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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.

Quick Recap of Yesterday’s Council Meeting

You’re probably a very busy person doing very busy person things. You probably weren’t able to devote the time and attention to yesterday’s meeting regarding the Trinity parkway/toll road/albatross/never-ending story. Short version: the council is forming a committee to see if the city can maybe someday possibly at least a little bit incorporate at least some of what Scott Griggs has now named The Beasley Plan. That committee is stacked with toll road supporters and led by a toll road supporter.

Short version of that:

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A D Magazine Guess-tigation: Is Mayor Rawlings Actually a 12-Year-Old Trapped In An Older Man’s Body, Just Like In Big or Vice Versa or Like Father Like Son?

I posed the question in the headline this morning in Leading Off, but after doing so, I started to worry if I’d given enough supporting evidence for my hypothesis. Could I base my entire conclusion on one “holy smokes” quote? Well, sure. I could. But …

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Leading Off (4/16/15)

City Council To Decide What To Do With “Dream Team” Recommendations Today. They could commission a study to see about implementing Larry Beasley and Co.’s idea for a much smaller version. They could formally repudiate Alternative 3C. They could do nothing, I guess. Brandon Formby adds the necessary context here. I would describe myself as cautiously optimistic. I would also probably describe myself as taller than you’d expect.

Mavericks Win 50th Game, Will Play Rockets In Playoffs. The Mavs beat Portland, which didn’t have much to play for, since the Blazers were locked into the No. 4 seed already. Dallas already knew it was going to be No. 7, but it won 50 games for the first time since 2011. I recall that being a good season for them. They’ll play Houston in the first round of the playoffs, starting on Saturday night. Should be a good one, since there is a fair amount of animosity between the franchises, some — but not all — stemming from the Chandler Parsons situation. Last time they faced off in the playoffs, this happened. Mavs still won, though.

Dallas Streets Are a Joke. And it is going to cost more than twice what we’re spending now just to make 1 percent of them better each year. But no, please, let’s try to find a billion dollars to build any version of the Trinity Parkway.

Romano’s Bakery Suddenly Closes, Stressing Out a Ton of Brides. The store had 89 orders in for wedding cakes, at least nine of which are happening this Saturday. They didn’t tell anyone anything until Wednesday. That’s cold, brother.

You Can Now Vote to Name the Baby Giraffe at the Dallas Zoo. Jeffrey is not one of the choices.

Is It At All Possible That Mayor Rawlings Is In Some Real-Life Version of Big, And Is Actually a 12-Year-Old Kid? “Mayor Mike Rawlings had a question: ‘What are those?’ Before him on a table were the fingerprints of Lee Harvey Oswald, obtained after Oswald’s 1963 arrest by Dallas police. The mayor was impressed. ‘Holy smokes,’ he said. ‘That’s the original fingerprints. Could you imagine holding his hand down?'” I say: yes.

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Delete These Phrases From Your Vocabulary Forever

World class: Unless you are talking about the late, great World Class Championship Wrestling promotion once ruled by the Von Erichs, or are saying it in a derisive manner (“another ‘world class’ idea by the mayor”) followed by a dismissive wanking motion, or — actually, those are the only two instances in which it is okay, and even the last one I’m not so sure about. We need about a solid century of never putting those two words together to make up for the damage done by constantly chasing approval from big-brother cities like New York or London or who cares. Stop saying it. Stop thinking it. Stop kind of saying it. Stop.

Signature: This is like a cousin to “world class.” How do you get a world class toll road? With a signature pedestrian overlook, of course. “Signature” is what gets us into messes. “Signature” bridges, etc. and so on. We are too old of a city to manufacture anything “signature” about ourselves, but we keep trying, which is actually our “signature” quality. Just to be safe, when you need someone to sign something, ask for their John Hancock instead of their signature. That will become tiresome pretty quickly, so then you need to start saying it in a funny, dorky voice, like you know it’s a corny phrase. That will buy you some more time. But that, too, will get old. Then start asking for someone’s “Juan Hancock.” Say it in an elaborate accent. Not offensive. More just … florid. Regal, almost. Then, when that stops working, just silently put one of those “sign here” post-its where you need the s_gn_t_r_.

“Feels like Austin.” 1) Screw that place. They hate us. 2) There are now enough establishments around Dallas that have that leafy, repurposed, jackasses-in-flip-flops-and-beards thing happening that you can just reference one of them instead. Yeah, it’s on its way out. Kill it completely.

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What the Art Ball Video Really Proves: I Am a Wizard

Peter said the Art Ball video of Max Anderson and various other rich folks lip-synching “Uptown Funk” proved that Marcos Ronquillo would never be mayor of Dallas. Glenn said Peter’s post about the Art Ball video of Max Anderson and various other rich folks lip-synching “Uptown Funk” proved that Peter would never be mayor of Glenn’s heart. And I, as I always do, say that the Art Ball video of Max Anderson and various other rich folks lip-synching “Uptown Funk” proves that I am the mayor of always being right about everything ever in the history of ever.

I said “wizard” in the headline, but what I really mean is I am essentially the John Douglas of this office, an FBI profiler who just happens to write for a living. Because, of course, Mayor Mike Rawlings is one of the rich folks in the “Uptown Funk” video. Way back in February, I updated my “many faces of Mike Rawlings” Venn diagram. When doing so, I mentioned that what Candidate Mike and Respondent Mike had in common is that they would both “sing the pants off ‘Uptown Funk’ at karaoke.” So, obviously, I either willed that into existence or I am deeply connected to the underlying spirit of everything in the universe. File this alongside intuiting that Mike Snyder has a bichon frise and pretty much every guess I ever make.

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Michael Morris: Flood Protection Is ‘Most Critical Benefit’ Of Trinity Toll Road

Michael Morris, the transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, is the latest to write an opinion piece about the Trinity toll road for the Morning News. He has previously written or said most of what the piece contains. It mostly notable because he is hitting the “OH MY GOD WHAT ABOUT FLOODS??!1?” part much harder than before.

First paragraph: “Three items about the Trinity Parkway project are critical to remember. First, it is part of the Balanced Vision Plan that has five parts — not four. Second, we are planning for the next 25-plus years, and the region has added, and will continue to add, 1 million people per decade. And third, the most critical benefit of the Trinity Parkway is flood protection.”

Second paragraph: “Eliminating transportation from the corridor would ignore demographic change and eliminate flood protection benefits, and therefore it would be a mistake.”

Third paragraph: “The Trinity Parkway project is a component of the Balanced Vision Plan that includes improvements for flood protection, recreation, environmental restoration, economic development and mobility. The roadway also is an important element that complements and enhances all other components.”

In other words: “Hm, now that everyone is aware of the fact that this road is completely unnecessary — and actually probably pretty harmful — as far as reducing congestion goes, maybe we need it because of flood protection? How does that sound?” Kind of like they’re making it up as they go along.

The rest of Morris’ piece is a master class in throwing out scary numbers with no sourcing and hoping those scary numbers scare you sufficiently. Anyway, while I’m here, I’d like to break down one other sentence.

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Greater Dallas Planning Council Is Against Trinity Toll Road

A couple of days ago, the GDPC‘s board approved a recommendation by a 10-member panel it had convened to review the road. The committee didn’t talk to anyone who was for the road or against it. No, it just looked at publicly available documents to come up with its answer. I’ll let them tell it. According to a release:

Greater Dallas Planning Council does not find that the proposed Trinity Toll Road Alternative 3C is an effective solution to enhance current and future mobility or significantly improve transportation within the target area. We also find that Toll Road Alternative 3C does not contain elements that will contribute to enabling a livable urban core and increasing social cohesion. Instead, Alternative 3C is likely to create physical and social barriers between and among communities. Therefore, the GDPC does not support construction of the proposed Trinity Toll Road Alternative 3C.

And yet another domino falls.

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Leading Off (4/9/15)

Woman Shot In Head Manages to Drive To Convenience Store For Help. After a bullet struck her temple during what is believed to be a robbery attempt at an apartment complex on Park Lane, the woman drove to a 7-Eleven a block away. She is expected to recover.

Mavericks Beat Suns, Clinch Seventh Seed In Western Conference. Technically, the Mavs secured the seventh seed before they knocked off the Suns, when Memphis crushed New Orleans. But it was nice to see them get a win against a decent team. It was even better to see Dirk come back from an ugly airball in the final minute to hit this dagger. I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN™.

Bob Schieffer Announces His Retirement. The longtime CBS anchor and reporter told the crowd at the 11th annual Schieffer Symposium he will retire effective this summer. Then he will take a few months to figure out what to do. Then he will start painting again and going to see movies every week with a group of senior citizens who get mad at him because he refuses to order the senior special at the Whataburger where they meet beforehand. Sorry. That is my dad I’m thinking of.

Mayor Rawlings Hopes People Don’t Read the Paper. That’s all I can assume when he says this: “Traffic congestion is the No. 2 issue facing the city. Anybody that has been driving on our roads lately can tell you this and I’m a believer that we must figure out how to alleviate that issue.” Because this just happened. Also, apart from getting the expected opposition quote from Philip Kingston, that Channel 8 report is basically written and produced by Michael Morris.

Hunt County Sheriff Guesses Why One of His Deputies Punched a Pregnant Woman Twice During An Arrest. Sheriff Randy Meeks admitted he hasn’t spoken to the deputy, but just for the hell of it trotted out a narrative anyway saying that the woman reached for the deputy’s gun, even though, again, he has no idea if that actually happened, and the video of the incident doesn’t show that, but hey, why not?

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Crain on Cranes: There Are A Lot Of Them In Front of the DMA Right Now

Just a few minutes ago, there were, let’s see, well, there was the one crane that crashed into the Dallas Museum of Art this morning. Then, later, two other cranes arrived to help rescue it. That is still happening right now. Once those other cranes arrived, I — Zac Crain, what’s up, shawty? — went downstairs and across the street to check it out. And, as it happens, in a complete coincidence, I wore my Crain shirt today. So there were, I guess you could say, five cranes/Crains in front of the DMA.

Now, if something were to happen to one of the other cranes, I’d have to assume they would bring in two more cranes to rescue it. You best believe I’m going back downstairs for that. If BOTH cranes get into trouble, then we’re talking four more cranes. And so on. I don’t know how many cranes can fit out there. I hope I don’t find out. Or maybe I hope I do. Whatever. It’s Good Friday, y’all.

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Leading Off (4/2/15)

DA Susan Hawk Names New First Assistant. Messina Madson is a veteran prosecutor, and she’ll take over for Bill Wirskye, Hawk’s (you’d have to say “former,” at this point) friend that she fired after accusing him of using forfeiture funds to make a key to her house to steal a compromising photo of her and OH MY LORD you have to be excited to be a defense attorney right now, because that department is now just a crock pot for Hawk’s hot mess. Hawk says the plan is to get rid of Madson later this year when she decides, for whatever reason, that Madson has been secretly trying to get Hawk’s dog to answer to a different name.

Mavs Win All-Star Game. Or maybe it only felt that way, given the final score (135-131), Russell Westbrook’s triple-double, six three-pointers by Anthony Morrow, and the Thunder having three players (Westbrook, Morrow, and Enes Kanter) score more than 30 points. Chandler Parsons brought the team home, scoring 13 in the fourth quarter, and Dirk Nowitzki became just the seventh player in league history to score 28,0000 points. Not just in this game. That would be a lot.

Lewisville Paper I’ve Never Heard Of In Trouble For April Fool’s Day Prank. 1) You probably shouldn’t do April’s Fool’s Day jokes, because they are almost never as funny as you might think or hope. 2) If you do, make sure it’s great. You don’t want to get in trouble for something that isn’t worth it. 3) You probably also shouldn’t live in Lewisville. Just go ahead and move to Denton.

#RAGONK Re-signs With Cowboys. It’s a one-year deal. No word on if it includes a weekly guest spot on BaD Radio.

Channel 8’s Cynthia Izaguirre Has Trouble With Homophones. Our Tim Rogers has the story. Tim?

AT&T Stadium Now Has Five Miles Of Velcro Inside It. Somehow, this piece about how the stadium is being readied to host the Academy of Country Music Awards later this month doesn’t use any version of “everything is bigger in Texas,” and that practically deserves a Pulitzer.

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Leading Off (3/26/15)

Levi Pettit Apologizes For Taking Part In Racist Chant. The Highland Park High graduate and — until recently — member of the SAE fraternity at the University of Oklahoma read from a prepared statement at Oklahoma City’s Fairview Baptist Church, while surrounded by some of the city’s black leaders. Apologizing for his appearance in the video where he and his fraternity brothers gleefully used racial epithets and chanted about lynching, Pettit, 20, said, “Some have wondered why I hadn’t spoken out publicly. The truth is I have had a mix of pain, shame, sorrow, and fear over the consequences of my actions.” I still don’t have much in the way of pity for him or anyone else involved, but it’s a start.

Suspect In Illegal Buttocks Injection Death Surrenders. Denise “Wewe” Ross was arrested for practicing medicine without a license following the death of Wykesha Reid. Ross’ alleged accomplice, Alicia “Jimmy Joe” Clarke, is still at large, I believe.

Your Weekly Steve Blow Facepalm Moment. “Can you stand one more word about Greg Hardy? More important, can you stand a positive word? Yeah, I know I’m late to the party. But I never dreamed the bash would go on this long. Or the bashing.” [Sighs so long that when it stops it is a century later and I now live in a place called New Texahoma where professional sports are played by sentient robots known as jerichos.] OK, look, Steve. I know you dig wordplay. That is your lane, and I get it. But maybe avoid using “bash” and “bashing” when you’re writing about giving a second chance to someone who has the stench of domestic violence coming off him so strong his jersey has Pigpen-like stink lines. And don’t compare Hardy to Josh Hamilton. Because that’s not even close to the same thing. It is like comparing apples to allegedly throwing a woman onto a futon full of automatic weapons. I mean, come on, my dude. I could go on and on about the smarmy glibness of the tone you strike in that column, but I’ve already given it way more thought than you did. Just stop trying to have a take on anything that remotely matters and write about some hokey thing that happened in Sunnyvale the other day that speaks to a larger point about no one cares.

Teacher At J.L. Long Middle School Somehow Showed Her Class a Nude Photo of Herself. Other than the fact it happened Monday, there isn’t a ton of other details here. I assume most of the kids are now preoccupied with Zayn Malik leaving One Direction, but that’s still pretty messed up.

Ted Cruz Already Missing Senate Votes Because Of His Presidential Run. Hello, bright side. I didn’t expect to see you so soon. Please, don’t hesitate to tell me what I can do to make your stay as long and as comfortable as possible.

Is H-E-B Preparing For Full-Blown Expansion Into North Texas? Maybe! For more on that story, I direct you to the fine staff at Shrug Monthly, who, frankly, own the guess-tigation beat.

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Leading Off (3/19/15)

SMU Plays First NCAA Tournament Game Since 1993 Today. The Poinies play UCLA in Louisville at 2:10 on truTV. They are trying to win in the tourney for the first time since 1988, when the Kato Armstrong-led squad beat Notre Dame. That same year, SMU coach Larry Brown won the national title with Danny Manning and Kansas.

Dale Hansen Rips Cowboys For Signing Greg Hardy. As he is wont to do, the WFAA Channel 8 sports anchor went off during his “Hansen Unplugged” segment following the Cowboys’ signing of Hardy, the defensive end who was accused of assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend. A sampling: “Is there no line you won’t cross? Is there no crime you won’t accept? Is there no behavior you will not tolerate? The Cowboys have decided players who use illegal drugs can play. You drive drunk and kill a teammate — putting everyone on that highway at risk — there’s a place on this team for you. You can rob a department store and play. And now you can beat a woman and play with a star on your helmet.”

Arrest Warrants Issued For Two Women in Illegal Buttocks-Injections Scheme. The two women are Jimmy Joe Clarke and Denise Rochelle Ross, also known as “Wee Wee.” They are wanted for practicing medicine without a license. Scamming (allegedly) women who desire to have larger hindquarters — because, thanks to Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, that is in fashion — is a crime no one would have even contemplated as recently as maybe five or six years ago. It’s shameful, but innovative. Jimmy Joe and Wee Wee should give a TED talk.

Mavs Withstand Comeback By Magic. They lost most of a pretty big second-half lead but still had enough left to take down Orlando, a feisty young team better than its record, especially since immaculately coifed rookie Elfrid Payton (who had a triple double) has started coming on. And Rajon Rondo did this.

ICYMI: Dallas Chapter of American Institute of Architects Formally Opposes Trinity Toll Road. “Any highway similar to the Trinity Toll Road will divide our city and destroy the park’s unique potential and its recreational, economic, and environmental benefits,” said the group’s statement. That’s more than 300 firms and 2,000 people.

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Is Jane McGarry the Brian Williams of Local Morning News?

Confession: I don’t watch much morning television. I’m too busy either making breakfast for my son or crowing about being a good father to someone. I knew, of course, that Jane McGarry was headed back to TV to work for WFAA Channel 8, but because I’m essentially a Super Dad, I didn’t know exactly when. So I went to Jane’s Twitter feed and found out that she had already started. Nestled among 40 or 50 tweets about her one-on-one with Laura Bush, I found this:

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