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Why Are There Painted Halloween Traffic Barrels Along LBJ Freeway?

Why am I obliging the nice fellow who sent me a press release this morning about traffic barrels painted with Halloween-themed art as a promotion for the LBJ Express project and Valley View Center and the redevelopment going on up there to re-dub the area Dallas Midtown?

Because I couldn’t help but wonder about the wisdom of encouraging drivers to take a gander at traffic barrels as they drive by, even if it’s just along the frontage road. The release:

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Glenn Beck on Mike Mooney: ‘He Is an Excellent Writer.’

For our November issue, Mike Mooney profiled Glenn Beck. He worked about two years to get an interview with Beck, who doesn’t do much of this sort of thing. Mike spent an afternoon with Beck in his Las Colinas studio and came away with an impression of a kinder, gentler man than the one many will remember from his broadcasts on Fox. Yesterday, Beck talked about the article on his show. For the most part, he liked it. He thought it was fair. He called Mike an excellent writer, which was certainly kind. But Beck and his sidekicks did take issue with one paragraph in the story that they said showed our liberal bias. Here’s the video.

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Leading Off (10/23/14)

Amber Vinson No Longer Has Ebola, According to Her Family. Still no official word from the CDC or Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, but her family says she’s been approved for transfer out of the isolation unit, and she looks happy and healthy in the photos that have been released. So hopefully she is out of danger. Vinson’s coworkers at Presbyterian got a call from President Obama yesterday, offering his support. What Presbyterian really needs is more patients.

Dallas Police Begin Testing More Than 4,000 Old Rape Kits. Some date back to 1996 and could lead to hundreds of new rape investigations.

Woman Accused Of Beating Her 12-Year-Old Daughter With a Belt Outside Bishop Dunne. Shannetta Robinson, 37, remains in Dallas County jail.

Irving Council Member Quits Committee After Dispute With Mayor. Dennis Webb used to chair the public safety committee. But he apparently felt Mayor Beth Van Duyne was being too political with the committees, so he quit during a public meeting. “Me and Allan [Meagher, chair of community services committee] find ourselves on committees that are meaningless … so your influence can be done,” Webb said. “To save myself and the citizens the grief … you can just find yourself another chair.” I assume he then dropped the mic.

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Klyde Warren Park Wins National Open Space Award

We like to beat up on Dallas from time to time in this space, complaining about how it doesn’t do this right, or doesn’t do that right. Well one thing it definitely got right is Klyde Warren Park (even though we can still quibble about over programming). The Urban Land Institute has taken notice. Yesterday it awarded Klyde Warren its 2014 Urban Open Space Award, the “Oscar” of park awards. The Klyde beat out parks in other not-as-world-class cities like Columbus, Tulsa, Santa Fe, and Cincinnati.

“Klyde Warren is not only successful in fixing an urban fracture that isolated development and challenged the existing potential for the area; it also demonstrates that a long-term vision and commitment are critical to foster a sense of place and community, with lasting positive rippling effects,” said M. Leanne Lachman, Chair of the ULI Global Awards for Excellence Jury and President of Lachman Associates.

That’s right. And the park is celebrating two years of rippling this week. Here’s the full release.

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Tony Romo Walks Into a Bar in Brussels

[Editor's note: Having been honored with a Marshall Memorial Fellowship, our Brad Pearson is off wandering around Europe, ostensibly to develop his leadership skills. Periodically he will check in, as he is doing today with the following post.]

The Cowboys wouldn’t play for another three hours, but there was Joey, fully decked in his Tony Romo jersey. We were at Fat Boy’s Bar and Grill, a most American-sounding bar, except we were in Brussels, so it was likely rather a statement about Americans, via tavern title.

“Where you from?” I asked.

“New Jersey!”

So Joey and I stood there, watching a grainy stream of a Dolphins game pulled from an old laptop, pretending that he wasn’t just a front-running jerk who grew up when the Giants sucked.

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Nina Pham’s Dog Doesn’t Have Ebola

My favorite part about this morning’s press release from the city of Dallas is that they didn’t feel any need to explain who Bentley is on first reference. He’s become a one-name celebrity, like Madonna or Beyonce:

On Monday, October 21, samples from Bentley were sent to a lab to be tested for Ebola. The test results show that Bentley has tested negative for the virus. Specimen collection will be conducted again before the end of the 21-day quarantine period. Bentley will be monitored for a full 21-day period, similar to people exposed to the Ebola virus.

The City of Dallas Animal Services is overseeing Bentley’s care in partnership with the Texas Animal Health Commission, Texas A&M University and the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Nina Pham, Bentley’s owner, continues to be cared for at the National Institutes of Health, NIH, in Maryland. The City of Dallas and DAS are communicating daily updates to Nina on the testing throughout the process.

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Leading Off(ish) (10/22/14)

Was the ball dropped? Yes. Were mistakes made? Certainly. We can assess blame blame later. Now is not the time. Now is the time, while seated in the waiting room of my son’s dentist, to hurriedly put up today’s Leading Off.

Nina Pham Is Kicking Ebola’s Butt. The nurse’s condition has improved. She has been upgraded from “fair” to “good.”

Shooting by a Police Officer. Few details at this point, but a cop shot someone this morning in Northeast Dallas.

Highland Park ISD Looks To Expand. The district is in talks with Northway Christian Church to buy 4.6 acres off Northwest Highway, where the district would build its fifth elementary school.

Nelson Bunker Hunt, R.I.P. The man lived one hell of a life.

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Carl’s Corner

As I’m sure many of you know, the drive along Interstate 35 between Dallas and Austin isn’t particularly scenic. It suffers from a serious dearth of character, which is why many a motorist in now long-past days looked forward to passing the small town of Carl’s Corner, with its truck stop unmistakably adorned by 10-foot-tall frogs.

The man behind the truck stop and the town was Carl Cornelius, who was memorably profiled by Mike Shropshire in the November 2006 issue of D Magazine. It’s one of the 40 greatest stories we’ve ever published.

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C.J. Wilson Picks Up a Fancy Car in Dallas

Over on the site Jalopnik, former Texas Rangers (and current Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) pitcher C.J. Wilson has authored a post in which he discusses his recent trip to Dallas to pick up some sort of high-performance automobile from Park Place McLaren. He described the vehicle as a “Hyperblurprle McLaren P1.” I assume that will mean something to some of you. He ordered it a few years ago, which seems like an awful long time to wait for a car. He opted to drive it from Dallas to California rather than have it shipped:

I drove over to DFW to pick up my wife, who just started laughing and walking circles around the car with her iPhone. We squeezed into the carbon fiber and alcantara seats and headed towards Albuquerque. Each fuel stop was full of questions, photos and smiles.

Sure, you can take photos. Yep, it’s a McLaren. No, the F1 has the seat in the middle. 903. Yep.Yes it is fast. No I haven’t gone 200 yet. She is a car nut like me and loves the noise and was blown away by the accelerating despite going for rides in fast cars and her prior Porsche Driving School seat time.

Here’s a picture of the car. Here’s a picture of his wife.

Reminder: Wilson bombed badly in this year’s American League playoffs against the Kansas City Royals.

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I Also Have a Wish List of Unfunded Amenities

Gail Thomas, director of the Trinity Trust, presented the City Council with an unfunded list of possible amenities in a briefing yesterday: spray parks, fire rings, a climbing wall, kayaks, a zip line, a disc golf course. Jugglers! It all adds up to $76 million, none of which has actually been raised. And it will have to be raised, because the city doesn’t have the cash to pay for any of it. But whatever!

“So many things in the corridor are possible once we allow our imagination to go there,” Thomas said.

EXACTLY. With that in mind, here is a list of some possible improvements to our city. They are also unfunded. Why worry about that? Just dream with me, people.

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