Big Fire Near Trinity Forest Continues To Burn

On Wednesday, a large fire consumed a good portion of the land near Big Spring, not far from where the new horse park and golf course will be built near the Trinity Forest. According to the Save Pemberton’s Big Spring Facebook page, nine fire trucks were called to the scene — and the fire has sparked up again today. Speculation is that it was arson. You’ll find some pictures of the damage on that page, too.

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It Only Took 23 Years for the Feds To Catch Up With John Wiley Price

As we await the feds’ 11 o’clock press conference to talk about the arrest and indictment of John Wiley Price, you’ve got time to reread Laura Miller’s 1991 cover story about the man. The subhead ran: “Everyone’s heard the rumors about the money, the shady deals, the violence, the women. Sadly, the facts are even harder to comprehend.”

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Let’s Take Another Look at What’s on John Wiley Price’s Mind

In 2011, we commissioned Steve Brodner to create this illustration of John Wiley Price’s mind and what was going on inside it. Zac and I collaborated on the individual thoughts, which we sent to Brodner. Here’s the rough version I drew, before Brodner made it pretty. Looking back, and flipping through today’s indictment, I think we pretty much nailed it. Except for EdgeFest and philately. Still combing the indictment, but I don’t see either of those mentioned.

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Is Dallas-Fort Worth Really the Third-Best Destination in the Country?

Mayor Mike Rawlings is crowing about how Dallas fared in a report issued by Resonance Consultancy. Resonance’s “Top 50 U.S. Destinations 2014” puts Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 3, behind Los Angeles and New York City. Cleveland, which stole the Republican National Convention from us, came in at No. 27. Resonance broke down the list into some top-10 subcategories, too. In the Top 10 Places for Culture and Performing Arts, we came in at No. 3. In the Top 10 Places to Shop, we came in at No. 2.

I’m not sure what to make of this. Is Dallas-Fort Worth really a better destination than Chicago (No. 4) and San Francisco (No. 5) — not mention everywhere else in the country except LA and NYC? I love where I live, but, um. I did a Nexis database search for Resonance Consultancy to try to figure out what sort of chops these folks have. The name pops up in 33 sources, with seven of those being newspaper articles and seven being newswires and press releases. So yeah.

We’re No. 3!!

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A Less Than Complete Recap of Last Night’s ‘Best of Big D’ Party That Includes an Appearance by Pat Green

A good time was had by all, I believe, at last night’s Best of Big D party at the Rustic. DJ Sober and Sam Lao were great. The drinks flowed freely. Much food went into many mouths. And so on and so forth. But I will tell you this: before the front moved through, it was a little steamy. The meteorological conditions occasioned my favorite moment of the night:

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Spencer Barasch ‘Transitions’ out of Andrews Kurth

Back in May, I wondered how much longer Andrews Kurth could continue to employ Spencer Barash, a lawyer that we had to remove from our Best Lawyers list because of some Allen Stanford-related shenanigans he was involved in (you’ll have to follow some links; it’s complicated). Well, an alert FrontBurnervian points us to a story (paywall) in The American Lawyer that says Barasch is on his way out. Explaining why Barasch’s profile page had vanished from the Andrews Kurth website, a managing partner told the magazine: “Spence Barasch is still a highly valued member of Andrews Kurth. However, he is in the process of transitioning his legal practice. Under those circumstances, we have agreed that it’s best not to continue to publish his website biography during the transition period. The firm continues to fully support Spence in all of his endeavors.”

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Jim Schutze Changes His Name to Charles Schultz and Decides He Likes Mark Lamster After All

Don’t know about you, but one of my regular stops every day is the blog for the Architect’s Newspaper. Yesterday they posted an item about how Mark Lamster is winning hearts and minds in Dallas. They wrote:

Since arriving in North Texas to take up the job of Dallas Morning News architecture critic, Mark Lamster has been under a trial by fire, suffering scrutiny and criticism for everything from his Yankee origin to his unsympathetic take on the city’s built environment. Well, local opinions seem to be warming a bit to the sharp-tongued scribe. In a recent piece in the Dallas Observer, Charles Schultz went so far as to praise how quickly Lamster has come to understand Big D’s development landscape and the insider track around its so-called zoning regulations. Schultz even showed a little contrition for a previous quip: “I apologize for calling him ‘Mark Lamster, New York Pinhead’ when he first showed up.”

Two things about that. 1) Guests who join us tonight at the Rustic for our Best of Big D party will get an early look at our August issue, in which we name Lamster the city’s best critic. So the editors at the Architect’s Newspaper are quite right. And 2) please, everyone, let us forevermore refer to the Observer’s bearded, laconic gadfly as Charles Schultz.

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A.H. Belo Sells Providence Journal

News came yesterday that A.H. Belo, the Morning News’ parent company, has sold the Providence Journal for $46 million. Belo will retain the paper’s HQ building and some other real estate, seeking to sell those assets in a separate deal. The managing editor of the Boston Business Journal analyzes the deal from the buyer’s viewpoint (New Media Investment Group). Here’s my analysis from the seller’s viewpoint: good. Belo has now shed its distractions and is free to focus solely on its operations in North Texas (which include the Denton Record-Chronicle). It appears to have gotten a good price for the ProJo. Its stock price ticked up ever so slightly this morning. Everything looks good. (Except for the front-page story this morning in the News about Mike Miles’ contract extension. Anyone who cared about that story learned about the development when they woke up yesterday.)

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Leading Off (7/22/14)

Mike Miles Gets Contract Extension. DISD trustees met for more than nine hours before deciding early this morning to give their superintendent a two-year extension. Miles won’t get a raise, but he could earn $200,000 if he meets certain goals. Also, he’ll get to do eight days of outside consulting, but he’ll have to take vacation to do it. All in all, seems like a fair deal. But nine hours? That’s the biggest indication of what’s broken with the system.

Architects Come Out Against Trinity Toll Road. Huge op-ed in the paper today against the Trinity toll road. HUGE. It is signed by Betsy del Monte, Tip Housewright, and Bryce Weigand, all fellows of the American Institute of Architects. It carries the support of Myriam E. Camargo, Duncan Fulton III, Larry Good, Robert Meckfessel, Marcel Quimby, Craig Reynolds, and Dennis Stacy. They suggest we do two things: “First, abandon the Trinity Tollway as a poorly located, inappropriate measure from earlier times. Second, move ahead with the repairs necessary to keep I-345 safe and usable for the next few years, and no more.”

Will Lancaster Road Be Renamed for Nelson Mandela? That’s what Councilman Dwaine Caraway wants to do. Great idea. It has my full support. One minor tweak, though: instead of Nelson Mandela, let’s call it Riverview Road.

Cops Need Your Help. Early on the morning of July 16, several men dropped 16-year-old Eric Romero at Baylor. He had a gunshot wound to the head and did not survive. See if you can help.

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Wired Looks at Ladar Levison’s Secure Email Project

In case you missed it (I did), on Friday Wired published a story about our favorite alliterative email service provider, Ladar Levison. Ladar is currently holed up in a house in North Texas, cranking away on his next project, a super-secure email system called Dark Mail. The Wired story goes into how this new email system will work, but more interesting is Ladar’s collaborator Stephen Watt:

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Dallas Was Trying To Save Children All the Way Back in 1940

Paula Bosse has an interesting piece on her blog, Flashback: Dallas. You’ll notice certain parallels between current events and what was going on 75 years ago. Here’s how Bosse’s story begins:

In the summer of 1940, a group called The Children’s Evacuation Committee of Texas was organized to bring child refugees to Dallas, even if it meant sending a ship across the Atlantic Ocean to get them. Its chairman was local businessman George Edgley, a transplanted Briton who owned a music shop and performed around town as an actor and musician.

The group was formed in response to the heavily publicized plight of English children living under the constant threat of attack during World War II. The situation was of great international concern, and plans were drawn up to evacuate the children to safety.

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Dallas Mavs’ Ivan Johnson Has a Potty Mouth

A longtime FrontBurnervian points us to video posted on Deadspin of a summer league contest between the Mavs and Hornets. Ivan Johnson falls down, goes boom, then has a pretty salty question for the ref. At this point, I’m going to need about 2,000 words from Zac about Johnson, his background, his scouting report, and whether I should care about his clumsiness and vulgar language.

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Why Is the Air We Breathe Getting Worse?

The Texas Tribune yesterday published a story that you should read — but only if you live in North Texas and if you breathe air. It only matters to that group of people. Here’s the top-line summary: though we are still way above where the federal government wants us on ozone, for years our levels had been dropping. In 2008, as you can see from the above chart generated from research done at UNT, that trend reversed itself. And the rise in ozone levels has accelerated fastest in parts of North Texas where the most drilling is done. It’s an important story. It’s not that long. Please read it — again, though, only if you live here and breathe air.

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Kacy Catanzaro Destroys American Ninja Warrior

Okay, yes, I watch American Ninja Warrior. My only defense: I have an 8-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy. It’s hard to find programming on which the whole family can agree (the wife will tell you that she gets no vote whatsoever). And, yes, while watching Monday’s broadcast, I cried. Teared up, really. But let’s not quibble. My defense on that front: I cry easily.

Monday’s show was the Dallas finals. Never has a woman completed a full course. On Monday, 5-foot-tall, 100-pound Kacy Catanzaro did it. Truly amazing. See for yourself:

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