Speakers Bring the Heat at Facilities Meeting

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Last night was the second public forum regarding the upcoming bond election for HPISD facilities renovations. And I must say, good job, guys. As I mentioned earlier this week, Tuesday night’s meeting had a dearth of speakers. But this time, nearly 20 speakers voiced their praise, concerns, and criticisms, pushing the meeting more than an hour past its projected end time. 


Library Honors former DMN Editor

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Bob Mong

Bob Mong

Bob Mong, former editor of The Dallas Morning News, has been named the winner of the Friends of the Dallas Public Library’s inaugural May Dickson Exall Award.

Mong, who lives in Highland Park, retired from the paper in May after working there for 36 years, and he will go on to become the president of UNT at Dallas.

He will receive the honor, named after the woman who pushed to open Dallas’ first public library in 1899, on October 13 at The Room on Main. Mong, awards dinner staff said, has been a steadfast ally of the Dallas Public Library for some time.

The guest speaker will be Geraldine Brooks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Individual tickets are $175, and proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Dallas Public Library. Those interested may visit the FODPL website or call 214-670-1458 for more information.


Who’s Really Leading This Task Force?

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The ongoing saga of the skybridge proposal isn't relevant to the work of the task force in charge of reshaping Preston Center. Or so they say. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

The ongoing saga of the skybridge proposal isn’t relevant to the work of the task force in charge of reshaping Preston Center. Or so they say. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

The bumpy road didn’t get any smoother on Tuesday night for the Preston Road and Northwest Highway Area Plan Task Force.

The group tried to lay the groundwork for its efforts to reshape development around Preston Center by meeting for the first time in more than three months. Yet following almost two hours of back-and-forth, the abundance of basic procedural squabbles among task-force volunteers, public officials, and hired consultants brought one question to the forefront.

Who’s in charge here?


Angry Teens Confront Stunned HP Driver

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We can only describe this confrontation last week between a motorist and pedestrians in Highland Park as unfortunate for all involved. You can draw your own conclusions.

At 4:04 p.m. on July 21, a group of teenagers kicked and punched the passenger side of a black 2009 Audi sedan in the 5400 block of Hillcrest Avenue as it waited for a light to turn on to Mockingbird Lane.

Officers with the Highland Park Department of Public Safety stopped the vandals near the intersection of Hillcrest and Beverly Drive, where they were met by a counselor for Creative Solutions, a nonprofit group that helps at-risk teens and was operating a summer arts camp at SMU.


Few Speakers at HPISD Facility Meeting

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A moderately-packed crowd attended tonight's meeting. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

A moderately packed crowd attended tonight’s meeting. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

Something happened tonight that I’ve never seen before. You, the good people of the Park Cities, did not use all of your allotted time for public comments at a meeting.

Are you OK? Did you leave a roast on? Is there a sick child at home? A game on TV you wanted to watch? What’s going on?

In all seriousness, tonight’s meeting regarding the HPISD facilities bond package — which will be up for a vote on Nov. 3 — included about 30 minutes of overview and maybe 10 minutes of speakers. Let’s review.


HP Will Spray For Mosquitoes Wednesday

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Mosquito Management Map 2015Following a positive test for West Nile Virus in the northwest part of Highland Park, the town will spray for mosquitoes west of Preston Road and north of Belclaire Avenue beginning at 10 p.m. through 6 a.m. starting Wednesday. This includes the town’s tennis courts. (However, rain or excessive winds could reschedule the spraying.)

Here’s the full schedule:

  • Wednesday, July 29: Truck-mounted ground spraying west of Preston Road to town limits and north of Belclaire Avenue to the town limits
  • Thursday, July 30: Truck-mounted ground spraying west of Preston Road to town limits and north of Belclaire Avenue to the town limits
  • Friday, July 31: Truck-mounted ground spraying west of Preston Road to town limits and north of Belclaire Avenue to the town limits

For more information, visit the town’s website.


Juicing Boom Fuels Business That Puts Organic on the Menu

Health concerns prompted HPHS grad Davio Ventouras and his wife, Jessica, to launch Boom Juice. (Photo: Tanner Garza) 2
Health concerns prompted HPHS grad Davio Ventouras and his wife, Jessica, to launch Boom Juice. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

When Jessica Ventouras realized she had celiac disease, she had to give up almost all of her favorite foods.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. The damage comes after digesting gluten, which is a form of protein found in grains.

Between her health issues and her husband’s desire for a new career, Boom Juice was created.


Police Report: July 13 to July 19

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Skulduggery of the week: Sweet Nothing

Between 7 p.m. on July 17 and 9:57 a.m. on July 18, a vandal smashed a cinnamon roll against the front window of a silver 2005 GMC Yukon in the 3600 block of Lindenwood Avenue. The vehicle’s owner suggested the incident was part of a pattern of harassment against a teenager that included a derogatory birthday card left at the house on July 5.

HIGHLAND PARK

14 TUESDAY
Between 10:15 and 11:30 a.m., a burglar broke into a gray 2011 GMC Yukon at the Highland Park Swimming Pool and stole a leather gym bag containing a pair of shorts and a set of Bluetooth earphones.

Between 2:30 and 3:25 p.m., a thief stole $2,295 worth of golf and hockey equipment, along with a $300 Razor scooter and a $200 bicycle helmet from an open garage in the 3400 block of Beverly Drive. The perpetrator also took a $325 pair of Oliver Peoples Jacey Mirror sunglasses, a $100 set of Lexus wireless headphones, and a $20 metallic dog collar from a silver 2015 Lexus inside the garage.

19 SUNDAY
At 5 a.m., Joshua Paul Wilson, 26, of Dallas was arrested in the 5200 block of Preston Road on a public intoxication charge.


Meadows Museum to Hold Soloist Concert

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The Meadows Museum will hold a concert featuring soloists of the Orchestra of New Spain on July 30.

Soloists will include Heidi Klein, Katrina Burggraf-Kledgas, and Nicholas Garza.

Klein is a choral artist in residence with the Dallas Arts District Chorale and a voice instructor, Burggraf-Kledas is a member of the Orpheus Chamber Singers, and Garza is a fourth year vocal performance student at UT Arlington who performs with several professional groups in the Dallas area.

The concert will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Boston Room. Seating is limited, but admission is complimentary. Museum members and Orchestra Patrons and Friends may reserve seats by calling 214-750-1492 or emailing info@orchestraofnewspain.org.


Parents: Learn About Concussions Tonight

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Dr. Lori Cook

Dr. Lori Cook

Safety equipment in sports today is better than it’s ever been, thanks to a convergence of technology and medical knowledge.

Yet athletes are also stronger and faster than before, meaning the danger of head injuries is still very real. That doesn’t mean coaches and parents need to be afraid, necessarily, but they should be educated in prevention and care.

Friends of the UP Public Library will continue the summer lecture series tonight with an appearance by Dr. Lori Cook, director of pediatric brain injury programs at the UT-Dallas Center for BrainHealth.

The free program, entitled “Concussions in Young Athletes: What Every Coach and Parent Should Know,” begins at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s third-floor community room.


Children Take Center Stage at Camp Bravo!

Liliana Henry laughs on stage during a performance with Rainbow Days' Camp Bravo! at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church on Friday, July 24. (Photo: Laura Buckman) 0
Liliana Henry laughs on stage during a performance with Rainbow Days' Camp Bravo! at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church on Friday, July 24. (Photo: Laura Buckman)

Eddie Coker and some 300 children from local homeless and domestic violence shelters put on a good show for Rainbow Days’ Camp Bravo! final performance last Friday at Lovers Lane United Methodist.

Every year, Rainbow Days invites children to express their creativity in a week full of photography, pottery, music, and theater classes.

“Exposing children to the arts and giving them a week filled with creative learning opportunities with caring adults and instructors from our community makes a significant positive impact in children’s lives,” said Cathey Brown, Founder and CEO of Rainbow Days. “It only takes one moment, one mentor, one memorable experience,to expand a child’s world,introducing them to new possibilities.”


HPISD Wants Your Feedback on Bonds

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The plans for a November bond election are chugging along for HPISD trustees, who are now trying to secure community support before the state-mandated deadline for filing the necessary paperwork.

So the school board, as well as its Facilities Advisory Committee of community volunteers, have planned two public forums this week to solicit feedback on their ideas. They will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Highland Park Middle School auditorium, and 7 p.m. Thursday at the Highland Park High School auditorium.

The latest proposal is for a whopping $358.3 million, which is far more ambitious than any such plan in the district’s history. It includes several ideas for accommodating enrollment growth that already has led to overcrowded campuses, with more students projected in the future. There’s talk of a fifth elementary school, as well as the tearing down and rebuilding of three existing elementary campuses, with extensive renovations to other buildings.

We’ve written in great detail about the proposals, and what they might mean to your property tax rate, so you can do your own cost-benefit analysis before attending. You can also comment online here.