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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.

Zac Crain Announces Candidacy For 2022 District Attorney Race

Zac Crain, a local magazine editor, told D Magazine that revelations surrounding district attorney Susan Hawk’s 2013 treatment for prescription drug use and other issues had prompted Heath Harris to announce his campaign, even though the election is more than three and a half years away, and since Crain knows how these things go, that prompted him to announce his own campaign, even though we’re now talking, what, almost eight years from now?

“I’ve got to build a base as early as possible,” Crain said to himself as he typed that sentence just now. He didn’t really say it. He kind of mouthed it. He does that occasionally when he is typing. He also softly curses to himself, but that is endearing probably.

When informed that he could probably just run against Harris in the Democratic primary, Crain said that he is a big believer in shotgun rules, and that Harris clearly called it. “I’m not doing much,” he added, also mentioning that he’s “cool waiting, thanks.”

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Leading Off (5/21/15)

Heath Harris Announces Candidacy For 2018 District Attorney Race.I’ve got to build a base,” says the former top assistant to Craig Watkins. And he’s got to stake his claim: people in the Dallas County Democratic Party are already approaching criminal court judges about running against Susan Hawk, who has been on the job less than six months. But seriously — the election is almost three and a half years away, my dude. That’s enough time to build a base and have it turn on you at least twice.

It’s Raining Again. Awesome. Maybe it will rain enough to cause Rodger Jones to stop congratulating himself for a few minutes.

Number of Chronically Homeless In Dallas and Collin Counties Up 26 Percent. Cathy Crain, the new president and CEO of the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance and presumably no relation, said the increase was expected and mirrors the rise happening around the country.

Mike Holloway From North Richland Hills Wins Survivor. Which is still on, apparently. Huh.

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Leading Off (5/13/15)

Eleven-Year-Old Fort Worth Boy Being Investigated For Beating a Dog To Death. The dog, a 15-pound Cavalier mix poodle named Cookie, was in a fenced backyard with another dog, a German shepherd puppy. The working theory is the boy opened the gate, chased the dogs out, and hit Cookie numerous times with a large stick, breaking her skull and severing her spine. I’ve read a bunch of books by FBI profiler John Douglas and I know that — if they find that this kid did it — you need to nip stuff like this in the bud.

John Wiley Price Gets Third Court-Appointed Attorney. The new one is being brought on to deal with the “extraordinary amount of digital discovery the government anticipates providing to the defendant.” And now, the “dream team” is almost fully assembled.

Budget End-Around Could Scuttle High-Speed Rail. A senator in a state budget conference committee added two sentences that would prevent TxDOT from using any resources to oversee or regulate the proposed Dallas-to-Houston bullet train. “Company officials say that will effectively kill the project because Texas Central Railway needs the state Transportation Department’s knowledge and oversight for key aspects of the project, even though it’s not seeking state funds for construction.” Also, I’m hearing there is some pushback from people who are wondering why anyone would ever want to go to Houston.

Rangers Lose 10-Inning Thriller To Royals. Did I watch? I did not.

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Mayor Rawlings Dominated, But Not As Much As You Might Think

Marcos Ronquillo never really stood a chance, not once Mayor Mike Rawlings publicly — but never substantively — supported the recommendations of his so-called “dream team” to build a kinder, gentler Trinity Parkway. I mean, kind of: all the mayor has really done is pointed at newer, prettier rendering of what the road between the levees could (but probably never will) be and said, “Huh? Huh? Pretty sharp, right?” The Trinity is still one of the biggest issues facing the city, but the mayor did just enough to make it look like it was in the process of being solved.

Which was a problem for Ronquillo, since the Trinity was basically the only issue he was running on. Oh, he had a few other things, too, but they were too esoteric for the average voter. As soon as Rawlings took the Trinity away, Ronquillo’s campaign was like a stool with two legs — he could balance for a little while, but eventually he was going to come crashing down. For two weeks, I have been wondering aloud if Rawlings would get 60something percent of the vote or 70something. It ended up being around 73 percent. No shocker.

“They were not voting for me as an individual,” the mayor said at his victory party at the NYLO Dallas South Side hotel. “They were voting for a vision for Dallas.”

Voters looked at the fuller picture. They saw Rawlings’ leadership on southern Dallas. They saw his support of school reform. They saw his optimism for a better city, and they overwhelmingly returned him to office. The margin of his victory – with three-quarters of the vote – over attorney Marcos Ronquillo should chasten those who would dismiss Rawlings as a figurehead of the city’s power elite. He is the person Dallas residents want leading them. That deserves respect.

And here is where I have to say: hold on.

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Leading Off (5/7/15)

Craigslist Murder Trial Begins. It’s the second time Christopher Beachum is being tried for the murder of 68-year-old computer programmer Gerald Canepa in 2013. The first ended in mistrial after a jury couldn’t agree. Prosecutors allege Beachum responded to Canepa’s Craigslist ad seeking sex, then returned later and stabbed him to death. Since there are no witnesses and very little physical evidence to contend with, Beachum’s attorney is going with the time-honored “someone else did it” defense.

Garland Shooting Update. One of the shooters may have tweeted about his intentions beforehand and actually used the #texasattack hashtag, and ISIS has claimed responsibility, though they have a history of claiming responsibility for plenty of things in which they had no part.

Woman Found Dead By the Side of the Road in East Oak Cliff This Morning. Police described the death as unexplained, and don’t have much more information at the moment.

Texas Home Prices Are Overvalued. Fitch Ratings say Dallas homes are overvalued by 11 percent, and in Fort Worth it is 9 percent. My analysis: that sounds like a lot and I guess I’ll keep renting.

Rangers Finish Sweep of Astros. I’m not ready to care about baseball yet, so I obviously did not watch this game. But good job, gang. Lot of hustle.

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The Ticket’s New Promo Is Pretty Tone Deaf

Yesterday, while driving to our broadcast location to record the latest episode of EarBurner, I was listening to The Ticket, as is my custom. Just before parking, The Hardline went to commercial and I heard the familiar voice of Conrad, the guy who reads all the station’s promo copy. Or most of it, anyway. I forget the first few lines of this particular promo — which I had not heard before — but the part that made my ears perk up was this:

“Bruce Jenner has stopped training, and started trannying.”

You’re better than that, guys. Fix it.

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Leading Off (4/30/15)

City Pulls Plug On Patriots Crossing Project. After six years and a public investment of $4.4 million, the city began foreclosure proceedings against Yigal Lelah, who was trying to develop the 7-acre property across from the VA hospital. I think, perhaps, this is good news. Other developers have had success in the Lancaster Corridor area. Sherman Roberts, for example, with support from Councilman Dwaine Caraway, is redeveloping one corner around the new Rudy’s Chicken location, and also built the Urban Village complex just down the road from Patriots Crossing. Something could, and should, still happen there.

State Rep. Rafael Anchia Presents Anti-Trinity Parkway Bills to House Transportation Subcommittee. He told Brandon Formby that even if the two bills — one that would prevent TxDOT from helping fund the road, and another that would force an environmental review that former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison exempted it from — don’t become law on their own, he may add his propositions to other transportation bills that come through the floor.

Dallas Police Officer Fired After Ex-Girlfriend Says He Pulled a Gun On Her and Her New Boyfriend. If the name Aaron Tolerton sounds familiar, he is also the officer who shot and killed Desmond Luster outside a gas station in Oak Cliff in February.

Dirk Nowitzki Says He’s Willing To Come Off The Bench. That’s why he’s the greatest. The Mavs are expected to go after Seagoville’s own LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency, which would naturally mean Nowitzki might be forced into a sixth man role. He said in exit interviews yesterday that he would do whatever it takes. I SEE YOU BEING SELFLESS, BIG GERMAN. In other Mavs news: Rajon Rondo apparently was denied a playoff share. Good.

“North Dallas Mom Invites Sex Offenders For Tea.” Now there is a headline.

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Mavericks Enter Offseason With a Ton of Questions

This is what it feels like to be a Mavs fan sometimes, this season especially. We’re kind of back where we started, no?

I would say most Mavs fans were fairly optimistic entering the 2014-15 season. I was. Maybe some people were too optimistic, given the fact that Tyson Chandler was back on the team. But it was hard not to be. The organization had signed its first high-profile free agent — Chandler Parsons — in pretty much forever, and had made a series of smart, low-cost moves to rebuild its roster after the 2011 title squad was scattered around the league. This was the best Dallas Mavericks team since then, and there was a whiff of “why not us?” to it. No one had predicted a championship back then. Why not now? Dirk Nowitzki was still around, and was still mostly the same, still capable of knocking down those malfunctioning-machine fadeaways.

During the early part of the season, “why not?” was answered pretty definitively: because the Mavs could not stop any team that had a remotely effective point guard.

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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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