DMA’s Junior Associates enjoy raffle party [ 5A ]

Scout Troop 70 honors Haskins for his service [ 8A ]

F R I D AY, A U G U S T 2 3, 2 0 1 3



Parents Steamed Over Hot Lunches
Cafeteria won’t be cooking till November, at least
BY DAN KOLLER People Newspapers

Because construction of the new cafeteria at Highland Park Middle School will continue t h r o u g h O c t o b e r, t h e

construction of peanutbutter-and-jelly sandwiches at homes across the Park Cities will also be extended. Last February, Highland Park ISD officials said the expansion of the cafete-

ria shared by McCulloch Intermediate School and HPMS would last a month into the fall semester, which begins Monday. But the district announced last week that “design revisions and construction delays”

have tacked another month onto the project. Tim Turner, the district’s assistant superintendent for business services, clarified that the revisions involved adding a secure entrance to the cafeteria,

based on parents’ requests. Because no food can be cooked until the cafeteria is completed, the district is asking parents to send their children to school with prepared lunches. S o m e p a re n t s a re n o t happy about that. “This is going to be a huge inconvenience for

me as a working mom to have to make an interesting, healthy, and delicious lunch every day,” said Cynthia Smoot, whose son is in the eighth grade. Smoot’s beef is not just about the demands on her time. Her son plays


Blondes Have More Fun ... Again

Housing Market Favors Sellers
High demand and low supply send prices up
BY DAN KOLLER People Newspapers

A simple economics lesson is on display in the Park Cities housing market: Short supplies mean increased demand, which leads to higher sales prices.

■ MLS sales stats for July in Area 25. Page 6A


The Blondes take the field during the sixth annual Blondes vs. Brunettes charity game Saturday night at Bishop Lynch High School’s Roffino Stadium.

Flaxen-haired defend title in charity game
BY BOBBY KARALLA Special Contributor

■ Despite loss, Bru Crew stays true blue to the cause. Page 4A

or the second year in a row, the Blondes prevailed in the annual Dallas Blondes vs. Brunettes game, winning 18-15 and surviving a late-game push. “It was a clean game,” said Blondes co-captain Meredith Dillon, fresh off her second win with the team. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.” The annual game gives local women the chance to flex their football muscle for a good cause: the Greater Dallas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. This year, the fundraising goal was


$350,000. According to the event’s website, BvB Dallas had raised north of $337,000 before Saturday. Typically, a player will play in memory of a friend or loved one who lives with Alzheimer’s or has passed away because of the disease. Lindsay Wike, one of the Brunettes’ captains, played for her boyfriend’s grandmother, who passed away two years ago.

Blondes ball carrier Meghan Hyde attempts to maintain possession under pressure from Brunettes defender Mari Ramirez.

‘We’re Lowering Tax Rates,’ Trustee Says Proudly
University Park, Highland Park report ‘increase’
BY DAN KOLLER People Newspapers

When Joe Taylor announced at Tuesday ’s Highland Park ISD board meeting that the district’s tax rate was being lowered, he requested that his

declaration become means a tax bill a headline in the reduced by $75. newspaper. H o w e v e r, t h e We live to serve. district was able Taylor, the finance to reduce its debtofficer for the Board s e r v i c e t a x ra t e JOE o f Tr u s t e e s, p re to 10 cents from TAYLOR sented a tax rate of 10.75 cents — the $1.1267 per $100 of maintenance-andvaluation to his colleagues operations tax rate stays for approval, which they at 1.0267 — only because granted. The previous rate property values in the for Highland Park ISD was Park Cities are rising. So $1.1342. For the owner of that theoretical owner of a a $1 million home, that $1 million home probably

has a home that’s now valued at more than $1 million. That means the tax bill could rise, despite the tax rate going down. In fact, although University Park has proposed keeping its tax rate at 27.845 cents, the city is billing its public hearings on Tuesday, Sept. 3, and Sept. 10 (all at 5 p.m.) as being about a “tax increase.” That’s because city officials have found

that the assessed market value of the average singlefamily home grew from $1,092,539 to $1,153,806, a rise of 5.61 percent. Highland Park also used the term “tax increase,” even though the town has proposed lowering its rate from 22 cents to 21.4275 cents. Its hearings are set for 4 p.m. on Monday and 8 a.m. on Aug. 30. Email dan.koller@

According to statistics compiled by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, there was 3.8 months’ worth of single-family homes on the market last month in Area 25, which includes the Park Cities, Bluffview, Devonshire, and Greenway Parks. That means if no other houses came on the market in that area, it should take 3.8 months for the listed homes to sell. One year earlier, there was 5.0 months’ worth of houses listed in Area 25. Consequently, the median sales price shot up to $1,001,850, which represents a 30.5-percent spike from a year earlier. And the price per square foot in July 2013 was $353, a 12-month high. “Because of supply being only at really two- to three-month levels right now, and the influx of population — of higher-income individuals from all around the country to the Dallas-Fort Worth area — the supply of these homes are really limited as well,” said real estate agent David Brown, who opened his David Christopher & Associates firm in June 2012. “So it’s causing a great uptick in

See MARKET, Page 7A

VO L . 3 3, I S S U E 3 4

Even I can spend three hours of one day per month serving lunch to hungry teenagers.”
(See Page 7A)




Grab an Apron And Gloves

Ashley Howie & Stuart Tallichet
shley Howie and Stuart Tallichet exchanged wedding vows April 27, 2013 at The Rotunda at Chase Tower. Their ceremony was officiated by the Honorable Craig Smith. Nuptial music was provided by the Dallas String Quartet. A cocktail reception at the Nasher Sculpture Garden and seated dinner and dancing followed. Dance tunes were provided by Downtown Fever. The parents of the groom hosted a rehearsal dinner at Sammy’s BBQ on the eve of the wedding. The bride is the daught e r o f t h e l a t e Jo h n a n d E i l e e n How i e o f Highland Park. She is the granddaughter of Frances Howie and the late Robert Howie of Richardson, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Ronald George Yates of Dallas. The groom is the son of George and Marisue Tallichet of Houston. He is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jules Henri Ta l l i c h e t o f Ho u s t o n and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Francis Dougherty, also of Houston. The bride was given in marriage by her friends and family and escorted down the aisle on the arm of her brother, John Robert Howie Jr. She wore a couture gown of filmy, ivory lace on embroidered tulle, designed by Lian Carlo for Neiman Marcus. The v-neck sheath featured a keyhole back. The bride’s hair was pulled up from her face and accentuated by the lengthy lace embroidered veil she wore. She carried a bouquet of peonies held together by a small handkerchief embroidered with the bride’s



Here’s photographic evidence that our managing editor isn’t just whistlin’ “Dixie” about volunteering.

he school year that begins on Monday will be my fourth as an HPISD cafeteria volunteer. When I logged into the Highland Park High School PTA website to sign up for my usual shift — serving burgers, chicken strips, and fries alongside the beloved Dr. Moody Alexander on third Thursdays — I was a little shocked by what I found. Wi t h o n l y f i ve d a y s until classes start, there are 11 openings across the Thursday schedule, including a position for a shift chairperson. Then I clicked through to the other days and was even more distressed. The Tuesday schedule has 19 openings, including one shift chair. The



Wednesday schedule has 14 openings, but at least all of the chair slots are filled. The Friday schedule, on the other hand, has only one such position taken. In all, I counted more than 60 openings at the high school, including nine day chairs. The situation may be just as dire at the elementary schools, but their PTA sites were offline went I looking. Look, I know you’re busy. We all are. You think I don’t

have a lot on my plate? I’m putting out three newspapers a week and trying to update three blogs every day, while raising two sons and being a loving, supporting husband, at the same time as I’m painting my house in preparation for putting it on the market, as I try to find time to get to the gym and maybe catch a few winks here and there. Yet even I can spend three hours of one day per month serving lunch to hungry teenagers. And I don’t even have a kid at that school. I volunteer there in my capacity as Park Cities People’s goodwill ambassador. (Note to self: Get that title added to business card.) These are your children, folks. So sign up for a shift today.


Cafeteria Continued from Page 1A
on the football team, and she said athletes like him need more to eat than, say, a turkey sandwich and a bag of chips. By the way, that’s exactly what will be brought from another c a m p u s i f a n H P M S/ McCulloch student informs his teacher by 8:30 a.m. that he doesn’t have a lunch. “It wouldn’t matter if I was Tracy Rathbun and whipping up the most delicious meal ever. After it sits in a hot locker for four or five hours, he’s not going to want to eat it,” Smoot said. “These kids involved in athletics, they’re exerting a lot of physical energy. And you have to have a lot of protein to keep your brain energized and ready to learn.” Karen Jacobsen, the district’s food service coordinator, said a light breakfast prepared on another campus will be available to athletes and other students who arrive early. Only milk, juice, and water will be sold during lunch until the expansion is finished. T h e s e a t i n g a re a i n the cafeteria is still avail-

able. Principal Laurie Hitzelberger said a temporary wall separates the dining area from the construction zone. “We have most of the ex i s t i n g s p a c e, s t i l l ,” Hitzelberger said. “It’s slightly smaller, but we still feel like we can fit the kids – in a very crowded manner – into that space, like we did last year.” Smoot and other parents have suggested the district allow food trucks to line up outside the school. Initially, Hitzelberger thought it sounded like a great idea. “But when we really looked at the logistics, it just wasn’t going to work for us,” she said. Hitzelberger said a food truck can feed 150 to 200 people per hour, and Robin Skinner, who markets Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe and has seven nieces and nephews at HMPS/McCulloch, confirmed that. But more than 1,000 students eat lunch there every hour. “In a situation like this, you would have to have multiple trucks, clearly,” Skinner said. “You would need, in my opinion, at least four or five trucks to make it work where there’s no waiting.”

Skinner said she talked to other food-truck operators who were willing to get on board. But district officials rejected the idea. “I cannot imagine the lines that that school is going to have of moms dropping off Mi Cocina and Jimmy John’s and Bubba’s,” Skinner said. Last week’s announcement said restaurant deliveries will not be allowed. When asked what will happen if a mom shows up to deliver a Burger House meal to her son, Hitzelberger said the campus barred such deliveries a year ago because they were such a disruption. “The feedback we got from parents was overwhelmingly positive, by the way,” Hitzelberger said. “I think it kind of got them off the hook with their kids.” Nonetheless, Skinner said Hitzelberger should expect to see plenty of moms and dads ignoring that rule. “I know these parents,” Skinner said. “I’ve lived here all my life. I went to that school. I am one of those parents. I promise you, they are going to.” Email dan.koller@

new initials in blue and a small locket with two photos inside, one of the bride and her mother and the other of the bride and her father. She wore a pearl bracelet borrowed from her mother-in-law, Marisue Tallichet, for her “something borrowed.” Assisting the bride as maid of honor was her sister, Lindsey Howie. Bridesmaids included Julie Harding, Heather Woodard, Kate Rupp, Ja c q u e l i n e Ta l l i c h e t , and Camille Tallichet. Members of the house party were Graham Jo n e s, L a u ra Re e d e r, Peyton Blackwell, and Janie Robertson. Hartley Grace Howie, the bride’s niece, and Chloe Luedtke were the flower girls. Attending the groom as best man was his brother, Michel Tallichet. Groomsmen included Ben Jorge, Andy Nystuen, Will Ikard, and David Tu c k e r. Jo h n Ho w i e

III and Jake Howie, the bride’s nephews, were ring bearers. The bride graduated cum laude from Texas C h r i s t i a n Un i ve r s i t y, where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta and received a Bachelor of Science in communication studies. She received her Juris Doctorate from SMU Dedman School of Law. Ashley is an attorney in the energy practice group at Steptoe & Johnson. The groom received a Bachelor of Arts in economics and international studies from Rhodes College where he was a member of Sigma Nu. He graduated with honors from SMU Dedman School of Law, where he received a Juris Doctorate. Stuart is an assistant district attorney in the Harris County district attorney’s office. The newlyweds live in Houston.


Huddleston - Haley


r. a n d M r s . A l b e r t D u b o i s e Huddleston of Highland Pa r k a r e p l e a s e d t o announce the engagement of their daughter, Caroline Bunker, to Brian Joseph Haley, son of Mrs. Brenda Gorum Haley of Denton and Mr. and Mrs. Bob Haley of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. CAMERON KRIER The bride is a graduate of Highland Park High history and political sciSchool. She received her ence from Vanderbilt Bachelor of Arts in art University and a Master of

Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She works for Terrace Mountain Investors in Austin. The groom is a graduate of Liberty Christian School. He received his Bachelor of Arts in government and Mandarin from the University of Texas at Austin as well as his Juris Doctorate. He works for Limestone Capital Advisors in Austin. An October wedding is planned in Austin.

Market Continued from Page 1A

Month Sales 7-12 7-13 76 75 Average price $935,261 $1,327,978 Median price $767,500 $1,001,850 Price per square foot $278 $353 Sold to list price 96% 96% Active listings 319 250 Days on market 102 46 Months inventory 5.0 3.8

the accelerated appreciation of these homes.” In Preston Hollow ’s Area 11 — which is bounded by LBJ Freeway Midway Road, Northwest H i g h w a y, a n d N o r t h Central Expressway — the median sales price ticked up 8.5 percent in a year, from $575,000 in July 2012 to $624,000 last month. Like Area 25, Area 11 also reached a 12-month high in price per square foot: $225. Despite the year-toyear increases, median sales prices in both areas have dipped a bit in 2012. The peak in Area 11 was

$742,750 in June. In Area 2 5, t h e m e d i a n p r i c e topped out at $1.1 million in April. “ I t ’s c a l m e d d o w n a little bit, being that it ’s August, but oh my goodness, the spring was crazy,” said Margie Ha r r i s , a s e n i o r v i c e president with Allie Beth Allman & Associates. “Because you were getting multiple offers, which people aren’t used to dealing with. Some of the newer agents are like,

‘What are these?’ ” Not only are sellers fielding multiple offers, Harris said, buyers are putting in multiple bids. She compared buyers to brides who throw multiple gowns into a dressi n g r o o m a t F i l e n e ’s Basement to keep others from trying them on. “ I t ’s c o m p e t i t i o n ,” Harris said. “It’s like, if everybody wants that pair of pink shoes, and there’s only two pairs of pink shoes, that particular pair

of shoes just went up and sold for $250, because everybody has to have it.” The numbers used in this story are based on listings reported to the Multiple Listing Service. Increasingly, agents and sellers are going the “hip p o c ke t ” ro u t e, w h i c h means a house is marketed solely by word of mouth. “You can create more of a buzz for each property, and not just have it listed out there on the market,

and have all this data out there,” Brown said. “So if the home sits for more than 60 days, because they’re trying to get top dollar, you don’t want those statistics to work against you if they’re published in MLS.” Harris, who has been with Allie Beth Allman since 1992, said firms like hers are encouraging their agents to report stats on sold “hip pockets” to MLS, so those numbers can be used for appraisals

of comparable homes. But not everyone is doing so, she said, which means having an experienced agent on your side is key. “Whether you’re putting your house on the market or buying a house,” Harris said, “you’ve got to be really educated and have an agent who’s savvy with that specific market that you’re looking and selling in.” Email dan.koller@

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