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What That Trinity Toll Road Meeting Was Really About

This morning, Mayor Mike Rawlings called a meeting at Babb Bros BBQ, in Trinity Groves, to make an announcement. It was a strange event. I’m still trying to figure out what really just happened.

Outside, three people dressed as turkeys handed out anti-toll-road flyers. They read, in part: “There’s no question that the Trinity toll road is the single biggest turkey in Dallas. That’s why we’re so excited about Mayor Rawlings’ steadfast support of it. With former proponents jumping ship left and right, it’s getting harder to find advocates for such an expensive, unnecessary, and counterproductive initiative. Thank you for standing up for REAL turkeys like the toll road, Mayor Rawlings!”

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Leading Off (11/18/14)

Dallas Woman Wins $202 Million Powerball Jackpot. Marilyn Boldon, give me a call. I have an idea. You’ll love it.

Big German! He was seen last night when he scored his 27,000th NBA point. The only other players to do that with a single franchise? Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan. None of those guys is German, though.

Kidd’s Kids Going Strong. Kidd died far too young. But his legacy lives on. This year, 61 sick kids will get an experience they never would have had without Kidd’s work.

Tom Joyner No Longer on Dallas Airwaves. Yesterday, we mentioned the two radio stations that switched formats over the weekend. So did the Observer. You know what neither of us realized? With the format switch at 94.5, Tom Joyner lost his Dallas station.

Did Ken Paxton Swipe a $1,000 Pen? The incident happened a year ago at a Collin County courthouse. A spokesman for the new attorney general said it was a simple mistake. Maybe so. Christy Hoppe’s story strikes the right tone.

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ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated Both Have J.J. Watt on Their Cover

Two magazine covers. Same football player appears on both. Neither issue is online yet; these are teaser covers released early. (ESPN actually did three covers, with Tony Romo and Demarco Murray appearing on the other two.) So why am I sharing this with you? What does J.J. Watt have to do with Dallas? Well, our own Mike Mooney wrote the story for ESPN (driving to Houston and back on the same day to have dinner with Watt, Mike’s only face time with his subject). I think my favorite detail about this deal is that the Houston Texans had the gall (presumably) not to tell each publication that another was working on a Watt story — and then the team bragged about the coverage. Well played, Texans. Well played.

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Top 10 Names Rejected by Gwyneth Paltrow for Her Pop-Up Store in Dallas

You’ve probably heard the news by now that Gwyneth Paltrow will open a pop-up store at Highland Park Village. It will be called GOOP. While the DMN says it is unclear whether Paltrow will make an appearance at the opening, I’ve heard from someone involved with the project that she will be there (take it to the bank). Anyway, here are the top 10 names she rejected before settling on GOOP:

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Leading Off (11/11/14)

Boy Shot Dead in Duncanville. Want to be depressed? Here’s the lead of the story: “A 15-year-old boy battling cancer was shot and killed outside his Duncanville home Saturday night …”

Body of Wylie Mother Found in Submerged Van. Fascinating, mysterious story. I hope someone at a national magazine is already working on a story about the Illinois-based husband-and-wife team that specializes in underwater searches using side-image sonar equipment.

Name Chosen for Newborn Dallas Zoo Giraffe. It’s Kopano. An anonymous donor paid $50,000 for the privilege of naming the leggy beast. Then the donor left the task to the public, which got to cast votes on three African names. BORING! If I pay that kind of scratch for the naming rights, I’m going with something like Zac Crain Has Crabs.

It’s Cold. How cold, you ask? It’s so cold that Robert Wilonsky got himself a line graph to show how cold it’s going to be (click the related image to the right of the article). Bundle up, people.

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Chandler and Chandler Do Basketball So You Don’t Have To

Another funny spoof from the Mavericks. Just as funny, though, is the comment on the YouTube channel from Rob Collins: “I hired Chandler and Chandler to make some shots and play some defense but one of them went 1-11 and in the next game 1-9 while allowing Deng to drop 30 on him. The taller Chandler was great but couldn’t carry the load himself. Not worth the 46 million I paid for this service.”

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The New York Times on David Ritz

We can still say David Ritz is a Dallas guy. Maybe. Kinda. Anyway, he has written a number of stories for the magazine, the most recent being “The Last Hat Salesman,” a meditation on his the occasion of his father’s passing. David’s one of the coolest people I’ve met. He’s filled with fascinating stories from a life of ghostwriting books for famous folks, many of them musicians. Some of those stories are about Aretha Franklin, who autobiography he ghostwrote. The process of writing that book was a difficult one for David, and though the book wound up an accurate portrayal of how Franklin sees herself (or how she wants the world to see herself), it didn’t wind up being what David hoped it could be. So he wrote a straight-up biography of the woman. “Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin,” was published last week. The Times says, “[I]t will stand as one of his greatest and most unusual achievements: a rich, definitive portrait set in motion by a bit of unfinished business.” You should read the entire article and consider buying the book.

Oh, and this is just one of five new books David will publish this year. He also wrote Joe Perry’s “Rocks: My Life in and out of Aerosmith.” And next year’s Willie Nelson autobiography will be David’s, too.

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Here Is Something That Craig Watkins Probably Regrets Having Said

Here is something that Craig Watkins said to the Associated Press in January:

“To be realistic, this may be a 30-, 40-year career for me here as Dallas County DA. I thoroughly enjoy what I do, and I think once we get through this election cycle, then the politics of it all will settle down.”

Here is the joke I wrote in January about that statement: Mind you, that’s just being realistic. If you want to get optimistic, let your imagination take you where it may, then we’re talking an 80- or 90-year career as Dallas County D.A. Also, if Watkins had a month to train, really get himself in shape, cut back on the sauce, he could start at tight end for the Seahawks. Okay, maybe not start. But a solid backup for sure. He’d contribute.

Here is another joke that I offer you today, free of charge: Watkins has access to those forfeiture funds for two more months. After that, he’ll have to pay for his own car wrecks.

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Leading Off (11/4/14)

Judge Freezes Wyly Family’s Assets. If you think the feds aren’t playing this game for keeps, then you’d best think again. And if you’re still thinking, then read the filing for the temporary freeze. There are 10 children of Sam and Charles Wyly. Not to mention the two wives.

Dallas Police Association Works Till Last Minute To Unseat DA Craig Watkins. You can read this story if you’d like to. It’s about a cop who hit and killed a cyclist with his squad car. He was indicted yesterday. The DPA claims Watkins’ office orchestrated the “questionable” indictment on election eve to bury it. Not sure I follow. But, anyway, the DPA endorses Watkins’ Republican(ish) opponent, Susan Hawk. Figures to be a close vote today. Make your voice heard.

Feds Sue Southwest Airlines Over Maintenance Issues. As a nervous flyer, I refuse to read this story. I’m sure its overblown. Nothing to worry about. Everything is awesome. Especially when you’re part of a team.

City Audit Finds Problems With South Dallas/Fair Park Trust Fund. Over a two-year period, the city made 47 grants totaling $820,500 and two loans totaling $90,000. But the audit found basic problems with bookkeeping. City Council member Carolyn Davis, who represents South Dallas and who acknowledged that she hadn’t read the audit, said it sounded “unfair.” I have not read Nicholas Sparks’ The Best of Me, but I think it, too, sounds unfair.

Mavs Beat Celts. Here are three reasons why. Zac guessed before the season started that the Mavs would win 52 games. I question Zac’s judgment and put that number at 53.

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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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