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Morning News Perpetuates Myth That Dallas Is a Quickly Growing City

The headline from the Biz Beats Blog: “Behind Just Houston and Austin, America’s Third Fastest-Growing City Is Dallas.” Simply put, that headline is a lie. Or it’s a mistake. The Forbes ranking that the DMN is referring to doesn’t peg our city as the third-fastest-growing. Our region is growing that quickly. As Wylie H. Dallas recently pointed out, our city is nowhere near the top of the list. Wylie wrote: “Over the most recent year for which data is available (July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013), the city of Dallas grew by 1.29 percent, placing us No. 27 out of 77, just barely ahead of Omaha.” Too often, city leaders seize on these sorts of reports to paint a rosy picture of how the city is faring. It needs to stop.

UPDATE (4:45): They changed the headline. Now it refers to the region. Thanks, guys.

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Author Jaye Wells Sells TV Rights to Two Books

From the author’s Facebook page: “I’ve been sitting on some news for a while. It just went out in Publisher’s Marketplace today so I can confirm that I’ve sold a TV option for Dirty Magic and Cursed Moon. It’s still early in the process and I can’t say too much about the details, but I’m thrilled at the possibility of seeing Kate Prospero on the small screen.”

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Barrett Brown Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison, Looks Horrible in Mustard Yellow Jail Togs

Yesterday at the Earle Cabell Federal Building, in the fine city of Dallas, Texas, a fellow named Andrew Blake wore a curious t-shirt to Judge Sam Lindsay’s court for a hearing to determine how much longer Barrett Brown ought to stay in prison. Blake got his shirt while covering the trial of Chelsea Manning. It was black, with one word, in white, printed across its chest: “truth.” Before things got started yesterday, a federal marshal approached Blake and told him he had to cover up the word. In case you missed that: he had to cover up “truth.” In a courtroom. That’s how it went for much of yesterday, like a script for a bad movie that any reasonable studio executive would read and reject because no way could the plot transpire in real life.

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Leading Off (1/20/15)

DeMarco Murray Gets Engaged. Murray and his fianceé, Heidi Mueller, have had some issues with social media and naked pictures and so forth. Who hasn’t?! But it looks like they’ve gotten everything worked out. They’re engaged. There remains only one question: Mueller is 32 years old. That’s old for a fianceé in today’s league. Will she put up the numbers she did last season? Will DeMarco regret giving her a lifetime contract? I guess that’s actually two questions. We shall see.

Balcony Club Lives To Fight Another Day. Actually it lives to pour drinks for another year — depending. But the longtime overrated bar was scheduled to close yesterday, and it didn’t. All in all, that’s a good thing.

Meth Lab Inside Addison Hotel? The Crowne Plaza Hotel is just down the street from Greenhill. Employees there found what looked like a meth operation in a room yesterday. Said it before. Say it again: suburbs are dangerous, yo. Science!

Mavs Beat Grizzlies 103-95. With two minutes to play, the Grizzlies were ahead. Then: I see you, Big German!

WrestleMania 32 Coming to Death Star. Early this morning, WWE announced that it will bring its big show to AT&T Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2016. That sound you just heard was me letting out a little squeal of excitement. Can’t wait. You think they’ll make this the Undertaker’s retirement match? Maybe the Great Kabuki will make a surprising return. So pumped.

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Two Niggling Points About American Sniper

As Liz mentioned in Leading Off this morning, American Sniper did really well at the box office over the weekend. I saw it and didn’t much care for it. (Peter gave it a B+ over on FrontRow.) Several narrative threads run through the thing, but none of them holds the movie together. Is this a movie about a war hero who doesn’t like being called a hero? Is it a movie about two rival snipers? Is it a movie about a guy struggling with PTSD? I don’t know. And if you say, “Tim, it was a biopic about a real person, and real life is complicated and won’t always satisfy your desire for a tidy narrative arc,” then I will ask you why the movie didn’t explore the strange lies that Chris Kyle told once he’d retired from the military (saying that he whupped Jesse Ventura, saying that he shot Katrina looters from atop the Superdome). That’s complicated.

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Freed’s Furniture Alters Downtown Dallas in TV Ad

Freed’s Furniture, as anyone who has lived here for any length of time knows, is where you can afford your dreams. The family-owned company has been selling furniture in Dallas since 1938. They boast of this longevity in a TV spot that caught the attention of a longtime FrontBurnervian. The reason it caught his attention: Freed’s used a historical photograph of downtown, digitally removing the name of another furniture store, Winn, and replacing it with Freed’s. Have a look.

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One Woman’s Tale of Getting Mugged on a DART Train

Chelsey has the longest title at D Magazine. In our staff box, she is listed as “assistant to chairman & publisher/administrative coordinator.” Short version, though, she’s pretty awesome. Which is why, when I heard that she’d been mugged on a DART train yesterday, I was happy to learn that she was unharmed. Her mugging was a timely one. A petition was just launched demanding that DART increase security on trains and at stations. So I asked Chelsey to tell us her story:

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Ladar Levison Calls David Cameron’s Encryption Ideas ‘Insane’

British Prime Minister David Cameron today called on U.S. internet companies to give intelligence agencies greater access to their members’ communications so that authorities can better fight terrorism. He has in mind something like a back door that law enforcement could use to step around encryption. Our friend Ladar Levison doesn’t much care for the idea, which he called “insane.” Here’s what he told the Guardian:

“The rallying cry is that we have to stop terrorism. Everyone hates terrorism. The only thing we hate more than terrorism is hurting children. Whenever they want additional authorities, these are the issues they put on parade.”

“It reminds me of that quote from Benjamin Franklin: ‘Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.’”

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In Fluoride Debate, Steve Blow Lays Bare His Less Than Beautiful Mind

We’ve had some fun recently with Steve Blow’s substandard work. First John Neely Bryan skewered him. Then Zac, not having seen Mr. Bryan’s post, had a go at Blow. (It was interesting that they both hit on the same satirical concept; for my money, Bryan executed it better.) But essentially Blow’s point was: “cool kids in town” (his phrase) don’t want to build a toll road in the Trinity floodway. “Sensible adults” know better. Sensible adults understand that we need more tolled highways ringing downtown Dallas. His folksy argument made no sense. And his use of a derogatory term for people like esteemed architect Bob Meckfessel reveals prejudice.

Today Blow brings us another noteworthy column.

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Keven McAlester Nominated for an Oscar

Once upon a time, there was a thing called The Met. In the mid-’90s, its ramshackle office, filled with secondhand furniture and outdated computers, was perched above a bar called the Green Elephant. The weekly’s music editor was a guy called Keven McAlester. Here’s how he was hired. Real piece of work, that McAlester. We called him Archie because Archibald was his real first name (Keven was his middle) and because he was smarter than all the rest of us and we needed a way to take him down a notch or two. Keven did not own shorts. He wore corduroy pants every day, even in the summer. That didn’t stop him from cutting a swath through the mostly female sales department. The other thing he pursued with great fervor was video games, first Maelstrom, then Snood. Especially Snood. Keven was the undisputed office champion of Snood. I’m not sure how much money I lost to him playing that game when we should have been doing our jobs.

All that is background so that you might possibly understand how amazed and delighted I was this morning when I learned that Keven has been nominated for an Academy Award for a documentary he co-wrote and co-produced. A huge congratulations goes out to him. And so does the photo below, taken when the entire Met staff underwent makeovers for some misguided fashion thing we published.

As you might imagine, Keven’s phone is rather busy right now. Via text, he says, “I’m thrilled and honored, and can’t thank Rory [director and co-producer] and the folks at American Experience enough for the opportunity to work on this.” In an email conversation with a couple other Met alumni, he said he plans to play Snood for the rest of the day.

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Leading Off (1/13/15)

Bucks Beat Ducks. In the first College Football Playoff National Championship (which really does need a snappier name), Ohio State won 42-20 — and then got showered with Oregon-yellow confetti. Seems the Death Star was fully functional. “If you’re in my shoes, it’s a great feeling,” Jerry Jones said. Ohio State president Michael V. Drake called it “the best football stadium in the world.”

Mesquite ISD Superintendent To Step Down. Linda Henrie, who has led the district since 2005, announced last night that she will step down this summer to focus attention on her husband, two children, and six gran — hang on a second. You’re telling me that she has been the superintendent for 10 years? A decade? Mesquite ISD has had the same superintendent since Wedding Crashers was released? That’s impossible. You’re supposed to replace your superintendent every three years, right?

First Meeting of Earthquake Task Force. Doesn’t sound like much got accomplished yesterday. But Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates did offer the following: “If somebody told me, my first year [on Council] we’d be dealing with earthquakes and Ebola, I’d be a little surprised that would be Dallas and District 13.”

High-Speed Rail Station Could Displace Morning News, WFAA. This is very preliminary, but it looks like the paper’s reporters might have to do their work in cubicles erected inside a train station. It will be a bullet train station, but still.

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Ray Washburne Signs On To Be a Bundler for Chris Christie

The New York Observer is reporting that Ray Washburne will end his run as RNC finance chairman and become a bundler for Chris Christie. I love that the story mentions that Washburne is tall and handsome yet somehow overlooked that he is beloved by children and a friend to all creatures, great and small. But why, pray tell, would Washburne raise cash for Christie and not one of the hopefuls closer to home? Says the Observer: “According to a source inside the Christie campaign, Mr. Washburne was willing to buck the Texas-tied hopefuls because ‘He feels poo-pooed by the Bush family in Texas.’ ” I’m sure that will go over well next time Washburne runs into George W. at Mi Cocina.

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