Safe Haven Pest Control
School construction open houses

Wallace Elementary was one of several schools renovated this summer. Photo courtesy of RISD

White Rock Elementary Photo courtesy of RISD

Merriman Park Elementary Photo courtesy of RISD

One of the new classrooms at Merriman Park ©Lindsay Baronoskie

If you drove near Merriman Park, Wallace or White Rock Elementary schools this summer, you would have witnessed the massive construction projects that took place.

Classes have been in session for weeks, and students and teachers are enjoying the extra space and the new technology that came with it.

Richardson ISD is inviting all community members to drop in for a “New Construction Open House” at these schools.

Stakeholders, neighbors and parents alike will be able to tour the new classrooms and other areas that were constructed and renovated this summer.

Here’s the information you need to know for each school:

Merriman Park Elementary Open House

September 25 between 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
7101 Winedale Dr.
Dallas, TX 75231

For more information, please call 469-593-2800.

Wallace Elementary Open House

September 29 between 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
9921 Kirkhaven Drive
Dallas, TX 75238

For more information, call 469-593-2600.

White Rock Elementary Open House

September 30 between 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
9229 Chiswell Road
Dallas, TX 75238

For more information, please call 469-593-2700.

You can read more about Richardson ISD and their schools by visiting the RISD webpage.
Food Forward: Clean Eating

Read more about clean eating here. ©BHMpics

You’ve probably noticed that theories and points of view on what you should eat are everywhere, and new ones pop up all the time.

If “clean eating” sounds like the latest fad, we’d like to explain and simplify things a little.

Eating whole foods or eating clean is really just about eating food in its natural state or as close as possible. It’s not very complicated and it’s not a fad.

During the time period that processed/packaged food has been available (approximately 50 years), we have seen dramatically increasing rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and all sorts of auto-immune disorders.


• Processed food is altered from its natural state – these processes strip away nutrients or impact the body's ability to use those nutrients.

• Processing removes natural fiber – and even when this fiber is artificially added back in (which it is in many “high fiber” processed snack foods), our bodies don’t get the same benefit. Fiber is crucial, not only for digestive health, but for generally clearing our bodies of toxins which can cause all sorts of issues.

• A diet high in processed foods is automatically limited in the number of ingredients and is primarily derived from corn and soy. And this is not corn and soy in its natural state. We need a variety of foods to be healthy.

• Preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals are added to processed foods to make them palatable, attractive, and longer-lasting. These ingredients are not nutrients and new research on the negative effects comes out every day.

Here’s one example. You may have heard that we are generally deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids and more and more foods tout this healthful nutrient. Omega 3 fatty acids are not inherently better than Omega 6’s (which get a really bad rap).

The issue is that our bodies function well on a roughly equal balance of the two. Sadly, all of the corn, soy, and safflower oil that is added to processed food has Omega 6 fatty acids -- while Omega 3’s naturally occur in whole nuts and seeds.

So diets high in processed breads, chips, crackers, and even seemingly healthy items like granola bars – including those labeled whole grain – cause this imbalance.

(Note: Omega 3’s are also prevalent in meat, but not in factory-farmed meat – that’s a story for another day.)

Michael Pollan said it best…“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”

In other words, eat actual food (in its natural state) and focus on reasonable portions of plant-based foods. We’ll talk more about the plant-based aspect in our next column (and no this does not mean everyone has to be vegan).

If you are looking for recipes to help clean up your diet, a couple of our favorite sources are Oh She Glows and Forks Over Knives.

Or if you prefer, we can do the cooking for you…

Check out the Nature’s Plate website by clicking here or "like" their Facebook page.

Annette and Marianne love to hear feedback and suggestions and are happy to answer questions anytime. Email them at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Oktoberfest pre-party fun

Get in the Oktoberfest mood this Thursday! ©PolkaDotImages

This Thursday is the 2014 Oktoberfest pre-party, and you won’t want to miss the fun!

Massey Cadillac and Franconia Brewing Company want all of Lake Highlands to come hang out, enjoy some free food and drinks – beer of course – on Thursday, September 18th.

Franconia Brewing Company will be providing guests with a taste of what’s to come at this year’s Oktoberfest, and food and fun will be enhanced with live music performed by Whiskey Pants.

The best part? This event is free and open to everyone!

This pre-party promises to get the community amped up for Oktoberfest which will take place on Saturday, October 4th at Lake Highlands Town Center.

You’ll get your fill of Oktoberfest food, spirits and fun including headliner Charlie Robison, playing at Oktoberfest After Dark.

So come on out to Massey Cadillac this Thursday night, and get in the Oktoberfest spirit. See you there!

Complimentary beer, wine and food will be provided by Oktoberfest sponsors Massey Cadillac and Franconia on Tuesday, September 18th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Keep up with the Oktoberfest news and schedule of events go to the Lake Highlands Oktoberfest Facebook page or visit the website.
Peace, Hope & Butterflies

Cancer warriors release their butterflies at last year's event. ©Shana Anderson Photography

Sponsor a butterfly on September 21st at the Peace, Hope, & Butterflies music festival. ©Shana Anderson Photography

Join Miracle Players Foundation for their fourth annual Peace, Hope, & Butterflies music festival and butterfly release at Flagpole Hill on September 21st.

Not only will you be supporting the search for a cure for childhood cancer, but you can help set a Guinness World Record right here in Lake Highlands!

The fun event will host live music, tons of activities for the kids, arts & crafts for everyone, a petting zoo, an obstacle course, a pirate ship, and the release of 500 butterflies by Dallas area childhood cancer warriors.

Sponsoring a butterfly for $15 is a great way to show support for a loved who has been affected by cancer. Or just sponsor one to show your compassion.

Also, paper butterflies will be placed throughout the event to represent those sponsored, too.

100% of proceeds from the event will benefit childhood cancer research at Children's Medical Center of Dallas.

Saving the best for last, the event will culminate in the release of hundreds of monarch butterflies by our Dallas area childhood cancer warriors and the attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest human butterfly image!

Miracle Players Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support pediatric cancer research programs at Children's and also provides in-hospital arts programs for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Join them for an event to remember!

Peace, Hope, & Butterflies will take place on Sunday, September 21st 1:00 p.m. at Flag Pole Hill in Lake Highlands.

Flag Pole Hill is located at 8100 Doran Circle.

For more information or to sponsor a butterfly, visit the Miracle Players Foundation’s website, like their Facebook page or call 972.743.6416.
Dealing with bullies

Image courtesy of Public Health Watch

After a few weeks of settling into a new routine at school, your kids are most likely feeling more comfortable with everything.

Hopefully the stomach butterflies have flown away, and they are moving forward with their new studies and friendships.

Although a new school year is exciting for most kids, it can be nerve-wracking for those who are feeling bullied in a place that should feel safe.

Dr. Brad Schwall is an author, producer and the creator of Cool Kids. He equips schools with tools and strategies for developing healthy learning environments, encouraging positive classroom behavior, and teaching students social and emotional skills that support academic success.

Dr. Schwall created the Cool Kids curriculum and it’s used by public and private schools across Texas, including schools in the Dallas, Highland Park, Frisco, Lewisville, Richardson, Ennis, Tyler, and Burleson ISDs.

Not long ago, Dr. Schwall wrote about five ways to take away a bully’s power. If your child is feeling bullied, share these 5 simple yet powerful tip with them to take with them to school.

1. Ignore bullying

• Encourage children to avoid reacting in frustration to bullies.
• Help children brainstorm responses to bullies.

2. Be confident

• Affirm children and help them learn how to think positive thoughts about themselves.
• Confidence keeps children from letting the words and actions of others affect they way they feel and think about themselves.

3. Build good friendships

• Guide children to develop skills for building good friendships.
• Help children connect with their peers in the classroom and out of the classroom.
• Isolated children make easier targets for bullies.
• Friendship skills can even help bullies stop bullying - bullies often act meanly because they do not know how to interact positively with others.

4. Don't stoop to the bully's level

• Retaliation leads children to make bad choices and face consequences.
• Children can stand up for themselves and be strong without trying to retaliate - guide children to speak firmly to bullies and to talk to adults about problems with bullies.

5. Give respect

• Teach children how to give respect - it is not enough just to tell children not to bully, we must teach them what to do instead.
• Affirm and reward children when they give respect - creating a respectful environment limits the effect of bullies.
• Do not model bullying behaviors.

According to Dr. Schwall, bullies bully to get a reaction. He says reactions reward bullies with a sense of power over the feelings, thoughts, and actions of others.

“Children can deal with bully behavior by taking away the bully's power - not allowing the bully to affect the way he or she thinks, feels, or acts,” Dr. Schwall explains.

Parents, counselors, and teachers can encourage children to use these bully-power-sapping strategies.

For more information on this and to read more from Dr. Schwall, visit the Cool Kids website.
Reel Deal: Movies with Anne

Anne reviews Cantiflas during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Layevska as Miroslava Stern and Jaenada as Mario Moreno in Cantiflas

Ramones as Montequilla and Jaenada as Cantiflas

The Latino Cultural Center, sponsored by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month this September at their location at 2600 Live Oak in Dallas.

They have a full program this month celebrating Latino arts and culture with films speakers, and many family friendly activities.

A perfect accompaniment to this celebration is the biopic film, Cantiflas, currently in wide release. It's the story of Marion Moreno who was known professionally as Cantiflas, a Mexican comic film actor, producer and screenwriter.

He created the persona, Cantiflas, as an impoverished slum dweller and spokesperson for the downtrodden, garbed in baggy pants with a robe for a belt and distinctive mustache.

He performed as this person in tent shows across Mexico, dancing, acting and delivering monologues that appealed to his audiences as he took on those in power and joked about them.

Hugely popular with his audiences, it wasn’t long before he made his film debut in 1936 that eventually led to a career that made his name known throughout Latin America.

He became the voice of the people not only in this role, but as leader of Mexican labor against Mexico’s corrupt entertainment union and broke it up into a group that more fairly represented it members. Rejecting Mexican film companies, he began working with American studios.

The current film moves back and forth in both English and Spanish as it tracks his early days, until the plot settles on the tale of the intrepid film producer, Mike Todd, as he went about securing talent for his blockbuster production, Around The World in Eighty Days.

He had decided he needed Cantiflas for a key role in the film along with several other important Hollywood stars. His brash determination to succeed in this endeavor is the heart of the script.

Production principals chose Oscar Jaenada, a Spaniard, to play the role of Cantiflas. A talented Mike Todd look alike named Michael Imperioli was convincing as he slid into this character.

Barbara Mori recreated Elizabeth Taylor while Charlie Chaplin was portrayed by Julian Sedgwick, and Jose Sefami became Diego Rivera.

These performances added the look and feel of the fifties. In spite of insurmountable odds, Mike Todd produced Around The World in Eighty Days and won a 1956 Golden Globe for his efforts.

Cantiflas is now showing in wide release throughout DFW.

Click here to find out more about the film and view its trailer.

MPAA:PG for thematic elements, language, smoking and some suggestive material.

Images ©Kenio Films and Pantelion films
Learn to compost for free

Learn how to compost for free at Lake Highlands United Methodist Church! ©Steve Schug

The City of Dallas and Lake Highlands United Methodist Church are partnering again to provide a FREE composting class on Tuesday, September 23rd from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

The City of Dallas’ Waste Diversion Unit will present on how to start an outdoor composting project and how to create an indoor Vermi-composting bin.

Participants will learn:

• What is compost and why it is valuable

• How to choose a composting method

• What compost can do for your yard and your garbage

• What is Vermi-composting and what it means to be a ‘worm-farmer’

• What you need to get started and stay motivated

The class will be led by Kathleen Graham, Dallas Master Composter and long-time Lake Highlands resident.

Why compost?

Over 20% of what currently goes into the City of Dallas landfill is compostable organic kitchen and yard waste.

When you compost, your food scraps, leaves, and other compostable items get broken down into rich soil that you can put back into your yard or vegetable garden – for free! It’s a win-win for both the City and the resident.

Door Prizes include two shepherd compost bins worth over $90 each!

Register by clicking here.

Lake Highlands United Methodist (LHUMC) is located at 9015 Plano Road at McCree. The class will be held in the church’s Fellowship Hall.

LHUMC will also be hosting its annual recycling event on Saturday, October 11th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. This year they’re adding an on-site shred truck to the mix.

Stay tuned for more details in Cindy Engel’s next “green” article in early October!
Celebrate 3 years wth Positively Fit

Celebrate with Positively Fit on September 15th!

Make plans to join staff and friends of Positively Fit Lake Highlands on Monday, September 15th at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate their 3rd birthday.

You’ll get a chance to meet instructors Ann Marie, Jennifer, and Positively Fit’s newest addition, Cheryl. In addition, you can learn more about the newest classes, Pedal & Pump and Barre Belles.

Pedal & Pump: You’ll love this new one-stop-shop program! This class begins with a 25 minute indoor cycling program which will give you an intense cardiovascular workout and calorie burn powered by the lower body. You'll follow that up with a 25 minute strength class using body weight, the ballet barre, the TRX Suspension Trainer, free weights, barbells, and/or other apparatus. Beginners to the bike are welcome!

Barre Belles: The new Barre classes fuse ballet, yoga, and Pilates with an athletic coaching style to tone your body, relieve stress, and aid in balance and stability. You'll begin with a dynamic warm up to prepare you for intense muscle work. The Standing Strength segment tones your major upper and lower body muscle groups, and the burn is complete during our Floor Work segment which targets the core. Though the workout is intense, it is low impact, and all moves are done within your personal range of motion, making it suitable for all levels. Please wear grippy socks or bare feet.

“I have to say our Barre classes are up there with any of the other private studios at a much lower price point so we can be accessible to more people in the area,” said owner Mallory Mansour Cislo.

“As for our three year birthday, I’m so proud of all that has happened in these past three years. The program began with just me and a small boot camp class and a running class, plus one personal training client.”

“Now it has expanded to include 15 small group fitness classes a week, 4 instructors and a slate of regular subs, and a packed full personal training schedule with our two personal trainers,” Mallory commented.

“I feel like I’m doing what I initially set out to do – establish a community in which Lake Highlands folks can come to enjoy the benefits of group fitness but in a small group training environment.”

“I’m also really proud of the fact that we were the first and still possibly the only studio to bring TRX Suspension Training in a group setting to this part of Dallas.”

“The community support for this program has been overwhelming, and I’m so grateful to be living my dream as a result of the amazing people who walk through the doors each day to get their endorphin fix.”

While you’re there, drop your name in the hat to win a PFLH goodie basket – there may be some free classes in it for you.

Enjoy a glass of wine, a healthy treat and some conversation with your favorite people. All are welcome!

Email Mallory at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to RSVP and get the location address.

For more information on Positively Fit Lake Highlands, visit the PFLH website.
RISD College and Career Fair

Get your student ready for the college experience. Photo courtesy of RISD

Don't miss your chance to learn about your future college and career.

Richardson Independent School District is gearing up for its annual College and Career Fair to be held at the University of Texas at Dallas tomorrow, September 13th.

Colleges and Universities from around the country will be available to meet with Richardson ISD parents and students to explore college pathways based on individual needs and interest.

Plan to attend this great community event sponsored by Richardson ISD, University of Texas at Dallas, and the RISD Council of PTAs.

One goal of the College and Career Fair is to increase awareness with the students who attend, and another is to offer high school internships so they can be more aware of those opportunities.

Your student can also attend one of the many educational sessions that are being offered starting at 8:30am-9:15am and again at 9:30am-10:15am in The School of Management Building. Seating is limited and sessions will close after starting.

College Interviewing and Essay Writing

Rm #1.118 Nan M. Davis, VP for Institutional Enrollment, Austin College

First impression may be the only impression! Any student’s college essay or interview may be the deciding factor that secures a college admission offer or a coveted scholarship. This session will provide valuable tips for essay writing and for having a successful college interview.

College Services for Students with Disabilities

Rm# 2.103 Panel of Experts from UTD,DARS, Richland College, and RISD

Students who are currently receiving accommodations and /or modifications are encouraged to learn about self-advocacy and how to request those same services in a post-secondary setting. In this session, parents/students will learn about SAT/ACT/Accuplacer/THEA tests, how to access the disability office and potential agency support to help finance post secondary education.

Financing Your Future

Rm# 1.212 AJ Garcia Assistant, Director Of Financial Aid, UT at Dallas

Ready to write the BIG CHECK? At this session, parents and students will take a look at the different types of financial aid: grants, loans, and work- study. Examples will be given of the formula used to determine the financial aid packages that schools can offer.

College 101- Insiders Perspective

Rm# 1.117 Matt Sanchez, Director of New Student Enrollment, UT at Dallas

This session will help students and parents better understand the college admissions process. The importance of self-evaluations, how to set yourself apart from other applicants, admissions do’s and don’ts, writing the application essay and how admission decisions are made will be discussed.

Naviance for RISD Students and Parents

Rm# 2.106 Debbie Knox, RISD High School Counselor

What is Naviance? Naviance allows you to investigate, research, and track information/data as you work through the college selection and admission process. This session will provide you with overview of Naviance/Family Connection.

NCAA Information for the Student Athlete

Rm# 1.217 Bob Dubey and Leslie Slovak, RISD Athletics Department

Student athletes must plan early and know the ropes to qualify for college athletic scholarships. Credits earned by correspondence, non- approved courses, and failing grades can disqualify a gifted athlete from earning that long-sought after scholarship. Hear the “real deal” about NCAA rules and regulations for high school athletes.

If you are a student interested in attending, be sure to register here for the college scanner technology then click on students, then click on TACRAO and find your school!

The University of Texas at Dallas located at 800 W. Campbell Rd. in Richardson.

Check out the RISD College & Career Fair Facebook page for more info.
What’s up this weekend?

Get your food-trucking on this weekend at Klyde Warren!

Join the LHAECPTA for their annual kick-off party at Merriman Park Elementary.

Enjoy a morning helping keep White Rock Lake beautiful.

Get your fresh, local produce at the White Rock Local Market.

Benefit from the RISD College & Career Fair on Saturday.

Get your yoga fix at Klyde Warren. ©Tyler Olson

White Rock Local Market

Saturday, September 13th
8:00 a.m.

Green Spot at Buckner & Northcliff

Local, organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods. Everything market includes non-food items and music. Head on out and let dad do some Father’s Day shopping!

For more info, visit the website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Shoreline Spruce-Up

Saturday, September 13th
8:00 a.m.

White Rock Lake

This Lake-loving monthly event is sponsored by For the Love of the Lake (FTLOTL) which is located at 1152 N Buckner Blvd. If you’d like to do your part in helping keep White Rock Lake clean, meet at the FTLOTL office and participate for two hours of shoreline and lake clean-up.

For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.660.1100.

RISD College and Career Fair

Saturday, September 13th
8:30 a.m.

University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Rd.

Check out colleges and attend workshops, and talk to recruiters. Register here.
Parking is limited, so please make plans to utilize the bus service that will be provided from all four RISD high schools.

Water-Wise Landscaping Seminars

Saturday, September 13th
9:00 a.m.

Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Avenue

Plan to attend one or both free seminars at the Performance Hall (Building “E”.) Landscape designer and author, Bonnie Reese, will speak at 2 sessions.

Seminars are free but require advance registration. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.670.3155.

2014 Dallas Heart Walk

Saturday, September 13th
9:00 a.m.

Base of Reunion Tower, 300 Reunion Blvd.

There’s no entry fee, and anyone can walk! Walkers are eligible for a Heart Walk t-shirt once they have raised a minimum of $100. Support research for the #1 killer in the United States.

Click here for more info or to register or call 866.430.9255.

LHAECPTA Kick-off Event

Saturday, September 13th
10:00 a.m.

Merriman Park Elementary, 7101 Winedale

This fun event is open to all residents with preschoolers to help kick off another great year. There will be live music, a trackless train, face painting, art projects and more!

Visit the LHAECPTA website for more information or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Butterfly House 5th Birthday Bash

Saturday, September 13th
10:00 a.m.

Texas Discovery Gardens, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Enjoy special activities and crafts throughout the gardens. All visitors will get the chance to enter to win a pair of tickets on Southwest Airlines tickets.

For more info, check out the TDG website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

Milkweed and Butterfly Class

Saturday, September 13th
10:00 a.m.

Gecko Hardware, 10233 E Northwest Hwy.

Gardening expert Randy Johnson will share his knowledge of our North Texas eco-system and gardening and will teach you how to make your garden more inviting to butterflies.

For more information or to RSVP, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.343.1971.

Klyde Warren Saturday Activities

Saturday, September 13th

Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway

• Tai Chi with El Centro College from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
• SWEAT in the Park Boot Camp from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
• Yoga from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Family Yoga with the Crow Collection from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Food Trucks from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
• Jiu Jitsu from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
• Skyline 360 Tour with DCFA from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.
• Dallas Symphony Orchestra Simulcast from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

For more information on the individual classes, click here.
New Farmer’s Market near home

You'll now have even more local produce to choose from. ©James Rajotte

White Rock Local Market has partnered with the Vickery Meadow Improvement District (VMID) and Half Price Books to launch a new farmers market close to home!

Vickery Meadow Local Market will open on Sunday, September 21st at the northwest corner of Half Price Books flagship store on Northwest Highway.

This newest local farmer’s market will take place every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. through December 14th at the Half Price Books location.

Vickery Meadow Local Market will bring healthy foods, as well as arts and crafts, while developing new opportunities for urban and rural producers.

White Rock Local Market, VMID and other organizations are working hard together in hopes to create a market that reflects the rich cultural diversity of the neighborhood.

"We are looking forward to the new Vickery Meadow Local Market and our partnership with the Vickery Meadow Improvement District as well as Half Price Books," says Sarah Perry, Director of White Rock Local Market and affiliates.

"Farmers markets inherently nurture a community through social interactions while providing small businesses the opportunity to grow, which is in line with the mission of the VMID."

Vickery Meadows Local Market is currently seeking vendors for the initial season.

You can fill out an application on the White Rock Local Market’s webpage.

To apply as a vendor or get more information, click here.

Half Price Books is located at 5803 E. Northwest Highway in Dallas.
LHAECPTA kicks off their year

Help LHAECPTA start their year at the annual kick-off party.

The Lake Highlands Area Early Childhood PTA (LHAECPTA) would like to invite all residents to help kick off another great year!

Join them on September 13th from 10 am to noon at Merriman Park Elementary.

There will be live music, a trackless train, face painting, art projects and more for all to enjoy.

For over 50 years, the LHAECPTA has been providing support and fellowship for families with pre-school aged children.

The organization holds meetings on the second Wednesday of every month, and members also coordinate regular playdates, parties, community outreach events and adult interest groups.

This year’s fall schedule includes lots of fun activities for children and parents alike.

For the most recent information about the Lake Highlands Area Early Childhood PTA, the group's events and fundraisers, you can visit the LHAECPTA website.

Images courtesy of LHAECPTA
Residents on edge after assault

Ollier was attacked on Walnut Hill east of Audelia.

If you have any information about this asault, call the Dallas Police Department.

Lake Highlands residents need to be on alert following an assault that occurred last night at 8:30 p.m. near the intersection of Walnut Hill and Audelia.

Seventeen-year-old Vaughan Ollier was walking home from work, less than a mile from her house, when a man attacked her by grabbing her pony tail and pulling her to the ground.

The suspect was intent on getting her purse, and as Ollier didn’t let go, he continued to assault her until he finally gave up and ran off, giving her a chance to escape.

Ollier ran toward the nearest neighbor's home. The resident, who let her in, called the police.

Authorities report the suspect is described as a black man, between 20-25 years old, about 5'11" and 160 pounds. He was wearing a white T-shirt, gray pants and a ball cap.

Police are strongly encouraging anyone with details to contact the Dallas Police Department by calling 911.
Before the Bell

Don't miss the LHAIA meeting on Sept. 15th.

Hear an update from Dr. Waggoner and Board of Trustees Adam Meierhofer and Justin Bono.

We all know that one of the biggest reasons a lot of folks call Lake Highlands home is because of the schools.

Our strong community consists of neighbors who are willing to get involved, whether that’s at the schools, their churches, or in any of the various organizations that we have here.

The Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association (LHAIA), an umbrella group for Lake Highlands homeowner, crime watch and business groups, is full of these involved volunteers, and their upcoming State of the District “Before the Bell” meeting is one you won’t want to miss.

On Monday, September 15th at 7 p.m., Dr. Kay Waggoner and Board of Trustees Adam Meierhofer and Justin Bono will sit on a panel and answer questions you have about the district and schools.

In addition, Dr. Waggoner will give an update on the Vision 2020, where RISD stands in the state’s new accountability system, fill you in on the construction that happened this summer and much more.

Each panel member will give an update then will be open to questions that need to be submitted prior to the meeting by emailing them to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

You will also get the opportunity to meeting the new Lake Highlands High School principal, Frank Miller.

Send in your questions by September 12th and plan on attending a very informative meeting.

The “Before the Bell” meeting takes place on Monday, September 15th at 7:00 p.m. at Highlands Christian Church located at 9949 McCree Rd. in Lake Highlands.

Keep up to date by joining the LHAIA mailing list on the LHAIA website. Click on the icon in the upper right hand corner.

MPE Recycling Day

Bring your stuff to be recycled to Merriman Park Elementary on October 4th. © Jani Bryson

Have you been cleaning out your closets, garage or office?

If not, now’s the time so you can donate to the Merriman Park Elementary Recycling Drive on Saturday October 4th.

Before you head over to the Exchange Club’s Oktoberfest for the afternoon, you can do your part in saving the planet and raising money for kids at MPE.

There will be food trucks and fun for the kids. In addition, each family that drops off items will be entered into a raffle to win $100 worth of groceries!

Items may be in any condition – damaged, non-working or fully operational, and there are a ton of items that you can donate:

• Computers Desktops - laptops, servers, LCD monitors, keyboards, mice, speakers, and all other computer components.

• Cameras Camcorders - and all non-disposable film and digital cameras.

• Office Equipment - Fax machines, typewriters, inkjet cartridges, printers, scanners, routers, shredders, and copiers.

• Entertainment Electronics - Car and home audio equipment, satellite and cable boxes, VCRs, DVD players and recorders, headphones, and multimedia projectors.

• Multimedia - DVD and VHS movies, audiobooks, and music CDs. All multimedia items must include original covers.

• Clothing & Accessories - Pants, coats, shirts, purses, belts, shoes, hats, etc.

• Toys & Games - Action figures, blocks, dolls, stuffed animals, etc.

• Portable Electronics - Cell phones, GPS devices, calculators, portable CD and DVD players, PDAs, and MP3 Players.

• Video Games - Video games, systems, and accessories.

• Sporting Goods - Golf clubs and bags, athletic helmets and pads, baseball bats and gloves, basketball shoes, cleats, hockey sticks, ice skates, and roller blades.

• Musical Instruments - Guitars, percussion, strings, woodwinds, brass, and electric keyboards.

• Home and Garden - Air purifiers, baby monitors, vacuum cleaners, power tools, electric razors, sewing machines, & medical equipment.

• Food- Non-Perishable and Canned Foods.

• Jewelry - Gold, silver, costume jewelry, watches, etc.

• Books - Cookbooks, craft books, children’s books, Fiction and Non-fiction

And your donations don’t just have to come from your home. Have stuff at your place of work you need to get rid of? Organizers can schedule a pick up at your location, and MPE will get the credit.

So mark your calendar for October 4th, and let’s recycle!

MPE’s Recycling Day will take place on Saturday, October 4th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Contact Lana Marker .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.
Indoor play in LH

The LH North Rec Center will soon have an indoor playground. ©Joingate

The 2014 Run the Highlands race this past spring was a huge success, and if you were there, you can understand why.

The Lake Highlands Junior Women's League (LHJWL) knows how to organize an event, and this year they raised over $70,000.

These funds are currently being used for the design, construction and installation of an indoor play area in the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center.

It will be the first of its kind not only in the Lake Highlands area but in all recreation centers for the entire City of Dallas.

The LHJWL expressed how appreciative they are of the time and efforts the City of Dallas as they’ve put a lot of hard work into tackling the project.

The play space will cater to ages 5 and under as it provides plenty of opportunities for crawling, climbing and exploring.

The anticipated opening date to the public is in November, and meanwhile, the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center staff are busy planning the open playtime schedule and play space rental logistics.

Stay tuned as more details will come this fall on the indoor play space.

To learn more about the LHJWL, visit their website.
Beware of the enterovirus 68

Watch for severe respiratory symptoms. ©Baronoskie

Authorities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have put out a warning for doctors and parents to be on the alert.

A rarely seen virus is sending children to the hospital with severe respiratory infections, and the CDC says the situation is evolving quickly.

"Hospitalizations are higher than would be expected at this time of year," Dr. Anne Schuchat, head of infectious diseases for the federal CDC. Her statement came yesterday at a press briefing on enterovirus 68 (EV-D68).

So far about a dozen states have reported higher-than-usual numbers of severe respiratory infections, and the CDC is working with them to figure out if EV-D68 is to blame.

The good news is that no one is known to have died from it, however some patients have become sick enough to end up in the intensive care unit on oxygen.

Enteroviruses are very common, with 10 to 15 million infections in the United States year. They usually cause cold-like symptoms, if they make people feel sick at all. Infants and people with weakened immune systems have a greater chance of having complications due to the virus.

These viruses are spread through close contact with an infected person or by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

According to the CDC though, the EV-D68 is an even rarer virus. It was first identified in California in 1962, but then was almost never seen until 2009 to 2012, when there were outbreaks in Japan, the Philippines and the Netherlands, and small clusters of cases in the United States.

According to Schuchat, the strain of the virus in these current cases is not new and is the same as earlier EV-D68 cases in the United States and in other countries. What is baffling experts is why it's making people sicker than before.

The CDC believes that EV-D68 may be following the same pattern as cold season which typically peaks in September when children return to school.

Schuchat says parents shouldn't worry about runny noses and sniffles, but they should get their child to the doctor immediately if he or she has difficulty breathing. "This can be a scary thing to hear about for parents," she says. "If your child is having difficulty breathing you want to get medical attention."

And parents of children with asthma should make extra-sure that the children are taking medications and the asthma is well controlled, she adds.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for EV-D68. As always, it's important that kids (and adults) be reminded of hand-washing and anti-germ spreading habits during this time of year.

For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control’s website.
The great State Fair of Texas

State Fair opens in just 3 weeks! Photo courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil received the Best Tasting prize. Photo courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

Photo courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

Don't miss the State Fair dog show, a crowd favortie! Photo courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

In just three weeks from now, Fair Park will be hosting the 2014 State Fair of Texas.

People are getting in the mood, ready for their first taste of this year’s fried favorites.

The Big Tex Choice Award winners were announced recently with the the Best Tasting prize going to Clint Probst’s Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil and the Most Creative given to Justin Martinez’s Funnel Cake Ale.

The light-bodied ale that so many are talking about will only be available during the run of the fair, from September 26 to October 19, so you’ll definitely want to swing by to try it out.

There were eight finalists including a deep fried “breakfast for dinner”, a chicken-fried loaded baked potato, and the spicy fried Sriracha balls which you won’t want to miss either.

With the State Fair of Texas being the Fried Food Capital of Texas, we also can’t overlook the Fair’s celebration of all types of Texas food and wine.

With its 24 days of Texas chefs, Texas wine, Texas craft beer, and Texas-based food companies, there is something for everyone.

• More than 100 celebrity chef demos in the Cutco Celebrity Chef Kitchen: Watch demos and sample food from noted chefs like John Tesar, Jack Perkins, Norman Grimm, and David Hollister.

• More than 20 cooking contests in the Creative Arts Competition Kitchen provided by The Home Depot: Each day home chefs compete for the coveted blue ribbon in a variety of cooking competitions.

• Daily Texas wine and craft beer tastings in the State Fair Wine Garden.

Do you make amazing BBQ ribs and chili? Have you always wanted to win a blue ribbon at the State Fair of Texas?

On Sunday, September 21, the State Fair will host its annual Chili cook-off and BBQ cook-off -- perfect for amateurs and those looking to gain CASI points for a trip to Terlingua’s International Chili Championship.

New for 2014, the Fair has added an IDOS Three-Pot Dutch Oven Cook-Off. This will be a Cook-Off where contestants are required to cook a main dish, a dessert and a bread. Get your grills ready and register today!

So whether you’re craving a Fletcher's Corny Dog or some funnel cakes, you can expect all your favorite foods and events including the Starlight Parade, Illumination Sensation and Midway Lights.

So start getting your Midway pitching arm ready and your tasting palette set for the 2014 State Fair of Texas.

See you there!

Gates to the 2014 State Fair of Texas will open at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 26 in Fair Park and will run through Sunday, October 26th.

For more details, visit the State Fair of Texas website or “Like” them on Facebook.

Photos courtesy of the State Fair of Texas
Bring on the Butterflies

Find out how to RSVP to Gecko's Butterfly Class happening next weekend. Photo courtesy of Gecko Hardware

Learn how to invite more butterflies into your garden. ©Lindsay Baronoskie

Do you want more butterflies to come visit your garden?

Randy Johnson, an expert in the Texas organic gardening scene, is coming to Gecko Hardware on September 13th from 10:00 a.m. to noon to lead a class on Butterfly Gardening, Milkweed and Diversity.

Randy will share his knowledge of the North Texas eco-system, and as a bonus, you’ll enjoy his wry wit and humor that accompany all of his presentations.

Randy Johnson is an Aggie horticulturist and is well known for his work at the Texas Discovery Gardens. He is currently the Horticulture Manager for the Dallas Zoo.

Each attendee will receive a milkweed plant, as well as discounts on other plants and seeds on class day.

Bring on the butterflies!

Cost for this special class is $20. Space is limited. RSVP on Facebook or send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to reserve a place.

Gecko Hardware is located at 10233 E Northwest Hwy., Suite 409.
LHABC Spirit Night

Support the LHABC on Spirit Nights every Tuesday! Image courtesy of LHABC

Craving some Chic Fil-A?

Well all during the month of September on Tuesdays, the Chic Fil-A on Skillman and Northwest Highway will donate 15% of your bill to the Lake Highlands Area Band Club (LHABC) if you tell them you’re there for Spirit Night.

The LHABC helps provide private lesson scholarships to low income students, college scholarships to graduating seniors, as well as supports the general operations of the band programs at Lake Highlands High School, Junior High, and Forest Meadow Junior High.

The LHABC also pays for clinicians, band competition entry fees and transportation, color guard uniforms, show props, marching band show designs and numerous other things that are not covered by Richardson ISD.

And if you’re a frequent Chic Fil-A visitor, ask around at your school or check with other organizations to find out when their Chic Fil-A Spirit Night is. It’s a great way to support your group while you’re grabbing drive through.

The LHABC Chic Fil-A Spirit Nights are every Tuesday in September from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Be sure to mention that you are supporting the LHBAC.

The participating Chic Fil-A for the LHABC Spirit Night is located at the corner of Skillman and Northwest Highway.

Call 214.890.7551 for more information.
North Texas Giving Day is back

North TX Giving Day is almost here! Image courtesy of CFT

Be a part of the celebration down at the Communities Foundation of Texas. Photo courtesy of CFT

Photo courtesy of CFT

Photo courtesy of CFT

After last year’s national record-crushing 75,000 donations totaling $25.2 million, North Texas Giving Day is back!

With the hope that North Texas will rise to the challenge and outdo itself once again, 90 nonprofits from the Lake Highlands and surrounding communities registered to receive donations this year.

Even more exciting is that this year there are new community events, extra time to donate, and additional prizes! The sixth annual North Texas Giving Day hopes to raise the goal for giving day once again.

On September 18th, donations can be made from 6:00 a.m. until midnight to more than 1,500 certified nonprofits listed on the new website. Donations of $25 and above will be magnified by $2 million in bonus funds and prizes.

The prizes for this year’s Giving Day range from $1,000 to $10,000 and will be awarded in various categories, including most donors, largest increase in unique donors, best integrated marketing campaign and random prizes. A full list of prizes can be found on the website under “Rules/Prizes.”

“Giving Day is a wonderful day to celebrate the community and support the important work of nonprofits serving North Texas,” said Brent Christopher, president and CEO, Communities Foundation of Texas and North Texas Giving Day founder. “Each year, we are amazed by the continued generosity of the donors that participate in this day and we hope that this year we raise even more money for North Texas nonprofits.”

Want to be a part of the giving fun in person? You can head over to Communities Foundation of Texas from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., same time and place as last year.

Kids Give will provide kids a chance to donate their loose change as well as do hands-on philanthropic and kid-friendly activities:

• Assembling “Hope” packages for hospitalized children

• Learning Circus skills like juggling

• Making bookmarks for foster children

• Creating dog and cat toys for shelter animals

• Goodwill clothing drive and food drive

• Planting seeds for community gardens

• And much more!

Donors can also watch the complimentary showcase of performances by several nonprofits and purchase lunch from local food trucks.

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Free Onsite Appearances:

• Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folkloriko

• Dallas Children’s Theater

• Dallas Black Dance Theatre

• Dallas Zoo

• Equest Ponies

• Junior Players

• Lone Star Wind Orchestra

• Shakespeare Dallas

• SPCA of Texas

The North Texas Giving Day celebration will take place on Thursday, September 18th at the Communities Foundation of Texas, located at 5500 Caruth Haven Lane starting at 11:00 a.m.

For more information on Communities Foundation of Texas and North Texas Giving Day, visit their website.
Solar Panel Shingles

This straight on view shows the panels on the roof. Photos courtesy of Scotts Exterior

The panels from a bird's eye view. Photos courtesy of Scotts Exterior

The meter boxes on the side of the house. Photos courtesy of Scotts Exterior

The meter panel shows all the settings and levels. Photos courtesy of Scotts Exterior

The control box can fit in anywhere in your home. Photos courtesy of Scotts Exterior

Lake Highlands residents and owners of Scott Exteriors, Kirk and Christine Scott, are the first to install a new kind of solar technology on a home in the DFW area ‒ on their own home, right here in Lake Highlands.

Conventional racked solar panels are mounted to a home's roof, above the shingles, and require dozens of holes in the roof. The new solar shingle solution, like the ones the Scott family installed, integrates the shingle and the solar panel into one and requires only roof penetration.

The shingle itself is the solar power source, with no shingle underneath or panel above. These integrated solar shingles blend and are more attractive than other solar roofing solutions.

According to the Scotts, it’s perfect for anyone who plans to live in their home for many years, has southern exposure on their roof, wants to decrease their home's draw on the grid and wants long-term energy savings.

"We’re excited to be the first to bring this new technology, which makes the roofing shingle your solar power source, to homeowners in the Dallas area," said Kirk, co-owner and president of Scott Exteriors.

"Enough solar energy hits the earth in one hour to satisfy the planet’s energy needs for one year. It makes a lot of sense, ecologically and economically, to tap into this natural resource to help power your home."

"Our house needed a new roof, and with four children and good southern exposure on our home, we wanted to be the first to experience this new, energy-saving product we’re now offering our customers," said Christine, Kirk’s wife and co-owner at Scott Exteriors.

"They look more beautiful than any other solar roofing option out there, and we look forward to years of energy savings, especially in the Texas summers."

The solar shingles install quickly. Most jobs will take about 2 to 3 days on the roof and 1 to 2 days for the electrical.

The biggest benefit of the new solar shingle technology is that you are giving back by going green ‒ you're doing something that is good for the environment. You can also save money on your electric bill each month, and there is a 30% federal tax credit for the initial purchase.

"We've had the new solar shingles for a year now, and we're seeing a 20 to 25% reduction in our electric bill each month," said Kirk. "Put another way, we are generating 20 to 25% of power for our use."

The most important two questions someone needs to ask themselves if they are interested in the solar shingles are:

1) Do I plan to live in my home for many years to come? and 2) Do I have southern exposure to the sun on my roof?

Another great perk of the panels are that the shingles are extremely durable. In general, they are hail resistant, wind resistant, and they can be walked on.

What are all the benefits of these CertainTeed Apollo ll solar shingles from Scott Exteriors?

• Energy savings

• Eco-friendly / environmentally-conscious roofing choice

• Federal tax credit (good through 2016)

• Solar power, with one roof penetration vs. up to 36 with traditional solar panels

• Efficiency: 14 high-efficiency monocrystalline silicone solar cells per module for a power rating of 54 watts per module

• Low-profile: the slim profile provides a clean, integrated look that a rack-mounted solar system cannot match

• Lightweight: no need for structural reinforcements or analysis; each module weighs only 12 pounds (about as many pounds per square foot as a typical asphalt shingle)

• Aesthetics: black frame, cells and backsheet visually blends with the surrounding roof and provides a more beautiful and visually-pleasing solar roofing option

• Load rating: modules are rate to 250 pounds per square foot

• Wind rating: Apollo ll solar roofing systems achieve a 110 mph wind resistance rating

• Wire management: open space under the modules allows for easy wire/installation and eliminates the possibility of wires being pinched between the module and the roof deck

Give Scott Exteriors a call if you’re considering solar energy for your home.

You can learn more about integrated solar shingles by clicking here.

Follow the Scott Exterior blog by clicking here.
Arboretum’s Tour des Fleurs

Karen Reardon is handing in her race shoes as chairman.

Todd Howard will be the new Tour des Fleurs chairman.

Todd Howard, th+a architects president and Dallas Arboretum board member, has been appointed chairman of the 2014 Tour des Fleur, a 10K and 20K race benefiting the Dallas Arboretum. Assisting him will be Logan Burgess, coordinator for race mechanics and participation.

An East Dallas resident, Howard has been active in the Dallas community for many years including a former board member of Doctor’s Hospital at White Rock Lake. A former president of the board of the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, he created the Emerging Leaders Program, which later received a national AIA award. He is also the former president of the Dallas Architectural Foundation and is active with the Texas Society of Architects.

Having organized the staff effort for Tour des Fleurs since the race’s beginning days eight years ago is Park Cities resident, Karen Reardon. This year, she is literally hanging up her tennis shoes and passing the baton to staff newcomer Dana Murrell who is in charge of the garden’s public events. Reardon, who is special projects director and the Hoffman Family Gift Store buyer, will still continue to work at the Arboretum in the latter roles.

"Eight years ago, Dallas Arboretum president Mary Brinegar asked me to coordinate the promotion, printing, budgeting, in-kind donations, volunteers, etc. for this new run, which benefits the Arboretum’s programs," said Reardon. "I’ve been doing this for so long, but it’s now time for me to pass the baton to Dana because with recent stress fractures in my legs, I must be temporarily off my feet."

Those who have ever attended a member’s event at the Dallas Arboretum, such as the Easter Egg Hunt, Goblins in the Garden, the Caroline Rose Hunt Society Dinners or a Friends of the Arboretum Dinner, have probably seen Karen Reardon hard at work making sure everything would run like clockwork. But her days of running the Tour Des Fleurs are literally coming to an end.

Tour des Fleurs has become a tradition for more than 2,800 runners, and registration is now open for the September event.

This year’s 9th annual Tour des Fleurs, presented by Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, is Saturday, September 20th. The race begins and ends at the Dallas Arboretum.

The race also kicks off the opening of Autumn at the Arboretum, which features the nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village featuring houses created out of 50,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash along with Cinderella’s carriage and storybook houses.

This 10/20K race around the beautiful White Rock Lake starts at 7:00 a.m. and is followed by a post-race celebration with food and beverages at the Dallas Arboretum’s Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn overlooking the picturesque White Rock Lake. The after-party band is the Good Times Van Band.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road.

For more information about the Arboretum, visit their website.
Phone Scam Alert

Be on the alert of a phone scam in our community. ©Burakpekakcan

The Dallas Police Department Northeast Division issued a warning recently about a telephone scam, and the community needs to be on the alert.

In the fraudulent call, the unknown suspect calls a home and states that someone at that address has an I.R.S. Tax Fraud Warrant out for their arrest, and they request a call back.

If you call back, the suspect tells you to buy gift cards and give them the access codes over the phone to get the warrant lifted.

The scammer also has the ability to make your caller ID display any phone number they choose. Recently, the suspect made caller IDs display DPD Chief Brown's office phone number.

People see the caller ID info and think the call is legit. It seems everyone is a target, too.

These scammers have called a police officer's house twice this week who lives in Lake Highlands.

Authorities feel the Lake Highlands community is being targeted, and urge residents not to fall for the scam. Sadly though, some already have.

Lake Highlands North resident Toni Stroud, however, knows better and is on alert after getting a similar and disturbing phone call. She was contacted on August 28th and decided to dig deeper by calling the con artist back.

"I’m just always doubting, and I couldn’t believe what this guy was saying," Stroud commented. "It was just crazy. I decided to call the number back and he actually answered. He acted like he was somebody else and even gave me a badge number."

"Good try. I’m not falling for this," Stroud told the guy.

He said, "Who’s your criminal lawyer?" He then threatened to send the police.

"I’m a lawyer," she told him. "I’m not scared of your threat, and I don’t believe the police are coming."

Stroud called 3-1-1, and they told her to call the fraud department. Unfortunately, nothing came of that.

Stroud also called Channel 5, and was told the station does reports on these calls all the time. "So I kind of felt like everyone blew me off."

"You know you hear about it – a cousin of mine fell for a scam. A friend of mine got a similar call about his wife being arrested, and it freaked him out," she explained.

Even more disturbing, another friend of Stroud’s was told that they were at her front door as they spoke on the phone with her.

"It makes me so angry because usually it’s the elderly who are scammed and taken advantage of."

Please be aware and don’t fall for the various telephone scams now underway. The story may vary, but they’re all out for one thing – your money.

Pass this information along to your family, friends and neighbors.

Sadly it happens in every community, not just Lake Highlands, but the more aware our community is, the better.

Always call 911 for emergencies.
Discovering new stars

Ken Taylor with LHHS physics students who did research during the QuarkNet program. ©Farley Ferrante

Artist’s impression of an eclipsing binary star system. Credit: European Southern Observatory/L. Calcada

Last spring, we wrote about Lake Highlands High School physics teacher Ken Taylor and his four students joining him at Southern Methodist University’s School of Physics to perform research with Professor Robert Kehoe, a particle physicist and an astrophysicist.

Well, the summer has wrapped up for them with a bang – and a few star discoveries!

LHHS students Jason Barton and Dominik Fritz discovered five stars as members of the SMU summer physics research program, QuarkNet. This program is a physics teacher development program in which LHHS physics teacher Ken Taylor has participated in since 2000.

This summer, the Lake Highlands students were able to analyze data gathered from a high-powered telescope named ROTSE-I, located in the New Mexico desert.

During the intense summer program, Barton and Fritz found five new binary stars. The stars are considered new because no one had ever classified them and submitted them for official recognition by the proper organization, until now.

All five stars are eclipsing contact binary stars. What does that mean?

They are pairs of stars that orbit around each other so closely that their outer atmospheres touch. As the stars eclipse, they dim and then brighten as one appears from behind the other.

Barton and Fritz spent countless hours working in one of the SMU science building basement laboratories. Their patience and perseverance paid off with their discoveries.

“It was stimulating to walk into the lab on the SMU Campus and immerse myself in the world of particle physics,” Barton explained when asked about his experience.

“I have to admit that the work was tedious, and it took a lot of perseverance to go in each day and sift through the data, but discovering the stars made the experience gratifying and worth the effort.”

Fritz told us there were two difficult challenges he faced this summer during the research.

“First, we had to learn how to use Linux computers and the software associated with them in order to analyze the data.”

“Second we had to compile the limited data we found into a light curve suitable for submission to VSX (variable star index), this included a search for data other than ROTSE-I.”

“As for the field of astrophysics, I very well could involve myself in it, as it’s very interesting. The studies we did in preparation for our searching for variable stars has shown me the true nature of astrophysics, and peaked my interest due to the various nuclear reactions that stars undergo throughout their lifetime,” Fritz commented.

Teacher Ken Taylor did a lot of physics calculations during the summer research and didn’t search for “new stars,” although all the researchers did something with the same types of stars.

“While Jason and Dominik searched for unreported binary star systems, I performed calculations on known binary systems,” Taylor explained. “The binary systems that we all worked on are contact binary stars. The stars in these systems are so close to each other that they orbit each other in less than a day!”

“That’s really phenomenal considering the large sizes of stars. In addition, their nearness to each other has a great influence on the shapes of the stars and on the mass transfer from one star to the other. As Sir Isaac Newton taught us in his theory of gravity, the moon and the sun cause the tides of oceans on the earth.”

“The tides are caused because the pull of the moon (and sun) on the earth is stronger on the side of the earth toward the moon than on the far side of the earth. This force difference leads to the term “tidal” force. Since the moon is much nearer the earth than the sun, its tidal force is greater than that of the sun.”

"Both as a physicist and as a teacher I found the work to be very satisfying and challenging," Taylor said. "It was quite gratifying to observe my students in a different academic setting, and as this setting was not textbook based, but data based. Of course, data are useless if you don’t know how to use them, but the students were prepped on many of the ideas involved in what we were doing."

"I enjoyed seeing students that had been under my so-called tutelage for one year, enter into a scientific environment that took them far beyond their academic experience level. It was a growth opportunity for me as a teacher to see them apply methods of critical thinking to their search programs," Taylor commented.

"It was rewarding to me as a teacher to see their successes reveal themselves on their faces and in their demeanor; It was also rewarding to see that success breeds success and can initiate constructive habits."
Food Forward: Nature’s Plate

Marianne and Annette, owners of Nature's Plate

The Nature's Plate menu is all plant-based. Photo courtesy of Nature's Plate

Only fresh ingredients are used at Nature's Plate. Photo courtesy of Nature's Plate

Meals are packaged in recyclable containers that are easy to take on-the-go or for school lunches.

Each meal is clearly labeled.

Stay tuned to read more from Annette and Marianne in Food Forward!

Welcome, Lake Highlands, to our newest column, Food Forward! Today we are introducing you to a company so pure, you’ll feel healthier just reading about it.

In 2012, two Lake Highlands sisters, Annette and Marianne, created Nature’s Plate, a plant-based meal delivery service. The company was established in response to friends’ requests for convenient, healthy lunches based on what they witnessed the sisters eating.

Their mission was simple – to make plant-based, whole food accessible and convenient, while also delicious and satisfying.

Today, you’ll get a glimpse into the company and learn why Annette and Marianne are so passionate about what they do. Then each month, you’ll have the pleasure of reading directly from them about healthy eating for the whole family.

One of the reasons the sisters put so much time and effort into Nature’s Plate’s menu is because they believe we all need to be a part of combating the childhood obesity epidemic. One way to do that is to stay away from the “convenience foods” that are so accessible.

“Convenience foods are full of processed ingredients and are usually high in refined sugar,” explained Annette. “Diets rich in these ingredients have only been eaten for a short period of time, beginning in the last 50 years.”

“During that time period, our society has seen sharp increases in cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. There’s no doubt that obesity is a related issue, but the scientific community is just beginning to understand the wide variety of ways these foods affect us.”

“And for children, there is evidence that these processed, artificial ingredients can cause mood and behavior issues as well,” Annette said.

While the research may not be fully conclusive at this point, the sisters point out that it’s obvious a whole food diet, rich in plants is health-promoting and results in much lower rates of these diseases and conditions.

“Whether it’s the absence of processed food or the presence of so many nutrients in a plant-based, whole food diet doesn’t really matter – either way, we know it’s healthier.”

And the Nature’s Plate menu is chocked full of nutritious, whole food meals! When asked to share which their favorite meals on the menu are, there was little hesitation.

“My favorite is the Beans and Greens soup,” Marianne exclaimed. “Mostly because it's delicious, but also because I am a huge fan of the one pot meal - I love soups and stews that contain beans and vegetables, especially greens.”

“I am always looking for recipes that contain beans, greens, and grains - and of course that taste good. My five-year-old daughter's favorite is actually a soup that is not on the menu yet but will be for Fall. It's a kale soup that is chock full of kale (obviously), sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. She loves it and has been eating it since she was a toddler.”

Annette’s family’s favorites have changed over time, but her current favorite is the Stir Fried Rice with Edamame & Asparagus.

“It has great flavor and a large variety of vegetables. And the Un-Tuna Salad is great for lunch, especially over mixed greens (we offer it in a wrap too). On the snack/treat menu, the Gluten Free Brownies are my favorite - the texture and flavor are amazing.”

“My kids are older (18 and 21), and they love testing the food. They are meat-eaters, so it probably makes sense that their favorites are very much in line with our biggest sellers: Veggie Mac, Lasagna, and Black Bean Tacos. And they like the Tofu Scramble Tacos as snacks,” Annette explained.

I got to taste test some of the meals and they were all amazing! The Trail Mix Cookies were by far the favorite in our house. As Marianne explained, they taste like dessert but are actually full of seeds and nuts and are healthier than almost any snack bar you can find.

Annette has lived in the L Streets for 7 years, and moved to Lake Highlands to be close to her sister and because she loves the area. She has two children (ages 18 and 21, Kyle and Andrea).

“Both kids have been a big help tasting recipes the last few years, and Andrea helped out with Nature’s Plate deliveries over the summer,” said Annette. “A couple of the original menu items are recipes my kids have always enjoyed.”

“Although both enjoy the occasional fast food / junk food, they also know a lot about healthy eating. Andrea (who attends Texas Tech) has been known to text me pictures to show off her healthier meals. She also designed the Plant-Powered Superheroes for the Kids’ Meals.”

Marianne has lived in the L Streets for 9 years with her husband, John, and her 5 year old daughter, Claire.

“Claire loves to talk about food (I wonder where that comes from) – one of her favorites is freshly cooked beans, straight out of the pot,” she said. Marianne’s older son, Chris, lives in Richardson and has also provided lots of great taste testing assistance over the years. He even hosted a Nature’s Plate sample and information session at his office!

Curious about the menu and how ordering and delivery works?

* The kids’ lunch menu includes items like peanut butter and jelly (on a sprouted grain English muffin), hummus with veggies and whole grain pita chips, and sweet potato hash.

* Each lunch also comes with fruit and a healthy treat, such as a trail mix cookie with oats, nuts, seeds and no refined flour or sugar.

* Deliveries are made on different days of the week to Dallas neighborhoods including Lakewood and Lake Highlands. Meals are delivered refrigerated and remain fresh for five to six days.

* Not only are the meals and snacks 100% plant-based, many of the ingredients are organic and all are non-GMO.

Stay tuned to hear more from Annette and Marianne about clean, plant-based eating in Food Forward!

Check out the Nature’s Plate website by clicking here or "like" their Facebook page.

Annette and Marianne love to hear feedback and suggestions and are happy to answer questions anytime. Email them at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Nature’s Plate items are listed on My Fitness Pal under the brand Nature’s Plate.
Wildcats at the Boneyard tonight!

Lake Highlands vs Plano East at the Boneyard tonight! ©Steve Clary

Tonight is the night!

The Wildcats open their season with a game against Plano East at the Boneyard at 7:30 p.m.

Before the game, you won’t want to miss out on the tailgating. The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. next to the Rec Center in the grove directly south of the stadium.

Organizers have nicknamed this tailgating spot the Litter Box!

This is a BYOB and BYOF (food) event, so plan accordingly. And help spread the word, too, so everyone can enjoy the tailgating fun.

Have a pop-up tent? Share the love, and bring it along with you for some shade and shelter.

Help cheer on the boys as they take on Plano East in the first home varsity game!

Labor Day weekend highlights

Enjoy the last of Dollar Days at the Arboretum and Children's Garden. ©John B. Sutton Jr.

Enjoy a special Labor Day at the Arboretum. Photo courtesy of the Arboretum

Enjoy food trucks while playing at the festival on the bridge.

Walk with the dinosaurs one last time at the Perot. Photo courtesy of the Perot Museum

Looking for something to do this weekend that everyone will enjoy? Check out these special events we’ve chosen to highlight that you won’t want to miss!

Food Frenzy Friday

Kick off your Labor Day weekend tonight enjoying food on the bridge while you take in the spectacular view of Downtown Dallas and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge at night!

There will be food trucks (of course), face painting, balloon animals and live music for everyone to enjoy.

Food trucks include Ruthie’s Food Truck, Yummy Pizza, Maui Hawaiian, MC Snowcone, Say Kimchi and Best Bayou Bites.

The festivities start tonight, August 29th, at 6:00 p.m. down on the Continental Bridge at 109 Continental Avenue. Check out more of the details on the bridge’s website.

Dallas Arboretum

As the month ends, the Dallas Arboretum invites the community to visit during the final weekend of August Dollar Days in which garden admission is only $1 and the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden admission is an additional $1.

On Labor Day, September 1, admission is $5, which includes free admission to the Children's Garden. Children will be able to enjoy special activities including the "How Sweet is It?" Lab, "Quest for Life in the Solar System" program in the OmniGlobe Theater and "Camouflaged Creatures" in the Habitats area.

To learn more about these programs and times, visit the Arboretum website or call 214.515.6500.

August Dollar Days and Labor Day tickets must be purchased at the gate in order to receive this special offer, subject to availability. However, discounted parking is available online for $5.

The Dallas Arboretum is located at 8525 Garland Road.

Perot Museum

It’s the last weekend of the Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia exhibit at the Perot Museum. Don’t miss your chance to walk with the dinosaurs one last time.

If it weren't for a series of cataclysmic events, a comet impact being first on the list, our planet could still be the domain of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs fascinate us so much, that many people wish they were still among us. Find out what it would have been like!

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is located at 2201 North Field Street. You can find out more on the Perot’s website.
Links of Love

Lake Highlands residents Tate Gorman and Adam Meierhofer with their foursome at the 2013 Links of Love. Photo ©CCA

Enjoy dinner and drinks after a fun round of golf. Photo ©CCA

The Bono family participated too in honor of their daughter, Sadie.

September is right around the corner, and it’s when Children’s Craniofacial Association (CCA) will observe Craniofacial Acceptance Month across the nation.

Each year CCA families, friends, volunteers and related support groups band together to widen the circle of acceptance for individuals with facial differences.

The vision of Children’s Craniofacial Association is very simple: CCA envisions a world where all people are accepted for who they are, not how they look.

Each year approximately 100,000 children are born in the United States with some form of facial difference. In many cases, reconstructive surgeons can correct these problems early - often while the children are still infants.

In other cases, however, reconstruction is not so easy or even possible. CCA is the premier organization that supports these children and their families.

Being accepted by others is a natural human desire, but it’s not often easy for those with facial differences, particularly at school, on the playground and in social settings.

Programs helping children—and adults—to look beyond differences and search for similarities will take place across the country during September.

Want to make a difference and support CCA with their mission?

CCA is having its annual golf tournament and silent auction, Links of Love, on Friday, Sept. 12th at the Bear Creek Golf Club in Dallas.

The entry fee is $100 per person ($400 for a four-person team), which includes lunch, dinner and drinks throughout the day.

Links of Love is guaranteed to be fun for all, and the proceeds go to a wonderful organization who makes countless differences in the lives of many children and adults.

To learn more about CCA and its programs, please visit their website.

To learn more, register or find out how to be a sponsor for Link of Love, visit the tournament’s website.
Free landscape seminars return

Both seminars are free with advance reservations.

Waterwise landscapes in North Texas. ©Lawn Whisperer

Make plans to attend one or both of these no-cost seminars Saturday, September 13th.

Landscape designer and author Bonnie Reese will be the speaker at both sessions.

Ms. Reese has more than 20 years experience designing, installing and maintaining landscapes in North Texas and is the owner of her own landscape design and consulting company Beautiful Landscapes.

Attendees at each session will receive a copy of Bonnie’s book, “Common-Sense Landscaping” (hard copy or electronic version – limit one per household.)

Attendees can also enter a drawing to win a bag of Green Sense organic fertilizer from Rohde’s Nursery & Nature Store. There will be three drawings per session.

Water-Wise Landscape Design 101
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Whether you have a new landscape or plan to update an existing area, it is critical to begin with a good design. This program teaches the principles of landscape design with an emphasis on how to create a beautiful landscape that will save resources - natural and financial!

Fantastic Plants for North Texas
1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Using colorful photographs, Bonnie demonstrates the natural beauty of native and adapted plants that thrive in the North Texas region. Learn when, where and how to plant each of the recommended plants, their size and height at maturity, seasonal color, texture and more. This program provides information on trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, groundcovers and turf grasses.

Reservations are required, as space is limited.

Please register online at SaveDallasWater or by calling 214.670.3155.

Seminars sponsored by Dallas Water Utilities Conservation, City of Dallas Stormwater Management, and Mountain View College.

The September 13th seminars will be held in the Performance Hall (Building “E”) at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Avenue, Dallas 75211.

Questions? Contact Noel Nielson at 214.670.5378.
MPE sees double

Five sets of twins in MPE kinder class

The current Kindergarten class of 2014 has been famous at Merriman Park for years, known simply as that class "with all the twins."

Five sets of twins happily marched into MPE this week: 2 sets of girls and 3 sets of boys. Three of the twin families have older siblings already at the school, so they were eager to join the fun.

Dee Ann Baggett, Merriman Park Elementary PTA President, is mom to one set of twins.

"After being a parent at the school for five years, I know they are going to have such a special year with Mrs. Lyons and Ms. Call," Baggett said. "They will learn so much and meet new friends."

Geoff and Virginia Berbary have twin girls who are new to the school but have attended the German International School of Dallas for the past three years.

"Sophia and Isabella were excited to start school again since they recognized some of their MPE classmates from their Sunday school and German school classes," Berbary explained.

The twins are divided among the four Kindergarten classes, but Ms. Call is the only teacher who has one from each of the five families in her classroom.

Jennifer Leavell has twin girls who she decided to separate this year into different classes.

"I was worried about the girls being split up, but I love how it's going to help them grow as individuals and not rely heavily on one another," she said.

"That is one of the great things about MPE – the teachers bring the best out of each child, and they see each of mine as their own person, not just a twin."

The Everett boys, Ellis and Truman, love their new teachers.

"I have heard nothing but ‘Ms. Maturi this and Mrs. Gray that’ since we met them last week at the Kinder Reveal party," mom Kiersten said.

"Chance and Patrick were so excited to go to school where their big brother is, and the fact that they will have a locker thrilled them," said another twin mom, Tiffany Lawson. Both Lawson boys said they are excited to meet the other twins, "but maybe not the girl ones!"

The twins in the Baggett house are the last of their four children to start elementary school.

Dee Ann had somewhat mixed emotions about it, too.

"I know I need to cherish every moment and remember they are growing up so fast, but I have to say that at 8:01 a.m. yesterday, I was cheering!"

For more information on Merriman Park Elementary, visit the school's PTA website.

Stay up to date on all the latest neighborhood school news on the LH Today Schools Page.

Want to share your good school news, too?

Email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with an update about your campus and student activities.
The Facts & Myths of Dallas Recycling

Find out the facts and myths of Dallas recycling. ©Tim Sloan

These are items you can place in your bin to recycle.

These are items you cannot place in your bin to recycle.

In 2011, the City of Dallas was awarded the Green City Award for having the most effective recycling education program for a large city in the United States.

It’s true that our beloved city does an effective job of getting the recycling word out to our schools and communities, but every blue moon we need a reminder.

One of our readers recently wrote in with a request for a recycling update article because she noticed conflicting information going around on some Next Door neighborhood message boards.

Thankfully, Lake Highlands Today contributor Cindy Engel came to the rescue!

One of the biggest topics in the neighborhood discussions were the blue plastic bags that people sometimes put their recyclables in.

According to Martin Riojas Jr., the Assistant Director of Sanitation Services with the City of Dallas, blue plastic bags (or any plastic bag) are not part of the City’s recycling program and by themselves, they are considered contamination.

"Placing your recyclables in a blue plastic bag does not mean that they are sent to the landfill," Rojas explained. "In a processing facility for recyclable material, several items travel through a conveyor belt and are sorted by people on the line. Contaminants are pulled out by these sorters and separated to be thrown away."

"A blue bag signals to the sorter that recyclables are inside," he continued. "The blue bag is opened up so that the recyclables can continue down the line but the blue bag is sorted as trash. Sorters are aware that blue bags are used to store recyclables."

"We advise residents to place their recyclables in their recycling roll cart without a bag," suggested Rojas. "This creates less contamination and our processor actually charges the City for sorting out the contaminants and sending them to the landfill. Not bagging the recyclables also reduces the amount of waste that is generated."

Cindy went the extra mile and also sent along all the info you need to know about Dallas recycling…

How do I get a Blue Recycling Roll Cart?

You may order a recycling roll cart by calling 3-1-1, or going to the Dallas Recycles website and using the online service request system. The City of Dallas will deliver your cart within 2 weeks of the request.

I live in an apartment. How can I recycle without a recycling roll cart?

Residents of multifamily properties can drop off their recyclables at one of the community recycling containers. There are over 140 community recycling containers throughout the City. For a list of sites, please call 3-1-1 or visit the Dallas Recycles website.

Is it OK for me to place my recyclables in a plastic bag before it goes in the roll cart or community container?

No, recyclables should be thrown into your roll cart or community recycling container without any plastic baggage. Plastic bags are considered contamination; they also damage the machinery that processes your recyclables. However, you may place recyclables into paper bags.

What about the grocery store plastic bags?

If residents do have grocery store plastic bags, they can recycle them at local grocery stores. There are quite a few grocery stores in Dallas that recycle plastic bags. Click here to find one near you.

Where can I go to find out if an item is recyclable?

You can find more information on the Dallas Recycles website or by clicking here. If you’re still having trouble locating its proper place, please call the Waste Diversion Hotline at 214.670.4475.

Where can I recycle items that are not currently collected by the City of Dallas?

Spring & Fall Round-Up Events – Spring and Fall events are held annually to provide residents an opportunity to recycle many items that are not easily recyclable.

These events are typically posted as a news item on the Dallas Sanitation webpage at least 14 days prior to the event. There are also several churches and schools in Lake Highlands that hold annual recycling events. Check the Lake Highlands Today calendar for more information on those.

Electronics – Electronics can be taken to any City of Dallas transfer station or to Spring and Fall Round-Up Events. For more info, please call 214.670.4475.

Household Hazardous Waste – The most common types of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) are Batteries, Oil, Paint & Antifreeze. These 4 items can be taken to the monthly BOPA collection events.

Other forms of HHW, such as cleaning chemicals, fluorescent light tubes or aerosol sprays can be taken to the Dallas County Home Chemical Collection Center. For more information, please call 214.670.4475 or check out this website.

What Happens When I Recycle Right?

• The usage of water and energy to create new material is reduced
• You save trees!
• Recyclable material is diverted from the landfill
• Additional revenue is created for the City of Dallas

What Happens When I Recycle Wrong?

Placing unaccepted items into the recycling roll cart can:

• Create serious risks for the employees who collect and sort your recycling
• Contaminate an entire load of recyclables causing the material to be sent to the landfill
• Decrease the amount of revenue that goes back to the City of Dallas
• Cause expensive damage to the machines that process and sort the recyclables

For more information on the City of Dallas recycling program, visit the Dallas Recycles website or call 214.670.4475.
Kick off the Holiday Home Tour

One Vanguard Way, a home on the tour this year.

9276 Cliffmere Drive

The date is set and the kick-off is scheduled!

The Lake Highlands Women’s League (LHWL) Holiday Home Tour will take place on Friday, December 5th. The homes on the tour this year will be one of a kind, and you absolutely won't want to miss the amazing décor and intricate details of each house.

The featured homes are:

James and Kandy Smith
9425 Estate Lane

Chuck and Diane Cheatham
One Vanguard Way

Steven and Tiffani Mackenzie
9276 Cliffmere Drive

Ben and Stephanie Jeffery
9332 Forestridge Drive

Why should you attend the Holiday Home Tour with all your friends?

• Relish in the festive homes decorated for the holidays
• Get creative new ideas for decor, architecture, design and furnishings
• Enjoy seeing modern updates and traditional beauty in your own neighborhood
• Treat yourself or someone special to a day of fun, food and shopping!
• Contribute to the worthy projects of the Lake Highlands Women's League

You can also kick off the fun with the featured home owners and LHWL members on Thursday, September 11th starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Lake House Bar & Grill on Northwest Highway at Lawther.

The event will include complementary hors'eouvres and a cash bar. Dining from the menu will also be available.

Reservations are required and tickets can be purchased for $20 per person online or checks can be mailed/dropped off to Penne Collett at 10110 Ferndale, Dallas, 75238.

The LHWL's 36th annual "Holiday in the Highlands" Home Tour and Luncheon will take place Friday, December 5th from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Holiday Market will be open Thursday, December 4th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Friday, December 5th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Highlands Oaks Church of Christ, 10805 Walnut Hill Lane, just east of Plano Road.

If you have questions about Vendors or the Holiday Market, please contact Chairmen: Julie Bonahoom at 214.537.0820; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Katie Mueller at 214.418.9272; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Luncheon tickets are $15 and Home Tour tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

Home Tour tickets can be purchased from any LHWL member or contact Nancy Plotts for more information at 214.240.7096 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

You can also visit the LHWL website or "like" the group's Facebook page.
What youth sports is really about

What is youth sports really about? Read more here. ©Baronoskie

With the beginning of school comes the launch of a new season of youth sports, and the busy schedules commence.

But there’s something about it all that puts a little pep in our steps, especially for the kids who look forward to practicing their favorite pastime, seeing their friends and being outside.

As parents, it’s easy to get caught up in the logistical side of youth sports – $100 registration, another small fortune on the gear, coordinating carpool to practices, figuring out schedules when there are several kids involved, etc.

But recently we were reminded what all of it is truly about, thanks to Dave Belisle, the coach of the Rhode Island team that represented the Northeast in the Little League World Series.

Belisle gave an inspiring speech to his team after a tough loss against Chicago's Jackie Robinson West. At the end of the elimination game, many of Belisle's players were in tears, feeling disheartened.

Belisle's speech, which gained national attention, reminded us why we enroll our kids in youth sports – to build character and shape children into well-rounded adults who contribute to society in a positive way. Or at least that’s how I see it.

After asking his team to keep their heads up, saying he wanted to see their eyes, Belisle gave his inspiring talk. If you missed it, Providence Journal transcribed his speech, and you can read it in entirety here.

His words definitely tugged at the heartstrings, but the parts that stood out will be remembered forever by those boys.

“There’s no disappointment in your effort – in the whole tournament, the whole season. It’s been an incredible journey. We fought. Look at the score – 8-7, 12-10 in hits. We came to the last out. We didn’t quit. That’s us! Boys, that’s us!”

“The lessons you guys have learned along the journey, you’re never going to forget. We’re going to have some more fun. We have two more days of fun.”

"It’s okay to cry, because we’re not going to play baseball together any more. But we’re going to be friends forever. Friends forever. Our Little League careers have ended on the most positive note that could ever be. Okay? Ever be.”

“So, we need to go see our parents, because they’re so proud of you. One more thing. I want a big hug. I want everyone to come in here for one big hug. One big hug, then we’re going to go celebrate. Then we’re going to go back home to a big parade.”

Some of us have been lucky to have a role model in our lives that changed us forever, whether it was a teacher, coach, or friend. They not only lift you up in the good times but during the tough times, too.

Lake Highlands resident Matt Feldman has been coaching for three decades and has been a role model to many youngsters throughout the years. We asked him his thoughts on it all.

“I thought Belisle’s speech showed how close the Coach was to his players,” Feldman commented.

“Often you think about how much a coach meant to his players. You hear stories of how coaches changed kids’ lives, how adults look back and remember a special coach who they admired, but you rarely think about how much a special group (or player) means to a coach. There are kids I coached 25 years ago that I still remember.”

“The goals of team sports are about working together as a team, learning to treat your teammates and opposing players with respect, and working hard to get results,” Feldman explained.

When asked what a coach’s #1 responsibility was, Feldman’s answer hit the nail on the head.

“Someone once told me regarding youth sports…safety, follow the rules, have fun, and if they get better along the way, that's a bonus.”

Belisle finished his speech with what could be the closing monologue to a great movie.

“I love you guys. I’m gonna love you forever. You’ve given me the most precious moment in my athletic and coaching career, and I’ve been coaching a long time – a looooong time. I’m getting to be an old man. I need memories like this, I need kids like this. You’re all my boys. You’re the boys of summer.”

That, my friends, is what it’s all about. That’s everything youth sports should be.

Want to get your child enrolled in youth sports? Check out some of the possibilities through the Lake Highlands YMCA, Lake Highlands Soccer Association and Spring Valley Athletic Association and Dallas Little League.
Backpack of Burdens

©Malcolm MacGregor

How much did your child’s backpack weigh this morning?

Most likely it weighed more today than it will other days due to new school supplies, but you don’t want to make a habit of weighing down your kids with heavy backpacks.

According to, some kids have backaches because they're lugging around their entire locker's worth of books, school supplies, and assorted personal items all day long.

Chiropractors say many children are overloading their backpacks, wearing them the wrong way, or carrying ones that are not age appropriate.

The new backpack students get to show off is one of the joys of going back to school. But as kids get older and bigger, so does the load they carry.

According to experts, the average recommended weight for a backpack is 10% to 15% of a child's body weight, but that might even be too much for some children especially if they’re carrying it wrong.

Most chiropractors suggest buying those roller book bags if your child's school allows them.

Check with your student’s teacher or encourage your older kids to brainstorm on scaling down the load so they won’t be carrying a backpack of burdens.
Crossing the bridge to Trinity Groves

Trinity Groves restaurants Photo courtesy of Trinity Groves

Building graphics at Trinity Groves by local artists ©Baronoskie

Youc an enjoy the Continental Avenue Bridge park while you're down there. Photo courtesy of CAB

There's something for everyone at the newly renovated park. Photo courtesy of CAB

If you haven’t been down to Trinity Groves yet, you’re missing out on a great new Dallas locale.

My family and I ventured down there for a back-to-school celebration yesterday, and we could have stayed for hours.

What is Trinity Groves, you ask?

This 15-acre restaurant, retail, artist and entertainment destination is located at the base of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in West Dallas.

Central to the Trinity Groves project is the Restaurant Concept Incubator program, which encourages chefs and restaurateurs “to create and present unique restaurant concepts to a team of experienced restaurateurs who will then support them to bring their ideas to reality.”

What were formerly industrial warehouses are now rehabilitated spaces adapted to house these incubator program opportunities.

Restaurants that are currently part of the “incubation” include a variety of concepts such as Spanish Tapas, Middle Eastern, Latin-Asian fusion, Central-American, Italian, and sushi.

Remember Four Corners Brewing Company we featured last week? It’s party of the Trinity Groves family too.

Along with the restaurants and microbrewery, Trinity Groves also hosts many exciting events such as art and theater shows, live musical performances and chef cook-off competitions and even a pop-up farmers market.

Besides crossing over the impressive Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, another cool thing about heading down to Trinity Groves is the new park that was created on the Continental Avenue Bridge, running parallel to the Margaret Hunt.

The newly renovated Continental Avenue Bridge re-opened this summer and has already become a popular gathering place for Dallasites.

Much like Klyde Warren Park, Continental Avenue Bridge has something to offer for everyone in the family.

Kids can scale the colorful, geometric climbing blocks or play in the misting fountain. All ages will enjoy a game of bocce ball or life-size chess. There are also yoga sessions to calm you while watching the sunrise ascend over the Dallas skyline.

So whether you need a back-to-school celebration like my family did or you’re a foodie just looking to try out new restaurants, check out Trinity Groves and take in the sites while you’re there.

For more information, you can visit the Trinity Groves website or go in person to their info center located at 425 Bedford Street.
Wildcat March-A-Thon tonight

LHHS Wildcat Band will perform a sneak peek of their 2014 half-time show, Save Me.

The day of hard work is finished off with a fun snowball fight.

The Lake Highlands High School Wildcat Band has one heck of a year planned!

They’ve designed one of the most exciting marching shows, Save Me, and will be traveling to Corpus Christi and competing in the South Coast Music Festival.

However, with these opportunities come financial commitments with which each of the 170 members needs help.

To raise money they're hosting a March-A-Thon tonight, August 22nd, and they're hoping folks in the community can help.

“Their show, Save Me, has a superhero/good vs. evil theme,” said band mom Charlotte Williams. “It's going to be a fun and very visually entertaining show!”

This all day event will consist of marching rehearsals, indoor music rehearsals and master classes on instruments from professionals. Each student is committing about 10 hours to this event, which will improve on their instruments, body movement for marching and overall product of unity for the band program.

The event will conclude with a free 6:00 p.m. showcase performance at Wildcat-Ram Stadium (a sneak peek of the fall halftime show), followed by a Snow Ball War between hot (and exhausted) band members.

The kids are asking for pledges for every hour they work on Friday (you can give a flat dollar amount instead) and their goal is $200 per student or $34,000 total.

Come on out tonight and enjoy the show and help the Wildcat band members get their year started right!

If you'd like to contribute to the LHHS Band program, you can donate Friday night or email band mom Charlotte Williams at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Jeff Bradford at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.
Robin Williams: What Good May Come

The world weeps still over Robin Williams' recent suicide.

Robin Williams in his early acting career ©ABC 1978

The tragic news of Robin Williams’ death reminds many of us that the psycho-emotional condition of depression is not always obvious to others' sight. Sadly, Williams annihilated himself to address the severe mental state disordering his sense of a meaningful life.

The intolerable interior anguish with which he lived was given the answer that left his family, friends and admirers in a thoroughly disconsolate state. Williams' suicide or the death of a close family member or friend under similar circumstances cries out for a context of meaning and hope.

Depression is a very difficult condition to classify given the differences between clinical depression and everyday moods often associated with the catch phrase, “the blues.” As a mood state, the condition of clinical depression is a serious mental illness that influences one's thoughts, feelings, behavior and physical health, which is different from the condition of being "down in the dumps" or blue.

Depression does not discriminate in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, class or race. Persons suffering severe depression are not simply able to will themselves into good mental health; instead, they need to seek treatment for their symptoms to prevent their continuity for weeks, months, or years.

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control explains that suicide accounts for more than 30,000 deaths and more than 300,000 self-harm-related emergency department visits per year in the United States.

Clinical depression affects every aspects of a person's life such as sleeping, eating, the ability to accomplish everyday tasks, getting along with others, self-esteem, and motivation for doing enjoyable things.

Depression can make you feel helpless, produce suicidal thoughts, and lead to self annihilation like in Williams' case.

Psychologists tell us there is nothing certain about who will be lost to suicide and who will not. What is certain from the last study to be made public by the Center for Disease Control, suicide is among the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. In 2010, the year for which CDC released information, there were 105 suicides a day in the United States.

Being in relationship to a person who struggles with severe depression, has suicidal thoughts, or being the loved one of a depressed person or the loved one of an individual who took his/her life, requires one to deal with a situation of profound pain.

Robin Williams took the tragic leap of ending his life, but in various and different ways, some of us find our hearts have jumped into the space of despair that claimed him. In the weeks leading to his suicide, those close to Robin Williams reported they noticed a change in his behavior.

What can we do to help others with severe depression, especially before they see no other way out of the anguish than death? We can learn the signs and symptoms of depression, encourage treatment, identify signs of a worsening condition, understand the risks of suicide associated with depression, remain vigilant for warning signs of suicide such as talk about suicide, severe mood swings, withdrawing from social life, developing personality changes, among others. We can provide support, learn all we can about depression, and locate helpful organizations that offer support groups, counseling and other resources for addressing depression and suicide.

As I loudly shout my sorrow into the wind for this exceptional human being, Williams' tragic end reminds us of the importance of listening to others when they cry out for help and accompanying them in a process of healing.


here lies another funnyman
in darkness making our hearts
skip knots. so many have made

meaning of life with you
filling lines with laughter
never finished by any added

verse, but today we weep
memories that drown our hearts
thinking of you pale dead in

the lonely grave. we understand
little of death's arrival, how it
dressed to meet you, why it came

with wordless shouting, or silently
knocking at your door. we will try
not to speak of sadness when the

wintering birds return soon to darken
the skies, gently bidding us to the
stillness of your passing. and, in fearful

journeys, swinging us toward darkness,
we shall do our best to see you still
giving us the gift of magnificent delight.

h.j. Recinos

Dr. Harold Recinos is a professor at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology and an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church.

He’s a published author and his books include Hear the Cry! A Latino Pastor Challenges the Church (Westminster John Knox Press, 1989); Jesus Weeps: Global Encounters on our Doorstep (Abingdon Press, 1992); Who Comes in the Name of the Lord? Jesus at the Margins (Abingdon Press, 1997); and Good News from the Barrio: Prophetic Witness for the Church (Westminster John Knox Press, 2006).
Youth Photo Contest

Photo courtesy of the Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum has announced a student photo contest and exhibition called Nature Thru the Lens for middle school and high school photographers in grades 6 through 12.

Students are invited to submit nature-inspired photography they've taken at the location of their choice. All entries must be submitted no later than September 1st.

This event is one of the final events celebrating the inaugural year of the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden.

Ribbons and other prizes will be awarded to winning students. In appreciation for participation, students who submit a photo and the teacher responsible for the student's participation will be given six guest passes to visit the Arboretum this calendar year.

As a special incentive, internationally celebrated nature photographer David Gibson, whose work is exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe, Asia and the United States and is a favorite of collectors, will invite the top four winners of the contest for a conversation about photography in his studio. He will also have a limited exhibition of his work at the Arboretum in celebration of the student exhibit.

"The Nature Thru the Lens photo exhibition is a wonderful way to engage students and acknowledge their young artistic talents," said Marc Barta, photo exhibition chairman. "We are thrilled to recognize these gifted young artists and share the beauty of nature through a different perspective."

There is no cost to submit a photograph, and each entry will include general garden admission into the garden the day of the event for the photographer and immediate family.

Each submission should be in either a .jpg or .tiff format. The size of the digital file submitted via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) should not exceed 5MB. If submitted via the website, size cannot exceed 10MB.

Good luck!

For a complete list of contest guidelines and instructions on how to submit a photo, click here.

For more information about the Nature Thru the Lens Photo Exhibition, contact Torie Parsons at 214.515.6520 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Charlie Robison will rock Oktoberfest

Charlie Robison ©Purifoy Photography

Photo courtesy of the Charlie Robison website

It’s official!

The Lake Highlands Exchange Club has announced its headline band for the 2014 Lake Highlands Oktoberfest.... Charlie Robison!

Now the countdown is on, so start coordinating with friends, line up that babysitter and get ready for the best Oktoberfest yet.

Charlie Robison and his band will take the stage at Oktoberfest After Dark starting at 7:00 p.m.

In only its fourth year, this annual Lake Highlands event has become one of the most anticipated affairs proving that the Exchange Club has definitely done what they intended to.

• To create a sustainable, financially self-sufficient annual event utilizing corporate and community partners.

• To engage the local business community and residents in a day of fun for the entire family.

• To promote the Lake Highlands area focused on the Lake Highlands Town Center.

• To raise money for local non-profit organizations, schools, scholarships and other worthwhile causes.

All these goals hit home with anyone living in Lake Highlands. If you are especially interested in taking part on the sponsor level, you can get in touch with event organizers and see how you can get involved.

In the meantime, start gathering your Oktoberfest outfit, and stay tuned for more things to get excited about on October 4th!

2014 Oktoberfest will take place on Saturday, October 4th at the Lake Highlands Town Center from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Individuals and corporations interested in sponsoring the event this year can email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Keep up to date on plans by visiting the 2014 Oktoberfest website, or check out the event's Facebook page.

To find out more about Charlie Robison, visit his website.
Wildcat Football 101

Don't miss the Wildcat Football 101 Tour tonight! ©Steve Clary

2014-15 LH Wildcats Community Card

2014-15 LH Wildcats Community Card vendors

The first ever Wildcat Football 101 Tour is tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Boneyard, and it’s a tour you won’t want to miss!

Football moms, dads, grandparents, and fans are invited to get a sneak peek inside the greatness of Wildcat Football.

Meet in front of the stadium locker room located on the east side of the stadium near the scoreboard, and you’ll enjoy informative tours of the locker rooms, press box, and weight room courtesy of the Lake Highlands coaches.

Come out for a chance to go behind the scenes of the LHHS Wildcat Football team.

Speaking of football, did you miss your neighborhood football player selling LH Community Cards last Saturday?

It’s not too late to grab your card ‒ the proceeds go to support the Wildcat football program.

This year, there are three new vendors: Chicken Express, Quesa-D-Yas, and White Rock Coffee.

Start the 2014 football season in the know with the Wildcat Football 101 Tour.


To purchase a Wildcat Card, you can contact Ebby Ghoreishi at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Lori Toungate at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Suds Up: Four Corners Brewing Co.

Four Corners founders, George Esquivel, Steve Porcari and Greg Leftwich

The Four Corners brew team

Four Corners 360 lids

The brewhouse wall sports their unique label artwork.

Here in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, we’re really lucky to have such amazing craft beer breweries.

It hasn’t been an easy task for these guys to set up shop, but they’ve fought local zoning laws and have dealt with Texas’ much hated State Bill 639 to make it happen.

That’s in addition to the challenges that any new business faces, such as raising capital, defining their brand, and building a customer base. Being a supporter of local goods (and good beer), that’s why I feel it’s important to feature our talented brew masters who are close to home.

So far in Suds Up, we’ve featured Lakewood Brewing Company, Deep Ellum Brewing Company and Peticolas Brewing Company.

Now we want to introduce you to Four Corners, a brewery not too far away that has a unique story in addition to its tasty beer.

Co-Founders George Esquivel, Steve Porcari and Greg Leftwich all have a love for beer that inspired them to start brewing at home.

George and Steve began brewing at home about 10 years ago. The hobby escalated, and they starting competing in home-brewing competitions.

"We met our third partner, Greg, after a local home-brewing competition called Brew Riot," George recalls. "In its sixth year, Brew Riot now attracts over 40 home brewers to its annual event in Oak Cliff."

Four Corners Brewing Company got its name from a neighborhood street corner in Oak Cliff, but as George explains, that could really be anywhere.

"Every town has a main street and every neighborhood has its ‘four corners.’ Our ‘four corners’ has a mix of multi-generational families, new immigrants, mixed ethnicities, vibrant music, food and people," says George. "We proudly raise a pint to that!"

The brewery location is a unique story, too. What used to be a warehouse that stored 18-wheelers was transformed into a gorgeous brewhouse with its shiny fermentation tanks.

"From concept to open doors, the process took about 18 months. A lot of steps were in between from defining our brand, to raising capital, to changing zoning laws, the clean-up of a big-rig shop and finally installation of equipment."

All the hard work paid off though as Four Corners now boasts 9 fantastic beers, all unique in their flavors and personalities.

A distinctive feature that Four Corners’ cans have is what’s called 360 lids. The entire top comes off so as to enjoy the aroma along with the flavor.

"We’re the first in the Southwest to use them and part of a handful of breweries in the U.S. to introduce them."

"Our goal was to provide the best craft beer experience where we Texans tend to want great beer – i.e. the lake, river, pool, tail gate or backyard BBQ. Beer has aroma that adds character, and our lids provide that important component with easy portability."

Located in Trinity Groves close to central Dallas, Four Corners neighbors Oak Cliff and West Dallas.

"This area makes up our ‘DNA.’ It’s a vibrant part of the city made up of creative, self-motivated people who believe in active community," George explains.

"I think of it as Dallas without makeup."

If you haven’t been down there yet, check it out. Four Corners will welcome you to either of their free tours on Saturdays at noon and 1:30 p.m. They also reserve space for private events if you’re in need of a cool venue.

Stay tuned for the next in our Suds Up series, and until then, Prost!

For more information on Four Corners Brewing Company, visit their website, "like" them on Facebook, or check them out on Twitter.

Photos courtesy of Four Corners Brewing Company
Out & About: The Gaylord Texan

The Gaylord Texan in Grapevine Photo courtesy of Marriott

The "world" inside of the Gaylord Photo courtesy of Marriott

The view of Lake Grapevine from the 9th floor

Voscia with her daughter, Lauren, at the waterpark

Lauren enjoying one of the many beautiful sculptures at the Gaylord

Stay-cations have become more and more popular and are a wonderful way to enjoy quality time with your loved ones without breaking the bank.

Desperate for relaxation mixed with a little fun, my daughter Lauren and I headed to Grapevine for an overnight stay at the beautiful Gaylord Texan Resort.

When we first walked into the lobby, Lauren noticed the Starbucks sign, and she was immediately sold! It also helped that she received a coloring book and colors during our check in.

Our room was located on the 9th floor with a view of Lake Grapevine. The room was spacious and the beds were very comfy (I’m sure due to the custom made mattresses) and the pillows were extremely fluffy. When I fell onto the bed, it felt like heaven, although my daughter reminded me that the bed wasn’t actually “heaven” know that place in the sky.

It rained on the day we arrived. This made for a cool breeze while sitting on the balcony chatting and enjoying our Starbucks drinks.

Being close to DFW airport, it can be really annoying hearing the planes throughout the day and night. But we turned those lemons into lemonade. Lauren and I would guess which cities the planes were flying to and from. We had absolutely no way of knowing, but it was fun.

The hotel’s atrium was beautiful and filled with colorful plants, flowers, and amazing art sculptures. There was a replica of the San Antonio Riverwalk and a scale model of “Lowdown, TX” that has its own railroad system. There are restaurants, coffee shops, and retail shops available which makes the resort feel like its own little community (that you don’t want to leave).

For pool time, we were shuttled to Paradise Springs Waterpark. While winding down the lazy river and repeatedly jumping in the pool, Lauren thoroughly enjoyed herself. We ordered dinner from the pool bar and grill. I enjoyed the chicken quesadillas while Lauren had a kid’s hot dog meal. I was fairly pleased with the taste and the cost.

After our time in the water, we returned to the room to have our princess time by giving each other manicures and pedicures. This was followed by cuddling, snacking, and watching the Disney channel until Lauren fell asleep.

I definitely have to take the time to salute the staff! Everyone was very nice and accommodating. While walking the premises, any time I made eye contact with a staff member, he/she spoke and asked if they could help us with anything.

If I may offer any tips, remember to have a stash of cash on hand for tipping because the ATM fees are not your friend.

It’s impossible to experience all that the Gaylord Texan Resort has to offer in just a one night stay. I look forward to visiting again so I can experience the spa and other special weekend events such as the fireworks, and seasonal kid events like The Summer Bash and ICE.

So if you're looking for one more quick get-away before the kids get too busy with school, check it out. You won't be disappointed!

For more information on the Gaylord Texan, click here.
A talk on Dallas History

Dr. Ted A. Campbell Photo courtesy of SMU Perkins School of Theology

On Friday, August 22nd, Dr. Ted A. Campbell will speak at the Lake Highlands Exchange Club's weekly meeting.

Dr. Campbell, a Lake Highlands resident, will offer a presentation on Dallas History, a topic that is close to his heart and one he has intensely researched.

Since 2012, Dr. Campbell has been a regular contributor for Lake Highlands Today with his popular column, Lake Highlands History, and most recently his series on Dallas history.

His very first article about the Shawnee Trail helped our readers take another look at Greenville Avenue.

Other popular articles included Sad Stories Etched in Stone, A Tear for Liza Prigmore, and The Original Dallasites.

Dr. Campbell's background in theology and years spent as a Methodist pastor, along with his love of history, combine nicely in his professional role as a faculty member at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology.

Published works include The Gospel in Christian Traditions and Wesleyan Beliefs: Formal and Popular Expressions of the Core Beliefs of Wesleyan Communities.

His detailed historical writings intrigue us all and no doubt his talk to Exchange Club members will be fascinating and highly informative.

For more information on the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, visit the group's website.
Back the Future

Christina Etri, a Merriman Park Elementary PTA and Council of PTAs volunteer, at the Clothes Closet "backing the future" ©Marni Kaner

Candace Ahlfinger at the RISD Administrative office ©Marni Kaner

Kirsten Gabbert, the new music teacher at Merriman Park Elementary ©Marni Kaner

The Texas PTA's Back the Future campaign is in full swing, and the RISD Council of PTAs is kicking off the fun this upcoming weekend at their Back the Future Day Kick-off Extravaganza.

Many of the Lake Highlands schools will have PTA volunteers there learning about new roles for the year and getting excited about serving their campuses and students.

Marni Kaner, RISD Council of PTAs president, traveled around the district with the campaign sign getting volunteers and teachers alike to "back the future."

"The theme 'Back The Future' centers on our belief that an investment in the education of Texas children is an investment in our communities’ future," Kaner explained.

"I'm excited to have the support of all members of our RISD community because without YOU there is no CommYOUnity!"

With back-to-school upon us, we’re reminded what PTA stands for and how families, teachers, students and others can be involved. Those behind the campaign are hoping the community gets involved as well.

The PTA is inviting not only families, teachers and students, but community members of all walks of life to “Back The Future” by becoming a PTA member and joining in the celebration of the start of the 2014-'15 school year.

For more information on the TX PTA’s campaign, click here.

To learn more about RISD Council of PTAs, visit their website or "like" the group's Facebook page.
Reel Deal: Movies with Anne

Ellar Coltrane & Ethan Hawke in Boyhood

Lorelei Linklater, Patricia Arquette & Ellar Coltrane

For 12 years, Ellar plays the role of Mason in Boyhood.

Richard Linklater designed and created a challenging film more than a decade ago that eventually became the unique film ‒ Boyhood.

Linklater cast the 7 year-old non-professional actor, Ellar Coltrane as Mason, Jr. at the center of a storyline that follows him as he grows up, changes physically and emotionally and finally matures. The final sequence finds him a high school graduate about to enter college.

Named after his father, Mason, Sr., played by Ethan Hawke, there are awkward and shaky times as Mason, Sr. steps into his son’s life and attempts to make up for having been an absent father. He admits he was a young, immature parent and makes a commitment to become more involved in his life.

Patricia Arquette does her part as Olivia, mother to Mason. Jr., and daughter Samantha, artfully played by Lorelei Linklater, is the daughter of Richard Linklater.

The challenges facing Olivia and Mason, Sr. are many as they deal with their children’s teenage years and the disruptive family issues that continue as the plot unrolls year after year.

Shooting began in 2002 and finally wrapped up in time to debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

This long term process has carved out a new film niche ‒ a fictional drama affected by reality.

The scripts were fluid and adapted as events taking place at the time of the filming reflected the culture, music and the politics of the1990s and the early 2000s, becoming a sort of time capsule of that era.

Linklater stayed with his Texas roots, using Texas area actors, local sites and the cities of Austin, Houston, San Marcos, Bastrop, Big Bend Ranch State Park and Perdernales Falls State Park as locations.

The segues from year to year and physical changes in the actors are subtle and handled adroitly by the filmmakers as they give viewers a sense of "being there" with the family and their friends.

As the final sequence plays out, the realization emerges that the folks in this story, whose inner lives have been revealed, are now going forward without you, the viewer, possibly leaving the question, what happened next?

Boyhood is now showing in select theaters. Click here to view the trailer and to find a theater near you.

MPAA: R for language including sexual references, and for teen drug and alcohol use.

Images ©IFC Films
An Exercise Rx for Depression

Where does exercise fit in with depression? Read more here. ©Mikhail

The news of actor-comedian Robin Williams’s tragic presumptive suicide came as a major shock to anyone who has followed his career. After all, we have been accustomed to seeing the lively, vibrant, hilarious persona and nothing more.

His history of depression points to another, more private side of his personality, one which I guess we had to suspect could be there; after all, no one can be that manically joyful all the time.

Depression – whether it be situational, post-partum, or chronic – is a kind of subtle quicksand. The person experiencing depressive symptoms may have no idea she is entrenched in it because it seems normal to her.

It can be similar to physical pain in that he may only realize how much pain he’s in when he finally gets some relief and realize retrospectively that the overwhelming sadness and lack of energy was not normal at all.

Most people diagnosed with clinical depression or anxiety use a combination of prescription drugs and therapy to cope with their symptoms. Doctors often encourage these patients to exercise as well.

But are we really listening, or do we nod our heads and expect our prescriptions to do it all? Do we know enough about the anti-depressant effects of physical activity?

The research is compelling.

Numerous studious have shown repeatedly that physical activity – meaning both structured exercise as well as recreational activities such as playing tennis, gardening, swimming, bike-riding, etc. – is linked to lower rates of depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, and drug use, among others (Strohle, 2009).

Conversely, anxiety, depression, social problems and stress are linked to limited or no physical activity. (Hutchinson & Brooks, 2011). Even those who aren’t clinically depressed can experience a “pick-me-up” as a result of exercising, since physical activity stimulates neural connections, increases the concentrations of neurotransmitters, and releases endorphins – all of which enhance feelings of happiness (OHSU, 2003).

I am not claiming that exercise alone is enough to combat clinical depression alone. If you think you are suffering from depression or any other mental health disorder, your first call should be to a medical doctor or other clinical professional who can prescribe a treatment plan for you.

But the evidence points to the fact that if nothing else, 30 minutes of physical activity 3-5 times per week can’t hurt when it comes to treating depression, as the body is a complex network of systems, and physical health is very definitely related to mental health.

In fact the American Psychiatric Association amended its guidelines for Major Depressive Disorder in 2010 to include physical activity in conjunction with other treatment (Nordqvist 2010).

If you believe you may have depression or anxiety, don’t let yourself soak in the pain any longer than you have to. Reach out to a confidant who can help you get the treatment you need, and don’t ever stop fighting for yourself.

Once you have the energy to put one foot in front of the other, try to stick with it as a way to help reduce stress levels and find inner peace.

Mallory Mansour Cislo is a Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer with additional certifications in nutrition and other areas of wellness and fitness including the TRX® Suspension Training.

She lives in Lake Highlands with her husband and three sons and owns Positively Fit Lake Highlands, a private group exercise and personal training studio devoted to spreading the joy of exercise and health to Lake Highlands, Dallas, and beyond.

Click here to order a copy of her book, Positively Fit: 25 Do-Everywhere Workouts for Busy People, which contains five workouts each for the home, office, playground, street, and minimally-equipped gyms.

Click here to "like" Positively Fit Lake Highlands on Facebook.


Hutchinson, S. and Brooks, E. (2011). Physical Activity, Recreation, Leisure, and Sport: Essential Pieces of the Mental Health and Well-being Puzzle. Retrieved August 12, 2014 from this website.

Nordqvist, C. (2010, October 2). Major depressive disorder guidelines issued by American Psychiatric Association. Medical News Today. Retrieved August 12, 2014 from this website.

Oregon Health & Science University. (2003, September 29). 'Good' Chemical, Neurons In Brain Elevated Among Exercise Addicts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 12, 2014 from this website.

Strohle A. (2009). Physical activity, exercise, depression and anxiety disorders. Journal of Neural Transmission. 116:777-778.
Community Night at the Boneyard

Tomorrow night is Picture Night at the Boneyard! ©Steve Clary

Lake Highlands High School is hosting their annual Picture Night tonight, August 15th.

Starting at 5:00 p.m., you and your family can head down to the Boneyard (aka Wildcat Stadium) and get your chance to meet this year's LHHS Football players, Cheerleaders or the Bell Boys.

You can also get your picture taken in front of the Wildcat tunnel!

Mingle with friends, shop the Clawset for your Wildcat gear, get your Wildcat cards, and grab some shaved ice from the Kona Ice truck.

Don’t miss your chance to support the LHHS Wildcat Club while having fun and getting ready for another amazing Wildcat football season.

And keep your eyes peeled for the football players in your neighborhood on Saturday, August 16th. They’ll be out and about selling the Varsity/JV Wildcat Card after practice.

See you there!

The LHHS Picture Night will be at Wildcat Stadium located at 9449 Church Road from 5:00-7:00 p.m on Friday, August 15th.

For more information about the Wildcat Club, click here.

To purchase a Wildcat Card, you can contact Ebby Ghoreishi at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Lori Toungate at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Sneak Peek: Neighbor’s Casual Kitchen

Neighbor's Casual Kitchen will be opening soon in the location where Highlands Cafe used to be. ©Baronoskie

Final touches are being made before the furniture is moved in. ©Baronoskie




Even the bathrooms are getting a fresh look. ©Baronoskie

One of the last posts on the Highlands Cafe Facebook page welcomed new owner Peter Touris to their formerly occupied space.

“We hope that all will stop in for a last meal as Highlands Cafe and welcome Neighbor’s Casual Kitchen as you did for almost 10 years at Highlands.”

Touris and his crew have been working hard this summer to get Neighbor’s Casual Kitchen ready for business.

Lake Highlands’ newest restaurant will boast a brand new menu, a full service bar, and wait staff so you can enjoy sit-down service.

We got a sneak peek into the renovations before Neighbor’s opens to the public, and the new fresh look is bound to please all who walk through the doors.

At first glance, you won’t recognize the inside. Almost everything has been redone including walls, flooring, lighting, ceilings and even bathrooms.

The kitchen is the original footprint but instead of the counter service area, there is a walled off area for wait staff to pick up food and refill drinks.

The full service bar is not too big so as not to be too evasive. “Neighbor’s will be a family-friendly restaurant – a place where people can meet up to visit and enjoy a meal and drink,” Touris said.

Neighbor’s outdoor seating consists of fun, brightly painted picnic tables. “My 7 year old daughter picked out the colors,” he smiled. The outdoor area will definitely be a place where the kids enjoy eating.

Diners will be thrilled with the new menu as well. “The menu is a mix of my family’s favorite recipes and popular dishes,” Touris said.

“We’ll have brunch, fresh salads, burgers, sandwiches, and hot items like pork chops and grilled tuna.”

Touris says the grand opening is right around the corner with doors opening sometime this month.

Stay tuned to Lake Highlands Today’s Facebook page for details of the first day of business at Neighbor’s Casual Kitchen.
Lake Highlands welcomes a new Wildcat

Frank Miller, the new LHHS principal.

Miller seals the deal by trying on his new LH Wildcat gear.

Please welcome Frank Miller to Lake Highlands!

Richardson ISD Superintendent Dr. Kay Waggoner announced yesterday that Frank Miller will be heading to Lake Highlands High School as the new principal.

"He is an exceptional fit with the profile developed by Lake Highlands staff and community members, and I'm confident he will be a collaborative and highly effective leader,” commented Dr. Waggoner.

We had a chance to sit down with Miller yesterday to get to know him better, and we’re excited to welcome him to his new position.

Miller comes to RISD from Garland ISD's Sachse High School, where he has been an assistant principal since 2006. He’s been in education for 14 years, beginning as a classroom teacher of History, Geography, Theater and Speech.

He holds a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, a master's degree in Education from Texas A & M University-Commerce, and he is currently completing a doctoral program in Education from Texas A&M-Commerce.

Miller’s ties to Lake Highlands are strong as he’s lived in Lake Highlands or close by throughout his life. He graduated from Highland Park High School in 1986. He and his wife’s first home after getting married was in Old Lake Highlands, and their three children were all born at Margot Perot at Presby. The list goes on.

Bottom line is that Miller understands the strength of the Lake Highlands community and the pride that residents have in the schools.

"It's one of the most attractive things about this school in that the PTA is strong, the community is strong, and it knows what it wants. This is a very special place because of that."

"I do want to embrace our rich and powerful past with a lot of tradition. I want to leverage that, to advertise it, and I want it to be our calling card. At the same time, I want to acknowledge some issues we'll have, but on top of that, I want to aim for the future."

"I very much believe this school can be one of the best in the state."

Miller explained that his first goal as principal is to get to know everyone and to build relationships.

"I want to make myself known to the community, embed myself, to be a part of it. It's my intention to be at as many functions as possible. That's what I did at Sachse, and that's what I plan on doing here."

While in Sachse, Miller described how the school family made the culture one that sustains greatness, and he plans to put his "Miller spin" on that here in Lake Highlands.

"There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a child you worked with do something great, and you knew you were a part of that greatness – a lot of that is tied to the family bond – family takes care of each other."

Football and Athletic Director, Coach Scott Smith, made a surprise visit during our meeting and sealed the deal for Miller by delivering a Wildcat hat and t-shirt.

"I woke up this morning as a Sachse Mustang and will end the day as a Lake Highlands Wildcat," laughed Miller.

Please help us in welcoming Frank Miller to Lake Highlands!
West Nile Virus in Lake Highlands

Monday, officials confirmed a West Nile virus diagnosis in zip code 75238.

The rash associated with West Nile fever. ©

The best way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites.

A third human case of the West Nile virus was diagnosed Monday, this time in Lake Highlands zip code 75238.

Because of patient privacy laws, specific information on the individual cannot be released. However, we do know that the patient displayed symptoms of West Nile fever, the less severe of the two types of the virus.

The majority of people bitten by an infected mosquito will not show any symptoms of the virus, but less than 20% can contract the West Nile fever.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the easiest and best way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites.

This news hitting so close to home reiterates the importance of practicing the 4 D’s.

• Wear insect repellent with DEET

Dress in long, loose, and light-colored clothing

Drain standing water

• Limit outdoor activity during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active

The trap in the 75238 zip code has not contained mosquitoes that have tested positive, but the City will increase surveillance and place an additional trap near the location to gather more information on mosquito activity.

The City of Dallas typically conducts targeted ground spraying in areas where the virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes, and in areas where trapping has indicated significant increases in the number of mosquitoes that have the potential to carry it.

For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control’s website.

To report standing water or mosquito problems Dallas residents should call 3-1-1.

For additional information on Mosquito Control visit the City's website.
White Rock Lake: Ready for a close-up

Get your camera ready and head to the lake. Photo ©White Rock Lake Conservancy

Kids and adults are welcome to participate. ©Baronoskie

White Rock Lake Conservancy is welcoming all age groups to the lake with cameras in hand!

Prizes will be awarded in the Conservancy's Photo Contest for professionals, amateurs and youth.

Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be determined by a professional panel of judges including Honorable Mention selections.

Organizers say they're looking for "striking images of activities and events around White Rock Lake, wildlife, and architecture/structures."

Up for consideration are photos for wildlife, plant life, landscapes and people.

According to the guidelines of the contest, images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit.

There is a limit of two photo entries per contestant and a submission deadline of Wednesday, October 1st.

You can read the complete contest rules HERE.

Good luck!

White Rock Lake Conservancy was founded in 2008 and is lead by the Board of Directors and Advisory Board that partners with the City of Dallas and its Park and Recreation Department.

Learn more on the Conservancy website or follow White Rock Lake on Twitter.
Help us find Bella

Lindsay and Bella Stafford

Bella recently dyed her brown hair.

Bella with blonde hair.

Please help us find Bella!

UPDATE: Bella is home safe with her family. Thanks to everyone who shared the article and helped get the word out.

Yesterday was a tough day for Americans and those around the world who loved the funny man, Robin Williams. Word of his death stunned us all and left a hole in our hearts.

But today, we’re asking you to focus locally in our community and assist us in finding a young girl who needs our help to make her way home to her family.

Lake Highlands student, Isabella Stafford, was last seen by her mom on Monday, August 4th.

Bella, as she goes by, is a 15-year-old Caucasian female, 5 ft. 2½ in. tall and 120 pounds, with blue eyes. She was last seen with dark hair but could have possibly colored it.

Bella has run away before but has always returned safely to her family. Most recently, however, she thought she was going to jail because she had broken her probation. It's important to stress that this is not the case.

The last correspondence she had with her mother, Lindsay Stafford, was a message Wednesday morning she sent on Facebook saying simply, "I love you."

According to Lindsay, Bella doesn't fear going into any parts of the city and does know how to use public transportation, so she could be anywhere by now.

"Please continue to pray and share," Lindsay asks. "The more this is shared, the greater our chances of finding her will be."

"Isabella, if you happen to see this, we love you so much, and our family is incomplete without you ‒ please come home!"

"This has been extremely difficult, but God is putting wonderful people in my life to help me, which has made it at least bearable."

If you have any information please contact Lindsay at 469.386.5909.

You can also call the Dallas Police Department’s Officer Rodriguez at 214.671.4249 or Private Investigator Dennis Ozment at 469.296.8109 and reference Law Enforcement Case #189359-2014.

Follow the Facebook page designed to help get Bella home by clicking here.

Images courtesy of Lindsay Stafford
Square Dancing at the KC

Learn to square dance! Photo ©River City Square Dance

Square dances were first documented in the 17th century England but were also quite common in France and throughout Europe for several hundred years.

The dance form came to North America with the European settlers and has undergone considerable changes since then.

Interested in learning this amazingly fun dance? You’re in luck!

Lone Star Solos Square & Round Dance Club will be offering square dance lessons on Mondays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus hall.

The first two lessons are free. After that, cost is $50 per person for 18 weeks of lessons. So get to dancing, folks!

To learn more and sign up, contact Billy Hurt at 972-840-3568.

The Knights of Columbus Council 799 is located at 10110 Shoreview Road.

Photo ©River City Square Dance
Dette’s Annual Garage Sale

Check out the goods at the Highlandette Garage Sale on Saturday, August 23rd.

It’s that time of year again, and the Highlandette’s are getting ready for their annual garage sale!

Dozens of families have pooled their stuff together for this annual treasure trove of a sale, so you’re guaranteed to find something you can’t live without.

Not only can you score great deals, but you will be supporting the Lake Highlands Highlandettes and their programs throughout the year!

As usual, the big sale will feature furniture, clothing, housewares, toys, and lots of additional household items.

The sale begins next Saturday morning, but folks interested in shopping earlier can stop by the high school Friday evening.

For a $5 donation at the door, early birds can purchase items from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m.

See you there!

The garage sale is next Saturday, August 23rd from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the Lake Highlands High School gym which is located at 9449 Church Road.

For questions or to arrange pickup of donated items, contact your favorite 'Dette or visit the Highlandette webpage.
DART Light Rail Expansion

DFW Airport DART Light Rail Station Photo courtesy of DART

DFW Airport DART Light Rail Station platform Photo courtesy of DART

DFW Airport DART Light Rail Station Photo courtesy of DART

Getting to DFW Airport from Lake Highlands will get easier starting Monday, August 18th!

The final, 4.7-mile segment of the Orange Line will link Beltline Station to gate A10 of Terminal A, four months early and under budget.

The country's longest light rail system will connect to the country’s third-busiest airport!

Fares will remain the same, as will service frequencies, although certain departure and arrival times will change. DART is encouraging customers to pick up a new Rail Pocket Guide, as both earlier and later trips are being added to accommodate employment shifts.

It’s definitely not a quick trip out to the airport from Lake Highlands on DART, but neither is taking LBJ these days with all of the construction.

If you drive, sometimes the parking lots are full at the airport, which adds time in finding a parking spot. Unless you pay the big bucks to park at the terminal itself, you’ll have to take an airport shuttle to your terminal.

The benefits of taking DART include being able to read a good book or check your e-mail; saving on gas, vehicle wear-and-tear, and parking; and helping keep Dallas air cleaner.

How to get to DFW Airport from Lake Highlands

If you live near Northwest Highway, it might be a little faster to take the 428 bus across town rather than take the light rail down south to downtown. Bus route 428 stops at White Rock Station and Park Lane Station, ending at Bachman Station.

Depending on traffic and time of day, the 428 takes about 40 minutes from White Rock to Bachman. The final leg on the orange line, with 6 stops, takes about 30 minutes. Check the DART trip planner before you go.

If you live near Lake Highlands Station with no transportation to the orange line, you’ll need to take a bus and transfer to the light rail. There are 3 bus routes from Lake Highlands Station (374, 475, and 583), and route 583 is the only one that heads somewhat directly towards the orange line. It transports you from Lake Highlands Station to Lovers Lane Station in about 17 minutes, depending on the time of day. From Lovers Lane to DFW Airport on the orange line add about 65 more minutes.

If you don’t want to take a bus and you depart from White Rock Station or Lake Highlands Station, you’ll take the blue line south towards Ledbetter (about 15 minutes to downtown) and then switch to the orange line in downtown. From Pearl/Arts District Station to the airport on the orange line takes about 55 minutes.

Be sure to give yourself a little more time for transfers from bus to train, or train to train.

If you live near Walnut Hill Station, it will take you about 70 minutes on the orange line train.

Unfortunately, there is no overnight parking at any of the stations on the blue line or orange line. Don’t risk having your car broken into and/or towed.

To avoid hauling your luggage up the stairs, board the SLRV on the raised portion of the station’s platform.

More information from DART

Additional information on the new service and DFW Airport Station can be found in a special DFW edition of Rider Insider. For maps of the airport, including the new DART Station, click here.

For fare information, visit DART’s fare page. You now have the option of buying a GoPass on your phone. DART buses don’t accept credit cards and do not provide change. Light rail stations accept credit cards at all of their machines.

For a trip to the airport, buy a 2-hour pass for $2.50 one way. If you complete your travel between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm on a weekday, it will only cost you $1.75 for a mid-day pass.

For information on service changes for buses and the light rail, visit this page.

To plan your trip on DART before you go, you can use Google Transit or the DART Trip Planner.

Save the Dates! Lake Highlands United Methodist Church at 9015 Plano Rd. is hosting 2 events this fall:

Tuesday, Sept. 23rd 7 – 8:30 pm Composting Class
Free class presented by the City of Dallas. Learn how to start an outdoor composting project and how to create an indoor Vermi-composting bin. To RSVP click here.

Sat., Oct. 11th from 9 am – 1 pm Recycling and Shredding Event
For a list of items accepted, including electronics, sporting goods, toys, multimedia, books, and clothing, click here. There is a $5/box charge for the shred truck providing on-site destruction of your documents.
District 10 Town Hall Call next week

District 10 Councilmember Jerry Allen

Next week, on Tuesday, August 12th, you’re invited by the City of Dallas and Councilmember Jerry Allen to a telephone Budget Town Hall Meeting to discuss the 2014-2015 Budget Recommendations for the City.

The telephone town hall meeting is something new for District 10 regarding budget recommendations, but organizers are hoping this allows more residents to join in on the discussion.

District 9 Councilmember Sheffie Kadane will also be participating on the call and has invited her District 9 constituents as well.

Here are the details:

When: Tuesday, August 12th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

How: To participate, call 888.409.5380. For Spanish, call 877.353.4701.

For more information or questions, call the City Council office at 214.670.5958 or 214.670.4068.

You can also email Mr. Allen at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

To view the list of all the City Council Town Hall meetings and calls, click here.
What’s up this weekend?

Food trucks at Klyde Warren are always a delicious way to spend Saturday afternoon.

For the Love of the Lake is doing a Shoreline Spruce-up this weekend!

Learn about organic produce on your table at TX Discovery Gardens.

Relax in the Park with Yoga at Klyde Warren. ©Tyler Olson

Children’s Summer Series
Friday, August 8th
11:00 a.m.

Studio Movie Grill, Royal Lane

Stay cool by enjoying the movie, Rio, at Studio Movie Grill. These budget-friendly family movies for $2 per person are a great way to start off your weekend!

For more info, visit the Studio Movie Grill website or call 214.361.2966.

AARP Smart Driver Course
Friday, August 8th
12:30 p.m.

Audelia Road Library
10045 Audelia Rd.

Sharpen your driving skills and learn the current rules of the road at the Smart Driver Course presented by the AARP.

The cost is $15 for AARP members or $20 for non-AARP members. For more information, call 214.801.9198.

Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse
Friday, August 8th
7:30 p.m.

NorthPark Presbyterian Church
9555 N. Central Expressway at Walnut Hill

Christine Lavin performs live with Ashley Monical opening the show – it’s a performance you won’t want to miss!

Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; Show at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door, and children and teens are half price.

Uncle Calvin's is a smoke-free, alcohol free music venue featuring the best in bluegrass, folk and blues concerts. Get your tickets online here or call 214.363.0044.

White Rock Local Market
Saturday, August 9th
8:00 a.m.

Green Spot at Buckner & Northcliff

Local, organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods. Everything market includes non-food items and music. Head on out and let dad do some Father’s Day shopping!

For more info, visit the website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Shoreline Spruce-Up
Saturday, August 9th
8:00 a.m.

White Rock Lake

This Lake-loving monthly event is sponsored by For the Love of the Lake (FTLOTL) which is located at 1152 N Buckner Blvd. If you’d like to do your part in helping keep White Rock Lake clean, meet at the FTLOTL office and participate for two hours of shoreline and lake clean-up.

For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.660.1100.

Klyde Warren Saturday Activities
Saturday, August 9th

Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway

• Tai Chi with El Centro College from 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
• Yoga from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Family Yoga with the Crow Collection from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Food Trucks from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
• Capoeira with RCJ Machado Jiu Jitsu from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
• Skyline 360 Tour with DCFA from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

For more information on the individual classes, click here.

LOOK Cinema’s Summer Kids’ Series
Saturday, August 9th
10:00 a.m.

Look Cinemas
5409 Belt Line Road

Enjoy $1 movies on Tuesdays and Saturdays! This weekend kids can see Rio2. Call 214.306.7446 for more details.

Garden to Table: Organic Food 101
Saturday, August 9th
2:30 p.m.

Texas Discovery Gardens
3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Learn the value of eating fresh-from-the-garden vegetables, and discover recipes to use with vegetables that grow best in Texas.

The cost is $25 or $20 for TDG Members. Register in advance on the TDG website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.
Germiest places & how to clean them

Germs are lurking in the kitchen. Find out how to best clean the dirtiest surfaces. ©

Change out your bath mat regularly to prevent bacterial growth. ©

Do you know what's growing in your toothbrush? ©

In a day and age of germ-free everything, our society seems obsessed with antibacterial and antiviral cleaning products and methods.

I personally carry hand sanitizer everywhere I go and require my kids to wash their hands more times than probably necessary.

Some experts warn that we’re negatively affecting our immune systems by being too clean, but there is a happy medium, right? Common sense is to clean what’s dirty.

After a lot of research, Yahoo! Health recently published a list of the germiest things in our daily lives and how to get them clean.

So in an effort to be happy and healthy and to appease our germ phobias, read on.


Kitchen Sponges

It's easy for bacteria and food particles to get trapped in the crevasses of sponges, creating ideal conditions for bacteria to breed [1]. Moist, dark - what else could bacteria ask for?!

What to do: Try antibacterial sponges and dish soaps to limit the lesser of bacteria evils - but neither are very effective at controlling the spread of big name baddies like E. Coli and Salmonella Be sure to disinfect sponges at least once a week by soaking in a bleach solution for 5 minutes, or microwaving on high for two minutes.

Kitchen Buttons, Knobs, and Handles

A a lot goes into cooking in your kitchen, including any bacteria from that raw chicken or unwashed produce that gets on various appliances and surfaces.

What to do: To minimize the risk, some experts recommend using a disinfectant on any frequently used kitchen surfaces several times a day, especially before and after preparing a meal.

Cutting Boards

This hotbed for cross-contamination is essential to keep clean. Scientists debate whether wood or plastic makes for a better board.

What to do: Keep plastic boards clean by regularly running through the dishwasher. Consider microwaving wooden ones to get the bad guys out, but be careful - some folks have managed to catch their cutting boards on fire. Let both boards air-dry completely before storing to minimize potential bacteria growth.

Drip Coffee Maker

Coffee itself actually has some antimicrobial properties, but the coffee makers still need to be cleaned. Most home coffee makers don't get hot enough to kill anything growing in the wet, dark environment of the water reservoir or the machine's internal piping.

What to do: Run a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar through the machine once a month to help stop the growth of mold and some bacteria. Let half the mixture run through the machine, then switch it off for an hour before finishing the cycle.



Pillows aren’t just packed with feathers, but in fact they can also be host several types of allergy-inflaming fungi. They are also the ideal home for dust mites, another potential allergy trigger.

What to do: In addition to regularly laundering bedding, anti-allergen covers can help protect pillows from outside germs getting in and keep the sneezy stuff inside.


We can sweat up to one liter per night…gross. Add the fungi and bacteria potential growths and dust mites and it’s even dirtier.

What to do: Washing and drying everything on the highest heat available is a good policy, but regular bleaching is a good idea, too.


Bath Mat

Bath mats sit there, soaked with shower water and pressed up against the floor, slowing evaporation and providing the dark, damp environment mold and bacteria love. Add to that the fact bathroom floors have been shown be one of the most contaminated parts of the bathroom (toilet bowl excluded, of course) and it’s obvious why we should regularly clean that bath mat.

What to do: Launder mats once per week on the highest heat and with bleach and keep separate from any bedding or clothes.

Laundry Basket

All the grime from sweaty workout gear, underwear, and bedding sits in that laundry bag, soiling the hamper itself.

What to do: Try using one bag for dirty clothes, and one for the clean stuff, and wash the dirty bag along with the clothes. For hard plastic hampers, use any hard surface disinfectant, but be wary of anything with the potential to discolor.

Makeup and Makeup Brushes

Cosmetics have been known to foster bacterial growth with eye makeup being the greatest cause for concern. One study found that within just three months of use, 40% of tested mascara tubes were infested with bacteria.

What to do: A good rule of thumb is to replace eye makeup every season. Throw out lotions and liquid foundation every six months, and get fresh power-based products, lipstick, and nail polish every two years.


Studies have found that flushing the toilet can spew bathroom-related bacteria into the air. So it’s obvious to say that it’s a good idea to store that toothbrush far away from the potential contaminants.

What to do: Make sure to rinse toothbrushes thoroughly after use, allow them to dry completely, and replace every three to four months. And did you know you can run your toothbrushes through the dishwasher?


We shower to get clean, so it’d be silly to get dirty drying off. But reusing damp bath towels could be doing just that!

What to do: The risks are low if towels are changed out about once a week and are allowed to dry completely between uses.

Contact Lenses

One study found that more than 80 percent of tested contact lens cases were contaminated with bacteria, regardless of the system used to clean.

What to do: Start by wiping out contact lens cases after each use and replace it every month (or at least clean by soaking in near-boiling water for a few minutes).
New FDA gluten-free regulations

FDA now regulates gluten-free labeling

A gluten free diet can be a must for some and a choice for others.

Either way, this Friday, regulations that tell consumers just what it means when a product is labeled "gluten free" take effect.

To those with gluten disorders whose lives count on it, that is a major milestone.

The Food and Drug Administration has determined that, as of yesterday, August 5th, packaged food labeled “gluten free” cannot contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten. However, the use of the gluten-free label is voluntary, therefore there is no requirement that a package containing gluten must declare that fact.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, and there are a range of conditions set off by gluten.

Individuals who have Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which a person can become very sick if they eat the tiniest amount of gluten, rely on knowing whether products are free of gluten or not.

Recently, a gluten-free diet for someone with Celiac disease was likened to insulin for diabetics by Dr. Alessio Fasano, an expert on Celiacs and the author of Gluten Freedom.

Like so many nutritional fads in the past, “gluten-free diets have become fashionable, which has helped prompt hundreds of new gluten-free products,” Dr. Fasano said. Unfortunately this also means that real medical problems are sometimes treated lightly.

These new rules impact more people than you might think. An estimated 18 million Americans have gluten sensitivity which equates one in 17 of us, and 1 in 133 people actually diagnosed with Celiac disease.

Lake Highlands resident and owner of Evanssays, Be Sweet, Jennifer Pedersen, specializes in gluten-free goodies. She knows how important it is for things to be properly labeled because she has Celiac disease.

“It's a bit convoluted and tricky to navigate,” Jennifer commented. “Basically, now when a manufacturer wants to place the term ‘gluten free’ on their label, there are FDA requirements.”

“For Celiacs, it is a step in the right direction, but it’s nowhere near the end-all be-all peace of mind that we're searching for. Still, kudos to those who fought hard to get this recognized and passed.”

“For those avoiding gluten (in which 20 parts per million is acceptable in the product) this is helpful, but for Celiacs who need to avoid even the tiniest trace (whether we outwardly react or not, ANY gluten damages our intestines and villi), it's not as great as it’s being touted,” she explained.

Another set-back is that alcoholic drinks and medications are not included in the new FDA regulations. “For those of us who have to read every label of everything we consume or put near our mouths, that’s disappointing,” Pedersen concluded.

Gluten-free food is now a $4.5 billion dollar industry, and it represents the fastest-growing segment of the global food-allergy and food-intolerance products market.

Mislabeling has been widespread, however, and as food companies try to jump on this lucrative bandwagon, this new FDA requirement is welcomed by many.

For more information, visit the FDA webpage.

Check out Gluten Free Watchdog, a Facebook page dedicated to reporting gluten free fakes.
Time for Shoreline Spruce-Up!

The Love of the Lake group is ready to go! Photo courtesy of the LOTL FB page

Second Saturday Shoreline Spruce Up is this Saturday, August 9th.

For the Love of the Lake (FTLOTL) is looking for a few hands-on volunteers.

Recruits are asked to meet at the FTLOTL office Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. to check in and collect clean up supplies.

If 8:00 a.m. is too early for you, coordinators say you can check in and pick up supplies anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

Trash bags, recycle bags, and gloves are provided. Volunteers will also enjoy complimentary coffee, juices and snacks, and if you elect to participate on two consecutive Saturdays, FTLOTL will throw in a free Second Saturday t-shirt!

Experienced paddlers and canoers are also needed Saturday morning to join the White Rock Lake Padillac Crew in helping volunteers on the shore get to more trash.

The meeting time for paddlers is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Paddlers are encouraged to bring their own canoes or kayaks and drop the boats in the parking area near the White Rock Lake Paddle Company at East Lawther and Mockingbird.

Parking is available in the Boy Scout Hill or White Rock Boat Club parking lots.

For the Love of the Lake offices are located at 1152 N. Buckner Blvd, Suite #123 in Dallas.

Learn more on the FTLOTL website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Celebrate National Night Out

National Night Out 2014 Image courtesy of NATW

All over the nation this evening, neighborhoods will be celebrating National Night Out, sometimes called America’s Night Out Against Crime.

Last year over 37 million people people participated in the event nation-wide.

Here in Texas, the August heat makes it a little uncomfortable sometimes, so the City of Dallas is also recognizing October 7th as National Night Out.

However, some neighborhoods here in Lake Highlands don’t let the heat stop their mission!

Lake Highlands North HOA and White Rock Valley Neighborhood Association are just a couple of the neighborhoods planning on celebrating.

What is National Night Out designed to do?

• Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness

• Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs

• Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships

• Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back

National Association of Town Watch is the non-profit that organizes National Night Out across the country, and Executive Director, Matt Peskin, introduced the event in 1984.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie,” said Peskin.

“While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round. The night celebrates safety and crime prevention successes and works to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days.”

Whether your neighborhood is gathering together tonight or celebrating National Night Out in October, it’s a great opportunity to meet new neighbors, reconnect with friends and get to know your local first responders.

For more information on National Night Out, visit the National Association of Town Watch website or “Like” their Facebook page.
Breaking bread together

Religous leaders Reverend Doctor Perryn Rice and Kamil Celik

Members of LHPC and the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue shared a meal together.

The dinner was a great celebration of peace among faiths.

Mother Teresa said it perfectly. "Peace begins with a smile."

Members of Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church (LHPC) and Turkish Muslim members of the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue took it a step further than that.

LHPC recently hosted their Turkish friends in celebrating the breaking of the fast during their most important holiday, Ramadan.

Friends of all ages honored the occasion by sharing authentic Turkish food provided by the guests.

"I'm pleased that Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church will again host our friends from the Institute of Interfaith Dialog for one of their Ramadan meals," said Reverend Doctor Perryn Rice.

"Although we are Christian and not Muslim, it does not negate the truth that we, with other faiths and religious traditions, share this world and our respective societies."

"Romans 12:16 and 18 states, ‘Live in harmony with one another…if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

Kamil Celik, a leader in the Institute, was pleased to be able to share the day with friends at LHPC.

"Ramadan is a special month for Muslims which allow us to be closer to God by observing fasting, increasing the amount of prayers, caring for our friends, family and neighbors and also showing generosity to those who are in need," Celik explained.

"We learn self-control by fasting during the day, and we better understand the value of what is given to us by God. It is a month of learning, prayer and sharing."

"It is a great tradition for Muslims to share meals and break bread with their friends in different communities and engage in dialog."

Those gathered enjoyed quality conversations and delighted in the presence of the babies and children.

The Muslim guests played Turkish music, while the women displayed their thick colorful cookbooks for sale.

The church also designated two rooms for their guests' prayers, making them truly feel welcome.

"There is much that can be gained from our working together and common fellowship that will better our people and society. It was a sweet joy to break bread together," Rev. Rice concluded.

Lake Highlands Presbyterian is located at 8525 Audelia Road.

Visit the church's website by clicking here.

Photos are courtesy of Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church.
Learn to improve your neighborhood

Don't miss the 2014 Neighborhood Leadership Boot Camp! Photo courtesy of DHL

Mark your calendars for the 16th annual Neighborhood Leadership Boot Camp presented by the Dallas Homeowners League (DHL.)

Keynote speaker Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins will be there to share his expertise at Dallas City Hall on Saturday August 16th at 9:00 a.m.

The DHL is a citywide alliance of neighborhoods working for neighborhood self-determination and empowerment.

The League serves as the umbrella organization for neighborhood associations, civic leagues, homeowners associations and crime watch groups across Dallas.

At DHL's Bootcamp, you'll have the opportunity to educate yourself in informative seminars on topics to improve the quality of life in your neighborhood.

Additionally, meet and talk with your your fellow neighborhood leaders from around the city.

Here is the Leadership Bootcamp line-up that you won't want to miss:

8:15 a.m. - Registration begins

9:00 a.m. - DHL President Eloy Trevino statement

9:20 a.m. - Keynote speaker Judge Clay Jenkins

10:00 a.m. - Session 1
• Willis Winters - City of Dallas Parks & Recreation
• Animal Services in your community
• How to start a crime watch in your neighborhood

11:00am - Session 2
• How to brand your neighborhood association
• Crime watch: communication within your community
• Neighborhood preservation tools

Come prepared to learn more about how to make your neighborhood the best place to live!

Registration costs $10 per person. Multiple members of neighborhood associations are encouraged to attend. If you are not a member of DHL or a neighborhood association, individuals are also welcome to attend Bootcamp.

Learn more at the DHL website or on their Facebook page.
Raising money for the ‘Dettes

Help the 'Dettes raise money and buy gift cards from them.

Did you know that the Lake Highlands Highlandettes sell grocery and restaurant gift cards and as their primary fundraiser?

Here’s how it works:

You purchase grocery cards for Kroger or Tom Thumb in any amount in $50 increments or for Picasso’s or Enchilada’s in $25 increments from any Highlandette.

You then use the Tom Thumb, Kroger, Enchilada’s or Picasso’s gift cards to purchase your groceries, prescriptions, gas, etc.

An even dollar-for-dollar exchange!! How can you lose? Orders are taken monthly, year-round, so you can't buy them anytime.

For more information, contact any friendly neighborhood Highlandette or email organizer Shannon Whitlock at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Also, mark your calendar for the annual Highlandette garage sale!

You can hunt for treasures, back-to-school clothes, furniture, and much much more on Saturday August 23rd starting at 8 a.m.

Like to be the first to shop? You can be an “Early Bird” and enjoy shopping on Friday night.

Stay tuned to Lake Highlands Today for details!

Check the ‘Dettes’ website for more information on gift card sales, the garage sale and the Fall Dancing with the ‘Dettes clinic.
What’s up this weekend?

Enjoy a Butterfly House Tour this weekend at TX Discovery Gardens. ©Baronoskie

Learn how to garden 365 days a year in North Texas!

Get your local produce at White Rock Local Market.

Relax in the Park with Yoga at Klyde Warren. ©Tyler Olson

Local grooves and local brews will make your weekend complete!

Target First Saturday provides fun for the whole family.

Children’s Summer Series
Friday, August 1st
11:00 a.m.

Studio Movie Grill, Royal Lane

Stay cool by enjoying a the movie, Rio, at Studio Movie Grill. These budget-friendly family movies for $2 per person are a great way to start off your weekend!

For more info, visit the Studio Movie Grill website or call 214.361.2966.

Mayor’s Back to School Fair
Friday, August 1st
8:00 a.m.

Fair Park, Automobile & Centennial Building

At this back-to-school event, free school supplies are made available to families with school-aged children (pre-K through 12th grades) who reside in the City of Dallas and who meet eligibility requirements.

For more information, call 311.

White Rock Local Market
Saturday, August 2nd
8:00 a.m.

Green Spot at Buckner & Northcliff

Local, organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods. Everything market includes non-food items and music. Head on out and let dad do some Father’s Day shopping!

For more info, visit the website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

365 Days a Year of North Texas Edible Gardening
Saturday, August 2nd
9:00 a.m.

Texas Worm Ranch

Learn about successful gardening in the Texas mirco-climate. Classes include workbook, worm castings and worm wine.

This 2-day class takes place on August 2nd and August 9th. The cost is $125 per person. For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Klyde Warren Saturday Activities
Saturday, August 2nd

Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway

• Tai Chi with El Centro College from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
• Sweat in the Park Boot Camp from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
• Yoga from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
• Family Arts Activities with the Nasher from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
• Food Trucks from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
• Skyline 360 Tour with DCFA from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.

For more information on the individual classes, click here.

LOOK Cinema’s Summer Kids’ Series
Saturday, August 2nd
10:00 a.m.

Look Cinemas
5409 Belt Line Road

Enjoy $1 movies on Tuesdays and Saturdays! This weekend kids can see The Lego Movie, Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked or Rio. Call 214.306.7446 for more details.

Target First Saturday
Saturday, August 2nd
10:00 a.m.

Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street

Target sponsors some amazing children's art activities, scavenger hunts, family tours and more. Admission is FREE on First Saturdays!

Visit the Nasher Sculpture Center website to find out more about this awesome monthly event!

Butterfly House Discovery Tour
Saturday, August 2nd
11:00 a.m.

Texas Discovery Gardens
3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Join entomologist John Watts for a family-friendly guided tour of the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium.

This is a tour that the whole family will enjoy! Sign up at the Texas Discovery Garden website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

Canning Your Veggies
Saturday, August 2nd
2:00 p.m.

Texas Discovery Gardens
3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Learn how to can and preserve your garden fruits and veggies from the experts. The cost is $25 for non-members or $20 for members.

For more information, you can call 214.428.7476, x341.

Local Brews, Local Grooves
Saturday, August 2nd
4:00 p.m

House of Blues
2200 Lamar Street.

Twelve local breweries and ten local area bands will be at the ultimate music and craft beer festival.

Sampling wristbands will be available for purchase at the doors which open at 4:00 p.m., so folks ages 21 and over can taste and hear the best of DFW!

Find out more info on the event by visiting the HOB website or calling 214-978-2583.
Suds Up: Local Brews, Local Grooves

Local Brews, Local Grooves this Saturday at House of Blues

This Saturday, August 2nd, is the first DFW Local Brews, Local Grooves event going on at the House of Blues!

Twelve local breweries and ten local area bands will blow your mind with a brew and music combo you won’t want to miss.

This will be the ultimate music and craft beer festival featuring the finest local Texas breweries, hottest bands, and the tastiest food!

The coolest part of it? Each room in the House of Blues will represent a region of the DFW Metroplex featuring the tastes and sounds of that region.

Many of the breweries are creating specialty limited release beers designed specifically to showcase their neighborhood.

Here’s the list can’t-miss beer and bands:


• 903 Brewers
• Armadillo Ale Works
• Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
• FireWheel
• Four Corners Brewing Co.
• Franconia Brewing
• Grapevine Brewery
• Lakewood Brewing Company
• Martin House Brewing Company
• Peticolas Brewing Company
• Rabbit Hole Brewing
• Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
• Revolver Brewing


• Cursed Diamond - A Tribute to the Black Crowes
• Warehouse - A Dave Matthews Tribute
• Jessie Frye
• The O’s
• Nicholas Altobelli
• Bethan
• J. Charles & the Trainrobbers
• Doug Burr
• Buffalo Ruckus
• Andrew Sullivan

Sampling wristbands will be available for purchase at the doors which open at 4:00 p.m., so folks ages 21 and over can taste and hear the best of DFW!

House of Blues is located at 2200 Lamar Street.

Find out more info on the event by visiting the HOB website or calling 214.978.2583.
In Memory of Jack

A memorial in front of Lake Highlands High School for Jack

Jack with Peggy Dillon, former LHHS principal ©Robert W. Van Amburgh

There are many heavy hearts in Lake Highlands since hearing the news of 19-year-old John "Jack" Stewart's passing yesterday in a car accident.

Jack, a Lake Highlands graduate and a junior at Baylor University, was traveling with three fellow Baylor musicians to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge when the driver lost control of the truck.

Jack and Laura Onwudinanti both died in the crash while the other two students were injured and are hospitalized at Baylor Scott & White in Temple.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jack's parents, Pat and Ann Stewart, in their unimaginable loss. The Lake Highlands community is ready and waiting to support them in their time of grief.

In an official statement yesterday, Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr shared his condolences.

"The hearts of the Baylor University family and our School of Music are broken today as we mourn the passing of these remarkably talented students who have been taken too soon from us."

While at Lake Highlands High School, Jack touched many lives, which is evident in the memorial that friends have made in front of the high school.

He graduated with honors as Salutatorian and was a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Latin Club and the Informal Physics Club.

Jack’s true love outside of academics was music, both at LHHS and in local orchestras.

Jack played the clarinet in the Wildcat Band and was the leader of the clarinet section for two years. He succeeded in being a member of the All-Region and All-State Bands, which is a great achievement.

Outside of LHHS, Jack played in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra and in the Lone Star Wind Orchestra. He finished first place in the Malcolm Helm Concerto competition for three years in a row.

In an essay he wrote in 2012, Jack explained that music "feeds the soul and stimulates the mind."

He spoke that truth with wisdom beyond his years.
The best dollar spent at the Arboretum

Enjoy $1 admission during the month of August at the Arboretum

Stay cool in the shade in the Arboretum gardens.

$1 admission includes the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden too.

The experts say there are cooler days ahead, and that’s good news for a lot of reasons.

One of the best reasons? $1 admission begins this Friday, August 1st and continues every day next month from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the main gardens and the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden.

During summer, the beds are bursting with ageratum, impatiens, lobelias, petunias, cleome, begonias, salvia, marigolds and zinnias.

As the temperatures warm, caladiums, lantana, pride of Barbados, variegated tapioca, elephant ears and coleus will be added to the gardens.

Guests can also enjoy the Bird House Exhibit, which features four life-size playhouses designed by local architects. These architectural interpretations of birdhouses are located in the Lakeside Exhibit Area.

Children can play in the birdhouses while learning about bird predators, bird adaptations, how they find their prey, how they camouflage themselves and survive, how they migrate, how they create nests, lay eggs and more.

Also during the entire month of August, there will be $1 food items, including hot dogs, small drinks and smoothies.

Those are deals everyone can appreciate!

School will be back in session before you know it, so pack up the family and enjoy $1 days at the Arboretum while you can!

The Dallas Arboretum is located at 8525 Garland Road in Dallas.

Learn more on the Arboretum's website or by calling 214.515.6500.

Photos courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum
Beauty at the Bath House

Happy Kids, Happy Dog by Jenny Hong DeLaughter

Cardinal by Jenny Hong DeLaughter

Portrait of Peter Wolf by Dmitry Vail, courtesy of the Wolf Family

The Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake has truly brought us culture year after year.

Whether it’s theater, music or art exhibitions, their offerings never disappoint.

There are currently two things at the Bath House Cultural Center that are definitely worth seeing ‒ Refreshing Journey, an exhibition of drawings by Dallas artist Jenny Hong DeLaughter and Contemplating the Scene, a tribute to theater stage designer, Peter Wolf.

The White Rock Lake Museum’s presentation of Refreshing Journey is located inside the Bath House where you can soak up the AC while enjoying the masterpieces inspired by White Rock Lake's beauty.

The exhibition celebrates the interaction of humans with the natural environment of White Rock Lake. The painter gracefully depicts scenes from life at the lake with her drawings.

With the splendid view of the lake as the background of many of her drawings, Jenny captures images of family gatherings, landscapes, wildlife, and other special moments with insightful perception and sensibility.

Jenny explains that her artwork reflects her view of the refreshing and rejuvenating life around White Rock Lake that is so easily overlooked in our busy lives.

"White Rock Lake has been my refuge for over 30 years," Jenny said. "It has inspired and shaped my life and provided unlimited subjects for artistic creativity."

"It liberates my conventional way of thinking and opens my mind to new possibilities. A walk at the late is a time for quiet reflection, but much more than the solitary experience with the lake is the fascinating parade of human stories that gives White Rock Lake its legendary status. For me, it is a special opportunity to convey, as an artist, the hidden beauty of the lake."

Contemplating the Scene pays tribute to the late celebrated theater stage designer, Peter Wolf. Presented as part of the Bath House Cultural Center’s 16th annual Festival of Independent Theatres, the exhibition features a captivating collection of photographs, sketches, and original designs by the renowned scenic artist.

During his long and prolific career, Mr. Wolf was highly acclaimed for the mesmerizing set designs he created for numerous musicals and operas. Before his passing, the artist worked on several Broadway productions, including his designs for The King and I, The Wiz, Mame, The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, and Peter Pan, among many others.

Locally, the artist was the chief stage designer of the Dallas Summer Musicals for more than three decades. In addition to his Broadway and Dallas credits, Mr. Wolf also worked on many other national and international staged productions that earned him recognition and admiration from other designers, critics, theater artists, and the public in general.

The Bath House brings us amazing exhibitions each and every year, and these two are ones you won’t want to miss.

The Bath House Cultural Center is located at 521 E. Lawther Drive on White Rock Lake.

The Refreshing Journey exhibition is on display through Saturday, September 27th.

The Contemplating the Scene exhibition on display through Saturday, August 2nd.
Greatness at Forest Lane Academy

Oswaldo Rivera with TX PTA and RISD Council of PTA leadership

Rivera recieves the award from TX PTA president, Leslie Boggs

Oswaldo Rivera, 1st Grade Bilingual teacher at Forest Lane Academy, was recently awarded the Texas PTA Elementary Teacher of the Year for 2014.

Waldo not only teaches at Forest Lane Academy, but he’s served as the PTA President for the past two years.

He was chosen to receive this award because of his commitment to family engagement through PTA, building community at Forest Lane Academy and because of the amazing job he’s done volunteering for the PTA.

Waldo was honored week before last at the Texas PTA's Summer Leadership Seminar where Marni Kaner, RISD Council President, introduced him and presented his award.

During the Summer Leadership Seminar, Oswaldo also taught three workshops about Title 1 PTAs and Putting the "T" in PTA.

Throughout his years at Forest Lane Academy, he has enhanced and supported family engagement in the classroom and beyond, he’s ecouraged PTA membership growth, and he’s promoted PTA in the school and beyond (never once did he miss a RISD Council of PTAs meeting.)

PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is the voice for Texas children’s education and well-being. Oswaldo has definitely helped realize PTA’s vision of “making every child’s potential a reality” at Forest Lane Academy.

Congratulations to Oswaldo Rivera for winning Texas PTA's Elementary Teacher of Year!

For more information on the Texas PTA, visit the website.

Click here to learn more about the RISD Council of PTAs.
Deep South Burger goodness

Deep South Burger recently opened in LH at 9090 Skillman Street.

Bacon cheeseburger with sweet potato waffle fries

Lauren's meal, a hotdog with regular waffle fries

I’m always on the prowl for a good burger, but these days, it’s hard to find one that doesn’t cost you a week’s worth of work especially if you are paying for two.

I’m happy to report that there’s a new burger joint right here in Lake Highlands that serves delicious, juicy burgers at reasonable prices!

Deep South Burger, located at 9090 Skillman Street, has been in business for about a month. It’s located next door to the Lake Highlands Media Center and is an easy in and out location.

The restaurant offers burgers, beef hot dogs, grilled cheese, grilled chicken, fries (regular and sweet potato), shakes and fountain drinks. Add-ons such as cheese, chili, avocado, and bacon (of course) are available.

I love that the menu is very basic. Customers don’t have to stand and contemplate whether they want a burger with ribs pieces dipped in a special sauce or one dipped in Panko Bread Crumbs. Ok that’s a stretch, but you get my point.

My daughter Lauren (remember, she’s my road hog) enjoyed the beef hot dog with sweet potato fries while I munched on a bacon cheeseburger.

I was trying to be a good girl by just having the burger, but I couldn’t help but taste the fries once my daughter said how yummy they were. By the way, they were delicious!

I stopped by the next day to pick up strawberry shakes because it’s summertime in Texas and a good cool off is always needed.

As I was leaving, I noticed that the operating hours sign read, “We will stay open for you if we know you’re coming. Just call us and tell us you’re on the way!”

I love that hometown hospitality!

Go ahead Lake Highlands…stop by or call and let them know you’re on your way.

Deep South Burger is located at 9090 Skillman Street.

Their hours are 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sundays.

You can contact them at 214.221.0380.
Scheduled mosquito spraying

The City is spraying in Lake Highlands tonight.

The pesticide kills our beneficial honey bees.

A map of the area being sprayed, 75243,

Mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus were recently discovered in the city's mosquito pools, including those in the 75243 zip code.

That includes our Lake Highlands neighbors in the northern part of the community, specifically in the area east of Central Expressway, south of Forest Lane and north of Royal Lane.

Ground spraying for this part of Lake Highlands is scheduled for this evening, weather permitting, between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

As we’ve reported before, this is bad news for a couple of reasons – the spraying isn’t really that effective on the mosquitoes primarily because it doesn't kill the larvae, but even worse, it's killing our bees.

No matter the proof, people will continue to debate the effectiveness of the pesticides sprayed by the City.

I personally will invite you to my front yard in the days after a spray, and you’ll get bombarded with the little blood suckers (who probably drank the poison in tiny martini glasses for all I know because they show no signs of decline.)

One thing that can’t be argued is that the pesticide is harmful to Apis mellifera, better known as the Western honeybee, and they are agriculturally responsible for 1 in every 3 mouthfuls you'll eat today.

Honeybees pollinate crops like apples, blueberries and cucumbers and many more, a total of 2/3 of our crops, and they are the "glue that holds our agricultural system together," as Hannah Nordhaus stated in her 2011 book The Beekeeper's Lament.

In addition to our honeybees, the pesticide kills dragonflies, ladybugs and lizards, other beneficial creatures in our delicate ecosystem.

And for everyone who’s imagining me wearing a “save the ladybugs” t-shirt, think about the pesticide also being sprayed over our gardens, our homes, our yards, our pets, AND our families.

Here is the warning given to us by the City, verbatim:

“While the insecticide is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for treatment, residents in the above areas should avoid contact with the spray by staying indoors. Persons inside a vehicle while trucks are actively spraying should remain in their vehicles with the windows up and the air conditioner on until the trucks pass and the spray is no longer visible.

Persons out during the scheduled spraying time should be alert for trucks and should not follow them. Residents who come in contact with the spray are advised to wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. The spray breaks down quickly in the presence of sunlight and has no residual effect.”

As far as West Nile Virus goes, it sucks, and I understand why we need to try to do something about it. Three summers ago, I was infected. I was in the 20% of the population who felt like they had a horrible flu. And for months, the exhaustion and lethargy hung around.

So how do you protect yourself?

The City does offer advice on protection against mosquito bites:

“Residents are urged to take precautions against mosquito bites by reducing outdoor activity during evening and nighttime hours. Residents who are outside during these times should cover their arms and legs and use a mosquito repellant.”

My family personally loves the BugBand™ All Natural Insect Repellent Wristband, and there are other brands out there like it that work great too.

Also, you can prevent mosquito breeding by getting rid of standing water. Examples include swimming pools that are not kept clean, stagnant ponds, pet watering dishes, birdbaths, potted plants, old tires, empty containers, toys and clogged rain gutters and French drains.

Standing water should be eliminated promptly, as mosquitoes can grow from egg to adult in as little as seven days.

Now that I'm down off my soapbox, I'll urge you to be sure and stay inside tonight, keep your pets inside and cover your hives, hen houses and gardens.
God’s Paintbrush

Register today!

Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church is hosting a free one day Vacation Bible School on August 16th.

The theme is “God’s Paintbrush,” and ages 4 and up, including adults, will enjoy wonderful programming that will brighten you day.

Here’s the scoop:

When: August 16th from 9:00 3:00 p.m.

Where: Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church at 8525 Audelia Road

Cost: FREE

Complimentary childcare is available for children ages 3 and under. Reservations are required.

To register and obtain further information, email Associate Pastor Julie Riley at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Reel Deal: Movies with Anne

Phillip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man opens tomorrow in select theaters.

The pairing of one the world’s most esteemed thriller/espionage authors, John le Carré with the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man, created a superbly intense film based on le Carré’s first novel since 9/11.

Inspired by the real-life story of a Turkish citizen and legal resident of Germany who was arrested in Pakistan in 2001, detained and tortured in military detention camps in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay then finally released in 2006, the film reflects le Carré‘s outrage over the American intelligence practices during the Bush administration.

Set in a dark and damp Hamburg, Germany, Hoffman plays Günther Bachmann, a middle-aged German intelligence officer finds himself stationed in Hamburg after he mishandled intelligence efforts at his former posting.

Hoffman looks like an unmade bed during the entire film, as he organizes scenes revealing his character’s intent - and perhaps his own on self destruction - by constantly smoking, drinking and shuffling his way through this role.

A young Chechen Muslim, Issa Karpov arrives in Hamburg and arouses suspicion in the German spy community about his possible Islamic terrorist links.

Hoping to retrieve funds his late Soviet father deposited in a Hamburg bank, a human rights group leads Issa to a young lawyer, Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams), to help him.

She introduces Issa to Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe), the British bank manager caught up in Hamburg’s spies and counterspies community, who holds his assets. Brue informs Issa his father’s money came from laundered questionable sources, prompting his refusal to claim it.

Bachman, who has been watching Annabel at work, pulls her into his intelligence group, convinces her to help him “turn” Issa away from his former lifestyle while suspecting Issa’s terrorist connections.

Attempting to “trust yet verify”, Bachman arranges a meeting with Abdullah, an Islamic philanthropist who vows to donate Issa’s money to charitable causes.

Throughout the film the plot meanders between the British Intelligence agents and a CIA “interested observer” (Robin Wright) as they confer with Bachman yet shadow his maneuvers.

These intelligence agencies in a post 9/11 world should be allies yet they leave viewers with a question. Are these players real or are they just an illusion?

Hamburg is an ideal locale for this intrigue as it is awash with intelligence personnel, money laundering groups and questionable operatives in every corner. This is the city where Mohammed Atta was able to recruit his 9/11 participants.

Decorating the Hamburg scenery are Nina Hoss as Erna Frey, Bachman’s right hand; Robin Wright (Margaret Sullivan /CIA agent); Medi Dehbi as (Grigory Dobrygin) and Daniel Brühl as Max.

A Most Wanted Man opens tomorrow, July 25th, in select theaters. Click here to view the trailer and to find a theater near you.

MPAA: R for language.

Images ©Lionsgate Films
Pet Set: Beating the Heat in Dallas

Keep your pets safe in the Texas heat. ©Diane Diederich

©Diane Diederich

Although we’ve had an unseasonably “cool” summer so far and were even spoiled with our “July Polar Vortex,” the heat has returned in full force with ozone and humidity tagging along.

The heat doesn’t keep us Texans from going outside and enjoying the outdoors though, and being overeager in hot weather can spell danger for you and your furry friends.

It’s important to remember that some activities can be dangerous for our pets, but by following a few simple rules, it is easy to keep your pet safe while still having fun outdoors.

Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating.

Stay in the shade

Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it's hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.

Know warning signs

Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

No parking

Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke. Leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states including Texas.

Water safety

Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool. Not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats.

Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.

Summer cuts

Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs' coats protect them from overheating and sunburn.

Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.

Street smarts

When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch's body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Avoid chemicals

Commonly used flea and tick products, rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach.

When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets' reach as well.

Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.

Pets at parties

Taking Spot to a backyard barbeque or party? Remember that the food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas.

Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.

Visit your vet

A visit to the veterinarian in the early summer is a must. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren't on year-round preventive medication.

For more information, visit the ASPCA website.
Must-teach cellphone manners

Don't be rude! Read about cellphone manners and safety here. ©ImageegamI

I don’t mean to sound like an old fogey, but we really need to pass on some etiquette tips to certain folks regarding cellphone use, and that includes me!

Who knew that July was National Cell Phone Courtesy Month? I’d never heard of it, and at first smirked at the idea, but truthfully it does bring attention to an ugly issue rearing its head in our society.

The lack of consideration for another person seems to be what shines through when someone talks loudly on their phone while at dinner, a movie, on the bus, or texting while you’re supposed to be catching up at lunch.

The cellphone might be one of the greatest inventions of our time, but now that they are mostly all smartphones, it seems that it’s even more distracting.

And with parents giving their kids these smartphones at early ages, my opinion is that with that gift, a lesson in etiquette is a must!

Even more serious than bad manners, cellphone usage is also to blame for injuries and deaths on our roads.

According to the National Safety Council, cellphone use is now estimated to be involved in 26%of all motor vehicle crashes. That is an increase from the previous year.

It’s also reported that an estimated 5% of crashes involve texting, while 21% involve drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cellphones.

So it seems to me that teaching cellphone etiquette may be about saving lives too!

Jacqueline Whitmore is the author and etiquette expert who founded National Cell Phone Courtesy Month in 2002 with the intent to encourage cellphone users to be more respectful and safe in their surroundings.

Whitmore offers these simple cellphone etiquette principles to avoid offending others and more importantly, to keep us safe:

• Be all there. When you're in a meeting, performance, courtroom or other busy area, let calls go to voicemail to avoid a disruption. In some instances, turning your phone off may be the best solution.

• Keep it private. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid discussing private or confidential information in public. You never know who may be in hearing range.

• Keep your cool. Don't display anger during a public call. Conversations that are likely to be emotional should be held where they will not embarrass or intrude on others.

• Learn to vibe. Use your wireless phone's silent or vibration settings in public places such as business meetings, religious services, schools, restaurants, theaters or sporting events so that you do not disrupt your surroundings.

• Avoid "cell yell." Remember to use your regular conversational tone when speaking on your wireless phone. People tend to speak more loudly than normal and often don't recognize how distracting they can be to others.

• Follow the rules. Some places, such as hospitals or airplanes, restrict or prohibit the use of mobile phones, so adhere to posted signs and instructions. Some jurisdictions may also restrict mobile phone use in public places.

• Excuse yourself. If you are expecting a call that can't be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you are with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.

• Send a message. Use Text Messaging to send and receive messages without saying a single word.

• Watch and listen discreetly. New multimedia applications such as streaming video and music are great ways to stay informed and access the latest entertainment. However, adjust the volume based on your surroundings in much the same way that you would adjust your ringer volume. Earphones are a great way to avoid distracting others in public areas.

• Alert silently. When using your phone's walkie-talkie feature, send the person you're trying to reach a Call Alert before starting to speak. If you're around other people, turn off your phone's external speaker and use the vibration setting to minimize any disturbance and to respect your contact's privacy.

• Be a good Samaritan. Use your cell phone to help others. According to CTIA, The Wireless Association, more than 224,000 calls a day are made to 911 and other emergency numbers by mobile phone users who report crimes and potentially life-threatening emergencies.

• Focus on driving. Practice wireless responsibility while driving. Don't make or answer calls while in heavy traffic or in hazardous driving conditions. Place calls when your vehicle is not moving, and use a hands-free device to help focus attention on safety. Always make safety your most important call.

For more information on National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, visit Whitmore’s website or the Facebook page.
Environmental Working Group

Which produce is the safest to eat? Find out here. Photo courtesy of the US Dept. of Agriculture

Read about the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 here.

Since most of us here in Lake Highlands don’t grow the majority of our food, we can feel a bit helpless when it comes to controlling the quality of the produce and other foods we eat.

Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) helps the consumer be more informed so he or she can make better choices.

EWG publishes an annual guide to help people eat healthier and reduce their exposure to pesticides in produce. The shoppers’ guide uses information from thousands of produce samples analyzed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

They recommend that you purchase organics instead of conventional versions of the Dirty Dozen™: Apples, Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Grapes, Nectarines (imported), Peaches, Potatoes, Snap Peas (imported), Spinach, Strawberries, and Sweet Bell Peppers. Hot Peppers and Kale/Collards are also of concern.

In terms of pesticide residue, the Clean Fifteen™ have minimal amounts: Asparagus, Avocados, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Mangoes, Onions, Papayas, Pineapples, Sweet Corn, Sweet Peas (frozen), and Sweet Potatoes.

To see complete lists, visit the EWG website. You can also sign up for their newsletter in order to receive the above lists in PDF format.

Buying all organic foods is expensive, but with the EWG’s list, the consumer can focus on buying the organic foods that matter the most.

On this webpage they examine other issues with pesticide use besides the potential health issues for the consumers.

Remember that your consumer dollars make a difference. If customers demand organics, the stores will provide more of them, which means that organic farmers get more business. Currently less than 1% of farm land is organic.

Not only can you make more informed decisions about shopping at the grocery store, but on the EWG research page you can also get information about such things as personal care products, radiation from cell phones, and cleaning products. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Concerned about over-fishing? Click here for a printable guide to environmentally responsible, regional seafood choices.
Rowing for High School kids

Check out Dallas United Crew's Novice Camps! ©Geoff Kuchera

Does your high school student want to learn how to row?

Dallas United Crew has their Novice Camps open for upcoming 9th through 12th graders.

There are two week rowing camps left that are designed for all athletes entering grade 9 and for athletes entering grades 10-12 who have not previously participated in a competitive high school rowing program.

Here's what you need to know:

Practices: Monday through Friday 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Dates: July 21st to August 1st

Cost: $150 per week

Find out if rowing is your student's niche! To register, visit the Dallas United Crew's website.

Want to share your good school or sports news, too?

Email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with an update about your campus and student activities.
Assist the Officer fundraising success

Assist the Officer volunteers cut meat at Friday's fundraising event at NE division station. ©Michael Mata

©Michael Mata

©Michael Mata

Friday’s Assist the Officer fundraiser at the Dallas Police Department’s Northeast substation was packed with Lake Highlands neighbors ready to help.

The cookout fundraising event was for Senior Corporal John Robinson who underwent a 6 hour craniotomy operation almost a month ago to remove a tumor.

Robinson is still recovering from surgery and is getting better every day, and he will shortly begin radiation treatment for 6 weeks, 5 days a week, in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Prior to his assignment with DPD in Internal Affairs, Senior Corporal Robinson was at the Northeast Division. He is the husband of Northeast Division Neighborhood Police Officer Katie Robinson.

The Dallas Police Department and the Assist the Officer Foundation are fundraising for Robinson and are inviting the community to attend a BBQ Brisket, Chicken and Fried Catfish Fundraiser.

Lake Highlands resident and Dallas Police Officer Michael Mata was one of the many people who showed up to help with and support the event.

“Lake Highlands is an amazing community - people came out in full force to support this officer and the Northeast division,” Mata said.

“People of Lake Highlands are one the reasons I and ever officer in blue show up for work every day.”

Don’t fret if you missed the event on Friday! You can still donate to help with Robinson’s medical expenses by visiting the Assist the Officer website and choosing to make a donation to John Robinson.
What’s up this weekend?

Enjoy 'Til Midnight at the Nasher with friends and family. Photo courtesy of the Nasher Sculpture Center

Get your fresh produce at the White Rock Local Market.

Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas is always a fun place to hang out.

Yoga at Klyde Warren is open to everyone. ©Tyler Olson

Children’s Summer Series
Friday, July 18th
11:00 a.m.

Studio Movie Grill, Royal Lane

Stay cool by enjoying a the movie, Rio, at Studio Movie Grill. These budget-friendly family movies for $2 per person are a great way to start off your weekend!

For more info, visit the Studio Movie Grill website or call 214.361.2966.

‘Til Midnight At The Nasher
Friday, July 18th
6:00 p.m.

Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street

Enjoy a movie at the Nasher! Picnic dining, beverages and snacks available for purchase at Nasher Cafe by Wolfgang Puck. Outside food or beverages not permitted.

Children & members free; Adults $10, Seniors $7, Students $5. For more information, visit the Nasher website or check out their Facebook page.

White Rock Local Market
Saturday, July 19th
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Lakeside Baptist Church on Garland Rd.

Local, organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods. Everything market includes non-food items and music. Head on out and enjoy friends, food and fresh everything!

For more info, visit the WRLM website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Read to Rocky
Saturday, July 19th
2:00 p.m.

Audelia Road Library
10045 Audelia Road

Meet in the library's auditorium and spend time with the Heart of Texas therapy dogs. Kindergarten through 5th graders can read to the dogs for fun, while improving reading skills.

Free & open the public. Bring your own book or use the library's. For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.670.1350.

Klyde Warren Saturday Activities
Saturday, July 19th

Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway

• Tai Chi with El Centro College from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
• Sweat in the Park Boot Camp from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
• Yoga from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Family Yoga with the Crow Collection from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
• Dallas Children’s Theater Activities from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
• Food Trucks from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
• Skyline 360 Tour with DCFA from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

For more information on the individual classes, click here.

34th Annual Basically Beethoven Festival concert

Sunday, July 20th
2:30 p.m.

Dallas City Performance Hall
2520 Flora Street

Enjoy one of the several free concert of the season, hosted by the Fine Arts Chamber Players. This event is free and open to the public.

Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.520.2219 for details.
Sleep loss and brain damage

Sleep loss can cause brain damage. ©Zeremski

Brain scans from the study showing cellular differences in brains with plenty of sleep and little sleep.

It seems that a lot of things cause brain damage I guess – the glasses of wine I enjoy on occasion, watching too much reality TV, or playing too much Candy Crush.

According to a study that was recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience, missing sleep may lead to brain damage.

So, technically, as I sit up late writing this, I’m doing a lot of damage. This makes a lot of sense the next day as I struggle for words while attempting simple conversation.

Inconsistent sleep patterns may be hurting your brain, and making up for lost sleep on the weekends doesn't help, according to the research.

"This is the first report that sleep loss can actually result in a loss of neurons," said neuroscientist Sigrid Veasey of the study.

According to the researchers, most people assume that naps and sleeping in on weekends can help you catch up on your sleep, but that tactic won't repair the damage you've already done.

Veasey and her colleagues studied mice who were submitted to a sleep schedule similar to that of shift workers. They slept for short periods during inconsistent hours.

The researchers found that sleeping for only brief periods of time caused massive brain damage: the mice lost 25 percent of the neurons in their locus coeruleus, the section of their brain associated with alertness and cognitive function.

The scientists believe that when the mice slept inconsistently, their newer cells would create more sirtuin type 3, a protein meant to energize and protect the mice.

But after several days of missing sleep, as a shift worker might, the protein creation fell off and cells began to die off at a faster pace.

Let's face it, most of us don’t get enough sleep, especially those with small children to cater to or teenagers to keep up with.

Do yourself (and your brain) a favor. Set a sleep schedule for yourself so you can rest regularly.

For more information on the study, visit the Journal of Neuroscience website.
Drum Corps show at the Boneyard

The Bluecoats from Ohio will be performing in the July 21st performance. Photo ©DCI

On Monday, July 21st, the Lake Highlands High School Wildcat Band will host Drum Corps International (DCI) at Wildcat-Ram Stadium, and everyone is invited!

For more than 30 years, the Wildcat Band has hosted the show which is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Lake Highlands Area Band Club, supporting the band programs at Lake Highlands High School, Lake Highlands Junior High and Forest Meadow Junior High.

DCI will present a high-powered lineup of 10 World and Open Class corps from across America competing at this exciting event, including Carolina Crown (last year's world champion) from Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Wildcat-Ram Stadium is one of 17 stops on the annual DCI Tour. The youth involved provide entertainment to millions through live performances and nationally-televised events all over the world.

"Many people in the Richardson ISD community, as well as people who follow these corps from all over the US, come to our Boneyard to see the show each summer," says parent volunteer, Linda Smith.

Here's the lineup of performing Corps:

Blue Knights – Denver, CO

Bluecoats – Canton, OH

Carolina Crown – Ft. Mill, SC

Cascades – Seattle, WA

Crossmen – San Antonio, TX

Genesis – Austin, TX

Jersey Surf – Camden County, NJ

Madison Scouts – Madison, WI

The Academy – Tempe, AZ

The Cadets – Allentown, PA

Wondering what the show is like? Click here for a sneak peek at one warm up!

Gates will open at 6:00 p.m. The show starts at 6:50 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in advance on-line or at the gate. On-site parking is available and remote parking will be provided at Lake Highlands Town Center with free shuttles running to and from LHHS stadium.

Come out to the Boneyard and support the Wildcat Band, all while enjoying an extremely entertaining show!

The show is scheduled for Monday, July 21st at Wildcat-Ram Stadium located at 9449 Church Road in Lake Highlands.

To buy tickets, visit the DCI website.
Out & About: Mesquite Rodeo

Check out the Mesquite Rodeo, now through August 2nd.

Lauren Walker with friends, Olivia Yee and Courtney McClain.

One of the many rodeo events for all to enjoy.

After living in Texas for 14 years, it was finally time for me to see how real cowboys and cowgirls spend their weekends.

So I decided to visit the Mesquite Rodeo with my daughter (of course) and a few of our friends.

Side note: my daughter Lauren is my Road Hog, so she’s with me on most occasions.

The championship events consisted of Barebacking (my favorite) Saddle Bronc, Bull Riding, Tie Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, and Barrel Racing.

I was afraid that my daughter and her friends might be a little frightened to see the animals being "handled," but they cheered right along with the crowd. It was also nice that the announcer assured the crowd that the animals were not being abused.

The special guest for the evening was the world renowned Rope Artist, Tomas Garcilazo. He and his beautiful horse were like father/son trusting each other as Garcilazo showcased his roping skills.

He stood on and depended on his horse for balance as he performed. It was rather amazing, and Lauren’s friend, Olivia Yee’s, favorite moment.

"I really liked seeing the cowboy twirl the lasso all around himself and jump through it," she said.

Surprisingly, at least to me, kids were allowed to be actively involved in the show. Interested kids, four and older, were randomly selected to participate in the Mutton Bustin’ event. They were judged on how well they rode a sheep and all received a gift for participating.

The most fun kid event was the Dash for Cash (or calf scramble.) Kids 12 and under ran and tried to capture a flag attached to a calf. The only accidents I saw were falls from kids (my daughter included), but they jumped right back up and continued running and having a great time.

The Mesquite Rodeo offers a free Kids Club for kids, ages 2 through 12. Some of the perks they receive are personalized VIP credentials, a free ticket to the rodeo, a birthday gift, and opportunities to attend exclusive events throughout the year. Sign up is easy on the Rodeo website.

Prior to attending, my point of reference for anything rodeo related was ten or so seconds of what 've seen while flipping television channels. I had no idea how fun it would be to actually see the cowboy and cowgirl athletes live. Yes, it's a sport!

Your family will thoroughly enjoy this fun, family friendly event.

While the show itself was great, my Road Hog, Lauren, shared that the best part of the night was spending time with her friends!

To learn more about the Mesquite Rodeo or to buy tickets, visit the website.
Comedy of Errors

Antipholus and Luciana ©Junior Players

The Comedy of Errors cast

Junior Players’ summer production of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors features 24 teens from area high schools with a 1920s Charlie Chaplin theme.

The production opens Tuesday, July 22nd with a total of 6 free performances for all to enjoy.

Junior Players’ Executive Director, Kirsten Brandt James, is a Lake Highlands resident, and Richardson High School 2014 graduate Leah Bell is featured in the production.

The Comedy of Errors is directed by Valerie Hauss-Smith and produced in cooperation with Shakespeare Dallas and with Anastasia Munoz as Assistant Director.

Junior Players’ production will be filled with comedy and slapstick. One of William Shakespeare's early plays, The Comedy of Errors is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humor coming from slapstick and mistaken identity.

The Comedy of Errors tells the story of two sets of identical twins who were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus.

When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession.

"My concept for this show is based on the idea that this is Shakespeare's only true farce, with many elements of clowning and slapstick," said Junior Players’ Director Valerie Hauss-Smith.

"But I also think it speaks to our humanity as we feel for the two people lost in a foreign land and root for the Dromios who represent ‘the little guy.’ As I read the play several times I kept thinking about Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and that type of broad physical comedy combined with true humanity."

This year marks Junior Players’ 24th Discover Shakespeare production.

Junior Players’ goals are to introduce children and youth to Shakespeare and use the production experience to help the cast make the transition from high school to college and the professional theater community.

Junior Players provides arts education and programming completely free to children and youth throughout the city.

Come out and enjoy some slapstick humor, Shakespearian style!

The Comedy of Errors opens Tuesday, July 22nd at 8:15 p.m. at the Samuell-Grand Park Amphitheater located at 1500 Tenison Parkway in East Dallas.

All performances are FREE of charge and begin at 8:15 p.m.

Gates open at 7:30 p.m., and people are welcome to bring their own food and beverages and lawn chairs.

For more information on the production or Junior Players, please contact Executive Director Kirsten Brandt James at 214.526.4076.
Good news for LBJ/Skillman

The highlighted portion is the LBJ/Skillman area that is the target of the initiative.

After years of persistence and hard work, community meetings, surveys and grant money, the LBJ/Skillman Planning Initiative finally made its way to the City Plan Commission (CPC.)

The CPC’s Urban Design Subcommittee Review signed off on the plan last week, and it will move on to the City Council after its summer vacation.

LBJ Skillman Urban Planning Initiative, the brain child of Lake Highlands resident, Susan Morgan, was granted $125,000 back in 2010 by the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

"I'm pleased to see the study moving through the city’s approval process as neighborhood desires become a matter of public record," commented Morgan.

A study completed just a few weeks ago on the Skillman Corridor was performed by the company, Omniplan.

"Omniplan's project team did an excellent job surveying the community, and there was exceptional participation at the community workshops," said Morgan.

But it was even further back, beginning in 2006, that Morgan and her team analyzed how to best utilize the assets of the area such as the existing DART station, confluence of major thoroughfares, natural creek areas, vacant property, and the commercial, retail, residential and recreational mix.

In true Lake Highlands style, this neighborhood makeover has been organized by community residents and advocates.

"I'm reminded of the quote by Margaret Mead, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it's the only thing that ever has,’” said Scott Wynne, president of the Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association.

"In our case, the LBJ/Skillman Planning Initiative is moving forward because of the tireless efforts of Susan Morgan and the group of thoughtful, committed Lake Highlands citizens that she has brought together to work on this project for years now."

"She's talked to every politician and administrator with the city, the state, the North Texas Central Council of Governments, and TXDOT that could possibly make a difference in order to keep this project moving forward and find much needed funding for it."

"I think it's fair to say that nothing like this would have seen the light of day without their work, especially that of Susan. I believe one thing that makes Lake Highlands such a great place to live is that we have more people volunteering their time and efforts to improve our community and bring about positive change than any other place I've seen."

"There's still a lot that needs to happen, especially in terms of funding, but if it can be made a reality, it will obviously have a dramatic effect on the intersection itself."

The gist of the study looks at straightening Skillman, adding more retail and bicycle and pedestrian connections, turning the DART station into a transit-oriented development, and overhauling and/or replacing old and vacant multi-family housing.

Stay tuned to LH Today for continued updates on the LBJ/Skillman Planning Initiative.
Camping on the Lake

Camp on the Lake goes through August 22nd.

Canoeing is just one of the activities at Camp on the Lake.

Have you hit a lull in your summer activities for your kids?

There are still weeks open for the YMCA’s Camp on the Lake, a premier waterfront day camp environment created just for kids.

It’s located on Lake Lewisville, but never fear, Lake Highlands kids can hitch a ride at the Lake Highlands YMCA for a day of fun!

At Camp on the Lake, magic happens when children explore, make new friends, and learn. They learn life skills, develop self-esteem, and gain a sense of independence and community.

Whether they are playing, exploring nature or conquering new experiences, they’re creating memories that will last a lifetime.

What makes Camp on the Lake especially unique is its location and ability to provide kids with a slew of summer camp activities that are usually exclusive to sleep-away camps.

Your camper will enjoy activities such as archery, horseback riding, water activities, crafts and much more...all close to home!

Every morning, the YMCA Camp staff will greet parents and camp kids at the LH YMCA for mandatory sign-in, ensuring the safety of every child.

Children may be dropped off between 8:00 and 8:15 a.m. Afternoon pick-up at the YMCA is between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m.

Need to get to work before 8:00 or work later than 5:30? The Y offers Pre-Care and Post-Care for an additional $30 a week. The hours are 7:30 a.m and 6:00 p.m.

Here’s a sneak peek into what your child will get to experience:

Young Adventurers (6-8 year olds)

At YMCA Camp on the Lake, kids have fun and make new friends while taking part in supervised activities that embrace the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Young campers gain a greater sense of security and community by remaining with their “new” friends and camp counselors.

The Young Adventurers will participate in crafts, archery, swimming, canoeing/kayaking, boating, sailing, riflery, horseback riding, and games.

Campers Choice (9-13 year olds)

Most day camps have a set curriculum of activities that all campers are required to adhere to. In essence, its one size fits all. That doesn’t always work for campers in this age group who crave independence and are focused on exploring their individuality.

Each Monday, your camper will select their activities for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. On these days they will break after lunch into their new group to participate in the activities. This gives the camper a sense of responsibility for their schedule and ability to meet new friends.

Some of the activities offered include: swimming, boating, archery, horseback riding, canoeing/kayaking, crafts, nature exploration, sports, riflery, sailing and much more!

Remaining Camp Dates:

• Week 8: July 21 - July 25
• Week 9: July 28 - August 1
• Week 10: August 4 - August 8
• Week 11: August 11 - August 15
• Week 12: August 18 - August 22

To find out more information or register for Camp on the Lake, click here.

Lake Highlands bus pick-up is at the LH Family YMCA at 8920 Stults Road.

Weekly Camp Fee: $260; YMCA Family Member: $210
Northeast Division needs your help

Support Sr. Corporal Robinson and get a meal at a fundraising cookout.

On May 30th, Senior Corporal John Robinson of Dallas Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, was taken to the emergency room at Baylor in Dallas when he began to have trouble speaking on his lunch break at work.

To everyone’s surprise, a Computed Tomography scan showed a mass on the left side of his brain. After undergoing surgery for a brain biopsy in June, Robinson was diagnosed with a Grade IV Glioblastoma brain tumor.

It’s been almost a month since Robinson underwent a 6 hour craniotomy operation to remove the visible portion of the tumor, and the surgery left him with only a slight speech deficit which he will likely recover from in no time.

Senior Corporal Robinson is still recovering from surgery and his speech is getting better every day. He will shortly begin radiation treatment for 6 weeks, 5 days a week, in conjunction with chemotherapy. His chemotherapy will continue beyond that.

Senior Corporal Robinson prior assignment (before Internal Affairs) was at the Northeast Division. He is the husband of Northeast Division Neighborhood Police Officer Katie Robinson.

The Dallas Police Department and the Assist the Officer Foundation are fundraising for Robinson and are inviting the community to attend a BBQ Brisket, Chicken and Fried Catfish Fundraiser.

An $8 donation will be greatly appreciated and for that great price, you’ll get a delicious meal!

Here’s the scoop:

When: Friday, July 18th at 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Where: The Northeast Patrol Division at 9915 E. Northwest Hwy.

Please come support the Robinsons!

For more information or to make private donations, contact Officer Mitch Gatson at the Northeast Patrol Division by emailing him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or calling 214.671.0160.
Festival of Independent Theatres

The Bath House on White Rock Lake

We all know that our great city of Dallas is a hot spot for great food, music, art and more.

Building Dallas’ reputation as a city of artistic innovation requires a firm commitment to new work by local talent.

So the Festival of Independent Theatres (FIT), sponsored by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, upholds its reputation as one of the area’s premier fringe festivals.

In the 16th season, the line-up for this year’s festival will impress anyone!

Eight companies, all native to the Dallas area, will present eight world premieres by seven local authors for this summer’s festival, which inhabits the Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake from now through August 2nd.

This one-of-a-kind annual festival will contain a healthy dose of FIT’s trademark eclecticism as a blend of local theatrical talent joins forces to present eight one-act plays as differing as the contributing companies themselves.

Festival performances will include productions from:

• Churchmouse Productions

• Echo Theatre

• The McClarey Players

• Nouveau 47

• One Thirty Productions

• Prism, Co.

• Sibling Revelry

• WingSpan Theatre Company

Be part of something different and check out the 16th Annual Festival of Independent Theatres!

For more information about the 16th annual FIT Festival, including a schedule of performances, visit the website.

Ticket Prices are $20 - $73 which you can buy online HERE.

The Bath House Cultural Center is located at 521 E. Lawther Drive.
What’s up this weekend?

Don't miss the Taste of Dallas this weekend! Photo courtesy of TOD

Enjoy samples of all kinds at Taste of Dallas. Photo courtesy of TOD

Enjoy a morning helping keep White Rock Lake beautiful.

Join the wild side at the Dallas Zoo's Safari Nights.

Get your fresh produce at the White Rock Local Market.

Taste of Dallas

Friday through Sunday, July 11-13th

Fair Park at 3600 Grand Avenue

Enjoy food sampling from dozens of Dallas’ best restaurants with no entrée costing more than $3. Menus will include heart-healthy options since the event benefits the American Heart Association.

You can be part of this annual event from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 per person, kids 5 and under are FREE with accompanying parent.

For more information click here or call 972-590-8898.

Children’s Summer Series

Friday, July 11th
11:00 a.m.

Studio Movie Grill, Royal Lane

Stay cool by enjoying a the movie, Rio, at Studio Movie Grill. These budget-friendly family movies for $2 per person are a great way to start off your weekend!

For more info, visit the Studio Movie Grill website or call 214.361.2966.

Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse

Friday, July 11th
7:30 p.m.

NorthPark Presbyterian Church
9555 N. Central Expressway at Walnut Hill

Sara Hickman performs live with Hickman's daughters opening – it’s a show you won’t want to miss!

Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; Show at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door, and children and teens are half price.

Uncle Calvin's is a smoke-free, alcohol free music venue featuring the best in bluegrass, folk and blues concerts. Get your tickets online here or call 214.363.0044.

White Rock Local Market

Saturday, July 12th
8:00 a.m.

Green Spot at Buckner & Northcliff

Local, organic seasonal produce and hand-crafted goods. Everything market includes non-food items and music. Head on out and let dad do some Father’s Day shopping!

For more info, visit the website or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Dallas Police Department’s Coffee with Cops

Saturday, July 12th
8:00 a.m.

McDonalds at 6950 Greenville Ave, 75231

Catch up with your neighborhood police officers and enjoy a free small coffee while visiting. Call 214.671.4045 to get more details.

Shoreline Spruce-Up

Saturday, July 12th
8:00 a.m.

White Rock Lake

This Lake-loving monthly event is sponsored by For the Love of the Lake (FTLOTL) which is located at 1152 N Buckner Blvd. If you’d like to do your part in helping keep White Rock Lake clean, meet at the FTLOTL office and participate for two hours of shoreline and lake clean-up.

For more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.660.1100.

YMCA Member Celebration

Saturday, July 12th
12:00 p.m.

Lake Highlands YMCA, 8920 Stultz Rd.

Lake Highlands YMCA members can enjoy a cookout and swim at the pool all in appreciation of their YMCA membership! To find out more information, call 214.221.9622.

Dallas Zoo Safari Night

Saturday, July 12th
7:00 p.m.

Dallas Zoo

Enjoy a Eagles tribute by FastLane at the Zoo in the evening and let your wild side out while hanging with the zoo animals. Free for Members and cost included in tickets purchased by non-members.

The Dallas Zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway. For more info, visit the zoo website or call 469.554.7500.

34th Annual Basically Beethoven Festival concert

Sunday, July 13th
2:30 p.m.

Dallas City Performance Hall at 2520 Flora St.

Enjoy one of the several free concert of the season, hosted by the Fine Arts Chamber Players. This event is free and open to the public.

Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 214.520.2219 for details.
YMCA Member Cookout

Lake Highlands YMCA Photo courtesy of the Y

The Lake Highlands YMCA is a core part of our community.

With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves its members’ health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors.

It provides support and opportunities that empower people in our community.

From the Youth Sports Program, the Trailblazer and Y Guides programs, to hosting NFL Pro Wade Smith’s annual Youth Football and Cheerleading Camp and much more, the Lake Highlands YMCA does a lot.

In appreciation of their members, the Y is throwing a swimming party with a cookout this Saturday, July 12th at noon on the pool patio.

Join your family and friends for some summer fun!

For more information in the Lake Highlands YMCA, visit their website.

The LH YMCA is located at 8920 Stults Rd.
Preventing Heat Exhaustion

Prevent Heat Exaustion ©Michael Krinke

So far this summer, we’ve been pretty lucky with the weather. Until recently, it didn’t feel like a typical Dallas summer.

With that being said, the blazing temps have finally hit us full-force, so we wanted to remind everyone about the dangers of heat exhaustion.

Signs of heat exhaustion are easy to spot, and action should be taken immediately if these are observed.

Heat exhaustion symptoms:

• Pale with cool, moist skin

• Profuse sweating profuse

• Muscle cramps or pains

• Faint or dizzy feeling

• Headache, weakness, thirst, and nausea

• Core temperature elevated-usually more than 100 F and the pulse rate increased

If you, or anyone else, has symptoms of heat exhaustion, it's essential to immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room. If you can't get inside, try to find the nearest cool and shady place.

Other recommended strategies include:

• Drink plenty of fluid (avoid caffeine and alcohol).

• Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.

• Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

• Apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

If the individual is suffering from a heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

Heat stroke symptoms:

• Unconsciousness or markedly abnormal mental status (dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, or coma)

• Flushed, hot, and dry skin (although it may be moist initially from previous sweating or from attempts to cool the person with water)

• Blood pressure may be high or low

• Hyperventilation

• Core temperature of 105 F or more

For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control website.
Connecting women in business

Carrie Hill, Renee Barfoot, Marla Ravkind and Tricia Martinez with the WLC

Network with other business women next week.

The Lake Highlands Chamber's Women’s Leadership Connection has organized a joint networking event with their friends at the Lakewood Women in Business group.

On Tuesday, July 15th at Veritex Bank in Lakewood from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., you can join them for Margarita Madness, tons of networking opportunities, door prizes, and of course, and delicious margaritas.

They are asking folks to spread the word to any women that might benefit from networking in East Dallas, Northeast Dallas, and Lake Highlands.

And don't forget, bring your business cards for the Biz Card Table!

Please RSVP directly to Darlene Ellison at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her at 214.269.2122.

Need more information on the Lake Highlands Chamber's Women’s Leadership Connection?

Check out their Facebook page to keep up with what’s going on or contact Carrie Hill at 214.298.4038 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more info.

Margarita Madness is on Tuesday, July 15th at 6:00 p.m. at Veritex Bank located at 2101 Abrams Rd.
What’s up at the Dallas Zoo?

Don't let summer temps keep you away from fun at the Zoo. Photo courtesy of the Dallas Zoo

Safari Nights evening concert series features great music, extended hours and a chance to mingle with some of the stars of the Zoo.

Safari Nights kicked off back in June and continues through the end of July.

Visitors can explore the Zoo during the day, then relax on a blanket or lawn chair on shady Cat Green and embrace the sounds of original songwriters and tribute bands until 9:00 p.m.

Stars from the Zoo’s Animal Adventures outreach program will be on hand to visit, too.

The concerts are free with the price of Zoo admission and begin at 7:00 p.m. Food is available for purchase, along with soft drinks, cold beer and wine.

July 12 at 5:00 p.m.: Safari Nights featuring FastLane

FastLane is a tribute to The Eagles has been together since 2005 and plays to thousands each year at festivals, clubs and special events such as, Dallas Zoo’s Safari Nights. Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of The Eagles’ music, FastLane can perform show up to four hours in length and include all the hits made famous by The Eagles. Their performances will have you on your feet dancing, singing, and enjoying that "Peaceful Easy Feeling" once more.

July 17 at 9:00 a.m.: Dollar Day
The Dallas Zoo shows its appreciation to the community for its support with dollar deals and $1 admission all day. Take the DART Red Line to the Zoo entrance to avoid traffic and start your adventure sooner.

July 19 at 5:00 p.m.: Safari Nights featuring Petty Theft

Petty Theft is a Dallas based encomium to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. The sounds of Petty Theft are the closest fans will get to the real thing – they rock it with purpose. These guys are slavishly devoted to recreating the rock sounds of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

July 26 at 5:00 p.m.: Safari Nights featuring The O’s

“Since forming in 2008, Taylor Young & John Pedigo, aka The O’s, have done just about everything an up-and-coming act can do. They’ve toured throughout the United States, they took off for Europe, played every festival that would have them and had their music pop up on various TV shows. Odds are that if you saw any large indie-Americana act in the last few years, you saw The O’s stealing the show as openers” – Dallas Observer, 2013

The O’s combine Americana and indie pop with alternative country sounds to create a large indie-Americana act – making good music for good people. Similar artists/sounds like: Gram Parsons, The Avett Brothers, The Ramones, The Who.

Regular season admission is $12 for ages 12-64; $9 for ages 3-11 and those 65 and above; and free for ages 2 and younger.

As always, Dallas Zoo members get free admission. Visitors are encouraged to take the DART to the Zoo stop to avoid traffic and parking fees.

The Dallas Zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway (I-35 at Marsalis).

For more information, visit the Dallas Zoo website or call 469.554.7500.
Cool off with Taste of Dallas

Taste Tavern is a popular spot at Taste Dallas.

Don't miss the Taste of Dallas this weekend at Fair Park!

The Sweet Factory is for "kids" of all ages.

The Taste of Dallas is back, and this year, Fair Park’s favorite summertime activity is now cooler than ever.

The largest tasting event in the DFW area will bring hungry tasters from all over North Texas to Fair Park on July 11th - 13th. They’ll enjoy an expanded indoor restaurant tasting experience to complement everyone's favorite restaurants along the Esplanade.

The 150,000 square feet of indoor, air conditioned space will now feature 20 additional indoor restaurant booths, a culinary marketplace, an informative health and wellness area, and much more.

Taste Curbside is back by popular demand, featuring a collection of some of the most sought-after and unique food trucks. The only thing faster than this food on wheels is its growing popularity!

Taste of the Town indoor tasting experience will also make a return, as well as various wine, beer and liquor tastings throughout the event.

A different theme each day, from craft beer to local breweries to international sampling will keep Taste Tavern hopping all weekend with a variety of beer, wine and spirits to lift yours.

Kids’ Taste Town, with its kid-sized rides, bounce houses, giant slides, interactive games and meet-and-greets with cartoon characters; the Sweet Factory for kids of all ages celebrating all things magical and sugary.

In addition, 50 of North Texas's favorite restaurants will be featured along Fair Park's beautiful Esplanade fountains while more than a dozen food trucks will park outside for curbside culinary delights. Indoor and outdoor restaurants will offer tastings from their menus for $1 to $3 each.

While all this is very cool, Taste of Dallas does not forget to bring the sizzle!

Friday night is an all-new Date Night with special ticket deals and lots of activities, including fun fair games for charity, psychic readings and more to turn up the heat.

And don't miss the exciting soccer tournament indoor watch parties on Saturday and Sunday! Adults and kids alike can try out their soccer skills on Taste of Dallas's own mini soccer field.

Fantastic music includes 80s legend Vanilla Ice, there’s plenty for the kids to do, and lots to eat, shop, and see which makes for a great weekend for eaters of all ages.

Taste of Dallas will benefit the American Heart Association. Get your taste buds ready!

WHERE: Fair Park, with parking available on site, or attendees can ride the DART Green Line

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, July 11th - 13th

HOURS: 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Friday; 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday; 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday

TICKETS: $12 per person for 1-day admission or $8 per ticket at Walgreen's

A family value ticket will admit up to 5 people and can be purchased at Walgreen's for $30 (or $50 at the gate); Kids 5 and under are FREE.

For more information on the Taste of Dallas, visit the website, the Facebook page, or call 972.590.8898.

Photos courtesy of Taste of Dallas.
Sensory Friendly Shows at DCT

DCT offers sensory-friendly shows and Stuart Little is right around the corner. ©DCT

Kids with all kinds of special needs will enjoy the upcoming performance of Stuart Little. ©DCT

Following an enthusiastic response to the sensory-friendly performance of Go, Dog. Go! at Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT), families and professionals who serve the special needs community are now looking forward to the sensory-friendly performance of Stuart Little on Saturday, July 12 at 4:30 p.m.

After years of requests from families, a national grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Theatre Communications Group has enabled DCT to include three sensory-friendly performances for children with autism and other special needs in 2014.

Based on the overwhelming response, DCT is seeking funds to continue providing these special performances in 2015 and beyond. These performances allow many children with special needs to enjoy a comfortable live theater experience for the first time.

Stuart Little actors and production staff have worked with sensory processing experts to develop this next special performance featuring the story of an extraordinary mouse making his way through New York City.

“On the road it worked out really, really well, and it made for such a comfortable and easy experience for the children. Being a part of that is so great,” said Actor Randall Scott Carpenter who plays Stuart.

Beverly Campbell attended the first sensory-friendly show at DCT. “My grandson had a glorious time at his first theater experience, and I was thrilled to let him express joy in his special way,” she said.

The sensory-friendly performance of Stuart Little is Saturday, July 12 at 4:30 at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts. Show goers are encouraged to come one hour early to enjoy some fun pre-show activities! The performance is recommended for all ages.

In an effort to make sure families have no economic barriers to participation, tickets to the sensory-friendly performance are only $5 each.

For tickets or more information on Stuart Little, visit the DCT website or call the box office at 214-740-0051.

Dallas Children’s Theater is located at 5938 Skillman Street.
2014 Staycation series: Downtown

Klyde Warren Park is a great central gathering space for all who venture downtown. ©City of Dallas

Enjoy some cooler indoor temps while exploring the excitment of the rain forest. ©Dallas World Aquarium

The Butterfly House at Texas Discovery Gardens is another great indoor place for fun. ©Baronoskie

Klyde Warren Park is fun for all ages. ©Baronoskie

The Dallas Museum of Art is free except for certain exhibits.

Staycations are getting more and more popular, and with so much to do around the DFW area, we thought it would be a great series for summer.

Our first 2014 Staycation Series topic was geocaching, a treasure hunt for the digital generation. And we’ve heard from several readers that they’ve started the adventure and love it!

Today, we’re shedding light on some of the fun for families in downtown Dallas including the Perot Museum and Klyde Warren Park and much more!

The M-Line's air-conditioned and heated trolleys run 365 days a year, providing local transit service to Dallas' vibrant Uptown Neighborhood. All rides, except charters, are FREE. Voluntary fare box contributions are welcomed. Monday-Thursday: 7am to 10pm, Friday 7am to Midnight, Saturday: 10am to Midnight, Sunday and holidays: 10am-10pm

The Dallas Museum of Art offers free admission for regular exhibits during regular museum hours, as well as free special family activities on the first Tuesday of each month.

The Crow Collection is a permanent set of galleries dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. It is open Tue-Sun 10am-5pm; extended hours on Thurs until 9pm; closed Mon. The Sculpture Garden at the base of the statuesque Trammell Crow Center boasts more than 20 statues from the French masters, including Rodin, all of which reside in a peaceful setting with cascading waters and beautiful gardens.

Nasher Sculpture Center is an outdoor “roof-less” museum of 20th-century sculpture and First Saturdays offer families the opportunity to visit for free as well as to enjoy special family programming between the hours of 10am-2pm.

Less than one mile north of downtown Dallas is Freedmen's Cemetery, a pre-Civil War burial ground in what was once the Freedmen's Town Area–a small Dallas community formed by African-Americans freed from slavery in the mid-1860s. This historic and state landmark memorial features figures cast in bronze by artist David Newton.

All summer long, you can enjoy the evenings down to Victory Park with a free movie under the stars. Bring your lawn chairs, popcorn, family and friends and join others on select days throughout the months of June and July in the Plaza near American Airlines Center.

Experience free-flying butterflies in the Butterfly House at Texas Discovery Gardens, a year-round organic urban oasis filled with natural wonders for visitors of all ages. Butterfly House tickets are sold from 10:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. Discovery Gardens also has several acres of outdoor beauty where you can grab a picnic afterwards.

Built over the recessed Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul streets in downtown, Klyde Warren Park serves as a central gathering space for Dallas and its visitors all week and weekend long. This highly active space provides daily free programming ranging from yoga to book signings to outdoor concerts and films, and the food trucks are a great perk too.

Celebrating its second summer, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is packed to its concrete walls with exciting exhibitions, programs and films for youngsters to hipsters and beyond. Highlights include The World’s Largest Dinosaurs and Build It Garage exhibitions, three 3D films, second Saturday Discovery Day programs and an adults-only Social Science night plus free admission for military and first responders all summer (with special discounts for their family members). In addition, visitors can find their own adventures through 10 self-guided journeys that take visitors up, down and all around the Perot Museum.

If you’re in the mood for some rain forest or wild animal action, visit the Dallas World Aquarium or the Dallas Zoo while you’re downtown. Both are great fun for all ages! If you go to the zoo earlier in the morning right after it opens, you’ll enjoy the animals getting some fresh air before heading in to avoid the heat.

Whatever you choose to do on your journey downtown, have fun! Dallas has a plethora of amazing things to do while you’re down there, so soak it in and explore it all.
DFW’s July 4th Fireworks Guide

Find the best place to watch fireworks for July 4th! ©Tina_Hager

In a letter to Abigail Adams exactly 237 years ago today, John Adams wrote that Independence Day should be honored “with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”

The first Independence Day fireworks show was enjoyed on July 4, 1777. That same year, fireworks also lit up the sky in Boston, where they were exhibited by Col. Thomas Crafts over the common.

So now that you now the history behind fireworks, it’s time to figure out where to watch them in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Enjoy!

July 4th: Fair Park Fourth

When: 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. (gates open at noon)

What: Free and open to the public, the family-fun event will feature a Dallas Wind Symphony patriotic performance, reduced admission to Fair Park’s museums, live music, a children’s area, “dancing water” shows at the Esplanade Fountain, carnival games, plus a spectacular fireworks show sponsored by Gold Metal Recyclers. For the ultimate experience, guests are encouraged to watch the fireworks from inside the Cotton Bowl.

Where: Dallas’ Historic Cotton Bowl Stadium – 3750 The Midway, Dallas, TX 75215

Cost: Free and open to the public.

July 4th: Richardson Family 4th of July

When: 6:00 to 10:15 p.m.

What: Attractions include strolling balloon artists, bounce houses, and a climbing wall for the kids! This year, the Star Spangled Safety Event aims to make the citizens of Richardson aware of Fire Safety, Crime Prevention and Emergency Preparedness through the means of information pamphlets, goody bags for children, and family fun with a fire truck slide and police car bounce house.

Where: Breckinridge Park

Cost: Free

July 4th: Rowlett Fireworks on Main

When: 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

What: Live music by "Time Train" and 80's Legend "Sheena Easton", children’s entertainment area, face painting, vendor booths, fireworks at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Where: 4000 Main Street (Downtown Rowlett). Parking is located within walking distance of downtown Rowlett at Coyle Middle School (4500 Skyline), Herfurth Park (4600 Centennial), and the Downtown Rowlett DART Station (5000 Martin). Shuttles will run from Rowlett High School (4700 Kirby) to Downtown beginning at 5 p.m.

Cost: Free and open to the public.

July 4th: Firewheel Star Spangled Spectacular

When: 4:00 - 9:30 p.m.

What: Star Spangled Spectacular Fun Zone will have bounce houses, inflatable slides and miniature train rides. Radio Disney will host Patriot’s Plaza, also in The Park area, featuring games, prizes, balloon artists, face painters and great family fun. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

Where: Firewheel Town Center, 245 Cedar Sage Drive in Garland

Cost: Free and open to the public

July 4th: Plano All American Fourth

When: Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.

Where: Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, east of U.S. 75 on Spring Creek Parkway.

Cost: Free

July 4th: Mckinney’s Red White and Boom

When: Parade starts at 10 a.m. (Historic Downtown Mckinney), Family Activities and food start at 7 p.m. (Mckinney Soccer Complex at Craig Ranch.) Call 972-547-7480 for more information.

What: Family Activities, Food, Live Entertainment and More. Fireworks start at 9:45pm.

Where: Mckinney Soccer Complex at Craig Ranch

Cost: Free

July 4th: Denton Kiwanis Club

When: Gates open at 6:00 p.m., music begins at 6:30.

What: Live music by The Dirty Pesos and George Dunham and the Birddogs, followed by fireworks.

Where: University of North Texas’ Apogee Stadium

Cost: Free

July 4th: Fireworks Extravaganza at Arlington Heights

When: Event opens at 7:30 p.m. with live music from the Chant Band, Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m.

What: There will be FREE sno-cones from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (the first 3,000 sno-cones are free - afterward sno-cones will be $1 each.)

Where: Fireworks can be seen from the Arlington Highlands shopping center, but for the best view of the house, claim a spot close to Dave & Busters!

Cost: Free

July 4th: Frisco Freedom Fest

When: Party in the Plaza includes the Frisco Freedom Fest beginning at 4 p.m.

What: Twenty Minute Firework Show starts at 10 p.m. Take a blanket and sit back and enjoy the show. Fireworks are visible around Frisco City Hall and FC Dallas Stadium.

Where: Simpson Plaza at City Hall (61010 Frisco Square Blvd). There will be free parking at FC Dallas Stadium.

Cost: Admission to Party in the Plaza is FREE. The children’s activities range in price from $1 to $6 per turn or $25 for an all day “jump pass."

July 4th: Flower Mound Annual Independence Fest

When: 5:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m

What: The Children's Parade will take place from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the LISD School Administration Building, and a fantastic fireworks show starts at 9:45 p.m. follows the free concert featuring the band, Kansas, at Bakersfield Park.

Where: Bakersfield Park – 1201 Duncan Lane, Flower Mound, TX 75028 Free Shuttle service will start running at 5:00 p.m. and will run continue running to the festival until 9:15 p.m. Shuttle service will resume after the completion of the fireworks show. Shuttle service from Gerault Park (Gerault Rd & Spinks Rd, Flower Mound, TX 75028)

Cost: Free admission and parking

July 4th: Lake Grapevine

When: 4:00 - 9:30 p.m.

What: Family friendly fireworks show

Where: Fireworks can be viewed from any lakeside location as well as several other spots throughout Grapevine.

Cost: Admission is free at most viewing locations. Some parks along Lake Grapevine may charge a minimal admission fee.

July 4th: Rockwall Fireworks Show

When: 7:00 p.m.

What: Live music and great fireworks; best viewing areas and parking are at Harry Myers Park, Dobbs Elementary School, Tuttle Athletic Complex, and the RISD Education Center.

Where: Harry Myers Park, 815 East Washington St., Rockwall, TX 75087

Cost: Free
Time for some July 4th fun!

For more than 30 years, the Exchange Club has put on one heck of a July 4th parade.

It’s been happening every July 4th for three decades. The Exchange Club of Lake Highlands puts on the Lake Highlands Independence Day Parade and it’s become a big deal!

Preparations and planning are complete, and people are looking forward to the event’s fun for all.

As usual, the parade will have a variety of participants – floats, fire engines, antique cars, police helicopter, and families walking together decked out in their red, white and blue.

Awards will be given to various categories of parade participants, so you can count on the floats being colorful and unique.

Just like years past, the parade will proceed down Church Road and end at Lake Highlands North Recreation Center, where there will be lots of food, musical performers, games and entertainment for all ages until 12:00 p.m.

District 10 City Councilman Jerry Allen, recently awarded the Public Servant of the Year Award by United Way, is the Grand Marshall of this year’s parade.

"The parade is a long standing Lake Highlands tradition for all," says Phil Kendall, Director of Citizenship and Americanism for the Exchange Club.

"This is one of the biggest community events in Lake Highlands, and we encourage everyone to join in the fun."

Here’s the line-up:

• 8:00 a.m. Floats begin to arrive

• 8:30 a.m. Float judging on the north side of Northlake Elementary

• 9:00 a.m. Parade begins

• 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Post-parade carnival at LH Recreation Center

So get decked out in your red, white and blue and come prepared for some Independence Day fun!

The parade will start at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 4th in front of North Highlands Bible Church at 9626 Church Road.

You can learn more about the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands by visiting their website.
Celebrate at My Office

Emily Herrera and Sarah Price at My Office. ©Baronoskie

Sarah Price is celebrating her first year of ownership of My Office. ©Baronoskie

It’s a celebration tonight at My Office!

Head over this evening, July 2nd, from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. to celebrate Sarah's first year as owner of My Office.

Sarah's first year as owner of My Office has been an exciting, successful adventure, thanks to the Lake Highlands community. Please help us celebrate next week with wine and nibbles!

“My Office has been successful under the new ownership of Sarah Price because of the great Lake Highlands community and their commitment to supporting local business like us,” Manager Emily Herrera commented.

“In the past year, we have added additional goods and services like cakeballs, pre-packed school supplies and customizable/promotional printing.”

“We look forward to what the future holds for My Office and Lake Highlands!”

What else is going on at My Office?

Don't forget to order books on the Lake Highlands schools' optional choice reading lists - the long list of books from which students are to select one or two of their choice.

Call or stop by to place your order by 4:30 p.m. on July 14 or August 1. My Office has all books on the required summer reading lists in stock.

And don’t miss the Summer Sidewalk Sale. My Office says it’s time to clean out their inventory! Check out the sidewalk sale bargains starting July 7.

My Office is located at 9660 Audelia Rd., Suite 123, next to Atomic Pie.

They're open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For more details and to receive updates about new inventory, sales and specials, visit their website or "Like" them on Facebook.

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