UP City Council Expected to Vote on Park Plaza Project

A sign protesting the Park Plaza Project proposal. (Photo: Kim Hurmis)

A sign protesting the Park Plaza Project proposal in the window of JD’s Chippery. (Photo: Kim Hurmis)

Exactly five years after rejecting the Legacy at Hillcrest Project, the University Park City Council is planning to vote again on the future of the former Chase Bank building on Hillcrest Avenue.

Following more than eight hours of public comments across a three-part public hearing and two city council work sessions, council members will vote Oct. 4 to approve or deny developer James Strode’s zoning proposal for the Park Plaza project.

Concerns from residents include height of the building, surface parking, an increase of traffic, and an impact on Snider Plaza parking.

In August, a group against the proposal, UP Citizens Committed to Neighborhood Friendly Development, created

From Food Cart to Franchise

New York City flavor hits Lemmon Ave. with street corner cult favorite Halal Guys (Photo by Imani Lytle) 0
New York City flavor hits Lemmon Ave. with street corner cult favorite Halal Guys (Photo by Imani Lytle)

The Dallas foodie scene gained New York food cart legend The Halal Guys in July via franchisee Danny Bui. It’s not set in one of the typical up-and-coming neighborhoods often occupied by new restaurants, and Bui said that’s exactly why he and his partners chose the western Lemmon Avenue location.

“One of the directional questions we asked ourselves was, ‘How can we have that cart feel in a brick-and-mortar location,’” Bui said. “We purposefully picked a more urban setting, not in a strip center, to maintain the free-standing aspect of the New York cart environment.”

Bui said he fell in love with the cart from his sporadic trips to New York. Then, when he left his job as a critical care ICU nurse at Baylor University Medical Center in 2015, he learned The Halal Guys was just embarking on becoming a franchise.

Breaking Habits


Writing my column last month about dropping alcohol really got me thinking about habits. We all get into routines which become comforts. In some parts of my life, I like to disrupt comforts for creativity, invigoration, or stimulation. In other areas, routine makes things easier and I relish the familiarity.

There is definitely something comforting about knowing a probable result. And that is valuable. But maybe relying too much on habitual practices can make us bored, stagnant, and unable to share what makes us special with others.

When we are forced off our rails, we always get back on them or build new ones or find someone else’s to hop on for a while. On a movie I was working on in Pennsylvania, our chef had been training to be a Navy Seal when an injury derailed his plans. He struggled through depression, loss, and confusion until he started cooking.

Scots Rest, Recharge During Bye Week

After the bye week, Jacob Urbanczyk and Highland Park will return to District 15-5A play on Oct. 7 at West Mesquite. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

After the bye week, Jacob Urbanczyk and Highland Park will return to District 15-5A play on Oct. 7 at West Mesquite. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

The bye week is always good to rest and heal some nagging injuries, but it appears to have an added benefit for Highland Park this season.

With the bye coming two games into the District 15-5A schedule — at the halfway point of the regular season overall — it gives HP an extra week to prepare for back-to-back games against West Mesquite and Mesquite Poteet.

Those are the two teams that share the early lead with HP in the district standings (although the Scots have the best overall record at 4-1). HP will travel to West Mesquite on Oct. 7 and host Poteet on Oct. 14. Wins in those two games would guarantee the Scots sole possession of the league lead.

$2M Donation Expands Women’s Health Care


Planned Parenthood came to Dallas in 1935 covertly, hidden inside a Ripley’s shirt box. Shirting empress Katherine Ripley would send empty boxes to New York, and when they came back filled with diaphragms, condoms, and informative pamphlets, she would distribute them to women in Dallas.

Even though birth control is now legal, safe and effective long-acting methods can still be difficult to actually get your hands on, especially if you are uninsured, especially if you are a woman, and especially if you live in Texas.

When the Boone Family Foundation and the Harold Simmons Foundation donated $2 million to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas in July, they ensured 1,000 disadvantaged women each year for the next three years free access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), and in doing so, offset the healthcare gap for uninsured women across Dallas, Houston, Austin, and Waco.

Body Found in SMU Barr Pool


Update: According to a statement from SMU, the body was identified as an SMU student.

Foul play is not suspected, but SMU Police, with the Dallas County Medical Examiner, will conduct an investigation.

At 12:30 p.m., SMU released the following statement:

New Trustees Join Southwestern Medical Foundation Board


Southwestern Medical Foundation elected 13 new trustees at the board’s annual meeting. The new Trustees are Lucy Billingsley, Linda P. Evans, Holland P. Gary, Nancy Cain Marcus, Charles W. Matthews, Alfreda B. Norman, Lydia H. Novakov, Rena M. Pederson, Jeanne L. Phillips, Daniel G. Routman, Bonnie B. Smith, Marvin J. Stone, and Kip Tindell.

“We thank our extraordinarily talented Board of Trustees for their willingness to further our mission and spend valuable time and talent to assure the Foundation’s strategic and lasting impact,” President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation Kathleen Gibson said.

HP Golfers Ready for Fall Drive


The Highland Park boys will tee off the fall golf season on Friday when they travel to the Texas High Classic at Texarkana Country Club. The two-day tournament will conclude on Saturday.

The Scots have three fall tournaments on the schedule, including Oct. 14-15 at Lakecliff Country Club near Marble Falls and Nov. 9 at Falconhead Golf Club in Austin.

The bulk of the season will be in the spring, culminating with the District 15-5A tournament in April and the state tournament in May.

‘Tis The Season For An Autumn Harvest Dinner


Autumn at the Arboretum just took it up a notch with the addition of the inaugural Autumn Harvest Dinner Oct. 16 at the Dallas Arboretum.

The event will include a six-course dinner of seasonal craft cocktails and autumn-inspired dishes, and feature six award-winning Dallas chefs including:

  • Chef Sharon Van Meter – 3015 at Trinity Groves
  • Chef Janice Provost – Parigi
  • Chef Eric Dreyer – Fearing’s
  • Chef David Scalise – Hilton Anatole
  • Chef Suki Otsuki – Mudhen Meat and Greens
  • Chef James Sparks – Gil’s Elegant Catering

The event, which will take place from 6 to 9 p.m., costs $125 a ticket, and $113 for Dallas Arboretum members.