 social studies, that would be fine too. Kids are not all the same, and we need to stop with the assembly line mentality.

Earthquakes continue in North Texas. On January 2nd, Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter will hold a community meeting in Azle. We predict he’ll trip over himself to assert that these quakes have absolutely nothing to do with injecting thousands of barrels of waste underground. But we shall see.

Speaking of the RRC’s denial of reality, the Office of the Inspector General this past week released a report responding to an inquiry by Republican members of Congress looking to shake up the EPA over its response to a water well contamination case in Parker County. The report found that the EPA acted properly and was justified in its response, ordering gas driller Range Resources to provide homeowners with drinking water. We previously wrote about that case here and here. The Fart Fairy reference, BTW, was picked up and used in a textbook about environmental rhetoric.

Does having money make you mean? There appears to be some experimental evidence that it can. I swear to God though, that if the universe sees fit to allow me to win the Powerball or Megamillions, I’ll be really nice.

We grow them dumb here in Texas. The GOP will have Larry SECEDE (that’s how he spells it) Kilgore on the ticket for governor. He thinks homosexuals should be put to death because the bible and all. But don’t worry, he’s sure the gays will still vote for him because taxes and stuff.

You can honor an LISD educator by making a donation to the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation’s Changing Children’s Lives Fund in their name.

Chesapeake Energy is finding itself on the defensive from royalty owners who claim Chesapeake is cheating them out of royalties through inside deals to sell the gas to related entities.

You know, I am a country music fan. I just am. Grew up on it, and just like it best. But honestly the past few years, about half of it is just total crap. There is this sub-genre that I call “Redneck Bonafides” which is trite recycled bullshit themes where these “musicians” vomit out a bunch of words that they think will appeal to an unsophisticated redneck audience. They talk about trucks, girls, cold beer, dirt roads, and any other thing they can rattle off and string together into some garbage that can be made into a music video. Country music: we can do better. Thank God for Pandora radio, where I can permanently banish the crap songs with one click.


More from the “school administrators behaving badly” department: Girl reports getting raped at school and is suspended for public lewdness.

Skywarn Spotter Training Schedule for 2014

Dallas Morning News looks at Lewisville’s recently-passed local option liquor election, and notes that so far, the only applicant for a license is Buy Low Beer and Wine. One reader wrote in to let us know that Buy Low had three TABC violations on its record. According to the document, it looked like they violated Texas’ “cash law” once in 2005, and sold alcohol to minors twice in 2008, and 2010. Our reader wanted to know whether the City of Lewisville will contest permits based on a history of violations. I’ve never shopped there, and don’t have much opinion of it one way or the other.

Dragzine.com has a look back at the old Dallas International Motor Speedway, which opened in Lewisville in 1969, but is now just a memory and a historical marker.

Dallas Morning News has an update on the growth of A-train ridership.

Finally, we leave you with this:

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Saturday Morning Update - Winter Solstice Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2013/12/21 12:28:40 (832 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowToday is the Winter Solstice. At 11:11 p.m. local time, the North Pole will be tipped about 23 degrees away from the sun, its farthest point throughout the year. The 10 hours, 1 minute of daylight make it the shortest day of the year, with our sunset at 5:25 p.m.

Right at midnight last night, Lewisville Lake crossed the 514 foot mark, and currently sits at 514.07 feet elevation. This is the first time since early September that the lake has been under 8 feet low.

We’ve received about three quarters of an inch of rain so far this morning. Here’s the National Weather Service update from this morning:

“A cold and rainy morning is expected across North Central Texas. There will be a few embedded thunderstorms in the rain, but the severe weather threat will remain to our south and east ahead of a cold front. Temperatures across Oklahoma have fallen below freezing and icy roads there will make for hazardous travel. Rain and storms will come to an end over North Central Texas around midday as drier air moves in from the west.”

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The recent Icepocalypse eased up the drought a little. But Governor Perry has renewed a proclamation extending the drought emergency. Denton, Dallas, and Tarrant Counties are not on the list this time. But our lakes are still low, and we could find ourselves hurting for water this summer without some significant recharge over the winter and throughout the spring.

Here’s a video of a song from Alabama: “Angels Among Us”. It’s an oldie, but hopefully will inspire. I just want to offer one more reminder that The Lewisville Texan Journal is still seeking nominations for Lewisville Citizen of the Year.


The Dallas City Council has effectively banned gas drilling by setting a 1,500 foot setback requirement for wells.

Well, this took long enough. In Florida, a school named after the first “grand wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan B. Forrest High School - a majority African American school will get a new name.

Here is a Christian music video from MercyMe with parts shot in Lewisville

Furniture retailer Ethan Allen is leasing warehouse space in the Austin Ranch section of Lewisville.


Last week, we mentioned the boy whose “affluenza” privileged him with just 10 years probation after killing four while drunk driving. Tarrant County prosecutors still have some charges that have not yet been prosecuted, so they will try again. There is a petition with over 20,000 signatures to remove Judge Jean Boyd from the bench. However, the Texas Constitution provides that removal of judges goes through a process, starting with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Making a wrong decision in a case is not grounds for a judge to be removed by the commission, which is geared more towards willful or persistent misconduct. The process to remove a judge based on their decisions being out-of-sync with community standards happens in the primaries and at the ballot box.

Interest in the case of the "honor killings" of Amina and Sarah Said has been renewed since a $20,000 reward has been announced by the FBI for information leading to the capture of Yaser Abdel Said. A petition calls for interrogation of mother and brother in honor killings. $20,000 reward announced. If you know anything, contact the FBI.

Lewisville is getting a First Choice Emergency Room facility at 1596 W. Main Street. The facility will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The facility bills itself as a full emergency room, even though it is not attached to a hospital. Heart attacks and broken bones are treated, as well as asthma, pneumonia, and allergic reactions. They do not file with Medicare or Medicaid.

Texas police can now get search warrants based on the prediction of a future crime.

A Lewisville woman must make tough choices after nearly being homeless.

Can you drive 200 MPH down a state highway? I believe my Prius would be topped out and dangerous at 100. (Not that I've tried) But this Corvette handles it pretty well.

U.S. Sailors who were part of the Navy effort to help after the disaster at Fukushima are now finding themselves with cancers. The ship they were on was desalinating water from the ocean, and they were drinking it.

You may remember our article from last year about TxDOT possibly overpaying for land acquisition for I-35 expansion. The Denton Record Chronicle has a story now about two men who cash in on the speculation, buying land in the way of road projects in order to sell it to the state for a healthy profit. I don't know about you, but my blood pressure goes up just thinking about this again. We need to talk to our State Representatives about changing this process.

We also mentioned last week about Greater Lewisville Cares dissolving. The editor of Neighbors Go had some thoughts about this, as well as an article about the organization.

Residents of the Christian Community Action affordable housing project where the explosion happened earlier this year are being kicked out. Seven families are going to have to find a new place to live. CCA says the property is too expensive to maintain, and they can help more people with the money from selling it.

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Sunday Morning Update - Bill of Rights Day Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2013/12/15 11:10:44 (898 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowBill of Rights Day
On this day in 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, and white male landowners had their God-given rights codified. For the poor, and women, and minorities, those rights would come much later. Some are still waiting for their rights, while some privileged folks claim persecution because those who dare to stand up to oppression call them out for the racist, sexist, homophobes they are. Yes, the Bill of Rights is important, and is a legal basis for doing what we should already know is right. It may be written on paper, but Human rights are written on the conscience.

Weather
This week should have some nice warmer weather than we’ve had last week, but it is expected to turn sharply colder at the end of the week. This is just a reminder that early in the week would be a good time to make your preparations for the possibility of being iced in again. Stock up on firewood, rock salt (for ice melting), and kitty litter (for traction). Grab an extra gallon of milk and loaf of bread to throw in the freezer. Be prepared. Here is the current thinking on this from the National Weather Service:

We are watching the next strong cold front which will arrive in North Texas on Friday. Temperatures behind this front are not expected to be as cold as our last front, but it still may be cold enough for some wintry precipitation Friday Night and into Saturday. The potential for wintry precipitation is higher for northwestern areas than it is for southeastern areas. It's too early to determine exactly where the rain and winter precipitation line will end up now, but we just want to keep you informed that there is another system to watch for. There are no indications in any of the weather data that this next winter system will be as bad as the last one. Please keep checking back for the latest forecast updates during the next week for further details.


Lake
Lewisville Lake has continued to rise with the recent rain and melt-off from last week. It is now at 513.89 feet, which is just about 8 feet low.

Support the Fire Chief
Lewisville Fire Chief Tim Tittle is battling Leukemia. Although he is reportedly doing well, his out of pocket medical expenses are taking a toll on his family. This Monday and Tuesday, all 3 Raisin' Cane's chicken locations in Lewisville and Flower Mound will donate 20% of proceeds to help off-set Tittle's medical costs. Just mention "Chief Tittle" when ordering..

Public Comments on CDBG Spending Sought
The City of Lewisville will accept public comments through Monday, Dec. 23, on the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report for the Community Development Block Grant 2012-2013 Program Year.
A copy of the report is available at Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W Main Street, and the Planning and Community Services Division at Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church Street. Comments on the report also can be directed to Jamey Kirby at 972.219.3780 or jkirby@cityoflewisville.com.

Christmas Tree Recycling
Starting Dec. 13 and running through Jan. 17, live Christmas trees can be dropped off at the Lewisville Lake Park soccer fields (near Lake Park Road and North Mill Street) to be recycled into mulch. Recycling Christmas trees helps reduce waste, extend landfill life, provide useful compost and save money.

Trees must be stripped of all nails, wire, ornaments, lights and tinsel prior to being dropped off. Free mulch will be available at the drop-off site between Dec. 30 and Jan 17, suitable for use in yards, gardens and flower beds, walkways, around trees and shrubs or for livestock bedding.

The program is sponsored by Keep Lewisville Beautiful and Lewisville Parks and Leisure Services. For information, call KLB at 972.538.5949 or PALS at 972.219.3550.

Links:
Lewisville ISD has 507 homeless students. Here is a group that is trying to help them.

Central Kia helped the woman whose car was totaled by falling ice.

That dilapidated shopping center in Old Town Lewisville on the Southwest corner of Mill and Elm has been purchased and will be redeveloped.

Earthquakes continue in North Texas. Over the past week, there have been six. Most recently, a 2.6 near Whitesboro on Friday, and a 2.8 near Springtown Saturday night.

Last week I wrote about a private ambulance service that went out of business, leaving people stranded. This week, it’s a story about a private firefighting company that showed up 45 minutes after a fire began, and were not first responders. Nevertheless, they sent the homeowners a $20,000 bill. Again, I'm thankful for the Lewisville Fire Department, and think that our modest tax bill each year is a huge bargain, given the benefits.

The City of Lewisville has been going through a process of long range planning called “Vision 2025”, which is a plan for what our city will be in the year 2025. Here is some video from the preliminary findings meeting.

Lewisville Lake Symphony is looking for interns.

Greater Lewisville Cares, a community organization that matched volunteers to local programs that need them, is shutting down operations. In doing so, they are distributing numerous grants. We appreciate all the good work that GLC did, and expect that their legacy will continue in ways they can’t even know. Volunteerism has a way of being contagious, and the contacts made and people helped will likely continue to pay it forward for years to come. Please join us in thanking GLC for all they’ve done, and wishing them the best.

Take Care of Texas is a program of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that aims to help Texans learn how to conserve energy and protect our natural resources

Governor Perry did get around to appointing that Red River commission to work on boundary issues with Oklahoma. Frisco's Maher Maso is on the commission.

A 21-year-old Seagoville man was arrested for terroristic threats of mass murder at Seagoville High School.

Here is a prime example of how our laws on immigration are screwed up. This woman was an Arizona State Trooper. She just recently learned that she is not a United States Citizen because contrary to what she believed, her parents brought her here illegally.

That idiot who was a “sign language interpreter” for the Mandela funeral says he that a schizophrenic episode. My thinking when I first read this was “how can this guy have passed a background check?” Here is someone who got on stage with the leaders of the free world, and stood a foot from the President. And it turns out that he has a criminal background.

Worse than the Keystone XL Pipeline: Moving all that oil by train. Pipelines may burst, but trains can derail, like this one in Alabama, or this one in Quebec that destroyed a town and killed 47. I keep telling you, we need to work on alternate energy sources. Oil needs to be preserved as feedstock for chemicals and plastics that we’re going to need for humanity. Some day, we’re going to look back and wonder why in the hell we burned it.

State Rep Pat Fallon (R, Frisco) is so shallow, he literally doesn’t have any tactics in his playbook, other than being a demagogue. Last week, he held an “urgent meeting” to address the critical issue of whether people can say “Merry Christmas” in schools.

Speaking of utter Christmas nonsense, you probably heard about Fox “News” host Megyn Kelly’s statements about Santa Claus and Jesus both being white. What did the real St. Nicholas look like? Well, I'd say he looks pretty dark-skinned.

To everyone who has a persecution complex and gets their knickers in a twist about a so-called “War on Christmas”, we wish you “Happy Holidays”. Everyone else, Merry Christmas.

The sun is going to flip its magnetic field within weeks, says NASA.

Texas Republican official posts white supremacist propaganda supporting apartheid. What is with this insistence on being on the wrong side of history?

“Vomit”

Spotify, an online music service, now has an ad-supported free service for mobile devices.

While criticism continues in the case of the 16 year-old who gets 10 years probation because he didn’t know any better because of affluenza, please excuse Davontaye; he suffers from povertenza.

Meanwhile: A 70-year prison sentence for a grinch who stole Christmas lights. She does have a lengthy criminal record though.

14 things non-Texans just don’t understand. #1 for me is that Mr. Pibb is NOT the same as Dr. Pepper. (Looking at you, Atlanta area.)

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Wednesday Night Update - Post Icepocalypse Edition

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2013/12/11 21:40:14 (807 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowI suppose this post will probably be the last of the Icepocalypse posts (for now). We may end up with Icemageddon around Christmas time, but we will see.

Lewisville Lake is currently at 513.77 feet, and has risen has risen 2.4 inches since the Icepocalypse began. As the ice continues to melt, we're hoping to see it increase even more. We're still about 8 feet, 3 inches below conservation pool.

Speaking of the lake, new rules just took effect to fight zebra mussels. All boats must be trained, and live fish cannot be transported outside of the lake.

The name of the victim in the fatal truck crash off the Lewisville Lake Bridge last week has been released. It was 21 year-old Kayla Gawalek, a graduate of Lewisville High School and current student at NCTC who was on her way to work in Denton.

A National Guard unit from Lewisville helped stranded motorists during the storm. By the way, LTJ says big thanks to all the first responders and troops who helped out.

Newt Gingrich remembers Nelson Mandela - and took some heat for it, but fired back. Unfortunately, many on the far right have bought into some propaganda that Republicans should view Mandela as a terrorist or communist, or whatever “ist” they’re hating this week. Mandela fought for his people, who were oppressed under the brutal regime of apartheid. Just as our country fought the British, and our founders might have been called terrorists, Mandela did what he had to do, and in the grand scheme of things, it was justified. What made him the hero was that he was the bigger man, and pushed for reconciliation, rather than retribution. It’s too bad that Ronald Reagan was on the wrong side of that.

There have been more earthquakes. A 4.5 - 4.8 magnitude in Oklahoma Saturday, and a 3.6 near Azle on Sunday, and a 3.7 magnitude on Monday. I’d just about bet a paycheck that injection wells have something to do with it. Of course, just like the tobacco industry did for decades, they’ll ensure we’re good and fracked before the science catches up and is able to conclusively prove it.

Speaking of “fracked”: Here is some new video of the blowout at the Eagleridge wells in Denton.

Bakery Boss on TLC did a show on Kristi's G's cupcakes in Vista Ridge Mall. Here is a preview.

I have never been able to understand why some people lie about who they are, and try to claim military service and recognition they never earned. But it seems to be a pretty common con, and almost a go-to tactic for pathological liars. Chrissy Axtman spun a pretty sorry tall tale.

Bill Moyers: The criminalization of everyday life.

The Supreme Court has ruled in the case of Salinas v. Texas, and it has chilling effects on our fifth amendment rights.

The State of Texas gained its first statewide elected Democrat this week with the defection of Judge Lawrence Meyers, who sits on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He is running for Texas Supreme Court, which is the highest state court for civil cases in Texas.

Via LLELA: Would you and your family like to celebrate Christmas as they did in the late 1800s? Join us for a Homestead Christmas on Saturday, December 21 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Enjoy a tour of the historic Minor-Porter Log House, make a corn husk doll or an ornament to take home to your own Christmas tree, create a hand-dipped candle, make gingerbread in the Dutch oven and churn butter to put on it, enjoy music and snacks, and more. Visitors are welcome to arrive at any time during the open hours and join in at their own pace. There is no additional fee for this activity beyond regular admission to LLELA ($5/person; children age 5 years and under free). Musicians with appropriate acoustic instruments get in free to participate in a holiday jam session at the cabin—please contact lisacole@unt.edu or 972-219-3930 to participate.

Of the 20 biggest high schools in Texas, Lewisville High School is #16.


First Med EMS service, a private emergency medical transport service operating in 6 states suddenly shut down service last week. Reading things like this makes me so proud that in Lewisville, we own our EMS and operate it with the Fire Department. Some of these cities are screwed. Can you imagine putting your trust in a private company that may or may not be there tomorrow, and has no accountability to the citizens? I consider my tax dollars for Lewisville Fire Department to be well spent!

Tom Thumb Gas stations began offering a “cash discount” for gas, which they say doesn’t violate the prohibition on credit surcharges. Since there are only two ways to pay (cash or credit), it seems like we have an issue of semantics that either means the law is messed up, or Tom Thumb is breaking it. I don’t have any problem with a cash discount per se, and I actually like to see businesses push back against the financial industry’s de-facto “tax” on the transactions which cuts into profit and makes us all pay more.

This is a very long read, but very good: “Invisible Child - Girl in the Shadows: Dasani’s Homeless Life”.

Contrast Dasani’s story with that of 16 year-old Ethan Couch, who killed 4 people drunk driving. the judge apparently took pity on him because his wealthy parents never let him learn about consequences for his actions. That is some serious bullshit. 20 years in prison would have been too harsh, but 10 years of probation does not seem to do the trick. I do believe in redemption, and I hope the boy gets the help he needs to change his life and atone for what happened. I just would have felt a lot better if he spent some time in prison.

Denton County Health Department is offering free flu shots. Hours and locations can be found here.

This coming Saturday, navigators will be available to help people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Coming soon, we’ll have more information about the people who have filed for elected office in the Democratic and Republican primaries. We’ve mentioned Daniel Moran before as the Democratic candidate for State Representative, Texas House District 63, which covers part of Lewisville. The Lone Star Q published an article today about Moran: “Meet the 20-year-old bisexual atheist from Texas who’s vying to become the nation’s 1st genderqueer elected official”

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