Memo from the MANAGER

What stories they can tell


   It was a warm December evening in 1939 when Hollywood heavyweights like Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland got out of long, sturdy limousines to the erratic strobe of flash bulbs popping outside the Loews Grand Theater in Atlanta, for the world premiere of the new David O. Selznick picture, "Gone with the Wind."

Gary 2013

  And as star-struck as the Atlanta onlookers were that night, the real guests of honor were the handful of surviving Civil War veterans who were invited to take part in the event.

   What stories they could tell.

   Today, as we prepare for our annual tribute to the men and women who have worn the uniform of our nation's military, it is worth noting that a similar opportunity is before us again.

   A few years ago, for this event, we did a short video piece that incorporated some local veterans' memories of Pear Harbor, Vietnam, Coast Guard service during World War II and more.

   Now, most of those veterans are gone.

   In fact, if you believe recent news reports, World War II veterans are leaving us at the rate of nearly 1,000 per day.

   What stories they can tell.

   It's up to us to be sure their stories aren't lost forever.

   If you have a family member who has served in any U.S. conflict, take the time to talk to them about their experiences. Better yet, have your kids sit and listen to stories of the times that changed the world. We all have video capabilities these days. What better use can there be for the amazing technology at our fingertips than to record these recollections for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

   Here at the City of Farmers Branch, we'll do our part and begin a series of video programs, recording those recollections, memories and more, from Farmers Branch residents who have served.

   In the meantime, please join us Tuesday for our annual opportunity to say "thank you" to those who make a difference in our world.


To contact Gary, click on his picture 


City Council changes regular meeting time to 6 p.m. beginning November 18


FARMERS BRANCH ~ In an effort to afford the greatest amount of time for consideration of items in Study Session, prior to formal meetings, the Farmers Branch City Council has changed their regular Council meeting start times.

  Beginning Tuesday, November 18, regular City Council meetings will begin at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, preceded by the Council's Study Session at 4 p.m. in the upstairs conference room at City Hall. Live coverage of these meetings is broadcast on FBTV. Likewise, replays of Study Session and the Regular Meeting will be scheduled at 4 and 6 p.m., respectively, seven days a week.

   All meetings, dates and times are subject to change. Call 972.247.3131 for more information on any City meeting or scheduling.


Featured STORIES
Manhattan Dolls set to entertain Veterans Day festivities, Tuesday

FARMERS BRANCH ~ The "Manhattan Dolls" song and dance troupe will entertain the assembled crowd at the Farmers Branch Veterans Day Celebration, planned for Tuesday, November 11, beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Farmers Branch Senior Center.
   The trio will be accompanied by a Sinatra-style singer to help evoke memories of those bygone years.
   There will be the traditional aspects of the Farmers Branch event, including the rendering of 'Taps' along with salutes to all branches of the U.S. military. There will be a free hot dog lunch following the event.
   Everyone is invited and admission is free.
Library concludes Farmers Branch Reads with 'Carnivale'

FARMERS BRANCH ~ To celebrate the end of the Farmers Branch Reads program for 2014, the Manske Library is hosting a "Carnivale" on Saturday, November 8 from 12 to 2:30 p.m.
   Organizers say there will be games, activities and crafts for the entire family with a book discussion for Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore in the Library conference room at 1:15 p.m.
   For more information, call the Library at 972.247.2511.
Firehouse Theatre set to open first show in old station

FARMERS BRANCH ~ The Firehouse Theatre has announced that its upcoming production of Annie Warbucks will be the first to be housed in Old Fire Station No. 1. The sequel to the Broadway hit Annie, the musical will be presented at The Firehouse Theatre on select nights, November 7-23. 
   Since taking over the retired fire station, the theatre has been producing shows in and around Farmers Branch while preparing the venue for use.
   Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $14 for students and children. Reservations can be made by calling The Firehouse Theatre box office at 972.620.3747 or online at The Firehouse Theatre is located at 2535 Valley View Lane, between Bee Street and William Dodson Parkway.

The 2014 edition of the Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights will include a new route that runs down Denton Drive off Valley View Lane to Farmers Branch Lane and the new synchronized light show at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Find out more at

Citizen SURVEY
Online feedback opportunities available until November 15

CITY HALL ~ Continuing the even-numbered year practice of grading City programs, activities, services and events, the City of Farmers Branch is asking residents to give their feedback on the Citizen Satisfaction Survey, underway through November 15.
   Surveys were mailed to 8,000 residents on October 15, but anyone living in Farmers Branch is invited to go online at to weigh in with their opinion.
   Farmers Branch Management Analyst Shawna Eikenberry said the survey is a valuable tool to assist City departments in evaluating their work and prioritizing future projects and activities.
  Asking questions on various departments and activities, the survey will take about 10 minutes to complete. Results will be shared with the public sometime after the first of the year.
   For more information, call 972.919.2515.
E-recycling coming to Citizen Collection Center

FARMERS BRANCH ~ In an effort to spread the benefits of CityWide CleanUp Day throughout the year, the Farmers Branch Public Works Department has announced that residents can drop off e-waste for recycling at the Citizen Collection Center during regular operating hours, beginning in November.

   Located at 1399 Valley View Lane, the Center is open to residents only Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

   E-waste accepted includes computers and peripherals, televisions, printers, copiers, cell phones, tablets, video and camera equipment and more.

   Items not accepted for recycling include loose batteries, propane tanks, household appliances, light bulbs, refrigerators or air conditioners.

   For a full list, visit

Blacksmithing demo returns to Park, Saturday


FARMERS BRANCH ~ A live demonstration of the ancient art of blacksmithing will take place in the log culture area of the Farmers Branch Historical Park on Saturday, November 8 between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

   The demonstration is free and open to the public. Other demonstrations in November are scheduled for November 15, 16 and 30.

   For more information, call the Park at 972.406.0184.


City announces Thanksgiving closing schedule


FARMERS BRANCH ~ All City of Farmers Branch offices and facilities will be closed on Thursday, November 27, in observance of Thanksgiving Day. On Friday, November 28, most offices remain closed except for the Community Recreation Center and Historical Park, both open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Historical Park reopens at 6:30 p.m. for the first night of the Christmas Tour of Lights. There will be no garbage pickup either day and the Citizen Collection Center will be closed.


Star Party planned for Veterans Day


HISTORICAL PARK ~ Veterans and residents can gaze at objects in the sky during a Star Party, planned for Tuesday, November 11 from dusk until about 9 p.m. at the Farmers Branch Historical Park.

   Volunteers from the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Astronomical Society will be there with high-powered telescopes to assist guests with viewing. The Star Party is free and open to the public. Visit


Tour of Lights kicks off Thanksgiving weekend


HISTORICAL PARK ~ Featuring 300,000 twinkling lights in an all new, animated show, the Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights officially gets underway the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 28. 

   Lights, synchronized to Christmas music, will be featured in the Historical Park, which will be open every night, through December 30, from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m. 

   The only time the Tour will be closed is Saturday, December 6, for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event and on Christmas Day. 

   Admission to the driving tour is free with donations accepted by the non-profit community groups helping to work the event each evening. Call 972.919.2620 for more information. 


Volume 4 | Edition 44 | Number 193   
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the  Communications Office
of the City of Farmers Branch, TX.
Three-time Award Winner for
Excellence in E-Newsletters in Texas
Awarded by the
Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers

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The Farmers Branch Senior Center will be decked out in red, white and blue for the annual Veterans Day Celebration, set for Tuesday, November 11 at 10:30 a.m.
Photo by Derrick Birdsall

Traffic ALERT
Nighttime Valley View closure set Thursday night

FARMERS BRANCH ~ The full closure of Valley View at I-35E is scheduled to happen Thursday night, November 6 at 8 p.m. and last until Friday morning, November 7 at 6 a.m.
   Officials with the LBJ Express project said the closure is necessary to complete their work on the intersection.
   Valley View, under I-35E, is the only intersection in Farmers Branch where the LBJ and I-35E makeover projects are happening simultaneously. For more information, visit

November DATES
NOV 7-9 / 14-16 / 21-23
@ Firehouse Theatre
7:30 pm Fri & Sat
2 pm Sat & Sun

NOV 11
@ Senior Center
10:30 am

NOV 13
@ Senior Center @ 7 pm

NOV 18
@ City Hall @ 6 pm

NOV 27
All City Offices Closed
No Garbage Collection

NOV 28
Most City Offices Closed
Rec Center & Historical Park Open 8-5
No Garbage Collection


All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.
Town Hall Meeting planned November 13

FARMERS BRANCH ~ Mayor Bob Phelps and the members of the Farmers Branch City Council will meet members of the public at a Town Hall Meeting, set for Thursday, November 13 at 7 p.m. at the Farmers Branch Senior Center.
   The second of two such meetings set this year, after an update the Mayor and Council will engage in a question and answer session with the public on any desired topic. There will be Spanish language translation services available for those in need of assistance.
'Tell it to the Mayor' schedule changes in Nov/Dec

CITY HALL ~ Mayor Bob Phelps' twice monthly open office hours at City Hall will see a slight schedule change in November and December, due to the upcoming holiday season.
   Regularly set for th e second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, from 3 until 6 p.m., the "Tell it to the Mayor" sessions will be held on the second Wednesdays only during those two months, on November 12 and December 10. Mayor Phelps noted the fourth Wednesday in November was the day before Thanksgiving while the fourth Wednesday in December was Christmas Eve.
   For questions or more information on the program, call 972.919.2515.
December DATES
@ City Hall @ 6 pm

DEC 5-6
@ Manske Library

@ FB Historical Park

DEC 13
@ Manske Library @ 3 pm

DEC 16
@ City Hall @ 6 pm

Thru DEC 30
Not open Dec 6 or 25

All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.
Christmas Tree Lighting event coming Dec. 6

HISTORICAL PARK ~ Countdown to the official lighting of the Farmers Branch tree and a special holiday fireworks show will all be a part of the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event, set for Saturday, December 6 at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. 
  Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with the tree lighting at 7. The night also features a visit from Santa, a snow hill for tubing, a free KidZone, letters to the North Pole, holiday treats and more.
   For more information, call 972.919.2620 or visit

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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.