Love Field Assistant Director retiring after 33 years

Love Field Assistant Director retiring after 33 years

Terry Mitchell has a different resume than most in the City of Dallas. He has worked for just one department – the Department of Aviation.

After 33 years, Mitchell will retire from his post in February. Since 1984 Mitchell has held a front-row seat to the everchanging history of Dallas Love Field Airport.

Mitchell’s road to the City of Dallas began in California and has winded through service in two branches of the armed forces – the Navy and Marine Corps.

After his stint in the Navy, Mitchell earned a degree in air traffic management, only to learn the Federal Aviation Administration was not hiring. Mitchell re-entered the military as an air traffic controller for the USMC, serving in a regular and reserve capacity from 1972 to 1984 while furthering his education. His commanding officer pointed him the direction of Dallas.

He has seen Love Field awaken from the doldrums of the Wright Amendment, which he said was the most-restrictive cap on an airport in U.S. aviation history, and blossom into the busiest medium-hub airport in the United States.

“In 1984, Dallas Love Field had a questionable future relative to air carrier service,” Mitchell said.  “With the restrictions imposed by the Wright Amendment, and the prevailing sentiment throughout the Metroplex, it appeared that Love Field would never be anything more than what it was at the time.”

Mitchell served as the Airport Operations Manager for Dallas Love Field from 1984 to 1999, managing the airport’s operational and security measures, as well as noise control program. As Assistant Director for Aviation since 1999, Mitchell has overseen airside airport operations, airport security, airfield maintenance, environmental and emergency management.

Notable projects accomplished during his tenure include the reconstruction of Love Field’s baggage claim, Garage B at Love Field, master plan studies for Love Field and Dallas Executive Airport, construction of a new terminal, conference center and air traffic control tower at Dallas Executive Airport, development of the Love Field Modernization Program and many others. One project especially stands out for Mitchell.

“The most interesting thing I got involved in was assisting in the development of the Five Party Agreement to sunset the Wright Amendment,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell is not sure what all retirement will entail, but he knows he will miss coming to the airport every day.

“I’ve been here 33 years in the same place and enjoyed every minute of it,” Mitchell said. “I count myself very fortunate. I’ve been able to pursue what I’ve wanted to do my entire professional career and not many folks that can say that.”


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Six ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Dallas

Dallas Skyline with heart

Love is in the air in Dallas!

There’s no shortage of ideas on how to spend Valentine’s Day in Dallas. Here’s a list of ways to spend this special day with your loved one that won’t break the bank.

Texas Discovery Gardens – Stroll through the romantic Butterfly House with your loved one. Enjoy dinner and drinks featuring chocolate covered insects while Entomologist John Watts talks bug love, or insect reproduction. More info here.

Trinity River Audubon Center – Take a hike, go birdwatching or have a picnic at the Trinity Audubon Center. This hidden gem in southern Dallas is the perfect secluded getaway. Plan your visit on their website.

Lakeland Hills Skate Park – Are you and your Valentine skaters? Whizz up and down ramps, rails and street fixtures at Lakeland Hills Skate Park.

B.B. Owen Park Disc Golf Course – Since 1985, B.B. Owen Park Disc Golf Course has been an excellent course for disc golf enthusiast. Grab your discs and your mate for a unique Valentine’s Day experience.

Bath House Cultural Center – The current exhibit will have you falling in love. El Corazón is a passionate and eclectic art exhibition that features a variety of ideas, styles, and concepts inspired by the human heart, an important and universal symbol in art. Find more info here.

Dallas Zoo – Looking to impress your Valentine and save money? The Dallas Zoo is offering $7 admission until February 28.  Visit their website and hours.

Dallas Arboretum – This Valentine’s Day, the Arboretum is celebrating with a screening of the 2017 Beauty and the Beast.  Visit their website to find information on how to get your tickets!

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Dallas 365 to provide greater accountability to residents

Dallas presents Dallas 365, a performance report to show how well the City performs in six strategic priorities developed by Council and the City Manager. These guide the work of City Staff.  The City’s strategic priorities are:

  1. Public Safety
  2. Mobility Solutions, Infrastructure, and Sustainability
  3. Economic and Neighborhood Development
  4. Human and Social Needs
  5. Quality of Life
  6. Government Performance and Financial Management

Dallas 365 tracks actions intended to lead to full implementation of City policies. This report will be updated monthly online, while quarterly updates will be provided to Council. Visit to review the City’s performance in the first quarter of the fiscal year.  If you would prefer to download the report, you may do so here.


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Tips to prevent food-borne illness


Food-borne illness can sneak up in many ways.

According to CDC (Center for Disease Control), an estimated 48 million cases of food-borne disease occur each year in the United States. Although most of these cases are mild, some cases are more serious and could lead to death.

The City of Dallas Code Compliance has tips for citizens to protect families from food-borne illnesses.

Proper hand-washing – This is one of the easiest ways to prevent food-borne illness. Always wash your hands before handling raw meat and after using the restroom. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Afterwards, dry with a disposable towel. Washing your hands often will keep your family safe and healthy.

Keep bacteria at bay by keeping raw meat away – Preventing cross contamination in your kitchen is simple. Be sure to store raw meat below vegetables and separately from cooked foods in the fridge. Use different cutting boards to prepare raw meats and always wash your hands after handling raw meats.

After dinner is done, cool your food – Bacteria that can make you sick grow quickly at room temperature. Leftovers should be promptly stored in the refrigerator. Eating food left out overnight is an easy way to feel queasy and a quick way to be sick the next day.

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Dallas Public Library receives $752,454 grant from Crystal Charity Ball

Dallas Public Library receives $752,454 grant from Crystal Charity Ball

The Crystal Charity Ball has approved a $752,454 grant to the Dallas Public Library’s new Vickery Meadow Library for a youth center to serve the area’s diverse, economically challenged population.

“This is a great day for the city and the library,” said Director of Libraries Jo Giudice. “Thanks to Crystal Charity Ball funding, the new Vickery Meadow Library will have cutting edge technology that we otherwise would not be able to afford.”

The $7.7 million library, which opens in 2019, is being funded by a city bond issue passed last November. The grant, Giudice said, “will greatly enhance our ability to serve children and teens in a neighborhood that speaks more than 30 languages and where more than 90 percent of the residents are moderate to low income.”

Friends of the Dallas Public Library, (FoDPL) a nonprofit organization that advocates for the library system and raises money for its programs, led the application team for the grant. Tuesday, the Crystal Charity Ball announced $6.5 million in grants to eight nonprofits, including FoDPL, and began the fundraising efforts for them.

“We’re so thrilled and grateful,” said Mary Wilonsky, FoDPL’s interim executive director. “Not just for the difference this grant will make to so many people, but for the recognition that libraries are so important to young people and to the entire community.”

Joining the FoDPL on the grant application team were the Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation, Conrad High School, the Municipal Library Board and District 13 Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates. Charity Selection Chair Patty Leyendecker oversaw weeks of presentations by the applicants and interviews of the finalists.

“The Vickery Meadow Branch Library will become the center of this community, a place for families to learn together, non-profits to offer classes and job resources for parents, and a place to learn a new language,” said Councilwoman Gates. “Being within walking distance of area schools, it will also be a safe place for children and teens to grow, learn and create a bright future for themselves.”

Learn more about the Crystal Charity Ball at:

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From Trash to Cash: How the City of Dallas benefits from garbage

From Trash to Cash: How the City of Dallas benefits from garbage

The City of Dallas pursues opportunities to be innovative and has blazed a trail in doing so. An example of that is the City’s Public/Private partnership with Dallas Clean Energy McCommas Bluff, LLC (DCE). DCE owns and operates one of the largest landfill gas to pipeline quality facilities in the United States at the City’s McCommas Bluff Landfill.  The more than 20-year partnership provides a 1-2 punch in helping the City provide crucial landfill environmental compliance as well as turn trash at McCommas Bluff into cash.

“This partnership is a win-win for the City of Dallas and DCE,” says City Sanitation Services Director Kelly High, “This project not only helps the landfill maintain EPA compliance by capturing and processing the gas, it allows both parties to share in the revenues created by selling the processed gas as renewable natural gas.”

The facility pulls in over 11 million cubic feet of landfill gas from almost 500 landfill gas wells daily, that is sold into the market. For the City of Dallas’ general fund, that adds up to the tune of almost $2.5 million annually. The plant runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and employs 11 full time positions.

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Dallas Public Library employees pop tabs to help Ronald McDonald House

Dallas Public Library employees pop tabs to help Ronald McDonald House

Dallas Public Library employees were given a challenge: fill a house with pop tops and help the Ronald McDonald House help sick children.

“Not only did we fill the collection box house with our Pull for the House challenge,” said Library Associate Jill Azaria, “we had to tape the roof down so the tabs wouldn’t fall out. I know a lot of you cut your fingers, pulled muscles, destroyed manicures, overfed pets and drank gallons of sodas to make the campaign a huge success,” she said. In addition to library employees, including security officers, a Boy Scout and Adventurer Troop at the Lochwood Branch also collected 1.5 gallons of tabs to help fill the house.

“The best news is that we pulled together to help give families with sick children what they need most: each other,” Azaria said. The Ronald McDonald House Charity collects and recycles the tabs from soda and food cans to support Tabs to Keep Families Close – a McDonald House program that keeps families together when their child needs medical care.

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