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Making Dallas Even Better


Are the Stars Trying To Keep Blues Fans From Buying Tickets?

A friend of mine was buying tickets on Ticketmaster for the first game of the Stars-Blues series, and he noticed a warning right before he clicked “buy.” He sent it along:

*** VERY IMPORTANT !! *** Sales to the Dallas Stars 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs games at American Airlines Center will be restricted to residents of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside of this area will be cancelled without notice and refunds given. This restriction does not apply to resale tickets.

Let’s say there’s a huge Blues fan who lives in St. Louis. He happens to be in Dallas tomorrow on a business trip. He can’t buy tickets to the game? How is that even legal?

Leading Off (4/28/16)

Midlothian Murder Gets Stranger. Now the father-in-law of the woman killed by the mysterious stalker who was caught on camera says that the blood found on his (the father-in-law’s) clothes by a dry cleaner came from a dog fight that he (the father-in-law) broke up. Sorry, I mean a sister-in-law of the victim says that. But whatever. The answer is out there. Somewhere.

Big Spring Wins Historic Preservation. This is great. The Dallas City Council did something right and voted unanimously to protect a bit of natural history. Take heart.

Whom Will the Cowboys Draft? I have some friends who are meeting tonight at 1st & 10 to watch the draft. I don’t get it. Never have. I mean, I get 1st & 10. Good bar. Solid burgers. But the draft? I guess I’d rather watch the draft than an episode of Real Housewives, but that ain’t saying much. Anyway, read this if you care.

The Real Housewives of Dallas Episode 3 Recap

Once again, my personal problems are of no concern to you. How bored would you be by the story of my house being flooded by a burst washing machine supply hose? What do you care about my hardwoods and the army of fans deployed throughout my house, making an infernal racket, forcing me to turn up the volume on my TV to watch The Real Housewives of Dallas to the point where my wife had trouble hearing the insurance adjuster on the phone? All you care about is the recap. I understand. I am here to satisfy you — much like the cowboy ecdysiasts at LaBare that we meet in Episode 3, titled “Making Frenemies.”

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Will Robot Worms Tunnel Under Downtown Dallas?

There are two questions that came to mind when I read this WSJ story about “massive robotic worms” that are being used to tunnel beneath cities all over the world. 1) Are our DART engineers aware of these worms? Because the tunneling option for D2, the second rail line through downtown, has always made more sense to me. Maybe the robot worms are cheaper than DART thinks. And 2) when did Michael Mooney get a gig at the Colorado School of Mines?

Ben Sandifer Fights To Protect Dallas’ Nature So That You Don’t Have To

Robert Wilonsky has a great story in today’s paper that you should take the time to read. It’s about a private citizen named Ben Sandifer who is dealing with the city’s shit — literally. In this case, a city worker drove a massive excavator onto sensitive parkland so that he could take a dump. The excavator got stuck in the mud, and a front-end loader had to go in after it to pull it out. A whole bunch of Norbuck Park, off Buckner Boulevard, got torn up in the process. Sandifer saw it happen. He took video. He asked questions. If it weren’t for him, people who use the park would have wondered why it had been torn up, and the crappy city worker would never have been held accountable. (A city official told Wilonsky Wednesday that he wasn’t sure if the city employee would be punished, which is difficult to understand. Here’s how it should be handled. Supervisor: “Did you drive your excavator into a park so that you could take a shit?” Worker: “Yes.” Supervisor: “You’re fired.”)

Anyway, that’s all a preamble for what I really want to tell you. Hopefully you know about Big Spring and the effort to give it a historic designation. The Dallas City Council is scheduled to vote on the matter April 27.

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Leading Off (4/21/16)

Stars Beat Wild. Let’s check in with the Star Tribune, shall we? From the Land of 10,000 Lakes: “The score was tied late in the second period at Xcel Energy Center. A Wild power play had just ended, without a goal, and suddenly Dallas was taking the puck the other way, with Jamie Benn passing to Jason Demers. Driving down the slot toward the net, Jason Spezza yelled for the puck. Demers responded. The puck found Spezza right in front of Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, glancing off Spezza’s skate and into the net for what turned out to be the game-winning goal, with only 69 seconds left in the second period.”

LeeAnne Locken Eats Plano Crow. After her “It’s a little Plano in here” snarky remark on The Real Housewives of Dallas, Locken, a former employee of the city, went to see Mayor Harry LaRosiliere and tell him how few people are actually watching the show. Sorry, my bad. She went to apologize. That’s all.

Dallas City Councilman Tries to Stop Murders. Councilman Erik Wilson has a solution to the rising murder rate. It’s a phrase that he wants gang members to keep in mind: “Think before you thug.” Alliteration, assonance, enjambment — these are all well-known and time-tested crime-fighting strategies. As a concerned citizen, I’d like to offer another phrase: “Mull before you murder.” Feel safer yet?

Slowly, Surely Dallas Writers and Editors Are Taking Over ESPN The Magazine

Let’s see. The first person I know of who swam through these waters and then wound up at ESPN The Magazine was Paul “Tall Paul” Kix (like the cereal, he always says). Paul was a senior editor (or something) at D Magazine. He left us for Boston Magazine but eventually found his way to Bristol, Connecticut, or wherever it is that ESPN people live. Then there was Cristina Daglas, who was the editor of D Magazine for a time. She left us and took a job at ESPN. And now Mike Drago is joining the Dallas contingent up north. Mike works at the Dallas Morning News and happens to be Nancy Nichols’ brother-in-law. Below you’ll find Tom Huang’s note to the staff about Mike’s departure.

I’ve started laying odds on the next Dallas media member to take a gig at ESPN. Eric Celeste, obviously, sits at the top of the board with the shortest odds. Right beneath him: Krys Boyd. Controversial, I know. But I have my reasons.

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An Open Letter to My Anonymous Tipster

Yesterday I received in the mail a padded manila envelope containing nothing but an unlabeled CD. So I took it back to our I.T. guy and said, “Here, please infect your computer with this mysterious disc, because my MacBook Air doesn’t have a CD drive.” The disc turned out to be harmless — at least to the computer. I’d like to address the person who sent it to me.

Dear tipster, thank you for thinking of D Magazine. I spent about an hour yesterday reading through the hundreds of personal emails, going back several years, you were kind enough to send. I didn’t read every single one. After the first 50 or so, I think I got a pretty good idea of what you wanted me to understand. I skimmed from that point.

D Magazine is not inclined to publish information about a couple’s messy divorce, even if that couple is a high-profile one. If there were a larger issue at stake, something in the public’s interest, that would be a different matter. From what I gathered, this divorce doesn’t come anywhere near meeting that standard. It’s just a sad, ugly, very personal situation. I deleted the emails from the computer I used to read them. And I’ve thrown the CD in the trash.

But there is something — or some things — you sent that I will make use of. The eight Forever stamps on the envelope weren’t canceled. Those I will reuse. Cheers.

The Real Housewives of Dallas Episode 2 Recap

I won’t bore you with a full recounting of the trouble I had last night with my DVR and how that forced me to get creative to watch the show in a way that allowed me to pause and rewind it. Nor will I vent my spleen over having to miss the Mavs’ improbable 1-point Game 2 victory over the Thunder so that I could instead watch a show about women wearing hats. No, no. I am here to serve. You want nothing but a recap of Episode 2. Or should I say Episode Number 2? Because the theme last night was decidedly and unrelentingly scatological. Though, to be fair, semen did play a minor role, too.

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Leading Off (4/14/16)

Dallas Woman Wins $40 Million in Domestic Violence Case. What happened to Maria Escamilla is unimaginable. And she won’t see a penny of that huge, historic judgment. God bless her for stepping forward, telling her story, letting news media use her name, and doing what she can to end domestic violence.

Headline writer reconsiders Seguin headline. Late last night this story about the popular Stars player carried the following headline: “Move Over Dirk, Romo: How Tatted Teenage Heartthrob Tyler Seguin Became DFW’s Biggest Sports Star.” Listen, I’ve reserved my spot on the Stars bandwagon for the playoffs (their first game, against the Wild, is tonight), but Seguin has a long way to go before he becomes DFW’s biggest sports star. Jordan Spieth. Dez Bryant. Skylar Diggins. They’re all in front of him. Anyway, by this morning, the headline had changed to: “How the Frenzy Over an Infectious, Matured Tyler Seguin Has Dispersed Throughout Dallas.”

Mavs Lose. The bench players for the Spurs won last night. That means in the first round of the playoffs, the Mavs will face the Thunder. Zac will be along in a bit to offer a preview of the series.

Uplifting Animal Story. There’s a traffic camera at State Highway 114 at Rochelle Boulevard. That camera is now capturing images that are a lot more fun to look at than pics of cars. A red-tailed lady hawk is now taking care of a newborn for all of us to see.

Cautionary Dog Poop Tale From the Katy Trail

Following is a story that I heard secondhand today. I have not verified it because it is too good not to be true. It goes like this:

A retired construction executive, a man in his late 60s, was recently walking his dog on the Katy Trail. He saw another man, a jogger, let his dog defecate on the trail and was about to resume his run without picking up the mess.

“Excuse me,” said the retired construction exec. “We all have to use this trail. Will you please pick up after your dog?” He offered the other guy an extra plastic bag that he was carrying.

At which point the other fellow told the retiree, in no uncertain terms and using salty language, that he had no intention of picking up his dog’s poop. The situation escalated. At which point the jogger threw the poop at the retiree — and then ran away, down the trail, with his dog.

After the retiree composed himself, he ran after the feces flinger. He caught him and beat the daylights out of the jerk. “The best part,” the retiree said in wrapping up his story, “was that my dog bit his dog.”

So, people: please pick up your dog’s poop. If you don’t, you just might get your clock cleaned on the Katy Trail.

Let’s Not Screw Up Fair Park

Over at the DMN, there’s an op-ed (or whatever you’d call it online) that is worth your time. A woman named Tammy Johnston, chair of the South Boulevard-Park Row Historic Neighborhood Association, explains why she doesn’t like the looks of the latest effort to re-imagine Fair Park. Johnston says:

Dallas is in the process of making a decision about Fair Park that may be our last, best chance to get it right. … So, it is disappointing to see Dallas is one again poised to make a great blunder with Fair Park. The proposal presented by the Fair Park Texas Foundation to the city’s Park and Recreation board on April 7 makes the “Future of Fair Park” look a lot like its past — another regrettable waste of potential and taxpayer dollars — where taxpayers foot the bill but don’t share in the park’s economic potential.

Spend a few minutes to read the rest.