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A Few Words About the Flooding in My Neck of East Dallas

Last night, my slumber did not go so sweetly. I’m sure many of you experienced a version of what transpired in my house. Every 20 minutes or so, I was startled awake by either a crack of thunder or my damn phone buzzing with a flood warning. Throw a dog and a young daughter into the mix, and I did not exactly spring out of bed this morning with enthusiasm, ready to have a #blessed day.

One of the first things I did was brush my teeth. You need to know this about me.

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The Truth Is, No One Knows If A Trinity Road Would Flood

We’ve pointed out, at various times on this blog and on last week’s EarBurner podcast (check it out!), that world-weary DMN editorial writer Rodger Jones had gotten pretty smarmy about the rising Trinity. He said, with tons of certainty, that any road built between the levees of the Trinity would not flood.

But he can’t be certain, because no one can be certain, because no one actually knows how high a road down there would be. Jim Schutze has a great piece on this at the former Unfair Park.

UPDATE: That link above won’t take you anywhere anymore. Go here instead to see Schutze’s replacement, where, according to information from the Corps of Engineers, it looks like the road would be underwater. UH-OH.

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Podcast: That Sports Girl, Gina Miller, Talks Josh Hamilton And Building Her Own Media Empire

Thursday afternoon former CBS 11/TXA 21 sports reporter Gina Miller — now proprietor of Gina Miller Media and Gina Miller’s Blog —  stopped by the Old Monk to talk about Josh Hamilton’s return, her new life as a lifestyle blogger, and why she was forced to endure years of living in Houston during the 1990s.

Also whom does Tim force Gina to call and confess her undying love for in the middle of the show? You’ll have to listen to find out.

First, a few clarifications and audio-visual aids for the episode:

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Leading Off (5/29/15): Floods Submerge Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Under Water. Over night a huge, slow-moving storm dumped heavy rain across DFW, officially making this the wettest May on record in these parts. The previous high mark was 13.66 inches, and we’re likely still not done for the month. Don’t try to drive through flooded roads.

Much more, and other news, after the jump…

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Leading Off (5/28/15)

Coppell Middle Schooler Advances To Semifinals of Scripps National Spelling Bee. Seventh-grader Smrithi Upadhyayula will face off against 48 others this morning.

Man Posing As Doctor Arrested After Crashing Stolen Ambulance. Whenever I see a story like this, I wonder if we have just bitten off a tiny piece of a larger story, like this guy is the main character in a version of The Transporter or Crank or really any Jason Statham vehicle. But then I read to the end and see he’s been arrested for posing as a firefighter and think I probably just need to get more sleep.

Josh Hamilton Gets First Hit Since Returning To Rangers. And then gets thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Antlers!

Dallas City Council Approves Body Camera Purchase For Dallas PD. It will provide funds for 1,000 cameras — or one for less than a third of the officers — over the next five years.

Monte Anderson Sells Belmont Hotel. The area around Sylvan and Fort Worth is booming now, but there wasn’t much of anything when Anderson opened the Belmont more than a decade ago. The hotel was essentially a flop house. I remember going by there looking for a couple of dope fiends when I was working on a story for the Observer. It sounds like the new owners will build on what Anderson started. It also sounds like Anderson — rightly, I might add — is still pretty ticked that the city let Sylvan Thirty block the Belmont’s view of downtown.

SNAKES! All this rain is driving snakes out into the open and into people’s homes. True story: My dad is deathly afraid of snakes. Once, when I was about 9 or 10, we spotted a little garter snake in the foyer of our house. A foot long, at the most. My dad freaked out, went out the back door, came back with a garden hoe, chopped that garter snake into about 20 pieces, and then handed me the hoe and told me to clean it up. Then he went and laid down in the dark for, like, an hour. My point is, my dad can be kind of a jerk.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Lightning Round Via the Twitterverse

It’s been brought to my attention that a fair number of you, dear readers, are too lazy to type out an electronic missive and push a button to send it to me at Even though I have a well-established track record of solving your problems — bringing hope and joy and irresistible animal magnetism to the most troubled of souls — some refuse to seek my help.

Go where the people are, the editors of this web blog have repeatedly enjoined. And so I finally had no choice but to accede to their wishes. Yesterday, shortly after 3 p.m., I took command of the @DMagazine Twitter handle to offer up insights in bite-size portions. Since it is exceedingly difficult to limit my wisdom to 140-character chunks, I’m offering bonus contest below, in this sampling of what transpired:

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Leading Off (5/27/2015)

17-Year-Old Charged With Strangling 16-Year-Old Ex-Girlfriend. Rachel Jean Wiest was in 10th grade; Jacob Lee Boyd was in 11th. They both attended Nimitz High School in Irving. They were at a friend’s house on Memorial Day, discussing their relationship. They argued. After that, police say, he choked her to death.

Runway at DFW Airport Reopened After Nearby Sinkhole Causes Shutdown. I really thought, after reading so many Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books as a kid, that quicksand was going to play a much larger role in my life than it has thus far. News of this 25-foot by 25-foot sinkhole out at DFW Airport, created after a section of storm drain dislodged, is about the closest I’ve gotten.

Body of Trinity River Kayaker Found In Discharge Pool. Joshua Reed of Fort Worth, along with five others, was kayaking in a restricted area Saturday evening when water released from the Eagle Mountain Dam overtook their vessels. The five others, which included a 6-year-old girl, were eventually rescued; Reed was found dead Sunday.

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Law Man Walking: Nature Treks With Bill Holston

Last weekend, my hiking buddies Ben Sandifer, Scott Hudson, and I decided to go hiking in the Great Trinity Forest. The rains over the last week have thankfully delivered us from drought for the time being. According to the incomparable Robert Wilonsky, “[I]n just five months, the city has topped the total rainfall for all of 2014. Last year, 21.32 inches of rain fell in the area. So far in 2015, 26.12 inches have been recorded.” The impact on us was we needed to find a place to hike where we could walk and not swim.

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New Buildings Vs. Old Buildings: The Battle for Downtown

I’m sure you remember a couple months ago when a few of Dallas’ oldest buildings downtown were demolished. After the community’s outcry about the buildings’ demise, the Downtown Historic Preservation Historic Task Force was created to prevent such events from happening again. Though we never heard from Tim Headington about why his company tore the buildings down, we did know what would replace them: high-end boutique Forty Five Ten.

I’ve been hearing about the plans for the new building for a couple weeks but was unable to get my hands on anything concrete. On Friday, Robert Wilonsky did what I was unable to do, and we finally got our first look at the plans. There’s a motor court in the back, disengaging with Elm. The fence around Tony Tasset’s Eye is still standing. And Headington Company is asking for $916,000 in TIF to do the project.


But what I’d like to talk about is how tall and how close to the Wilson this building is going to be.

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Leading Off (5/26/15)

It Has Stopped Raining — For Now. Even USA Today is writing about the rain and the swollen Trinity River. And a DeSoto boy and his dog were found dead in a storm drain. Today looks to be dry, but more rain is on its way tonight.

Man Firebombs Uptown Dickey’s. Seems a panhandler didn’t like being told to move along and sought revenge on the barbecue joint.

Amber Alert for 9-Year-Old Benbrook Girl. Police are looking for Jessie Nicholas Williams, 24, of Arlington. He is suspected of kidnapping of his niece Caitlyn Elizabeth Williams.

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Leading Off (5/25/2015)

We Live In Seattle Now. The weekend was marked by heavy rain and more flooding. Meanwhile, two tornadoes were confirmed in Dallas County early Sunday morning, one that moved into Farmers Branch, and another in Irving.

Theatre Three Founder Jac Alder Has Died. Our former critic, Lindsey Wilson, and I heard the news Friday evening just shortly before walking into the New Works Festival’s main stage show at Kitchen Dog. It’s an enormous loss for the theater community.He died of respiratory failure, but had been battling cancer. Over on Art & Seek, Jerome Weeks has a thorough tribute to Alder’s life and work.

Frackquake Investigators Receive Oil And Gas Funds. In this next round of budget votes, lawmakers will probably appoint the Bureau of Economic Geology as the official investigating body tasked with researching the recent rash of Texas earthquakes. According to the News, the Bureau of Economic Geology gets “roughly half its funding from the oil and gas industry.” Okay, sure. No problem.

It’s Memorial Day. Our headquarters are closed in observance of the holiday honoring the men and women of our armed forces who died in service. Have fun, be safe.

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Podcast: Carpetbagger Joe Tone of the Denver-Based Dallas Observer Talks About His Horsies-and-Drugs Book

Lame duck Dallas Observer editor Joe Tone stopped by the Old Monk yesterday afternoon to discuss his book deal and what the future holds for the alt-weekly newspaper he’s abandoning. Plus, he and Tim play an excruciating new game, and Eric Celeste makes a cameo appearance.

What else you need to know this week:

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