The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a nifty interactive map of the United States that allows you to determine just how giving you and your friends and neighbors have been. (Brad Pearson over at Park Cities People examinedÂ how well the Park Cities fared). You can look at the totals by state, by metropolitan area, by county, by town, or by ZIP.
The data are drawn from exact dollar figures claimed on tax returns and released by the IRS. Â (People who don’t give enough to bother itemizing these deductions see their charity under-represented?) The latest information that’s available is from 2008, so that’s what they used.
I spent a little time clicking around the maps and stats and was struck by one noticeable local shift. Above you see a screenshot of a map that represents total contributions by ZIP, with the darker the blue meaning the more that was given. The Â largest block of ZIPs with the darkest color is just to the north of downtown Dallas (75201). 75205 (Highland Park), for instance, gave $130.2 million
Now look at the map below, which represents percentage of income given. (more…)
Writing for a monthly magazine can be a bitch. Stuff happens, and you want to write about that stuff, but if it’s a certain type of stuff, you risk feeling dated in print, given our long lead times. The challenge, then, is to write about that stuff in a way that extends its “use before” freshness date. Peter Simek did a great job of describing July’s Mayborn conference right after it ended. Here’s how I tackled it in our September issue, which published last week. (Not every story in the magazine automatically makes it online; this is one such story.)
It’s unfair to characterize the Mayborn as a literary bacchanal. But let’s do it anyway.
The bar at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine is called Bonnie & Clyde’s Hideout. On Saturday nights, it closes at 1 am, which, given the murderous crime spree that made its eponyms famous, seems temperate. Surely any good hideout would serve drinks till 2.
That seemed to be the sentiment of the two dozen or so magazine writers, newspapermen, and maybe even students who gathered outside the bar, in the hotel’s lobby, on the second night of the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, which concluded July 22. It was late, and the group had been asked kindly to leave the hideout. But it wasn’t that late.
Since “My Ride on DART Today” anecdotes seem to be FrontBurner staples, here’s another: Nearing the Mockingbird station headed toward downtown this morning, a white DART cop on the Blue Line train started asking passengers for their proof of payment. (The law says you have to have a ticket or a pass to ride.) All was fine until he got to a black woman seated in front of me, who pulled out a couple of old tickets, then finally admitted she hadn’t paid for this ride. The cop calmly took her ID and retreated to the boarding step to write out a $50 fine. (It’s actually called an “administrative fee.”)
At that, a heavily tattooed white guy sitting next to the offender started lecturing her about her “Constitutional rights.” A black woman in the next seat shook her head solemnly and said, “If you were a different color, you wouldn’t be gettin’ no ticket!” Nearby a third black woman agreed: “Sheeee ….” she muttered. At that, I thought back to how I (a pasty-faced Anglo) had been ticket-less one morning after the machine rejected my seven quarters, and how the black DART cop had let me go after I proposed to try another machine once I got off. Then this: No matter how much we may all wish and hope and work at it, racism and accusations of it ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.
I have a friend from college who I like very much. She’s from the Houston area, but now lives somewhere near Los Angeles. She’s also the only absolutely sincere Linkin Park fan I know (and as soon as I type this, maybe some will come out of the woodwork). And I feel like this is fine, more or less, considering that I’m a pretty sincere Hanson fan. We all have our crosses to bear.
Anyway, Linkin Park has a concert tonight, co-starring Incubus in a pageant of emotional pain from the early 2000s. Both bands have new material that I’m sure they’re eager to share, but clearly the only reason to go is to hear “My December” and “Drive.” There are still a few tickets left.
Also this evening, which is turning out to have a decidedly musical bent, is Music From the Big House at the Texas Theatre. It’s a documentary about blues singer Rita Chiarelli’s trip to the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a maximum security prison that was once a plantation, and the concert given by the inmates. It’s not a regular Texas Theatre screening, either–rather, it was part of this Gathr Films thing in which individual people can organize screenings of a film they want to see, provided a certain number of folks express interest by purchasing tickets. Enough people wanted to see this doc, and you can still get tickets at the box office.
Elsewhere in Oak Cliff, intrepid reporter Andrew Plock of Oak Cliff People tells us that if you head to Chicken Scratch tonight, you can witness the Champagne “christening” of something called a MÃ¶bius Bench. It’s basically a cool tunnel for you to sit in while you do whatever it is you do on a regular park bench, talk about beef stew or something maybe. But it’s also art, and part of the Fort Worth Avenue Redevelopment efforts. I tell you, if you go to Chicken Scratch after the movie, get the hummus but bring your own pita chips. For some reason, this delicious homemade hummus is served with saltine crackers, and it’s weird.
For more to do tonight, go here.
There are few places I hate more than the crawl space under my house. It is dark and musty. It is like Satan’s colon. Aging duct work crisscrosses the cramped space. Dessicated rat droppings lie everywhere. Cobwebs hang from the joists, under which I am forced to belly-crawl in spots, using my elbows to inch along, lest I bump my head. Except I always do bump my head.
Imagine my disgust, then, on Sunday afternoon as I came to the conclusion, while tuxedo clad and hung over, that under the house was where I was headed. My friend Laura had turned 40 the night before. An ’80s cover band played the party. You’ll understand, sweet child o’ mine, if I over-served myself. That explains the hangover. The reason for the trip under the house is a little more complicated.
Up now: Holly Forsythe, owner of Sambuca and nature girl; Jennifer Clark, gorgeous grandmother andÂ philanthropist; Amanda Ward, bubbly blonde and family girl; Shelly Ann Klein, esthetician and exercise queen; and Tifany Cheatham, Bar Method babe and “domestic engineer.”
These ladies need your help. You probably know how it works by now: head over to the ballots and give your favorite girl your vote. You can come back once a day, every day until Saturday at midnight.
A very big congrats to these women, who will reappear in the final round of voting.
Now, go check out this week’s new leading ladies and come back September 17 to vote for the top 10 in the finals.
Back To School, In Larger Classes: Class sizes continue to grow larger than the 22-pupil limit, with more than 73 percent of Texas schools expected to increase class sizes as a way of balancing budgets. This comes at a time when only 24 percent of high school graduates in Texas are considered college ready. Also, children with special needs are increasingly likely to drop out of public schools, feeling underserved. Meanwhile, Texas legislators debate state-funded vouchers for private schools and increasing the number of charter schools.
This Week In West Nile Virus: Aerial spraying has stopped for now, so the city is boosting its prevention efforts. The call to arms has had its effect. The New York Times reports that bug spray is becoming increasingly scarce in Dallas stores. “OFF! is the new Chanel No. 5 around here,” says Carol Reed, who’s always ready with a good quote.
Dez Abiding By “Special” Rules: No alcohol, strip clubs, or unapproved nightclubs, plus a midnight curfew and a team of handlers that will ride with troubled wide receiver Dez Bryant to and from games, practices, and other team events: these are the conditions the Dallas Cowboy has agreed to in order to, you know, keep him from beating up more family members. So now Dallas boasts two athletes who are overgrown man children who need constant supervision.