DISD Board of Trustees called a meeting for today at 4, which had everyone speculating on what they were up to. Most assumed they’d announced the lone finalist for DISD superintendent. And that’s what they did. It’s Mike Miles. I’m sure those at the press conference are finding out more about him than I am sitting here at a desk. But I did find this article about a Mike Miles, superintendent in Colorado Springs. Could it be the same person? (UPDATE: Yes. It is the same person.)
Snippets from the press release after the jump.
A North Texas lawsuit that appeared to set the stage for a battle between the Environmental Protection Agency and the natural gas drilling industry–back by the Rick Perry-appointed Texas Railroad Commission–has been settled. The case had become a flashpoint for debate over the environmental effects fracking. (Think Gasland goes to court.) In December 2010, the EPA demanded that Range Resources clean up polluted drinking water in Parker County, where one man, Steven Lipsky, has a video of fire coming out of his garden hose (that would be natural gas in the well water). As part of the settlement, Range has agreed to monitor the groundwater near where the contamination occurred.
It seems there is still much we don’t know about the case, but there are big implications. Note the lede in this Reuters story about the settlement, set aside in bold, large type-face: “The Environmental Protection Agency, in another retreat in its oversight of hydraulic fracturing, dropped allegations that Range Resources Corp polluted drinking water in Texas while drilling for natural gas.”
Or, as the DMN says in the tenth paragraph of this story (paywall): “In light of its resolution, the case seems likely to add little or no ammunition to environmentalists’ calls for tough federal rules or an outright ban on fracking.”
Not long ago, Tim pointed out the ongoing battle betweenÂ New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Village Voice Media, owner of Backpage.com and the Dallas Observer (and the weekly in South Florida where I worked for three years). The problem: Backpage is used in the sex-trafficking of underage girls. Village Voice Media does not dispute that its site is used in this way, though it has argued that the number of sex slaves trafficked on Backpage is far smaller than reported–as in it’s “only” 827 girls a year, on average. (See comments.)
This weekend Kristof revealed that Goldman Sachs owned a 16-percent stake of VVM–until last Friday anyway. After pressure from Kristof, Goldman Sachs “frantically” sold its shares and went about explaining that the company never had any influence over Backpage operations. Kristof points out a few other companies that have stakes in VVM and some of the other pressure being exerted against Backpage.
UPDATE: Reuters reports that in 2000 Goldman Sachs paid $30 million for what became their share of VVM, and upon last week’s fire sale lost the “vast majority” of its investment.
Artsy, iPad-owning friends are getting all excited about this new Paper app. I don’t know about you, but as someone who cannot draw a stick figure, the most fun thing about art is the actual supplies. I love pencils, I love sketch books, and I like pretending that I might be able make something pretty.
Tonight, Dallas‘ second helping of playwright Tracy Letts officially opens at the Addison Theatre Centre. WaterTower’s production of August: Osage County promises all the dysfunctional, destructive family drama you can handle on a Monday. Mom is addicted to pills, Dad’s a suicidal alcoholic, and their grown-up kids are mired in individual tragedy. Be prepared–Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play is three acts long. But it’s certainly worth seeing, and if you go during opening week, tickets are buy one, get one free with the BOGO code online.
Also this evening, the Dallas Museum of Art has the second Texas Bound event of the season, part of Arts and Letters Live. A slew of Texas-connected talent (Randy Moore, David Lozano, Lydia Mackay, Alex Organ, Peri Gilpin) will read you a bunch of (mostly) Texas-connected stories. Frasier fans might recognize the Dallas-raised Gilpin as Roz Doyle. She’ll read an essay about how technology is ruining our lives from Ellen DeGeneres’ book, The Funny Thing Is, which has nothing specific to do with our state and everything to do with the state of how we live.Â DeGeneres might have a few things to say about this “paper iPad app” replacing “paper.” Look, I know. Save the trees. But first, you can still purchase tickets to Texas Bound online.
For more to do tonight, go here.
Before I switched over to the magazine side at D Magazine Partners, I worked as assistant managing editor at People Newspapers. They obviously haven’t missed me over there as they’re racking up all sorts of awards. The staff recently won Best Front Page from the Local Media Association (thanks to work done by art director Rick Lopez and online creative director Valerie Wong). Dan Koller, the fearless managing editor, won Best Headline for “This Neighborhood Rules,” which you see in the photo. Dan was also named third for Editor of the Year, but as you’ll see in this link, he wanted that fact downplayed. So, fine, I’ll downplay that. But I can’t resist linking to a clip of Dan Koller during his time as an intern on the Late Show With David Letterman. You’ve maybe seen it before. If not, watch it. (That’s Dan in the green top.)
I need to write my GCB recap, but I thought you might like to see last night’s special guest star: the December 2010 issue of D Magazine. The main character uses the magazine as a manicure station. It was all very dramatic, I assure you. Okay, no more procrastination. Off to recap.
UPDATE: The recap is ready on FrontRow. The show seems to be getting better.
You’re still recovering from the weekend, aren’t you? Â You went out with your college buddies Friday night, then you got started early on Saturday when you ran into that cute girl who lives down the hall as she and her even cuter friend headed out for a cocktail, or two, or three, or however many it turned out to be.
You swore you were just going to stay home and watch Mad Men on Sunday, but then your friend Bob Sacamano called with what seemed at the time like a great idea about seeing how many bars in Dallas would let you enter while pantless,* and so you found yourself waking up again this morning cotton-mouthed.
But you also came away from the experiences of the last three days better prepared to vote in D Magazine’s Best of Best Big D Nightlife poll. Knowledge is a terrible thing to waste, so go cast your ballot.
Then come back to vote once a day through April 15.
Fighter Milestone Comes As Next Generation Aircraft Breaks Bank: Tomorrow, Lockheed Martin will mark the delivery of the 4,500 F-16 fighter jet, which will make its way from Fort Worth to Morocco, a milestone for the aircraft that keeps 1,600 people employed at Lockhead. The milestone comes as the next generation of Lockheed fighter, the F-35, is saddled with all sorts of cost overruns — about $1.4 trillion, equal to the cost of the entire Iraq war. Texas representatives still advocate for preserving funding (paywall) for the program, in part, they argue, because there’s no backup plan, and in part because of a cool $3.8 billion injected into the Texas economy each year by the F-35.
Creepy End to Search For Missing Child Who Was Starved to Death: An 11-year-old boy was locked in his room and fed bread and water by his parents until he starved to death. The “punishment,” according to police reports, was retaliation by his parents against the boy for violent behavior, including allegedly punching his stepmother in the stomach and causing her to have a miscarriage.
Student Science Project Prompts Love Field Evacuation: A “robotic device” was found on board a Southwest Airlines flight, prompting an evacuation of 13 gates at the airport. Turns out it was only a student’s science project forgotten on the plane, but 11 people were detained before that was sorted out, some of them in handcuffs, as captured by the video in the WFAA report.
DART Starts Charging For Parking: If you don’t live in a DART member city and you park at Parker Road or North Carrolton/Frankford Road Station to use the light rail, you’ll have to cough up an extra $2 to park beginning today as DART tests out a new pay-for parking program. The agency believes it will raise money (paywall) while only turning away about 5 percent of non-member city ridership.