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Photo credit: Rita Cook

Dallas does Earth Day well. In fact, Dallas’ EARTHx,formerly known as Earth Day Texas is now the largest earth festival in the country, but it began just like most festivals; small and with a big mission.

This year’s EARTHx, will include an expo, conferences and a film festival and it’s being coined these days as “The world’s largest environmental experience.”

So even if you aren’t a die-hard environmentalist you will still find something at EARTHx to pique your interest. Free admission, EARTHx will be at Fair Park this weekend from April 20 to 22 and expect highly-acclaimed scientists, engineers, educators, business executives and former politicians as in years past passing on information that respects Mother Earth.  In addition, the celebration features a variety of informational booths related to Earth Day, as well as live entertainment and plenty of conferences if you want to learn more.

In the city of Cedar Hill, Earthfest Cedar Hill will also be giving a nod to Arbor Day.  Held on April 23 from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Earthfest Cedar Hill is a free event for all ages and will be held at the Cedar Hill Government Center. Attendees can visit with environmentally conscious vendors, enjoy sustainability tours, food, performances by CHHS Jazz Band, Bray Elementary Choir, Soar Beyond Inter-Tribal Drum & Dance Troupe and there will be tree giveaways for Cedar Hill residents.

Keep Grapevine Beautiful will be hosting a free event on April 21 from 8 to 11 a.m. in the Town Square Gazebo in downtown Grapevine.  A family event where attendees can visit with local vendors, take part in educational presentations, crafts and just find general information about environmentally friendly living.

As part of a commitment to serve the Tarrant County community, Tarrant County College  is recognizing Earth Day with a variety of activities open to the publi from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at TCC Northwest in Fort Worth.  Students and employees can enjoy free food, music and vendors including Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Native Prairie Association of Texas, Fort Worth Nature Center, the Tarrant Regional Water District and more. There will also be a disc golf tournament on April 20 on the lawn outside Building WSTU beginning at 10 a.m. and then on April 21 TCC Northwest’s Earth Day 5K/10K run. Proceeds from the run will go to the Marine Creek Nature Discovery Center, an initiative to create an outdoor classroom at TCC Northwest, and Community Link, a food pantry serving northwest Tarrant County. 

Earth Day at the Dallas Arboretum is indeed a family affair on April 21 and 22 beginning at 10 a.m. The festivities will be held at the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden.

Something More

And if you want to support a local business taking part in Earth Day every day take note that 2018 will be Hyatt Regency Dallas’ 10th consecutive year supporting Clean The World, an organization that helps vulnerable communities in ways of sanitation. Hyatt Regency Dallas, along with other partner hotels, has donated 475-pounds of unused bar soaps and toiletries from guest rooms over the years. Kiimber Westfall, who handles public relations for Hyatt Regency Dallas said, “While much of the product donated from Hyatt Regency Dallas goes to third world countries, the organization is doing great work in the USA; during the three major hurricanes in 2017 that impacted so many hotels and communities, collectively the organization was able to donate 185,000 hygiene kits and 250,000 bars of soap domestically.”

Earth Day for all Year
If you aren’t planning on heading to a festival to celebrate Earth Day this year, which is officially Sunday, April 22 here are a few tips that you can think about if you want to make a difference every day of the year.

  • Go Camping; that’s right, instead of locking yourself in a hotel room on your next vacation instead get out and enjoy mother nature. There are campgrounds in the Dallas area if you can’t get too far away, but it is a great excuse turn off the technology and find your power while hiking, biking or just exploring the local nature trails.
  • Plant a Tree; Whether it is an annual, perennial, evergreen, tree or shrub, there are a diverse range of plants that you can plant inside or out and enjoy watching the tree grow.  Planting larger trees outside is also a wonderful way to give back and in the future, you can thank that tree for the shade it provides.
  • Take Advantage of Your Cities Clean-up Day; Many cities in the area host their clean-up day this month so it’s a great time to clean out the closet, garage or really just your entire home and then donate the items to a charity.  Your used items will likely make a new owner very happy. This is also a good time to consider what items in your home are risky to the environment and commit to replacing each one.  There are always natural alternatives whether it is the cleaner you use or even body products.
  • Give Your Car a Break; A sure way to reduce your carbon footprint is to walk, bike or take public transportation versus driving.  At the very least consider carpooling this month and take the time to get to know your friends and family minus the mobile devices.
  • Help Clean-up the Roadways or Parks; Contact your city and find out what programs are offered to help clean up locally especially this month when all eyes are on the environment.   
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Photo supplied by 3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails

The first restaurant in Dallas’ historic West End to serve familiar, yet innovative, American dishes and libations, 3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails executive chef John Moore, born in Houston and working in Dallas since 2005 says, “With the mantra ‘every ingredient has a purpose,’ 3Eleven is truly a unique driving force in Downtown Dallas’ Historic West End District.

Indeed, even though Dallas has a plethora of new and trendy dining options “they seem to pop up daily now” Moore explains “our kitchen puts heart into every single element that makes our modern American dishes—allowing us to be consistent and fresh every single day.”

Those fresh American dishes include a menu that features scratch, farm-to-market fare for lunch and dinner. Think community-inspired dishes like Quinoa and Hummus Fritters, Deviled Eggs, Truffle Cheese Fries, Carpaccio Bites and Poke Cups or dinner specialties like flatbreads made with a selection of local vegetables and meats, salads, and an array of entrees like Chef’s Fresh Catch and Steak and Frites, complete with a 16-ounce ribeye and fingerling potatoes paired with a cognac and peppercorn cream sauce.

An exclusive Chef’s Corner is also available on the dinner menu, featuring a Sweet Potato Gnocchi with wild mushroom, sage and parmesan cream sauce and a Sous Vide 30 Spiced Half Chicken paired with charred creamed corn, jalapeño and brussels sprouts.

For lunch guests can dig into a choice of sandwiches or greens. For those seeking a truly customizable dish there is even the chance to build your own bowl that incorporates a selection of proteins, vegetables, starches and flavor kicks such as Sweet Thai Chile, Ginger & Fresh Herb, Avocado Verde, Citrus Lime Vinaigrette and Fresh Crema.

Keeping it local, 3Eleven’s beef is sourced from only Texas and the lamb sourced from Colorado, but Moore says, “we are currently looking at several different North American-based sourcing options for our other meat and seafood dishes.  I try to bring in the freshest ingredients and source primarily local products, without inflating the cost for guests. No matter how great an ingredient or product might be, if it’s at a price point that is 50 to 75 percent higher than the budgetary needs of our target market, it is not the right product for 3Eleven.”

The menu rotates three to four times a year in order to utilize the best in-season ingredients and Moore says, “The feedback has been overwhelming and I take great pride in my team.”

And to go along with the food, 3Eleven also has a master mixologist Ruben M. Chavez pouring the libations.  Modern cocktails are listed on the menu under its main spirit, which includes the option of gin, cognac, tequila, rum as well as whiskey and scotch. Reminiscent of the early 1960s, 3Eleven’s signature libations include the Aviation, the Hemingway, the Side Car and the Blood & Sand. For an enhanced cocktail experience, 3Eleven also serves classics with a vintage twist such as the Fitzgerald with anejo, Campari, pink grapefruit liqueur, fresh grapefruit and lemon; Conspiracy with gin, apple spice, sweet vermouth, fresh lemon juice, egg white and fresh nutmeg; and the Jacqueline Spritzer with Pinot Gris, splash of soda, lemon twist and paired with a side sipper of Grand Ma’ Raspberry Peach. An assortment of beer and wine are also available.

“I seek the most delicious herbs, spices and fruits, so I can carefully craft an exhilarating, and unexpected, blend that delights the taste buds,” says master mixologist Ruben M. Chavez.  “I call my drinks ‘scratch cocktails,’ since every single element is handmade or tailored specifically to the drink.”

Drinks are served in custom glassware, poured over custom ice cubes and commonly mixed with homemade syrups or small-batched bitters.

“Even though one might see traditional spirits behind our bar, guests will also find unexpected barrel-aged liquors that are prepared by my team,” Chavez adds. “Overall, the process of making scratch cocktails is a lot like the farm-to-table movement—my cocktails focus on flavor and high-quality ingredients that deliver a more satisfying beverage experience.”

While Moore says it is true these days that the farm-to-table phrase is overused, he concludes “I can see that the Dallas’ food scene is heading toward the direction of simplifying their menus by making “honest” good food without all the bells & whistles.”  

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Photo credit to Diana Gerstacker for Wanderlust Festival

Billed as the only mindful triathlon in Dallas, if you are up for a 5k run/walk or just want to dance to some soulful music and practice your yoga poses this weekend then you don’t want to miss Wanderlust at Reunion Park in downtown Dallas.

Wanderlust 108 was first launched in New York’s Prospect Park and Atlanta’s Piedmont Park in 2014 and since that time the idea has spread to more than 30 cities worldwide including Dallas in the last few years.

“Wanderlust 108 brings the mindful triathlon experience to over 10,000 participants.,” said Kim Small, Director of Publicity for Wanderlust.  “We have had a great reception in Dallas and we look forward to bringing new surprises for 2018.”

Thousands of yogis, fitness enthusiasts and community-minded residents have joined the Wanderlust triathlon since its inception in the metroplex and Small said people from all over the surrounding cities have also traveled to Big D to find a way to experience the mindful adventure.

In fact, this year founders Sean Hoess, Jeff Krasno and Schuyler Grant are expecting 2000 yogis to join the Dallas Wanderlust 108 experience.

“As they say, everything is bigger in Texas, and Dallas has so many big-hearted people,” Small said. “Many of our events take place in iconic spots around the United States and Reunion Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dallas. Wanderlust connects seekers with experts in beautiful locations all over the world, and we couldn’t think of a better place in Dallas to bring our mindful triathlon.” 

The Dallas Wanderlust experience will also include a marketplace featuring local craft artists selling clothing, jewelry and handcrafted items. Local and organic food vendors will be on site and attendees won’t want to miss the samplings and tastings from some of the Wanderlust food partners like Rainier Fruit and Flow Water during the day.

Also check out the retail store experience created by adidas and Wanderlust housed in a 60-foot geodesic dome.  Items from the adidas and Wanderlust co-branded collection will be sold on site at this weekend’s event.

Created by the three friends with a long and deep relationship, Hoess and the husband-and-wife duo of Krasno and Grant met in the 80s and developed the overall core idea for the mindfulness experience that has now become Wanderlust.

“The core purpose is to help you find your true north, and be your best self,” Small explained.  “The founders wanted to create events that are fun, but also based on underlying ideals, where attendees are actually participants, and where people left feeling better than when they came.” 

This year, participants in North America are able to choose from an array of ticket options to create their perfect Wanderlust 108 experience, ranging in price from $30 to $150.

Wanderlust’s unique triathlon consists of not only the five-kilometer run/walk, but the music-fueled, outdoor yoga class will be led by Chelsey Korus this year in Dallas and the guided meditation will be led by Noah Levine. Mindful triathletes will also have the chance to groove to the sounds of DJ Sol Rising during the day and experience bonus fitness classes.

“In 2018, Wanderlust will donate $1.08 from every ticket sold to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, which could provide over three days of life-saving HIV medication,” Small concluded. 

Wanderlust’s events encompass the Wanderlust Festival, the largest multi-day yoga and music festivals in the world and Wanderlust 108, the one-day “mindful triathlon” that normally take place in the participating cities’ urban parks allowing participants an outdoor, clean experience to fuel the mind and soul.

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Photo credit Don and Emily Mamone

It’s a foodie favorite in Dallas and rightly as it should be.  After all, who can pass up a weeklong eating extravaganza that takes 10 events across the Dallas area and turns it into a chance to not only drink the best drinks, but also eat and mingle with the best chefs in town.

From May 14 to 20, 2018, the 14th annual Savor Dallas Food + Drink Festival will present workshops, dinners, and live music with an emphasis on local host chefs and talent curating Savor Dallas’s main events and creating innovative culinary experiences throughout the week.

“In 2017, there were more than 4,650 attendees and we expect similar numbers this year,” said Rachel Watkins, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Experiential Marketing at BELO MEDIA GROUP who handles PR for Savor Dallas.

Watkins said new this year too, the six Toast of the Town events on Sunday May 13 through Wednesday, May 16.

“We've added some awesome, one-of-a-kind and more intimate culinary experiences to the festival lineup with these events,” she said.

Overall, the food and drink extravaganza will feature 12 of the city’s most celebrated chefs and talent to host the main festival events and will be presented by VisitDallas, in partnership

with 2018 honorary co-chairs Chad Houser, the founder, CEO, and executive chef, Café Momentum and Paige Chenault the founder of the Birthday Party Project.

“Dallas is quite a culinary destination. Savor Dallas is the city’s premier culinary experience, and our increased partnership allows VisitDallas to attract overnight visitors to experience Dallas’ gastronomic wonders,” said Frank Librio, Chief Marketing Officer of VisitDallas.

Both Savor Dallas and VisitDallas have similar goals in continuing to elevate Dallas’ vibrant culinary community with a destination food and drink experience and Kevin Thornburg, general manager of CrowdSource, the events division of Belo Media Group, which has produced the festival since 2015 added “We look forward to celebrating that synergy during the 2018 festival and beyond.”

Additional sponsors for this year’s festival also include Chase Private Client, Downtown Dallas Inc., Goody Goody, Lifeway, Modelo, Roxor Artisan Gin, See’s Candies, Southwest Kia, Sprint, and Whole Foods Market.

Opening Night at Dallas Farmers Market will consist of ’Cue It Up! with Tim Byres of Smoke and Todd David of Cattleack Barbeque playing with fire and featuring smoked flavors—both savory and sweet.

Of course, the Grand Tasting on Saturday, May 19 is always a favorite this year with Alex Astranti, Uchi and Uchiba; Jill Bates, Fearing’s; Junior Borges, The Joule; Anastacia Quiñones, The Cedars Social and Kent Rathbun, Imoto creating a culinary centerpiece and featuring 50-plus chefs, hundreds of wines, and countless spirits merged together as a mega destination for gourmands of all kinds.  The Grand Tasting will be located in an outdoor barbecue lounge with live entertainment.

As in year’s past Savor Dallas will be raising funds to benefit Café Momentum and The Birthday Party Project in order to raise awareness and help positively impact the lives of the city's next generation.

Ticket prices range between $35 to $250, with à la carte options and all-inclusive packages available for the weeklong event.

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Fort Worth's Main Street Art Festival

All around the weather in big D is beckoning spring time lovers to get out and enjoy the bounty of the season.  If you are looking for some ideas of what to do outside this year to enjoy the richness of spring how about some local art festivals that not only showcase local talent, but also music and good food.

Looking for the perfect eclectic mix of art alongside a nice showcasing of music then the Deep Ellum Arts Festival is the answer April 6 to 8.  Moving into it 24th year, the free three-day, Deep Ellum Arts Festival® in Downtown Dallas offers more than 200 juried decorative and visual artists selling and commissioning original works, and 100 original bands and performance artists showcasing the newest sights and sounds from across six different stages.  The festival encompasses six blocks of Main Street along with a popular Pet Parade and plenty of food and drink.

The City of McKinney’s Arts in Bloom will take place this year April 13 to 15 produced and sponsored by McKinney Main Street.  Arts In Bloom takes place in Historic Downtown McKinney with 150 juried artists, the Local Artist Village, and the Student Art Tent from McKinney Independent School District all set up on the tree-lined streets surrounding the McKinney Performing Arts Center.  Attendees will enjoy the sights and sounds of fine artists, dancers, performance artists, musicians, Texas wineries, and food vendors as well as a hands-on interactive area for children, the Kids Creation Station, where young Picasso’s can learn about art processes and create their own masterpieces. With two live stages, you won’t want to miss the chance to try plenty of wine and craft beer tastings while taking in the overall artsy vibe.

Right in the heart of the downtown arts district, the Dallas Art Fair is the perfect place for collectors, arts professionals, and the public to take in a wide range of modern and contemporary artworks presented by leading national and international galleries. The curated exhibitions and programming are all about those in attendance joining in lively conversation surrounding the city’s rapidly growing arts community.  This year’s fair will be April 13 to 15 located at the Fashion Industry Gallery, a 68-acre area that is home to some of Dallas’ most significant cultural landmarks.

The Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival is right around the corner April 19 to 22 this year touting names like Revival, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Jamestown Revival and Shane Smith & The Saints gracing the stage. Going into its 33rd year, everything from blues, jazz, country, rock ‘n’ roll, Latin, funk, R&B, soul, folk, Americana, classical and more alongside acrobatic teams and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will be set on two stages the University of Texas at Arlington Main Stage, located at 9th and Main Street, and the Sundance Square Stage, located in the Sundance Square Plaza. The four-day festival will feature performances starting at 11 a.m. and continue into the evening and best of all, it’s free.

Richardson’s Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival has announced its 26th year with a lineup of artists that range in genre from alternative, to country, pop, rock and folk. Billed as North Texas’ largest outdoor music event this year’s festivities will be from May 18 to 20 at the Galatyn Park Urban Center. Bands as diverse as Kool & the Gang to Eve 6 to Goo Goo Dolls, Gin Blossoms and John Ford Coley will grace the stage and tickets are on sale now.  Wildflower! will also feature a Battle of the Bands contest, the Budding Talent Competition, and the Art Guitar Auction this year as well as a Singer Songwriter contest, the family friendly WF! Kids, the WF! Eats, the WF! Marketplace and Performers Row featuring strolling entertainers, buskers and acrobats.

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Time to throw on the green to avoid getting pinched and settle down for the day at one of these celebratory stops where you can sip some green beer or a cocktail and find your own luck of the Irish.

Frist things first, the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Greenville Avenue.   Now in its 39th year it is the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the southwest with a two-mile parade route and over 100,000 in attendance.

The Grape restaurant located on Greenville Avenue will be closed that day, March 17, but you can visit them “down on the block” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“While it is a completely, off-the-charts crazy day for everyone involved, we have a blast,” says The Grape restaurant Chef/Owner Brian C. Luscher.  “The annual St. Patrick's Day Block Party is a completely unique event that only happens in Dallas and only on Lower Greenville Avenue.”

Other options if you are not parade bound could be LARK on the Park serving Corned Beef Eggs Benedict with a “fried” poached eggs and cottage potatoes during brunch for $15.

At Eatzi’s Market and Bakery the St. Patrick’s Day menu there offers a special holiday theme with an assortment of limited time items. Highlights include an Irish Soda Bread with plump raisins and caraway seeds, Chocolate Pistachio Mousse layered with white cake, Nutella croquante and chocolate ganache, or everyone’s favorite St. Patrick’s Oreos covered in chocolate and dressed for the occasion. All items are available for pick-up and you really don’t want to miss the corned beef, cabbage and potatoes available March 16 and 17.

The newest restaurant in the historic West End District, 3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails will offer a variety of St. Patrick’s-themed dishes and drinks all day Saturday, March 17. Go for the Spud Flights for $9, along with discounted Irish Flights, Green Mimosas and Green Jello Shots.

If you are all about the drink for celebrating head to Moxie’s Grill & Bar and keep the green drinks flowing with an Avocado Gimlet.  The Avocado Gimlet is a delectable blend of avocado, rosemary and olive infused gin, Apfelkorn, simple syrup and fresh pressed lime. The cocktail presents a unique take on a run-of-the-mill gimlet with its unique ingredients with a nice, frothy texture and flavor and a big nod to St. Patty’s Day.

You can’t find any better Irish Coffee than at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse made with Jameson Black Barrel, Amaro Montenegro, dark sugar blend, coffee and lightly whipped cream.  This is the perfect concoction for St. Patrick’s Day.

At Pok the Raw Bar the Golden Matcha is a creamy, energizing beverage packing in a load of benefits to indulge in for St. Patrick’s Day. Aside from offering your dose of green for the day (matcha) to avoid getting pinched, guests also get the pot of benefits from the “golden” milk that’s combined with the matcha. Ingredients include matcha, dates, almond milk and turmeric to leave you feeling great for the rest of the day’s festivities.   

And who can pass up a St. Patrick’s Day Margarita?  Try one of these Mexican staples at the corner of Dallas’ historic West End District, RJ Mexican Cuisine.  You can have one of these St. Patrick’s Day Margaritas for $5 to celebrate the spirited holiday made with Midori Liquor, lime juice, top-shelf tequila and garnished with salt on the rim and a lemon wedge frozen or on the rocks.

Richardson’s favorite barbecue hot-spot, Ten50 BBQ, has you covered too with its recently launched flavorful cocktails to please any palate. The Drag it Through the Garden cocktail, in particular, is made with Beefeater Gin, cucumber, mint and agave nectar and is a refreshing St. Patty’s Day blend for $10.

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District 109 State Representative nominee Carl Sherman with State Senator Royce West, DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan and wife Michelle Sherman

The voters made their voices heard Tuesday in both the Democratic and Republican primary elections with thousands of voters showing up to vote in both early voting and on Election day March 6.  In fact, Democrats in Texas broke the 1 million mark for the Primary turnout making it the first time in 16 years to reach those numbers and only the third time in the past 24 years.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said “It’s clear Texas Democrats are fired up, exceeding expectations, and charging forward to November. We’re grateful to so many enthusiastic voters who showed up in full force as well as our terrific candidates who stepped up to serve.”

On the Dallas County Republican side, Chairman Missy Shorey said "Republicans are united in our choices. Looking forward to the upcoming runoff, Tuesday May 22. Democrats had a contentious primary, which drove turnout. I am confident in our ability to support our candidates in November."

Texas Democrats elected a diverse group to run in the November election including Beto O’Rourke who will run against U.S. Senate GOP incumbent Ted Cruz.

In the gubernatorial Democratic race a runoff will take place on May 22 between former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Houston businessman Andrew White and one will run against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott who won the Republican primary.

With District 109’s 13-term State Representative Helen Giddings not seeking re-election a runoff will take place between former DeSoto Mayor Carl Sherman, who Giddings has openly endorsed and former DeSoto City Councilmember Deshaundra Lockhart.

“We have had two candidates who have risen to the top,” Sherman said of the upcoming runoff election.  “I am honored to be considered further from this race of four and I look forward to healthy debate on the issues that matter to the constituents of District 109.  I am excited as I have the chance to grab the baton and forge onward - fighting for all the constituent of this District in Austin.”

Lockhart said in response to the outcome “I appreciate the vote of confidence as we propel forward to the final runoff election in May from my beloved Southwest Dallas County family of constituents,” Lockhart said. “This victory is because of God and active voters.  The voters of Southwest Dallas County have made the request known that they want me to represent District 109 in Austin.”

Giddings said after Tuesday night's Primary “Carl ran a positive campaign focused on issues that concerned all Texans, but particularly District 109.”

State Representative Giovanni Caprigilone took the GOP primary for State Rep in District 98.

In the Republican race for State House District 114, Republican Lisa Luby Ryan took that race in an upset beating out incumbent Jason Villalba.

Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Plano is leaving his seat after 26 years in Texas’ 3rd Congressional District, which includes McKinney, Plano, Frisco and the Collin County portion of Dallas. A second Sam Johnson is vying for that seat against Adam P. Bell, Lorie Burch and Medrick Yhap. For the Republican’s Van Taylor, formerly in the Texas Senate seat is running alongside Alex Donkervoet and David Niederkorn.

In the 5th Congressional District serving a wide area including southeast Dallas County as well as Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson and Kaufman counties, there will be a runoff between Republicans Lance Gooden and Bunni Pounds.

Joe Barton, R-Ennis is stepping down from his U.S. House 6th District seat leaving the stage open for Democrats Ruby Faye Woolridge and Jana Lynne Sanchez who will face a runoff and Ron Wright and J.K. Ellzey on the Republican side.

Pete Sessions sits in the U.S. House 32nd District seat and he will face either Democrats Colin Allred or Lillian Salerno after they vie for the spot in May. 

For the state Senate seat in District 10 Democratic nominee Beverly Powell will be facing off against Republican incumbent Konni Burton come November.

And one more win for the Democratic party, Interim Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown, who was voted into that position by the Dallas County Commissioners when Valdez quit to run for governor will run against Republican nominee Deputy Aaron Meek in November. Brown squared off against challenger Constable Roy Williams, but easily took the lead. 

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Yoga for two

You know you have to plan something sexy for Valentine’s Day so get to it.  And while you can take him or her out for a romantic meal, we offer a few extra credit suggestions to get the love flowing here too. 

 How about Roses and Poses for an early Valentine snuggle this Saturday, February 10 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.  It’s partner’s yoga at the Dallas Yoga Center where you can spend time connecting with your favorite person. The workshop promises full of fun, playful partner poses to uplift, and invigorate while you also learn how to connect, breathe and flow together on the mat with all levels welcome.

It’s not just painting at Tree House this weekend, instead it is a painting workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. celebrating Valentine's Day with lovebirds.  You can create your own personal masterpiece taught by a local artist while sipping on sustainably sourced wines and craft beer from Bar & Garden Dallas. 

Pink Pedi Salons is just the right place to get romantic with your love until February 14 receive a gift of heart bath bomb with a gift certificate purchase and you can find seasonal heart-shaped bath bombs available for Valentine's too.  All bath bombs are eco-friendly, organic, all natural, fair-trade products.  Expect chocolate scented and champagne, aphrodisiac essential oils like rose oils, bath bombs.

Valentine events will be taking place this weekend at Hillside Village in Cedar Hill.  A Jazzy Valentine on February 10 and 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. will include jazzy duos crooning favorite jazz standards and romantic ballads. Complimentary carriage rides will also whisk you and your love on a romantic ride through Hillside Village. 

The Adolphus is offering a variety of options to celebrate the most romantic day of the year. The hotel invites guests to embrace their inner cupid by taking part in the “Do Not Disturb” package including a Spa Adolphus essential oil amenity, $100 spa credit, complimentary valet, breakfast in bed and a bottle of bubbles. If you are just in the mood to spa, check out the Strawberries & Champagne Renewing Body Treatment in which guests experience a full body exfoliation, enhanced with strawberries and made decadent with champagne essences.

Celebrate great seafood with the person you love at Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill this Valentine’s Day where you can order delicious East Coast lobster rolls and award-winning chowder.  The Valentine’s Day menu will also offer a broad range of seafood specialties peppered with aphrodisiac taste treats.  Reservations are strongly recommended for Valentine’s Day.

One of Dallas’ most romantic destinations, III Forks  will offer its Sweetheart Menu for Valentine’s Day. This special menu is available from February 9 through February 14 so guests can choose the date they wish to celebrate. The menu includes a choice of starter; two 6-ounce Filet Mignon entrees accompanied by two 6-ounce Cold Water Rock Lobster Tails, served with whipped potatoes, sugar snap peas, off-the cob cream corn, vine-ripened tomatoes and spring onions and a Chocolate Lovers’ Dessert.

For Vegan’s check out Mudhen Meat and Greens the healthy eatery at the Dallas Farmer’s Market offering a four-course Vegan Valentine’s Day Dinner with optional beer and wine pairings available.

Take a stroll through Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas and stop in at Lark on the Park serving up a romantic four-course menu for the day of love. The romantic St. Valentine’s Day supper prepared by Chef Ryan Barnett is a four-course prix-fixe menu with an optional wine pairing.

The latest addition to Turtle Creek Village Jalisco Norte will be offering a special, four-course, prix fixe menu on Valentine’s Day. The menu allows notable newcomer, chef Jose Meza, to introduce Dallas diners to a little bit of his heritage with dishes such as Rabbit Confit Michoacán-Style and Beef Salpicón as well as some familiar favorites like the New York Strip with a twist also with an optional cocktail pairing.

It doesn’t get any more romantic than a French restaurant in Downtown Dallas. Bullion, elevated above the ground floor of 400 Record in downtown Dallas is the latest culinary excursion of Michelin star-awarded Chef Bruno Davaillon. Boasting a range of classic and contemporary French dishes, the menu at Bullion features simple ingredients prepared using French techniques that highlight and enhance the natural flavors. Even better, Bullion recently began serving lunch or take advantage of a little romance by first stopping in for a drink from the lounge menu.

Located in Deep Ellum, if you’re looking for Japanese BBQ (aka Yakiniku) stop in at Niwa this Valentine’s Day and show the one you love a real taste of the subtleties of Japanese cuisine.  The tables are equipped with down-draft roasters and you can cook some of the finest meat in Dallas right at your table.  Consider the Outside Skirt or the Filet Mignon and the shareables set the mood alongside one of the signature drinks like the Spicy Brass Monkey or the Black Walnut Classic.  You will also want to try the Hitachino White beer, it leaves taste in your mouth defining pure delicious love.   


Schools are closed Monday and many businesses are closed too, but a number of cities in the area are holding events and parades to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15.  The holiday is always observed the third Monday of January, but this year is quite special since the holiday falls on King’s actual birthday. 

King was born in 1929.  He was a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and civil rights leader who promoted and lived by justice and equality.

Here is a roundup of Monday’s activities (in alphabetical order) to remind us of the man who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”


The Inaugural Collin County Martin Luther King, Jr. Appreciation Day will be held Monday hosted by a variety of Collin County Community Leaders and Churches. Appreciation Day features a free celebratory program led by Master of Ceremonies - John McCaa, WFAA-TV News Co-Anchor. Participants will also be able to take part in programs that feature commentary, proclamations, music and dance. Special presentations will include recognition of student poster contest winners and the MLK Drum Major Awards from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 601 South Greenville Avenue, Allen.

Cedar Hill

The City of Cedar Hill will be holding a MLK Celebration & Peace March on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at the Cedar Hill Government Center from 3 to 5 p.m.  This free event will feature special guest Diane Nash, a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement. The Celebration will also include performances by local school and church groups with the Peace March walking down a section of Uptown Blvd. Individuals and organizations are invited to participate in the march with banners and join in Freedom songs of the era.


With approximately 250,000-plus parade spectators and participants, the MLK parade in Dallas is considered one of the largest commemorative events held in the United States. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Holmes Street and MLK Boulevard; it will proceed down MLK and end at Fair Park. Participants this year will include elected officials, high school bands and dance teams, car clubs, horses, local businesses and other community organizations.  

Grand Prairie

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Grand Prairie, that city’s NAACP chapter will present the 2018 MLK Jr. Day Parade Monday. The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. at City Hall Plaza, 317 College St. in front of the Liberty Bell, and end at David Daniels Math Science Academy. Lunch will be served in the David Daniels Cafeteria and a short program honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King will be held at the Dalworth Recreation Center located at 2012 Spikes St. Grand Prairie.


In the City of Irving children ages eight to 17 are invited to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by composing an essay based on a selected theme. Prizes will be awarded for first and second place and the winning essays will be on display for the remainder of the month at the Cimarron Park Recreation Center, 201 Red River Trail, Irving.  There is also the chance to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a free spaghetti luncheon provided by the Irving-Carrollton chapter of the NAACP.  The luncheon will be from noon to 2 p.m. at the Georgia Farrow Recreation Center, 530 Davis Drive, Irving and there will also be guest speakers in attendance too.


The Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Waxahachie will begin Monday at 1 p.m. at Turner School at 615 Getzendaner, Waxahachie.  It will proceed North to Peters, then West on Peters to Wyatt, South on Wyatt to MLK Blvd ending at Freedman's Park. Following the parade there will be "A Program of Reflection" at Samaria Baptist Church featuring speaker, Ed Gray with WFAA-Channel 8.

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Keep Fido smiling during the cold weather. Photo Credit; Rita Cook

It’s cold outside and even though the temperatures are not dipping below freezing this week, it could happen again here in North Texas.

Don’t neglect to take care of your outdoor pets when the weather drops because remember they get as cold as you do.

Tammy Miller, Tri City Animal Shelter Manager in Cedar Hill offers a few tips for your pets when the weather is cold outside.

“Many of you know how dangerous the hot weather can be for our fur kids, but some may think their fur coat is enough to protect them in the winter, Miller said. “Sadly, the cold weather poses some really serious threats to our animal kingdom.”

  • Honk a Horn: A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it's deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.
  • Winter wellness:  Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year sort of like our annual checkup. Not only does this continue to build your relationship with the veterinarian but it may also give you a head start on a developing issue.
  • Different Species: Even different breeds and different ages have different tolerances: Just like people, pets' cold tolerance can vary based on their coat, body fat, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet's tolerance and adjust accordingly. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets as well as short legged pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing's disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature. The same goes for very young and very old pets.
  • Stay inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It's a common belief that animals are more resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it's untrue. No pet should be left outside for long periods of time in freezing weather.
  • Provide shelter: We don't recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your pet inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water. The floor of the shelter should be off of the ground and the bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment. The door to the shelter should be positioned away from prevailing winds. Straw can be used as helpful warm bedding.
  • Check the paws: Check your dog's paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or to ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog's toes.
  • Collar and chip: Many pets become lost in winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that might normally help your pet find his/her way back home. Make sure your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information. A microchip is a more permanent means of identification, but it's critical that you keep the registration up to date.
  • Prevent poisoning: Clean up any antifreeze spills quickly, as even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly. Make sure your pets don't have access to medication bottles, household chemicals, potentially toxic foods such as onions, xylitol (a sugar substitute) and chocolate.

“There are few better feelings in the world than the way our pets warm our hearts with their loyalty and loving companionship,” Miller concludes. “Returning the favor by ensuring their warmth during this cold weather is not only simple to do - it is simply the right thing to do.”