Coast Guard Auxiliary sets National Safe Boating Week observance

The Grapevine Flotilla 5-11 of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is reminding residents of the importance of wearing lifejackets as National Safe Boating Week, May 17–23, nears.

Flotilla 5-11 will begin the observance with an open house at 8 a.m. Saturday at Scott's Landing Marina, located at 2500 Oak Grove, Loop S.

Members will be handing out bottled water and conducting free boat safety checks to help boat owners make sure they have the required and suggested equipment to keep them and their passengers safe. No. 1 on the list is at least one personal flotation device for every person onboard.

A recent drowning on Lake Grapevine involving a kayaker without a personal lifejacket makes the message that much more timely, said Jay Culotta, public affairs officer for the flotilla. That incident, as well as one involving a pair of kayakers without lifejackets rescued a few weeks ago floating in 60-degree water at night, drives the point home.

"(The rescued kayakers) had one 'throwable' flotation cushion and one small cooler," Culotta said. "That's what was keeping them afloat. They had capsized and almost didn't make it because of hypothermia."

He said he can't stress enough how important it is to wear lifejackets, despite the objections some have for wearing them.

"We want to get everyone on the water to wear their lifejackets at all times," Culotta said. "The idea that you have it handy and readily accessible in case of emergency that's really fine, but most accidents, you don't have any warning. You're hit, you hit something, you're overboard. You don't have time to grab that lifejacket. The idea is to wear it at all times. And most people object because they may feel like lifejackets are ugly or bulky, but now they have inflatables that are so easy to wear there is really no legitimate excuse for it."

The importance of lifejackets is the primary focus during National Safe Boating Week, but not the only one. The flotilla's boat exams also help boaters bring their equipment up to standards in the overall effort to increase recreational boating safety.

"They take probably anywhere from 20-30 minutes to do a complete job," Culotta said. "We'll discuss things with people, and make them aware of standards they may not be aware of. It's designed to help them avoid a possible ticket as well as save a life in the event of emergency. There's no penalty if they fail an exam, we just give a checklist of everything an owner needs to work on."

The flotilla routinely offers boating safety classes, and will have two scheduled this summer in June and August. Culotta said the flotilla also offers to teach classes wherever they are needed, if requested.

For more information, to schedule a live vessel safety check or to use the virtual vessel safety check online tool, visit


Preliminary 2021 STAAR results show students are failing behind in math and reading. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Preliminary STAAR results show more Grapevine-Colleyville ISD students under-performing; Carroll ISD an exception to statewide trend

Early results report 17% of GCISD eighth-graders did not meet expectations in math, up from 8% in spring 2019. Carroll ISD saw an increase of just a percentage point, from 2% to 3%.

Construction has been ramping up in neighborhoods throughout Texas to meet the demand for housing. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Experts discuss Texas' housing shortage during digital summit

Douglas Elliman Texas CEO Jacob Sudhoff said one trend from 2020 that has continued this year is tenants wanting to migrate from urban apartment developments to suburban homes.

COVID-19 had more real estate property owners consider how to bring the inside to the outside, experts said during the June 23 digital summit. (Courtesy Hub Streat)
Experts discuss COVID-19's effects on Texas real estate trends during digital summit

“The new normal is closer to the old normal than we thought it would be,” said Frank Mihalopoulos, the founder of Corinth Properties. “We lost a lot of businesses, and ... some restaurants are not even open all the hours that they had. We noticed some folks don’t even open in the evenings or on certain days for the longest time.”

Real estate investors and experts discuss the draw of Texas during the June 23 Bisnow Digital Summit. (Screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Real estate experts discuss the draw to Texas in digital summit

Craig Hall, founder of the Hall Group, said his projects have him working with out-of-state city leaders, and it’s “refreshing” to work with Texas attitudes.

A new gaming arena franchise is coming to the U.S. with Grapevine among the first locations. (Courtesy Belong Gaming Arenas)
U.K.-based gaming arena to expand to U.S. with Grapevine among first locations

Belong Gaming Arenas began in the U.K. in 2016 and is now looking to expand to the U.S. with locations set to open this summer and fall 2021.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special legislative session will begin July 8. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott announces special legislative session to start July 8

Agenda items will be announced before the session begins, according to a release from the governor's office.

Carroll ISD Superintendent Lane Ledbetter unveiled safety strategies to the board of trustees on June 21. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Carroll ISD Superintendent to address safety concerns with policy, code of conduct review

Carroll ISD Superintendent Lane Ledbetter said the district will be reviewing its harassment and discrimination policy as part of its safety strategies.

Shannon Braun raises her hand while taking the oath of office
Shannon Braun sworn in as newest Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board member

The board also elected new officers, including Jorge Rodriguez as president.

Sharen Wilson was first elected in 2014. She is Tarrant County's first female district attorney. (Courtesy Sharen Wilson Campaign Team)
Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson seeking re-election

Wilson announced her intent to run for another term June 22.

The job fair, which will be held in Irving, will feature more than 100 potential employers. (Courtesy Pixabay)
North Texas Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne to host job fair in partnership with local businesses

With federal unemployment benefits ending on June 26 in Texas, Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne has partnered with local chambers of commerce, officials and businesses to host a job fair in Irving.

woman in spa
Spa on the Square in Colleyville opens up rental space for beauty professionals

The new downtown Spa on the Square offers private salon suites for rent to licensed and independent beauty professionals in Colleyville.

Cajun restaurant Storming Crab is now open in McKinney. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Storming Crab restaurant open in McKinney; Romeo's Pizza comes to Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.