Zac Crain is a senior editor at D Magazine. He moved to Dallas in 1997, and since then, he's worked as an editor at the Dallas Observer and American Way, written for Esquire and Spin, ran for Dallas mayor, written a book, and served as "glue guy" for a handful of rec-league basketball squads. Scouting report: can't go right, but he's a creative passer, and semi-accurate set shooter.

Denton Company Working on Kolache, TX Documentary

Mr. Chris Mosley sent me this atmospheric teaser trailer for a documentary being filmed in my beloved hometown of West, Texas. You probably recognize the location in the teaser: Czech Stop. I mean, I hope you do. It shows the sign right away. Not paying a ton of attention if you miss that. The company behind it is Denton’s Native Process Films. It looks like they should have a Kickstarter up and running right about … soon, I guess. Interested to see what becomes of this.

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Leading Off (7/31/14)

Rick Perry Speaks at Israel Solidarity Rally. You can catch some of his comments here. Will I repurpose parts of that video at some point in the not-too-distant future? I mean, I guess I probably will.

ALLIGATOR WARNING. “Texas Game Warden Logan Griffin admits that often what people may initially think is something unusual in the water turns out to be nothing more a log or a tire. But officials want there to be no mistake — there are alligators in Lewisville Lake.” Gators!

Parkland Building New $19 Million Clinic South of Fair Park. That’s what this story is nominally about. To me, it’s more of an introduction to a woman I definitely want to hear more from, Mrs. Willie Mae Coleman.

Here is Everything You Ever Would Want To Know About Pedestrian Walk Buttons. If you don’t have time to read it all, I’ll give you the main takeaway: none of them work. So when you roll your eyes at someone who walks up to a crosswalk where, like, 10 people are already waiting and pushes the button a few times, it is 100-percent justified. Also: it was justified before. Semi-related: meet a cat named Traffic Light.

President Bush, Michael Young, and Pitbull Honor Derek Jeter On His Last Game at Whatever They Call The Place the Rangers Play At Now. Pretty good photos here.

Well, Human Civilization Had a Good Run. Oh, well. Catch you guys on the flippity-flop.

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Jesse Ventura Wins Case Against Chris Kyle, Awarded $1.8 Million

A jury awarded the former professional wrestler/Predator actor/Minnesota governor $1.8 million in his defamation case against the estate of the late Chris Kyle, finding that Kyle had defamed Ventura in his book, American Sniper. I’d ask Michael Mooney for his take, but he’s probably off breaking his other foot or something.

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Think of the Kids Crossing the Border as the New Lost Boys

Sherry Jacobson has a piece in today’s paper wherein she talks to Gabe Anieu Maguil and Augustino Gend, two of the Lost Boys of Sudan who took refuge in Dallas a decade or so ago, after being forced to flee from their home country because of a violent civil war. Maybe it won’t make up your mind regarding the current border situation, but Maguil and Gend lend an interesting — and, I feel, necessary — perspective.

Maguil suggested taking a longer view of the current border crisis. These are children so eager to come to America, he said, that they will travel hundreds of arduous miles, across countries and borders.

They are no different, he said, than he was years ago.

“If they’re here, they can better themselves,” Maguil said. “And someday, they will pay taxes. They will be Americans.”

Earlier in the piece, Maguil talked about how “the United States embraced” him and his fellow Lost Boys, and he is right about that. Dallas, especially, was very welcoming to the Lost Boys, and it has long done great work regarding refugees from other countries, too. I’m not saying Maguil and Gend are the only voices to listen to. Just saying don’t ignore them.

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In Other News: Judge Hearing Arguments In Sam’s Club Injunction

On July 14, Judge Emily Tobolowsky granted a temporary restraining order to the East Village Homeowners Association, blocking Walmart from moving ahead with its planned Sam’s Club in the Cityplace area. She’s hearing arguments on the case this morning. If you want some context as to why all this is important, Eric Celeste has a column on the situation hitting newsstands right now.

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Steve Blow’s Immigration Column Is Extremely Sloppy

If it seems like we are constantly taking Morning News Metro columnist Steve Blow to task over this or that, that’s not an unfair assessment. In our defense, he needs to be taken to task quite a bit more than we actually have the time or energy for. I almost let his latest column — he believes our immigration courts aren’t equipped to handle the current situation — slip by with just a bit of gentle needling in Leading Off this morning. But then I read Bill Holston’s note in the comments, and then I read what Dallas Observer editor Joe Tone said a few more comments down, and then I read Blow’s piece again.

It is the worst kind of bad: dangerous. Someone might actually believe it.

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Leading Off (7/24/14)

A.C. Gonzalez Explains Why City Repaid More Than $810,000 To HUD, Kind Of. I don’t know, does this make any sense? “He stressed that the funds are not lost, but rather put back into the city’s line of credit for other HUD projects. Though general fund dollars were used to pay back the Project Reconnect money, the groups that ultimately use the funds are typically on the hook for the expenses, he said.”

Chandler Parsons to Bro Out Like Crazy Once He Gets To Dallas. According to this.

Steve Blow Has a Strong Take On Border Situation. Maybe? I mean, I really can’t tell. He’s sort of all over the road. But I can relay the following: there are a lot of paragraphs.

Rangers Trade Joakim Soria. Haven’t really been paying attention, but I gather Soria was the team’s closer. Anyway, since there’s no hope for the team this year, I think they should start having fun with it. Give Evan Grant a few at-bats. Bring back some legends and let them play a little. Raffle off an appearance in the pitching rotation. Whatever.

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Watch Robert Newhouse Run An Obstacle Course

As Michael mentioned this morning, during what I can only imagine was some sort of fugue state, Dallas Cowboys great Robert Newhouse lost a long battle with heart disease yesterday. I went looking for Robert Newhouse highlights on YouTube, but then found this: Newhouse running an obstacle course as part of the Superteams series, a Battle of the Network Stars-style, made-for-TV contest that pitted that year’s Super Bowl champs against the winner of the World Series. Except, in 1978, George Steinbrenner refused to let the New York Yankees participate, so the Cowboys faced the Kansas City Royals. (An aside: I would 100-percent watch the pants off this if it still existed, because I love stupid, made-up contests.)

The clip is almost 10 minutes long, but you only have to watch the first two, which includes Keith Jackson referring to Newhouse as “a stocky, block-busting, hard-running fellow from Houston,” which he absolutely was, but he was very clearly also — and Jackson could have at least mentioned it — the owner of a glorious head of hair.

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A Look at Kidd Kraddick’s Show A Year After His Death

If you, like me, enjoy it when the Morning News lets Alan Peppard write something more than recaps of society events and such, you will like this long piece about how the rest of Kidd Kraddick’s morning show crew has carried on since his death last year. (Note: while a lot of design has gone into the layout of the story online, and it looks nice, it can be a bit of a pain to read if your internet connection is slow. But also note I have, like, 40 tabs open, so who knows? Could be on my end. It’s usually on my end.)

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The Good Guys: A Look Back

Four years ago around this time, you could have tuned into Fox on a Monday night and watched an hour-long action-comedy called The Good Guys, shot in Dallas and set in a semi-accurate but definitely made-for-TV version of Dallas. Prior to its debut in June 2010, I spent some time on the set and wrote several thousand words about the show. Some of those words were dedicated to what The Good Guys could do for our city, both economically and culturally. It could give the city’s rank-and-file members of the TV and film production community steady work and maybe (maybe!) change people’s perception of Dallas, the ideas formed by J.R. Ewing’s various machinations and Chuck Norris doing spinning axe kicks in a cowboy hat.

Well, it didn’t.

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My Detente With the Avian Kingdom Is At An End

If you read this blog, or our magazine, or follow me on Twitter, you are more than aware I have had — as of late — a bit of a problem with birds. Specifically, owls. The owl situation seems to be under control now, though I assure you, my head remains on a swivel whenever I am outside my house after dark. More troubling, however, is that now the problem has spread to pretty much all birds.

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Leading Off (7/17/14)

Here Is Pretty Much All You Need to Know Regarding How This Prime Prep Mess Happened. “Members of the State Board of Education, the elected panel charged with authorizing charters, were captivated by [Deion] Sanders’ involvement when Prime Prep came up for approval in fall 2011. Some members asked him to pose for photos and sign autographs before the charter was approved.” Solid hustle, guys.

Funeral Home Director Under Investigation Arrested For Failure To Pay Child Support. On Monday, eight bodies in various states of decomposition were found in the building from which Dondre Johnson and his Johnson Family Mortuary had recently been evicted. Yesterday, Johnson was arrested for failing to pay child support. Good news: he has a few days to salvage this week. Bad news: it still could get worse.

Exoneree Working To Help Exonerate Others. Charlie Scott started House of Renewed Hope in 2010, with fellow exoneree Johnnie Lindsey; Scott served 13 years for a murder he didn’t commit, and Lindsey served 26. They investigate cases, pay for DNA testing, polygraphs, attorney’s fees, and help in whatever other ways they can. Mooney: this is my official dibs on the screenplay rights to this awesome story.

Beagles Rescued From Scientific Experimentation! Their names are Chip and Dale! Look!

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When Will Someone Put Tim Rogers In His Place?

Look at this smug jerk. Who is typing this sentence and has had about enough of him? Me, that’s who. I’m sure you agree. So many reasons. Here are just a few.

1) He dresses like this every single day. Sunglasses, too. Even if he wasn’t wearing them, he refuses to look anyone in the eye.
2) He’s too good to actually read our blog. Pretty proud of it, really.
3) I can put it in no plainer terms: Tim Rogers of D Magazine hates our troops.

So, when is someone going to come along and put him in his place? I’m sorry I had to air our private business on the blog, but he forced my hand.

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