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Making Dallas Even Better

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.

The New Trinity Park Looks Great — But Never Will Be

As Jason mentioned on Friday. Mayor Rawlings unveiled the plan for a 285-acre, $285 million park between the Trinity River levees, Does it look and sound amazing? Absolutely. Hits all the right notes about fostering connectivity and all that business. The renderings, as always, are gorgeous.

But guess what? All those plans and pictures are garbage, because the park still has a dumb road running through it, try as they might to downplay it and camouflage it, and that road is straighter than any story anyone involved with this project has ever delivered. Will ever deliver. Guess what that straight road will turn into, and probably not even far enough into the future to be modified by “eventually”? A big, dumb, highway.

Forget that noise. As long as there is a road involved, any park between the levees is a median, nothing more.

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Leading Off (5/23/16)

Woman Stabbed Before Dallas Lutheran School Graduation. A 17-year-old man stabbed a 19-year-old woman before the graduation ceremony in Lake Highlands in what’s being called an “unprovoked attack.” The man then went outside and sat on the steps of the gym until officers arrived and took him into custody. The woman is OK and the ceremony eventually continued, and nothing ever makes sense anymore.

Dallas Wings Win Home Opener. Pro basketball returned to Dallas (ish) and Skylar Diggins returned to the court (more or less) for the first time in 11 months as the Wings beat the San Antonio Stars. Diggins played 12 minutes and scored a point. The team was led by Irving’s Odyssey Sims with 23 and they’re now 3-1.

Grand Prairie Woman In Chewbacca Mask Has Most Viewed Facebook Live Video Ever. It’s been watched 130 million times. Perhaps you’ve seen it.

Yu Darvish Looks Good in Final Rehab Start. He threw six scoreless innings in Frisco and looks ready for a turn in the Rangers’ rotation for the first time since 2014. The Rangers finished a sweep of the Astros yesterday.

LGBT Center Opens Near Love Field. At the ribbon cutting of the new 20,000-square-foot Resource Center, CEO Cece Cox invited Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to come by, saying, “And if Mr. Patrick and his boss, Greg Abbott, want to come by here and use our restroom, have a chat, have a cup of coffee, we welcome that. They might even learn something.”

Mark Cuban Says He Would Be Either Clinton or Trump’s Running Mate, Maybe Would Run For President in 2020. Sure, OK, fine. You know, maybe we should just stop asking people questions.

FC Dallas Hand New England First Home Loss. After a wild first half that saw both sides net two goals, FCD took control in the second with Fabian Castillo scoring for the first time in a while and Tesho Akindele getting his second of the match. The win briefly gave the squad the lead in the Western Conference and the Supporters’ Shield standings, but they’re now just one point back in both. #DTID

Leading Off (5/16/16)

Judge Receives Protection Detail After Suspicious Fire Kills Lawyer. Ira Tobolowsky, a civil lawyer, was found doused in gasoline in the garage of his North Dallas home Friday; the fire is still under investigation. Now, after Judge Eric V. Moyé warned of a possible connection between Tobolowsky and litigation in his court, Dallas Sheriff’s Office deputies are patrolling his home.

Son of ICE Director Dies In Motorcycle Crash. The accident involving Michael Saldaña Templin happened in Woodland Hills, California, on Friday. He was the son of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director and former U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña and retired attorney Don Templin, who was D Magazine‘s lawyer for years.

Dallas Wings Split First Two Games. They won the transplanted franchise’s first game as the Wings (against the Indiana Fever) on Saturday night, but couldn’t get past the New York Liberty yesterday. Skylar Diggins was held out of both games as she is still not 100-percent recovered from last season’s ACL tear. They have one more game on the road before making their Dallas (OK, OK — Arlington) debut this Saturday.

Man Drowns In Lake Ray Hubbard. Sreyas Antony was on a weekend visit from Michigan and jumped off a railroad trestle into a particularly dangerous spot, where water is up to 13 feet deep and old fishing lines below the surface up the risk for entanglement. He disappeared soon after. Dallas Fire-Rescue eventually found his body; he was only 28. You don’t need me to tell you to be careful when going to the lake this summer, but please be careful.

Rougned Odor Takes Exception to Jose Bautista’s late slide. OK, yes, fighting is bad. You shouldn’t do it. Stipulated. It’s a bad example for the kids in the stands and watching at home and OH MY LORD. And you knew this was coming before Odor’s chain even stopped swinging. Between that punch and Nolan Ryan steer wrestling Robin Ventura, the Rangers are at least an all-time brawling team. Oh, and they also won.

It’s Gonna Rain. It’s May.

Someone Paid Almost $7,000 For a Lock of Thomas Jefferson’s Hair. Heritage Auctions handled the sale, which is why I am telling you this. Looks like someone is in the market to make Clone High for real. Man, I loved that show and I love love the theme song.

FC Dallas Takes Six Points On Home Stand. Michael Barrios got back to his scoring ways and Mauro Diaz chipped in another from the spot as FCD knocked off Seattle, the second Pacific Northwest squad they took down this weekend. When Barrios is on (and he had a fantastic first touch on his goal) and Diaz is healthy, this is the most fun team in town. And they’re just a point back of first place.

Watch Out If You Hike the Buckeye Trail. I very narrowly avoided a pack of feral hogs there on Saturday afternoon. They are not exactly a majestic animal.

Fire That Led to Fertilizer Plant Explosion In West, TX Was Deliberate

Here is something I wasn’t expecting, or I guess gave up on ever knowing for sure: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (which is a pretty unwieldy grouping that I guess I will never understand) announced today that the fire that led to the explosion of the West Fertilizer Co. plant in April 2013 — killing 15, injuring more than 200, and essentially leveling 300 houses — was arson. This is after they recreated the fire at a lab in Maryland. No suspects were named.

Arson was mentioned as a possibility in the months after the explosion happened, but most people thought it was likely simply an accident, caused by negligence or just the shrugging vagaries of life. I didn’t seriously tackle this possibility when I wrote about it — partly because I knew most of the people involved, and I was more concerned with their stories, and partly because no one seriously talked about it.

The ATF has posted a $50,000 reward for any information.

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Leading Off (5/9/16)

Lew Blackburn Keeps His Seat, Audrey Pinkerton and Jaime Resendez Join Him on DISD Board. Dustin Marshall and Mita Havlick will face each other in a runoff for District 2.

More Storms. Doubt it could get as rainy as last year, but who knows?

Stacy Fawcett Achieves Her Goal. She wanted to help the North Texas Food Bank feed 100,000. Thanks to donations following her death last month, she did it, and then some.

Stars Face Elimination. They couldn’t get it done against the Blues at home, and now have to stave off elimination on the road tonight.

FC Dallas Loses a Tight One. It kept feeling like they were going to break through against Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, and Toronto FC, but they couldn’t level it on the road. Scary moment at the end when keeper Jesse Gonzalez was carted off — Ryan Hollingshead had to play goal for the last 10 minutes, and made a save — but it looks like he’s going to be OK.

Leading Off (5/2/16)

Body Found on Central Expressway. All southbound lanes of Central were shut down last night after DPD responded to a fatality accident near Lemmon Avenue. Details are unclear but according to this, Sr. Cpl. Demarquis Black didn’t think the body was in a vehicle.

Stars Split First Two In Second Round. They fought back to tie the Blues in the third period yesterday, but a power play in the OT period took them down. Now it’s on to St. Louis, a phrase no one ever likes to say.

Another Attack in Oak Lawn. This one — a man out walking his dog early Saturday says he was called a gay slur and slammed to the ground — is the 17th since September.

11-Year-Old Kidnapped, Escapes During Attempted Rape. Corrine Allen Dunn, 34, allegedly lured the girl into his apartment. He was arrested Saturday afternoon. Good lord.

Plane Lands In Plano Backyard. A single-engine Mooney M20 was trying to land at the Air Park-Dallas airport, en route from Lubbock, when the pilot lost control. The pilot wasn’t hurt, and no one on the ground was either. I’m sure someone in the neighborhood got some good ‘grams out of it.

Cowboys Draft Players. One was Jaylon Smith, the Notre Dame linebacker who probably would have gone at the top of the draft if his knee wasn’t turned into pulled pork in his last college game, and who some think might not actually play again. There were also some others.

FC Dallas Has Another Road Disaster. When FCD has lost this season, and it’s not been often, it’s been ugly. But they’re still tied for first in the league, and Kellyn Acosta made the USMNT’s 40-man preliminary roster for Copa America.

A Little Bit of Blackie Sherrod’s Greatness

As Jason noted this morning in Leading Off, legendary writer Blackie Sherrod passed away yesterday afternoon. I remember reading his “Scattershooting” column in the Morning News when I was a kid, and while that was great, it was only a little bit of what Sherrod did. For a little more, here is “A Legend In His Own Mind,” which not too long ago appeared on our list of the 40 Greatest Stories in D Magazine history.

Once Again, the Art Ball Leaves the DMA Looking Not Great

Well, at least a crane didn’t crash into the facade this time and workers didn’t smash up the stairs and it appears as though the trees are gonna be OK. Probably. But, of course, after being covered by a floor in an ad hoc tent that had all manner of fancy people dancing or whatever on it, the front lawn looks like — and this is an industry term, so try not to get confused — garbage. I’m sure it’s the only site that makes sense and it’s worth the time and effort to revive the grass. I’m just a simple carpenter. What do I know about anything? I mean, in this case. Obviously, I know a lot about a lot of things, including street-crew-based dance movies, the numerical history of the Dallas Mavericks’ roster, and the various smells of downtown Dallas.

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Four Things That Should Be Renamed For Ron Kirk Instead of the Continental Pedestrian Bridge

The city council’s Transportation and Trinity River Project Committee will be briefed this week about the latest item to come off the assembly line at the city’s bad idea factory: renaming the Continental Pedestrian Bridge after former mayor — and guy who supports a plan that would cause 85 feet of the bridge to be torn down — Ron Kirk. I get the impulse to try to slap someone’s name on pretty much whatever as a way of honoring them. But there are better ideas. What are they? So glad you asked.

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Leading Off (4/25/16)

Film Critic Dies In Hit-And-Run. Gary Murray, president of the North Texas Film Critics Association, was crossing the intersection at Mockingbird and Central, after doing some interviews as part of his Dallas International Film Festival coverage. A car made a right at Mockingbird without stopping, hit Murray, and kept going. Murray was taken to Baylor, where he died. He was 53.

Johnny Manziel Expected to Be Indicted Today. The charge — stemming from an incident with his then-girlfriend, who claimed Manziel hit her, dragged her by the hair, and forced her into a car — will be misdemeanor assault with bodily injury.

Assault Allegation Against John Wiley Price Heads to Grand Jury. George Nash, a staffer for Dwaine Caraway, says the county commissioner choked him during the infamous scuffle between Caraway and Price as the Democratic primary neared. And, of course, at some point later this year, Price will face corruption charges in federal court.

Vehicle Found in Haltom City With Two Passed-Out Parents and Two Young Kids. Police are investigating what caused the parents to be unconscious; the kids, ages 2 and 4, are with their grandparents. Don’t want to go too far out on a limb but I think Occam’s razor plays here.

Stars Move On To Second Round. Somehow the Stars were able to outlast a team and a city playing for Prince and won a wild one against the … Wild to advance, and your boy is dangerously close to watching some hockey.

Mavs On Brink of Elimination. Dirk gave it everything he had, but the Mavs just didn’t have the horses on Saturday night against a deeply unpleasant OKC squad. They play Game 5 tonight, but it’s probably going to take some sort of miracle to even bring the series back to Dallas, given their injury sitch. If nothing else, I have built a garage apartment in my heart for Ray Felton and Salah Mejri.

FC Dallas Loses Its Second. Like the 5-0 blowout to Houston earlier, the 3-0 loss to the struggling Vancouver Whitecaps was another head-scratcher. But Mauro Diaz played for the first time in five games, so that’s one positive. I’d tell you more but I was having chicken parm at Gordo’s and so I wasn’t able to watch.