Written by Will Jukes
When I was growing up, I would wake up some morning in the dead middle of summer to see the streets of my neighborhood lined with straight rows of little red, white and blue banners. I took for granted that this was something that happened in every neighborhood in America. I guess in my young brain I assumed it was one of the city's basic duties, outlined in the charter, along with paving roads and catching stray dogs. But it's something private citizens have to do every year, working for days in the high heat of summer, to bring us this small reminder of the holiday.
In Irving, that role is filled by Nell Anne Hunt, resident of University Hills and founder of the Great Flag Caper, an organization that for more than 20 years has worked to bring the singular American tradition of the miniature flag to the City of Irving. And though the organization had modest beginnings, Hunt estimates they planted 40,000 flags this year, including a grand promenade along the whole 10.5 miles of MacArthur from Grand Prairie to Coppell.
“Actually, I'd just moved to my neighborhood and when the 4th of July came around I thought I'd do something nice in return,” Hunt said. “Everybody liked it so much that I got 400 flags instead of 200, and then the next year they liked it so much they said 'let's do the whole neighborhood,' and then the city liked it so much the next year they said 'let's do the whole city.'”
The project has grown even more since. Hunt says it's now a year-round project, and that she's had to organize it as a 501c(3) tax exempt organization to help facilitate the project.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 21:19
Written by Nick Kammerer
Most high school alumni remember the release of the yearbook that marked the fast-approaching end of what usually was an exhausting school year. For Irving High School students, the release of the 2013 school yearbook was cut short after an inappropriate slur was discovered under the name of a freshman cheerleader.
Written below a picture of the Irving High School junior-varsity cheerleading squad in the yearbook, the words, “Ugly Hoe” were used to replace one of the girls’ names.
Only 12 of the 225 printed yearbooks were released to students before the offensive slur was noticed. Students who received the yearbook were forced to return them. The yearbooks are currently being reprinted and students will receive their new yearbooks in the last week of June, according to an Irving ISD representative.
The Irving Independent School District is still investigating the incident and questioning how the yearbook was tampered with prior to being printed.
After the incident, Irving ISD changed their practice so that all student access to the yearbook in the future will be prohibited after the final faculty review.
Irving High School students indicated this incident was not the first time the cheerleader was a victim of bullying, and that the incident was possibly a result of a fall-out between multiple students.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 June 2013 14:55
Written by Alice Canham
The Hilton Anatole was the site of the State of Dallas County Address luncheon on June 6. Attendees learned how their tax dollars are improving conditions in the ninth most populous county in the nation, according to opening speaker Michael Gonzales, chairman-elect of the Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.
“Dallas County plays an important role in the fiscal well-being of the community,” Gonzales said. “The current unemployment rate here in Dallas County is 6.6 percent, which is [a favorable contrast to] the national rate of 7.5 percent.
“Dallas County is a leader in regional transportation…with a light rail system that’s larger than either Boston’s or Philadelphia’s. Dallas County also boasts one of the lowest property tax rates in the nation, and is one of the few districts to hold a Triple-A bond rating with both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.”
Last Updated on Monday, 17 June 2013 14:54
Written by Jess Paniszczyn
With fanfare, bounce houses, balloon animals and a spirit of adventuresome fun, Valley Ranch residents welcomed 90,000 lady bugs to their neighborhood during the 10 annual Lady Bug Release on June 1. Members of the Valley Ranch Homeowners Association, the event’s sponsor and coordinator, handed out small jars so children and families could take home the lady bugs, which serve as a natural pesticide, and release them in their own lawns and gardens.
“This year we have made the event bigger,” said Jessica Hughes, Lifestyle Director for the Valley Ranch Homeowners' Association. “We are expecting about 100 people this year.
“It is the first weekend in June every year, and people love it. So many people tell us that they enjoy being here, and it is great for the kids. People come out and mingle with their neighbors. It is a great community event.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 June 2013 14:46
Written by Amanda Casanova
Irving residents will decide today in a runoff election (June 15) which of four candidates will fill two seats on the City Council.
In the election for place 1, John Danish faces Loren Byers, and in place 2, Allan Meagher faces Kensley Stewart. Incumbent Gerald Farris won the place 7 seat by default.
The new faces to the City Council will have at least two major issues to tackle, including the search for a new city manager. In April, the Council voted to end City Manager Tommy Gonzalez’s contract in October, and next month, the Council can hire a search firm to find a replacement.
The Council will also face increasing public pressure to restart plans to build an entertainment center in Las Colinas. The project fell through in the fall when the City Council failed to approve an agreement with the development partner Las Colinas Group and LCG sued the City. The City is now considering working with another developer to revive the project and settle the lawsuit.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 June 2013 14:32
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- National Endowment for the Arts announces $1 million in grants for The Big Read