Where Do Saturday’s Elections Leave Hispanic Dallas City Council Representation? The answer, in short, is not in a good way. In a newly drawn district that is 74 percent Hispanic, incumbent Scott Griggs defeated Hispanic incumbent Delia Jasso. In another new district drawn to give Pleasant Grove single representation at the horseshoe (the neighborhood was previously split between multiple districts), candidate Jesse Diaz is headed to a runoff with white candidate Rick Callahan. If Callahan wins, then there will be one less Hispanic representative on the council than previously, whereas the redistricting was seemingly designed to add one Hispanic representative. In other news, Farmers Branch got its first Hispanic City Council member.
Arlington Man Throws Homemade Bomb at Neighbors: Michael Alex Johnson, 32, allegedly lit an eight-gallon bucket of gasoline on fire and threw it at two vehicles in a neighbor’s driveway. Luckily, another neighbor saw the incident and immediately called police. No one was hurt. Other bomb making materials were found in Johnson’s home, and Johnson’s mother described her son as “mentally ill.”
State Rep Wants to Build Bullion Depository: I don’t know why storing gold that belongs to the University of Texas Investment Management Co. out of state is a big deal, but apparently Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake is afraid the Yankee state may seize it when Texas declares its independence, or something like that. That’s why he wants the state to fund the construction of a Texas depository for the roughly $1 billion in gold bars. Rick Perry is, of course, on board: ““If we own it,” Perry said, “I will suggest to you that that’s not someone else’s determination whether we can take possession of it back or not.”
Worst Son In the World: Gonzalo Lopez: The night before Mother’s Day, Lopez killed his mother.
Last year we reported census data that showed Dallas to be the least segregated big city in America. Business Insider just put up maps by Eric Fischer of racial patterns in major cities, and here’s the one for Dallas County (blue dots represent blacks).
By the way, the most segregated cities are, in order: Detroit, Milwaukee, New York, Newark, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Cleveland, St. Louis, Boston, Cincinnati, Birmingham, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Washington, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Houston, and Columbus.
Steve Jacobs has the latest figures over at D Healthcare Daily. Teen births are down nation-wide and in Texas (good news) but repeat births are up in Texas (very bad news). This is a case where the argument over abstinence-only vs. sex education doe not apply. These young ladies know the consequences of their actions. So we are in entirely different territory. A second baby is fulfilling some perceived need that they believe will be met by the male (hope over experience) or in family-forming. Regardless, the social and fiscal costs are enormous: $1.2 billion in Texas alone.
Nearly 132,000 new residents showed up in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area between July 2011 and July 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau announced yesterday, making it the area with the largest numeric increase in the country over that period. The Houston- The Woodlands- Sugar Land area came in second, so eat it Houston.
Dallas County also had the fourth-largest increase in residents, while Tarrant County came in ninth in that category. Harris County took home that crown. West Texas’ boom continues as well, with Midland exhibiting the fastest rate of growth for a metro area — 4.6 percent — and Odessa and Austin-Round Rock coming in fifth and seventh, respectively. Oil and gas boomtowns in North Dakota were two of the top three growing micro areas, separated by Junction City, Kansas. That town recently experienced the return of the First Infantry Division to Fort Riley. In fourth place on that list, though, is Andrews, Texas, home to evil genius Harold Simmons’ radioactive waste dump.
As noted in a statement, much of the growth nationwide has been driven by oil and gas.
“After a long period of out-migration, some parts of the Great Plains ─ from just south of the Canadian border all the way down to West Texas ─ are experiencing rapid population growth,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s senior adviser. “There are probably many factors fueling this growth on the prairie, but no doubt the energy boom is playing a role. For instance, the Permian Basin, located primarily in West Texas, and North Dakota accounted for almost half of the total U.S. growth in firms that mine or extract oil and gas, during a recent one-year period.”
The Atlantic Cities project is currently exploring the divides of class and wealth in American cities, and today’s take was on Dallas-Fort Worth. It was aided by research from UT-Arlington doctoral candidate (and Shiny Around The Edges frontman) Michael Seman. They found:
The class divide in the city of Dallas largely follows a north-south axis demarcated by Interstate 30 and the impressive steel and glass skyline of Dallas’s downtown core. The map shows the band of purple radiating out of downtown and spreading out in the north of the city, while the south is a sea of red (service class districts) with spots of blue (working class locations). There is also a lesser east/west divide runs along the Trinity River just south of downtown, separating the working and service class neighborhoods to the west of the river from the creative class to the east.
There are significant developments afoot in the city, according to Michael Seman, a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Urban and Public Affairs and occasional Cities contributor, to spur redevelopment and address these class divides. Seaman, who reviewed early versions of these maps, points out that Dallas’s Oak Cliff is a transitioning neighborhood that only shows up as a sliver of purple, but is gaining residents from members of the region’s budding creative core of artists, writers, and musicians. Adjacent to Oak Cliff, just south of downtown and straddling service class (red) and working class (blue) neighborhoods, the “massive culinary-based Trinity Groves redevelopment project” is moving from planning stage to reality, notes Seman, who consulted on the project. A mixed-use redevelopment project encompassing roughly 80 acres, it features a restaurant incubator, microbreweries, specialty epicurean shops, culinary education programs, and a plethora of restaurants, which are designed to “appeal to members of the creative class residing both in the city and the region,” Seman says.
Dallas State Rep. Rafael Anchia and Round Rock Rep. Larry Gonzales sat down with the Texas Tribune yesterday to discuss the growing Hispanic population, and how that affects education spending, poverty, and English-language proficiency.
“It’s very important that as this state wants to remain economically competitive globally that our populace and our young people are fully-bilingual,” Anchia said.
Other quick-hit notes:
- Three out of every 10 Dallas kids lives in poverty
- 180,000 children in Dallas County are undernourished
- 80 percent of DISD students are eligible for free or discounted lunch
And before you jump down my throat, the “Fear of a Brown Planet” line is from the Tribune‘s Julián Aguilar, who moderated the sit-down.
Perry Goes to California to Poach Businesses: Rick Perry is on tour of California, where he hopes to swoop-in and woo businesses to Texas. It’s a trip that puts the epic state showdown in context:
In that corner, Athens. In this one, Sparta. Each serves as the other’s foil, the Ali to its Frazier, the Moriarty to its Holmes, the red to its blue. Each sees itself as the economic, cultural and political engine of the future.
Services to be Held Today for Chris Kyle at Cowboys Stadium: After today’s memorial at Cowboys Stadium, there will be a 200-mile funeral procession Tuesday as the former Navy Seal’s remains travel from Midlothian to Austin.
Kelly Clarkson Meets Miguel: Burleson’s Kelly Clarkson took home a Grammy last night for best pop vocal album, but during her acceptance speech, the singer was a little distracted by an earlier performance by the singer Miguel:
“Miguel, I don’t know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together. I mean, good God. That was the sexiest dancing I’ve ever seen.”
Here’s what she was talking about.
Slate ran an interesting piece today under the head: “Democracy or Gerontocracy: Is Congress getting older?” In short, yes. The reasons:
“Life expectancy likely had something to do with the 19th-century preponderance of younger men: The average American born in 1900 expected to live onlyÂ 49 years, compared toÂ more than 78Â today. More importantly, the House of Representatives was widely viewed as an “up or out” institution in the 1800s, much like aÂ modern law firm. Most members served one or two terms, then either sought higher office or returned to private life. The average tenure in the House in 1860 was four years. It doubled to eight years in 1920, asÂ careerismÂ took hold. Changes in House rules made seniority increasingly important and provided a motivation for representatives to keep their seats. In addition, changes in ballot design allowed voters to select a presidential candidate from one party and a senator or representative from another, making it more difficult to unseat an incumbent.”
The average age of a congressman in 2011: 62 for the Senate, 57 for the House. Texas’ representatives make the House look like it’s full of co-eds. The average age for a Texas rep is 64, seven years older than the average. Even if you took Rockwall Rep. Ralph Hall — 89, the oldestÂ representativeÂ in history — out of the mix, the average is still 63.Â The senators are right in-line, and will get younger now that Ted Cruz is in the mix.
Time to step up your game, Young Republicans.
Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week show that Dallas County children, on whole, are poorer than not only most other Texas children, but mostÂ otherÂ children in America’s largest cities.
Close to 30 percent of children in Dallas County between the ages of five and 17 live in poverty, the numbers show, nearly a five percent increase since 2007. The below chart shows the poverty rates for those aged children, in Dallas-area counties:
Jump for even more disturbing news, and a few bright spots.
Kick around on GoogleÂ ZeitgeistÂ for a bit, and you’ll find some interesting nuggets. For instance: the fifth-most searched recipe in the United States was for something called “slutty brownies.” A thin, sultry strip of coconut down the middle? Or just brownies that everyone can enjoy? I don’t know.
Anyway, the list of Dallas’ top searches just slid across my desk:
1. Big Tex
2. Dallas Cowboys
3. Dallas Craigslist
4. Texas Rangers
5. Black Friday
6. Presidential Polls
7. Southern Methodist University
8. Dallas Mavericks
9. Studio Movie Grill
10. North Texas Tollway Authority
These all make sense to me, except for one. Do people really love eating food while watching movies so muchÂ that it nearly catapulted the term ahead of a team coming off an NBA championship?
Also: the poor Stars. Poor, poor Stars.
Golf Courses Are the Ultimate Cure-All For Urban Poverty: Here’s another article (paywall) that talks about how Mayor Mike Rawlings is really jazzed about how great that golf course is going to be for South Dallas. But you don’t need to click through. You already know how huge this deal is going to be. Just think about what a major boom Dallas National has been for Cockrell Hill. I mean, can you think of a more affluent and booming neighborhood in North Texas than the island city of Cockrell Hill? It’s like a second Highland Park, which also has a golf course in it. Coincidence? I think not.
Man Tries to Steal $269 Worth of Meat: In order to really appreciate this story about Rodney Johnson’s attempt to make off from a Kroger with $269 worth of meat shoved up under his coat, you have to try and picture just what $269 worth of meat looks like. Then read how he was first tackled by police and then struck in the back of the head before officers finally managed to arrest the hungry thief.
Michael Young Is No Longer a Texas Ranger: Drop your head to your chest, raise your right arm, extend your fingers, and drop a final claw on Michael Young as he heads out the door to Philadelphia. “If there was crying in baseball, I guess I’d cry,” Wash said. But we all know Wash cried.
Cowboys Win Game, Josh Brent Just Loses: What do you say about Josh Brent? Over the weekend he lost his best friend, he lost his career, and he quite possibly lost his freedom for up to the next 20 years (the maximum sentence for intoxication manslaughter). He was released from jail after posting bail that was $10,000 more than his $490,000 2012 salary. “It’s not a good moment for anyone right now,” Brent’s attorney said. I guess that’s all you really can say.
Last week, I wrote that the New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza reasoned that – due to an influx of Hispanic voters – Texas might turn into a blue state sooner than we all think, maybe even by 2016.
Not so fast, says the New Republic:
Certainly, increased Hispanic turnout and support for Democratic candidates aided the president in Texas, just as it did nationally. In overwhelmingly Hispanic areas of south Texas, Obama finished more than 10 points better than he did in 2008, and Mitt Romney finished worse than John McCain in thirty counties with a large Hispanic population. Strong minority support and turnout allowed Obama to carry the core counties of metropolitan Dallas and Houston (Dallas and Harris County), even though they voted Republican in every presidential election from 1968 through 2004.
But in case anyone missed it, demographic changes haven’t actually produced gains for Democrats in Texas. Despite favorable Latino turnout and support, Obama did worse in Texas than he did four years ago and lost by a decisive 16-point margin. Looking back further, Texas hasn’t moved to the left: the state was 19 points to the right of the national popular vote in 2012; hardly an improvement compared to 19 points in 2008, 20 points in 2004, and 15 points in 1996.
If the two parties continue forward along the lines carved by the Bush and Obama years, then Texas would become quite competitive by the end of the next decade and Democrats will routinely approach 400 electoral votes in national elections. But between now and the mid-2020s, the Republican party will make adjustments to compensate for changing demographics and new issues will rejigger the electorate along unforseen lines. After Bill Clinton won West Virginia by 15 points and lost its eastern neighbor by 2, I suspect that few analysts in 1996 forseaw West Virginia becoming the fifth-most Republican state or Virginia voting more Democratic than the country. The ascent of Democrats in Texas is hardly inevitable and even if it is, it won’t be in 2016 or 2020, at least not in a close election.
New Children’s Medical Center Dallas Report: Health Care Picture Bleak for Suburban Children: Eight percent of children in the United States don’t have health insurance. In Texas, that number increases to 14 percent uninsured. But according to a report released today by Children’s Medical Center DallasÂ (sub. req.), in five suburban North Texas counties, including Collin, Denton, Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson, that number doubles to 23.9 percent of children who have no medical insurance. Compounding the problem for children seeking healthcare is the fact that now only 31 percent of Texas physicians accept Medicaid patients.
Squatter Could Get Life Imprisonment: David Cooper isn’t just the latest squatter trying to take control of a home by citing an obscure Texas law that protects people who move into abandoned properties but perform upkeep and pay taxes. No, Cooper moved into the home of a man who had vacated temporarily because he was receiving cancer treatment. That makes Cooper, who is being charged with theft of over $200 thousand, very uncool.
Four Years After Throwing Kids Off Overpass, Mother Walks Free: In 2008, Khandi Busby threw her 6- and 9-year-old boys off an overpass and then jumped herself (in her mind, she was being chased by Satan and the military). Remarkably everyone survived. Perhaps even more remarkably, Busby, who was diagnosed with a schizoaffective disorder, will walk free today, moving from a mental institution to a boarding house. She is forbidden to have contact with her children.
Cowboys Season “Saved:” Yes, now that the ‘Boys defense beat a pitiful Eagles offense, we actually have to keep paying attention to the Cowboys’ season.
There’s not a detailed methodology on the website, but the list apparently factors in the value of homes, job growth, how well jobs pay, what the climate’s like, how clean the air is, how young/rich/single the residents are, and how long are the average commutes.
They don’t seem to consider crime data or quality of schools, which were important in our own recentÂ Best Dallas Suburbs list. That could explain why none of our top 7 suburbs make their list, as well as other disparities.
We had Flower Mound ranked the highest (No. 8) among the four cities also on their list, whereas it was the lowest (No. 32) among this group on theirs. Allen wasÂ No. 9 for us,Â No. 13 in the nation for them. Mansfield was way down atÂ No. 33 for us, andÂ No. 28 for them. Â And, of course, we rated McKinney only theÂ 26th-best Dallas suburb, a far cry from being the second-best small city in America (trailing only Carmel, Indiana).
Texas Gets More Than It Gives To Federal Gov-ment: Texans used to pride themselves on getting fleeced by Washington (sending a dollar in taxes to DC for every ninety cents it received in return), but for nearly a decade the trend has reversed (pay wall). Why? Spending on entitlements and defense is up, while state spending on social programs is down. Significantly, the number of Texans living in poverty has increased by one-third in a decade, up to 18 percent of the total population in 2010. Go Texas miracle!
TCU Quarterback Casey Pachall Is Sorry For Smoking Weed: Sometimes I wish athletes like Casey Pachall would just throw up their hands and say, “Seriously guys, what did you expect?” Instead, they issue half-hearted apologies to appease our feigned morality.
Congressman Pete Sessions Quietly Marries Former Florida Congressional Candidate Karen Diebel, Ctd.: Some tidbits to piggy back on Jeanne Prejean’s post: Diebel once accused a political opponent of tossing a snake in her pool. The congressman from Dallas divorced his wife of 27 years last summer, after he had been seen palling around with Diebel. Significantly, Diebel is not a man.
Woman Dies In Car Crash, Unborn Baby Saved: A 15-year-old boy was driving a car that flipped in Dallas, killing his mother. The driver, his five-year-old brother, and another woman survived, as did, remarkably, the woman’s unborn baby, who is now in intensive care.
Church Minister Chuck Adair’s Life Is Complicated. Adair was a married minister at Skillman Church of Christ. Then he had a relationship with a 13-year-old girl. It wasn’t sexual, but by the time she was 15, it sure was. A private eye was hired, the couple fled to Las Vegas, but the cops caught up. Adair landed in jail with a 10-year sentence, but that didn’t stop him and his child-lover from marrying in jail, in 1998, three days after her 18th birthday. Two years later, the girl filed for divorce. In 2005, Adair was paroled, and 18 months after that, he was back at Skillman Church of Christ and married to another congregation member. But listen, it’s complicated, Adair says, and he promises not to go on any youth group trips. But church Easter eggs hunts? That’s cool.