Find a back issue

Dale Hansen Got to Dallas by Wrestling a Bear

WFAA sports anchor Dale Hansen participated in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) yesterday, and while many of the questions focused on his recently wider celebrity profile for having spoken out about Michael Sam and the Cowboys’ signing of Greg Hardy, I was more interested in this story I’d not yet heard:

Full Story

Denton Teacher Motivates Students With the ‘STAAR Test Funk’

Kelli Hauser, a sixth-grade reading teacher at McMath Middle School in Denton, produced this shot-for-shot video parody of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” ostensibly to motivate students to get excited about the STAAR standardized testing this week. Hauser has previously produced parodies of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” called “STAAR Force” and Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” called “TAKS Face,” so I suspect she may be doing it to live out a bit of her own American Idol-esque dreams too. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — she’s far from the only teacher to do so.

Full Story

Why It’s So Hard to Buy a House in Dallas

It’s a great time to be selling a house in Dallas, in that demand is so great that you can make some serious bank on your investment. But what then? As Bloomberg notes today:

Last year, Rick Smith put his family’s house in suburban Dallas on the market, hoping to find a new home close to better schools and the city’s downtown. Selling the old house was a snap; buying a new one wasn’t. In January the family moved to a town home in a rental community, and quickly found they weren’t the only family forced into renting. “If you drive around our community, you’ll see moving boxes stacked up in the garages,” he said. “No one wants to unpack, because they think they’ll be moving again soon.”

Welcome to Dallas in 2015, a city whose bustling economy is attracting new residents at a rapid pace—and making it increasingly difficult to buy a house. New listings get multiple offers in mere days, said Steve Habgood, president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors. Homeowners are increasingly reluctant to sell lest they wind up in Smith’s situation. “People are saying, ‘Great, I can get a premium on the price I paid, but where am I going to live once I sell?'” said Habgood. “The options are pretty limited.”

It’s become a vicious cycle.

Full Story

‘Legend of Chris Kyle’ Author Discusses the American Sniper on D Magazine Podcast

This week our program was fortunate enough to play host to the author of The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle: American Sniper, Navy SEAL, newly released in paperback. Michael J. Mooney stopped by the Old Monk to talk about his recent book signing at Barnes & Noble and to silently sit by and judge as Tim and Zac make light of the (admittedly awful and tragic) “booty shot” death in Deep Ellum.

Also, Steve Blow might unsubscribe from EarBurner after this episode, which is available on iTunes, Stitcher, or however you prefer to catch your pods. The lazier among you can stream it via the player below.

Full Story

Leading Off (3/27/15)

Dallas ISD Approves “Interim Bridge Plan.” At about 1 a.m., trustees voted for a measure that provides $129.5 million in funding for fast-tracked improvements at a number of schools, while expanding pre-kindergarten offerings and reopening several campuses. The final amount was less than the $134.7 million initially proposed after a number of amendments were made. Lakewood Elementary was among the big winners, as the school will get $12.6 million for an addition and renovations. All of this discussion is, of course, a prelude to voters later being asked to approve a comprehensive bond package totaling as much as $1.4 billion.

Bridge Collapse Kills Arlington Man. Yesterday’s accident in Central Texas along Interstate 35 in Salado, in which a tractor-trailer hit an overpass and caused a beam to fall onto the highway below, claimed the life of 32-year-old Clark Davis. I-35 was closed in both directions around the site until well into the night.

Rain May Ease Water Restrictions. The abundance of wet weather the last few months has resulted in some area lake levels rising dramatically and most of Dallas-Fort Worth shifting from darkest red to light red or orange on the U.S Drought Monitor map. Lake Lavon, one of the North Texas Municipal Water District’s reservoirs, has gone from 46.2 percent to 77.5 percent of capacity. If the trend continues this spring, the district may ease tough restrictions on watering that have been in place almost two years.

World War II Vet Recovers Empty Duffel Bag. Waymon Blundell, 94, certainly seemed tickled to be reunited with the bag, which he’d carelessly lost when he’d jumped onto the beach at Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion in 1944.

Keller Student Denied “Promposal.” Sixteen-year-old Casey Akers says her school wouldn’t let her stage a public invitation to the prom because she and her chosen date are gay. The school district issued a statement saying that it doesn’t allow any students to plan such elaborate invites, as they are disruptive. Anyway, when did it become an expectation for kids to treat a prom invite like a marriage proposal? Sounds like an excruciating burden for both straight and gay kids.

Derelict 1955 BelAir Wagon For Sale. It’s up for auction on eBay. You have until 10 a.m. today to make a bid. JFK assassination historian Farris Rookstool III (!) says the car is unique because a fellow named Lee Harvey Oswald once rode in it with his rifle.

Full Story

Dallas-Fort Worth Continues to Bulk Up Its Population

The U.S. Census Bureau today released new estimates on population growth between July 2013 and July 2014 in the nation’s metropolitan areas and counties, and the part you’re bound to hear local leaders crowing about is Dallas-Fort Worth’s place here:

  1. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, 156,371
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, 131,217
  3. New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa., 90,797
  4. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga., 88,891
  5. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., 86,371
  6. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz., 84,980
  7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va., 66,561
  8. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla., 66,361
  9. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 64,406
  10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 57,857

That’s the metros with the 10 largest numeric increases in population. Of course, DFW has the fourth-largest population in the country, so adding a mere 131,217 people isn’t good enough to rank it in the top 20 in terms of percentage increase. (Note that only Houston appears on both lists.)

And let’s also remember that growth of the metro and growth of the city of Dallas itself are far from the same thing.

Full Story

Poll: Will You Root For the Dallas Cowboys?

Last week the Dallas Cowboys signed Greg Hardy, a noted football player suspended last season for having beaten up his girlfriend. As discussed on our most recent EarBurner podcast, the move prompted WFAA sports anchor Dale Hansen to go “unplugged,” and Mayor Mike Rawlings (an outspoken crusader against domestic violence) called it a “shot in the gut.” But then, yesterday, Rawlings said he’ll still be rooting for America’s Team this season.

Full Story

Keep Showing Us How You #EatWellDallas

There’s less than a fortnight left in March, which means there’s a little more than a week left for you to enter our #EatWellDallas contest via social media. All you’ve got to do is share a pic (hashtagged appropriately) displaying how you enjoy healthy, delicious food in this city. We’ll pick our favorite to receive a $100 gift card to the Fresh Market.

To inspire you, here are some of the best we’ve seen so far:

Full Story

Hear Mavs Broadcaster Mark Followill on D Magazine’s EarBurner Podcast

Dallas Mavericks television play-by-play man stopped by the Old Monk yesterday afternoon in the wake of SMU’s painful NCAA tournament loss. He chatted with Tim and Zac about that, the Dallas Cowboys’ signing of Greg Hardy, WFAA sports anchor Dale Hansen’s reaction to the Greg Hardy signing, and how he got his start in broadcasting.

It’s a super-sized episode because there were just too many hot takes to pack into 30 minutes.

Remember to subscribe to EarBurner on iTunes or listen via the Stitcher app, your preferred podcatcher, or the embedded player below.

Full Story

Leading Off (3/20/15)

Thursday Was a Texas Basketball Massacre. All five teams from the state in the NCAA tournament lost. Baylor and SMU fans can argue about who suffered the more painful last-minute loss.

Irving Endorses Anti-Islamic Bill. Spurred by fears of nonbinding, voluntary mediation at a mosque, the city council, led by Mayor Beth Van Duyne, voted on Thursday to endorse a bill by State Rep. Jeff Leach of Plano that would forbid judges from using foreign law in their rulings. The bill’s language is nearly identical to a previous proposal by another lawmaker designed to limit the influence of “large populations of Middle Easterners.” Said Van Duyne, ““Why anyone would feel this is hatred or bigotry is absolutely beyond me.”

State to Audit DA’s Office. It’s the first time the state auditor’s office has used the authority the legislature gave it in 2011 to conduct such reviews. They’ll look into the alleged improper use of forfeiture funds during the tenure of former district attorney Craig Watkins. If violations of the law are found, the DA’s office and Watkins himself could be subject to a civil penalty up to $100,000.

Full Story

Did Yesterday’s Downtown Traffic Mess Say Anything About the I-345 Teardown?

I didn’t drive downtown at all yesterday, but by all the accounts I saw online it was an absolute mess every which way you looked, thanks to a nasty accident on Interstate 35E that shut down several lanes.

Mike Drago over on the Dallas Morning News’ editorial blog used the opportunity to make an argument equivalent to saying, in the midst of a March snowfall in Dallas, “So much for global warming…”

Patrick Kennedy (and those who echo his ideas) advocate tearing down I-345, the elevated downtown bypass that feeds into Central Expressway and Woodall Rodgers, rather than repairing or replacing it. For the betterment of neighborhoods, they say, a goal around which we can all rally. Kennedy says surface streets can easily soak up an additional 252,000 cars per day, well over the 160,000 cars that traverse I-345. There’s a whole political action committee formed around this guesstimate.

As an editorial board, we’ve kept an open mind to the idea until there’s some better data. In the interim, you have to repair the thing before it falls and kills someone. We also think some other big-ticket projects, notably the totally doable decking of I-30, ought to take higher priority.

But related to the capacity of surface streets, here are a couple of non-rhetorical questions: Isn’t it fair to think of today’s three-lane closure on Stemmons a bit of a pressure test for Kennedy’s theory? If the assertion about surface street capacity is correct, then why was my boss late to work?

I concede it’s one rush hour during one day in late March. But wasn’t this morning as close to a real-life test as we’re ever going to get?

No, no it is not.

Full Story

Let’s Send Crime-Fighter Richard Jefferson of the Dallas Mavericks Undercover

TMZ broke the story that Dallas Mavericks forward Richard Jefferson, at the behest of the FBI, recorded a phone conversation between himself and his business manager Ted Kritza, in which Kritza allegedly admits to having withdrawn $2 million on Jefferson’s bank credit line. The matter is still under investigation.

Now that we know Jefferson isn’t afraid to go undercover to fight crime, what other local Dallas notables should we maybe have him give a ring?

Full Story