August 25, 2005

Back to School Safety Tips

These back-to-school safety tips were distributed by the police department.

There are many things that we already know, but a quick refresher is always helpful!

Getting There:
  • Map out with your children a safe way for them to walk to school or to the bus stop. Avoid busy roads and intersections. Do a trial run with them to point out places they should avoid along the way, such as vacant lots, construction areas, and parks where there aren't many people.
  • Teach children to follow traffic signals and rules when walking or biking. Stress that they should cross the street at crosswalks or intersections with crossing guards when they can.- Encourage children to walk to school or the bus stop with a sibling or friend, and to wait at bus stops with other children.
  • Teach children not to talk to strangers, go anywhere with them, or accept gifts from them without your permission. Tell them that if they see a suspicious stranger hanging around r in their school they should tell an adult.
  • Help children memorize their phone number and full address, including area code and zip code. Write down other important phone numbers such as your work and cell phone on a card for your children to carry with them.

After School

Do your children stay home alone for a few hours after school while you are at work? You can still look out for them and help keep them safe:

  • Have your children check in with you or another adult as soon as they get home from school.
  • Help your children practice locking and unlocking doors and windows.
  • Role-play different situations that might come up when children are home alone. For example, what should your children do if a stranger knocks on the door, if the phone rings, or if there's an emergency?
  • Tell your children what you expect them to do when home alone. Should they finish their homework before watching TV? Are they allowed to fix a snack, or use the stove? What about inviting friends over?
  • Find a safe house in your neighborhood that your children can go to if they need help right away. If you are home during the day, think of starting your own safe house for neighborhood children.

August 24, 2005

LHAIA August Meeting Summary

(Thank you once again to Ann Ward for providing the bulk of this summary.)

After the meeting was opened, David Cossum, City of Dallas Development Services, described the "Big Box" Ordinance enacted in late 2004. The ordinance affects most retail establishments containing over 100,000 square feet of space. It seeks to affect appearance by imposing architectural and landscaping standards, such as breaking up the facade to make it appear like multiple smaller businesses, incorporating landscaping into the parking areas to prevent uninterrupted expanses of pavement, etc. The City can make exceptions when warranted. For example, the proposed new Walmart Super Center would need an exception from the requirement of a 20-foot landscape buffer along Forest Lane. The site plan for the proposed Walmart is available (or will be; Mr. Cossum was not sure whether it had been submitted) from the City's Planning Department, 214-670-4209.

Steve Wakefield, LHAIA President, said the LHAIA wants to hear all complaints that the community has concerning the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Audelia and Walnut Hill. Please send such comments to He urged people to make comments a.s.a.p. The LHAIA is also encouraging people to contact Wal-Mart directly (Please see further information conerning this towards the end of this email). The proposal will go before the City Council either September 22 or October 22 (he stated both dates multiple times); watch the LHAIA web site for current information.

Susan Morgan, chairman of LHAIA's Economic Development Committee, said she would support residents who wanted to form a committee to make a formal neighborhood statement about the proposed Walmart. Mr. Wakefield spoke about the LHAIA Attorney Advisory Group, which has formed to advise LHAIA on all sorts of legal issues. The Group's initial project is studying ways of effectively outlawing the sale of drug paraphernalia. Other projects under consideration include intervention in a City lawsuit against a noncompliant apartment complex, initiating lawsuits against other complexes, and reviewing the City code for the purpose of suggesting revisions.

Mr. Wakefield solicited volunteers for weekly crime meetings at the Northeast Police Substation. Sean Christopher of LHAIA spoke about code enforcement. The LHAIA website contains information about code standards for both single-family and multi-family housing, and forms and instructions for reporting violations.

Mr. Christopher urged residents to take photographs of code violations and submit them to the City. Additionally, he said LHAIA needs volunteers for a new apartment code enforcement team. Mr. Christopher also said LHAIA hoped to improve communications among area crime watch organizations, to permit information about suspects and crimes to be shared more efficiently among the organizations. He solicited volunteers (he needs five or six of them) to be crime alert coordinators, who would facilitate the communications to and among crime watch groups.

Mr. Christopher gave an update on the sign beautification project. For those of you familiar with the project from past meetings, the design of the sign has completely changed. The new renderings should be posted on the LHAIA website later in the week ( ).Finally,

Mr. Christopher spoke about the possibility of establishing a Public Improvement District for Lake Highlands. In short, this would give LH its own police force of sorts that would respond to all 911 calls and have the ability to perform code compliance as well. This, of course, would come with some additional taxes. It was urged that this is something that is simply being studied and nothing further at this point. The survey process should take approximately 10 months.********************************

August 22, 2005

Survey of LH Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (Audelia/Walnut Hill)

At Bill Blaydes Town Hall Meeting many people expressed concern about the poor state of the Lake Highlands Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Audelia and Walnut Hill. There were so many complaints about the Lake Highlands Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market not being in Code that Kathleen Davis, Director of City of Dallas Code Compliance, left the meeting and went to look at the store. We have also heard many complaints about the condition of the Lake Highlands Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.

In an effort to improve the Lake Highlands Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Audelia/Walnut Hill the LHAIA wants to know all your complaints, issues, concerns, and experiences at the Lake Highlands Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. (Maintenance of the store, professionalism, etc.)

Please send all emails to Please include some sort of contact information so we can verify that this is a legitimate compliant. We have heard many complaints about this store but need to document this information in writing to present it to Wal-Mart Inc.

Many of you have express concerns about this store verbally. Please put it in writing so that we are able to show Wal-Mart that many people consider them not being a good neighbor at their Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.

Wal-Mart says they want to be a good neighbor. We plan to hold them to that!

In addition to the emails, we ask that you fill out a survey about this store. Wal-Mart has over 5,400 stores and many complaints at stores never reach Bentonville, AR. (Corporate Office)

The survey is on Wal-Mart’s website and asks 11 questions about your last visit to the store. (It asks question about the cleanliness of the store, if your were greeted by staff, thanked for shopping, etc.)

Instructions are below, but we have a more detailed instruction with photos to help you navigate the website with an attached Adobe File.


Please go to

Step 1:
Scroll Down to the bottom of the page and Click on “Contact us”.

Step 2:
A new webpage will open, and under ‘contact us’ click “Survey.”

Step 3:
On the next page type in 75328 in the zip code box and click “Find”.

Step 4:
On the next page it will say 10 stores found near 75238. The first store should be selected with a green dot. You scroll down and click “Continue”.

Step 5:
On this page is the Survey. Check the boxes that apply and hit the “Submit” button.

You’re Finished!

Your input is greatly appreciated and we thank you for helping to improve Lake Highlands.

Kindest Regards, Sean Chris
Sean Christopher
Executive Vice President
Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association Email:
Phone: 214-773-2915