Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
Council member Roy Santoscoy announced at the Jan. 10 Council meeting that he would not seek reelection of his Council seat in May’s election.
“I have been very privileged to serve on the City Council for the last three years,” Santoscoy said. “I’ve enjoyed it greatly and have appreciated the support of the staff. We have a wonderful staff.
“I’m appreciative of my fellow Council members and the citizens of Irving. It’s been amazing to make some friendships. I have the desire to one day do this again, but my kids are at an age where that window is closing, and I want to make sure that I spend some quality time with them.”
Santoscoy was elected to Place 2 in May 2010. He is a small business owner and has two teenage daughters.
He previously served as chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, vice-chairman of the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau Board, and Board of Trustee of the Baylor Medical Center at Irving.
Late last year, Council member Michael Gallaway announced that he would not run for reelection for the District 1 seat.
“As most Irving citizens are aware, serving as a City Council member is a time consuming endeavor. With that being said my current business and personal obligations will prohibit me from running for re-election in 2013,” Gallaway said in a statement. “For the last two and a half years it has been my pleasure to serve the citizens of Irving and until my replacement is elected I will continue to do so in a way that is pleasing in God’s sight.”
Councilman Gerald Farris, who holds Place 7, which is also up for reelection in May, will run for reelection.
The election is set for May 11.
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2013 23:01
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
Born and raised in Irving, Karis Nichole Danish, the little girl with the big voice, is preparing to début in her most important role to date as Phoebe Saint-Anne in the play Hit-Lit.
The daughter of John and Deborah Danish, Karis graduated Nimitz High School in May 2000. While attending Nimitz, she was selected as a member of the Texas All-State Choir as Soprano II.
“Karis was always selected to be in these choirs when she would go to summer camp,” Mr. Danish said. “But when she went to Nimitz High School, she joined the choir, and suddenly we found out that she had a remarkable voice. I flew her out to a voice instructor in Alabama. Afterwards he said, ‘Imagine having all the equipment of a Stradivarius violin. Now, can she learn how to use it?’
“She was on the Opera track for two years at TCU. But she wasn’t happy performing in foreign languages. While she was studying at the Wheaton College Conservatory, she was in a performance of ‘Into the Woods’, and that is when she decided she would rather sing in Broadway musical type things.”
After finishing her education, Karis decided to move to New York to pursue her career.
“Her mother and I are very proud of her dedication, persistence and commitment to this goal she has been working toward,” Danish said. “A lot of people think we must support her in Manhattan, because it is such an expensive place to live. But we do not. She knows this is something she is going to have to be able to function in if she wants to sing as a career. The reality of that must be confronted now.
“She works different jobs. She has a job where she enters data for consultants that analyze taxes on phone bills. She also works at a sub-Studio 54 which was designed by three Emmy Award winners. It has live entertainment and looks kind of like a speak easy with red velvet wall paper and leather furniture.
“Hit-Lit is a brand new play, and its initial preview is at the University of Houston. It looks like they have decided to cast Karis in the role when they go to New York. I would say this is her most important role so far.”
Karis will be playing the part of Phoebe Saint-Anne, a late 20’s to mid 30’s female, work-addicted Director of Business Affairs for Pfatt Publishing of New York City who either must find a new publishing angle for her employer or face losing her job. Phoebe settles on a pseudo hit-man who, unbeknownst to her, is a want-to-be “Hemingway” writer who fictionalizes the accounts of his alleged hits - the hits which Phoebe has paid him good money in royalties to save her job. This leads to an incredible adventure of mad-cap comedy and mayhem. Karis will be featured in a singing role at the end of Hit-Lit’s first act.
Karis’s past credits include: Regional credits: Deirdre McDavey in I Hate Hamlet (Cape May Stage), Sister James in Doubt and A Tale of Two Cities – World Premiere (Asolo Repertory Theater), Boo in Blue Window and Bacchae (Asolo Conservatory). Off-Off Broadway credits: The Secretaries with Project; Theater. Film: Penguin: The Musical. TV credits: Days of Our Lives.
The world premier of the new play Hit-Lit, written by two-time Emmy-Award winner Robert Wuhl, the creator and star of HBO’s Arli$$, who will be co-directing this production with Steven W. Wallace (Producing Artistic Director, Houston Shakespeare Festival.) will be performed at the University of Houston Jan. 29- Feb. 2.
Hit-Lit will be performed at the Queens Theatre in the Park in New York March 7-17.
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2013 23:00
Written by Phil Cerroni
Since its inception in 1985, the Irving Schools Foundation has helped thousands of Irving students and teachers by providing over $2.5 million dollars in financial support. The Irving Schools Foundation’s mission is simply that it should help to provide funding to students and teachers for which tax dollars cannot be expended. As we see more and more budget cuts occur, our need for community support becomes even more important. We want to ensure that we are providing our students with the best resources that will prepare them for college and their future careers.
The Irving Schools Foundation provides scholarships to graduating seniors who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership skills or for those who have overcome obstacles in their lives. In 2012, the Foundation gave over $175,000 in scholarships to students and plans to give about $160,000 in 2013.
In addition to scholarship for seniors, the Foundation also provides funding to teachers for innovative classroom ideas via grant applications. The Foundation offers Campus Site Grants, which must be innovative programs that will affect the entire campus, as well as Grants to Teachers, which are for innovative programs for an individual classroom. In addition, the Foundation offers Educator Enrichment Grants, which allow educators to apply for funding for workshops and seminars that will enhance their subject knowledge. In 2012, the Irving Schools Foundation awarded over $50,000 in grants to IISD educators.
In October 2012 the Irving Schools Foundation hosted their Second Annual Legacy Gala at the Four Seasons Resort and Club. The purpose of the Gala was to raise money for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs for our IISD students. Due to the generous support of community partners, the Foundation raised over $250,000 at their Gala. The proceeds of this event have so far helped to provide items such as uniforms to students, 3D printers, biology lab equipment and school supplies.
Source: Irving Schools Foundation
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2013 22:59
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
The Irving Independent School District Board of Trustees voted on Jan. 14 to spend more than $900,000 to renovate the administration annex building.
The administration annex building houses services for homeless and pregnant parenting students as well as adult education programs, but the aging facility is cramped and in need of updates, trustees said.
The board voted 4-2 for the renovation to the building.Only trustees Steven Jones and Gail Condor Wells voted against.
“I can’t support spending $900,000 for a building that is functional,” Jones said. “Yes it could be nicer, but it is working fine. I just can’t justify spending that kind of money on this building.”
The board decided to renovate the building with permanent walls, a choice that brings the total project cost to $905,221. The other option for the board was to use modular walls, which can be moved around, but provide less privacy. The second option would have cost about $100,000 less.
The renovation would take about six months.
“There have been many times we’ve moved people for a short amount of time,” Board President Ronda Huffstetler said. “We’re talking about safety updates, ADA updates. This building is going to have to renovated and updated to accommodate our programs. The money is there to do it.”
To pay for the renovations, the district is using money generated from the sale of school buses to Dallas County.
The board will consider hiring a contractor for the work at a later meeting.
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2013 22:58
Written by Phil Cerroni
Irving Healthcare Foundation seeks daily to be a trusted steward of donors’ gifts, making sure that Irving’s five medical and health-related charities use these contributions exactly as promised.
“Our founders did not want multiple fundraising offices competing for gift dollars for Irving’s medical charities. They were so visionary when they created Irving Healthcare Foundation to serve any nonprofit healthcare agency that wanted to be a partner. It really is extraordinary and efficient and, as a result of its good work, such a benefit to the health of our community”, said IHF’s current Chairman Brian Smith.
The foundation’s primary recipient is Baylor Medical Center at Irving. Since 1977, IHF has raised and granted $29 million to Baylor Irving, the city’s only charitable or nonprofit hospital. These gifts have twice expanded the emergency room, added a cancer center and an outpatient surgery center on the hospital’s campus, and supported one of the Metroplex’s most robust cardiac care programs with equipment and surgery suites.
IHF each year celebrates a decades old philanthropic collaboration with the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas. More than $2.4 million given by the Resort for cancer diagnosis and treatment had benefited tens of thousands of lives.
Our Children’s House at Baylor-Irving (OCHI), a specialized childcare and therapy center, was added as a beneficiary in 1999. IHF has raised and granted more than $5 million to help thousands of children who have medical and development needs.
The Irving Interfaith Clinic (IIC) was created in 2005 to provide medical and dental care uninsured, needy residents of Irving. The clinic has since relocated to the Baylor Irving campus and has increased visits by patients from 2,000 to 6,000 during 2012.
In 2008, IHF began raising funds for the Irving Dental Center and raised and granted $194,000. The same year IHF began raising funds to support the Irving YMCA’s efforts to battle family obesity and, to date, has granted $36,000.
In the year ahead, IHF plans to focus on enhancing emergency, cardiac and cancer services at the hospital, while maintaining goals to help OCHI and IIC. The agency also will host its annual TexasFest gala on April 27 at the Irving Convention Center. More information is available at www.healthyirving.org.
Source: Irving Healthcare Foundation
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2013 22:57
- Firefighters continue to support community through Irving Fire Foundation
- The Main Place serves students in need
- Music meets passion at Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra
- The Lone Star Youth Orchestra: Gearing up for spring
- Keep Irving Beautiful continues to make Irving a lovelier place to live
- Irving Family YMCA works to build a more healthy community