fourth of july bannerWhy is it that everything bad happening in our neighborhood is called a “Lake Highlands” crime wave, and anything good happens in “North Dallas” or is relegated to the back pages of the paper?

I don’t begrudge the press for its extensive coverage of the recent sexual assaults in Lake Highlands. In fact, it’s likely the police will capture the creep because of a description someone saw in a news report. Maybe someone will even avoid victimization or fight off a rapist because of a tip they learned through the media.

This week I was reminded, however, that it’s always this way in Lake Highlands. Cat burglars, car break-ins, apartment crime? If it’s in 75238, 75231 or 75243, you’re sure to see LH in the headline. In fact, I’ve seen areas south of Northwest Highway and well north of LBJ painted with the broad LH brush when something ugly was involved.

In May of 2006, Lake Highlands received worldwide attention when two young men stirred marijuana into baked goods and delivered them to the Wildcat teachers’ lounge. The Lake Highlands Muffin Men (and the rest of us by association) were the subject of scorn and ridicule by anchors on the evening news and comedians on late night television. Just as we’ve seen this week, there were TV remote trucks parked seemingly around every corner.

Where are the satellite trucks when Lake Highlands has something positive going on? This weekend’s Hoops in the Highlands drew hordes of families (despite imperfect weather) and raised thousands for local schools. Our Fourth of July Parade is one of the biggest and best-attended anywhere. We’re a mature, big-city neighborhood with a single-family building boom going on. Outstanding LH youth, winning sports teams, dedicated civic groups, hard-working volunteers. Where are the cameras at Exchange Club’s Oktoberfest, the Women’s League’s Home Tour, the Junior Women’s League’s Fun Run, Market in the Meadow? What about the countless stories of selflessness and sacrifice, of achievement and success despite hardship and adversity? For every two Muffin Men, there are 100 LHHS graduates each year earning $1 million dollars in college scholarships.

We here at the Advocate will accept some blame. We can work harder and do better to tell more good news stories. But we make this promise – we’ll use the LH label on every positive story we share.