BRANCH BULLETIN - eNews from Farmers Branch
Back to the future

   Last month, I was invited to attend the Leadership Institute in the colonial city of Williamsburg, Virginia. I thought it would be a good time for me to step back from the day-to-day and study the beginning of our country and what was going through the minds of the people who were there and who established our way of government. 
   Education is always important to understanding the world around you, but this experience really helped me with some of the events I have witnessed lately.
   I felt like I had taken a time machine back to the mid-1700s. For the next four days I lived in the Brick House Tavern boarding house and walked in the cobblestoned footsteps of Washington and Jefferson and talked as though I was involved in the events that shaped our country in its early days.
   The Institute prepared a curriculum that forced the 21st century participants to get out of our contemporary comfort zones and wrestle with the struggles of the time.
Walking in Williamsburg
   One of the most pivotal issues we studied and contemplated were the "Value Tensions" that the Founding Fathers attempted to balance while breaking away from the England. These complex and important equations can best be described as the conflict between two equally desirable goals, like: Law vs. Ethics, Private Wealth vs. Common Wealth, Freedom vs. Equality and Unity vs. Diversity. 
   Sometimes the idea of our form of government is referred to as the "The Great Debate." These Value Tensions are at the root of this debate and are important to understanding the free exchange of ideas that formed our country.
   Today, it can seem as if the arguments we hear every day in the news media are tearing our nation apart and jeopardizing its future.  However, we, the people, have debated what course the nation should take from the very beginning. The forum and method for the debate may have evolved through the years but the basics of debate remain the same.
   In the end, they may look differently than they did back then, but we are dealing with the same Value Tensions here in Famers Branch, Dallas County, and Texas today as they did in the 1700s. 
   So, when I thought I was stepping back in time last month, I was really going back to the future. My time in Williamsburg helped me understand that the "great debate" is an ongoing, critical facet of our free society. In fact, it indicates to me that our republic is healthy and capable of thriving as we move forward.
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Featured STORIES
Citizen Committee sought for potential 2016 bond election

FARMERS BRANCH ~ In preparation for the prospect of presenting a bond issue to voters in 2016, the Farmers Branch City Council is seeking community volunteers to serve on a Citizen Committee to research and champion a potential quality-of-life bond effort.
   The City Council will also be asking citizens to consider immediate public safety needs in a May bond election but would like to engage a Citizen Committee to consider other quality of life proposals for a possible November 8, 2016 bond election.
   The Citizen Committee would be expected to begin work in January after having had an opportunity to meet with Council for finalizing appointments. Although a volunteer effort, committee members would be expected to commit several hours and days per month towards planning the future of Farmers Branch. 
   The Committee will have three to four months to assess current City facilities and needs, consider Council suggestions, identify new projects for consideration, determine costs and prioritize proposals.
   Members of the committee will create a written report and present their findings to the City Council in mid-June.
   Organizers say the committee will likely be self-directed so people with a passion for Farmers Branch are necessary. Anyone interested in applying for service on the committee should complete an application and return no later than 12 noon on January 5, 2016.
   For more information, call 972.919.2505.
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Parks & Recreation's Mitzi Davis elected to hometown 
Sports Hall of Fame

TAYLORSVILLE, North Carolina ~ Having made noteworthy contributions to sports in Alexander County, North Carolina and having "lived a life of exemplary character," Farmers Branch Parks and Recreation Program Manager Mitzi Davis will be inducted into her hometown Sports Hall of Fame on November 23.
   Mitzi is one of five inductees to the Alexander County Sports Hall of Fame for 2015.
   A 17-year veteran of the Farmers Branch City staff, Mitzi is a 1979 graduate of Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville, North Carolina. 
Mitzi Davis
   She was a standout athlete for the ACHS Cougars, starring in volleyball, basketball and softball. A member of the first state championship softball team at ACHS in 1979, Mitzi was also voted NWC Player of the Year 1976 through 1979 and was named Most Valuable Player in Alexander's state final wins over Cape Fear.
   Following high school, Mitzi attended East Carolina University on a volleyball/softball scholarship where she was all-time letter winner, MVP and All-State from 1979 through 1983. 
   She was named to the United States Specialty Sports Association - Softball Texas Hall of Fame in 1998.
   "This is indicative of the character and commitment Mitzi brings to the table," said Farmers Branch Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Harting. "Her leadership is reflected in our staff and those she has contact with every day."
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Fire Department promotes four officers & swears in two firefighters

From left; City Secretary Amy Piukana, Fire Chief Steve Parker, new Firefighter/Paramedic Joshua Turner, Driver Dan Briles, Driver Bryan Hardy, Firefigher/Paramedic Jacob Little, Lieutenant Jason Shelby, Captain Jim Dennis and Mayor Bob Phelps.

FBTX ~ Praising each of them for their commitment to the community and their dedication to service, Fire Chief Steve Parker presided over the promotion of four members of his department and the swearing-in of two new members in ceremonies last week at the Bob Phelps Fire Administration Building.
   Mayor Bob Phelps was in attendance to pin badges on the newly promoted officers and new firefighters after their respective oaths were administered by City Secretary Amy Piukana.
   Promoted to Captain was FBFD veteran Jim Dennis. Jason Shelby received promotion to Lieutenant. Bryan Hardy and Dan Briles were both promoted to Driver.
   New members of the department included Jacob Little and Joshua Turner.
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Tour of Lights set to kick off Thanksgiving weekend Friday

FBTX ~ The half million lights on the 2015 edition of the Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights will illuminate for the first time on Friday, November 27 for day one of the holiday tradition.
   The driving tour begins at I-35E and Valley View and continues down Denton Drive to Farmers Branch Lane and into the Farmers Branch Historical Park where an interactive light show is set to seasonal music.
    To find out more, visit or call 972.919.2620.
Firehouse Theatre readies closing weekend for "Mary Poppins"

FBTX ~ Based in part on the classic movie and on the original books by P.L. Travers, the musical 'Mary Poppins' will be presented by The Firehouse Theatre on select nights through November 22.
  The adaptation, which blends elements of the classic 1964 Disney film with narrative from the Travers books, premiered in London in 2004 before moving to Broadway in 2006. 
   This will be the north Texas stage debut for the show. For tickets and more information, call 972.620.3747 or visit
Brookhaven Music series to feature Vocal Jazz Ensemble at Library, Sunday

FBTX ~ Brookhaven College has planned multiple music series performances at the Farmers Branch Manske Library in coming weeks.
 The Brookhaven College Vocal Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Library on Sunday, November 22 at 2:30 p.m. The group consists of music majors and minors performing a variety of jazz classics and vocal jazz styles.
  Additional Brookhaven musical performances are planned in December with Electric Guitar on December 5 at 2 p.m. and the Handbell Ensemble on December 12, also at 2 p.m.
   For more information, call the Library at 972.247.2511.
Dallas Stars set practice, open house at 
Dr Pepper StarCenter

FBTX ~ The Dallas Stars have scheduled their annual practice at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Farmers Branch as part of an open house at the facility on Wednesday, November 25.
   The Stars are scheduled to be on the ice for their practice between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Additionally, there will be a live broadcast from SportsRadio 1310 "The Ticket" from 10 a.m. until noon, a Girls Hockey Clinic from 1 until 2 p.m. and free public skating from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.
   The Dr Pepper StarCenter is a City-owned facility, leased to the Dallas Stars. It is located at 12700 North Stemmons Freeway in Farmers Branch. For more information, call 214.432.3131 or visit
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Santa sighting

Tom Bryson
None other than Santa, himself, with the help of Greg Petersen, was seen hanging out at the Margaret Young Natatorium at the Farmers Branch Aquatics Center earlier this week. The Jolly Old Elf was obviously in training for the busy season ahead.
Volume 5 | Edition 46 | Number 247
Wednesday, November 18, 2015  
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the Communications Office of the
City of Farmers Branch, Texas since March 5, 2011

Comments are welcomed at

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Saturday, Nov 21
9 to 10 am

Four Corners Cafe
13260 Valley View Lane
"Come for the coffee, stay for the conversation"
Farmers Branch residents are invited to show their support for the Farmers Branch Police Department by picking up a "Standing with Farmers Branch Police" rubber bracelet at City Hall or at the Justice Center.
City offices to close Thursday & Friday for Thanksgiving

FBTX ~ All City of Farmers Branch offices and facilities will be closed on Thursday, November 26, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. 
   On Friday, November 27, most offices remain closed except for the Community Recreation Center and Margaret Young Natatorium, both open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
   Also, the Historical Park will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. 
   There will be no garbage pickup either day and the Citizen Collection Center will be closed.
As we work through the calendar to late November, a splash of Fall color has begun to appear on the Farmers Branch landscape.
The Farmers Branch Carrollton Art Association Student Scholarship Fall show will feature works from CFBISD art students thru December 4.
TRAIL Master Plan

Wave Review
 The World Waterpark Association recently bestowed it's "Wave Review Award" for best website up to 100,000 annual attendance to the Farmers Branch Aquatics Center. Pictured (from left) are Aquatics Center Manager Miklos Valdez, Aquatics Center Supervisor Rachael Arroyo and Recreation Superintendent Wimberly Philips. Check out the award-winner at

   Applications are being accepted for membership on several of the City's volunteer advisory boards and commissions, according to City Secretary Amy Piukana.
   Currently, the following boards have vacancies:

Community Watch Committee

November 2015
All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.

Neglected History to look at WWI

FBTX ~ Seniors are invited to hear Dr. Richard McCaslin on Friday, November 20 as his "Conversations in Neglected History" series focuses on World War I in Texas.
   The session begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Farmers Branch Senior Center. 
Explore the lives of Texas pioneers November 29

FBTX ~ The lives of Texas pioneers will be examined in "A Little Log House on the Texas Frontier" on Sunday, November 29 at 1 p.m. at the Farmers Branch Historical Park.
   The Log House on the grounds of the Historical Park will be the setting for the program that will include hands-on demonstrations and examination of artifacts from the time when Texas was a Republic. Call 972.406.0184.
December 2015
6:30 to 9:30 pm each evening thru Dec 30 (closed Dec 5 & 25)

Gates open 6:30 pm / Tree lighting 7 pm @ Historical Park
Free admission

Only Opportunity This Month
3 to 6 pm
Open office hours with Mayor Bob Phelps at City Hall

Only Meeting This Month
6 pm @ City Hall
Study Session begins @ 4 pm

Most City offices closed
No garbage collection
All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.

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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.