City Releases Massive Record Set In Answer To Arboretum Attorney General Opinion – Ooops!! Two Pages of Documents Released

July 21 2014 – In what must be one of the most expensive two pages in Dallas Open Records history, the City of Dallas released two pages of documents in a highly contested Open Records request by White Rock Lake activist Hal Barker. The two documents related to Dallas Arboretum Trade Secrets were released on July 21, 2014, after the initial April 18 2014 Open Records request. ( See documents below.)

July 21 2014 – Two Page Trade Secret Document Release By City of Dallas in Arboretum Parking Garage Open Records Case

July 9 2014 – Texas Attorney General Opinion on Arboretum Trade Secret Brief in Open Records Case

May 14 2014 – Dallas Arboretum Trade Secret Brief

April 30 2014 – City of Dallas Original Answer To Parking Garage Open Records and Attached Arboretum Argument to Withhold Records Under Trade Secrets Exception

June 14 2014 – Answer In Opposition to Arboretum Brief to Attorney General of Texas to Withhold Records Deemed Trade Secrets Relating to Arboretum Parking Garage

May 20 2014 – In a Texas Open Records dispute over public access to Dallas Arboretum records, the Dallas Arboretum has claimed that Trade Secrets would be violated if records relating to the Arboretum Parking Garage were released. In addition, the Arboretum cites ownership of the Arboretum Gardens at White Rock Lake although the real estate is actually owned by the City of Dallas and the Arboretum leases the property from the City of Dallas.

Nesbitt Vassar & McCown: “The Arboretum is a private, non-profit entity that owns and operates the Dallas Arboretum gardens near White Rock Lake… It does not compile or maintain information for any governmental entity and it does not have any “public information” subject to the act.

Quote from the Arboretum Attorney General filing: “Section 552.11 0( a) excepts information from the Act’s public disclosure requirements trade secrets that are “privileged or confidential by statute or judicial decision.” TEx. Gov’T CODE §552.11 0( a). A “trade secret:” may consist of any formula, pattern, device or compilation of information which is used in one’s business, and which gives [one] an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it. It may be a formula for a chemical compound, a process of manufacturing, treating or preserving materials, a pattern for a machine or other device, or a list of customers. It differs from other secret information in a business in that it is not simply information as to single or ephemeral events in the conduct of the business, as for example the amount or other terms of a secret bid for a contract or the salary of certain employees …. A trade secret is a process or device for continuous Use in the operation of the business.”“Generally it relates to the production of goods, as for example, a machine or formula for the production of an article. It may, however, relate to the sale of goods or to other operations in the business, such as a code for determining discounts, rebates or other concessions in a price list or catalogue, or a list of specialized customers, or a method of bookkeeping or other office management.”

See Dallas Arboretum Nonprofit Bylaws
See Arboretum Annual Meeting Documents – Pie Charts
See Childrens Garden Contract – Fee Simple Ownership By City

May 2 2014 – Spray The Lake – City Says EPA Standards Met In Spraying Of Sunset Bay Habitat Food Chain – Nesting Wildfowl Shown Rooting Poison Grass

May 2 2014 – Open Records May 2 2014 – Spraying Logs and Data Sheets for spraying at White Rock Lake.

April 17 2014 – No word from the City of Dallas while new reports of spraying are coming in every few minutes. With Easter weekend coming up, the festive Blue Chemical Color may trick families into believing this is part of a City of Dallas Easter Theme. How is someone to know that Easter Eggs and Candies should not be placed in an area sprayed Blue?

April 16 2014 – Blue Chemical Sprays cause uproar at Winfrey Point. Park Department uses Winfrey Point Club House for mixing of toxic chemicals. No warnings given to pet owners or anyone else when chemicals are sprayed around picnic tables, Little League fields, and throughout the White Rock Lake Park. The mixing station is located in the food service delivery area of the Club House. The hose in the photo below is used to fill the chemical tanks as well as used by food vendors for cleaning of food preparation equipment.

The City is now admitting widespread use of clear poison up until this year when they decided to put a color marker in the mix. This mix is reported to be Glyphosate, a chemical that may have toxic responses in dogs. More to come as information becomes available.





April 17 2014 – Wildfowl rooting in poison grass at Sunset Bay Nesting Zone.





April 16 2014 – Chemical mixing site at Winfrey Point Club House.







Photos by Hal Barker, 9 AM April 16 2014 – Winfrey Point

April 5 2014 Details Begin To Emerge On Boy Scout Hill Restaurant – Developers Relate Key Details – City Council Vote Could Revoke Prestigious Texas Parks And Wildlife Land Steward Award For Blackland Prairie Conservation On Restaurant Site And Declare Open Season on Commercial Development At White Rock Lake

April 5 2014 – MUST READ!!! From SaveBoyScoutHill.org – The Hill by Kathleen Lynch – A Fanciful And Cautionary Story About A Hill

April 5 2014 – Meet at Boy Scout Hill at 9 AM each Saturday April 5 2014 to talk about the issues and pick up yard signs and flyers.

Dallas Advocate Story – Master Naturalists Open to Concept of Boy Scout Hill Blackland Prairie Restaurant.

Main Activist Site – SaveBoyScoutHill.org

Editor: The Boy Scout Hill Restaurant could become reality if citizens are not vigilant. More to come on this important issue. JUST SAY NO!!


Map from April 2 2014 meeting.

City Mowing Crews Scalp Wildflowers and Nesting Bird Habitat At White Rock Lake In Make-Work Project

March 28 2014 – Editor: City mowing crews have been repeatedly cutting grape hyacinths and other wildflowers zones in a make-work project to beautify the lake and keep nature squared away. With the existing grasses dead brown and less than 3/16 inch high, Park Department crews nevertheless have been ordered to cut dead grass in an apparent attempt to make nature submit and give workers something to do in their spare time.

The crews have also been liberal in the use of poison sprays on grounds used by nesting Kildeer and other species.

March 28 2014 – Boy Scout Hill Restaurant – Just Say No!

 March 12 2014 – X Marks The Spot

Mea Culpa – After Four Months of Denial, City Admits Marking Trees For Cutting – Park Official Blames Rogue Crew Chief for X Marks – City Forester Proposes Unprecedented Decertification of Historic Tree Housing Owls 


Dallas Declares War on Owls – Massive Tree Cutting Set For White Rock Lake – Park Board Orders Removal Of Protected Species Habitat and Dangerous Trees and Bushes

Special Report – For several months, Dallas Park and Recreation Department employees have been marking trees and bushes for removal at White Rock Lake. However, senior Park Department officials have blamed organized bird watching groups, presumed members of the Audubon Society or other organized groups, for the scores if not hundreds of blue X marks on trees and bushes throughout White Rock Lake Park.

According to the City, these bird watching groups have been systematically going through White Rock Lake Park marking trees so members can identify birds nesting in the trees. A number of the marked trees are occupied by protected species.

In November 2013, the Dallas Morning News ran a story on the tree marking. Behind the scenes, mid-level Park employees have fingered other City of Dallas employees for the tree markings. The City of Dallas vehemently denies government employees have been marking the trees and bushes.

One marked bush, six feet high, is X marked at the top of Winfrey Point in the parking lot area. This bush is of limited danger to the public.

A key issue with some Park and Recreation Officials is the extreme danger of trees falling on visitors to White Rock Lake Park. In order to protect visitors to the lake, it is thought imperative to remove any trees or bushes that might endanger human life at White Rock Lake. Although there are no reported deaths or injuries from trees at White Rock Lake, the Park Board apparently feels the possibility of death and injury mandates the removal of any trees or bushes that might cause death or injury. This policy targets hundreds if not thousands of trees and bushes at White Rock Lake.

The incidental destruction of animal habitat and flora is considered appropriate to any overall threat to humans at White Rock Lake according to current City of Dallas Park Board policy as practiced today at White Rock Lake.


Photo by Ben Sandifer

August 12 2013 – City Releases Desman Report Dated June 24 2013

Behind The Scenes Financing Emails and Records For The Parking Garage Tax Exempt Bond

Note: See Email from Barbara Kindig, ” I verified with one of the Assistant City Managers, and the revenue does not all have to be from parking to repay the ‘parking revenue’ bonds. He stressed that the more complicated the deal, the harder to convince financial advisors and City Council of the viability of the deal, but other revenues can be pledged to repay the parking revenue bonds.” ( PDF at page 89)

Note: See Email to Barbara Kindig of Park Department, “One of the key issues is the term of the bonds. The 20 year term is killing the proforma. Hopefully they have some other ideas about how to structure the deal to lower payments in the early years. ” (PDF at page 98)

Behind The Scenes Look At Parking Garage Financing – City Funded Financial Report Still Secret Months After Completion Date Passed

Arboretum To Unveil New Parking Garage In Private Meeting on June 18 2013

Note June 19 2013 – Although denying access to Winfrey Point activists Ted and Hal Barker, the Arboretum allowed uninvited members of the public to attend the meeting and speak. This was bad faith on the part of senior Arboretum management. It is what it is…

Editors Note: In an email exchange Mr. John Armstrong, Vice President of Property Development at the Arboretum, told Hal Barker, a leader of the Winfrey Point Parking Lot Protest, that only “home owners” are allowed access to the unveiling meeting. Apparently attendees must present a deed of trust or some other legal document proving land ownership to attend or risk being removed from the Arboretum property. Barker is a voting member of the Dallas Arboretum but has been denied access to City of Dallas property to attend the meeting. More as this develops.

In a recent development, Arboretum attorney Steve Coke verbally refused access to books and records of the Arboretum under the Texas Public Information Act and the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act. The Open Records refusal was not made in writing in a clear violation of the Public Information Act. More to come on this issue.

New – Save Pemberton’s Big Spring Protest Website

April 28 2013 – Arboretum Attorney Steven Coke reads riot act in Sunday afternoon telephone call to PaveTheLake founder Hal Barker. All Arboretum nonprofit records “private” under Texas law and Internal Revenue Code and no voting members or anyone else can ever see the books and records of the Dallas Arboretum under any circumstances in formal legal opinion. Coke states City of Dallas provides an “infinitesimal amount” of funds to Dallas Arboretum so Texas Public Information Act is invalid since Arboretum receives no funds from City. “Virtually none” repeats Arboretum attorney in heated comments. Barker subsequently joins Arboretum as voting member and seeks position as member of Board of Directors. City records show millions provided to Arboretum but prominent licensed attorney and former Board Chairman says otherwise and stands his ground on Texas and Internal Revenue law. More to come on this issue.

New – Park Board Meetings – 2011 to 2013 – Some missing. Posted May 2013

New Record Release – April 25 2013

Record Release- April 23 2013

Additional Record Releases

TOP SECRET II – City Stonewalls Open Records on Arboretum Parking Study

TOP SECRET – Winfrey Point Records Remain Top Secret Under New Abbott Ruling

City of Dallas Financial Transparency Page – Disbursements

Park Board Approves New Boathouse and New Public Dock – No Word on Who Pays for Parking and Utility Connections

September 12 Open Records Production


August 20 2012 – New Winfrey Point – Sunset Bay Records

Football Field Size Glass Greenhouse Next To Apartments

White Rock Lake Task Force Bylaws

Open Records and Open Meetings Certificates – Dallas Park Board

Master Plan Records




August 8 2012 – Attorney General Opinion OR2012-12458 – Full Text Here

More AG Opinions Set To Issue Shortly

Editor and Researcher – Hal Barker

Email Hal

New – June 19 – Proposed Dallas United Crew Boathouse at White Rock Lake

New – June 18 – Records Produced June 18 2012 – Open Record Production

New – June 15 – Records Produced June 15 2012 – Open Records Production

New – June 10 – East Lawther Trail – White Rock Park – February 16 2012

New – Dallas Arboretum Master Parking Plan – 2008

Special Report – City of Dallas Releases New Open Records Documents



Proposal 5 For Winfrey Point Restaurant and Parking Garage


Metrics For 4000 Parking Spaces


Cowboys Stadium overlaid on Winfrey Point – For comparison purposes, full rectangular overlaid graphic equals approximately 4000 parking spaces plus infrastructure on flat ground.


News Stories – Recent

Dallas Observer – Showdown At Winfrey Point

White Rock Lake Weekly – Meet Your Neighbor: Memorial’s Founder Involved In Point Preservation

Advocate Radio: Who’s In Charge Of Winfrey Point Parking? Interview with Councilman Sheffie Kadane


Open Records – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Open Records – City of Dallas

Maps – Open Records Production May 1 2012

Park and Recreation Record Set 1 – Production May 1 2012

Other Records

Park and Recreation Record Set 2 – Production May 2 2012

Dallas Arboretum Economic Impact Study

Arboretum – City of Dallas Contract – April 27 2011

Arboretum – City of Dallas Winfrey Point – Executed Documents

Little League Records

Reference Sites


Photo by Hal Barker

Hundreds Protest Outside Dallas Arboretum on Saturday Morning

Save Winfrey Point Community Website

White Rock Lake Blog – The Environment At White Rock


Photo by Hal Barker


Photo – Texas Parks and Wildlife – Dallas Lone Star Land Steward Award – Austin, 2005

Left to Right – Unknown, Brett Johnson – TPWD Urban Biologist, Carolyn Bray – District 1 Supervisor, Paul Dyer – Director Dallas Park and Recreation Dept., Becky Rader, Principal Investigator and Naturalist, June Howard – Region 1 Maintenance Supervisor, John Davis – TPWD Urban Biologist (currently TPWD Director of Wildlife Diversity Program-Austin Headquarters)

How To Destroy a Park to Create a Parking Lot and Make Money Doing It

In a recent decision, the Dallas Park Board authorized parking in the Texas Lone Star Land Steward prairie grass and wildflower areas on Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake.

The argument goes back 25 years to the D Magazine story of August 1, 1987, titled “White Rockers to Arboretum: Don’t Pave Paradise.

To further complicate the issue, the area designated for commercial parking is zoned Residential R-10(a) Single Family District according to published maps.

The Office of the City Manager has been unable to confirm that studies have been conducted to ensure compliance with the Migratory Bird Act or other federal laws that might control areas such as the Land Steward zones at Winfrey Point or the nesting area at Sunset Bay.

Behind The Scenes

Behind the scenes at a late-night meeting at City Hall, Arboretum and City of Dallas officials developed a fall-back position if media or citizens asked about environmental studies.

(Texas Open Meetings Act – Texas Attorney General)

In an email dated April 4, 2012, sent from Mary Brinegar, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Dallas Arboretum, addressed to Park Board member Gerry Worrall, an architect and Principal of WKA Architects, to Paul Dyer, City of Dallas Park Director, to Jane Hensley of Spaeth Communications, a public relations firm, and Alan and Joan Walne:

“In talking to Merrie Spaeth’s office they suggested we not delay this but go
forward with it tomorrow. There is significant protection in the wording saying it will be at the direction of the Park Department. We will then ask if questioned, that before doing anything we would have a consultation with three respected botanic organizations as to how best to do it and then get this information to the Park Department.I am also copying the Spaeth office to see if they suggest any more wordsmithing on the Winfrey Statement.”



The previously prohibited parking was approved for use by the patrons of the Dallas Arboretum visiting the Dale Chihuly Glass Exhibit beginning May 5, 2012, and running through November, 2012.

Chihuly is a noted environmentalist and artist whose works are tied directly to the beauty of plants, wildlife, and formed glass. His works are indicative of a complex artist tied to nature and the implications of man’s stamp on nature.

The parking designated for the Chihuly exhibit patrons in the Land Steward prairie grass and wildflower areas will have a lasting destructive stamp on the wildlife and flora displaced by the overwhelming need for land for commercial use at White Rock Lake.

Few know that White Rock Lake was once administered by the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Or that eagles and hawks and coyotes and bobcats haunt the areas set for paving.

And runoff from the main parking lot runs directly into the migratory wildfowl nesting areas at Sunset Bay. Prior contaminated runoff from the same area resulted in a federal water quality lawsuit in past years.

The lands are as fragile, if not more fragile, then the blown glass formed by the Chihuly Studio and exhibited at the Arboretum.

The glass artistry can be replaced in perhaps finer form if damaged by nature, but the wildlife and lands at Winfrey Point, soon to be paved, will cease to exist except as monuments to the lack of human dignity and honor of those intrusted with the lands at White Rock Lake.

The intense irony of the parking at Winfrey Point lies in the fact that in order to view the beauty of Dale Chihuly’s vision and art, the City of Dallas chooses to intimately destroy the beautiful and irreplacable art of Mother Nature at White Rock Lake to allow patrons to view other man-made beauty in an artificial setting.

Rather than preserving the beauty and wealth of the Winfrey Point wildlife zone, the priority of government officials is the systematic destruction of the Land Steward area with the enthusiastic and overwhelming support of the Dallas City Council and the Dallas Park Board.

Texas Land Steward Open Records documents from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department relating to the 2005 award for Winfrey Point and White Rock Lake tell the story of the history of White Rock Lake and the key reasons the eastern zone of the lake is special to environmentalists.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, all the City of Dallas has to do to revoke the prestigious Land Steward Award is to pull up the signs, box the award plaque, and send the remnants of the Land Steward Award back to Austin with a “Thanks but no Thanks” letter.

The repudiation of the Land Steward designation by the City Council will mark the first time the award has been intentionally rejected by a recipient for the purpose of commercial development.

Now, a commercial parking enterprise has been entrusted to manage hundreds of parking spaces at Winfrey Point in the award-winning grasslands area designated by the Land Steward Award.

Winfrey Point Interim Parking

The Future Of White Rock Lake

The takeover of Winfrey Point is part of a larger planned expansion of the Dallas Arboretum and the opening of the Children’s Park in 2013.

The Arboretum is landlocked in a sea of private and commercial property. The Park system is the only direction the Arboretum can expand without condemnation of the nearby Emerald Isle neighborhood and commercial businesses along Garland Road.

The only available nearby land is Winfrey Point and the prime flat land directly across from the Love of the Lakes’ Celebration Garden east of Sunset Bay.

The Dallas Arboretum is also scheduled to take over the current Park Department maintenance facility at Sunset Bay, and last year surveyed the area now scheduled for the current parking in the Land Steward areas.

With the Dallas City Council rejection of the Texas Land Steward designation, a large tract of land at the White Rock Bathhouse becomes immediately available for commercial development as well as land in the Big Thicket and at Norbuck Park.

Pressure has been mounting by commercial businesses who stage runs and other events at White Rock Lake to expand their operations and provide organized parking at White Rock Lake.

These organizations pay $2.oo per participant and hire off-duty police officers to handle crowd control. In addition, the Dallas Police Department provides vehicles for commercial events at a cost of $13.90 per hour per vehicle.

The City routinely waives many of the requirements for the commercial operations to use City property, including the onerous burden to notify real property holders abutting special events and laws relating to parking on grass at White Rock Lake.

For years, Winfrey Point has been known as the “Free Zone,” where laws are routinely waived on order of the City Council, City Manager, and Police Department.

The current controversy dates to the call by an event promoter on January, 28, 2012, at Winfrey Point, for what is now known as the “Garland Road Business Boycott.”

The “Business Boycott” was called after a participant at the event parked in front of A&B Animal Clinic on Garland Road, and the irate race participant was towed. This led to the repeated public call by a well known event announcer to “Shut Down” Garland Road businesses and subsequent complaints to City Hall.

What Comes Next? Another Bizarre Twist


Photo by Hal Barker


Photo by Hal Barker

In a odd twist, the City of Dallas has posted a solar powered sign at Winfrey Point prohibiting parking on the grass.

This would seem to be at odds with the vision of parking hundreds of vehicles on the grass in the exact same area.

According to a spokesman for the Dallas Police Department, the police currently have no idea who placed the electronic sign shown in the photos above.

Reference:

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