If you haven’t read the (paywalled )Parkland story in this morning’s Morning News, do so. Here’s a shorter blog version. Then read this email, just sent over from the folks at Parkland (emphasis is Parkland’s):
Unfortunately, our latest message concerning the Dallas Morning News and its coverage of Parkland does not involve a lack of accuracy, but a lack of ethics.
This morning, the Dallas Morning News ran a story, in which its reporter inexplicably came to the conclusion that Parkland had hired advocates in Washington, DC in order to sway regulators who are overseeing improvement efforts at the health system.Â That is not true.Â Parkland has contracted an advocacy firm for many, many years.Â The advocates educate legislators and committees on issues vital to the survival of public hospitals.Â The Morning News is aware that a contract with an advocacy firm at the federal level is nothing new.
But we are used to misleading innuendo from the Morning News.Â What makes this case worse, the original version of the story this morning read, “Eddie Reeves, a Parkland board member who was absent for the unanimous vote on the agreement Tuesday, told The News he isn’t familiar with the contract’s wording but expects the lobbying effort to be “more policy [oriented] than regulatory.”Â
But just this afternoon, the story was updated to read, “A big question: Will Holland & Knight be lobbying the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or other government officials to try to somehow modify the monitoring process or seek leniency?Â Parkland officials won’t say.Â As readers of this blog know, they have consistently refused to divulge detailed information about the monitoring process or answer most questions that may pertain to it, usually citing fears of litigation.”
So, in the later version, the Morning News removed Mr. Reeve’s quotes and claimed that Parkland officials “won’t say.”
Both stories fail to note that Mr. Reeves specifically told the reporter that our advocacy firm would not be involvedwith the systems improvement agreement or corrective action plan we currently have with CMS.
This morning, Morning News reporter Rudy Bush informed us that Dallas Observer columnist Jim Schutze was going to address the City Council’s “retreat.” If this tweet is any indication, it’s going well:
Schutze on early 80s Dallas neighborhood movement: you might have called it the anti-Christian nudist ninja turtle movement.
— DallasCityHallBlog (@DallasPolitics) January 24, 2013
Rumors swirling on this one, but we were actually able to talk to Delonte. He sent us his thoughts in animated form, in classic Delonte fashion:
For the first time since 1998, the Dallas Mavericks will not have an NBA All-Star. It’s the third-longest active streak – behind the Lakers and Spurs – one started in 2000 with Michael Finley and anchored by Dirk Nowitzki since 2002. With Nowitzki’s 27-game absence, no Mav is expected to make the team.
In honor of Finley, watch the above video, likely one of the most-watched videos of all-time for a missed dunk.
Have a look at Realtor Doug Newby‘s video tour of the old 25-acre Crespi estate. Cinda and Tom Hicks, finding themselves empty-nesters, have put the place on the market. This isn’t the sort of property that gets a public listing price, but you can figure somewhere north of $100 million. You can find more photos here.
In case you missed it, Peter Simek broke the story Monday on how, for more than a year, the Dallas Contemporary has been selling donated artwork on eBay for cheap without the artists’ knowledge. Oops.
Was there ever a moment more fitting to have a big panel discussion on the state of contemporary art in our fair city? No? Perfect. The Dallas Museum of Art hosts their regular conversation/lecture series this evening, with JeffÂ Whittington moderating a talk between Carlos Donjuan, a man with a fantastic surname who also happens to be an artist and adjunct professor at UTA, Kim Cadmus Owens, an artist and associate professor at UTD, and Lucia Simek, art critic for Glasstire who occasionally moonlights for us over on FrontRow. Tickets are only five bucks, and the conversations always prove lively. It’s also supposed to be incredible outside tonight, so pack a picnic and have dinner in Klyde Warren Park before walking over to the museum.
Also tonight, The Grape kicks off a new year of their “come-as-you-are” casual dinners with wines from the Burgundy region of France paired with a three-course prix fixe menu selected by chef de cuisine and former Top Chef: Seattle contender Danyele McPherson. And as I’ve mentioned a few times before, I’m a big fan of The Grape in general. You can’t miss with one these dinners, especially if you’d like to make your Thursday night a wee bit more special than usual.
For more to do tonight, go here.
From the Morning News’Â Scoop Blog:
No injuries were reported, but fans of snack food were in for a scare overnight after an 18-wheeler carrying thousands of Little Debbie snack cakes caught fire on Interstate 35E near the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Two men were driving the truck from Arkansas to San Antonio when the check engine light came on shortly after midnight. The driver pulled over to find the truck’s cab was on fire.
Like a saint among the sugar-deprived, the driver disconnected the trailer, pulled the cab forward down the highway and attempted to extinguish the fire himself, but soon required the help of Dallas Fire-Rescue after the cab was fully engulfed.
Get those men some medals.
Yesterday, the Dallas City Council approved funding for the second Santiago Calatrava-designed bridge in the city, the Margaret McDermott Bridge. The price tag is $115 million, $12 million higher than the last estimate, and $41 million higher than the original. Really, though, the Council shouldn’t be surprised. Just look at other “signature bridges” designed by Calatrava.
In 2009, Samuel Beckett Bridge opened in Dublin. Original estimate? Ten million euros. Final cost? Sixty million.Â The cost of the Jerusalem Chords Bridge grew from NIS 80 million to NIS 129 million to NIS 246 million, or roughly $70 million. Calgary’s Peace Bridge climbed from $19 million to $25 million (contractors picked up the cost increase on that one, due to a pretty smart city contract). AndÂ Ponte della CostituzioneÂ in Venice’s cost grew from 6.7 million euros to 11.8 million euros, an increase that caused protests in the streets.
The point is simple. We can complain all we want about the cost of these bridges, but a simple look through history shows that these structures a.) take a long time to approve/build, and b.) usually run over-budget, grossly.
Bill Simmons traded emails with Zach Lowe, one of his Grantland NBA writers, about the state of the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday. The Mavs came up as a possible trade destination for embattled center/Ed Hardy fan Dwight Howard. Simmons’ reasoning:
It’s going to hinge on the team’s level of desperation. If you’re Dallas, you just blew a title defense AND the tail end of Dirk Nowitzki’s prime. You’re in NBA no-man’s land – fringe lottery, fringe playoffs – without a single under-27 player to build around unless you overpay O.J. Mayo. You’re also owned by someone who despises the word “irrelevant” in anything he’s doing, someone who took a pretty calculated risk allowing Tyson Chandler to leave that totally backfired. (Semi-related: How nice would Chandler be as a trade chip for Howard right now? Whoops.)
…Â That’s why the Mavs would roll the dice on Dwight no matter what. Either way, it’s going to be the best episode ofÂ Shark TankÂ ever.
I agree. That’s why the Mavs would trade for Howard. But could they?
Have you seen the branding campaign for KERA-FM that plays up the station’s well-rounded listeners? On billboards and inside DART trains (and probably some other outlets I haven’t spotted yet), these ads simply say that “[ing verb] [plural noun] listen to NPR.” Off the top of my head, I can recall seeing ones that mentioned “sudoku-playing linebackers,” “skydiving librarians,” and “opera-singing truck drivers.” I invite you to channel your inner Mad Man and come up with some more theoretical NPR listeners in the comments.
Because it never gets old looking at the precious faces of cute dogs, here’s another round of furry D family members. We’re on the second level of the Survival of the CutestÂ dog contest, and your vote matters. Who will win this round? Cleo, the fluffy pomeranian, or London, the wrinkly English bulldog?Â It’s a tough decision. In the meantime, jump to see some sweet D doggies. (more…)
Wick raised the question earlier this morning: How could Democrats take over Texas? It’s a longshot, but a data-based, volunteer-driven organization could go a long way. That road, though, may have just gotten harder. Yesterday, Texas state senators drew slips of paper for their terms. Half received two-year terms, half four-year terms. Wendy Davis, state senator from Fort Worth, drew a two-year term. The Statesman explains how this complicates the Democratic plan going forward:
Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who just won a narrow election to a second term over Rep. Mark Shelton, is a rising star in the Democratic Party, already being touted as probably the most credible statewide standard-bearer in 2014. Not that she could be elected governor in 2014. Jones rates the chances of that happening at “zero.” But with national fundraising appeal, she could run a strong campaign and set the stage for real Democratic charge – perhaps, [Rice University political scientist Mark]Â Jones said, with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro running for governor and Davis for lieutenant governor – in 2018. (Castro has toldÂ FOX News Latino, “if the voters will have me, I will be mayor of San Antonio until 2017.”) .
As of Wednesday, that scenario is far more complicated, said Jones, and all because of a slip of paper inside a capsule inside of an envelope.
Now, Davis would have to surrender her Senate seat to run statewide, which would undo the whole point of using 2014 to build to 2018, and would also put her Senate seat at risk, especially in a year that doesn’t coincide with a presidential election, which helps pull out Democratic votes. Even Davis will have a little tougher time getting re-elected in 2014 than she presumably would have had in 2016, said Jones.
“We danced a jig,” state GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri told the Star-Telegram.
Former Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Neerman got a good view (though it’s a shame the reflection from his office window marred the shot):
Foggy morning in Dallas. That is the Margaret Hunt bridge in the distance. ow.ly/i/1pPvI
— Jonathan Neerman (@JonathanNeerman) January 24, 2013
Tim and I both remarked about the fog when we walked into the office this morning. The above photo was taken halfway across the Commerce Street Bridge, a half-mile from downtown, at 8:20 a.m. Ghost City, USA.
For those also enjoying the fog show this morning.