Tuesday, March 31, 2009

North End Construction Underway

The area has been fenced off and the concrete is being removed near the north end to make way for Dedo's Place, the entry plaza at the intersection of McKinney Ave and the Katy Trail. Signs will be installed soon on either side of the construction zone that inform Trail users of the project and expected completion date -- sometime this summer. Check out the photo above of what the mess looks like today after all the thunderstorms last night.

Contrary to what some Trail users are saying, the concrete trail will not be closed off forever. It will open in a couple of months, but will simply be in a stained pattern to help create the space that is the plaza. If anyone tells you the concrete is gone for good, please correct them.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dedo's Place Construction Begins

Construction has started on the entry plaza near the north end of the Katy Trail where McKinney Avenue hits the Trail. Last week, the contractor did the saw cuts for the sections of the concrete that will be removed. You may also see the removable metal bollards out of their collars during the day. And very soon, the contractor will be pouring some asphalt to help move people from the concrete trail to the rubber trail just south of the construction zone.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Bike Store Offers Free Rides on the Katy Trail

Fleetwood’s Kit Kat, a new boutique near SMU that sells and rents cruiser bikes, is hosting FREE rides on Fridays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Show up early to stake your wheels (we hear hot pink goes fast), then follow him down the Katy Trail to Victory Park where you can grab a snack before heading back.

The boutique itself stocks vintage Western shirts, graphic tees, retro home furnishings, stickers (they’re free!), and homemade cupcakes on weekends. Five percent of proceeds from bike sales and rentals benefit Friends of Katy Trail.

Who knew cruisin’ could be so cool?Fleetwood’s Kit Kat, 5214 East Mockingbird Lane (214-282-9951 or fleetwoodskitkat.com).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Turn out. Take Action

Be part of Earth Hour on March 28, 2009, 8:30 pm local time.

World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Graffiti Goes Away - Again

So the graffiti gurus who work for the Parks Department -- Mark and Keith -- got rid of most of the graffiti on the Katy Trail last Thursday and Friday. And, as you know from reading the blog last week, they tackled the biggest problem by painting over the Lemmon Avenue bridge. Well, no good deed goes unpunished.

When the guys returned on Monday to finish up, they found the bridge had been hit again, and the dirty little taggers had hit almost a dozen other places along the Trail. Undeterred, Mark and Keith repainted the entire Lemmon bridge -- again. Then on Tuesday, they attacked the graffiti on the Trail with a power washer, using bio-degradable cleaners. By Wednesday, most of the graffiti was gone.

Mark reports that they have helped wipe out graffiti at other City of Dallas parks, and expect to win the battle of the Katy Trail, too. Thanks, guys, for your persistence and help in eliminating this problem.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

DPD Working Hard in Uptown

Two stories of good work by DPD in the Uptown area.

First, on March 17 around 3 a.m. an individual was robbed in the 4000 block of Cole Ave. As he was getting out of his car to go into his home, two suspects approached him with a gun and an ice pick. They took his laptop and drove off. But he got a good look at their vehicle, and its description was broadcast over police radio throughout the city. The suspects were arrested later that morning in northwest Dallas.

Second, because there had been some cars broken into around Gold's Gym, the Central Division conducted an operation in the area. On March 19 around 9:45 p.m., suspects burglarized a vehicle and removed a piece of property that contained a police tracker. DPD was able to track the suspects to the 3800 block of Cedar Springs, and three individuals were arrested.

Getting Your Workout Even in a Tough Economy

The American Council on Exercise did a survey of its certified fitness professionals, and 48 percent expected gym memberships to decrease in 2009. Aren't you glad you can use the Katy Trail without that monthly fee? (But you should be a Friend of the Katy Trail starting at just $50 a year. Click here to join.)

The Dallas Morning News has an interesting article about other inexpensive workouts. Click here to check it out.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Grafitti on Bridge Goes Bye-Bye

The City of Dallas Park Department gave us a big hand this week by painting over the graffiti that had defaced the bridge over Lemmon Avenue last weekend. Thank you to all the folks in the Parks maintenance division who helped get rid of this eyesore.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dedo's Place - Construction Meeting Set

Valley Crest Landscape Development, the contractor that will build the plaza at the north end known as Dedo's Place, got the notice to proceed from the City of Dallas. So ... the first on-site construction meeting for the entry plaza is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 at 9 a.m. We're getting close to being fully under construction.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Red Oaks Being Replaced - Today

The saga of the Red Oaks at Reverchon Park is finally coming to a close ... TODAY. We finally found someone to remove them at no charge. And the Parks Department is standing by to install some nice Vitex shrubs (some people call them trees) as soon as the Red Oaks are gone. That should make Oncor (some people call them TXU) happy.

Please be patient as the landscape activity around the Thomsen Overlook may make it difficult to get past today and tomorrow.

Ever Wanted to be a Chair?

The Crime Watch Executive Board (CWEB), is a nonprofit organization made up of crime watch volunteers who act as a liaison between members of the community and the Dallas Police Department. CWEB is electing its chairperson on March 18 at 7 p.m. at DPD Headquarters (1400 S. Lamar St).

Directors serve for two-year terms, and the Boards meets monthly. At these meetings, CWEB invites speakers to keep them up-to-date on subjects such as Homeland Security, 911, crime statistics, etc.

CWEB works very closely with the Divisional Neighborhood Police Officers (NPO) and neighborhood crime watch groups. It strives to encourage citizen involvement in these and other volunteer programs. Some of CWEB's goals are:
  • To identify all crime watch and Volunteers in Patrol (VIP) groups and their contacts for better communication and to target areas for expansion
  • To increase crime watch groups' knowledge of CWEB
  • To improve communication with the DPD
  • To change CWEB's composition to better reflect the crime watch community, including apartments and businesses

If you are interested in being nominated for the Central patrol Chairperson please email Sgt. Dennis Craig at dennis.craig@dpd.ci.dallas.tx.us. If you have any questions call 214-670-4420
CWEB chairperson will be nominated by the crime watch representatives who show up at 1400 South Lamar; police headquarters in the media conference room. There will also be a short crime watch meeting with refreshments provided.

HP to Start Digging Up Dirt

Here's hoping you have nothing to hide, because the Town of Highland Park will begin digging up dirt on Katy Trail users in the next week or two. OK, seriously, our friends at HP have been making improvements to Abbot Park, adjacent to the Trail, and need to fix the storm drain from the Park into the alley that sits between the Park and the Trail. So they'll be flinging dirt from the Park to the Trail just north of the HP Pump Station by the end of the month. Most of the work will be in the alley, but could impact the Trail. Nothing to fear, though.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dedo's Place Construction to Begin

You may notice some pin-flags on the north end of the Katy Trail soon. They'll be marking the site for the construction of Dedo's Place, the plaza connecting the Trail to McKinney Avenue. Demo work should start the week of March 23.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Red Oak trees find a home

After much hard work done by Todd at SWA and Reuben and Parks, the Red Oak trees on the east side of the Thomsen Overlook have a new home. The company that will remove the trees -- a no cost to Parks or the FKT -- will do their work the first half of next week. So be on the look out for these trees to be removed and replanted elsewhere.

The FKT and Parks will put some new Vitex trees (or shrubs, whichever you think they are) in place of the Red Oaks in the near future.

Reverchon Roundup Cancelled

The Dallas Park Department has just notified us that the Reverchon Roundup will unfortunately be cancelled for Saturday, March 14, 2009. We all share their concern for the safety of the volunteers and the potential damage to the Park as a result of recent heavy rains with more forecast for tomorrow. The event will not be rescheduled this year.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you next spring! Please feel free to contact Texas Scottish Rite Hospital at (214) 559-7825 if you have any concern.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

When is Earth Day?

Officially, it's April 22. According to the latest City of Dallas newsletter on Stormwater Management (yes, there's a newsletter for stormwater) ... they believe in "Earth Day, Everyday." But if you want info on what's happening on the "official" Earth Day, just click here to link to the City's "green Dallas" website.

Did you know the first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970 and was celebrated by 20 million people worldwide? Neither did we. Thank goodness for the Stormwater Management newsletter. Oh, and here's the website for this City department.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Crime Down in Uptown

Just got an email from Lt. Ricky Lewis of DPD who reported the following about crime in Uptown ...

"The crime numbers look pretty good for your community. All but one offense categories are down except robberies and auto thefts. The last robbery was committed on February 15th. Auto thefts have seen the most significant increase year to date. Burglary of motor vehicles is still our number one offense. The good note is that overall crime is down."