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Behind the Scenes of the Dallas 40 Cover Shoot

The September issue of D, celebrating the magazine’s 40th anniversary, should be on a newsstand near you soon, if it isn’t already. The centerpiece of our celebration comprises 40 stories about 40+ people who represent some aspect of how Dallas has transformed in the last 40 years, or who epitomize some aspect of what Dallas is today. Those stories are truly brought to life by the astonishing portraits taken by our own Elizabeth Lavin.

Hear her and our creative director Todd Johnson talk about what made this project so challenging, and why we were motivated to do something special to mark our company’s birthday, in this video about the cover shoot. (And thanks to Robbie Curtis for producing this and the other video clips in our Dallas 40 online package.) Enjoy.

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Leading Off (8/29/14)

Judge Rules School Finance System Unconstitutional. It’s the second time in 18 months that State District Judge John Dietz of Austin has decided in favor of the 600 local school districts that sued the state. Dietz ruled that, even after increasing school funding by $3.4 billion during the most recent session, the legislature has still left education statewide underfunded. He also cited inequities in the way state funds are distributed. The state (namely attorney general and GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott) will appeal.

Dallas County Not Properly Tracking HIV. A state report found 209 adult cases and 139 pediatric cases went “unreported” by the county health department from 2009 to 2012. That’s the largest number of unreported cases in Texas. Failure to follow up to collect information makes it difficult to determine whether a patient’s contacts may have also been affected and means the department can miss out on federal funding to treat patients.

Cowboys Winless in Preseason. They fell to the Denver Broncos, 27-3, last night. It’s the fifth time in franchise history the team hasn’t bothered to win any of its meaningless practice games.

Bitcoin ATMs Open in Dallas. In case you want to exchange your money that’s backed by the full faith and credit of the United States for a crypto-currency backed by the self-assurance of libertarian utopians worldwide. Right now one Bitcoin will cost you about $507.

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Injustice For Willard Bishop Jackson

Life was going well for Willard Jackson in January 1972. The basketball team he coached at Dallas’ Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High School was undefeated. They’d won the city championship two seasons before and finished second the previous year. There was talk of an opening soon at South Oak Cliff, and he’d been told his name was at the top of the list. The 29-year-old envisioned his future: a few years successfully coaching high school and then he’d take another step to the collegiate level.

If only he hadn’t stopped in for a drink at the Sportspage bar on Inwood Road one Saturday night, that might have been. Instead, as recounted by one of the 40 greatest stories ever published in D Magazine, Jackson was arrested and charged with the rape and robbery of two women in an Oak Lawn apartment weeks earlier. In “A Case of Rape,” Jim Atkinson writes of how our justice system delivered injustice for Jackson — convicting him of a crime he didn’t commit despite what seems to be overwhelming evidence in his favor (including a solid alibi and the confession of the actual perpetrator.) It’s a heartbreaking tale, and Atkinson’s article was a finalist for a National Magazine Award.

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The Dallas Skyline Turns Red For D Magazine

If you were any near the vicinity of downtown Dallas last night, you likely noticed that the familiar red hue of D Magazine had taken over Reunion Tower, the Bank of America building, the Hunt Oil building, and the Omni hotel. As Tim noted a little while ago, it was in the celebration of the publication’s 40th anniversary.

We asked our Instagram and Twitter followers to share their photos with us using the hashtag #DTurns40. The response was terrific, and here are some of the best.

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Middle-Class City Workers Don’t — Can’t? Won’t? — Live in Dallas

Because I know you all can’t get enough of talk about municipal worker salaries, this morning I read more interesting data regarding the residency of city of Dallas employees. It was contained in a memo packet that was distributed to Dallas City Council members on Friday.

You already know that a relatively small percentage of Dallas cops live within the city limits and that only 36 percent of all city workers are Dallasites. This new information points to the fact that, as City Councilman Philip Kingston noted to me, “We seem to do worst with our middle income earners.”

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Only 36 Percent of City of Dallas Employees Live in Dallas

As I wrote previously, yesterday’s post about the relatively low percentage of Dallas Police officers who live within the city proper got me curious about what those numbers look like for all city employees. So I asked.

According to the city public information office, as of last year (the most recent info they had) 36.2 percent of 12,316 city of Dallas employees are also residents. The city’s data claims a slightly higher percentage of cops (21.7 percent) than was in the FiveThirtyEight post (19.1 percent.) The fire department has fled the city at an even higher rate though, with only 17.2 percent of its uniformed personnel Dallasites.

The city charter requires only that the city manager, auditor, attorney, and secretary live in town. If you look at the department by department breakdown below, you’ll see that cops and firefighters are the least likely employees to be residents. Among the city’s civilian workforce, 48.6 percent call Dallas home. Sanitation Services boasts a 70.1 percent residency rate among its 321 employees.

See the full data below.

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DMagazine.com Seeks Online Managing Editor

We’re hiring. Here are the details:

A website is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies. DMagazine.com seeks a managing editor not only adept at keeping our shark in motion, but also capable of helping to steer the beast in new directions. Our average site traffic has nearly doubled just in the past year, and with that great success comes the great responsibility of keeping fed the insatiable appetite of our readers for a continuous rotation of ever-changing content. The responsibilities of this position involve management of two of our most important annual contests: the Best of Big D and the 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas. Regular tasks also include planning, editing, and publishing articles and galleries to the travel, fashion, nightlife, legal, and health channels of our website. The perfect candidate will boast top-notch organizational skills, have an eye for what makes a great online story, know how to craft great headlines, obsess over minor details without losing sight of the forest for the trees, hit every deadline, possess a great sense of visual style, and love reading and writing about life in Dallas. Previous experience working for a magazine, newspaper, or online publication preferred. Send cover letter and resume to jason.heid@dmagazine.com.

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Leading Off (8/22/14)

Another Shooting by a Dallas Cop. It’s the fourth involving the city’s police force in the last two weeks. Dallas officers have shot 10 people so far this year, and seven have died — one of those was unarmed. (Compare that number to 12 in all of 2013.) Thursday night’s incident took place near the Dallas VA Medical Center. The man who was shot reportedly had himself shot a woman in the jaw.

State Allows Waste Control Specialists to Bury More Radioactive Waste. Dallas’ most evil genius may no longer be in charge of the company, but his vision for bringing byproducts of nuclear power plants to a site in West Texas lives on. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality has approved changes that will allow WCS to accept triple the amount they could previously.

TCEQ Cites XTO For Stealing Water. The state agency says the company, which is owned by Exxon Mobil, took almost 1.4 million gallons of water to which it was not entitled, which it used for fracking.

Cowboys Linebacker Suffers Career-Ending Injury. DeVonte Holloman left Saturday’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens with a spinal injury, and doctors are advising that he never again play football.

Cowboys to Break Ground on Frisco HQ. Construction will kick off Friday, and the team expects to officially move from Valley Ranch to its new home for the 2016 season.

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Help Us Celebrate Our Birthday Tonight at Saint Ann

D Magazine was first published in 1974, which makes 2014 our 40th anniversary. This is a fact that you can expect to hear a good bit more about in the coming weeks. For now, we’d love you to help us celebrate.

A Photomadic booth will be set up tonight between 6 and 9 p.m. at Saint Ann restaurant. We’ll also have one at the Texas Rangers game tomorrow at Globe Life Park and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Klyde Warren Park. Swing by, get your picture taken, and wish us a happy birthday. We’ll be running the images in the near future here on DMagazine.com.

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Only 19 Percent of Dallas Cops Live in Dallas

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site took the recent troubles in Ferguson, Mo., as a reason to look at how often police officers don’t live in the very community they’ve been hired to serve and protect.

Among the nation’s 75 cities with the largest police forces, on average 60 percent of cops live where they work. Laredo, Texas, has the highest percentage, with 94 percent of its officers Laredoans. On the other end of the spectrum, in Miami the number is only 7 percent.

Dallas is down near the bottom of the list, with 19 percent calling the big city home. In some cities there is a disparity between the numbers of white and non-white officers who are also residents, but that doesn’t seem to be a large gap in Dallas, which claims only 21 percent of black officers and 26 percent of Hispanic officers.

By contrast, Fort Worth can boast a higher percentage than Dallas of officers living within its limits, 43 percent, but it comes with a big difference among the races: 64 percent of black officers and 56 percent of Hispanic officers with only 31 percent of white officers.

I wonder what the breakdown would look like among all city employees.

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Bowling For Dollars

There used to be a TV game show on which people — ordinary human beings like you and me — would hurl balls at pins in the hopes of winning cash. It was called, in the parlance of the day, Bowling For Dollars. Meanwhile, other human beings — also, presumably, like you and me — would have sent in postcards with their names on them in the hopes of sharing in the winnings if some lucky amateur bowler managed two strikes in a row.

I was going to write about the oddity of this format sustaining a daily program, but then I remembered that we live in an age of televised naked daters and naked survivalists, so who are we to judge? (After all, I know what you’re thinking at this moment: Why hasn’t naked bowling reached the airwaves yet?)

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Can Texas Support a Privately Funded Bullet Train?

The Texas Tribune today has a piece about the proposed bullet train from Dallas to Houston, which we’ve mentioned before. The big question, of course, is whether the money for the privately funded project will materialize:

Richard Arena, a transportation and infrastructure consultant who sits on the board of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association, said he believes Texas Central’s project could become the first truly high-speed rail system in the country, but he has concerns about the project’s financing. In particular, he’s not clear how the Dallas-Houston line will manage to earn enough revenue to pay off the interest on the billions of dollars’ worth of bonds that will likely have to be issued to fund the construction. Such financial challenges are why some public subsidies are the norm for public rail systems, he said.

“I still have skepticism of where the funding is going to come long-term,” Arena said.

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