There’s a scary, scary story in the paper today by Matthew Haag about the home-rule effort to reform DISD. Here’s what you need to know about it.Full Story
The paper is coming around. On Wednesday, James Ragland wrote a column that clearly took aim at the home-rule movement, saying its backers wanted to “blow up the district.” An accompanying news story about the signature-gathering efforts painted a picture of confusion. Now this.
The DMN just put up an editorial endorsing the home-rule movement, saying, “It’s clear to this newspaper, as it has been for some time, that this is the conversation we must have to reform and improve public education. If it takes signing this petition, you should. It beats running to the suburbs.” Tod Robberson, too, posted an item a few minutes ago that supports the movement. You know who made that happen? Rawlings. As Robberson writes, “It’s wonderful when a politician throws caution to the wind, abandons political niceties and tells it like it is.”
It’s too early to say for certain, but we might be watching the defining moment of Rawlings’ tenure.Full Story
I read the front-page DMN story today about the home-rule movement for DISD, and I thought, “Oh, man, they still don’t have their messaging together.” Here’s how the story in the paper wraps up:
Rawlings and the group said they did not have a grand vision for a DISD charter. When asked why the community would support a plan that hasn’t been outlined, some group members said the effort would give the public a blank page and lets them write the future of Dallas ISD.
“The power is the blank page,” Rawlings said. “The citizens for the first time get to decide what they want to do.”
What? They have no vision? The power is the blank page? No, no, NO. People are going to hate that. But then I watched this video.Full Story
You’d think that after the editors at Ebony saw our 2004 cover with Bishop T.D. Jakes, they would have said, “No way. Can’t be done better. That is the Bishop Jakes cover. We have to find someone else.” But no. They went ahead and put him on their April cover. I like what he’s doing with the beard there. Taking a page out of Zac Crain’s playbook. Here’s the full press release from Ebony:Full Story
The U.S. attorney’s office filed a motion today to dismiss most of the charges against Barrett Brown. Kevin Krause over at the DMN has more details. Barrett is off the hook for posting links to hacked data (some of which was credit card numbers). That’s the thing that got everyone worked up. Because Barrett didn’t do the hack. He just pointed people to publicly available information. If that were a crime, we’d all be in trouble. Now, though, he still has to deal with the charges of obstruction of justice and threatening a federal agent. But today’s action comes in response to a motion filed by Barrett’s defense attorney, Ahmed Ghappour. The guy has shown he’s equal to the challenge. Seems to me that, with more than a year in jail, Barrett should get off with time served at this point.
Here is a statement on today’s news from Kevin Gallagher, the director of Free Barrett Brown. And here’s how the news is being covered by various media: Guardian, Daily Dot, Salon, The Verge, Tech Dirt.Full Story
Magazines like ours belong to an organization called the City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA). Every year with help from the Missouri School of Journalism, CRMA hands out some awards for the best work across the country. This year, we and our buddies over at D CEO are finalists in eight categories, which I think is a record for us. The breakdown:Full Story
I promise that I don’t get up the morning and wonder how I’m going to poke fun at Museum Tower. But they keep sending me these marketing emails that demand my attention.Full Story
Don’t bother clicking dallascountyvotes.org to find out where you should vote. Right now, it delivers a “503 Service Unavailable” error. Thanks a lot, Obama.
UPDATE: The site is back up. (As of 11:17.)Full Story
On Friday, I received a marketing email from Museum Tower. The subject: “High Rise on the Rise in Dallas.” The body of the note included the rather handsome image you see here. The message read as follows:
In 2013, growth in Dallas’ high-rise neighborhoods was truly remarkable. According to MLS there was a 36.4 percent increase in the number of units sold, and a 49.6 percent increase in volume.
Increasing demand for luxury high-rise homes generated a 9.7 percent rise in prices during the same time period. Nearly 25 percent of Museum Tower’s square footage has been claimed by residents with an appreciation for the unconventional and uncompromising.
It then offered a link to more information about the tower and an offer to schedule a private showing. I’m not in the market for a high-rise condo. I just bought some new sneakers, so cash is a little tight right now. But something about the wording of that message interested me. What does it mean that “square footage has been claimed by residents”?Full Story
DISD Teachers Union Issues Insane Statement About Home-Rule Effort. The home-rule deal is just gaining steam. At the polls today, voters will be asked to sign a petition to put the measure on the November ballot. There are lots of questions still unanswered. But one thing is certain: the largest Dallas teachers’ union is a little nuts. Rena Honea is the president of Alliance-AFT. She says: “The home-rule charter is part of a plan to underfund our schools, declare them a failure, and contract out to private operators the control of our neighborhood schools, disenfranchising parents and community stakeholders and de-professionalizing teaching. This initiative ultimately is for profit, not for kids.” But know this: Louisa Meyer is part of the effort behind the home-rule deal. If you know the name “Louisa Meyer,” then you just had a laugh about that whole “disenfranchising parents and making profit” statement. It’s like Steve Blow coming out in favor of highways. You say, “Thanks, man. You just helped my side more than any argument I ever could have made.”
WFAA Is as Insane as Dallas Teachers Union. The above story is hugely important. As voters head to the polls today, they need to know what’s happening, so that when a person with a petition approaches them, they have a clue. Last night, Channel 8 gave the home-rule story 20 seconds. Literally. Gloria Campos is retiring at some point soon. Not sure when. But last night the station did a four-minute story on her early years coming up in Harlingen. Priorities. Say it with a Spanish accent.
Morning News Overlooks a Dallas Billionaire. Forbes has released its list of the world’s billionaires. The paper takes at look at the locals, with Alan Peppard suggesting that Andy Beal might be the wealthiest guy in town. Nowhere, though, does the paper mention Georg Schaeffler, whom I profiled in 2007. Bloomberg recently put him at $7.8 billion, a wild guess given that his company is privately held. Anyway. Schaeffler. He knows it’s all ball bearings these days. If you’re doing a fantasy billionaire league, he deserves consideration.
Southwest Airlines To Fly to Mexico. Crap. When Southwest announced international flights, I thought Canada would be the destination. It’s Mexico.Full Story
After more than seven years of litigation, the battle has come to an end over city ordinances meant to keep immigrants out of Farmers Branch. The Supreme Court this morning issued an order denying review of a lower court’s ruling against the ordinance. Here’s my favorite part of the DMN story about the news:
But Farmers Branch Mayor Bill Glancy said he wasn’t sure the fight was over. He said he needed to discuss the Supreme Court decision with the rest of the City Council, a group with three new council members since the ordinance was first proposed.
I like Bill Glancy’s moxie. Supreme Court decision? That’s just like Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme. I mean, it has “supreme” in its name, sure, but that’s only marketing. Surely Farmers Branch can appeal to the Ultimate Extreme Court, right?Full Story
Gordon Keith Writes About the N-Word. See if you can spot the dangling modifier in Gordon’s DMN op-ed about the NFL’s considering a ban of a certain word that begins with “n” and is not “national.” Worth a read, though.
Allen Football Stadium Closed Due to Structural Problems. Remember that sweet $60 million high school football stadium in Allen? It’s broken. There are big cracks in the concourse and “other potential problems in the structure.” Allen ISD board president Louise Master says the decision to close the joint, which will affect graduation ceremonies, came out of “an abundance of caution.” Same reason I use those scissors with the rounded tips.
Dallas Is a Finalist To Host G.O.P. Convention. We are one of the eight finalist cities. Don’t worry about the fact that this story doesn’t mention how many cities initially threw their hats onto the elephant or who the other seven finalist cities are. The Dallas host committee heads to D.C. to make the pitch in person on Monday. Said Dallas CVB CEO Phillip Jones, “Dallas is America’s city. It’s a can-do city. It’s got optimism, opportunity, entrepreneurial spirit, free market capitalism. Everything we stand for, I think the Republican National Party stands for.” The other finalists, as it happens, are Kansas City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. Let’s see. Las Vegas is a can’t-do city. Phoenix, as everyone knows, is a communist city without a free market. Columbus is filled with pessimism. And Denver — oh, never mind. You get the joke. Not sure why Jones didn’t just say, “None of those other cities is home to the artist George W. Bush.” Mark it down now, folks. We’ve got this thing.Full Story
Surely you know who Chart Westcott is. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. The Fake Chart Westcott is currently struggling through life without his butler, Benedict. Enjoy. And let’s field some guesses in the comments as to who is behind the account.Full Story
Teresa Gubbins, who once worked at Pegasus, broke the news yesterday — before the Pegasus News staff even knew it was coming, apparently. Or was the site called WiredLocal? I’m confused. Just as I was confused when Pegasus News founder Mike Orren explained to me over lunch one day how his site was going to leverage hyper-local sales by pushing targeted sales ads to a user from, say, the floral shop with expiring merchandise that was a block from the user’s house. Mike, who was once upon a time the publisher of D Magazine, is a smarter feller than I. Which is probably how he wound up working for the Morning News, which bought and killed the winged horse. Anyway, I hope everyone who worked there quickly finds gainful employment. R.I.P., winged horsey.Full Story
My wife is out of town. She left me in charge of our kids for five days. I think I speak for fathers everywhere when I say that as soon as my lovely bride returns to town, I am going to cash in my accumulated brownie points and go on an epic, NSFW rumshpringa the likes of which North Texas has not seen since the days when the Cowboys were running the White House. You heard me. So I’m casting about for something to do on Friday. And, lo, comes the included digital flier inviting me to eat and greet and drink with Courtney Kerr and Tori Gonzalez at a joint in Plano called Blue Martini, where patrons are encouraged to “dress to impress and show off your ego!” This is so me. Who’s in?Full Story