Why You Should Pay Attention as the Charter Review Commission Tackles Redistricting

There’s another meeting of the city charter redistricting committee this evening, and you should start paying attention. Even though the ongoing effort to rework Dallas’ charter is not as sexy/controversial/batcrap-crazy as the leading civic spectacles of the day (345 teardown, DISD home-rule debate), it’s every bit as important.

It’s not because of the issue I wrote about, council pay, in which I advocate $100,000 annual salaries for council members. (The commission is largely in favor of a council pay raise, but no one thinks they can get close to that number, because OUTRAGE!) No, the big issue they’re beginning to tackle in earnest is changing the redistricting process — and getting rid of the borderline-sleazy backroom dealing that went on in the 2011 redistricting battle is priority No. 1.

How will they do that? Who knows, because they first have to come to a consensus, and then the council has to approve the plan. Tall order. But I have some pretty good guesses as to the solutions they will/should explore that include and go beyond this fine DMN editorial on the subject.
How will they do that? Who knows, because they first have to come to a consensus, and then the council has to approve the plan. Tall order. But I have some pretty good guesses as to the solutions they will/should explore that include and go beyond this fine DMN editorial on the subject.

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DBU Student Sings ‘Let It Go’ as 21 Different Disney Characters, Internet Craters

Brian Hull, who grew up in Mansfield and is now a senior music major at Dallas Baptist University, set the Internet afire this weekend with his rendition of the hit song “Let It Go” from Frozen. He’d heard about a contest where the best cover of the young-girl anthem won a $100 Disney Store gift card, and thought to himself, hey, I’d like a hundred bucks. So he sang the song as different Disney characters. As of last night, the video had nearly 5 million views and climbing. I have sources in Mansfield — never you mind who — and they put me in contact with Hull for a quick Q&A. 

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Memo to Tawnell Hobbs: The Answer You’re Looking for is ‘Yes’

This headline just trolled me showed up in my Twitter feed:

Should Dallas ISD have paid Superintendent Mike Miles’ legal bill in Coggins case?

Oh my stars. Okay, if you don’t remember all the details of this absolute b.s. investigation, I don’t have the energy to recount it again. Just know I wanted to call your attention to this because, really, it’s the perfect DMN DISD blog post. Its construction is a thing of beauty:

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We’re Ducked: End Times Coincide with Announcement of the Duck Commander 500

I just saw, emerging from First Baptist, what appears to be seven angels. They where hard to see, as they were clothed in pure and white linen, but I’m pretty sure their breasts were girded with golden girdles, as redundant as that may sound. Then — and I know this sounds odd — four beasts gave them each what appeared to be a vial, or a bowel, perhaps. Also, I heard this song from the heavens. That seems important.

[Clearly related] Texas Motor Speedway — which last year had the NRA as its NASCAR Sprint Cup race sponsor — today announced a new multiyear title sponsor for its April tail-chase: Duck Commander, the company run by the charming homophobe Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty.

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The Other Side: A.C. Gonzalez’s Vote Was Never Really in Doubt

An update on how the A.C. vote went down: There is still a lot of discrepency between the players involved as to just how possible it was that anyone besides Gonzalez was going to be voted city manager. I said Tuesday that the anti-A.C. side felt it was one vote away from securing enough votes for Oakland administrator Deanna Santana.

But others who were involved in trying to swing votes say that number is only partially true. They say some of the anti-A.C. members were hearing what they wanted to hear. Specifically: they say some anti-A.C. members ignored that even when there were seven people willing to not vote for Gonzalez, it was very unclear that those seven would agree to back Santana or the other candidate, David Cooke.

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A.C. Gonzalez Came One Vote From NOT Being City Manager

As I said on Twitter yesterday morning and the DMN then double-secret confirmed, our new city manager, A.C. Gonzalez, had the necessary votes locked up 24 hours ago. But that doesn’t mean this was a done deal. In fact, 48 hours ago, anti-A.C. forces on the Council only needed one more vote to hire Oakland city administrator Deanna Santana. Here’s how the arm-twisting shook out, according to five on-background sources I kept in contact with as the drama played out over the weekend.

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Southwest Airlines Needs to Quickly Take a Clearer Stand on the Blackfish Controversy

If you haven’t seen the documentary Blackfish, I highly encourage you to do so. It’s a look specifically at a bull orca, Tilikum, who has killed three people in 30 years of captivity, but more broadly it’s an investigation into the ethos of SeaWorld. It shows, in interviews with experts and former SeaWorld employees, how the company has ignored safety and animal-rights concerns for decades even as it has promoted itself as a place where families can learn more about these creatures in a (supposedly) safe and nurturing environment.

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DMN Bids Goodbye to WFAA Because the Partnership Never Really Worked

The Morning News and Channel 8 had been drifting apart for years. Most of the cross-polinization came only at the highest level of management. The truth is that the print-broadcast marriage had dissolved, and the companies’ efforts at “content-sharing” looked more like divorce-lawyer meetings than newsroom brainstorming sessions.

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