BRANCH BULLETIN: eNews from Farmers Branch
Memo from the MANAGER  
With a little help from my friends 
  Last week was a big week for Branch Bulletin. I think more people read and enjoyed the weekly e-newsletter than any of the nearly 100 editions we have published over the last couple of years.
   I received a great deal of positive feedback for the article on our retiring police dog, Kilo. (Note to self: People like stories about animals).

Memo from the Manager   Also last week, quite a few people complimented the Bulletin on how well it was written, how well it was laid out and how nice it is to get a snapshot of what is happening in the community each week.
   After hearing several comments concerning my involvement in the publication I thought it was time to give credit where credit is due.
   You see, just like everything we do at the City, there are a bunch of team-oriented, creative and hard working people striving to make the Bulletin happen. The process of creating each edition starts with a meeting with Tom Bryson, Director of Communications, to develop the message and to try and figure out what information is most helpful to citizens. Then Tom or I (usually Tom) write up the lead story first draft. I then edit the story to make sure it is relevant and is delivered from a first person perspective.
   Meanwhile, Tom and Amanda Johnson, Administrative Assistant for Communications, are developing copy for the various stories in the publication. Like magic, they put all this information in a format that is easy on the eyes. Then, the process of review goes into hyper-warp. We bring in LaJeana Thomas, Administrative Assistant for my office (who is super picky) and we all scour the document to assure it is DQ (Disney Quality).
   All of this comes together and we send it out late every Wednesday.  
   Still, we couldn't (and wouldn't) do it without you, who read Branch Bulletin every week. But now you know, there are some very talented people working hard to present this publication. We are elated that our teamwork both benefits and informs.

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City offices to close at noon on Monday Christmas and New Year's Eves 
FARMERS BRANCH ~ The City of Farmers Branch announced today that City offices will be closing at noon on December 24 and 31 for Christmas and New Years Eves. Other City facilities have listed their closing hours according to the following schedule:Christmas Tree Tight Crop
Mon, Dec 24 - Christmas Eve
City Hall - Closes at noon.
Rec Center - Closes at 5 p.m. 
Senior Center - Closes at 5 p.m.
Historical Park - Closes at 5 p.m.
Library - Closes at 6 p.m.
Tue, Dec 25 - Christmas Day
All offices and facilities closed.
No garbage collection.
Tour of Lights closed.
Mon, Dec 31 - New Year's Eve
City Hall - Closes at noon.
Rec Center - Closes at 5 p.m.
Senior Center - Dance til 9:30.
Historical Park - Closes at 5 p.m.
Library - Closes at 6 p.m.
Tour of Lights closing night.
Tue, Jan 1 - New Year's Day
All offices and facilities closed.
No garbage collection.
   All schedules are subject to change. Call 972.247.3131 for more information.
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Santa's Helpers sets special night at Christmas Tour of Lights
HISTORICAL PARK ~ Highlighting the season of giving, WFAA's "Santa's Helpers" will be the sole focus of giving for the Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights on Tuesday, December 18.
   Local non-profits and civic groups work the Tour every evening collecting donations for their individual organizations. However, Tuesday will be solely devoted to the annual toy drive put on by the local ABC television affiliate.
   Anyone driving through the holiday wonderland of 300,000 twinkling lights can drop off a new, unwrapped toy at the Farmers Branch Historical Park section of the tour that will be donated to the program to provide gifts for kids in need this holiday season.
   Donations to "Santa's  Helpers" have been available as part of the Tour this year, since its opening night, November 23. The final night to donate toys will be Wednesday, December 19.
   The Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights is a self-guided driving Tour, open every evening from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m. through December 31, with limited availability on Christmas Day.
   Admission is free with donations accepted by the various non-profit organizations working in the park each evening. For more information, visit, or call 972.919.2620. 

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Santa House Calls still available 

FARMERS BRANCH ~ Prime slots are still available for Santa Claus to make house calls to families living within five miles of the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center, December 14-24.
   Santa is taking appointments for 15 minute visits with families to deliver presents, take pictures and visiting with kids. Space is limited and time slots are starting to fill up.  Times are every half hour from 6:30 until 9 p.m.  Cost is $25 for Recreation Center members and $29 for non-members. Call for more details and to book a time. 972.247.4607.   
Library to feature Santa & cookies December 12 

FARMERS BRANCH ~ Making his annual stop for cookies and good company, the jolly old elf, himself, Santa Claus will be meeting and greeting youngsters and families at the Farmers Branch Manske Library on Wednesday, December 12 from 6 until 8 p.m.
   Kids are invited to have their pictures taken with Santa and to decorate a festive cookie with Mrs. Claus. Additionally, there will be "Reindeer Flying Lessons" in the bounce house and other holiday games for families. Branch Park Academy dancers will entertain.
   As a special feature, Farmers Branch City Manager Gary D. Greer will participate in a reading of Clement Clarke Moore's timeless 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. For more information, call 972.247.2511.   
SNAP POLL: Favorite Christmas Movies
The snow hills have eyes.
I don't want to look
One rider takes a cautious look ahead while speeding down the snow hill at the annual Christmas Tree lighting event, held December 1 at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. City staff photo by Derrick Birdsall
Volume 2.50 | Number 94
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the  Communications Office of the City of Farmers Branch, TX.
Two-time TAMI Award Winner for Best eNewsletter in Texas 
Given by the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers 

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Christmas Spectacular set December 13-16

FARMERS BRANCH ~ The second annual production of the Firehouse Theatre's "Christmas Spectacular" is set for 6 p.m., December 13-15 and 1 p.m. December 16 at the Victoria restaurant at 13435 Bee Street.
   Thursday through Saturday will feature dinner at 6 p.m. with the show at 7:30. The matinee performance on Sunday will include lunch at 1 p.m. with the show at 2:30. Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 for seniors and $30 for students. For reservations and ticket information, call 972.620.3747. For more information, visit   
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Animal Services staff takes top honors at state conference

HOUSTON ~ Members of the Farmers Branch Animal Adoption Center staff received top honors at the Texas Animal Control State Conference held last month in Houston. 
   Miguel Gauna received the James A. Vyers Animal Control Officer of the Year award, given to the top ACO in Texas who has performed duties above and beyond expectations.
   Volunteer Monavee Schooler Caldwell also received the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award.
   In addition, Farmers Branch Animal Services Manager Ethel Strother was elected president of the state organization. 
Animal Control Officers take top honors
From left, Monavee Schooler Caldwell, Ethel Strother and Miguel Gauna.
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Tour of Lights continues through December

FARMERS BRANCH ~ The Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights continues every night through New Year's Eve, from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m., with limited availability on Christmas Day.
  The driving Tour follows candy cane signs from the intersection of I-35E and Valley View, down William Dodson Parkway and through the DART station area to the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Along the way are more than 300,000 twinkling lights on displays, trees and buildings.
   Admission is free with donations accepted. More at or on Facebook @branchlights
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FBPD nets award for hostage negotiation 

SAN ANTONIO ~ In recognition of their exemplary efforts in a barricaded person standoff last year, the unit from the Farmers Branch Police Department has been named Hostage Negotiation Team of the Year.
   The Texas Association of Hostage Negotiators presented the award for the team's work on Avenel in October of 2011 that started before dawn and lasted through middle afternoon but resulted in an arrest without incident and without injury. 
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A different kind of Christmas tree marks 12/12/12 Arbor Day
2012 Arbor Day FIRE STATION NO. 1 ~ As a designated Tree City for 27 consecutive years, Farmers Branch finished out 2012 by proclaiming 12/12/12 as Arbor Day in Farmers Branch. Firefighters Dan Briles, Matt Bramblett and Driver Steve Sabolski, participated by planting a live oak at Fire Station No. 1.  
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Christmas Tour of Lights
What's the buzz about the Tour of Lights? 

"Thank you Farmers Branch. Merry Christmas everyone ..."

~ jitarch

"Pretty lights with my pretty wife (@Farmers Branch Historical Park)"

"Farmers Branch has turned a huge part of the town into a dazzling tree light show."

"Love how Farmers Branch is decorated with all those cute Christmas lights!"

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IN the BANNER     
The star shines a blue-white atop the City's Christmas Tree at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. The tree, along with myriad other decorations are available for nightly viewing on the Christmas Tour of Lights.
November 2012 Branch Business BriefView our videos on YouTube
November 2012
Branch Business Brief
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About the City of Farmers Branch 
Farmers Branch Logo
An historic community in the geographic center of the DFW Metroplex, Farmers Branch boasts a residential population of 28,800 and a daytime employment population of 66,000. Located on the northwest border of the City of Dallas, the City's 27 parks and lush greenbelts feature nationally-acclaimed, award-winning soccer fields, football facilities as well as baseball and softball complexes. The city's location in the center of the Metroplex and only 15 minutes away from both DFW Airport and Love Field, along with the 2,200 hotel rooms within the city, make Farmers Branch an ideal location for residents and for business. For more information on the City of Farmers Branch, visit,,
or call 972.247.3131.