All posts by Jess Paniszczyn

Jess discovered an aptitude for writing in high school. After earning a B.A. degree in English he joined the ranks of the working class where he quickly found he did not work well in a corporate environment. He took a series of technical writing contract jobs working for such companies as AT&T, Sykes Enterprises – where he worked on IBM projects – and Lomas Mortgage. To support himself during lulls between contracts, he began working with the Dallas Morning News in operations where he worked part-time for several years, eventually migrating to the Irving Daily News in its final year of publication. Jess was the first writer hired by The Rambler Newspapers and has been with the company since the publication of the initial Irving Rambler Newspaper. He has found a home at the newspaper that as a young writer he never thought would ever find working ‘in the real world.’

District Attorney brings services to victims


Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer and Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke joined other city and police officials in standing beside Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson as she announced the Irving Family Advocacy Center and Genesis Women’s Shelter now house the District Attorney’s Office’s newest Community Satellite Offices. The Irving office is the first Community Satellite Office established in an advocacy center.

The satellite offices focus primarily on crimes such as family violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Personnel working in the offices will provide victims of domestic violence greater access to applications for protective orders while making the crime reporting, investigation and prosecution processes as efficient, successful and comfortable for the victims as possible.

“We are taking the office to them rather than people having to come down to the Frank Crowley Courts Building,” Johnson said. “People can actually get there protective orders right here in the community.

“We already had 11 locations in the city of Dallas, but Irving wanted us to come out here, and Cedar Hill wanted us to go there, so we said, ‘yes’. We are trying to take the office to the people, so that the people won’t have to worry about coming to Dallas County.

“We want to encourage people to take advantage of these services, because we have them in mind. We need to know that these services are needed, and they do appreciate being able to come right here in their community to be served, but if it doesn’t make that much of a difference we need to know that too. We are spending our DA time and our advocates’ time and effort, so we want them to come,” she said.

Mayor Pro Tem Alan Meagher believes the inviting atmosphere of the Family Advocacy Center will support people seeking justice.

“A lot of people are scared to go downtown,” Meagher said. “They might not have the money for the parking and everything. It’s intimidating to go downtown to the courthouse.

“If you come here, this is an inviting place. It is a safe place. People will come here and get the process done, where they wouldn’t before. I think people will be more comfortable coming here to Irving. It helps out our city a great deal. Any resident of our city can come here and get what they need taken care of by the District Attorney’s Office and not have to go to downtown Dallas.

“The Family Advocacy Center does an unbelievable job. If you are ever a victim of any family violence, you can come here and you will be safe. They will take care of you. A lot of people feel they can’t leave an unsafe environment, because there is no place to go, or no one will help them; the Family Advocacy Center does help them. It gives victims of domestic abuse a place where they can get away from their abusive situation,” he said.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, or you simply someone to speak with, contact the Irving Family Advocacy Center, located at 600 W Pioneer Drive, Irving, or call 972-721-6521.

Youth America Grand Prix highlights best young dancers in world

Photo: Talented dancers from 9 to 19 years old passe, plie and pirouette at the Irving Arts Center for a chance to advance to a New York competition and a chance to earn scholarships to prestigious dance academies around the world. /Photos by John Starkey

Some of the best up-and-coming classical ballet and contemporary dancers in the world competed in the Youth America Grand Prix held in the Irving Arts Center Feb. 23 through 26. 480 students competed to earn one of 15 coveted positions to advance to a New York competition as well as a chance to earn scholarships to the best dance schools in the world.

The Irving-hosted competition was one of 21 held throughout the United States. This year, Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) competitions are also being held in Japan, Australia, South Korea, Europe, Paris and Brazil.

“Internationally we are the largest competition for ballet students nine years old through 19,” Alexei Moskalenko, the YAGP’s assistant artistic director and former Bolshoi ballet dancer, said. “Our biggest attraction for students is that we connect them to other schools around the world and they get scholarships. Some students in the middle of Texas can get scholarships to the best school in the world, for example the Royal Ballet School in London, England. Judges can see the student and invite him or her to London to the Royal Ballet.

“After the regionals, the best of the best of the students will go to New York, and in Europe, we have finals. We have about 40 judges who come from all over the world from the best schools to judge these kids. If the judges like somebody, they offer them scholarships. That is a pretty big reward. Plus, kids connect to each other. They can also go to summer programs.

“A judge [in Irving] can go to a student and say I like you, so would you like to join our summer program, and students get scholarships right here. Some students don’t have to wait for New York. In New York there is a bigger scale of international coverage of schools.

“It takes a lot of commitment and passion for the art. In Russia we call ballet dancers artists, because dancers are associated with entertainment and artists are about creating art. The students have to be not just physically fit and working on technicalities, they also have to be artists from the heart. It’s a very competitive field. It’s not an easy job, and it’s not easy to get on top, so they worked very hard.”

Instructor Jacqueline Porter says the YAGP is considered to be the Olympics of ballet. Porter tirelessly wrangled excited dancers in the Arts Center lobby to ensure students were on stage at the correct times. She explained the Dallas Conservatory chooses students who they believe have a probable dance career ahead of them. By the end of the competition, the conservatory won one of two Outstanding School Awards.

“Having this competition every year is the thing that has set the bar for us each year,” Porter said. “Because we come and we see the best of the best here each year, it makes us so much more ambitious and so much more determined to become better than ever. The best word in the English language for these children is YAGP. It excites them so much, and me as a teacher, and all the coaches. We are energized just at the thought. It puts a zip in your step beginning back in June.

“Right now, here, today, Dallas is the largest competition they have ever had in YAGP history. The good schools that we are up against, the good dancers, good coaches, and good teachers from the other schools are who we aim to compete with and compete against. We do our very best for that.

“The students work with different choreographers that we bring in, so of course, we are trying to fulfill the choreographer’s vision too. We want to make sure that vision completely comes to life on stage. We’re trying to meet our own expectations. We’re trying to exceed what we think we’re going to see here.”

Simply dreaming about becoming a dancer is not enough to make a career as a dancer a reality.

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“To become a professional ballet dancer, it takes exceptional training,” Porter said. “You can have a wonderful body and wonderful potential, but if you don’t have exceptional training you will never make it. You cannot make it on enthusiasm or dreams alone. You have to have the best teachers teaching you proper technique.

“Unfortunately, there is no regulation about how things are taught. In America, anybody can teach.

“The mother or father of a passionate child has to seek out the very best training, cross compare schools, and listen to what others say. Once that child is in a good school, stay there. Don’t hop schools. Stay with a good school. Then kill yourself every single day, six days a week. Don’t ever let the kids not go to class because they have too much homework or something like that. Every day, the discipline of dancing begins in the home. It’s the parents that actually help make the professional dancer.

“The parents are the ones getting the kids to class, making sure that they don’t skip and keeping them motivated when they’re tired. The parents do all the shuffling around to competitions and performances. Parents have to be supportive, teachers have to be great, and the kid has to love it. If the student doesn’t love it, they will never be a professional, because they will never get through the audition process. They have to love it, and they have to think that they’re good,” she said.

One of Porter’s students, Olivia Bell (12), wants a career in dance regardless of the style.

“I enjoy everything about dance,” Bell said. “If you have a bad day, you can come to dance and let it out and have a really good time. In my career, I hope to dance ballet, modern, probably as much dance as I can do all around. Even if it’s clogging, I would try new things. I would like to dance in New York at the New York City Ballet or the American Ballet Theater.”

Fellow Dallas Conservatory student Kali Kleiman (13) was named to the competition’s Top 12, winning second place in the Contemporary Dance Category.

“The YAGP is so exciting because they hand out so many scholarships,” Kali said. “It’s a really big deal, because all of the really big ballet companies come and the judges are from big ballet companies. You want to be seen by them to hopefully get in a company.

“Last year, I got a scholarship to go to the Houston Ballet for a week term in the summer. It was so much fun. I loved everything about it. I progressed a lot there.

“I’m going to the school of American Ballet in New York this summer. I got a full scholarship for tuition, and I got 50 percent for room and board.

“I want to be a principal dancer for the New York City ballet. I know it’s a big goal, but I hope to get there someday. It would be awesome,” she said.

Kali’s best friend, Madyson Grobe (11) was also named to the Top 12 and won the Hope Award in the Pre-Competitive Age Division.

“The YAGP is a really awesome experience for everybody even if you don’t end up getting a scholarship in the end or making the Top 12,” Madyson said. “It’s a really great experience just to get out on the stage. It’s really nice to have stage time, and get to meet new people I’ve never met before. It’s nice to get scholarships to go somewhere.

“Last year, I got a scholarship to the Rock School for Dance and Education, but I was not able to go.

“This summer I’m going to the School of American Ballet. I ended up getting a full scholarship. I’m really excited. It will be my first summer away from home.

“In future, I would like to be a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet, the same as Kali. After that, I want to travel around to different cities and do master classes,” Grobe said.

Dianne Crowley’s daughter, Lauren (13), competed in YAGP with Fishback Studio of the Dance from Albuquerque New Mexico.

“The competition is beautiful.” Dianne said. “The girls learn empowerment to take on stressful events. It teaches them to tackle goals and to compete and get in front of people and be confident. My daughter has been a dancer since she was three. She works hard.

“When I see her on stage, I get very nervous. You kind of live through them, and you don’t want them to fail, fall, trip or do their dance poorly. You are just nervous for them to do well.

“She has a lot of talent. We’re good to do whatever we can to help her become a professional dancer. She practices anywhere from 3 to 7 hours a day.

“It’s a lovely event. It’s our first time here. Next year we will come back, and we will know how to do it better. It’s just amazing. I’m glad we are here.”

Lunch starts New Year off right for those in need

Photo: Sharing a meal and a beautiful day, volunteers line up to serve anyone who might be hungry the first lunch of the new year. /Photo by John Starkey

The Irving Ambucs welcomed the New Year with their fourth annual Feed the Homeless lunch in the parking lot of the Human Services Building on South Nursery Road. Everyone in need of a hot hamburger meal was invited to start off 2017 with food and friendship.

“I have never volunteered here before, but I always wanted to. So I brought my brother, daughter, granddaughter, nephew, and my best friend,” Rosalind Gipson, one of the roughly 20 volunteers, said. “We are all here together, and we are all thankful to be here. I feel so good feeding people today. It’s a pleasure. Everyone’s real happy.

“It makes me feel really good to serve people, because I’m giving back to somebody who ain’t got. I ain’t got none neither, but for them to not be able to have a roof over their heads and to be able to have a meal, and I can be a part of giving them something, is a blessing.”

An artist and musician by trade, Wesley Lemont has been homeless for two months. His name appears on a mural outside the Irving Art Center, and his work has been included in shows in San Diego. Now he is available for hire for whatever manual labor he can find.

“I’m happy this event happened,” Lemont said. “It gives us food to eat for one more day, so we can stay alive for one more day. I’m very grateful.

“I know once the cold weather ends, once spring comes, it will be a little bit easier to do things. Right now we’re just trying to survive day by day and stay warm and stay alive.

“One group that has been really helpful to me personally and my friends is Many Helping Hands. I am so grateful to them, because when it was freezing, they put us up in a motel room. They told the police we had a room, so if the police saw anybody who was outside, homeless, they could bring them too, so they wouldn’t freeze. There were three nights of freezing weather just recently. I wouldn’t have survived without them. I am very grateful to them,” he said.

Homeless since 2012, Sharon is a survivor.

“It’s really nice of these people to do this,” Sharon said of the meal.

“Sometimes people might miss a paycheck and not have enough food on the table. I never go hungry. Food is plentiful. Clean and new, it is just thrown away. People just throw things away.”

Among the things Sharon had with her was a pet bed with the store tags still attached; however, one of the seams was torn.

“That is brand-new. It has a little rip in it. I will sew it, and I will make $10 on it,” Sharon said. “There is no shame in my game.

“You shouldn’t judge people, because I’ve been to college. I’ve been to school. I’ve had good jobs. I’ve had new cars. I’ve had new houses. I’ve sold new houses.

“I’m happy. It’s a beautiful day. I don’t want for anything. I might not look gorgeous and all that, but I do clean up nicely,” she said.

The lunch was made possible by the Wilkerson’s Group, which owns the four Sonic Drive-In’s and donated enough food and supplies to feed 400 people.

Native American dances honor Our Lady of Guadalupe

Photo: Dressed in traditional Native American garb, dancers honor Our Lady of Guadalupe outside St. Luke’s Catholic Church. /Photo by John Starky

On December 9, 1531, the unremarkable life of a peasant named Juan Diego was miraculously interrupted by a vision of the Virgin Mary. The stubbornness of the Archbishop of Mexico City, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, would require Mary to visit four more times over the next few days before he would believe. When a miracle occurred on December 12 leaving Mary’s image on Juan Diego’s cloak, work started on the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, which remains standing to this day.

On December 11 of this year, 485 years after Juan Diego’s vision, dancer’s attired in Native American garb danced traditional Apache dances in honor of our Lady of Guadalupe outside of St. Luke’s Catholic Church.

Event organizer, Alexander Ramirez, spoke about the evening through interpreter Tere Vela.

“The dances are to thank the Virgin Mary for everything she’s done throughout the year,” Ramirez said. “This is part of the Hispanic heritage. This is what we do in Mexico, and we bring it over here. These are our roots. This is the 12th year we have done this at St. Luke’s, but these dances have been happening since the Virgin appeared.”

Standing in the crowd of those watching the dances were David and Dee Gutierrez.

“It’s a celebration that I think a lot of the Latino community celebrates,” David said. “The Indian population loves to dance, and they like to celebrate with their dances.

“I learned about the Virgin of Guadalupe through my parents and grandparents, and also through history as well. There are documentaries that have been done about her. The Basilica is basically in the central part of Mexico City.

“Many people in the Latino community, including myself, make promises to the Virgin,” Dee said. “As an example, my son died nine times as a baby. The doctor pronounced him dead nine times.

“I kept praying. My faith was so strong, I promised [the Virgin of Guadalupe] I would go on my knees and thank her if he lived. My son lived, and I was told he would be mentally retarded. He has 139 IQ. He walks, he talks, he is a big boy now. He’s gone to college. He has his own business now.

“Even when the priest came to baptize him, because they thought he wasn’t going to make it; I said, ‘Yes he is, because the Virgin of Guadalupe spoke to me. I have faith in her. He will live, and he will be fine.’ I honestly believed it.

“When my son turned 17, I had enough money and courage to go to Mexico City. There’s a point from which you can crawl to the Basilica. I crawled on my knees. My knees were bleeding. We do it because we honor her. She saved my son, and I will honor her,” she said.

Firefighters cook breakfast for a good cause

Photo: These girls appear to have been very good this year. /Photo by John Starkey 

The Irving Fire Department hosted its annual Firefighters’ Pancake Breakfast benefiting the Irving Police and Fire Blue Christmas organization at Plymouth Park Baptist Church on Saturday, Dec. 10.

The morning included Santa’s arrival on a fire truck, a DJ, door prizes and a silent auction.

“The Police and Fire Blue Christmas tradition has been going on for 38 years,” Firefighter EMT Jeff Carter, the event coordinator, said. “The actual pancake breakfast at Plymouth Park has only been going for eight years. This is a recent addendum to a long tradition.

“The breakfast is a chance for the police and the fire department to get together and kind of get our hands into the community the way we like to, which is through service and outreach. It gives us a chance to do what we really enjoy doing, which is serve the community.

“It’s a great event which benefits the children and families of Irving who may not have a Christmas otherwise. Every year we take toy and monetary donations toward helping those families have a Christmas that they wouldn’t normally have. Blue Christmas is a great organization, and I’m very happy to be a part of it,” he said.

When she was young, Cynthia Sharp benefited from a program similar to Blue Christmas.

“We have been coming to the pancake breakfast since my grandson was a year old. He is now six,” Sharp said. “It is a family event. My grandson loves the raffle. My three-year-old granddaughter loves the pancakes. We come out to support the city and to support the police and fire department.

“When I was five, I was one of the kids that the firemen came and took to a party. I had four brothers and sisters, and it was the first time I got to ride in a police car and a fire truck. I have trusted them my whole life, so when I can support them, I will get back,” she said.

Daniel Baxter, a Citizens Fire Academy alumina, has participated in the breakfast since it first began.

I enjoy being out here with everybody and seeing all the different people who come,” Baxter said. “I have grown up here in Irving, so it’s nice to see who enjoys it. It’s a great time of year to do this.”

Those who were watching might have noticed Baxter talking to Santa: man to man.

“I wished Santa well, and asked him to bring joy to everybody who needs it,” Baxter said. “If anyone needs any little help, to make sure that they are getting it too.

“It’s a great event that helps out a lot of people in many different ways. I would hate to see anyone go without anything this Christmas. It would be a sad thing of someone did. I hope everyone will have a Merry Christmas and all that.”

The Parade that didn’t happen

The threat of inclement weather caused the cancelation of Irving’s Holiday Extravaganza activities.

One of the most social days of the community calendar, the holiday festivities planned for Saturday, Dec. 3 included the Blue Christmas Chili Cook-off, which would have benefited Blue Christmas, a partnership between the Irving Police and Fire departments that provides gifts and meals to needy Irving residents at Christmas.parade-band-1024x658 The day would have also included the annual holiday parade celebrating this year with a “Christmas Tales and Toys” theme. More than 65 floats, bands, decorated vehicles and walking groups from community organizations had been scheduled to participate in the parade. Finally, the day would have ended with a Holiday Open House at City Hall with a number of activities including a live performance of A Christmas Tale, performances by local dance groups and Le Theatre de Marionette, a petting zoo, craft stations and a Christmas cake walk. The lighting of the Christmas tree and a 10-minute firework show would have concluded the evening’s parade-valet-waste-1024x644festivities.

Texas weather remains as unpredictable as ever, and the heavy rains predicted for the day did not appear in Irving, though South Texas was hard hit by storms.

In an effort to allow some of those who spent time building floats and organizing their marching groups for the parade to share their accomplishments with the community,Rambler photographer John Starkey took some photos of the ‘Parade that Never Was’ for this week’s paper.


Love, music, pizza make the world go round

Photo: Showing the new guys how it’s done, pizza expert Glenn Cybulski pulls a perfectly cooked pizza from a specially built oven for Sapna Lall and Nimesh Mangrola. /Photo by John Starkey

Like love and songs, the world can never have enough pizza. In an effort to bring a greater variety of high quality pizza to Irving, six friends, Sapna Lall, Gaurav Lall, Nimesh Mangrola, Suma Mangrola, Pankti Patel, and Vipul Patel, recently opened a Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria at 8704 Cypress Waters Blvd., Irving, TX 75063.

The pizzeria allows patrons to choose their own toppings for pizzas made with ’00’ flour imported from Naples, Italy. The pizzas are then fired in a wood burning oven for just 90 seconds.

The franchise was co-founded by World Pizza Champion Glenn Cybulski who has won 112 culinary awards for his pizza creations. He maintains that part of the businesses success is the amount of effort that goes into making the sauces and salad dressings.

“All of our salad dressings and a lot of our pizza sauces, except for our Italian tomatoes and our marinara, are made in-house, fresh and from scratch,” Cybulski said. “Our ranch dressing is made with real dill. It’s not Hidden Valley, but it tastes so much better that people go, ‘wow.’

“The restaurant business is tough. We have to have an edge. Everyone else is buying their blue cheese dressing. You go to a restaurant here, you go to restaurant there. It all tastes the same. We make our blue cheese dressing with real blue cheese. It is that kind of attention to detail that sets us apart. It matters.

“It is a little bit more expensive, but when you use the ingredients like we use the ingredients, there is no guess work to how much sauce we are putting on the pizza, to how much the dough ball weighs, to how much cheese goes on; it is all the same with a slight variable,” he said. “It is that way not only so that we can keep an eye on costs and make sure they are profitable. It is that way because too many people put too much stuff on pizza nowadays. The goal for us to create a high-quality, low-priced, pretty fast product that everybody loves.

“I know this is contrary to big box and all of the advertisers out there, but less is definitely more. You will flip over it, because you will be able to taste all the ingredients. You don’t have to fight through three layers of extra cheese.

“The details matter in every aspect of the restaurant,” Cybulski said.

Singing redneck plays Carpenter Hall

Photo: Letting their redneck roots show, the 3 Redneck Tenors perform on stage in t-shirts. /Photo by John Starkey

The 3 Redneck Tenors brought their unique blend of musical comedy to the Irving Arts Center as part of the Entertainment Series of Irving on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Tenors, Matthew Lord and Jonathan Frugé, may have felt like second fiddles while standing next to baritone, Blake Davidson, during this particular stop on their tour. A local ‘redneck,’ Davidson attended Lively Elementary School, Crockett and Austin middle schools, and graduated from Irving High School. His quest for higher education took him on to the University of North Texas where he graduated with a biology degree before attending Texas Chiropractic College.

Overall, Davidson was very pleased with his return to Irving as one of the 3 Redneck Tenors.

“This was everything I wanted it to be,” Davidson said following his performance. “People showed up: high school people, church people, a lot of those were the same, people my parents’ age, people my age. My whole family is here, so it was a fantastic evening.

“This is the first time the 3 Redneck Tenors have ever played in Irving. I’ve sung here multiple times with the Irving Symphony, the Irving Chorale, and I have soloed with groups. But as far as bringing my own show here, this is the first time, and it was fantastic.

“We just had a blast, and the people did too.”

Seven years ago when Davidson learned a friend was leaving the trio, he decided to audition.

“I was very lucky. I joined this show when I was 47 years old,” Davidson said. “Normally at that age, you don’t get it back. If you go away from having a career in music, you don’t get to do it that late in life. I was very lucky this opportunity came along. Everything just fell into place. I sang for Matt, and he literally hired me on the spot. He didn’t hear anybody else.

“Being on the road is fantastic. It’s what I have always wanted to do. I was the ringmaster for a circus for two years, so I love being on the road. I am very ADD. A different landscape every day; that is perfect for me. I never get bored,” he said.

Erin Green, a volunteer with the entertainment series in Terrell, watched the show in anticipation of having the trio perform in her city.

“I absolutely loved the show,” Green said. “I love the comedy, and I love when the tenors crack themselves up; there is a reaction throughout the whole audience, too. You can tell they really joy it, and they feed off the audience.

“Everyone can relate to all the songs they did. Many of the songs are classics like Shenandoah, and the ‘Phantom of the Opera’s’ Music of the Night. Those are the ones that give me goose bumps. They did a fantastic job.

“They harmonize so well. I love the parts where they actually didn’t have any music, and they did a cappella. They were more beautiful that way than when they had the music playing. They definitely are a very unique blend of voices. Alone they are amazing, but when they come together they are absolutely amazing,” she said.

DFW Airport improves the flying experience with Aveda, Jo Malone London and MAC Cosmetics stores

The more than 60 million passengers who pass through DFW International Airport annually expect more from their travel experience than passengers of yesteryear. Today’s flyers know their travel experience begins when they step through the airport doors, and they want to the first moments of their travel to be just as fabulous as their trip itself.

In the DFW Airport’s latest effort to give the traveling public what they desire, the Airport partnered with Aveda, Jo Malone London and MAC Cosmetics to bring luxury beauty options to customers traveling through International Terminal D. The three stores, all of which are part of the Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. brand portfolio, celebrated grand openings with ribbon cuttings and free service offerings on June 24.

“This is just another step in the evolution of Terminal D, our international terminal, which is well on its way to becoming a premier retail and dining destination for our customers,” said Ken Buchanan, executive vice president of revenue management at DFW Airport. “With the addition of these globally recognized luxury beauty brands, DFW Airport is enhancing the customer experience and appealing to a global audience.”

Aveda, Jo Malone and MAC each have two locations at D18 and D25, respectively.

“We find DFW airport to be very progressive and ahead of the curve in passenger service,” said Bernard Klepach, CEO of DFASS. “This is the first time Estée Lauder group of companies has opened six stores at one time in any one airport. It is really a tribute to DFW airport and their vision to customer service.

“It is always astonishing how they want to up the benchmark and always have the wow factor at DFW Airport. I want to thank Olivier Bottrie. This is the first time that Olivier has actually come to a store opening [in America]. And it’s the first time that Estée Lauder group of companies has opened six stores in an airport. I am very proud and honored that they did this with us.

“Estée Lauder is a brand that is aspirational for all sorts of demographics. It is very progressive as a brand, and it is a brand that people always gravitate to,” he said.

DFW Airport has added a number of retail and dining options to International Terminal D, including Coach, Hugo Boss, L’Occitane, Montblanc, TUMI, Sky Canyon by Stephan Pyles, III Forks Prime Steakhouse and Dylan’s Candy Bar.

“These prestige beauty brands, known world-wide will now be presented in DFW as individual boutiques,” said Olivier Bottrie, president of Travel Retail Worldwide, Estée Lauder Companies. “All stores are built with unique customized design features, and our multi-lingual expert beauty advisors and makeup artists will provide personalized consultation to customers seeking product guidance or assistance in selecting the perfect gift. Visitors to these stores will be able to experience the most recent product introduction from these brands and range of services designed specifically for the traveling consumer.

“What is important for us is the services. Consumers today have other options to buy. As a prestige company, we share with consumers advice. The people that you see working in the stores are well-trained professionals who will sell to you what you need after they have started to learn something about you to make sure that the product and the personal relationship are perfect. It is all about services,” he said.

With a portfolio of more than 30 brands, Estee Lauder Companies products are sold in more than 150 countries. Solely focused on prestige beauty, Estée Lauder Companies is widely diversified by brand, category, geography and channels of distribution. The Estée Lauder Travel Retail division operates in 285 airports worldwide, serving over 316 million departing airline passengers.

“DFW airport is truly the best of the best,” said Steve Flory, managing partner of Estée Lauder branded stores. “Having six new Estée Lauder branded stores is incredible. Stop and think about it. We have Estée Lauder, the number one prestige cosmetic company on the globe. We have DFW airport, the number one airport on the globe. We have American Airlines, the number one airline on the globe.

The introduction of six Estée Lauder branded stores in Terminal D truly brings DFW airport to a new level. It is on a global level now. We brought six because that is what was needed to properly represent the brand in Terminal D. We have a blend in Terminal D of international passengers and domestic passengers. These brands are global, so they appeal both to the domestic and international traveler.

DFW airport will now be a global leader in innovation and retail marketing that will enhance the customer experience beyond anything that you can find in the world,” he said.

Nimitz High School Football Team shows well offensively

/Courtesy photo

Regardless of which part of town you happen to be in, Coach Brian Rogers, Athletic Coordinator and Head Football Coach for Nimitz High School, feels all Irving kids are awesome.

“Athletics is a small journey of your life, but education can take you forever,” Rogers said. “Last year we had over 800 athletes participate in athletics in our program. We had a 95 percent passing rate. We strive to get hundred percent, and we don’t back down from that.

“A lot of these young men and women, right after school, they go to work until (midnight) or 1 o’clock in the morning. They still have to stay on top of their grades, so it’s a struggle, but we can do it. There is no doubt that academics is one of our number one priorities. Students are going to get a good degree, and students will get a great degree at Nimitz.

“We’re going to teach life lessons. That’s the great thing about sports, not just football. It teaches you the hard work, the perseverance, the dedication, and all the things it takes to strive and be successful. We’re going to teach football and the other sports, but we are making sure that we’re talking about the right things.

“When our athletes leave any program, we want to make sure they have a positive experience, something they can take with them outside sports, something they can lean on down the road,” he said. Nothing makes you feel better than when one of your former athletes comes by and gives you a hug and says thanks.

“It’s tough sometimes. A lot of times we invest in these young men and young women, and every once in a while they will make a bad choice, but we’re hoping the things that we are talking to them about will make a positive impact.

“We are excited about the new district this season,” Rogers said. “You will get to see a lot of great football games at the stadium this fall.

“We lost nine on defense from last year. They played really good defense. We had some really good football players. Four of those nine replacements will be sophomores. They will be extremely young without a lot of experience. We have a good group of young guys coming back.

“Offensively, we are bringing eight back. So offensively, we will be a little ahead of our defense. We have a four year, returning starter at running back. We have a good group coming back. They’re working hard. They are excited about a challenge. They’re excited about this season, and we are too. The expectations are high,” he said.