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And Speaking of the Arts District, Cultural Area Seeks New Master Plan

On the wind of the news of encroaching development on the fringes of the Arts District, the organization that oversees the architectural menagerie and collection of arts organizations has announced it will seek proposals for revisions to its community development plan.

The plan could use some updating. Originally created by Sasaki way back in the early-1980s, the area has changed dramatically over the years, and a booming local real estate economy necessitates readdressing the purpose and functional design of the Arts District.

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Say Goodbye to the Dallas Symphony’s di Suvero, Hello to Office Box

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. As the general building boom in and around downtown and Uptown continues, and Klyde Warren Park’s popularity transforms what were once undesirable lots abutting a freeway into the hottest plots of land in the region, someone noticed that there’s a well-located little parcel doing nothing more than housing a giant sculpture. And so, yesterday Steve Brown reported that the land at the southeast corner of Pearl St. and Woodall Rodgers Freeway will be sold by the Dallas Symphony to make way for a new office tower.

It makes perfect sense. A spokesperson with the symphony said the proceeds from the sale (estimated at $7.2 million, one of the highest prices ever for the Arts District) will go to fund symphony operations. And while the symphony has pushed through their own rocky financial times, the financial world around orchestras is ever an uneasy one. So from a symphony perspective, it’s fortuitous that the DSO had a little land to flip to shore up their operations. Bravo.

Of course there are concerns about the development — there always are.

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Don’t Forget to Tell Us How You #StayCoolDallas

Now that we’ve survived Tropical Storm Bill, our old friend the sun has reappeared to recommence the annual trial by fire known as summer in Dallas. Remember that you have until the end of this month to tell us how you #StayCoolDallas and thereby enter for a chance to win a $200 gift card to the Grove at Harwood. More info here.

Check out some of the entries we’ve received so far:

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Who Should Star In Dallas Ebola Movie?

Apparently, Bryan Burrough’s Vanity Fair piece on the Dallas Ebola crisis has been optioned for a movie. Naturally, it’s time to speculate on casting. I haven’t had a lot of time to think about this, so this is off the top of my head, but probably insanely insightful and spot-on, as usual. For county commissioner Clay Jenkins, I’d say this photo of the original Alfafa from the Little Rascals gang; we’ll find a voice soon.

Rawlings is actually pretty easy: a Travolta-esque comeback role for the autopilot from Airplane!

Airplane-autopilot

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Watch a Cool Video of a Flooded Trinity River

The photographer Scot Miller and his wife, Marilyn, own Sun to Moon Gallery, on East Levee Street, in the Design District. That’s also where they live. So the Trinity River more or less runs through their backyard. Scot spends a lot of time traipsing across the country to capture beautiful images, but for his next exhibit — titled “Nature in our Backyard: The Trinity River and Great Trinity Forest” — he didn’t have to travel far. Just over the levee. The show will feature work from three other photographers, too, and the opening reception is June 27. If you can’t make it, pick up a July copy of D Magazine. We’re publishing some of the images that will hang in the gallery. Scot also shoots video, and a couple of days ago, he posted this. Enjoy:

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The Daily Show Introduces the World to the ‘McKinney Bikini’

Last night on the Daily Show, after Jon Stewart recounted last Friday’s incident, correspondent Jessica Williams showed up dressed in a swimsuit with full body armor beneath: “a McKinney bikini.”

She joked that what happened at Craig Ranch actually represents progress since no black people ended up shot.

Afterward, on the Nightly Show, Larry Wilmore took aim at some of the “awkward media coverage,” including responding to a lame defense of the cop’s behavior by one neighborhood resident, who said that the officer had just done what anyone else would have done.

“No, anybody else would be like, ‘calm down teenagers while I arrest the crazy racist lady who started this s**t,'” Wilmore said. He followed that up by noting that Fox News’ morning show un-ironically broadcast a segment on summer pool safety just after reporting on what happened in McKinney. This prompted Wilmore to offer his own safety advice, first for white kids (“don’t run by the pool,” “don’t dive in the shallow end”) and then for black kids (“don’t go to the pool.”)

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New Podcast: A Meaty Discussion With Chef Brian Luscher of the Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots

This week’s EarBurner guest is chef Brian Luscher of the Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots. At the Old Monk on Thursday he talked about his Deep Ellum hot dog joint (which also boasts one of the 20 best burgers in Dallas) and why the city’s business-friendliness doesn’t necessarily extend to small-scale operators. There’s also Chicago-accented talk of Joey Gallo’s recent heroics for the Texas Rangers and the end of the 5-cent bag fee.

Now to some corrections and notes to help you better enjoy the listening experience:

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Leading Off (6/5/15)

McKinney School Forbids Message of Tolerance. About 15 students at Faubion Middle School on Wednesday wore shirts sporting the phrase “Gay O.K” — in support of a seventh-grader who was being bullied — and were asked to change clothes. The district spokesman said administrators’ concerns had nothing to do with the specific content of the students’ message, but instead were regarding the potential for disruptions.

Flood Damages Cost Millions. Sewage has spilled into Lake Carolyn in Irving, and it can’t be cleaned up until the water recedes. Restoring Dallas parks and golf courses will likely cost more than $2.6 million, and the city has no insurance to cover it. On the other hand, marinas and other businesses on Lake Bridgeport are happy that water levels there have risen 27 feet in the last month.

Police Union Criticizes Department For Disciplining Officers. Fort Worth Police had reassigned one officer and placed another on leave as a result of their actions at the end of last week’s slow-speed chase. Their lawyer called these measures a “knee-jerk reaction.”

State Highway 360 Buckles. The southbound ramp to the road coming from the south exit of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has raised 8 to 10 inches above the surrounding pavement in one section, creating a speed bump that sent cars airborne as they drove over it. It’s been closed until repairs can be made Friday.

Mark Cuban as the President of the United States: (see below.)

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Which Book Should We Force Dallas Schoolkids to Read Next?

Question: What should be the Big D Reads 2016 book? — Krista N.

Firstly, I am compelled as a man of conscience to challenge the premise of your question. I’m not at all convinced that it is proper to encourage the unwashed masses towards literary interests. Consider: we spend untold billions of public dollars teaching children to translate ancient Roman symbols into the familiar phonemes of modern English vernacular only to see dreck like this elevated to the top of best-seller lists:

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#StayCoolDallas and Win a $200 Gift Card

Today could be the first 90-degree day of 2015 in North Texas, so there may be no better time to prepare yourself for the inevitable onslaught of summer’s heat than by reading the cover story of the June issue of D Magazine. There you’ll find ice cream and snow cones, water parks and “chill” patios.

But we’d also like to see your favorite means of surviving through the high temperatures: frozen cocktails, icy treats, pool pics, or wherever you like to settle down for a nap outdoors in the shade. Just share a photo on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using the #staycooldallas through June 30 to enter for a chance to win a $200 gift card to the Grove at Harwood.

And now, because I grew up with a mother for whom every sentence I said to her could become a Broadway song cue, I can’t help but post this in response to the hashtag for this month’s contest:

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Leading Off (5/15/15)

City Likely to Dispose of Plastic-Bag Fee. Several companies have sued Dallas over the ordinance that requires retailers to charge customers a 5-cent fee for the use of plastic bags, which went into effect at the beginning of this year. So now five city council members have signed a memo calling for the repeal of the measure, while five others have expressed support for an all-out ban of plastic bags instead. A ban is expected to have a better chance of being upheld by a court than does the fee.

Mesquite Man Charged With Lying to Feds About ISIS Allegiance. Bilal Abood, 37, allegedly traveled to Syria to support the Islamic State.

The Amazing Race Finishes in Dallas. The season finale of the CBS reality TV competition, in which teams of two race around the world, airs tonight at 7 p.m. It’s the second time the million-dollar winner has been crowned in North Texas. (Season 5, back in 2004, ended in Trammell Crow Park.) Based on the preview at the end of last week’s episode, the teams fly from Peru to Dallas-Fort Worth, head to JerryWorld for some sort of football skills competition, travel to Johnson County to play cowboy, and rappel down Reunion Tower before hitting the final mat on the Continental Avenue Bridge. All this fun was filmed on a Saturday, December 6. As a fan of the show, I can tell you that the woman featured in the sneak-peek clip above is just about the most insufferable human you could imagine being stuck with on an international globe-trotting adventure, and her poor partner is maybe the most patient man on the planet. They are one of several teams who were forced to contend with this season’s gimmick. They were matched on a “blind date” and never met until embarking on the race. Because of the way the footage of their difficulties has been edited all race long, I’m expecting them to win it all. The Hyatt Regency (attached to Reunion Tower) is hosting a watch-party.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: You People Call That Mob Justice?

Lords and ladies, wildlings and free folk, knights and squires, bannermen and serving wenches alike, it has become necessary that I break from responding to your incessant onslaught of interrogatories to address a matter of the utmost cultural significance.

It cannot be allowed to pass without my own assiduous commentary, for it exemplifies the fraying stitch-work that binds disparate elements of this, the greatest city God and I have ever given the history of the world. I am speaking, of course, of the remarkable videographic evidence presented to the audience of this very D Magazine web log not two full days ago.

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NY Times: Jaap Mentioned in Search for New Conductor at New York Philharmonic

Late last year in the Big Apple, guest conductor Jaap van Zweden led the New York Philharmonic in some bang-up performances that were met with “rowdy enthusiasm.” But, was he so good that the New Yorkers decided they want him full-time? According to a report today in The New York Times, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra music director is among those who’ve been mentioned in a search to succeed Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert when Gilbert steps down in 2017. Says Denise McGovern, the DSO’s communications director: “There’s nothing to say right now about what they’re doing. There have been reports speculating on a lot of different things. I don’t have any information about that. He’s here, and his contract with us is through” the 2018-2019 season.

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Dallas Theater Center’s Steven Walters Talks Football, the Aqua Buddha, and Air Sex

There was a technical mishap in the midst of yesterday’s recording of D Magazine‘s EarBurner podcast. I think we’re all far too mature to resort to placing blame in this matter, but suffice it to say that you may notice a hiccup during the proceedings if you’re not just half-listening to the show while jogging or changing your oil. A prestigious No-Prize to the first listener to correctly identify the spot.

Our guest was actor/playwright/perpetually disappointed sports fan Steven Walters, a member of Dallas Theater Center’s resident company who is appearing in the production of Colossal that runs through May 3. Our critic, Lindsey Wilson, loved it. I have no idea what any other local writers thought of the show, nor what scenes said writers may have written about that aren’t actually in the play, nor does it matter. You should go.

Listen below.

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