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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.

Once You Decide You Want to Be In the Convention Business, You Have to Be In the Convention Business

As I mentioned this morning, Mayor Rawlings said over the weekend that he wants to ban EXXXOTICA, a three-day adult expo, from returning to the convention center this year. The city council will vote on a resolution drafted at Rawlings’ request on Wednesday. It’s probably not constitutional, and, what’s more, it goes against what the city has decided to do, which is be in the convention business.

The city unnecessarily paid for a new convention center hotel on its own for a few hundred million, when there were plenty of offers to build it for them. So the city needs any convention that will come and put bodies in beds. Dentists, doctors, proctors, furries, jugglers, muggers, muggles — whatever. Even a sex expo that I’m sure was actually pretty tame and boring when it came to town last year. I mean, obviously, you draw the line at hate groups, of course, and St. Louis Cardinals fans.

But anything that is legal — DPD sent undercover vice cops there, and it was basically paid time off — is fair. That’s a decision that is pre-made when you put that much dough into one place even though you have better options. Sorry, Mayor Mike.

Dallas Intersections That Would Make Fantastic Aliases or Elmore Leonard Characters, Ranked

30. Cole Armstrong

29. Richmond Summit

28. Stewart Lausanne

27. Victor Glasgow

26. Prescott Bowser

25. Michael Klondike

A job this size would take money to get up and running, and that’s where he came in. His family had made a fortune in candy, but he saw himself as something else, something tougher, even if no one else did. But maybe now they would.

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Leading Off (2/8/16)

Mayor Rawlings Wants to Ban Adult Expo From Returning to Convention Center. Ray Hunt is against it, also. EXXXOTICA, “the largest adult event in the USA dedicated to love and sex,” held its three-day shindig last August. I’ll just say this is what happens when you build Philip Jones a convention center hotel. If I had to pick a side, I guess I’d say I’m against it, too, just because the protesters were — and this is a technical term — super lame.

Jimmie Vaughan Rides In Oak Cliff Mardi Gras Parade. I couldn’t make it out. Did he do any Fabulous Thunderbirds songs?

Fort Worth Stock Show Sets Attendance Record. I didn’t make it out there, either. Did anyone do any Fabulous Thunderbirds songs?

More Than 100 Arrests In Crackdown On Aggressive Panhandlers. I wonder if the guy who’s been using the same bus ticket to try to scare up some scratch was one of them. I sort of hope so, if only to shake up his hustle. As any good rapper knows, you gotta switch up your flow every now and again.

K2 May Be Regulated Soon In Dallas. The city’s public safety committee is looking at it after a spate of overdoses of the synthetic cannabinoid. It’s pretty dangerous, if you haven’t heard.

DMN Makes Mike Hashimoto a Metro Columnist

Mike Hashimoto has been around at the Dallas Morning News forever. Something like 30 years, I think. He’s been a member of the paper’s editorial board for a while. And a few days ago, DMN editor Mike Wilson introduced him as a new Metro columnist. You might not have known, but should if you give his first column a cursory glance, that Hash is married to Jacqueline Floyd, who is also a DMN Metro columnist.

Tim and I got to talking about this the other day, and we decided it raised an interesting conundrum for Wilson.

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Sheila Farrington Released Early From Federal Prison

In 2010, Farrington was sentenced to nine years for bribery, extortion, and money laundering in a case that was the biggest public corruption case in Dallas history. Her husband, former mayor pro tem Don Hill, received an 18-year sentence. Farrington wasn’t scheduled to get out until February 2018, but this morning she left the Fort Worth facility where she’d been serving her sentence, on “compassionate release.” She has multiple sclerosis, and is moving in with her sister in Illinois.

As for her husband, he’s sick, too: last summer, Hill was moved to a prison facility in North Carolina, where his stage-4 prostate cancer could be better attended to.

Leading Off (2/1/16)

DART Bus Driver Dies In Accident. Zulita Walker made news in October when she saw a man on the High Five who looked like he was getting ready to jump from the overpass. She pulled over and invited the man to sit with her on the bus and talked with him until police arrived. She died late Friday night when her bus hit a concrete pillar.

Police Arrest Suspect in Davis Building Carjacking. Ira Booker, 17, was arrested at the West End DART Station. He gave himself up after he saw cops on horseback, which is not the kind of arrest you see every day here, but I imagine people outside of Texas think it definitely is.

Deaths of Two Plano East Students Being Investigated as Suicides. The bodies of Ritu Sachdeva and Hillary Kate Kuizon were found in Murphy hours apart. Police are not sure if they are linked in any way.

Another Earthquake In Irving Sunday Morning. Remember when this didn’t happen every week? I don’t. I have what’s called anterograde amnesia. Yes, like Memento. It has also affected my ability to make timely references.

Rusty Rose, R.I.P. The philanthropist, art collector, and investor who once co-owned the Texas Rangers died Friday night. He was 74.

Mavs Roll Over Suns. Just taking care of business. Also of note: Dirk, who did not play, got a haircut.

Sorry This Was a Heavy One. Here are a bunch of very short, very great celebrity impersonations, such as “Jason Statham gets a charlie horse.”

Dirk Says Goodbye to the Man Who Created ‘I SEE YOU, BIG GERMAN’

Kobe Bryant first uttered my favorite sentence to yell-type near the end of a late-season Sunday afternoon duel at Staples Center not long after Jason Kidd was traded back to the Mavs. I was hoping they’d get to go at it again, but this moment, which Mike referenced earlier this morning, was the next best thing. I am going to miss this. I wish Kobe would coach if only because I want and need him to be involved in the game somehow.

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Leading Off (1/25/16)

Downtown Safety Meeting Tonight Following Carjacking In Davis Building Parking Garage. Sarah Hoff, a special ed teacher, was attacked by two men in the Davis Building parking garage Thursday night, and had her car stolen, as well as her purse. Other residents say it’s not on isolated incident. The safety meeting happens at The Woolworth at 6 p.m.

Search For Missing Pleasant Grove Mother Steps Up. Texas EquuSearch has joined the search for Marisol Espinosa, missing since December 29. Her aunt still believes Espinosa will be found, but her mother fears an ex-boyfriend may have killed her. Police are still treating it as a missing persons case.

East Texas Man Suspected of Killing a Police Dog Arrested in Garland. Michael Paul Koch is alleged to have shot a K-9 named Ogar after being stopped near Lindale, about 80 miles southeast of Dallas. If convicted, I hope his sentence will be multiplied by seven.

Tony Romo to Have Surgery to Strengthen Clavicle. Nothing’s definite, but according to reports, the Cowboys QB will have a plate attached to his left clavicle with a set of screws. Why they’re in there, why don’t they just coat the whole thing in adamantium?

SMU Finally Loses. The Ponies lost to Temple on Saturday, ending their unbeaten streak at 18 games. They were the last Division I team to suffer a loss. Too bad SMU isn’t eligible for the postseason. Then again, neither am I, and I’m doing OK.

How Have There Been More Than 200 K2 Overdoses In Downtown Since the Beginning Of December?

According to this, Dallas Fire-Rescue has responded to more than 200 K2 overdoses since the beginning of December. (There is a bit more from an earlier report here.) K2 — also known as Spice and Black Mamba and probably a bunch of other things — is a synthetic cannabinoid that is gaining in popularity, probably because it is relatively easy to get and doesn’t show up on most drug tests yet. Still, though: more than 200 overdoses in 53 days in one concentrated area? That’s almost four a day. (If we’re focusing on the small number of bars and clubs, we’re mostly talking weekends, and the number is more like 20 a night.) I’m not an expert, but that feels like A LOT. And this reasoning doesn’t make a ton of sense to me:

Collin County Juvenile Probation Officer and Substance Abuse Counselor Grace Raulston said, “Downtown Dallas area probably there’s high population of people on probation probably for possession of marijuana and they’re probably trying to beat out the drug test.”

Whatever the reason, if there is one, watch out. Something is happening.

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How Zaza Pachulia Almost Became An All-Star Starter

As Jason mentioned this morning, Zaza Pachulia came up just 14,000 votes short of being named a Western Conference All-Star starter. It would have been amazing and deserved and also kind of ridiculous and amazing again. (If he had made it, he would need to make an entrance, and I have five words for you: Zaza dances with the Jabbawockeez.) I know I’m not the only ZFFL out there. But even though he’s playing the best ball of his career, how exactly did that almost happen? Tim Cato has a good look at how a Vine star, seemingly at random, gave Zaza a last-minute push that almost worked.

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Leading Off (1/18/16)

SUV Falls Off Bush Turnpike Overpass, Killing Three teenage Passengers. The 28-year-old driver of the 2003 Tahoe, Charqual McMath, somehow didn’t suffer any serious injuries after she swerved to avoid a collision and the vehicle crossed all eastbound lanes, rolled numerous times, hit another vehicle, and fell 60 feet to a parking lot below.

SMU Remains Undefeated. It was a struggle against Tulane, but the Mustangs, all the way up to a No. 10 ranking, are the last Division I team without a loss this season. A little bittersweet, since they won’t be able to go to the NCAA tournament. But still, pretty solid.

Dallas Looking For New Chief Financial Officer. The current CFO, Jeanne Chipperfield, is leaving the post to open an office overseeing ethics and compliance. To replace Chipperfield, the city is kicking off a national search. But I think the best candidate, if I may, is the guy with the dashing salt-and-pepper beard who is writing this blog post. Let’s just say I know something about getting things done with no money.

Andy Beal Buys the Crespi Estate For $100 Million. The billionaire bought the 25-acre property from Tom Hicks. Last summer, it seemed like it might never sell. Even if I got my parents to co-sign, I don’t think I could get a loan for the water bill.

ATM Theft Suspect Arrested After Overnight Dump Truck Chase. That’s a compelling headline.

Leading Off (1/11/16)

Powerball Swells to $1.3 Billion. If/when I win, I am going to turn into the Magic Christian. I promise you this.

Over-50 Crowd is Fastest-Growing Dating Group. So says Dallas-based Match. Good news for Tim Rogers.

Two Tickets To the Gun Show. A sample: “McKinney resident Philip Weber, 35, attended the gun show in Revolutionary War attire and was quick to take verbal shots at Obama.” And so on.

Azle Man to Attend State of the Union As First Lady’s Guest. Oscar Vasquez is an Army vet and Mexican immigrant.

SMU Still Undefeated. Pony up. But …

Larry Brown Misses Second Half. He was suffering from symptoms of vertigo.