Posts by Sarah Bennett

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    • Sarah Bennett
    • Assistant Editor
    • After graduating from SMU with a creative writing degree, Sarah interned with D Magazine and joined the People Newspapers team in January 2013. She enjoys annoying coworkers with her ceaseless Mustang pride. After a freelancing hiatus, she returned in May 2014.
  • ‘Art of Racing in Rain’ Use Upheld in HPISD

    Highland Park ISD’s reconsideration committee has decided to uphold use of Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain following a meeting Monday night.

    The full report includes:

    • What elements the committee voted on (purpose, authenticity, appropriateness, and content)
    • How many members voted “yes” or “no” on those elements. For example, all 12 members said the book accomplished its purpose and exhibited authenticity, but 11 of the 12 voted “yes” on appropriateness. Ten voters said the content of the book was “well presented,” while one voted “no” and one voted “undecided.”
    • Links to two reviews on the book that were used — one negative from The Houston Chronicle and one positive from Booklist.

    The supporting documents include:

    • Committee guidelines
    • Learning objectives
    • More reviews from various sources
    • Emails among committee members
    • Community questionnaires from committee members
    • District book list — including which texts are required reading or in classroom use, and which books are used for what grade level

    Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 25, 2014 | 4:01 pm | 2 Comments | Comments RSS
  • Santa Will be at The Bush Center Friday

    The replica of the 2002 tree stands complete with bird ornaments from all 50 states. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    The replica of the 2002 tree stands complete with bird ornaments from all 50 states. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    Last week, we got the chance to take a sneak peek at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Christmas display, “All Creatures Great and Small.” The exhibit is a replica of the 2002 theme when President Bush was in office. That year, each governor had an artist from their state design an ornament with a bird that represented that state. You can see those creations on the Bush Center’s tree this year.

    Not only will you catch the bird ornaments, but you will also see papier-mâché replicas of presidential pets through the ages. That doesn’t just mean the Bushes’ famous pups, Barney and Miss Beazley (Miss Beazley wasn’t even born until 2004) — that means Coolidge’s raccoons, Woodrow Wilson’s sheep, and Teddy Roosevelt’s Shetland pony. Seriously.

    Though the display clearly showcases a wide range of animals, there are also mementos from the holidays during the Bush presidency, such as dinner invitations, drafts of speeches, Christmas cards, gifts from the public, and even a brass menorah from a congregation in Philadelphia.

    A good time to catch all of this is Friday, Nov. 28. Forget Black Friday crowds — get off the couch and away from the leftovers and check out the exhibit, and catch a glimpse of Santa Claus. From 5 to 8 p.m., he will be accompanied by live music, as well as arts and crafts for the kids. There’s also a free shuttle from Mockingbird Station until 8 p.m., if you’re in too much of a turkey coma to deal with parking.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 25, 2014 | 12:38 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Forty Five Ten to Partner With Swarovski

    This tote is one example of the available pieces. (Courtesy photo)

    This tote is one example of the available pieces. (Courtesy photo)

    Next month, Forty Five Ten will partner with jewelry designer Kelly Wearstler to launch a limited-edition collection with Swarovski. The items — which include 10 home-decor pieces and accessories — will be available exclusively at the shop. Prices start at $150.

    Dec. 11 is the official, unveiling date.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 25, 2014 | 11:20 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Go to GOOP in HP Village, Because Gwyneth

    Paltrow explaining her fabulousness to us all. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    Paltrow explaining her fabulousness to us all. (Staff photo: Sarah Bennett)

    Facetious headlines aside, I got to take a tour of GOOP in Highland Park Village today, and it was fabulous. As many know, GOOP is Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog, and the pop-up store is set up to reflect just that — a lifestyle. (Paltrow called this blog-to-shop concept “click and mortar,” and I nearly died of joy.)

    The photo I have dreamed of since childhood.

    The photo I have dreamed of since childhood.

    As you enter, you will find gifts and clothing from the affordable (read: candles and floral arrangements) to the high-end (such as pieces designed for the store by Monique Lhuillier).

    One room reflects the “kitchen” of this make-believe home, with Paltrow’s cookbooks and a line of luxury soaps. Another represents a bedroom, with loungewear and skincare goods.

    “My favorite, favorite products that I use and love are in there,” Paltrow said of the “boudoir” room.

    Sorting through the clothes, you will find everything from crisp linens and tailored blazers to casual button-downs and runway-ready cocktail dresses. It’s fun to wander through the collections and think, would Gwyneth wear this?

    Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 21, 2014 | 3:38 pm | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • It’s Time For Chi-O, Lovers Lane Holiday Markets

    We’ve been excited since August, but the time has finally come for the annual Chi Omega Christmas Market. Basically, this place looks magical. I will be attending for the first time this weekend, but it’s a longstanding tradition around here — 37 years long, to be exact.

    Come check out more than 175 vendors to help you check your list twice and cross everything off it. Remember, you can also get your carefully selected gifts wrapped there, too.

    Head out to Fair Park until 6 p.m. tonight or from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday for the fun.

    What’s most important? It’s all for a good cause. Here are this year’s beneficiaries: Chi Omega Education Corporation; Bea’s Kids; Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County; City Square; Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center; Dallas Children’s Theatre; Dallas Police Association’s Assist the Officer Foundation; Letot Center Capital Foundation; Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas; Project Transformation; and Chi Omega Collegiate Scholarships.

    “Each year we strive to top the year before, and after a record- breaking year in 2013, we have our work cut out for us,” co-chair Sara Koda said. “This year, we have pledged $206,500 to our fantastic beneficiaries, and we would love nothing more than to surpass that goal.”

    Do you need MORE Christmas spirit? Lovers Lane United Methodist Church‘s Marketplace from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday for even more holiday fun.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 21, 2014 | 2:44 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Hobbies Inspire Student’s Poetry Book

    Raman shows off his book, Beyond the Edge, in the library. (Courtesy Photo)

    Raman shows off his book, Beyond the Edge, in the library.

    Some aspiring writers take decades to get published. That’s not the case for one St. Mark’s sophomore. Gopal Raman has published his first volume of poetry, called Beyond the Edge.

    “I started writing creatively in seventh grade, and I would compile a folder,” Raman said.

    Raman is also a dedicated student of photography, which highly influenced his work.

    “It just started as a side project I was working on in my spare time,” Raman said. “Most of [the poems] are nature-themed. A lot of times, the poem will complement the photo.” Read More…

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 21, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Lyle Chosen For Folsom Leadership Award

    Bobby-Lyle-lgLocal civic leader and SMU’s engineering school namesake Bobby B. Lyle will be given the Folsom Leadership Award today by the Methodist Health System Foundation.

    The award, which is named after former Dallas Mayor Robert Folsom, was established in 2005 to recognize those with a demonstrated commitment to community leadership. Past winners include Nancy Ann Hunt, Troy Aikman, Laura Bush, Norman Brinker, Emmitt Smith, Trevor Rees-Jones, Mike Boone, and Rev. Mark Craig.

    Honorary co-chairs include Rex and Renna Tillerson and Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt. Event co-chairs are Mitch and Linda Hart and Highland Park residents David and Carolyn Miller.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 19, 2014 | 5:30 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • HP Tree Lighting Scheduled For Dec. 4

    It’s that time of year again! The Highland Park Christmas tree lighting is scheduled for Dec. 4, so gather ye round the “big pecan tree” at Armstrong Parkway and Preston Road. The fun begins at 7 p.m. when Mayor Joel Williams will light the 5,000 multi-colored, Christmas lights. The HPHS Lads and Lassies will sing along for the lighting. Psst — we hear Santa might make a special appearance.

    Don’t worry, if you can’t make it, the lights will stay on each night until New Year’s Day.

    Other tree lightings of note: UP’s tree lighting at Snider Plaza on Nov. 23 (where you can see our shining faces) and SMU’s Celebration of Lights (who doesn’t like hearing President Turner read the nativity story?) on Dec. 1.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 18, 2014 | 9:09 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
  • Jeannette Walls to Speak at Rainbow Days

    (Courtesy photo: Simon & Schuster)

    (Courtesy photo: Simon & Schuster)

    Author Jeannette Walls will speak at the 2015 Rainbow Days “Pot of Gold” luncheon on April 24 at the Hilton Anatole. Yes, that’s Jeannette Walls of The Glass Castle — one of the books temporarily suspended (and then un-suspended) by HPISD. Paramount Pictures announced in March 2013 that they had picked up the book for a film version starring Jennifer Lawrence.

    Anyway, the luncheon and silent auction raises money for children living in poverty and adversity.

    “Jeannette’s nomadic childhood of living out of the family car or in rundown houses with her siblings, alcoholic father, and mentally unstable mother, as captured in her memoir, is similar to the situations of many of the children we serve,” the statement reads.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 17, 2014 | 8:16 am | 1 Comment | Comments RSS
  • Get Ready For Annual Vine and Dine Dinner

    Next week, the seventh annual Vine and Dine dinner benefiting Ability Connection Texas will take place at Neiman Marcus downtown. Mark your calendars for Nov. 20 for a cocktail reception and dinner at the Zodiac Room.

    Then, Heritage Charity Auctions will start the live auction.

    All proceeds support the organization’s goal to provide quality care to children and adults with disabilities.

    By Sarah Bennett Nov. 14, 2014 | 5:00 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS
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