Green Grocers On Lower Greenville


Green Grocers exteriorIf you really don’t like kale but want to feel good about yourself then go to the Green Grocers.  They are located on Lower Greenville. They have a great drink that includes kale: Their Homebrew Holy Kombucha. I can taste just enough kale without getting the little gag that happens in higher concentrations. Or you can get a great deli sandwich and fresh fruit and sit in their covered front porch. So you can watch the Lower Greenville parade go by.

Green Grocers great sandwichesGreen Grocers modified their business model recently to help them  more effectively compete in the local grocery market. They are definitely worth a visit if high-quality, organic foods are important to you. Plus their staff is extremely helpful and friendly.


Accurate Signs has done some simple interior signs for them. To feature their Paninis we did some refrigerated case runners that were applied near the bottom of the refrigerated case. 
green grocers paninisCase runners are great options to communicate key features and benefits of the products and services that are most important to the success of your green grocers tacos soupsbusiness. We also did simple informational signs to let their customers know where to find featured producst like the tacos and soup sign.

Green Grocers uses effective fonts and colors which help to emphasize the company’s focus on local, organic foods.


The neighborhood around the Green Grocers has gone through a metamorphisis over the last decade. First, the surrounding houses have dramtically increased in value over the last 30 years. Because of this the entire length of Lower Greenville south of Mockingbird has seen many businesses that had been there for decades replaced with some new, trendy locations that cater to the higher income home owners. In some cases, the change is not good. But the Green Grocers has been a great addition to the avenue and, therefore, I hope they are their for decades to come.

Green Grocers Kombucha Home brew

Citizen Police Academy

From September through December I participated in the Mesquite Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy. Most cities in the area have this type of program. It brings local citizens (either living or working in the jurisdiction of the Police Department) into the class room with Police Department leaders. Once per week for three hours we enjoyed presentations from each of the departments and had hands on demonstrations detailing how the police do their job.


The Mesquite Police Department’s Citizens Academy was developed to provide transparency to how the police department does their job. Chief Derek Rohde wanted this program to welcome all citizens who either worked or lived in Mesquite to learn directly from the Police and the Police support staff. It was his hope that this would show the attendees that the department was working for them and is willing to hear directly from the community if the citizens wanted change.

Entertaining and Educational

I highly recommend that everyone go through this program or the one that is local to where you live or work. It was great to hear directly from the Police Officers how they do their job. It was very helpful to understand the process that police go through to identify crime and apprehend the criminals. It was reassuring to hear how effective the Mesquite department has been in reducing crime over the years and what they are doing to drive crime even lower.

Officers Goodfred and Officer Williams of the Citizen Polilce Academy

Officer Goodfred, left, and Officer Williams photographed with employees of Academy Sports. The business donated over 80 bicycles to the Toys for Tots program.

Officer Don Williams led the Citizen Police Academy program and Officer Goodfred supported him. Both of these officers are very good-natured and easy to talk to. They obviously enjoy the interaction they have with the citizens and both are very entertaining speakers. Officer Williams told a very entertaining story about one time while he was working as the Resource Officer for one of the Mesquite High Schools. He was instrumental in gathering information that led to an arrest of one of the teachers. The arresting officers asked Officer Williams to stay in his office at the school to insure that the teacher was not spooked if he saw Officer Williams. He knew that the arrest had been made when two students ran into his office and exclaimed, “Officer Williams hurry…our teacher is being kidnapped!” The teacher had tried to run and was subdued by the arresting officers.

Citizen Police Academy Practicals

The last class of the year is what is known as the practicals. We teamed up with a fellow citizen and were put into simulated police situations. In the first, my partner and I went to a ‘domestic disturbance’. Two of the support staff were having an argument: one was posting inappropriate remarks about the other on Facebook. A lot of yelling occurred between the two ladies and the ‘officers’ but we were not successful in getting the two ladies to separate.

I then noticed that one of the ladies had put her hand behind her back. Officer Williams had told us that officers always watch the hands of the people they are speaking with. As he said, “the threat will always come from the hands.” I told the woman to bring her hand out so I could see it and her eyes went a little wide…like, “uh-oh, he caught me going for my ‘gun.'” She started to pull her hand out (a little aggressively for my taste) so I pulled my ‘gun’ and we had an old fashioned shoot out. I think she got me since I did not realize I had to pull the gun and say, “bang” but I was definitely pulling on the gun’s trigger.

What it confirmed is that I really don’t want to be a police officer and I am really happy that we have people like Officers Williams, Goodfred and the rest of the great people we met through the Citizen Police Academy class. Once you have completed the course you are eligible to join the alumni association. Through this association you can volunteer to do special projects for the police: drive the license plate reading car, monitor the parking lot at Town East from the police tower, etc.

Citizen Police Academy

Citizen Police Academy photo with vehicles.


Improv Comedy and Why it is Important to Me

This is the story of how I joined the local comedy cult and why I want to remain a member. More importantly it explains why I believe improv comedy is such an important tool in helping anyone more effectively deal with what life throws at you.

I started taking improv comedy classes at the Dallas Comedy House (DCH) as a lark. My friend, Bob, and I were eating at the Angry Dog on Commerce in Deep Elm. Just down the street there was a neon sign that read “Comedy”. We decided to check it out. We saw a couple of great shows and were really impressed. The emcee let the audience know that classes were starting the next week and were open for anyone. Bob and I decided to join for level 1 together right then and there.

Where’s Bob?

Bob did not attend the first class…or the second…or, in fact, any classes ever. I did. And I went through all five levels and graduated. Now I take workshops with Nationally acclaimed teachers. I went to a summer retreat just for improvisers. I am halfway through the sketch program at DCH. And one of the teams I am on actively pursues performing at improv festivals in other cities which we have done. How did I go from never doing improv three years ago to performing and training every week and reading as much as I can about the art form?

Why Improv Comedy Is Important to Me

There are a number of reasons that I love performing and practicing improv comedy.

  • Everyone is very nice and welcoming
  • People have fun
  • It is a supportive community
  • It teaches you to swerve well
  • It is a challenge

From the first time I walked into the club people welcomed me in. It is in the nature of people who love to improvise to be accepting of other people. In fact, that is a fundamental of how improv works. Whatever your scene partner says or does you accept it as fact and move forward. Performers at the Dallas Comedy House doing improv comedy.

People who hang out at DCH are funny. Some more than others. And, like everyone, they like to have fun. There are a few people who are trying to make a career in comedy but most are taking classes just for the fun of it. Because of this the atmosphere is always relaxed with people trying to make each other laugh. Plus because everyone there knows the feeling of being on stage without a script there is a tremendous sense of camaraderie. We have all been in TERRIBLE shows. We all know the feeling of doing something on stage and getting NO reaction. The kool aid we drink is flopping on stage. And it makes the community very supportive of each other. Supportive both with our DCH activities but also with real-life activities. Case in point: when the family that does custodial work at the club lost their home the community contributed $3000 in less than 24 hours to support them.

Why it is Important

The most important lessons that you learn from improv is to swerve well and not worry about making a mistake. In fact, making a mistake is one of the greatest things you can do on stage. If you mispronounce a word, or misunderstand what your scene partner has said, or just stare at your partner not knowing what to do all of these are opportunities for something wonderful to happen. The key is to just swerve with the flow of what is going on. Don’t call out that you made a mistake: YOU DIDN’T. You made a choice that will lead to something wonderful. This is a golden rule that I hope everyone learns at some point in life. Mistakes are always opportunities.

Improv Comedy is Easy/Hard

Improv is very easy and very hard. It is easy because it requires nothing more than listening to your scene partner and responding honestly in the character you have chosen to what they have said. It is very hard because to do it well you must remember everything that is said so you can bring it back up later, do physical work in an empty space (make a cake on stage with no bowl, spoon, counter, refrigerator, etc.), use emotions effectively, and make it all seem natural.

But no matter how hard it is I will continue as long as I can. Some people play golf: I do improv comedy. A couple of friends and I are going to try to something that Jason Alexander says is impossible: musical improv. We want to make up a 25 minute musical with new lyrics, melodies, and story when we walk on stage. It is very likely that we will fail miserably. But we will have a great time trying.

Casa Linda

TorchysCasa Linda Shopping Center has been a staple of East Dallas shopping since it opened in 1945. The Business Development manager of Accurate Signs, Doug Barton, grew up near to the center and currently lives within walking distance. Accurate Signs likes to support local area businesses and as part of this effort we will feature Casa Linda on our blog this month.

El Fenix at Casa LindaCasa Linda is located at the intersection of Garland Road and Buckner Boulevard and has a wide mix of businesses. The shopping center features some great restaurants including Torchy’s, Chili’sEl Fenix, Pei Wei, Alligator Cafe, and Highland Park Cafeteria. Recently Elliot’s Hardware moved into the space next to Chili’s and joins some other great businesses: Natural Grocers, AT&T, Albertson’s, Sergio’s Jewelers, and Petco. For a full list of companies in Casa Linda go to the center’s website.

Artistic Gathering recently close their doors and will be sadly missed, however, “Miss Kim” is still available for her loyal customers. She now provides art training at your location.

Natural Grocers at Casa LindaOld time residents of the area remember with the Natural Grocers was originally a movie theater. It is said to been only the second movie theater to have been built as part of a shopping center – a novelty for the time. It was built by B.R. McLendon, father of Gordon McLendon who was a famous radio personality. John Wayne and Glen Campbell came to the opening of True Grit at the Casa Linda Theater. The story was that John was friends with Gordon so did him the courtesy of showing up for the premiere.

The shopping center rarely has empty space for long and in recent years the parking lot is very full as customers frequent the stores. Over the decades Casa Linda has been an anchor for East Dallas and the stability it has provided has helped to provide a high quality of life for area residents.

Rodeo Road Rally

The 2015 Rodeo Road Rally was a big success this year. The event started in 1995 as the Mesquite Rotary Bike Ride and has been a favorite of cycling fans in East Dallas for 20 years. The event started at the Mesquite Convention Center and provided routes of varying lengths for cyclists of all abilities. The three options were 20 miles, 42 miles, and 65 miles.

Participants at the 2015 Rodeo Road Rally.

Participants at the start of the 2015 Rodeo Road Rally.

This years event raised 10s of thousands of dollars for local charities and was given very positive feedback by the participants. Some of the comments from riders include:

  • Great rest stops.
  • All major and more minor intersections were controlled by local police.
  • Parking was easy, registration was efficient and fast.
  • A very good ride with ample end of ride festivities.
  • Everything ran like clockwork.
  • The breakfast/lunch was AWESOME!!!!!!

Panera and Whataburger provided meals for this years event and as the last comment above illustrates the participants were very appreciative. The bagel holes (Bogles) in particular provided by Panera were a big hit at the rest stops.

Rodeo Road Rally Logo

The first 1300 registrants received a commemorative, red tee shirt that is super soft and shows the event logo on the front. Participants could buy one or more raffle tickets for a bike valued at more than $2500 dollars. The lucky winner this year is Michael from Dallas.

The event benefits local high school graduates with college scholarships as well as numerous other organizations inclulding: Mesquite Social Services, the Mission East Dallas Health Clinic, the Mesquite Public Health Clinic, the Mesquite Police and Fire Departments, the Mesquite Public Library, Mesquite Youth Services, the Boy Scouts, the Mesquite “Red Ribbon Day” youth substance abuse awareness and prevention program, the Mesquite ISD Educational Foundation, Equest, Mesquite Parks and Recreation, and the annual charitable “Dentists with a Heart Day”.

Accurate Signs has been a proud sponsor of the event for over a decade. We provide the signage for the event including the sponsor banner, start and finish banner, and all the route signs needed to keep the cyclists on course. We also worked at the pre-sign up booth at the Richardson Bike Mart on Garland, the sign up booth at the event, and the removal of the traffic cones at the event conclusion.


Dallas City Council Race – District Nine

Periodically Accurate Signs will post articles of local interest to East Dallas County. Both Frank Block and Doug Barton are involved in a number of local organizations. We undestand that supporting the community and being involved is an important part of running a small business.

City Government Elections

On March 17th Doug  attended the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce  luncheon that brought together the candidates for Dallas Mayor as well as the Dallas City Council District 9 council candidates. The program was moderated by Gromer Jeffers  of The Dallas Morning News.

Mayor’s Race

Mike Rawlings, Dallas City Council debate

Mayor Mike Rawlings

Mayor Mike Rawlings  was on hand along with Marcos Ronquillo who is opposing him in the upcoming mayoral race. There is one primary issue that separates these two men: the Trinity River Toll Road. Rawlings supports it and Ronquillo claims that the money for the toll road could be more effectively used in other areas of the city. By the way the two men greeted each other it is obvious that they have mutual respect and since Rawlings appears to be a lock to be re-elected Ronquillo may just be setting himself up for a run in four years.

Mike Rawlings impressed me when I saw him speak in the middle of 2014. He needed a hip replacement and because his support of the development of South Dallas is so strong he had it done at Methodist Hospital. That is walking the talk.

Marcos Ronquillo, Dallas District Nine debate

Marcos Ronquillo

Dallas City Council District 9

There are a number of candidates for the seat that will be vacated by Sheffie Kadane  (he has reached his term limit) and the race seems to be open. At least I have not made up my mind and found something positive and negative about each candidate.

Darren Boruff was raised in East Dallas and has been a board member of the Dallas Park and Recreation as well as leadership roles in the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce and Reddy Ice Holdings, his employer, where he is Vice President. He sees opportunities to improve Cara View, Ferguson Road, and Garland Road through economic development. Darren is especially well known for his work on East Dallas parks. However, he does not seem to have much

Mark Clayton lives in Casa Linda Estates neighborhood  and has been in the district for 11 years. Clayton is a small business owner (All State Insurance on Gaston) and was inspired to run for the council based on his experience in helping to stop the restaurant from being built on Boy Scout Hill. He wants to build better communication between the city government and the people of the city. Clayton stands apart as the candidate who opposes the Trinity River Toll Road. Mark seemed less knowledgeable than most of the other candidates but was the most likable of all during the discussion.

Christopher Jackson is on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Arboretum and has lived in old Lake Highlands for 17 years. He graduated from SMU with a law degree. A couple of years ago he spoke with Sheffie Kadane about running for the council and Kadane suggested that he get on the Cultural Affairs Commission to get more experience. Jackson sees opportunities to improve economic development through the Ferguson Road Initiative , Garland Road Vision , and the Greater Casa View Area Plan . Mr. Jackson seemed to be the most knowledgeable on the issues, however, he presented a very gruff exterior which may work against him if elected and he needs to work with the rest of the city government.

Sam Merten is a former aide to Mike Rawlings, a former reporter for the Dallas Observer and current executive team member. He was a long time resident of Oak Cliff and recently moved into the Casa Linda area  . His biggest concern is that District 9 has the most miles of streets rated poor and unacceptable of the 14 council districts. Also, he wants to increase the tax base by bringing in new businesses and suggests the Trinity Grove development as an example of how this could be done. He has lived in the district for less than a year, however, since he has worked as an aide to Mayor Rawlings he has good insight into the workings of city politics.