In response to theÂ attentionÂ concerning nine teen suicides in aÂ two year period in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Minnesota congressional district, Fort Worth councilman Joel Burns, theÂ one who made us sob in October, will be appearing on MSNBC’s The Last Word tonight at 7:00. He’ll be discussing teen suicides related to bullyingÂ and sexual orientation. Set your DVR.
The Quick website is still up but presumably not for much longer. Word comes that the weekly publication has been shuttered. Condolences to those who lost their gigs today. More details as they become available.
Update (2:43 p.m.): Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO of the Dallas Morning News, says today was a tough day. “It’s always more fun to start something than it is to shut it down,” he says. “I regretted it. I took a lot of pride in Quick when we launched in 2003 and went head to head with a competitor [A.M. Journal Express] and, I think, did a better job of serving the market.” He went on to praise the Quick staff for their creativity and the editorial voice that they developed.
Moroney says the decision was made to shutter Quick because they couldn’t figure out how to get the publication to do better than break even. So what’s wrong with breaking even? Opportunity cost. Moroney says that as the News adapts to the marketplace and looks for a profitable business model, spending time and effort on a property like Quick that can’t consistently turn a profit doesn’t make sense.
Seven full-time employees and two part-time employees were let go. They have all been invited to apply for open positions at the News, but none was automatically offered a new job with the company.
Update (3:04 p.m.): In 2003, I wrote a story for D Magazine about the launch of Quick and its competitor at the time, A.M. Journal Express. I’ve included that story after the jump.
Today is the birthday of Half Price Books, which first opened in a converted laundromat on Lovers Lane (near Inwood Road) in 1972. Thirty-nine years later, the chain has 113 locations in 16 states, and was named Best Bookstore in our latest Best of Big D issue.
Not long ago I had the pleasure of breaking fast with Sharon Anderson Wright, the CEO of Half Price. Her mother was one of the two company co-founders, and Wright has spent her entire career (starting at age 13) working in its stores. The email that the Half Price PR team sent me this morning about the significance of today’s date reminded me of one note that didn’t make it into my piece in the July-August issue ofÂ D CEO.
Wright and I got talking about the store’s early history, and Wright explained that the second store that Half Price ever operated was on McKinney Avenue near Knox Street. Well, that site today houses a temporary Apple store while the nearby regular Apple store is being renovated.
And so that’s where Wright, who doesn’t believe that e-readers will ever entirely supplant printed material in the hearts of bookworms and doesn’t have one herself, had to take her 11-year-old son a few months ago to buy an iPad. The boy likes to read, and excitedly told her soon after the purchase that he’d downloaded a couple iBooks. But, ever loyal to the family business, he stuck to the public domain fare, like Darwin’s Origin of Species.
“I didn’t pay for it, Mom,’” he assured her.
Spoken like a true Millennial.
Michael Ennis covers a lot of ground in this Texas Monthly story about Dallas’ plan to redevelop West Dallas, taking us all the way back to 1912 and George Kessler’s efforts here, which, Ennis says, inadvertently sent the city down a misguided path to our current future. Ennis asks, “[I]s it just possible that a city whose official slogan is ‘Live Large. Think Big’ is on the verge of fundamentally rethinking itself?” [spoiler alert!] He concludes on this hopeful note: “As our state and nation only become more urban (already nine out of ten Texans live in metro areas) and more diverse (nine out of ten new Texans in the past decade were non-Anglo), then Dallas could well win a race to the future that few other American cities even realize they’ve entered.”
I love television. I do, I really, really do. I just love it (legally) online, not attached to a cable subscription or you know, an actual TV. Quick aside: I find Eater Dallas’ fascination with the new Observer food critic’s lack of the same borderline weird, but probably I’m just jealous because no one has taken to calling me a hipster dreamboat yet. Whatever. Anyway, everyone should read Time‘s TV critic James Poniewozik’s great column about Fox’s latest attempt to make people pay for the shows they can’t live without by forcing them to buy cable. Er. Luckily, I do not love (or even like) anything on Fox right now, thanks to the descent of Bones into a cave of crapitude. But I do agree with his central point, which is, we should fork over the cash for shows and channels we like, but don’t restrict that payment to cable companies. Unless the company is Kabletown.
Tonight marks the opening of Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion out in Frisco. In case you were wondering, a dralion is a cross between a dragon and a lion, and the East-meets-West show is a revamp of the late ’90sÂ production of the same name with additional songs, crazier costumes, and even more daring-do. Which seems impossible, considering every stunt seems death-defying to me, a non-acrobat with a fear of heights.
Still, I have oddly nice memories of watching Cirque du Soleil videos in my high school French class. Professor Trauth, who was from QuÃ©bec, intentionally screwed up his American pop culture references and told bad students that he lived in “the tree near the highway near your house” to try and scare them into turning in their homework. And you know what? I’ve never seen a Cirque show live. For those interested in watching 50 people who are way more flexible than you in action, this is your big chance.
Over at Bar Belmont, there’s a bit of a changing of the guard going on. Well, no, not really. But the artwork has been switched out to feature the work of Texas photographer Terry Cockerham. There will be a reception for the artist starting at 6 PM, but of course you’re welcome to just drop by, have a drink, and enjoy the great view of purgatory. Smoke just won best brunch in our Best of Best D issue, but the restaurant is open for dinner if all the black and white pictures of wide open spaces induce hunger pains.
For more to do this evening, go here.
We’ve been overwhelmed with queries regarding how a person might obtain one of the Best of Big D posters that sport the image of NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, which can be seen at Best of Big D award-winning businesses all around Dallas (and at right).
We now have a way. Posters are available for $20 plus tax. Alternatively, you can buy one of the smaller cards intended to sit on store counters for $10 plus tax. Just e-mailÂ firstname.lastname@example.org or callÂ 214-939-3636 with credit card and shipping information. This offer is extended to individuals for non-commercial purposes only.
Why can’t the mainstream media acknowledge the Texas economy for the miracle that it is, and realize that when God called Rick Perry to be our state’s governor, He was showering blessings upon us as part of His divine plan to return a Texan to the White House? Why’d they have to go look at the numbers?
From the Wall Street Journal:
The Lone Star State gained more than a million jobs since the end of 2000, while the U.S. has lost almost 1.5 million, according data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
About 300,000 of the new Texas jobs were in government. Well over half of them, fueled by the surging population, were at public schools. Employment in the state’s public sector has jumped 19% since 2000, compared with a 9% rise in the private sector.
Now layoffs loom. State budget cuts, championed by Mr. Perry to address a big budget shortfall, are prompting school districts around the state to lay off hundreds of teachers and other workers going into the school year starting next month.
The layoffs haven’t shown up in federal data, but some economists forecast they may damp the state’s vaunted economic growth.
It was the bottom of the 4th. The Rangers were up 6-3. And Andres Blanco apparently had some gastrointestinal issues in the dugout. If that’s the sort of thing you’re into watching, have a look.
We hope you are planning on joining us this Thursday at the Kessler Theater for our screening of Wes Anderson and the Wilson brothers’ debut,Â Bottle Rocket, the latest in our “Dallas, Outlaws, and the American Dream” film series. And if watching a great movie with a live audience on a big screen — not to mention an opening performance by Texas singer-songwritersÂ Kevin Deal and Miles PenhallÂ in the Kessler’s bar — wasn’t enough, we’re Â now adding an extra twist to the evening. Show up tomorrow night in a costume inspired by Bottle Rocket and win free tickets to our screening of Paris, Texas, which will close this summer’s series in August.
And speaking of Paris, Texas, we’ve added to that bill. Dallas’ own Hunter Carson, who stars in Wim Wenders’ 1984 Palme d’Or-winning masterpiece, will join us on August 25th. We’ll screen the new short film, “For Rent,” which stars Hunter, before the feature, and then Hunter will join us on stage for a post-film Q&A. You won’t want to miss it.
So, as I’ve mentioned, readers send me lots of emails. I love it. Seriously. Sometimes I don’t get to respond to all of them, but I do love hearing from everyone. Even that guy who likes to tell me, “Your so stupid.” I don’t even correct him.
So with that, I give you this picture of Lynne Spears – Britney’s mom – in a pool at a Dallas hotel. I don’t know which hotel, because nobody ever sends me emails inviting me to pools at fancy Dallas hotels. But they do send me emails with links to pictures of other people in fancy Dallas hotel pools. Â Feel free to tell me which fancy hotel pool this is in the comments.
And reader, I’m not even going to judge you because of the fact that the original link you sent me was to one whole page of what TMZ dubs, “Hot Mamas.” You go, boy.
Club Offering Alternatives. As Zac mentioned last week, the city is trying to shut down two clubs that claim they are churches. WFAA 8 talked to the club church manager, Glenn Hudson, and this is what he told them, “We have outreach programs that are catering to the youth and disadvantaged people in the communities trying to provide an alternative to what currently exists, which are drug-infested.” However, undercover cops say they saw drug sales in the clubs churches. So there’s that.
What’s That Light? NBC cameras caught a strange light streaking across the sky and then veering off to the right. So that has raised the question as to what exactly that light was. My guess? Go back to this hypothetical. I think someone decided that, yes, he would accept the terms and use the portal, thus the light. And now he weighs five to 10 pounds more.
Who’s Ready for Some Football? I love football season. But I mainly watch college ball. I only watch NFL when I realize that one of my players on my fantasy team is playing (I always lose). So here are some links with news about the Cowboys. Highlights: the Cowboys re-signed Doug Free and cut Williams, Barber, Davis, and Brown, which saved $17 million. Now you know. Now I know.
Future Sooner Fights for Her Life. Micaela White has been dealt hard cards. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer two years ago. And now she has leukemia. She’s graduated from Ursuline Academy and is planning on attending the University of Oklahoma. But she needs help. She needs A-negative platelets (which are rare). Please go to the Facebook group “Micaela’s Army” to see how you can help.