Written by Colleen Ahern
A free Organic Gardening class drew a large crowd to the Coppell Senior and Community Center on Saturday, September 7th. Locals packed the center’s auditorium to hear Donelle Simmons, co-owner of the mother-daughter company, The FarmGirls, offer tips on how to grow a prosperous organic garden. Simmons’s classcovered everything from the challenges of planting in North Texas to step-by-step instructions for making even the most stubborn plants thrive.
According to Simmons, the cornerstone of a great garden is understanding soil. Testing your soil is the first step, which can be accomplished with the help of local companies like Texas Plant and Soil Lab. Once you know the composition of your soil, you can treat it with natural amendments and begin planting.
The local climate and soil provide a host of challenges to North Texas gardeners. Simmons said that when she first moved to Coppell, “every fence post in our property had been jack hammered in. Not far into the ground, there was a layer of solid rock.” Luckily, there are a variety of planting methods and soil amendments to help gardeners combat extreme conditions. For one thing, Simmons recommended building raised beds for plants to keep them hydrated and growing in the right levels of amended soil. She also endorsed Expanded Shell, a soil amendment that helps keep plants hydrated.
“This is a gardener’s best friend for soil in a place like Texas with extreme temperature and extreme weather,” she said. “Expanded Shells are little tiny pebbles that hold fifteen times their weight in water.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:54
Written by Phil Cerroni
A small-time investor with a fascination with financial markets, producer/director Jim Bruce was floored by what he considered a foreseeable and avoidable financial catastrophe in 2007. Now, five years later when most Americans still feel stuck in the rubble, he says that reforming the United States’ priorities is the first step on the road to healing.
The filmmaker delivers this message through his new movie, Money for Nothing, which opened in Dallas on Sep. 6. The film tries to educate the public about the history of the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) and its role in the 2007 financial crisis.
By the time it came crashing down, Bruce claims the financial market had become bloated by a stock market bubble in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the housing bubble that followed and investors’ reliance on the Fed to provide the economy with both short-term stimulation and a safety net for almost any investment.
“...What we’ve been doing, for the past 20 years especially, is focusing more and more on finance and focusing more and more on these things that the Federal Reserve is subsidizing: stocks and debt and people borrowing at very low rates to buy up huge numbers of homes to rent,” Bruce said.
He does not blame only government regulators and big business, however. The American people, Bruce maintains, enticed by fat portfolios in the 90’and, later, by house values that increased 20 percent each year, did not critically evaluated the Fed’s boomtown policies.
“We had only had a stock market bubble when 2000 came along, and our response to that stock market bubble falling apart was to create a real estate bubble,” Bruce said. “And the idea was we have to get things going.”
Even if the Fed successfully averted a bust, Bruce said this short-term strategy merely delayed the, that the U.S. financial crisis came to a head in 2007 when the huge real estate bubble burst.
“(The Fed) did need to do something (in 2008 and 2009), and we don’t fault them for coming in and backstopping the economy, and we sort of credit them for playing the role they should have, and they were very innovative in doing that,” Bruce said.
The Fed bought the economy some time, but Bruce feared they wasted the reprieve.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:53
Written by Alonzo Olmedo
The Irving Tigers (2-1) will go head to head with the Nimitz Vikings (1-1) as the intercity rivals will do battle with each other after their week 4 byes. Following Irving’s hard fought 20-22 loss to the Lewisville Fighting Farmers, Irving head coach Aaron De La Torre huddled his team and told the players to “get over it. Let’s get a week of rest and Nimitz better be on your mind.” Coach De La Torre knows his team cannot afford to focus too much on the Lewisville loss when the Nimitz Vikings are waiting in the wings.
First year Nimitz head coach Brian Rogers brings a top five defense that has allowed less than 150 rushing yards and only 273 passing yards this season. On offense, the Vikings bring a running game led by Sophomore running back, Jordan Henry. Over two games, Henry averages 5.51 yards per attempt and four touchdowns. Jordan Henry’s 248 rushing yards ranks 17th best in Division 5A this season. Irving’s defense allowed 117 rushing yards to Lewisville in the week 3 loss.
Both schools come into the annual rivalry game with explosive backs. Senior Irving running back, Antonio Franklin, has been the workhorse for the Tigers offense. Franklin averages 119 yards a game, and his total for the season equates to 357 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. The Vikings' defense will have their hands full as they attempt to slow down the Tigers' offense, which is ranked second in Division 5A. Under Irving offensive coordinator Todd Allen, the Tigers offense has a total of 1,285 yards in 2013.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:53
Written by Amanda Casanova
The Irving ISD Board of Trustees will soon start accepting applications for the District 6 seat on the board.
The spot was vacated in August when former trustee Norma Gonzales resigned after she was arrested for allegedly stealing more than $100 worth of merchandise from Walmart.
The board discussed the application in a work session meeting on Sept. 9. At a later meeting, the board will consider voting to officially set the application process.
To be considered for the spot, a candidate must be 18 years old, a qualified voter, have lived in Texas for one year and have lived in District 6 for six months. District 6 stretches mostly north of West Irving Boulevard near SH Loop 12.
Applicants must answer two essay questions: What are the most important issues facing the Irving Independent School District, and why do you want to be a member of the Board of Trustees?
Applications must be submitted to the Superintendent's Suite by noon on Oct. 30, Attention: School Board Secretary, at 2621 W. Airport Freeway.
The spot must be filled by February.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:52
Written by Amanda Casanova
The Coppell City Council voted Sept. 10 to adopt the $97 million budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
According to the budget, the tax rate is expected to dip, resulting in a savings of about $93 to the average homeowner, who will now pay about $1,800 in taxes.
City employees can expect a three percent increase in salaries.The budget also includes two new full-time positions, a crime analyst and an evidence room technician, and more hours will also be allotted for employees at the City's Aquatic and Recreation Center.
Also, for the 19th year in a row, water and sewer rates will not increase, according to the budget.
City officials hope voters approve the reauthorization of the half cent tax in November. In the past, the half cent tax has generated funding for the parks and recreation department, but voters will decide later this year if the tax could pay for other City services, as well. If approved, the tax could generate more than $7 million.
The new budget year starts Oct. 1.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:51
- World Trade Center survivor shares her story
- Plaza Music Series begins
- Irving Animal Care Campus announces spay, neuter services for $10 donation
- IAA’s Annual Wildlife Animal show opens
- Angel Food Ministries’ founder and son sentenced to seven years in federal prison
- Young swordsmen sharpen their bodies and minds