The silt buildup on the floor of White Rock Lake has reduced the lake’s depth to a mere five feet in some places, making it nearly impossible for recreational activities such as fishing and boating.

Professional fishermen participating in a recent tournament at the lake complained about its high silt content, attempting to justify why so few fish were caught during the two-day affair.

But the anglers weren’t just making excuses. Ben Cernosek, senior engineer for the City’s Public Works and Transportation Department, is a manager of the upcoming dredging project, which is scheduled to begin August 11. The $18 million project is expected to take two years and is designed to alleviate much of the lake’s silt buildup.

“The goal has been to save the lake from dying,” Cernosek says.

“It will be dredged to a minimum eight-foot depth, making it ideal for recreational purposes.”

The eight-foot depth also will keep the sun from penetrating to the bottom and fostering unwanted algae blooms, Cernosek says.

Silt removed from the lake will be pumped into a pipeline and shuttled to a private area in southern Dallas County 17 miles from White Rock.

While Cernosek says the dredging won’t cure the lake’s silt woes forever, he believes the experience gained from the project will make future lake maintenance and silt management more effective.

“The idea is to do the big dredging project and out of it, the City will obtain experience, knowledge and equipment,” Cernosek says.

“People can expect a lake that is more boatable, more fishable and much more recreationally enhanced.

“They can expect a lake that will not have any more environmental problems as far as siltation goes.”

Neighborhood Resident’s Block-Sale Legacy Continues After Her Death

Jo Ann Bowen was determined to continue the tradition begun by her best friend of 30 years, Ginny Mathis. Mathis, described as the “spirit” of her Goliad neighborhood, checked in to the hospital recently with a low potassium and sodium count accompanied by a slight fever. Six days later, Mathis was dead.

Nine years ago, Mathis started what has become the annual Goliad Block Sale. Begun as an effort to unify the residents of the 6200 block of Goliad, the sale has grown to encompass the 6100-6300 blocks.

“It started as a good way to meet neighbors,” says Bowen, who lived with Mathis at their Goliad home for 15 years.

“It was a safety thing – if you met your neighbors, you could look out for one another.”

Goliad residents say Mathis’ spirit and caring nature brought neighbors together.

“I called her the mayor of Goliad,” neighbor Sibyl Hamilton says. “She was certainly helpful to everyone on the block. She was one of a kind.”

Bowen says the Goliad Block Sale, which includes typical garage sale items such as clothing and furniture, has helped unify the neighborhood.

“We’ve had over a thousand people in the past,” Bowen says. “They couldn’t come down the street and find a place to park.”

Not surprisingly, this year’s sale, which takes place Saturday, May 10 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., is dedicated to “the memory of Ginny Mathis’ life and passing.”

“It’s an honor to continue it,” Bowen says.

“She wouldn’t have wanted it any other way – it was her passion.”



Munger Place Home Tour: The 1997 Munger Place Historic District Home Tour will take place May 10-11. The tour starts at 11 a.m. both days and ends at 7 p.m. May 10 and at 5 p.m. May 11. The tour will showcase six homes and one cottage garden. Tour tickets are $7 in advance and $8 on tour day. Tour headquarters is Prairie Park, corner of Collet and Tremont. There will be live entertainment, food and beverages at the park. For information, call Dusty Eagen at 214-824-4666.

Historic District Celebration: The Mill Creek Homeowners Association will be celebrating the first anniversary of “Peak’s Suburban Addition Historic District” May 17 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the park at the corner of Swiss and Annex. A brief program will be presented unveiling the newly installed City historic marker. The program will be followed by a picnic lunch reflecting a turn-of-the-century historic menu. Lunch is free for all Mill Creek Homeowners Association members. There will be a fee for non-members. For information, call Renee Manes at 214-826-0159.


Spaghetti Dinner: Troop 636 will hold its annual Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction May 31 from 5-8 p.m. at White Rock Methodist Church, 1450 Oldgate. Cost is $5 per person. For information, call 214-327-5765.

Board of Directors Named: Michaux Nash Jr., Chairman, CEO and President of Dallas National Bank, recently announced the bank’s new board of directors: Burton C. Einspruch, M.D., Eddie Horton, Burk Murchison, Andrew M. Stern and Darby Strickland. Dallas National Bank is located at 2725 Turtle Creek (next to the Mansion) and specializes in personalized banking.


Poss Announces Contest: City Councilwoman Mary Poss recently announced an essay contest, titled “White Rock Memoirs,” to be held in conjunction with the lake dredging project scheduled to start this summer. Entrants can submit remembrances in one or all of three categories: romance, escapade/adventure/prank, paranormal/not scientifically explainable. The contest opens August 11 and will conclude in May 1999. All entries should be double-spaced and not exceed three pages. One entry per person per category will be judged. There will be numerous prizes donated by area merchants. Entries should be submitted to Mary Poss, Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla, Dallas 75201, or by e-mail to

For The Love Of The Lake: Beginning at 8 a.m. May 3, six areas at White Rock Lake will be refurbished and painted. Volunteers are needed. Volunteers should be at least 14 years old. To volunteer, call 622-SAVE.

5th Annual Pumphouse 5K and Open House: In celebration of Drinking Water Week, Dallas Water Utilities invites the public to the historic White Rock Pump Station, 2900 White Rock Road, for an open house and 5K run May 10. The 5K, benefiting Operation WaterShare, begins at 8:30 a.m. The free Open House includes tours, environmental exhibits, entertainment and plenty of free activities for adults and children. The first 2,000 visitors to the Open House will receive a free 32 oz. sports bottle. For information about the Open House, call 214-670-4022. For information about the 5K, call 214-670-5938.

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