I’m compiling our Park Cities Police Report email, which is based on information submitted separately by the police in Highland Park, University Park, and Dallas. In the process, I noticed a mini-crime spree.
At 3:15 p.m. on March 3, an officer was notified of a theft in progress at the Ralph Lauren store in Highland Park Village. Employees said a man entered the store, took several items from a table just inside the front door, grabbed a duffel bag, and then ran outside and jumped into a red Toyota Tercel, which sped away from the scene.
The stolen items included four pairs of khaki pants with a total value of $1,580, two gray cashmere fleeces with a total value of $2,570, and the olive canvas/brown leather duffel bag valued at $1,250. The thief dropped four olive shirts with a total value of $1,400 in his haste to escape.
Witnesses said the thief was white. But at 12:50 p.m. on March 6, a black man entered Culwell & Son on Hillcrest Avenue, grabbed 15 pairs of pants with a total value of $2,625, and walked out of the store. The thief fled in a red Toyota, but the University Park report doesn’t specifically say it was a Tercel.
What do we think, readers? Do we have an ebony-and-ivory team of couture crooks operating in the Park Cities? Maybe they take turns regarding who does the grabbing and who does the driving.
March 10, 2014
The family who operated a Baskin-Robbins store in The Plaza at Preston Center for decades is in the process of opening a new location across Preston Road.
Chiang Lee, her husband, and her sister have signed a lease on a 1,324-square-foot space in the Berkshire Court building, between Snuffer’s and California Pizza Kitchen. They expect to be open in early April.
“We don’t have a firm date yet, because right now we’re under construction,” Lee told me this morning. “Construction should be complete by the end of this week.”
The family’s store in The Plaza at Preston Center closed for good in December 2012. Mike Geisler, who oversees the shopping center’s leasing and management for Venture Commercial Real Estate, declined to renew their lease, citing decreasing sales. The Plaza at Preston Center, which is in University Park, has since added a Sprinkles Ice Cream shop.
Joe Cicardo, senior vice president for the NAI Robert Lynn Retail Division, brokered the deal for the new space on the Dallas side of Preston Road, which he described as “a labor of love.” He and his daughters were frequent patrons of the Lee family’s Baskin-Robbins.
“I looked at multiple locations within and outside Preston Center until I found an excellent location at Berkshire Court for them before it was on the market,” Cicardo said. “It was very important for my clients to remain at Preston Center to serve their loyal customers from the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Lee said Cicardo worked “really hard” to find the new location. “He is really good,” she said.
Editor’s note: This story also appears in the March edition of Park Cities People.
The Miracle Mile stretch of Lovers Lane once was among the trendiest hubs for luxury shopping in Dallas. These days, while its collection of specialty shops continues to draw customers, its look has become more eyesore than eye candy.
So count Connie Sigel among the proprietors who are happy the city of University Park is going through the preliminary steps of a renovation project for the area that could help it reclaim some of its past glory.
“The curbs are in disrepair. It’s been on the backburner for so long,” said Sigel, who owns the clothing boutique Elements. “There’s a heritage there that needs to be preserved.”
The city has the money in its budget during the next two years for a project that has been discussed several times before. Now it finally seems to be gaining traction, with an engineering firm hired to begin a conceptual design and traffic consultants also on board.
Among the points of emphasis are replacing the pavement on Lovers between Dallas North Tollway and Douglas Drive, as well as widening the medians to possibly include landscaping and decorative lighting.
One idea under consideration is to replace the current head-in parking with more traditional parking spaces that are perpendicular to the buildings. That proposal would likely reduce the total number of parking spaces by about 10 over a four-block area.
“I know there’s not enough parking out there anyway, but in order to accommodate fire lanes and such, I think this is a good thing,” said Bud Smallwood, University Park public works director. “I don’t think leaving the parking the way it is, is in the city’s best interest.”
Traffic also will be studied carefully in a stretch that not only deals with pervasive congestion, but has seen 31 accidents in the past three years.
“We’re trying to look at the most efficient way to handle traffic. There are some changes that are being suggested with these medians,” Smallwood said. “We want to make sure to do something that can improve traffic and traffic safety.”
While there is no official timetable yet for the project, he said construction could begin as soon as early 2015.
In the meantime, Smallwood said the city plans to consult with business owners to get input on the project. He said splitting construction into multiple phases could help to minimize inconvenience to merchants.
“Getting this built, as with any project next to a commercial area, it’s gonna be pretty tough on those folks to maintain their customer base. That’s my biggest concern,” Smallwood said. “But the street really does need to be replaced. When we do it, we want to do it right.”
Sigel, whose business has been at its current location since 1989, said she hopes the bulk of construction will take place during the summer months, when business in the area is generally slower.
“I think it’s long overdue,” Sigel said. “It could use an upgrade.”
March 9, 2014
In our March edition, we listed the biggest contributors to the District 108 Republicans since July 1. The list included names and dollar amounts but no other information.
There’s a woman named Sally Jordan who lives in the Park Cities, and she tells me her friends were surprised to see her name next to “$5,000″ on the list of Chart Westcott’s biggest contributors. Well, we should clarify that those dollars came from another Sally Jordan, who lives in Santa Barbara, Calif.
While we’re discussing campaign finance, here’s an interesting statistic that’s been mentioned on this blog only in a comment: Westcott spent a total of $1,199,989.90 in this campaign and received 3,709 votes. That comes out to $323.53 per vote. Morgan Meyer spent $63.47 per vote, and Court Alley spent $28.31 per vote.
March 7, 2014
Chart Westcott has taken it in the shorts for the disparate messages presented in his mailers during the House District 108 campaign. But opponent Morgan Meyer’s mailers are not only more consistent, they’re consistent when compared to another candidate’s.
Uptown resident Susan Hawk won the Republican primary for district attorney with the help of Allyn Media, the same company that counts Meyer among its clients. As you can see here, both campaigns are using the same design template.
The color scheme is similar, of course. Only Don “Orange you glad I’m not John Carona” Huffines strayed from the good old red, white, and blue. But the fonts and logos also seem to echo each other, as do the photographs of the candidates hard at work on something requiring penmanship.
I wonder how much Allyn Media is billing each candidate for these. More examples after the jump.
Susan Hawk: “I was endorsed by The Dallas Morning News!” Morgan Meyer: “Hey, me too!”
A detailed site plan for the new Park Cities YMCA will be considered by the University Park Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting on Tuesday.
March 6, 2014
With spring around the corner, baseball season is getting into full swing. Accordingly, Highland Park will host its annual Scotland Yard Classic this weekend.
The Scots will play five games over three days as part of the round-robin event, facing Colleyville Heritage (1:30 p.m. today), Fort Smith (Ark.) Southside (6:30 p.m. today), Sachse (11 a.m. Friday), and Richland (4 p.m. Friday). HP also will meet Keller at 11 a.m. Saturday at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Tournament games also will be held at Rockwall, Coppell, Plano East, and Trinity Christian Academy in Addison. Other participating teams include Grapevine, Belton, Rowlett, and The Woodlands.
For the Scots, the tournament will be the final tuneup prior to the start of District 10-4A play on Tuesday at Forney.
A full tournament schedule follows after the jump.
SCOTLAND YARD CLASSIC
(at Highland Park)
Highland Park vs. Colleyville Heritage, 1:30 p.m.
Fort Smith Southside vs. Colleyville Heritage, 4 p.m.
Highland Park vs. Fort Smith Southside, 6:30 p.m.
Rockwall vs. Plano East, 11 a.m.
Sachse vs. Plano East, 1:30 p.m.
Rockwall vs. Sachse, 4 p.m.
Grapevine vs. Keller, 6:30 p.m.
Coppell vs. Rowlett, 11 a.m.
Rowlett vs. Richland, 1:30 p.m.
Coppell vs. The Woodlands, 4 p.m.
Belton vs. The Woodlands, 6:30 p.m.
TCA-Addison vs. Keller, 11 a.m.
TCA-Addison vs. Grapevine, 1:30 p.m.
(at Highland Park)
Highland Park vs. Sachse, 11 a.m.
Colleyville Heritage vs. The Woodlands, 1:30 p.m.
Highland Park vs. Richland, 4 p.m.
The Woodlands vs. Sachse, 6:30 p.m.
(at Plano East)
Plano East vs. Richland, 11 a.m.
Grapevine vs. Rowlett, 1:30 p.m.
Plano East vs. Rowlett, 4 p.m.
Fort Smith Southside vs. Belton, 6:30 p.m.
Fort Smith Southside vs. Keller, 1:30 p.m.
Coppell vs. Keller, 4 p.m.
Coppell vs. Rockwall, 6:30 p.m.
TCA-Addison vs. Rockwall, 11 a.m.
TCA-Addison vs. Belton, 1:30 p.m.
(at Highland Park)
Fort Smith Southside vs. The Woodlands, 10 a.m.
The Woodlands vs. Grapevine, 12:30 p.m.
Richland vs. Sachse, 3 p.m.
Richland vs. Rockwall, 5:30 p.m.
(at Plano East)
Rowlett vs. TCA-Addison, 10 a.m.
Colleyville Heritage vs. Rowlett, 12:30 p.m.
Plano East vs. Colleyville Heritage, 3 p.m.
Belton vs. Rockwall, 10 a.m.
Coppell vs. Belton, 12:30 p.m.
Coppell vs. Grapevine, 3 p.m.
(at Globe Life Park, Arlington)
Highland Park vs. Keller, 11 a.m.
If you liked Leigh Bailey’s brief statement issued via Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday night, then you’ll love this slightly longer missive that Court Alley distributed to supporters yesterday. Take note of the paragraph in which he mentions Morgan Meyer and Chart Westcott:
I want to thank you for your support, prayers, and kindness during these past 8 months. While last night’s election did not yield the results we hoped for, this experience has been tremendous. It has been a privilege to get to know the members of this community better, and I value every conversation and correspondence I have had during this campaign. I have never been more proud to call this community my “home.”
To our supporters, who hosted meet-n-greets, put up yard signs, worked until all hours of the night, knocked on doors, supported financially, and most importantly prayed, please know my family and I are eternally grateful to you all.
While my name may have appeared on the ballot, this campaign was a team effort. To my core team, I am humbled by all you have done for me. Without each of you, there wouldn’t have been a campaign to speak of. To the most encouraging, loving, hardest-working and incredible wife in the world, Mary Clare, I am so blessed by you every day and love you infinitely.
To Morgan Meyer and Chart Westcott, thank you both for your friendship and respect during this campaign. From our long hours together during early voting, to getting to know your wonderful families, Mary Clare and I are better people because of your presence in our lives. I have enjoyed our time together during this campaign and see bright futures ahead for you both.
From the beginning of this journey, Mary Clare and I sought to honor God with all that we did. My greatest hope is that we have lived up to that commitment and have also honored the community that is House District 108.
All my best,
It wasn’t enough for the Highland Park girls soccer team to continue its on-field dominance on Tuesday night. The Lady Scots scored goals off the field as well.
The team presented a check to the HP Special Olympics program for $11,275 as part of its “Going for the Same Goal” fundraising campaign. The money will go toward soccer uniforms, equipment, and a banquet for the Special Olympians, who took the field at halftime of HP’s 2-0 win over The Colony at Highlander Stadium.
The victory, by the way, clinched another District 20-4A title for the Lady Scots (14-4-1, 6-0), who have won their six district games by a combined margin of 27-2.
March 5, 2014
This map, which was generated by the Dallas County Elections Department’s website, is color-coded by precinct victories in Texas House District 108. The purple precincts are the ones won by Morgan Meyer. The mint green ones went to Chart Westcott. The few dark green precincts went to Court Alley. And the brown precincts are the ones where there were ties.
I wish there was a way to zoom in and not have to show you the entire county, but there isn’t — at least not without distorting the image’s resolution. So let me try to help you get your bearings. See the purple portion sticking out on the west side? It’s bounded by Northwest Highway to the north, Love Field to the west, and Lovers Lane to the south. And you see the curved line that forms the western edge of the top mint green precincts? That’s Central Expressway. (Looking at this map may also help.)
So that means Meyer won every precinct in the Park Cities, Preston Hollow, Bluffview, Devonshire, and Greenway Parks. But Westcott captured plenty of votes east of Central. So the two candidates will keep competing until the May 27 runoff.