1488068548-Books-Jamie-Ford

Jamie Ford, author (The Associated Press)

There is a fine line we as parents walk with our children. We love them so much, we want to give them the best of every possible good thing, great experiences, and of course ensconce them in 4819 Auburndale HPsecurity and safety. Which is why buyers spend upwards of a million dollars to live in the Park Cities. What are they buying? Safety and those highly rated schools.

Case in point: this is 4819 Auburndale, $975K, a teardown. HP schools. But maybe, after the world hears what happened to a renown young author, buyers might think twice about buying to send their children to Highland Park High School, because of the culture.

Author Jamie Ford says he was “mocked” by a group of students during his talk last Thursday, he being keynote speaker at the town’s literary festival. Ford, author of, among other books, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, says, on his personal website,  “a thousand students, trolling me,” as teachers and a principal looked on.”
(more…)

Durham Street to be overtaken by a drop-off/pick-up student valet service

Durham Street to be overtaken by a drop-off/pick-up student valet service

On February 25th the Caruth Hills Homeplace Neighborhood Association held an update meeting on the proposed school to be built on land HPISD acquired from the Northway Christian Church on Northwest Highway across from Sparkman- Hillcrest (talk about the circle of life). The new school is the result of a $361.4 million bond proposal passed last November that also includes rebuilding and refurbishment of other HPISD schools.

HPISD is an interesting bunch who take pride in probably exactly what you’d expect. For example, string together these puzzle pieces …

(more…)

Photo from votemcgough.com

Photo from votemcgough.com

Did Dallas City Council candidate Adam McGough buy a condo in Highland Park just for the chance to send his kids to Highland Park ISD?

McGough, a former chief of staff for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and current candidate for District 10 city council seat, says yes, but it’s not like that. Highland Park ISD officials, however, have announced they’re looking in to the whys and wheretofors of the whole situation, and just about every media outlet in Dallas is drilling down on the housing situation of the McGough family. (more…)

Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls on May 9 to elect mayor, city council members, and school district trustees. If you want your name to appear on a ballot, you should know that the filing period for candidates begins today. (Photo by iStock)

Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls on May 9 to elect mayors, city council members, and school district trustees. If you want your name to appear on a ballot, you should know that the filing period for candidates begins today. (Photo by iStock)

One way to ensure that your property values stay high is to get involved in your community. For example, you could represent your neighborhood on the city council or school board.

Of course, you’d have to convince your neighbors that you’re worthy of their votes. But that comes later. First, you need to get on the ballot. And today is the first day to file a candidacy for the municipal elections that will be held across the Dallas area on May 9.

Here’s a look at which seats are likely to be contested in the neighborhoods where our readers live and work:

(more…)

Near Highland Park High School, a townhome has been decorated with HazMat bins and "Caution" tape, lampooning our recent Ebola scare.

Near Highland Park High School, a townhome has been decorated with HazMat bins and “Caution” tape, lampooning our recent Ebola scare.

This homeowner at Emerson and Westchester near Highland Park High School opted for some truly scary Halloween decorations this year, which actually caused some serious questions from neighbors wondering whether the stucco-clad townhome was really under quarantine.

Since then, in order to re-assure neighbors, a “Happy Halloween” sign has been hung from the balcony. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a home with Halloween decorations that are of questionable taste …

(more…)

University Park Police released this sketch, which is a likeness of the rapist accused of attacking an SMU student.

University Park Police released this sketch, which is a likeness of the rapist accused of attacking an SMU student.

Is the “bubble” all that safe anymore?

University Park Police have released a sketch of a man that is wanted in connection to the rape of an SMU student, according to this report from Channel 5 (KXAS). The attack, which happened at around 11 p.m. Sept. 7 in UP’s Walt Humann Park, was hidden by a small planter in the 6700 block of Willard Dr.

The (extremely brave) victim described her assailant as a 6-foot-tall black man with the build of a “football player,” who was wearing a Los Angeles baseball jersey. The attacker also had a crown tattoo on his neck with some script or lettering below it. I am amazed at her presence of mind to absorb all of these details.

UPPD spokesperson Lita Snellgrove said that with all of the details the victim was able to give, “We’re hoping that we’re gonna get calls on who this suspect is.”

Still, it makes you wonder that the illusion of safety is a dangerous part of life in the Park Cities. While attacks like this seem rare in University Park and Highland Park, when it does happen it definitely bursts the “bubble.” Still, it looks like city crews are trying to increase visibility in the park, trimming bushes and trees to remove blind spots.

Until we live in a society where some men no longer feel entitled to women’s bodies, perhaps we should take some measures to ensure our personal safety. I know I’m considering one of these. What about you?

Garages were burglarized and bikes were stolen in the Park Cities last week, and Dallas Police were called in once to help.

Garages were burglarized and bikes were stolen in the Park Cities last week, and Dallas Police were called in once to help.

We’re hopeful that someday, somehow, the Dallas Police Department will figure out a way to once again share their incident reports with the public. Until then, we bring you this story of a Highland Park crime that briefly involved officers from Dallas.

At 5 a.m. on Aug. 5, an alarm sounded from an apartment above a detached garage in the 3700 block of Maplewood Avenue. The homeowner assumed the wind had set if off, but she called police a few minutes later when a second alarm sounded from her home gym.

Two Highland Park officers arrived at 5:15; one approached from the front of the house, and the other came from the alley. The latter officer noticed a car start to pull into the alley and then immediately back out. At the same time, a gate to the backyard next door opened for just a second. Suspecting that there was a burglar on the other side of that gate, the officer entered the neighbor’s yard, but he was unable to find anyone. The other officer tried to help with the pursuit, but the rear gate at the burglarized house was locked. Backup and air support were called in from Dallas and University Park.

Once the futile search for suspects was over, officers discovered wires and empty TV mounts in the gym, the garage’s living room, and the garage’s bedroom. They subsequently found three TVs leaning on a fence near the apartment, confirming their suspicion that they’d interrupted an in-progress burglary.

At 10:30 a.m., a resident of the 3800 block of Maplewood found a yellow Trek bicycle and three Hawaiian shirts near his trashcans in the alley. Having received an email from the Department of Public Safety about the burglary in the next block, the resident called police, thinking his discovery may have been related. An officer took the bike and shirts to the burglary victim, but she didn’t recognize them.

Click through for a roundup of other recent crimes in the Park Cities.

(more…)

Several bike thefts happened in the Park Cities over the last week.

Several bike thefts happened in the Park Cities over the last week.

There was a lot of pedal pushing and finger pointing in Highland Park last week after several expensive bicycles eased on down the road.

  • Between noon on July 27 and noon on Aug. 3, four mountain bikes with a combined value of $21,500 were stolen from an attached garage in the 3600 block of Potomac Avenue. The victim is sure that his son, who was staying at the house while the victim was on vacation, must have left the garage open, but the son denies that. Two sets of golf clubs, a power washer, and a fifth mountain bike were all left untouched.
  • Between 9 a.m. on July 23 and 9 a.m. on July 29, a burglar stole three bicycles with a combined value of $4,050 from a detached garage in the 3800 block of Potomac Avenue. The victim said his family and various contractors may have left the garage open during the designated time span.
  • Between 8 p.m. on Aug. 1 and noon on Aug. 3, a burglar entered a detached garage in the 3800 block of Mockingbird Lane and stole two Specialized bicycles with a combined value of $1,472. An $850 47-inch Vizio television and a $350 Nintendo Wii were also stolen from an apartment above the garage. Both the apartment and the garage had been left unlocked. The victim said a friend’s son played video games in the apartment while the friend tended to the victim’s dog. But the victim took the high road and blamed neither of them.

Click through for more residential crimes reported in the Park Cities last week.

(more…)