Leading Off (4/24/14)

Mavericks, Stars, and Rangers Sweep a Busy Sports Night. You get a win, and you get a win, and you get a win. EVERYONE GETS WINS.

Proposed Pay Raise For City Council Not High Enough. The proposal by the Charter Review Commission would increase their pay from $37,500 to $49,530. Which won’t do much to attract a broader group of candidates to the Council. Like working parents, for instance. “With few exceptions, council members are either empty-nesters or childless weirdos,” said Philip Kingston, in a quote I unfairly truncated.

DPD’s First Female Helicopter Pilot Retires. Good job, Libby Cotner.

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Gag Order Against Barrett Brown Lifted

From the Free Barrett Brown organization comes the following good news:

Today District Court Judge Sam Lindsay issued an order unsealing documents and vacating the September 4, 2013, gag order in USA v. Barrett Brown. A veil of unnecessary secrecy that loomed over this case has finally been lifted. Here are some critical previously sealed documents: Plea agreement; Factual resume; Government’s opposition to motion to dismiss (CR-317); Government’s opposition to motion to dismiss (CR-030).

What’s this mean? It means that the next time Barrett needs to know whether a famous person is alive or dead, he can call a journalist to have him google it for him.

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Nikki Koenig Is a Sexy Vegan Next Door

As Zac will attest, I like to point out when vegetarian options exist. So here’s one: Nikki Koenig, a local lady, is a finalist in PETA’s annual Sexiest Vegan Next Door contest. I say bully on her. But I also say, with all due respect to Nikki, that her rivals Katarina and Kenna are wearing less clothes in their profile pictures, which gives us voters more information to work with in assessing their sexiness, if not their next-door-ness. Anyway, here’s a little about Nikki:

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Gene Street in Vietnam

By his own account — writing in D Magazine in 2010 — Gene Street only ever had one great idea. He rode the chicken-fried steak and the casual dining pioneer it spawned (The Black-Eyed Pea) to making a fortune with a restaurant empire (Consolidated Restaurant Operations, owners of Cantina Laredo, Good Eats, and III Forks, among others).

So of course it makes sense that when he trekked to Vietnam years later he’d barge into kitchens in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, frying whatever meat he found. The chicken-fried monkey was OK. The dog came out better.

Street wrote about his Asian adventures in the November 2002 issue of D. It’s one of the 40 greatest we’ve ever published.

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Former Dallas City Councilman Dave Neumann Did Not Get a Parking Ticket Today, and Likely Never Will

In May 2011, Scott Griggs unseated Dave Neumann for the District 3 slot on the Dallas City Council. Today, Dave Neumann left a downtown event, hopped into a car on Lamar Street, pulled a quick U-turn, and headed off.

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The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: It Turns Out That Gerald Ford Is Dead

I’m in the odd but not unpleasant position of regularly receiving in the mail books ordered for me by strangers whose identities I often have no way of ascertaining. This has added a degree of intrigue to my life. I wish I knew, for instance, who keeps sending me black militant literature so that I could express my thanks, or figure out who’s trying to set me up, or whatever. I’m kidding, of course, but at least one of these books, Soledad Brother, turns out to be on the list of proscribed material that on some U.S. prison compounds constitutes procedural evidence of involvement in the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang, which in turn can lead to indefinite solitary confinement (I happen to know this only because I was recently contacted by Shane Bauer, the journalist who did his own stretch of solitary in an Iranian prison a couple of years back while awaiting trial on trumped-up espionage charges; upon his return, he did a fine piece for Mother Jones on the excessive manner in which solitary is used here in the United States, a copy of which he kindly sent me and which I believe can be read online as well).

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Leading Off (4/22/14)

Stars Beat Ducks 3-0. Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas broke his leg in the game — just as he did in last time he played here, when he was still with the Stars. Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves for the Stars. Rick Gosselin says he’s a “very hot goalie.” But just a take a minute to think about this: if Hope Solo played hockey, and if she stopped 37 shots, would Gosselin call her a “very hot goalie”? We shouldn’t tolerate sexism in any form.

Stanley Korshak Expands. Bet you didn’t know that Stanley Korshak is the nation’s largest-volume privately owned specialty retailer that is housed in one building. It’s true. And now the store is growing in response to Uptown’s swell demographics. Says Crawford Brock, Korshak’s owner: “McKinney Avenue and Cedar Springs around us are like New Orleans at night.” Also true. And all those carousing kids are going to want to buy some Ferragamos after drinking hurricanes and doing amyl poppers.

Basketball Explodes, Injures Mom at Six Flags. These things do happen. A reminder that you should never point a loaded basketball at any target you do not intend to destroy.

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Leading Off (4/21/14)

The Mavs Lost: But maybe coulda, shoulda won. Probably too many jelly beans.

Bill Blair Dies: The Booker T. grad and Negro League pitcher was 92. In 1949 he launched Southwest Sports News, a newspaper that specialized in reporting on black college games. The paper was later renamed The Elite News, and focused coverage on Dallas’ black community for decades. Dallas Police Chief David Brown tweeted his condolences, saying “A very bright light is dimmed…rest in peace my friend…and prayers to the family.”

Police Officers Accompany Fort Worth Mayor to Australia, Local I-Team is ON THE CASE: The security detail cost “more than $10,000,” guys, and the CBS I-Team is ON IT. (The Fort Worth city budget for FY2014 is $1.45 billion.)

Boy Shot in Forest Hill: Vague statement about guns, keeping them away from children, and other cliches.

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The Mark Cuban Commercial That Continues To Drive Me Insane

If you watched last night’s Mavs game, then you saw Mark Cuban’s AT&T Uverse Live commercial about 200 times. No exaggeration. I was going to say 4,000 times, but that’s clearly an exaggeration. I’ve written about this over-aired commercial before, wondering why a billionaire would allow a telecommunications company to mock his bald spot in a television commercial. When a commercial airs as frequently as this one does, it’s impossible not to break it down shot by shot, frame by frame. It’s like reindeer and the Sami people of northern Russia and Scandinavia. The Sami have something like 1,000 words for reindeer. You know why? Because the Sami don’t get to watch basketball on TV. They are forced to watch reindeer on TV. As a result, they get really into reindeer. So it is with me and this Mark Cuban commercial.

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American Blogger: The Most Important Film in the History of Cinema, Ever

Chris Wiegand of Dallas is a visionary filmmaker. Don’t take my word for it. Take his word for it. The trailer he posted recently for his new project, American Blogger, describes the deep spiritual apotheosis one is likely to experience upon watching this “beautifully filmed and artistically crafted” film.

Inspired by the blog of his own attractive blonde wife Casey, Chris drove across this great nation of ours, fighting for freedom and meeting with other beautiful female wordsmiths — mavens of fashion, style, and interior design. They’re part of a movement that could, potentially, change our world. Good-looking women will no longer have to put up with being ignored. At long last they have a means for commanding the attention that they deserve but have never received often enough.

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Leading Off (4/17/14)

One Year Later, West Continues To Rebuild. Here is a good look at where everything stands.

Judge Carlos Cortez’s Unsealed Court Documents Include Allegations of Cocaine Use and Sexual Abuse. This report shows you exactly why he fought so hard to keep them sealed for so long. It’s not because they say he’s a “smooth karaoke singer” and a “showboat dancer.”

Mavericks Lose In Overtime; Start Playoffs Sunday Against the Spurs. That was an exhausting game to watch. The Mavs will have their hands full with the Spurs, obviously, since they haven’t beaten them once this season and it hasn’t ever been that close.

Other Sports News: Stars lose first game in playoff series against Ducks; Rangers win another game in walk-off fashion.

Giant Chalk Jesus? Giant Chalk Jesus.

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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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