Duncanville Celebrates Irish-American Heritage Month

Article Submitted by Zebulon (Zeb) Williams, Multicultural Social Engagement Partnership (MSEP) Chairman of the Commission

Irish-American Heritage month is a celebration and a way to honor the achievements of Irish immigrants to the United States.  The month was first officially celebrated in a national capacity in 1991.  Irish-American Heritage month is highlighted by Saint Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March.  Saint Patrick’s Day is a day that the Irish honored the saint who brought Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. Americans have since modified the meaning of the holiday to celebrate all things Irish.

As one celebrates Irish Heritage it is important to understand how so many from Ireland come to the United States in the first place.  Irish immigrants first came to the United States to escape religious persecution.  The first Irish settlers in Texas had settled the towns of San Patricio and Refugio in south Texas.  A much larger population of Irish had come to Texas and the United States during the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s.  During the time of the famine, Ireland lost approximately 1 million people to starvation and another million people had immigrated out of Ireland. In the years after the famine, the Texas population of Irish had tripled. 

As with many cultures, food and agriculture are a staple to the Irish way of life.  Archaeological evidence has shown that farming in Ireland started around the time when humans first began to settle.  Some families in Ireland can trace their farming and stock livelihoods back 200 generations.  In the Irish culture there is a special emphasis on food and drink.  While socializing over an Irish Whiskey or a Guinness beer many Irishmen will still eat meals that resemble that of their ancestors.  Meals involving stews, cabbage, cereals, and potatoes are a commonplace around the dinner table.

While the Potato Famine caused a lot of suffering during the 1800s.  Potatoes also saved many families.  The rich soil and heavy rains allowed families to raise and harvest multiple potato crops through the year.  The potato also supported large families who may not have had the land to grow other crops to feed and nourish an entire family.  To this day Irish households consume about two and a half times the amount of potatoes as other family households around the world. 

Grow Potatoes in a Bucket

New, fresh potatoes are a treat. You don’t need a whole field, just a few tools and a bucket!

You will need:

1 food grade 5 gallon bucket (potatoes dislike sunlight!)

a permanent marker

something to make holes in the bottom of the buckets (Drill)

dirt (Ideally a top soil, compressed peat, and manure mix)

2 potatoes

Step 1: Preparing the Bucket

First you’ll make some holes in the bottom of the bucket in order to drain the soil. It’s important because potatoes can rot if there is too much water around them. Once done make a mark 4 inches from the bottom of the bucket, and another 10 inches up from that mark.

Step 2: Planting Potatoes

Before making the bucket start by sprouting the potatoes until the potato has a ¾ inch sprout. Then fill the buckets up to the 4 inch mark with soil. Place the potatoes with the sprout facing towards the top on top of the soil, taking good care of the fragile sprouts. Then fill the bucket up to the next mark with soil. Finally give the potatoes a good amount of water. The soil will pack around the potatoes, so it can be necessary to add more soil. Remember, potatoes must not get any kind of light. Place the buckets so that the holes on the bottom are free to drain and in a light spot, but avoid direct sun. Give the potatoes enough water but don’t let them soak.

Step 3: Harvesting

When the potato plant begin to bloom the first harvest is ready!


The Duncanville Multicultural Social Engagement Partnership (MSEP) is a commission that serves under the City Council and is charged with:

  1. Establishing a partnership with the community to have the most engaged citizenry in America
  2. Develop an image as a family-oriented community locally and regionally
  3. Develop a brand for the community focusing on the goal of “Duncanville is the Basketball Capital of Texas” and leveraging this brand to enhance sports tourism
  4. Develop ways to engage citizens between 18-30 years of age to become more engaged in Duncanville
  5. Promote citizen participation and engagement in government; and to foster cooperative relationships among diverse citizens in order to fulfill the needs and desires and Duncanville’s diverse community

CANCELED – Easter Eggstravaganza: Saturday, April 4

Update: The Easter Eggstravaganza event has been canceled due to the public health emergency related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The City of Duncanville will continue to monitor the situation. Please visit www.duncanville.com/covid-2019 for more information.

The City of Duncanville Parks & Recreation Department has big plans for an Easter Eggstravaganza and everyone is welcome!

Easter Eggstravaganza features an egg hunt with hundreds of eggs filled with tasty treats and goodies, fun games for the kids to enjoy with cool prizes, bounce houses, music and of course the Easter Bunny! Be sure to bring the camera to capture special moments in one of our most beautiful parks!

Date: Saturday, April 4, 2020
Time: 3 pm – 5 pm
Location: Armstrong Park, 100 James Collins Blvd.
Cost: FREE

POSTPONED – Princess Tea Party: Saturday, March 28

Update: The Princess Tea Party has been postponed due to the public health emergency related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The City of Duncanville will continue to monitor the situation. Please visit www.duncanville.com/covid-2019 for more information.

Duncanville’s first ever Princess Tea Party is an event the whole family will enjoy!

Escape to a magical world of fun, laughter, and amusement. Music and videos will grab the attention of attendees while Disney characters sing songs from your favorite movies. A light lunch will be served and guests will have the opportunity to visit one-on-one with various characters and, of course, take photos!

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2020
Time: 10 am – 1 pm
Location: Duncanville Recreation Center, 201 James Collins Blvd.
Cost: $30 for a family of five and $10 for each additional person

Tickets can be purchased at at the Duncanville Recreation Center front desk. For more information, please call 972-780-5070.

Event features:

  • 16 Disney Characters
  • 7 Fairies
  • An Enchanted Walkway
  • DJ spinning Disney Music
  • Previews of Movie Characters on large screen
  • Petits four squares, Brownies, Hot Dogs, Popcorn
  • Tea, punch & bottled water
  • Photographer

BNSF Railway Plans to Remove Vegetation at Main and Camp Wisdom Intersection

BNSF Railway has notified the city that due to safety concerns and federal regulations, they will begin a vegetation removal project at the railway crossing located at the Main Street and Camp Wisdom Road intersection. On February 11, crews plan to remove trees and shrubbery that exceed 36 inches in height within a quadrant that extends 50 feet from the outside track to 300 feet from the edge of the roadway. All landscaping scheduled for removal is located within the BNSF Railway right-of-way. Traffic control and irrigation boxes located in the area will not be affected.

BNSF recognizes that eliminating the landscaping will affect the beautification efforts the city has invested in over the years, and the railway has agreed to provide $5,000 to assist with the purchase of planting new vegetation that meets BNSF safety requirements. The new landscaping will be installed by the Parks & Recreation Department in spring 2020.

BNSF vegetation removal area highlighted in red.

Mayor Gordon Appointed to Serve on National League of Cities’ Information Technology and Communications Committee

“Technology and communications are major issues facing cities right now, and with increased security concerns it’s more important than ever to stay on top of how these activities affect our communities,” said Duncanville Mayor Barry Gordon. “I look forward to serving on the NLC ITC federal advocacy committee and working with my counterparts across the nation to advocate for solutions that are in the best interest of our cities”.

As a committee member, Gordon will play a key role in shaping NLC’s policy positions and advocate on behalf of America’s cities and towns before Congress, with the administration and at home.

“NLC’s federal advocacy committees ensure policymakers in Washington understand the most pressing issues facing local communities,” said Joe Buscaino, councilmember of Los Angeles, California, and president of the National League of Cities (NLC). “I am proud to have Duncanville Mayor Barry Gordon join NLC’s Information Technology and Communications committee on behalf of his residents. Together, with a team of local officials from across the country, we will strengthen the federal-local partnership, and ultimately create stronger cities, towns and villages.”

The leadership of this year’s committee will consist of Chair Corina Lopez, Vice Mayor, San Leandro, California, Vice Chair Alix Desulme, Councilman, North Miami, Florida, and Vice Chair Joseph Goldstein, Councilmember, Marietta, Georgia.

For more information on NLC’s federal advocacy committees, visit: www.nlc.org/advocacy/committees

Novel Coronavirus: Public Awareness Regarding the Respiratory Illness

A new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was recently detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. The 2019-nCoV outbreak began in December 2019, and Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of 2019‑nCoV infections in China, including several that resulted in death. Several additional countries have identified cases of 2019-nCoV infection including the United States.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in monitoring the developing outbreak. See the CDC website for the latest developments on 2019-nCoV, including current case counts: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Census 2020 Student Poster Contest

Census 2020 Student Poster Contest

The Census 2020 Complete Count Committee and the City of Duncanville are sponsoring a poster contest to engage students in a discussion about the Census. The accurate counting of all people affects the entire community, and involving children in the process helps them understand the Census and its importance in our everyday lives.

Poster Contest Information

The Census 2020 Student Poster Contest is open to all Public, Private and Homeschooled students in grade categories K-5 and 6 – 12 living or attending a school in the Duncanville city limits.

Poster Theme: Middle & High School Students Theme: “Count Me”

Poster Theme: Kindergarten – 5th Grade Students Theme: “Count Me Too”

Entry Deadline: Friday, February 28, 2020

 

  • Posters must have a positive visual and verbal message and illustrate this year’s theme.
  • Any two-dimensional medium may be used (crayon, paint, pencil, marker, photos, etc).
  • Suggested Poster size is 11” x 17”.
  • Student’s Registration Page MUST be attached to the back of the poster to qualify. Please complete both sections.
  • No professional or copyrighted material or images.

Art, Science & Math Teachers, Guidance Counselors and Home School teachers are encouraged to use this contest as part of their curriculum. All students are urged to submit a poster. The winning posters will be used by the Duncanville Census 2020 Complete Count Committee through the campaign in various avenues to promote the mission.

Posters are judged in two categories: Best Message and Most Creative

Posters can be mailed or dropped off at City Hall at 203 E. Wheatland Road, Duncanville, before 5:00 pm on the deadline. Winners and Duncanville ISD will be notified by email and invited to a City Council meeting for recognition, date TBA. Questions about the poster contest should be directed to Athena Seaton at mailto:aseaton@duncanville.com or 972-707-3878.

 

About the Census

The Constitution mandates that the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency, conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail. This year mark the first time that citizens will be able to respond to the census online.

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding goes to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790. Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau. A complete and accurate count is critical for you and your community, because the results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation, and more.