Bag It Up: Why the Dallas City Council Should Say No to Banning Plastic Bags

Because a few local residents can’t or don’t want to dispose of their single-use plastic bags like everyone else, Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway wants to ban the bags outright. That’s a silly, knee-jerk “solution” to an exaggerated problem. And it deserves to be treated as such when the full council votes as expected on the issue this month.

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Texas Isn’t Just Creating Low-Paying Jobs

We already know that Texas has outpaced the rest of the nation when it comes to adding jobs since 2000 and especially since the Great Recession of 2007-09. The knock on our state, however, has been that supposedly the bulk of that job growth has come on the low-pay end of the spectrum.

The fact that Texas is second only to Idaho in the percentage of hourly workers getting minimum wage (7.5 percent, compared to 4.9 percent nationally), that it rates near the top among states for income inequality, and has the highest share of residents without health insurance would suggest that this perspective of most Texans slaving away for little money is right.

However, a study this week out of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas says that Texas’ job growth across all wage levels has been much more proportionally distributed than in the rest of the nation.

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Fort Worth, Dallas Top Forbes List of Best Cities For Investing in a Home

Forbes worked Local Market Monitor, a company that tracks home prices and economic factors in more than 300 housing markets, to put together a list of “Best Buy Cities.” These are the top 20 places where you should want to invest money in a home.

No. 1? Fort Worth-Arlington. No. 2? Dallas-Plano-Irving.

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ExxonMobil CEO Sues to Stop Fracking-Related Project Near His House

I’m not sure if this is a full-blown hypocrisy alert, but the Wall Street Journal reported late last week on a lawsuit in which Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, has joined some fellow Denton County homeowners in attempting to block a fracking-related project.

Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation wants to build a 160-foot water tower to supply natural gas drilling sites in the area. Neighboring property owners, including Tillerson, are concerned about the impact on their property values of heavy trucks frequently visiting the tower, creating additional noise and traffic.

The Raw Story cites some of Tillerson’s past critical statements about those who oppose hydraulic fracturing in the drilling process to imply his participation in the suit is a pot-kettle-black situation.

But Tillerson says this is about the devaluing of his property from the presence of the water tower, not fracking itself.

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Tom Blanton, CEO of Fracking Concern Currently Suing Dallas, Has Died

Tom Blanton stepped out of his home on Eagle Mountain Lake for his morning walk and never came back. He died along the way of a heart attack at 67 years old. Two weeks later, Trinity East, his oil and gas company, sued for the $19 million it paid a cash-strapped City of Dallas back in 2007 for the right to drill and frack the gas-suffused shale beneath.

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Leading Off (2/14/14)

DFW Airport Has Refunded More than $648,000 in Parking Charges. The same $56 million system that made entering and exiting a nightmare after it was installed last September has resulted in overcharges to more 4,100 drivers who use toll tags. One guy got a $108 bill for a 10-minute trip to the airport. Another had a bill of $1,096 for an even shorter trip.

Dale Hansen on Ellen Today. Everybody’s favorite blustering old Dallas sportscaster continues to be showered with praise for his “Unplugged” commentary from Monday night’s newscast. On Thursday he was in Los Angeles taping an appearance for Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, which will air at 3 p.m. Friday on NBC 5.

Frisco Principal Resigns After Medicine Goes Missing. David Wehmeyer of Corbell Elementary quit after allegedly stealing drugs from the school nurse’s office.

McKinney Couple Face Tragedy of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. Usually “early-onset” means someone in his 60s or 50s, but Jason Manthe was diagnosed in his 30s. Now his wife Kam must care for him, as well as their four children. The disease has long been known as “the long goodbye” because it strips away the mind of a loved one and leaves only a shell of that person behind. The Manthes’ situation brings a whole other heartbreaking level of meaning to that phrase:

“If somebody dies in a car accident, they’re no longer there and you mourn their loss,” she said. “But you don’t see them every day. But I wake up next to him every day and have to look at him every day.

“The Jason I fell in love with, and the husband and father we know, is not there.”

It’s Valentine’s Day. And a holiday for D Magazine HQ. Hug somebody you love. Then go see RoboCop.

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Trinity East Sues Dallas Over $19M Paid For Drilling Leases

Wilonsky scoops the Dallas city attorney’s office in finding out about the lawsuit filed this morning by Trinity East Energy, which paid the city $19 million for mineral rights on public land in northwest Dallas only to have the council change the rules on drilling:

The Dallas City Attorney’s Office was unaware of the suit until contacted by The Dallas Morning Newsthis morning. We expect a reply later today.

The suit maintains that when it signed its deals with the city on August 15, 2008, it received a letter from then-Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm saying she was “reasonably confident” Trinity East would be able to drill on the 22-acre tract of land on the west side of Luna Vista.

In a statement issued this morning, Trinity East Energy President Stephen Fort says, “This is about a deal, plain and simple. We had a deal with the City of Dallas, and they went back on it. The city made promises to us and took our money. They sold us minerals but then denied us the ability to extract them.”

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D Magazine Is About To Get Some New Neighbors

According to this, the KPMG Centre has caught the eye of the San Diego-based Omnitracs, a tech company that sounds from its name like it sells products you don’t need anymore on a shelf they rarely restock at a Radio Shack you never visit. ANYWAY, I’m clearly wrong because they would bring with them to Dallas something like 1,000 jobs. Which helps Dallas, and the struggling KPMG Centre, which went into foreclosure in 2012 and has since been owned by lenders. (It’s in the process of being sold.)  Why did the KPMG Centre fall on hard times? If I had to guess, I’d say they couldn’t stand the heat. Watch yourself, Omnitracs.

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Which Name Do You Want to See on Rangers Ballpark?

UPDATE, 11 a.m.: It’s Globe Life Park in Arlington, named for an insurance company. So, like Shakespeare before them, the Rangers will play at “the Globe.”

Original Post: The Texas Rangers have scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference to announce a naming rights deal for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. There’s a rumor that Samsung has ponied up the cash, but I’m hoping for something a bit more Texas-centric. “Blue Bell Ballpark” has a nice ring to it. But that’s just me. Which company are you rooting for?

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