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Leading Off (10/28/14)

Cowboys Lose. Listen, people. Just settle down. What if I’d told you at the start of the season that at this point the team could be 6-2? Would you have sacrificed your firstborn to ensure that record? Punched your grandmother in the face? Okay then. So the loss to the team from Washington hurt. No big deal, really. The only hurt you should worry about is the one to Romo’s back. (But, having said that, seeing Jerry Jones come down to the sideline late in the game was deeply, deeply disturbing.) For better analysis of the game, turn to Bob Sturm.

‘Record Number of DISD Administrators Make More Than $100k.’ When your newspaper covers your school district by listening to nutty, leaky board members and by doing not much more than filing open-records requests and playing gotcha, this is the sort of story you get. This is the sort of story, though, that you should pay attention to.

Dallas Cops To Detail Their Shootings. DPD officials said yesterday that they will start a website next month detailing information on 12 years of shootings by police officers.

Starke Taylor, R.I.P. The former mayor died yesterday of congestive heart failure.

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Who Is the ‘Cologned Gallerist’ From Dallas in The New Yorker?

An alert FrontBurnervian points us to a recent New Yorker Talk of the Town story about, indirectly, how horrible people can be at art fairs (looking at their phones, taking selfies, etc.). The story follows a chap named Eric Fischl, who paints people looking at art. Fischl and the writer go to Art Southampton, which is held in a tent behind an Elks Lodge. That’s where this scene unfolds:

A cologned gallerist strode over, business card extended. He drawled, “We’re in Dallas, and let me tell you something — Dallas is the absolute hottest market going right now. It’s on fire!”

“See what I have to live with?” Fischl mumbled.

So then. Who is the gallerist who wears so much cologne that a writer would take note during such a brief exchange? It is a totally inconsequential matter that deserves immediate attention.

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Susan Hawk Campaign Uses Photo Without Permission for Political Mailer

Sometime D Magazine contributor Allison V. Smith tweeted about an hour ago that the Susan Hawk campaign used one of her photos in a mailer without her permission. Definitely not cricket. Allyn Media president and CEO Mari Woodlief tells me it was a mistake and that her firm, the consultant for the campaign, is paying an invoice that Smith sent them. Just a guess, but I bet that invoice was steeper than Allyn Media would have preferred.

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Brendan Higgins Issues Statement on Aspen Arrest

You’ll recall that former CBS 11 morning anchor and noted Irishman Brendan Higgins got into a bit of trouble in Aspen awhile back. Here comes an official statement about where things stand:

I have entered a deferred prosecution agreement with the City of Aspen that will ensure all the municipal court charges against me will be dropped within six months. As I said shortly after my arrest, I am deeply sorry for the negative attention this situation brought to my family, our friends, my coworkers and the hard-working authorities in Aspen. While unfortunate, this incident has provided a valuable lesson that I will not soon forget, and I dearly appreciate the many messages of support sent to my family and me over the past couple months. We are looking forward to moving on to bigger, brighter things.

Could have used an expletive or two. Maybe a metaphor about riding horses. But otherwise, it’s a fine statement.

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An Apology to the French Family I Met in the Park Yesterday

I found myself yesterday in Klyde Warren Park around 6 o’clock with my daughter in tow. It was a lovely evening. Gorgeous weather. Yoga class twisting itself in knots on the lawn. Patio at Savor filled with folks. Dallas Symphony preparing to play on the stage. We were at the playground, where I was pushing my daughter on the merry-go-round. Another girl, looked to be about 10, walked up. I said, “Hop on!” She gave me a blank look. Her dad walked over and said with an accent, “We’re French. She doesn’t speak English.” We struck up a conversation.

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Glenn Beck on Mike Mooney: ‘He Is an Excellent Writer.’

For our November issue, Mike Mooney profiled Glenn Beck. He worked about two years to get an interview with Beck, who doesn’t do much of this sort of thing. Mike spent an afternoon with Beck in his Las Colinas studio and came away with an impression of a kinder, gentler man than the one many will remember from his broadcasts on Fox. Yesterday, Beck talked about the article on his show. For the most part, he liked it. He thought it was fair. He called Mike an excellent writer, which was certainly kind. But Beck and his sidekicks did take issue with one paragraph in the story that they said showed our liberal bias. Here’s the video.

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Leading Off(ish) (10/22/14)

Was the ball dropped? Yes. Were mistakes made? Certainly. We can assess blame blame later. Now is not the time. Now is the time, while seated in the waiting room of my son’s dentist, to hurriedly put up today’s Leading Off.

Nina Pham Is Kicking Ebola’s Butt. The nurse’s condition has improved. She has been upgraded from “fair” to “good.”

Shooting by a Police Officer. Few details at this point, but a cop shot someone this morning in Northeast Dallas.

Highland Park ISD Looks To Expand. The district is in talks with Northway Christian Church to buy 4.6 acres off Northwest Highway, where the district would build its fifth elementary school.

Nelson Bunker Hunt, R.I.P. The man lived one hell of a life.

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Two Dallas Dudes Paired Up at Texas Book Festival

Though Rod Davis doesn’t currently live in Dallas, we can still call him a Dallas dude. He did two stints with D Magazine. He’s got a lifetime membership. Harry Hunsicker is definitely a Dallas dude. Harry has written for the magazine, and his most recent novel is The Contractors. Rod’s newest is South, America. Both books are set in the South, and this Saturday at 1:45, the gents will together discuss how geography plays role in their gritty fiction. If you are headed down to the festival, I definitely recommend that you catch these two guys let Rod know in the Q&A portion of their talk that you think Harry has better hair than he does. The full schedule is here.

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Leading Off (10/21/14)

51 People Released From Monitoring for Ebola. This is excellent news. Now we’ve got the two sick nurses being treated elsewhere and 116 people here in town who are still being monitored. The magic date is now November 7. If no one else develops symptoms by then, we can declare Dallas free of Ebola. Note to the mayor: don’t start planning the parade yet. Let’s all remember that lesson we learned in 2006.

Stricter Lawn Watering Rules in the Offing. The board of the North Texas Municipal Water District will today consider a return to once-every-two-week sprinkler use. Area lakes are still low, and we’re still in a serious drought. Heed the board. Heed it. (A Scott from Scott’s joke? A little love? No?)

Thousands of Diapers Stolen From North Texas Charity. Captain Hope’s Kids helps out homeless children. Its mission was made more difficult when thieves recently stole 160,000 diapers from the group. Stealing from homeless children? I guess if you wanted to ruin your karma faster, you could torture kittens, but that’s pretty low.

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Harvard Club of Dallas Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary

Yes, yes. The Harvard Club of Dallas’ own website says it was founded in 1913. But operations didn’t begin until the next year, 1914, so they are counting this year as their centenary. You know what else happened in Dallas in 1914? The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas got up and running. Lo, the current president and CEO of the Dallas Fed, Richard Fisher, is himself a Harvard grad. And, even further lo, tomorrow Fisher will give the keynote at the Harvard Club’s birthday shindig at the Anatole. Details are here. Even Yalies are welcome.

UPDATE (10/20/14) As has been pointed out in the comments, I got the date wrong. This Harvard thing happens this coming weekend. It starts Friday, and Fisher speaks Saturday. My apologies.

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Jerry Jones Lawsuit Settled This Morning After Late-Night Lawyering

So that dancer dropped her sexual assault suit against Jerry Jones. Oddest detail from this story: the settlement was reached at 3 a.m. today. Surely they didn’t start early this morning and work for a couple hours. What time did they start yesterday? Did they take a dinner break? At, like, 11 o’clock, why didn’t they say, “Guys, let’s all go home, get some rest, and then get back at this at, oh, say 9:30 tomorrow”? More questions: does this mean that Jerry is guilty and didn’t want this thing to go to trial? Does this mean that every exotic dancer he encounters in the future — and surely there will be future exotic dancers — will file a lawsuit against him? The dancer initially wanted $1 million. Did she settle for $50,000? Does she have to pay taxes on that?

UPDATE (11:54) Jerry’s attorney sends along the following statement: “”We are pleased with the Court’s Judgment against Ms. Weckerly. Ms. Weckerly’s allegations were false. This case is over.” He also sends along a copy of the judgment, which dismisses the legal action by the plaintiff with prejudice, giving her no money.

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Fox 4 and Clarice Tinsley Show Us the Future of TV News. And Its End.

Last night, I watched the news. On my television. It feels odd to type those words. Maybe this post should end there. But I can’t help myself.

So the Ebola. It’s all Ebola all the time in Dallas, for good reasons and also for less than good reasons. On Fox 4 last night, they did some serious Ebola coverage (that I’d already digested on my phone hours earlier). And then they did their “Your Word” segment, during which the esteemed, long-serving, much-respected Clarice Tinsley was forced by producers to climb from behind the anchor desk and perambulate the studio, all casual like, while talking about the most serious of topics. Actually, she didn’t talk about Ebola. She said, “Social media is blowing up about that nurse getting on a commercial flight to Cleveland.” And then she started reading Facebook comments.

I assume these TV producers have kidnapped Clarice’s loved ones and threatened to kill them unless she follows their instructions. Only reasonable assumption. Last night, she was holding a fancy tablet that operated a large monitor behind her, but at one point, she stood there reading Facebook comments from her iPhone (as pictured above). One of the comments that she didn’t read but which was displayed for viewers was a photo of Homer Simpson. One can only pray for the safe return of Clarice’s husband. Well, one can pray, and one can also put up a blog post.

Imagine if, when television began to supplant radio as the dominant medium, the radio programs had begun to broadcast a live account of what television stations were broadcasting. THAT’S what Clarice was doing last night, best I can figure. It’s goofy. It’s self-defeating. It’s bad business. It’s acknowledging that the entire world is upside down and that you haven’t figured out how to survive in that world.

A quick postscript: I think we sometimes do the same thing in the pages of D Magazine.

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Leading Off (10/15/14)

Third Case of Ebola Confirmed. Another Presby healthcare worker who treated Eric Duncan has tested positive for Ebola. No identity yet, but decontamination units are doing their thing on an apartment at The Village, near Skillman and Village Bend. How could Presby healthcare workers have gotten infected? The AP reports that the nation’s largest nurses’ union is claiming that the hospital was unprepared for what happened: “Nurses were forced to use medical tape to secure openings in their flimsy garments, worried that their necks and heads were exposed as they cared for a patient with explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting, said Deborah Burger of National Nurses United.”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reported new figures today about Ebola in West Africa. The WHO says the number of new cases could reach 10,000 per week by December.

There’s some other stuff going on this morning, but, honestly, given the Ebola news, none of it seems that important.

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