You’ll forgive me. I’m emptying my reporter’s notebook here. But there’s a lot of stuff I couldn’t get to in the print version of the “Towering Inferno” story.
When I interviewed Richard Tettamant — the top dog at the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, which owns Museum Tower — he said, “We want to be good neighbors.” He stressed that the pension fund has donated $100,000 to the Nasher and more than $1 million, all told, to other organizations in the Arts District.
The Arts District has a homeowners’ association of sorts. It’s called the Arts District Stakeholders’ Group. Your dues (used to pay for events, hire police, keep the joint tidy, etc.) are determined by the size of your operation. One Arts Plaza, as you might imagine, throws in more than the Cathedral.
Museum Tower’s membership dues this year are $20,000. But they’ve only coughed up half that amount.
Perhaps by now you’ve read my little 5,000 word ditty about Museum Tower and how it is destroying the Nasher Sculpture Center. There’s one aspect of the story that I didn’t get to address in the printed version: what happens if the two sides go to court? I don’t think that will happen for several reasons, not the least of which is that David Haemisegger, president of both NorthPark Management Company and the Nasher’s board, doesn’t want to sue. But, still, a lawsuit lies within the realm of possibility.
More than one knowledgeable person told me that a fix on the Museum Tower side could run to $20 million. How do you attach a brise soleil to a 42-story building that was never intended to support such a structure? The fix would be expensive. And it would wipe out any profit that the building’s owner, the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, could hope to reap. In fact, it could put the project in the red. So they won’t want to fix the problem on their side.
The Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army have been linked at least since the 1990s, when the ‘Boys’ nationally televised, Thanksgiving Day half-time show was expanded to kick off the Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign. But during a breakfast speech in Dallas today, Jerry Jones (pictured) put the connection between the two outfits in a whole new light.
The Salvation Army has a pristine, significant brand, the Cowboys owner told a gathering of the Army’s national advisory-board members and local business leaders at the Hilton Anatole. And, he went on, “I’m into brands. I never thought I’d be into brands.” When he bought the Cowboys, Jones said, “I wanted to coach football. That’s why I got here.” Then he added: “I’m joking. That’s an inside joke here in Dallas. They tear me up on this.”
Spencer Ackerman at Danger Room calls it “a classic of the genre.” Apparently the way to sell the public on the most expensive weapons system in human history is to clad some Fort Worth teenagers in skinny jeans and hoodies and have them screech your pr-department’s lyrics on a sound stage.
One thing the lyrics don’t mention: with cost overruns, maintenance costs, and assorted other expenses, the disaster known as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is expected to run to $1 trillion. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney wants to increase defense spending to 4 percent of GNP. So maybe we can get the costs to run even higher.
Where does the money go? A large chunk of it, we should note, goes to pay the salaries of the estimated 20,000 jobs associated with the project in the Dallas area. Those who live off the hog should perhaps not complain too loudly when they find it feeding at the trough.
If I wasn’t already doing something (top secret) for SideDish this evening, I’d be making my way to Paul Quinn College.
Why? Tonight is PQC’s annual A Community Cooks fundraiser. Carol checked in on the football field-turned-farm last week, and this week you can see it for yourself without ever having to get your hands dirty. The last time I set foot on anything resembling a “farm,” (i.e. the time my friend Pam wanted to go strawberry picking in New Jersey for her birthday) I ended up splattered with mud and helping Pam’s boyfriend move the car so she was indefinitely trapped in a Porta Potty. Such juvenile antics will not occur this evening. To date, the students and caretakers of the organic farm have produced over 4,500 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies, with a minimum of 10% donated to needy South Dallas families. This year, the fundraiser will include a ribbon cutting ceremony for the farm’s expansion, and funds from the evening will help PQC continue to make improvements.
Participating guest chefs, who will serve dishes to guests on the field between the cantaloupe and the sweet potatoes, include Jeff Harris from Bolsa, Matt Balke from Bolsa Mercado, Janice Provost and Chad Houser from Parigi, Tim Bevins from Craft, Tre Wilcox of Marquee, Jason Maddy from Oak, Jon Stevens from Nosh, Matt McCallister from new venture FT33, and plenty more. You can still get tickets.
Also tonight, Judy Blume is at the Dallas Museum of Art for their BooksmART series. I have read, as I’m sure most of you have, as well, most or all of her books. However, it’s the 40th anniversary of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, the first in the beloved Fudge series. In honor of this, there will be a post-talk celebration where Blume will sign books (you can bring one well-loved favorite from your home library). Just note that this event will take place at First United Methodist Church on Ross, right next door to D headquarters and across the street from the DMA.
Not only that, it paid the highest corporate percentage, with an effective tax rate of 42 percent. If you think paying your taxes on April 15th hurt, think about the corporate treasurer in Irving who signed a check for $27.3 billion.
No wonder Exxon has an army of lobbyists in Washington. Steve Coll at The New Yorker recently gave some background on how the company became a financing arm of the Republican Party. Â Ideology had nothing to do with it. The company is as analytical in its political decisions as it is in its drilling decisions, and sometimes the methodology has not worked to its favor.
Reward For Information on Burned Puppy Now Up To $25,000. Justice, a 4-month-old lab-terrier mix, died Friday after being set on fire in an apartment complex in Pleasant Grove. An anonymous donor has pitched in $10k to help find the [redacted word I can't say here] who are responsible. Police believe there may be video or photographic evidence of the perpetrators. UPDATE: Dallas County sheriff’s have issued a warrant for Darius Ewing, 18. Reward still stands for any information that will lead to an arrest and conviction.
In better news…
Rick Perry, Against All Logic, To Probably Run For President Again in 2016. OK, it’s not really better news, unless you happen to be someone who makes their living off a combination of his train-wreck campaigns and regular Google Images searches. In actual better news…
I Continue To See You, Big German! The tall baller from the G scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, and 31 in the second half, as the Mavericks solidified their position in the playoffs with a win over the Houston Rockets. In other sports news, the Texas Rangers (off to the best 12-game start in their history) finished off a sweep of the Red Sox, and I pulled off several fancy dunks on the 6-foot goal in my son’s room, while playing hurt.