County officials have ordered ground spraying after a positive mosquito sample was found northwest of the Dish town limits.
The spraying is scheduled for the area west of FM156, south of Swafford Road, north of Hovenkamp, Meadow Ranch, and Chisum Roads, and west to the end of Alamo Drive for three consecutive nights:
- · Thursday, September 26 between the hours of 10pm and 5am
- · Friday, September 27 between the hours of 10pm and 5am
- · Saturday, September 28 between the hours of 10pm and 5am
A map of the spray area can be found at dentoncounty.com/WNV along with other information about the virus and reducing mosquitoes around the home.
County health officials urge residents in the area to consider adding “BTI mosquito dunks in water that cannot be drained, such as large drinking troughs.
West Nile virus first appeared in Denton County in 2002. Last year, there were 184 human cases, including two deaths, reported.
This year, one positive human case was reported in late July in Denton.
Chris Watts, who served District 4 on the Denton City Council from 2009 to 2013, was recently re-elected president of the board of directors for the Texas Municipal Power Agency.
The agency operates a coal-fired power plant owned by Denton, Bryan, Garland and Greenville since 1983. The plant is located near Bryan.
Watts was first appointed to the board by the Denton City Council in 2009 and has been re-appointed every two years since then, including last spring as his final term on the council was ending.
Watts has served as both vice president and treasurer of the agency, and currently serves as chair of its personnel committee.
A Denton real estate attorney, Watts graduated from the University of North Texas and received his doctor of jurisprudence from the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law.
Environment Texas has examined the state’s most populous cities for their efforts to encourage energy and water conservation and released its analysis here: Texas Torchbearers
Because Denton isn’t among the most populous cities, it wasn’t included in the study, which looked at a number of factors that can increase a city’s sustainability. Those include building codes, utility-supported solar power, city-purchased renewable energy, the number of electric re-charge stations and green-certified municipal buildings.
The group is recommending that Texas cities adopt the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code. Denton has adopted portions of the 2009 code, which is the state’s minimum. Twenty-six Texas cities have adopted, or will soon adopt, the 2012 code, according to the report.
The list is interesting. While it includes cities like Austin and Round Rock and San Antonio suburbs, which might be top-of-mind for sustainable Texas cities, there are many others that aren’t quite so top-of-mind, such as Denison, Gatesville, Hereford, La Porte, Port Arthur and Mission, that have adopted the 2012 code.
I was able to speak with another of Carolyn Phillips’ longtime friends this morning, Audrey Battle, and learned that the services have been scheduled for Sunday and Monday.
The wake will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Peoples Funeral Home and Chapel, 1122 E. Mulberry.
The home-going celebration will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 1111 Wilson St.
Following my story today, Battle said she will remember how hard Phillips worked on behalf of local grandparents who found themselves raising their grandchildren, connecting them to resources and advocacy groups.
Her last call from Phillips came about three weeks before she died, Battle said. She had been worried about a mutual friend, who was struggling with her daughter.
“She called me from her bed, even though she was sick, to ask to please go check on her,” Battle said.
Denton residents plan to carpool to the Fort Worth screening of Gasland 2, one of three screenings scheduled in Texas.
The Fort Worth screening will include an appearance of Calvin Tillman, the former mayor Dish, and two other area residents featured in the film, Deborah Rogers and Steve Lipsky, in addition to the filmmaker, Josh Fox.
Doors to the historic Ridglea Theater, located at 6025 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth, open at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. The film begins at 7 p.m.
The carpool will meet at 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Environmental Education, Science and Technology building on the University of North Texas campus, near the intersection of Avenue C and W. Hickory Street.
For those interested in joining the group or needing more information, contact Adam Briggle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-369-5136.
Other screenings will be held Sept. 26 in San Antonio and Sept. 27 in Dallas.
Denton area residents have already asked the City Council for a resolution in support of human rights and the recognition of marriage between same sex partners, similar to Austin. So far, the city council has not taken up the matter.
But, today, San Antonio upped the ante.
Former Denton Record-Chronicle staff writer Josh Baugh was there when the nation’s 7th-largest city voted 8-3 to include sexual orientation and gender identity protection in its ordinance governing city employment, contracting, housing and public accommodations.
You can read more about the implications of the local ordinance here.
No word yet whether local residents will be back on the courthouse steps as they were earlier this year when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
At the start of the holiday weekend, no less. The air monitors in Denton passed 85 ppb of ozone for 8-hours for the fourth time this summer. That means the region, once again, has logged some of the worst air quality in the nation. If you want to see how other regions are doing, you can see that, once again, we beat Houston to the non-attainment punch.
Sometimes I hear local elected officials say that Denton County and its residents and businesses can’t be blamed for the failures. But, if Denton County is breathing the worst of the region’s failures, I wonder why residents seem to be willing to put up with it. Research has shown that poor air quality shortens lives and affects the growth and development of our children.
The folks over at Downwinders At Risk put out the ramifications of the state’s poor management of the problem in harsh light. I plan on attending TCEQ’s public information meeting tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the North Central Texas Council of Governments in Arlington. It should be interesting to see what they have to say about our region’s deteriorating air quality.
And I’ll be sure to write it up for a future edition.
Big events at Apogee Stadium often affect the Denia neighborhood, especially when some drivers forget their manners as they park their car and head towards the event. It isn’t illegal to park on city streets, but it is illegal to block driveways, fire hydrants, and park on the grass.
The neighborhood circulated some helpful information among themselves that may be of interest to others living or traveling near the stadium on game days. The North Texas bridge over I-35 will be shut down three hours before kickoff, according to UNT officials. That means, the best way to exist the neighborhood is to head towards Fort Worth Drive.
Denton police will step up patrols in the neighborhood, especially on Highland Park Road and the area around the Duck Pond. While the police will be patrolling the area, they depend on neighbors to report things. Residents can report illegal parked cars and other nuisances through the department’s main line, 349-8181. Once connected, and the recorded menu begins, press “9,” for the duty officer. Give the officer the nature and location of the problem, and they will contact one of the officers in the field.
The season opens Saturday with a celebration of 100 years of North Texas football. Home games and times are as follows:
August 31, 2013 @ 6 p.m.
September 14, 2013 @ 3 p.m.
October 12, 2013 @ 6 p.m.
October 31, 2013 @ 6:30 p.m.
November 9, 2013 @ 2:30 p.m.
November 23, 2013 @ 2:30 p.m.
Some time ago we made an open records request for Denton’s code enforcement cases. We received a spreadsheet with basic details of the 16,147 cases the city worked last year, some of which informed our stories on those high-profile cases they have worked in recent month along E. Hickory Street.
(By the way, 211 E. Hickory is looking good. New roof, new paint and signage, improvements to the awning. We wonder if new tenants are coming soon.)
We queried the data to see who the city was visiting most for code complaints. Where necessary, we went to the state comptroller’s website to determine the location of corporate owners. Readers will note that five of the top 10, including the top four, property owners on the list are not based in Denton.
The top 10 violators and their combined 562 violations make up 3 percent of what the city logged last year. See below:
- Wylie Ventures, of Houston and Golden, Colo. – 78
- Pecan Creek Investments, of Houston and Golden, Colo. – 72
- Retreat at Denton, of Athens, Ga. – 60
- Audra Heights Properties, of Argyle – 60
- Morelle Miller, individually and together with Jack Miller – 55
- Tom Jester and Jester Properties – 50
- Khosrow Sadeghian – 49
- Vista Bonita Financial, of Port Neches – 46
- Millard Thorp – 46
- Amina Al-Khafaji – 46
A final report was released by investigators with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Aug. 6 that found no violations of state environmental rules related to the gas well blowout April 19.
TCEQ is one of two state agencies on hand during the local emergency that required homes in the area to be evacuated and traffic at the airport to be re-directed.
The final report is a mix of the investigator’s findings and self-reporting on the part of officials at EagleRidge, the operator of the well.
In the 29-page report, the investigators noted the smell of hydrocarbons near the end of the 14 hours the well was releasing both gas and production fluids. Results from upwind and downwind samples were included, as were readings from TVA (toxic vapor analyzer).
A toxic vapor analyzer is a hand-held tool that measures a wide variety of organic pollutants in aggregate. Downwind, as the well was being brought back under control, the TVA read 202 parts-per-million, the inspector said. About 30 minutes after the well was capped, the TVA dropped to “non-detection,” according to the report.
The report includes a map of sampling locations.
Although there was a large difference in the number of air pollutants detected with Summa canisters placed upwind and downwind from the well, TCEQ said none of the concentrations were high enough to exceed “air monitoring comparison values” for either short-term or long-term exposure, which could have triggered enforcement action.
Furthermore, calculations based on an engineering analysis of pressure and a sample of the gas coming from the wellhead didn’t show enough gas had escaped to qualify as a “reportable event,” and thus trigger enforcement action. A total of 5,000 pounds of natural gas volatile organic compounds make an event reportable. Estimates put natural gas VOCs emissions at 1,281 pounds within the 83.4 MCF or so of gas released, according to the report.