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The Mysterious Plan for a Mayoral Compound

The Dallas Morning News’ Rudy Bush brought us surprising news yesterday that a new $180,000, by-invitation-only compound is being constructed for the Mayor and his staff. I use the word “surprising,” because I don’t recall the City Council ever having been briefed on this matter, much less approving the expenditure. Based on a review of the plan that Mr. Bush somehow dug up, it appears the Mayor Pro Tem, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem and their four assistants are being kicked out for parts unknown, their offices to be taken over by the Office of the Mayor.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: What’s the Right Way to Order an Old-Fashioned?

Firstly, my humblest apologies for leaving you all — devoted readers — in the lurch last week whilst I skedaddled to obtain a measure of recreation and relaxation. One of the prime benefits of noncorporeal existence is that there’s no need to pay those blood-sucking fares that the airlines charge. Believe me, instantaneous quantum transport is the only way to fly!

But I return now to my Sisyphean duty: solving all of the world’s most pressing quandaries.

Question: With so many cocktail variations popping up every day — the rise of the mixologist is upon us! — it’s becoming more and more difficult to order a drink properly, without fumbling around with a barrage of follow-up questions and combinations to consider. Since you’re staggeringly old, can you tell me the proper way to order an Old Fashioned, so as to minimize the drama? — Travis S.

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Leading Off (7/1/15)

John Wiley Price’s Co-defendant Will Plead Guilty. Christian Lloyd Campbell filed court papers saying he will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, and he could testify against Price. In exchange, Campbell is looking at a recommended sentence of no more than three years in prison.

Another Controversial Video Involving the McKinney Police. Stop me if this sounds familiar: There’s a video of a police officer in McKinney drawing his gun and yelling at unarmed young black men. Some people think the officer was abusive, while other people (including his fellow officers) think he did a fine job.

Grapevine Volleyball Coach Charged With Drugging and Sexually Assaulting Teens. Damian Merrick owns the Grapevine Volleyball Club. He’s accused of giving teenage girls marijuana and assaults in a parking lot and a hotel room. It looks like Merrick has already been scrubbed from the club’s website.

Gay People Will Soon Be Able to Get Married in Granbury. Wonderful detail alert: The Hood County clerk who posted a statement explaining why she wouldn’t be issuing same-sex marriage certificates — and then another statement, later, explaining that yes, her office will actually issue them soon, even though she doesn’t like it — is named Katie Lang.

Rangers Activate Josh Hamilton. He joined the team in Baltimore for the first time since being sidelined with a strained hamstring and had two hits in last night’s win. The Rangers sent rookie sensation-turned-mortal Joey Gallo down to the minors, where he will likely distinguish himself like an eagle in a league of pelicans.

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Leading Off (6/30/15)

Mayor Rawlings Down With Lower Property Tax Rate, Maybe. Property values in Dallas and surrounding areas have shot up, prompting our Dream Team coach to suggest that we should consider a lower tax rate, so that everyone can relax a tad. Super. So long as Mockingbird and Garland roads become drivable sometime this decade.

The Next President of the Dallas Fed Won’t Be as Cool as Richard Fisher. Here’s a little ditty about the secretive search for the next head of the Dallas Fed. Here’s why you should miss Fisher.

North Texas Is Segregated. Spend some time with this Pew Research Center article. The gist: “Income segregation has increased over the past three decades in 27 of the largest 30 metropolitan areas across the U.S. … . In Dallas and many of the other metro areas we mapped, there were clear divisions between low-income neighborhoods and middle- and upper-income areas, as well as divisions along racial lines.” Said no one: “I am shocked.”

Flights out of Dallas Are Cheap! Mitch Schnurman looks at life post Wright Amendment and concludes, “[T]he Southwest effect is alive and well in Dallas and making this one of the country’s top markets for the flying public.” Good for us.

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D CEO Named Best Regional Business Magazine in U.S.—Again

The Alliance of Area Business Publishers is a national outfit that represents regional and local business magazines and newspapers with a combined circulation of more than 1.2 million. Every year the group puts on an editorial competition that recognizes excellence in journalism, photography, and design. This year the competition drew more than 620 entries, with judging by faculty members from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Among nine AABP awards for 2015 that D CEO picked up at the group’s conference Saturday night—compared to the seven it won last year and eight in 2013—D‘s business publication was named the best regional business magazine in America, for the third straight year. All the details are over on our business site, D Business Daily.

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D CEO Again Named Best Regional Business Magazine in U.S.

For the third straight year, D CEO was named the country’s best regional business magazine in The Alliance of Area Business Publishers’ annual Editorial Excellence awards. The “gold” or first-place award for Best Magazine was one of D CEO’s nine awards in the annual competition, which honors excellence in journalism, photography, and design. In all […]

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SAGA Pod: Exit Interview with Former DISD Supe Mike Miles

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. On his way out of town, former DISD superintendent Mike Miles stopped by the SAGA Pod world headquarters to discuss all things education: teacher evaluations, pre-K, bonds — you know, the sexy stuff. Also, I tell him he’s “stubborn as hell” — so that was fun. Remember, the iTunes link is here if you wanna subscribe. As always, please listen with your ears.

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Leading Off (6/29/2015)

Two Small Earthquakes In Irving This Weekend. They were tiny (a 2.3 early Saturday morning, a 2.1 early Sunday morning), so you will be forgiven if you did not feel them. In case you were wondering, I could not be more thrilled that my hometown has been officially dubbed “earthquake country.”

Texas AG Ken Paxton Says State County Clerks Who Have “Religious Objections” Can Refuse To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples. S-i-g-h.

Lewisville’s Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Racks Up Second DWI. Greg Tierney was arrested after driving eastbound on I-35.

Jogger Finds Body in Oak Cliff Alley. The body appears to be of a teenage boy, dead of an apparent gunshot wound. A jogger found him on West Brooklyn Avenue around 7:30 am. He has not yet been identified.

Cowboys May Have Used Drones Illegally. Whoops. Apparently, the team might not have gotten the correct FAA waiver to film practices via drone. It’s cool, though. The Cowboys probably won’t have to pay a fine.

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DISD Trustees Plan to Name Michael Hinojosa Interim Superintendent

After days of negotiation, a majority of Dallas ISD trustees plan to vote tonight to name Mike Miles’ predecessor, Michael Hinojosa, as the interim superintendent, according to multiple administration and board sources.

Hinojosa left the district in 2011, went to Georgia to run a suburban Atlanta district, then quit in 2014 to return to his family in Texas and work for an education company. The reason trustees see him as the best possible interim superintendent: he won’t want the job full-time, he has credibility with many disparate stakeholders in the DISD community (Bill Betzen loves him!), and yet he will gladly sign on to promote the district’s (likely) bond package (he sold the last bond package) and protect Miles’ key reform initiatives. That’s because Hinojosa was seen as sort of a “pre-reformer” — laying the groundwork for teacher evaluation, bringing in TFA, etc.

The key quality trustees feel that he brings: stability. He’s likely to keep the cabinet in place, and gives hope that the full-time successor will do so as well.

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After SCOTUS Decision, Jack Evans and George Harris Go Get Their Marriage License

If you recall, we wrote about Jack Evans and George Harris, a wonderful couple in their 80s who have been fighting for marriage equality in Dallas and beyond since the early ’60s, in our 40th anniversary issue. They founded what would become the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and started The Dallas Way, a project aimed at presenting the history of the GLBT community in Dallas. They were married in March of last year, but the marriage wasn’t recognized here. Evans and Harris have been together for some 55 years.

Minutes ago, to my utter delight, I saw their photo come across Twitter as they joined a growing line for marriage licenses at the Dallas Records Building, hours after the SCOTUS decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

Congratulations to Jack and George, congratulations to all.

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Podcast: Dwaine Caraway on His Commissioners Court Run And Why He’d Always Rather Be Fishing

With apologies to the other wonderful guests that EarBurner has hosted during its first few months of delivering auditory goodness to your favorite podcatcher on a weekly (sorry about last week) basis, now-former Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway shot to the top of the power rankings when he stopped by the Old Monk yesterday.

You may come to listen to him talk about his run for the Dallas County Commissioners Court, but it’s his plans to host a televised fishing show called Come Go Fishin’ With Dwaine that will have you insisting to all of your friends that they need to subscribe to the D Magazine podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or through their favorite podcatcher.

I’ve got to bypass the show notes today, I’m afraid. If you don’t already know anything (or even if you know a lot) about Dwaine Caraway, you should read Zac’s great profile from last year. Then, seriously, just get listening:

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Everything We Ever Wanted You to Know About Dallas Neighborhoods

Let’s talk a moment about the elasticity of “neighborhood.” Sometimes the word is used to refer to an entire quadrant of a city, while some people wouldn’t dare call someone from three streets over a “neighbor.” It means pretty much whatever we want it to mean. That’s either useful or frustrating, depending on your outlook, or whether you’re off your meds.

I was talking about this with a fellow from North Texas Real Estate Information Systems — the company that keeps track of regional home sales data — a few months back. NTREIS relies heavily on the self-reporting of individual agents. He noted how inconsistent Dallas-area agents are in their use of the “subdivision” field when logging information about a property. One agent might dutifully type “Bent Tree North #3” while another reports a house on the same block is simply in “Bent Tree.”

This results in it being exceedingly difficult to track trends at a level as specific as a “neighborhood,” whatever that word means.

Anyway, read on to find out about our new neighborhood guides.

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Leading Off (6/26/15)

A handful of area lakes closed for the rest of the summer due to water damage. Just what you’ve been waiting for: a list of what is opened and closed this summer thanks to the rain.

Dallas ISD auctions off overbought school supplies. Spring cleaning has come and gone but if you’re in the market for cleaning supplies, then you’re in luck. The Dallas ISD is auctioning off 89 cases of soap, 264 cases of glass cleaner, and 700-plus cases of toilet tissue. The toilet tissue, for instance, will be sold for $1 a case, but were actually purchased for $34.87 two years ago. Why’s all this happening? If supplies sit for more than a year they’re either a) tossed out or b) auctioned off.

Fake dentist allegedly pulls five teeth from woman. Erika Martinez turned to a procedure in her living room after a clinic said they’d charge her $9,000 to fix her teeth. Mario Alberto Sabillon-Mejia posed as a dentist and quoted her $1500 for the procedure. She paid him $500 up front. He and his assistant were arrested on Wednesday and he posted $3500 bail yesterday.

Sex offenders attend a conference at the Magnolia. Cameras were, for the first time, allowed at a conference where around 100 sex offenders from around the country met up to talk about reforming sex offender laws and “advocate for change.”

Mavs take Justin Anderson in the first round. Yesterday in the first round of the NBA draft, the team took the junior from University of Virginia. “Justin is a unique kid,” Carlisle said. “He’s a three-year guy. He’s gotten better each year. He’s gotten stronger and we feel he can play either the two or the three. He has an NBA body, one of the strongest kids in the draft, positionally. And he’s in a good position coming here. We have to fill roster spots. We need to get younger. He makes a lot of sense for us.”

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Leading Off (6/25/15)

School Board Wants New DISD Superintendent As Soon As Possible. I’d like to dunk a basketball in traffic with two hands but we don’t always get what we want. New board president Eric Cowan said he’d like a new supe by the beginning of the school year. Dan Micciche said he’d like one in four months. Good luck. The piece I linked to also hilariously contains a quote from John Wiley Price regarding public officials not meddling (!). Yes, that John Wiley Price.

NBA Draft Is Tonight. Excited to see what kind of project the Mavs reach for too early and ultimately don’t play/trade quickly! (Seriously, everything about UCLA’s Kevon Looney suggests a slightly taller Draymond Green, so make that happen, Donnie and Cubes.)

Dallas NAACP To Meet About Confederate Landmarks. Arthur Fleming, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, says they will talk about which ones in North Texas they will push to have removed. “If we are going to move forward in America, as Americans, we have to let go of those symbols,” Fleming said. “They can keep the symbols. They can take them to a house or put them in a museum.” On the other hand: Gay Donnell of the Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy, which oversees a large statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, says not so fast. “People can learn from it and apply it to race relations today, states’ rights today, local control today. That’s good,” she said. Riiiiight, Gay Donnell. States’ rights.

Sex Offenders Meet In Dallas. Who says we can’t get convention business? ATTABOY, Philip Jones.

“Group Petitioning For Alcohol Election To Make Frisco Completely Wet.” Is the headline to this story.

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Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want to Talk About.’

Given the current move to eliminate all things Confederate, isn’t it just a matter of time before the history rewriters set their sights on Six Flags Over Texas? After all, the flag of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865) is one of six referenced by the theme park name. While the CSA flag is not the “battle flag” that’s under fire these days, even statues and other memorials associated with the Confederacy have become prime targets for eradication recently.

“At one time, the park had a themed section called The Confederacy, and the Confederate Battle Flag was used as part of the theming and a civil war re-enactment,” says Six Flags spokeswoman Sharon Parker. “The name of that section of the park was changed to The Old South in the mid-1990s and all Confederate Battle Flags were removed. Six Flags Over Texas continues to fly the Confederate States of America Flag, but does not fly or sell any variation of the Confederate Battle Flag.”

Chances are, that explanation won’t cut it with the rewrite crowd. So get ready for, “Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want To Talk About.’ “

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