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The opinions of Steve Southwell, Editor of the Lewisville Texan Journal
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2013 in Lewisville - Biggest Stories of the Year

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2013/12/31 17:32:32 (10577 reads)

Open in new windowBy Steve Southwell

Here we are at the end of 2013, and it seems like just last week we were writing up the summary of 2012 in Lewisville. Around New Years, everyone likes to take a little look back and reflect on what happened over the course of the year, and we’re no different. (Plus, we’re on vacation, and revisiting old material is easier than working on new stuff, right?)

We’ll talk a little bit about what has gone on with The Lewisville Texan Journal, and what has happened here locally that we covered this year. The stories linked here are those that either got a whole lot of reads and attention, or in some cases, those we thought were important, even though maybe someone else covered it better, or we didn’t get much attention on.

In the May municipal elections, we posted our thoughts on a couple of the school board races, as well as the Lewisville City Council races.

Lewisville resident Brenda Latham was re-elected to her second term on the LISD school board. Kris Vaughn was elected in place 4, the seat formerly held by Julie Foughty of Frisco, who decided not to seek re-election. In the same election, Mark Welding was elected in Place 3, but resigned in the middle of the Summer, just months after taking office.

In the Lewisville City Council elections, Raymond Daniels challenged long-term incumbent Councilman Rudy Durham, but was not successful. However, Daniels has joined our team here at LTJ and has been helping us provide recaps of all council meetings.

Councilman John Gorena was challenged for his seat by former Councilman Greg Tierney, who handily beat him, and regained his seat. Gorena was just too extreme and “out there” claiming once in a council retreat meeting that our country is “at war” for natural gas.

Over the summer, a group launched a petition to legalize liquor sales in Lewisville.

In November, Lewisville citizens voted to legalize the sale of liquor for off-premise consumption, and LISD got a new Trustee - Angie Cox, of Flower Mound.

We covered several public events and festivals in and around Lewisville over the summer, including Chalk This Way, Summerfest,Hey! Day, Western Days - both Friday and Saturday, and the LHS Homecoming Parade.

We organized and attended a Memorial Day observance at City Hall.

The Old Town Holiday Stroll, formerly known as Holiday at the Hall was canceled due to the Icepocalypse.

Guest Columns and Syndicated Columns:
LTJ was fortunate to have numerous guest columns throughout the year, in addition to the syndicated columnists. Here are some highlights:

Lewisville Deputy Mayor Pro Tem TJ Gilmore wrote about social services in Lewisville.

Former Lewisville Fire Chief Rick Lasky wrote “I am your firefighter”

So you want to run for public office? Former Highland Village Mayor Scott McDearmont had some tips.

Syndicated columnist Jason Stanford’s article “Miscarriage in Texas” talks about an aspect often missed in the abortion debate.

Lewisville Councilman Neil Ferguson wrote about the I-35 Expansion project.

Bobby Riguez of Make Education a Priority wrote about Texas House Bill 5, passed by the legislature this year.

Ken Judkins reviewed Matthew Grimm’s new album “Songs in the Key of Your Face”. What was cool is that Grimm came to Lewisville and played a house concert for us.

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Merry Christmas

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2013/12/24 6:30:00 (2197 reads)

Merry Christmas!
We hope all of our readers have a joyous and meaningful Christmas, or whatever holiday you may celebrate. May the blessings of the season bring peace happiness to you and yours.

Here's this year's playlist of Christmas songs:

Peace on Earth! Good will to Men!

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No Scandal - Just Another Day on the Web

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2013/12/8 19:10:00 (2457 reads)

Open in new windowA friend of mine who I respect a lot approached me earlier this week to ask if I would look into something that he thought was a scandal. My friend and I have some fundamental disagreements on some political issues, but we respect each other, and I was happy to look into it. The issue he said, was that the federal health insurance exchange website had some "hidden code" in it that meant Americans were giving up their rights to privacy when signing up for health insurance through the website.

The assertion was brought to light by Texas Congressman Joe Barton (R, Ennis) who grilled an executive of the government’s prime contractor in a hearing in October, showing a screenshot of the website’s login screen, and its underlying HTML source code, which contained this bit of boilerplate legalese that was not displayed on the screen:

“You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transmitting or stored on this information system. “

If you are on the end of the political spectrum that believes that the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” is evil, and you don’t have any experience with HTML or the other technologies that make up the world-wide web, then you might think this is some sort of a smoking gun. You might take note of the deer-in-the-headlights look on this poor executive’s face, probably not understanding what she was seeing, and being put on the spot to explain HTML source code, and you might prefer to see it as some sign of guilt.

Politifact published their own assessment of the issue on October 29th, rating Barton’s assertion as false.

For those of us who build these types of transactional websites for a living, it’s pretty simple to see that this is a non-issue. Whatever issues there are with the law or its implementation, this is not one of them. Rather, this is just a technical artifact. And it happens way more often than you think.

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Happy Thanksgiving - 2013

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2013/11/28 17:40:00 (2260 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowBy Steve Southwell

Well, it seems like it can't possibly already be Thanksgiving time again, but it certainly is. I don't know about you, but the past year seems to have been a blur. At the moment, I'm sitting here with my first cup of coffee, and my beautiful wife Fluffy is expressing her Czech heritage in the kitchen, playing traditional Czech music on her phone while she prepares another batch of kolaches.

I thought I would take a moment to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving, as well as a meaningful one. In times where life seems rushed, and there never seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we are expected to do, it can be hard just sort of sit with family and friends and BE thankful. Especially on Thanksgiving morning when we're hurriedly trying to get things prepared for our feast, the stress levels can be high.

But today, I'm going to try, and I hope you will too.

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Children's Advocacy Center Rejects Sizable Donation from Tattooed Moms

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2013/11/6 0:16:28 (3109 reads)

The Dallas Observer reported today that a local area Mom's group called the "Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas" tried to make a sizable donation to the Denton County Children's Advocacy Center, but was refused "due to the conservative nature of our organization".

The mom group had raised about $3,000 by selling rather tame pin-up calendars. You can see the photos here. (G-rated)

We contacted Children's Advocacy Center Executive Director Dan Leal today to inquire about the rejection, and what the group meant by "conservative", and got this response:

"The Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County appreciated the generous offer made by the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas organization; however, the money was raised with a pin up calendar that could be perceived by some as sexual in nature and our Children's Advocacy Center's mission is to provide justice and healing for children who are the victims of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, we could not accept the proceeds of this pin up calendar's sales because of the calendar's possible perception, and not the hard working mothers who sponsored it."

Children's Advocacy Center of Denton County is a non-profit organization that helps children who are victims of abuse, and works to gather evidence to bring their abusers to justice.

What do you think? Has CACDC just hurt its cause by making a giant leap from "pin-up" to "sexual"? Why are pictures of women being themselves considered sexual? How does this even have anything to do with victimizing children?

Leave a comment...

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