Six Dogs Walk Into Downtown Neimans

Art Ortiz is the pack leader at DogFit Dallas. You can often see him walking around downtown with several dogs in tow. He’s great at identifying dogs with people problems, and is a godsend to many of us downtown dog owners.

He posted this video earlier today. As he explains it, he’d always heard Neiman Marcus was dog friendly, but had never taken his dogs inside. Today, during his normal walk, he decided to see what would happen. The overall reaction was great: everyone was kind and welcoming.

So the next time you’re thinking about making a trip to Neimans, take your dog along, or give Art a call. Either way, your dog will be happy.

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: John Wiley Price, American Hustler

With indications that the federal case against Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price may finally be moving forward—nearly three years after the FBI’s investigation of Price went public—it seems a fitting time to revisit D Magazine‘s 1991 profile of him. It’s one of our 40 greatest stories.

The piece, written by someone named Laura Miller, gets into some of the same sort of questionable financial transactions that have caught the government’s attention and could reportedly result in indictments any time now. But the most disturbing allegations come from several women who talk of having been sexually assaulted by the powerful politician. Price denies to Miller all of these claims.

After reading this article, it seems remarkable that 23 years later Price still sits on the commissioners’ court—still doing things like telling white people to go to hell. It’s hard to read about Price without being reminded of the immortal words of State Sen. Clay Davis: “Sheeeeeet.”

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Leading Off (4/16/14)

Charges Dropped Against Pig Blood Executive: I was going to explain this a little more, but this SEO-friendly Morning News headline should do the trick: “Criminal charges dropped against Dallas slaughterhouse executive; charges remain against company, another executive for pig blood and toxic chemicals found in Trinity tributary.

Teen Killed in Hit-and-Run Following Police Chase: Ethan Vasquez was a 13-year-old with a big smile, a seventh-grader at an Uptown gifted-and-talented school. On Tuesday morning in the M Streets, on his way to school, a stolen minivan crashed into a car driven by his mother. Ethan was killed, and his mother is in critical condition at Baylor Medical Center. The driver and passenger of the stolen minivan fled on foot.

Gubernatorial Candidates Continue to Find Tiny Things to Talk About: Just yesterday, Wendy Davis criticized Greg Abbott’s education platform, the PPP released its latest poll numbers (Abbott is still ahead, markedly, and ahead with female voters), Abbott released his tax forms/Davis filed for an extension, and we found out Davis is having outpatient neck surgery. Only seven more months, folks!

Mavs Fight For Seventh Seed Tonight: The Mavs take on the Grizzlies, for the right to not have to play the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. Both teams lost all four games they played against San Antonio this season; the Mavs are 2-1 against Oklahoma City (the two-seed as of this typing), while the Grizz went 1-2 against the Thunder. If the Mavs lose and end up playing the Spurs, though, it would make my inclusion of this bizarre sandwich conversation video between Spurs reserve Matt Bonner and Geto Boy Bushwick Bill seem less odd.

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The New Yorker on Jordan Spieth

There’s a nice little ditty on The New Yorker’s sports blog about Bubba and Jordan and the Masters that you should read. A taste:

Spieth’s swing is a newly paved freeway through the heartland: smooth, straight, efficient, dependable. Watson’s is the spotty two-lane through the backwater. It’s tangled and indirect, a mess of rough road that seems to surprise Watson as much as anybody when it leads to the desired location.

And:

Spieth plays with an effortlessness that is no doubt the result of great effort. He’s the Federer of golf right now: fluid motions, no sweat glands, an air of calm superiority.

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Leading Off (4/15/14)

Woman Found Guilty of Murder in Castration Death. Crystal Richardson claimed in court that she was just defending herself. But on the night of April 28, 2012, after using PCP, cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol, she castrated Cedric Lamont Owens and stabbed him more than 130 times. The jury didn’t buy her story.

Man Found Guilty of Murder in Stabbing Deaths. Just a couple months before Richardson’s bloody night in a Far East Dallas hotel room, in a house not far from that crime, William Gerard Palmer fatally stabbed his wife and her parents. Yesterday, a jury convicted him, too, and this account of the victims’ impact statements is tough to read.

An Item That’s Not About a Stabbing Murder. Cold enough for you this morning?

No Good Horrible Day for American Airlines and US Airways. The merging carriers made news yesterday for the wrong reasons. An AA pilot forgot he had a gun in his backpack and tried to bring it through a security checkpoint at DFW Airport. Meanwhile US Airways tweeted a picture of a naked woman playing with a toy airplane. A reminder to all of us that we need to be careful with our firearms and our aviation porn.

And, Oh Yeah, It’s Tax Day. Fun!

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Parsing That Long John Wiley Price Story

As Cristina mentioned in Leading Off, on Sunday the Morning News published a lengthy story about the FBI’s investigation of John Wiley Price. I can’t figure it out. Because almost none of it is new. After the FBI raids in the summer of 2011, the paper did a great job piecing together what the feds were looking for and all the curious financial matters concerning price: the land deals, the bankruptcy, the expensive cars, the cash in the safe. The story we got Sunday is just a rehash of all that, with one small addition:

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Dallas Homes Selling at Ridiculously Fast Rate

I do not envy anyone looking to buy a home in Dallas in the near future. A recent report from the real estate website Redfin.com says that, in March, 14.4% of homes in Dallas sold within three days of hitting the market. That’s up 1.5% compared to last year.

What’s more, in February, 38.8% of homes sold within two weeks. That’s up from what was already a fast-moving market in February 2013, when that rate was 31.9%. Our continued population growth, and housing inventory that’s down 19.5% since last year have a lot to do with it.

Prospective buyers must prepare for war.

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Watch George W. Bush Tell a Dirty Joke

Talking Points Memo points to the “ribald” humor former president George W. Bush displayed during a speech yesterday in Austin. The occasion was a summit marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, held at Lyndon Johnson’s presidential library.

“Former presidents compare their libraries the way other men may compare their, well…” Bush said.

Maybe he hadn’t heard about Colbert taking the Late Show gig, figured he still had time to get his name out there.

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Personnel Moves: The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, CardLab Inc., ContentGuard, Disney Investment Group, Slates Harwell LLP

New executive additions to The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, CardLab Inc., ContentGuard, Disney Investment Group, and Slates Harwell LLP in this week’s personnel moves. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has hired a new Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer, Colleen Walker, who will assume the role on June 1. Walker has served as […]

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Leading Off (4/11/14)

WFAA Frames DISD Home-Rule Debate as Race War. Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas ISD trustee Mike Morath are both supporting the effort to create a new charter to change how the school district is governed. They’re white, and they’ve implied that some elements of the school board  are standing in the way of DISD making important changes. Those three board members are African-American, and they accuse home-rule proponents of trying to erode minority representation. Morath fans the flames by saying things like ”this is not to say that race is not a factor … But to say that race is a dominant factor is missing the forest for the trees.”

The Watchers Don’t Like Being Watched. Dallas Police staff are putting out a warning to the city’s cops about a dangerous new threat to their safety: citizens on patrol with video cameras. Concerns were raised recently after a woman affiliated with a group called Cop Rock Cop Block was found to be following and taping an officer. Ron Pinkston, president of the Dallas Police Association says such behavior could be a threat because police “don’t know who it is pulling behind us. We don’t know they’re there to videotape, they might be part of… if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don’t know.” I also don’t know what he’s talking about, even if, yeah, I’m sure some of the folks recording the cops are just being jerks.

Man Sues Perot Museum After Accident. According to the suit, 74-year-old Myung Oh of Carrollton was leaving the museum in June 2013 when he fell on the steps and was left a quadriplegic.

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Louis Bedford, Dallas County’s First Black Judge, Loses Battle With Prostate Cancer

Bedford, a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, became the first black judge in Dallas when he served on the municipal court in 1966. He spent most of his adult life mentoring other black lawyers, including Dallas County DA Craig Watkins, who he swore into office. Watkins remembered that moment in this profile I wrote of him in 2009:

“I was looking at him when he was swearing me in, and he was trembling and he was almost teary-eyed,” Watkins says. “I was like, why is he so emotional for me? And then I realized: all the struggles that he had been through were really for me to have this opportunity. He said at the end of his little thing, ‘You’re the first. Let’s make sure that you’re not the last.’ I really didn’t understand at the time what he was talking about, but I understand it now. Any little thing you do will jeopardize someone else that may be different—a woman, Hispanic, whatever—to be put in this position. Whatever you do, if you make the smallest mistake, it will shine a disparaging light on everybody else that comes.”

Bedford was 88.

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How Badly Does TxDOT Want the North Texas Vote?

The controversy over I-345 — and how TxDOT and its local partner, Michael Morris have handled it — could not come at a worse time for the highway agency. On the ballot in November is a constitutional amendment to increase the agency’s funding by $1.25 billion a year by drawing down on the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

The Legislature only granted this small amount after considerable wrangling. The agency by its own account needs an additional $4.5 billion a year just to keep up with the state’s population growth. But legislators are just as wary of the agency’s obfuscations, wild estimates, changing stories, alarmist traffic simulations, and bungling public relations as Dallas leaders in the last two months have learned to be.

Yet those same Dallas leaders say the agency needs every dollar it can get. Texas is exploding in population, roads are already inadequate, and cutbacks to maintenance could have severe economic consequences. So why is TxDOT — like a lumbering elephant — walking all over Dallas right when it needs our votes?

Now might be a good time for the Texas Transportation Commission, whose five members are probably more politically astute than highway engineers, to get that elephant under control. TxDOT seems to have a talent for alienating legislators. If it alienates North Texas, it could lose its only chance for new funding. That would be tragedy not just for the agency but for Texas.

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