Airbnb

This Northaven Park home has become a bone of contention between the property owner and the neighbors nearby, who say the property owner has rented it out as a party house.

Some Northaven Park homeowners are pretty peeved about a house they say has become a party house on Airbnb. But what really chapped their hides was what happened last weekend — a nekkid photo shoot around the pool.

As a Southern girl from way back, I learned the difference between “naked” and “nekkid.” Naked, you see, is when you don’t have clothes on. Nekkid is when you’re naked and up to something.

And Northaven Park neighbors say the company, Arsenic.TV, was definitely up to something – and those neighbors reached out to me this week about it.

(Note: After the jump, there are some photos depicting nudity or partial nudity. Angle your phone or computer away from small children and those easily offended by black bars over naked people and continue reading.)

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midtown rendering

A rendering of Dallas Midtown, the dream of developer Scott Beck, four years in the making, starts with the demolition of Valley View Mall. (Courtesy Photo)

It was your typical teenage hotspot in the 1980s and 1990s. Built in 1973, Valley View Mall was where parents would deposit their AquaNet-lacquered and brace-faced progeny to mill about the then hip and trendy, completely air conditioned homage to American consumerism.

Now, we have internet shopping, and the days of mallrats are slowing to a creep. In fact, Valley View Mall has been all but empty save for a few small-time retailers, an open-source type of art gallery, and a movie theater as anchor. But that’s all coming to an end this year, as developer Scott Beck has finally gotten the go-ahead to start swinging the wrecking balls like Miley Cyrus.

In its place, Beck wants to build a sprawling mixed-use development called Midtown, though a many Dallasites are still iffy on that name. The development, which we previewed three years ago as Beck released the first renderings, will activate longest continuous tract north of 635 that has sat sadly vacant, an eyesore for more than a few years.

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Could your neighborhood, on its own, make enough noise to get the city to pay attention?

A few months ago, I attended a break-out session during the Dallas Homeowners League boot camp where Councilman Philip Kingston outlined the best ways to get the city’s attention when it comes to the needs of individual neighborhoods.

One of the biggest, he said that day, was to join forces with surrounding neighborhoods to organize and become a louder, bigger entity. It’s something Donovan Lord says drove him and others to form the Westhollow Society a few years ago.

“I started Westhollow Society out of a need for a cohesive force to better the Northwest Dallas area,” he explained. “I wanted there to be one organization that pulled the clout of all existing neighborhoods within our defined boundaries to work together to improve the area South of LBJ, North of Walnut Hill, West of Midway, and East of Dennis Road (roughly).”

In other words, Westhollow encompasses Park Forest, Royal Hills, Sparkman Club, Timberbrook, Royal Oaks, Royal North, Underwood, Northaven Park, Glen Cove, Highland Meadows, Coral Hills, Webster Grove, Walnut Hills, Royal Haven, Chapel Forest, Chapel Downs, Walnut Meadows, Northway Hills, Midway Hills, and Meadow Park. (more…)

 

4231-merrell-rd-dallas-tx-High-Res-1

Our Clay Stapp. He is always pushing the envelope… I’m sure that’s just how he gets our attention! Whether its mama wanting a bigger house or protection from unscrupulous agents, you have to admit — if the man can get attention this brilliantly, imagine what he can do for a house …

But did Stapp take things too far with his open house at 4231 Merrell with naked sushi and some very, very toned models relaxing pool-side?

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Candy and Joanna were intrigued by Clay Stapp’s Naked Sushi open house at Scott Finfer’s recently finished remodel at 4231 Merrell.

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Dallas Midtown

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Yeah, that’s about what they said. City planners (the Urban Design Peer Review Panel) and officials in the Office of Economic Development got their first look late last week at Scott Beck’s ambitious plans to turn Valley View Mall at LBJ and Preston into a magical live-work-shop-movie-eat-play conglomeration called Midtown.

From Robert Wilonsky’s report, Scott Beck got a C or even a C-minus and was told to go back and re-do some of his work. (more…)

Photo: Kyle Renard for School Board, DISD 1

Photo: Kyle Renard for School Board, DISD 1

Late Wednesday night, Kyle Renard did get back to me regarding my question about her stance on charter schools, since it appeared to change. I’m going to print it in its entirety. I still think that it should’ve been mentioned in her response – after all, the question was about charter schools, with no distinction.

I think it was a great opportunity to be open. After all, openness is something we do require of our board members. All it would’ve taken is a, “Hey, I thought it was an interesting concept at one point, but it never got put on the agenda. I know this seems like I’m contradicting myself, but here’s the difference between the thing I liked and the thing I don’t like.” When you do that, you don’t have reporters emailing you about things they find while they’re vetting candidates.

And it seems like something that you’d want to have included in your list of things you’ve been affiliated with. Such open-minded thinking about the potential avenues of learning would bode well for a potential board member, right? So why scrub your name from the website? Why not mention it?

Anywho, here is Renard’s response:

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Photo: Kyle Renard for School Board, DISD 1

Photo: Kyle Renard for School Board, DISD 1

Kyle Renard, who is running against Edwin Flores for Dallas ISD Board of Trustees, District 1, wasn’t having a really good day yesterday. Called out by the Dallas Morning News, she then got a few questions from me after I uncovered a few more things while doing my rundown of candidate endorsements last week. In short, I noticed something when reviewing her questionnaire with the Dallas Morning News that stuck in my noggin, but being on deadline, I made a note to figure out why later. And Tuesday was later. First, let me point you to her response to the question, “How do you envision charter schools working within boundaries of DISD?” Renard responded, “We do not need outside charter schools within our system, as we already have all the tools we need for innovation to move our students into 21st century learning. Dallas ISD has the resources and the capability to be the preferred choice for all children and can be the model other schools attempt to emulate. That is my goal and my mission.”

Kyle Renard's name was listed as a board member and supporter as recently as Tuesday afternoon, but was removed early Tuesday night.

Kyle Renard’s name was listed as a board member and supporter as recently as Tuesday afternoon, but was removed early Tuesday night.

Why did this jump out at me? It jumped out at me because as recently as Tuesday, Kyle Renard was listed as a supporter and board member of a potential charter school – the School for Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Sciences. So I asked Renard about it, via email. I asked the following questions:

  • Is your position in the Dallas Morning News questionnaire in conflict with your position as a board member of the School for Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Technology?
  • I noticed your bio was removed from the school website as well. Was this an attempt to deceive, or a sea change in your position regarding charter schools?
  • Also, why was this post not listed in your affiliations on the questionnaire?

Renard responded with this statement:

“I resigned from the board of the School of Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Technology on October 31, 2013. I asked to be removed from the website at that time. If I am still listed somewhere on the site as a board member, that is an error.

I have asked them multiple times to remove me from the website, and I thought that they had done so.  I am sorry if they have not and that this is still causing confusion.
There is no attempt on my part to deceive anyone.  It was not listed on my affiliations as it is no longer active.  This was a concept for an in-district, open-enrollment charter school under Senate Bill 2 from the last legislature.  As far as I know, it has not gained any traction and I’m not sure if the board is still active.
I hope this clarifies the issue.”
I did email her for clarification on when her opinion regarding charter schools changed. At the time of this post, Renard has not replied to that repeated question, which was issued at 4:41 p.m. Tuesday.
What does this all mean? I don’t know. I mean, anyone can change their minds about a topic based on new understanding, and I don’t fault anyone for that. And, fair enough and beyond her control, the webmasters missed a spot when scrubbing her presence from the school’s website. But what is somewhat disingenuous is not mentioning the fact that she was on the board of a potential charter school within DISD when answering a question about charter schools within DISD.
Does Renard owe voters an explanation?

Alcuin 3

Looking for a home near Churchill Way? That area is about to get a whole lot more secure.

 We told you how Alcuin School on Churchill Way offered an olive branch to its neighbors in the form of a private neighborhood patrol that will cost the school $1 million over a ten year commitment period, as well as many concessions relating to traffic mitigation.

All those moves must be a textbook example of How to Work With the Neighborhood: the Dallas City Council this morning approved Alcuin’s zoning request.

The negotiations and compromises have given Alcuin neighborhood  support and respect for its reallocation plans,  from neighbors and from the Dallas City Plan Commission. The Plan Commission voted unanimously last month to pass the school’s rezoning request, recommending a pass to the Dallas City Council.

District 11 plan commissioner Jaynie Schultz said she believes the zoning change and the way Alcuin handled it will ultimately make “our neighborhood stronger and safer together.”

The school,  a private Montessori institution on Churchill Way between Preston Road and Hillcrest Road, wanted to expand its maximum number of upper-school students in its International Baccalaureate program from 35 to 135, and add grades 10 through 12 in high school over the next few years. This will comes after Alcuin ushered  its first freshman class last fall.

Total student enrollment on campus will remain at no more than 700, although the school only has about 550 now. (more…)