October 30, 2014

  • Red Ribbon Week ‘Kicks Away Drugs’

    Benton Cook showed off his Taekwondo and taught students some skills.

    Benton Cook showed off his Taekwondo and taught students some skills during P.E.

    Benton Cook of the Professional Black Belt Academy at Snider Plaza visited Bradfield Elementary School on Oct. 20 as part of Red Ribbon Week.

    Throughout the week, students spent time learning about the importance of living a drug-free life and taking care of their bodies. That’s where Cook came in. One of the activities was to “Kick Away Drugs.” During P.E. class, students enjoyed learning some Taekwondo skills.

    By Allyssa Schoonover Oct. 30, 2014 | 9:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS

  • Talking Rockefeller at Authors Live

    rsz_on_his_own_terms_--_coverHPUMC’s next installment of Authors Live will feature Richard Norton Smith’s book, “On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller.”

    The book includes more than 200 interviews — including unpublished documents from Rockefeller himself — to delve into the man.

    The usual details: at the church, 7 p.m., Nov. 6.

    Join in at 6 p.m. if you want to pay $30 and get a signed copy.



    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 30, 2014 | 8:25 am | No Comments | Comments RSS

    October 29, 2014

  • Lady Scots Await 6A Playoff Debut

    Highland Park enters the volleyball playoffs as the second seed from District 10-6A.

    Highland Park enters the volleyball playoffs as the second seed from District 10-6A.

    After a runner-up finish in District 10-6A play, Highland Park is ready for its first run into the Class 6A volleyball playoffs.

    On Tuesday, the Lady Scots (28-11) fell in four sets to district champion Richardson Pearce (25-22, 25-19, 11-25, 25-23) for the second time this season. That left HP in second place, meaning it will meet the third-place team from District 9-6A.

    The opponent won’t be determined until Irving Nimitz and Irving MacArthur break their tie later this week, with the Lady Scots taking on the lower-seeded of those teams. The bi-district match will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Duncanville.

    In the meantime, HP will play a postseason warm-up match at Waxahachie at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 29, 2014 | 4:28 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS

  • Home Tours Showcase More Than Pretty Facades

    Courtesy photos

    Courtesy photos

    Home tours abound when the holidays come ringing. Luckily, with so many choices comes the chance to see a wide array of architecture and design styles. There are even a few with a cause.

    The New Friends New Life tour — which will feature four homes on Beverly Drive, Windsor Lane, Southwestern Boulevard, and Lakeside Drive — takes place on Nov. 23 and features something more than just good looks: proceeds go to the namesake organization, which helps to empower trafficked girls and sexually-exploited women.

    “The lives of women and children are transformed and families are restored because of the community support,” executive director and honorary chair Katie Pedigo said.

    Corporate and family sponsors include a few notable names, including Allie Beth Allman, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, and Gail and Gerald Turner.

    Homes for the 15th annual tour were announced at a party on Sept. 18. Highlights include a “floating” staircase and an outdoor mural.

    “We are so pleased to provide a glimpse into four beautiful homes for an afternoon all while raising awareness of New Friends New Life and their mission,” event chair Brooke Kilburn said.

    Keeping with the charitable yet chic theme is the Dallas Woman’s Forum “One Enchanted Christmas” tour of the Alexander Mansion. The home, built in 1904, will be open for first-floor tours Dec. 4-7, and will also include shopping and treats in the upstairs boutique, bistro, and bake shop.

    “This has become a wonderful holiday tradition for Dallas families and visitors,” Dallas Woman’s Forum president Sally Molinari said.

    Then from Dec. 11-14 and Dec. 17-20, the mansion will host a “European Tea.”

    the-toursProceeds of the tour benefit the preservation of the mansion as well as Woman’s Forum charities: Landauer Child Care Group Center, Alley’s House, and the Birdie Alexander School.

    Finally, the American Institute of Architects tour of homes will showcase two Park Cities gems on Arcady Avenue and Colgate Avenue.

    The Arcady house is the first home in Highland Park to be slated for LEED platinum certification — its status is still pending.

    The stone, stucco, and glass façade is just one element that is both aesthetic and “green.”

    As for the Colgate home, the family wanted to go for an open feel that would echo their love of the outdoors.

    “It doesn’t look like a typical Highland Park home,” event co-chair Jennifer Workman said.

    But whether these homes help give back to the environment or the community, the organizers prove there’s more to a home tour than good looks.

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 29, 2014 | 2:00 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS

  • Bradfield Students Enjoy Spooktacular Carnival

    Sisters Julia and Anna Grace Simpton held live snakes at the event.

    Sisters Julia and Anna Grace Simpton took on the scary snakes at Spooktacular.

    Bradfield Elementary School students and friends took part in some Halloween fun on Saturday at the school’s Spooktacular carnival.

    This year there was food, music, and plenty of activities. Students could play at the dunking booth, get scared in the haunted house, and even hold live snakes. The kids may have been spooked, but there seemed to be nothing but smiles at the event.

    By Allyssa Schoonover Oct. 29, 2014 | 1:57 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS

  • Races to Watch: County Judge

    ron natinsky-ED

    Ron Natinsky

    Republican and Far North Dallas resident Ron Natinsky faces Democratic incumbent Clay Jenkins in the race for county judge. Natinsky is a Hillcrest High School graduate and a former city councilman, where he served the city for six years.



    clay jenkins

    Clay Jenkins

    Jenkins, a Park Cities resident and parent of HPISD students, has been in the spotlight for the past year due to his proposal to house undocumented children within Dallas County as well as his efforts to curtail Ebola in Dallas.

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 29, 2014 | 1:00 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS

  • Pastor: Ebola Fears Don’t Define Dallas

    With the Ebola situation in Dallas having stabilized for now, and lives having returned mostly to normal, we’re left to reflect on what the past two months have taught us.

    Rev. Brent A. Barry, lead pastor and head of staff at NorthPark Presbyterian Church, chooses to take an optimistic view of how Dallas handled itself during such fearful times, and how elected officials, volunteers, and faith-based leadership came together and showed resolve.

    Anyway, he was kind enough to send us his thoughts in a letter, which we’ve printed in its entirety after the jump. It’s worth reading.

    5 Reasons I am Proud to Live in Dallas
    By Rev. Brent A. Barry

    I am the pastor of the closest church to Texas Presbyterian Health Hospital. My church, NorthPark Presbyterian Church, also does most of its local mission work in Vickery Meadow where Eric Duncan stayed upon arriving in the metroplex.

    I have been witness to how our city has responded to the three cases of Ebola. I can say without question that I am proud to be a citizen of Dallas. Here are five reasons why:

    1. I am proud of Mayor Mike Rawlings and his leadership.

    Mayor Rawlings stood in our pulpit during a Service of Hope and Prayer last Wednesday and said multiple times how personal the last few weeks have been for him and quoted a hymn stating “he prays for wisdom and courage for the facing of this hour.”

    Wisdom and courage are exactly what the mayor has shown. He has had plenty of opportunities to place blame on one person or institution, instead he called for accountability and strategic response. He has had plenty of opportunities to let unwarranted fear trump scientific fact. Instead he has been a non-anxious presence in the midst of a very anxious situation.  He has had plenty of opportunity to engage in politics and grandstanding. Instead he has spent time caring for the families of the three Ebola patients and has called for our city to unite.

    2. I am proud that our faith communities have come together as one.

    Not only have Wilshire Baptist Church and the Catholic Diocese shown great leadership in caring for Mr. Duncan’s fiancé, Louise Troh, other faith communities have provided leadership also. Our Service of Hope and Prayer at NorthPark was hastily arranged upon learning of a third Ebola case, but faith leaders and churches of denominations around Dallas came together to light candles and pray for all those affected.

    When the news first broke about Mr. Duncan being in Vickery Meadow, people of many faiths gathered together at our church for a meeting. That meeting had great leadership from the city provided by Councilperson Jennifer Staubach-Gates. Park Cities Baptist Church and Temple Emanu-el were also strong and compassionate voices. We all went back into our churches, synagogues and non-profits determined to speak of neighborly love instead of fear.

    3. I am proud of the many who have volunteered in Vickery Meadow after some pulled away.

    At the meeting NorthPark hosted, we learned that some non-profit agencies in Vickery Meadow had lost volunteers due to the fear surrounding Ebola. Our church was designated as the clearinghouse for anyone around our city who wanted to fill the volunteer gap left in Vickery Meadow.  Councilperson Staubach-Gates announced our church’s role at a press conference. That was over two weeks ago, and we still have calls coming from people all over Dallas who want to volunteer. Vickery Meadow, which has always desperately needed volunteers, now has more than ever.

    4. I am proud of the compassion we have shown to those who are hurting.

    While Anderson Cooper stood in front of Presbyterian Hospital night after night berating the hospital for its mistakes, I have seen many people in Dallas show compassion and empathy for all those at the hospital who continue to do the healing work to which they are called. I was at a restaurant near the hospital talking to a nurse last week who said, “yes the stress has been horrible, but now I pray for those doctors and nurses in West Africa even more.”

    That is a whole other kind of compassion. I have heard many Dallas citizens say things like “can you imagine what it would be like to be in West Africa?”

    Texas Presbyterian is in our backyard. But we know that our backyard is big. It stretches all the way from Walnut Hill to West Africa. That’s the message I have heard these last few weeks.

    5. I am proud of a city that chooses facts over fear.

    I was recently interviewed by a reporter in another city who talked about a nearby Liberian community. This reporter asked when I thought it might be safe to go back into that Liberian community.

    Those kinds of questions, from across the country, are heard few and far between in Dallas. Our church is not only close to “ground zero,” 1/8 of our church membership is of African descent. Yet I have not heard one question like that here. Not one parent has pulled their child out of our preschool. From organ recitals to worship services to Alzheimer’s support groups, people have shown up and trusted the facts more than the fear. That story is true of our church and true of our city.

    I would hate for any city to endure what we have endured the last three weeks, but if any city has to, I am glad it is us.  Surely mistakes were made within the healthcare community on a national and local level, but our city with its tremendous leadership, its outstanding faith communities, its level mind and compassionate heart, will stand as a model for how other cities might respond in the future.

    Ebola was never the epicenter in Dallas. Fear was never the epicenter in Dallas. Neighborly love is the epicenter in Dallas.  And for that I am very proud.

    By Todd Jorgenson Oct. 29, 2014 | 12:02 pm | No Comments | Comments RSS

  • End of Road Nears in Election For State Seat

    race-for-108-1Momentum has been growing for a long time for the two remaining candidates after the Texas House District 108 seat, soon to be vacated by Rep. Dan Branch. For Leigh Bailey and Morgan Meyer, only a few days stand between them and election results. But it’s been a long road.

    Republican Morgan Meyer defeated two other party hopefuls in the March and May primaries, first with small business owner Court Alley and then with investment businessman Chart Westcott, both of whom grew up in the Park Cities.

    Meyer, a Lubbock native, attended SMU for his undergraduate degree and then Washington and Lee University for law school.

    Now, as a lawyer at Bracewell & Guiliani — where former U.S. Senator and Meyer supporter Kay Bailey Hutchison also works — Meyer is hoping to build on his party base in order to secure victory.

    “We certainly have a good, strong, Republican district, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t get out and vote,” Meyer said to supporters.

    Since becoming the sole Republican candidate, Meyer launched a slew of fundraiser events, such as the Sept. 23 gathering held at Harlan Crow’s Preston Road library. Fellow Republican politicos Ron Natinsky, Don Huffines, and Dan Branch were all in attendance.

    “We absolutely have to turn out for our base,” Branch said. “We’ve got to do well in Dallas County, and it really starts with these core precincts. The stage is set, and we just need to close the deal.”

    But the Republican base knows that Battleground Texas, a statewide effort to “turn the state blue,” has also been building in Dallas.

    As evidence of that momentum, Leigh Bailey proved herself the standout candidate for the Democratic Party in a predominately Republican district.

    “People in the Park Cities know me — they know who I am,” Bailey said. “A lot of people tell me that I’m the first Democrat they’re going to vote for.”


    Bailey grew up in Dallas and attended The Hockaday School and SMU for her undergraduate and law degrees. She also met her husband at SMU, and the couple now has two children. Her youngest was born while on the campaign trail.

    “Thank goodness it was my second [child] because with my first one, I was reading everything on the Internet,” Bailey said. “This time, I’m like, ‘he’ll be fine.’”

    Other than being a busy mother, Bailey is also known in the community for her significant community efforts. She has volunteered with numerous charitable organizations, from Junior League to the Cattle Baron’s Ball.

    “Pretty much any nonprofit — you name it, I’ve probably done something for it,” Bailey said.

    But she hopes to take her leadership skills into the political sphere by focusing on women’s needs.

    “I want to be the representative who stands up for women,” Bailey said. “I’m going to fight for fair pay and I’m going to fight for women’s access to basic healthcare.”

    In terms of contributions, Meyer’s campaign raised $182,000 from July 1 to Sept. 25, while Bailey’s camp raised $97,000 during that same time frame.

    But even with campaign-finance figures, the final results won’t be known until Nov. 4. For both candidates, though, the experience of running isn’t something that can be tallied.

    “The best part of this whole experience is all the people that you meet,” Bailey said. “I’ve met such incredible people that I don’t know if I would have met them otherwise.”

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 29, 2014 | 10:05 am | No Comments | Comments RSS

  • Races to Watch: District Attorney

    craig watkins

    Craig Watkins

    A product of the Dallas public school system, Craig Watkins was first elected in 2006 as the first African-American district attorney in Texas. Watkins has faced criticism after using forfeiture funds to settle a car accident in 2013.


    susan hawk

    Susan Hawk

    Susan Hawk is a former felony prosecutor and criminal court judge, and has tried more than 150 jury trials. She has served as a member of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

    By Sarah Bennett Oct. 29, 2014 | 10:00 am | No Comments | Comments RSS
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