Category Archives: Coppell

Hard Eight helps people through a hard time

Shortly after a tornado ripped through the town of Moore, OK, the senior staff of Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell and Stephenville made a decision to become involved.

In Coppell, the restaurant’s management invited their staff, vendors and the community to help them ready food and supplies to be taken directly to those affected by the storm’s devastation. At 8 a.m. on May 22, a 30 ft catering trailer, two vans and a trailer filled with food, bottled water, supplies and highly trained barbeque specialists left for Moore.

“We are going to go where the destruction is the worst,” said David Blair, Hard Eight BBQ’s district manager. “The reports I am getting from the people who have a restaurant background and are up there serving people is that the situation is worse than what the media has visualized on TV and radio.

“When I was a child in times of distress and times of love, there was food involved. If people have nothing, at least what humanity can do is go up there and feed them, and give them something to wash their face with. More aid will come eventually. But right now, it is so early in this deal that just eating is a problem. We feed hundreds of people a day, so it makes perfect sense for us to go up there and take care of them.

“Texas is big and we do things big. We only had one day, and we got on the horn and started rallying the troops. Our vendors like Sysco, Ben E. Keith, Tyson Food all jumped in and gave us products that were quick to fix and delicious. I think everybody is sick to death about this destructive weather, and they don’t want this to come around again for a long time. Everybody wants to do their part to help somebody out, that is how true Texans are. We hope for bluer skies.”

People helping people is an important tradition for the Hard Eight staff.

“What has happened up there is beyond imagination,” said Chad Decker, Hard Eight BBQ’s owner. “I am not even prepared for what we are fixing to see.

“We are taking everything with us. We have all the food, cooking utensils, everything. We are self-contained and ready to go. We have enough food to feed anywhere from 1300 to 1500 people. We are hoping to get up there and come back within a couple of days.

“Everybody has been phenomenal. We are one big family here at Hard Eight. We take care of one another, and we take care of other people. That is just what we do. I have a great staff from top to bottom.

“People from the community have been unbelievable. They came all day yesterday. We have two vans and a trailer full of stuff. They donated so much bottled water that we don’t have room to carry a lot of it this time, but we will take it up on the next trip.

“Help out where you can. A little is a lot to people who don’t have anything.”

Even in the worst of times, a friendly face, warm meal and the knowledge that people care can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

“Our daily operations are not as important as helping out people in need,” said Scott Russell, Hard Eight BBQ’s store manager. “The response from the staff and the community has been overwhelming. Everyone wanted to pitch in and do what they could for people affected directly by the disaster.

“Hopefully a home cooked, hot meal will help ease some of the stress of today.”

One of many community members who participated in Hard Eight’s mission, Wendi Cummings arrived early Wednesday morning to donate goods to the people of Moore.

“Once people found that Hard Eight was taking out trucks to Moore, they knew they could bring items here instead of making the trek themselves,” Cummings said. “That gave them the ability to free up some time and be with their families, and be here during the storms last night and today. It also gives us the ability to support our own city and our town.”

Coppell considers allowing parks and recreation tax to fade into sunset

A committee in Coppell is looking into possibly reauthorizing the Coppell Recreation Development Corporation tax, a half-cent tax that generates funding for park and recreation projects.

If the City Council approves the tax, Coppell citizens will be asked to vote on it as early as Nov. 5. Continue reading Coppell considers allowing parks and recreation tax to fade into sunset

Coppell learns to live green

In an effort to educate Coppell citizens on strategies for saving energy, Keep Coppell Beautiful presented two talks May 18 at the Fire Station 3 training room. The talks were presented by DFW green business pioneers Anna Clark and Alan Hoffman, as well as Coppell resident and CVAL Innovations President Jinen Adenwala. 


“When I came in and took it over a year ago, I asked if we could broaden the focus of the classes, and they were happy to do that,” said Kathy Bolt, Chair for the Coppell Environmental Education Committee. “There were people here who wanted to know about topics other than just organic gardening.”


The talks focused on realistic, practical steps homeowners could take to make their homes more energy efficient, with additional attention given to topics like water saving, materials sourcing and hybrid cars.

“I got passionate about the technology of energy efficient homes in 94′,” Hoffman said. Hoffman is the owner of Alan Hoffman LLC, a local business specializing in building green homes. “I’d been researching energy techniques for 10 years, and I started to discover that some really poor building techniques and air conditioning techniques had become industry standard. I was trying to find a way to build long lasting, sustainable products for the same money, that would use less energy than you would see in a conventionally built home.”

Despite his professional focus on building green homes from the ground up, Hoffman discussed how homeowners could retrofit their existing homes, many of which were built during a time when sustainability and efficiency were tertiary concerns.

“The easiest thing you can do is probably apply a coat of silver-metallic paint on the bottom of your roof. If you look under the bottom side of your roof there’s plywood decking, and if you paint over it it reflects radiant heat out of your attic,” Hoffman said. “After that, get your attic insulation to R-38. And insulate your home from your attic.”

But the talks also took a persuasive angle, with Adenwala and others taking time to explain the purposes and benefits of green living. Clark brought a personal element to her talk. Clark is the author of Green, American Style: Becoming Earth Friendly and Reaping the Benefits, a personal memoir about her own journey toward living green.

“I wrote the book back in 2010, to show people of all political stripes how they can pursue green living. It’s not just for liberals,” Clark said. “A lot of people are turned off by green living because they think it’s not American, but a lot of our American heritage has to do with conservation. Americans are all about innovation, and with the money you can save through conservation and a greener lifestyle you have a little bit of money left over to indulge.”

In that vein, Clark spoke more to green living as a kind of lifestyle and a set of principles.

“In my book I call it ‘conservice,’ serve your fellow man through conservation,” Clark said. “For me, it’s about getting away from the idea that we need to be consuming more and more of our earth’s natural resources. And it improves our own lives too. If we cut 10% of the meat out of our diets, we would have enough grain left over to end world hunger, (and) we would also be healthier.”

Residents grapple with uncertainties, costs of flood control district

May. A time for graduations, Memorial Day picnics, and trips to 2949 North Stemmons Freeway to argue with the Dallas County Appraisal District.

Most Dallas County home owners receive two property tax bills, a city and a county notice that are based on appraisal values. But 900 Coppell homeowners receive a third bill from the Northwest Dallas County Flood Control District #1 (NWDCFCD). One of twelve special tax districts served by the Dallas Central Appraisal District, NWDCFCD has been a concern for Coppell residents since it filed for bankruptcy in 1992.

Some homeowners in the Riverchase development and portions of the Northlake Woodlands neighborhood worry that this extra tax burden is doing nothing more than paying interest on the remaining $8.4 million bond debt. Coppell resident Mike Wilcox recently raised concerns about a lack of transparency of the board and the financial details of the bond.

Continue reading Residents grapple with uncertainties, costs of flood control district

Coppell voters approve school bond package

20130518 bond electon

Coppell school district officials are moving forward with plans for more 70 projects for the district after voters approved a $79.5 million bond package at the May 11 election.

Of 2,587 votes, residents cast 1,638 ballots, or 63 percent, in favor of the bond, according to results. About 37 percent, or 949 people voted against the multi-million dollar bond package. The bond package is a four-year spending plan with 74 projects for all Coppell Independent School District campuses.

Within the package is a proposal for $27 million in renovations to Coppell High School, such as expanding the school’s gym and the athletic field house.

The second largest part of the package is the construction of a $21 million two-story elementary school. The school will be the district’s first Net-Zero school, an energy producing facility, and will feature a rain collection system and rooftop butterfly garden.

Coppell already has nine elementary schools, but the new school will be located around North Lake, north of Interstate 635.

Other components of the bond package are $12 million in improvements to technology equipment; $1 in campus safety and security; $9 million in campus upgrades and renovations; $3 million in band, library and classroom instruction materials; and $12 million in campus maintenance projects. Less about $6 million in bond savings from 2009, the total is about $79.5 million.

Projects are set to be completed by summer 2016.

A 44-member bond committee of parents and community members spent about six months researching the projects before presenting the proposal to the district’s board of trustee.

The estimated annual tax increase to a homeowner will be about $159 for a $276,000 home.

The last bond election was in 2009 for $55.9 million in remodeling, safety upgrades and technology improvements.

Council votes for Coppell’s first dog park

20130518 dog park

Residents and their four-legged canine friends will have a dog park to visit this fall.

The Coppell City Council voted unanimously on May 14 to approve a $288,984 contract with HQS Construction to build the long-awaited dog park.

Construction at the MacArthur Park could take up to 100 days and a grand opening will be scheduled in the fall when the dog park opens, according to Brad Reid, director of parks and recreation.

“We’ve been talking about this dog park for a lot of years,” Reid said. “We’ve had a number of groups approach us and staff to request this item for a number of years.”

After the vote, Tracey Allard, who has helped spearhead the effort to open a dog park in the city, cheered along with other supporters.

“Imagine how much stronger our community will be when we get to meet and greet and bond over our furry family members,” Allard said.

The park will be about 2.5 acres with about half an acre dedicated to small dogs and the rest earmarked for larger dogs. The new park will be located within MacArthur Park, east of MacArthur Boulevard and north of the fire station.

“This has been a quality of life issue in Coppell for many years and the support for this has been impressive,” Council member Marvin Franklins said. “I’m very pleased to support this.”

Coppell kindergartner models in 25th Annual Fashion Show

At the 25th Annual Children’s Cancer Fund Luncheon and Fashion Show, young cancer survivor Natasha Green, a six-year-old from Coppell, modeled a white spring frock May 3, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Natasha was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

Natasha’s outfit reflected her sense of style and personality because she picked it out. She joined 36 other children who took part in the annual fundraiser. Fashions were donated by Dillard’s, and each child got to keep the items they chose to model.

Money donated at the event supports research for cures of childhood cancer and helps find ways to minimize the long-term effects of treatment to give children like Natasha a happier and healthier life.

When it was Natasha’s turn to strut down the runway, she was pushed on stage atop a brown truck by two employees of United Parcel Service (UPS) dressed in their trademark brown. They presented her with a sparkling tiara.

“I have family members who are struggling with cancer right now, and my best friend lost his two year old daughter to cancer,” said UPS employee Lindsay Cordova. “These kids dealing with cancer have the best perspective in the world; they are always so happy, and that puts things in perspective to me. We can be nitpicky of the little things and get discouraged, but look at them. They have so much more to deal with, and they stay positive and live life to the fullest.”

Natasha is a kindergarten student at Pinkerton Elementary School in Coppell where her favorite subject is math. She has an older sister and brother.

“I would like to be a police officer when I grow up,” Natasha said. She likes to paint, draw pictures, help her mom in the garden, play dress up, and play with her cousin Co-Co. Her artwork was included in the event’s 2013 Reflections Book.

The theme of the luncheon and style show was Under the Sea. Natasha said if she could be any sea animal and live in the ocean, she would be a turtle because they are fun to hold.

Honorary and longtime co-chairs of the event were Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. Broadcasters Clarice Tinsley and Steve Eager served as emcees. Rudy Gatlin sang A Healing Stream of Love, and singer-songwriter Terry McDermott, runner-up on The Voice last season, also sang.

Jennifer DeLaughter and Elizabeth Farr were co-chairs of the event.

“In six short weeks I will become a first time mother; I can only imagine how hard it would be to stand at my daughter’s side while she fights a battle that I can’t fight for her,” Farr said. “I am forever inspired by the courage these families and their children show every day. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to forget the daily struggle of treatment, pain, and hospital visits and shine like the stars they truly are.”

Coppell HS soccer player speaks at Valley Ranch Elementary School

Coppell ISD campuses held their annual ACES (All Children Exercise Simultaneously) day May 3.

Valley Ranch Elementary received a message from Olympic Gymnast Kim Zmezkal, and students got to listen to guest speaker Wyatt Foster, a varsity soccer player from Coppell High School’s State Championship team. Foster, who will attend Rogers State University next fall, spoke to the audience about working hard and staying healthy. The students were then led in dancing and a walk around the school grounds by the VRE Physical Education Teacher, Mrs. Urey.

Coppell Farmers Market seeks volunteers

Behind the scenes of Coppell Farmers Market is a committee of volunteers working to assure that the market runs smoothly and successfully. Sharing a love for the market, its vendors and fresh, local food, committee members handle tasks such as:

Site visits to vendors’ farms, ranches and production facilities. This helps assure the integrity of the market and at the same time deepens our relationship with the vendors.

Review vendor applications to determine appropriateness of new vendors and proper vendor mix.

Marketing the market, reaching out to new customers and keeping current customers informed about what’s fresh and what’s happening.

Maintaining a web and social media presence.

Handling the SNAP program of acceptance of Lone Star cards.

Hosting the Farm to Table dinner.

Overseeing and promote the market’s transition to the new site.

Setting up special events such as chef demos, craft days, Customer Appreciation Day,  and Vendor Appreciation Day.

Scheduling non-profit booths.

Keeping up with affiliation memberships.

Locals who enjoy the market and think it could be fun and interesting to work behind the scenes may volunteer or ask questions at

Source: Farmers Market Website

GROUNDBREAKING: Coppell Biodiversity Center one step closer to reality

Photo by Cindy Wolfe
At the Biodiversity Education Center groundbreaking, Tara
Ferguson, a junior at Stephen F. Austin University, observes
the progress from a CAT. Ferguson was in seventh grade when
she and several other students proposed the environmental
education center. / Photo by Cindy Wolfe

Friends of Coppell Nature Park broke ground on their long awaited, long planned for Biodiversity Education Center on April 22.

“About 125 attended – five councilmen, the mayor, president of the school board, trustees, representatives of Congressman Marchant’s office and County Commissioner Cantrell’s office, plus our foundation directors, and the general public,” said Lou Duggan, Executive Director of Friends of Coppell Nature Park. “Several people have said that it was the best attended groundbreaking they have seen.”

Tara Ferguson, who was in seventh grade when she and several other students envisioned and proposed the environmental education center, also attended the groundbreaking.

“Now she is a junior at Stephen F. Austin University,” Duggan said.

The center, planned to be a diverse approach to teaching environmental education for all ages and audiences, will be located within the Coppell Nature Park, located off Freeport Parkway. Total construction cost is estimated at about $1.6 million.

The facility will provide handson environmental education with applications of solar power, rain water capture, green construction and composting. Elementary students will be able to study rock and fossils; middle schools may use labs for conservation studies, and high school students will be able to see real world applications of engineering. The building may also be used for civic gatherings and meetings.

At the groundbreaking, Matt Jack from Congressman Kenny Marchant’s office presented Mayor Karen Hunt with an American flag that flew over the Capitol in Austin, which will be displayed in the Biodiversity Education Center.