Leading Off (4/18/14)

Earthquake Rattles Northwest Dallas. The 2.5 on the Richter scale was centered near Northwest Highway and Interstate 35E. So what is it that the Pappas Bros have done to anger God? Or are the unholy goings-on at Ojos Locos to blame?

Mesh Mask Bandit Gets 20 Years. Former immigration activist Luis de la Garza had asked the judge for a shorter prison sentence, explaining that he’s eager to return to his community activism. “I want to be OK with my country, because this country has given me a lot of opportunities,” he said, wisely not mentioning that among those opportunities was the chance to commit 20 bank robberies.

Police Name Person of Interest in Deadly Hit-and-Run. Authorities are looking for 24-year-old Dagoberto Castanon in connection with the fatal crash that killed a 13-year-old boy in the M Streets on Tuesday. Castanon reportedly has an extensive criminal history and was even previously deported in October 2012.

UNT Misstated Finances by $23 Million. More money problems for the university, which has hired outside auditors to suss out the full extent of shortfalls that seem to have been hidden by questionable reporting.

Man Thrown From Bridge, Stuck in Mud. Dude gets kicked out of the car by his girlfriend along Interstate 30. A bunch of guys happen by in a van and offer him a lift. Then a little ways down the road, they pull over and throw him off a bridge. He falls the equivalent of two stories, can’t free himself from the mud, and has to call 911 to get him out. Dallas responders bring in the city of Wylie for assistance because Wylie has a hovercraft. Yes, I’ve buried the lede: Wylie has a hovercraft.

It’s Good Friday. One last round of Filet-O-Fish for all you Catholics.

UPDATE: You need to see Wylie’s hovercraft in action. (h/t @_paulknight)

Full Story

Help Wanted: Online Assistant Dining Editor

It’s a sad day for SideDish. Our Carol Shih will soon be abandoning us to move to the San Francisco Bay area. She plans to prospect gold or develop an app that points you to the location of the closest freely available snack or something.

Anyway, her departure — a true loss for us — opens up an opportunity. See the details below, and start spreading the news.

D Magazine.com seeks an editor to keep our online food and dining content the best in Dallas. Responsibilities include continual management and enhancement of the thousands of listings in our restaurant directory, keeping up with the latest openings and closings, and ensuring that the information we provide our readers is the most accurate and helpful in the city. This editor should be the sort of person who would wake up in night sweats realizing that he or she accidentally marked a restaurant’s closing time on Thursdays as 10 p.m. when it should have been 11 p.m. Also required of the position are regular contributions to our SideDish blog, including first looks at new restaurants before any other outlets in town, and voicing opinions to spur a lively daily discussion of the Dallas dining scene. We don’t want one-sided rewrites of press releases. This editor must have a competitive nature that causes him or her to become extremely irritated at, and to swear revenge upon, any blog or publication that might beat us to reporting an important piece of local industry news. But the job isn’t all eating and writing. The editor must be comfortable working with an online CMS and not break into hives when confronted with a massive spreadsheet full of data that must be manually entered (like typing a phonebook), often for hours at a stretch. If you’re interested, please don’t apply merely by emphasizing your “passion” for the subject matter. Tell us instead about the knowledge and skills that make you the absolute best fit for our needs. To do so, email a cover letter and resume to jason.heid@dmagazine.com.

Full Story

American Blogger: The Most Important Film in the History of Cinema, Ever

Chris Wiegand of Dallas is a visionary filmmaker. Don’t take my word for it. Take his word for it. The trailer he posted recently for his new project, American Blogger, describes the deep spiritual apotheosis one is likely to experience upon watching this “beautifully filmed and artistically crafted” film.

Inspired by the blog of his own attractive blonde wife Casey, Chris drove across this great nation of ours, fighting for freedom and meeting with other beautiful female wordsmiths — mavens of fashion, style, and interior design. They’re part of a movement that could, potentially, change our world. Good-looking women will no longer have to put up with being ignored. At long last they have a means for commanding the attention that they deserve but have never received often enough.

Full Story

D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: John Wiley Price, American Hustler

With indications that the federal case against Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price may finally be moving forward—nearly three years after the FBI’s investigation of Price went public—it seems a fitting time to revisit D Magazine‘s 1991 profile of him. It’s one of our 40 greatest stories.

The piece, written by someone named Laura Miller, gets into some of the same sort of questionable financial transactions that have caught the government’s attention and could reportedly result in indictments any time now. But the most disturbing allegations come from several women who talk of having been sexually assaulted by the powerful politician. Price denies to Miller all of these claims.

After reading this article, it seems remarkable that 23 years later Price still sits on the commissioners’ court—still doing things like telling white people to go to hell. It’s hard to read about Price without being reminded of the immortal words of State Sen. Clay Davis: “Sheeeeeet.”

Full Story

Outside Magazine Editors Hate Dallas. Do You Care?

As Eric Nicholson has pointed out, the editors of Outside magazine have declared Dallas the “least outdoorsy” city in America. And while only the extreme fringe of civic boosters would claim that Dallas can compete outdoors-wise with cities like Portland or Seattle, how can they claim our city is the absolute worst?

Eric ran through the criteria that Outside used and demonstrates that the numbers don’t add up:

Curiouser still, Dallas’ Green City Index and Park Score put it firmly in the middle of the pack among U.S. cities. Among the five “least outdoorsy” runners up, Dallas has the highest Green City score, besting Cleveland and Detroit by enormous margins and squeaking by Charlotte (Memphis and Fresno, Outdoor‘s two other worsts, aren’t even included on the index). Dallas’ Park Score ranking (26) is one spot behind Cleveland, tied with Detroit, and better than Fresno (50), Charlotte (47) and Memphis (42).

Full Story

Dallas Homes Selling at Ridiculously Fast Rate

I do not envy anyone looking to buy a home in Dallas in the near future. A recent report from the real estate website Redfin.com says that, in March, 14.4% of homes in Dallas sold within three days of hitting the market. That’s up 1.5% compared to last year.

What’s more, in February, 38.8% of homes sold within two weeks. That’s up from what was already a fast-moving market in February 2013, when that rate was 31.9%. Our continued population growth, and housing inventory that’s down 19.5% since last year have a lot to do with it.

Prospective buyers must prepare for war.

Full Story

Watch George W. Bush Tell a Dirty Joke

Talking Points Memo points to the “ribald” humor former president George W. Bush displayed during a speech yesterday in Austin. The occasion was a summit marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, held at Lyndon Johnson’s presidential library.

“Former presidents compare their libraries the way other men may compare their, well…” Bush said.

Maybe he hadn’t heard about Colbert taking the Late Show gig, figured he still had time to get his name out there.

Full Story

Leading Off (4/11/14)

WFAA Frames DISD Home-Rule Debate as Race War. Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas ISD trustee Mike Morath are both supporting the effort to create a new charter to change how the school district is governed. They’re white, and they’ve implied that some elements of the school board  are standing in the way of DISD making important changes. Those three board members are African-American, and they accuse home-rule proponents of trying to erode minority representation. Morath fans the flames by saying things like ”this is not to say that race is not a factor … But to say that race is a dominant factor is missing the forest for the trees.”

The Watchers Don’t Like Being Watched. Dallas Police staff are putting out a warning to the city’s cops about a dangerous new threat to their safety: citizens on patrol with video cameras. Concerns were raised recently after a woman affiliated with a group called Cop Rock Cop Block was found to be following and taping an officer. Ron Pinkston, president of the Dallas Police Association says such behavior could be a threat because police “don’t know who it is pulling behind us. We don’t know they’re there to videotape, they might be part of… if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don’t know.” I also don’t know what he’s talking about, even if, yeah, I’m sure some of the folks recording the cops are just being jerks.

Man Sues Perot Museum After Accident. According to the suit, 74-year-old Myung Oh of Carrollton was leaving the museum in June 2013 when he fell on the steps and was left a quadriplegic.

Full Story

Conan O’Brien Plays Video Games on Jerry Jones’ Really-Big-Screen TV

Conan O’Brien may no longer be broadcasting his show from the Majestic Theatre downtown, but he’s not quite done sharing his adventures in Dallas. On Monday night — back in his usual Burbank, Calif., studio — he showed a second clip of the time he spent as a Johnson County deputy sheriff (and it’s funnier than any of the remote pieces aired last week in Dallas.)

And last night he finally found a grander purpose for the super-sized screen at Jerry World: during an edition of his recurring “Clueless Gamer” feature he settled down to play Madden football and several other games.

Full Story

D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Happy 100th Birthday, Hockaday

All through the 2013-2014 academic year, the Hockaday School in North Dallas has been celebrating its 100th anniversary. The prestigious institution for girls held its first classes on September 25, 1913. Some of the city’s leading citizens had summoned Miss Ela Hockaday to Dallas to establish a college preparatory school for young ladies.

Sixty-five years later, Prudence Mackintosh (who’d earlier taught at Hockaday) wrote about the history of the school, which opened first in a small house on Haskell Avenue, soon moved to a campus on Greenville Avenue at Belmont (then part of the Caruth farm on the outskirts of Dallas), and later to its current home on Welch Road along Forest Lane. Her story is one D Magazine’s 40 greatest ever.

Full Story

Why Is Arlington, Texas, Sports Capital of the U.S.?

Grantland writer Bryan Curtis spent a few days in A-Town, over Final Four Weekend, to learn more about this strange place that’s hosted the Super Bowl, two World Series, the NBA All-Star Game, among other major sports events, in the last few years, and which next year will host the college football national championship:

Yet no one raised outside “North Texas” knows much of Arlington — nor do they seem eager to find out. The NCAA’s parties during March Madness took place 20 miles east of Arlington, in Dallas. ESPN built its open-air set in Fort Worth, 15 miles west. These slights activated Arlington’s inferiority complex, as if the city were a puny referee throwing a tipoff between two all-conference centers. A former Arlington mayor once declared, “We’re nobody’s damn suburb.”

Full Story

The Literalist Mind of George W. Bush, Artist

You get the sense from Jenna Bush Hager’s interview with her father, former Most Powerful Man in the World George W. Bush, this morning on the Today show that even his family would have been less surprised to see him have become a house painter in his retirement than an artist.

The occasion was the opening of a new exhibit featuring Bush’s portraits of world leaders at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

I’ll leave the art criticism to our Peter Simek. What I found most revealing about Mr. Bush in this segment is one short exchange with Jenna about his portrait of Tony Blair:

Full Story