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Councilman Lee Kleinman Has His Balls in a Vise, Gets Confused as Result

Last week, during the discussion about the Trinity toll road and the Dream Team’s recommendations about how not to screw up the whole project, District 11 Councilman Lee Kleinman said he felt like his balls were in a vise. Today he has an op-ed in the DMN that shows how clouded a man’s thinking can become when he focuses too much on his wedding tackle.

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Leading Off (4/21/15)

Skate Park and Basketball Courts at City Hall? The developer’s name is Mukemmel “Mike” Sarimsakci. The plan is as unusual as the name. Gotta be better than what we’ve got there now. The only thing I’d add to the plan: a six-lane toll road. That would make City Hall plaza even more awesomer.

Toyota Doubles Size of Its Plano HQ. Having apparently realized that North Texas is the promised land, the car manufacturer will now build more than 2.1 million square feet in West Plano. Key passage: “There’s also going to be parking for more than 7,000 cars, which is further proof that early estimates of the employment in the office campus were too low.” Good luck finding houses in Plano, people.

See Video of Mesquite Cops Saving Man From Burning Car. The two police officers say this is just another day on the job.

Alligator Caught Roaming Cedar Hill. It wasn’t very big, but it was still a gator. Let’s be careful out there.

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The Met Resurfaces After 15 Years of Silence

If you’re old enough and cool enough, you probably remember The Met. The weekly magapaper launched in 1994 with Eric Celeste as its editor. Six years later, the Observer’s then parent company, New Times, bought the publication and shuttered it. Eric was working for the Observer at that point and wrote a pretty fine remembrance to mark the occasion. But The Met itself never got to say goodbye. One week it was there; the next week it wasn’t. That was partly the inspiration for what you see here.

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Is Dallas Too Prude To Handle the Phrase ‘Balls in a Vise’?

Yesterday’s City Council meeting provided the citizens of Dallas with some entertaining moments. It would have been nice if we’d also gotten sound policy-making and good governance. But whatever. We’ll take the lulz. Mayor Rawlings got things going early, when he cautioned the Council about posing difficult questions to City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, who’d only been able to study the Beasley plan for a day. The mayor said he didn’t want council members trying to “stump the dummy.” That got some laughs.

But the best line of the day came from Councilman Lee Kleinman, who didn’t much care for a tricky move made by Councilman Philip Kingston.

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Larry Beasley Just Killed the Trinity Toll Road

At the Trinity Commons Foundation luncheon today (where Jim Schutze ate a fancy $150 lunch while Peter and I sat in the back, in the media section, foodless), Larry Beasley took the mic and spent 40 minutes showing everyone how and why the Trinity toll road, as it is envisioned now, awaiting final federal approval, should be scrapped. Honestly, it was shocking. The head of the mayor’s Dream Team walked the audience of about 360 people through 10 specific recommendations that would radically reshape the road, effectively killing the the high-speed, six- to eight-lane monster we’ve been debating these many months. You can peruse the Dream Team’s full report, but here are the basics and what I’m guessing it all means.

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Leading Off (4/14/15)

More Crazy Trinity Toll Road Images. Brandon Formby brings us a preview of what we’ll likely see at the Trinity Commons Foundation annual luncheon today, when the Dream Team’s work is unveiled. In short: we’ve got ourselves a juggler under an overpass, images of a make-believe land. Simply amazing. The mayor’s Dream Team, it appears, has earned their paychecks. And what does Rawlings have to say? “My goal is to carry out the vision of what the citizens voted on in the Balanced Vision Plan. But to make sure the plan is truly, truly world class, as this is a critical project for the city of Dallas.” There it is, folks. The phrase that pays. When you hear “world class,” you know where we’re headed.

DMN Publishes Bold Editorial on Jordan Spieth: The online headline: “Dallas’ Jordan Spieth Is Easy To Root For.” Okay, I get it. We are all pretty proud of Spieth. Happy he’s from here. But if you’re forced to write an editorial about him, is that the best you can do? Nothing about how Jesuit has had an interesting year, with both Spieth and the racist SAE crap traced back to that school? Nothing about the context of local athletes who’ve recently earned national headlines, how Spieth and not Greg Hardy is the guy parents should hold up for their kids to emulate? Nope. Just point out: “People like rooting for him.” Weak sauce.

Woman Says Women Shouldn’t Run for President. While we’re talking dumb moves by local media, have a look at what CBS Channel 11 devoted its resources to yesterday. The lead of their story: “ ‘A female shouldn’t be President,’ is a direct quote from a Dallas woman’s Facebook page. As you might imagine, the post has attracted quite a bit of attention from people across the country.” No. No, I wouldn’t imagine that. People say crazy stuff on Facebook all the time. I would imagine that the post could be overlooked and we could devote more time to news. Or even Jordan Spieth.

Watch the Crane Crash Into the DMA. Video has surfaced. Keep your eye on the workers on the ground. It’s amazing more people weren’t hurt.

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The One Thing Missing From Jordan Spieth’s Masters Win

Once upon a time, the Dallas Morning News had one of the best sports sections in the entire country. For a refresher, read this story by Eric Celeste that we published in 1993. As one measure, not too terribly long ago, the paper sent golf writer Bill Nichols to every major (full disclosure: he’s the brother of our own Nancy Nichols). In today’s paper, Bill has a front-page story about Jordan Spieth’s big win. He wrote it by watching television. In the SportsDay section itself, Keven Sherrington has a column about Spieth. He wasn’t in Augusta either. A Virginia-based stringer was there for the paper. Anyone familiar with the work of Leonard Shapiro?

I get it. Newspapering isn’t what it used to be. Tough times and all. But it’s sad that a hometown kid could be poised to make history on golf’s biggest stage and the DMN couldn’t send someone to watch it happen in person.

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Rangers Co-Owner Ray Davis Sits for His First Interview Ever

Funny thing. Earlier this week, Mike was throwing around some story ideas for the magazine, each one involving a prohibitively hard-to-land interview. I said something like, “Next, you’re going to suggest a Ray Davis profile,” the joke being that Ray Davis has never sat for an interview. In fact, when he bought the Rangers, I wrote Davis a letter laying out my best argument for why he should be profiled in D Magazine. No response.

So congrats to the DMN’s Brad Townsend, who landed the big one. Here’s the first interview Davis has ever done. Nothing terribly earth-shattering there. I doubt Longform is going to tweet it out. But it’s worth a read.

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CultureMap Acquired by ViewMarket

Update (2:23) I called and emailed Alex Muse, one of the ViewMarket guys. He says, via email, that the $15 million figure didn’t come from him, that it’s his understanding the reporter got it from CultureMap’s lawyer. “I think we’ve got 30 full-time employees,” he says. “ViewMarket purchased the company using its stock, and part of the deal included ViewMarket putting money on the combined balance sheet, hence the mezzanine debt from MCP. The combined company is EBITDA positive — i.e. profitable — the mezz provides working capital.”

Original item: Last night the Dallas Business Journal posted the news that Dallas-based ViewMarket (formerly called Haul) had acquired Houston-based CultureMap, which has outposts in Houston, Austin, and here in Dallas. The story was headlined: “ViewMarket Buys CultureMap in Deal Valued at $15M.” Who says it’s a $15 million deal? And using what metrics? The story doesn’t offer that information. The $15 million figure is only used in the headline. The story does report that the ViewMarket people say CultureMap currently generates $4 million in revenue and that it had $1.4 million of debt when they acquired it. All this information was contained, by the way, in a ViewMarket press release that was crafted as an FAQ (see below for full text).

I’m skeptical. I was a liberal arts major, though. So what the heck do I know? But I look at $1.4 million of debt with $4 million in revenue, and then I count on CultureMap’s payroll at least 25 employees. Then I see that ViewMarket describes itself like this: “You can think of ViewMarket as a combination of VOX Media (raised $107M) and Maker Studios (acquired by Disney for $900M).” And my reaction is kind of like this:

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On the Semiotics of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Yesterday I had a conversation with a fellow who told me a story that blew my mind a little. Thought I’d share. This guy’s daughter was doing some volunteer work at a school in West Dallas. Mostly poor, mostly brown and black kids. The daughter asked some of them what they thought of the fancy Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, expecting to hear how much they loved it. But the kids told her that they hate it. They said the bridge divides the city. They said white people built that bridge to remind folks in West Dallas where the border lies, the one that separates rich from poor. “They stay on their side, and we stay on ours,” one of the kids said.

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Leading Off (4/7/15)

More Flights from Love Field. Tomorrow Southwest will add nine cities and more than a dozen departures to its Love schedule. New cities: Charleston, South Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Memphis, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Portland, Oregon; Seattle/Tacoma; and Sacramento and San Jose, California. To everyone affected by the increased jet noise: sorry, guys.

Video Catches Oak Cliff Peacock Thief. Watch for yourself. Bonus: do you know the word for a group of peacocks? Because I wrote three jokes before I just decided to let you follow that link if you cared to learn the word.

Rangers Lose on Opening Day. Vegas says the Rangers will win 76 games this year. Last night was not one of those wins. They lost to Oakland 8-0 and were no-hit through seven innnings. Man, the season looks long from here.

Watch a Giraffe Get Born at Dallas Zoo. Katie the reticulated giraffe is going to have a calf any day now. If you don’t mind violating every HIPAA law on the books, you can watch a live cam trained on Katie.

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