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Police and Fire Pension Board Stops Seeking Museum Tower Fix

News broke this morning that at its meeting yesterday the board of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System voted to stop looking for a solution to the glare problem that has caused damage to the neighboring Nasher Sculpture Center:

“The DPFP Board has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the members of the pension system and to provide long term benefits for the Police and Fire Fighters that have served the City of Dallas,” says Dallas City Council member Lee Kleinman via email Friday morning. Kleinman is one of four council members of the fund’s board, along with Kingston, Scott Griggs and newcomer Erik Wilson. “At yesterday’s Board meeting a motion was made to discontinue efforts to seek a resolution. Despite my advocacy to continue, other Board Members believe it is prudent to provide certainty. Except for my vote, the Board stood unanimous. While this outcome is personally disappointing, I must applaud the efforts and sincere dialogue of all stakeholders in this process.”

Griggs wasn’t at yesterday’s meeting, and Kingston, who worked behind the scenes to resolve the issue and come up with a fix, had to leave before the vote was taken due to a prior obligation. Wilson voted for the resolution to kill the deal with Hines.

Back in May, it looked like the building was closing in on a solution, but guess that didn’t work.

It doesn’t seem like Museum Tower is on the right side of this fight, so I can understand the disappointment of those seeking to protect the Nasher. However, just having read about this, I happened upon a post by Rudolph Bush on the DMN‘s editorial blog that put me in a Jim Schutze-ish frame of mind — that maybe this dispute is just a fight among the rich people over the protection of rich people’s things.

That’s probably an overreaction, but Bush does remind us there are far more important issues for our city to confront:

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Leading Off (8/28/15)

Dallas Police Chief Defends Use of Deadly Force. DPD officers fatally shot a man suspected in a robbery near Fair Park on Thursday afternoon. Top cop David Brown says the measure was a “last resort” after attempts to subdue him with Tasers failed. The suspect had a box cutter, though witnesses differed in their accounts of whether he was holding any weapons as he struggled with police.

Hinojosa Appears on Track to Get Super’s Job. Dallas ISD board members say they are pleased with the work of once-and-interim district superintendent Michael Hinojosa. Though they won’t indicate whether he’s the lead candidate to win back the job that was once his on a permanent basis, it’s looking like that might well be the case.

Ken Paxton Needs a New Lawyer. The Texas attorney general pled not guilty yesterday in a Fort Worth courtroom to the securities fraud charges that he’s facing. Afterward, his lawyer quit on him, with some wondering if the change in representation is part of a legal strategy.

Man Who Committed Suicide at D/FW Hyatt Faced Theft Charges. Eugene Dickey, who jumped to his death from a ninth-floor balcony at the airport hotel on Tuesday night allegedly had stolen $1.6 million from the Texas Educational Theater Association, of which he was treasurer.

Ask John Neely Bryan: A Post-Modern Logo For the City of Dallas

Question: How do you feel about this new logo for your city? Sure, it looks a lot like Plano’s starry P, and Arlington has a star shoved up their A too. But, looking at some of the others, what do they say to people? Irving has horses, Desoto’s eagle is proof of their All-American-ness. Richardson, well, people all over Richardson are trying to figure theirs out. The winner in my book is Addison, which with its jaunty logo, really spells “Party!” What is your opinion on this move? Are we turning into a regional star like Plano and Arlington? Should we keep the branch of nature in our D? Do we need more marketing? And if you have a recipe of two from the 1800’s, I’d love to discuss. — Amy S.

If only the current municipal governance of Dallas had the same wisdom and fortitude of character that you have demonstrated with your query, dear reader, I might could have spared them the wasted time involved in consulting those ne’er-do-wells who prattle on around the old horseshoe each week as to the possibility and probability of replacing the current city logo (the one which comes garnished by a side of parsley) with the star-emblazoned iconography devised by the Convention & Visitors Politburo.

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Leading Off (8/26/15)

Why Hasn’t the Sheriff’s Department Released Tape of Jail Death?
It never ever looks good when someone dies in police custody, and the moment is captured on camera, and the police don’t swiftly release the video. It always looks like a cover-up. A combination of sympathetic strangers and Joseph Hutchinson’s family are asking Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez why they still haven’t seen video of Hutchinson’s death — after he ran into the jail asking officers for help — despite the fact that it was reportedly caught on seven cameras.

Home Prices Went Up, Again. This time it was 8.2 percent in June. Only Denver and San Francisco had bigger numbers. Luckily, all markets are always stable all the time.

Orlando Scandrick Might Be Out for the Season. He’s been the best defensive back the Cowboys have had over the last few seasons. Yesterday in practice he planted, heard a pop, then fell to the ground screaming that he’d torn his ACL. Not good. Let’s hope he feels better soon, too.

Are There Any Good Reasons Left for Susan Hawk Not to Resign?

UPDATE: Clearly as a result of reading my post, Susan Hawk did the sensible thing a couple of hours later and released a statement clearing up the whole DA goes AWOL situation. She is taking a four week leave of absence to battle a “serious episode of depression.”

I’m going to piggy back on Jason’s poll today and extend the question about Susan Hawk with a request for feedback in the comments. I’m really curious to hear what you think about this. I’ve been following the Susan Hawk regime like everyone else, and at this point, I’m left wondering if she has any reasons left not to resign her post as Dallas County District Attorney. Here’s the situation as I see it.

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Visualizing Poverty Growth In Dallas

Before we head into the weekend, I thought I’d jump back into the fray after some time away from the office with a really depressing post about poverty growth in Dallas. Shall we?

I don’t have new information for you, just a new way of looking at it. The data comes from a report from 2014 put out by cityobservatory.org which looked at population change in the nation’s poorest urban neighborhoods and argued that the most pressing problem confronting our cities is not gentrification, but rather the concentration of poverty. This concentration of poverty is illustrated in a map I pointed to back in July that showed income inequality broken down by neighborhood. But now we have a new set of nifty maps by designer Justin Palmer that presents the issue in bleak, ominous tones.

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Leading Off (8/14/15)

Police and Fire Pension Fund Faces FBI Inquiry. More precisely, Brett Shipp of WFAA reported that G-Men have “made contact with” members of the organization’s board and staff, but he’s doesn’t know the nature of the investigation.

DART, Dallas Weigh 2nd Downtown Line. A decision is expected soon about the city’s and transit agency’s preferred second downtown light-rail route. Ten options remain under consideration, with all of those running to, or near, the existing Convention Center station. Cost of construction could run between $493 million and $1.1 billion, depending on which route it chosen. Recently, over on StreetSmart, Patrick Kennedy indicated his preference for Alternative 3C, though he’s also sympathetic to those who wish the city was ready to put a subway below Commerce Street.

Cowboys Drop Preseason Opener. The San Diego Chargers defeated Dallas in the first official practice game of the new season, by a score of 17-7. I’m sure the city’s call-in sports radio hosts and guests are being cautious and measured in their responses to the meaningless outcome.

Dallas Ranks High For Cop-INduced Fatalities. That’s according to a Chicago-based group that looked at data for the years 2010-2014 and concluded that only the cities of Phoenix and Philadelphia saw more deaths per capita at the hands of police during that period. Dallas officers shot and killed 34 people, which translates to 2.7 fatal shootings for every 100,000 people.

Family Erects SignS In Clash With Neighbor. A Farmers Branch family and the man who lives next door have clashed over barking dogs. So much so that the family is ready to get out. They’ve placed signs in their front and back yards announcing why:

Will their tactic work in this seller's market?  (still: CBS DFW) Will their tactic work in this seller’s market? (still: CBS DFW)

Day Care Leaves Boy at AT&T Stadium. The 5-year-old was found wandering alone on the field at the House That Jerry Built after a special “Kids Day” event. His mother retrieved him from Arlington Police hours after Jeanette’s Little Haven Christian Academy misplaced him.

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Leading Off (8/13/15)

Dallas Love Field Vendors Win Right to Raise Prices by 10%. All you Love Field lovers, listen up. The airport is about to get pricier, and I don’t mean the cost of flights. Dallas City Council members signed off yesterday to let airport vendors — who agree to pay employees a minimum of $10.37/hour — raise prices by 10%. The issue was raised after certain vendors said they were struggling to make a profit. Other vendors, however, said there are many more passengers passing through Love Field as a result of the repeal of the Wright Amendment, and they’re doing just fine. Mayor Mike Rawlings was one of the opposing voters. Which side was more correct? We may never know.

7-Story Rolex Building Comes to Uptown. Harwood International broke ground Tuesday on a 136,857-square-foot building for Rolex at Moody Street and Harry Hines. This is not the first partnership for the two companies. Thirty years ago, Rolex and Harwood International built the first office in Uptown Dallas. The in-progress building brings something new to Uptown in that it will be architecturally unique and will feature gardens that has not yet been done elsewhere in the city. But, you’ll have to wait a while to see the project come to fruition as the building will open next year. This is a part of a continued Uptown resurgence, also evidenced by the opening of the new Whole Foods Market on Mckinney Avenue yesterday. All this boom in Uptown is great — but as more and more buildings shoot up, so will prices.

DFW’s First All-Recliner Movie Theater Opens. Today, Cinemark opens its first all-recliner movie theater in Roanoke; it will serve Southlake, Keller, Trophy Club, and Roanoke. Every single seat will recline and have adjustable foot rests, so go ahead and get comfortable because watching a movie just got even more relaxing.

Adam McGough Proposes Trinity Parkway Compromise

UPDATE: After taking those hours to digest, the council approved the compromise in the afternoon. So officially their support is for the four-lane park road instead of the traffic reliever. However, since the bench is still being built, and since the amount of money they’re withholding from being spent on a larger tollway is but a pittance compared to the overall cost of that project anyway, it’s far from a guarantee that 3C will never get built.

 

Original post: This morning at the Dallas City Council meeting, freshman Councilman Adam McGough made a motion that the council declare that none of the remaining $47.7 million from the 1998 Trinity Lakes and Trinity Parkway bond be used to fund any road through the park of greater size than the four-lane meandering park-access road envisioned in the Beasley Plan.

In other words: let’s kill 3C, the high-speed toll road. (Though the “bench” that could accommodate something like 3C would still be constructed.)

Councilman Philip Kingston called it a great compromise. “I can’t wait to vote in favor of this motion,” he said.

Then Councilman Rick Callahan spoke up, asking that new members respect the ghosts of councils past, not discarding the “25 years of planning” that have gone towards developing 3C as a traffic reliever route.

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Leading Off (8/12/15)

Arlington Officer Fired. Brad Miller, the officer who shot and killed Christian Taylor, was fired yesterday for what the police chief there called “troubling” behavior, which led to “cascading consequences” and ultimately Taylor’s death. Cpl. Dale Wiggins, Miller’s training officer, entered the building after Miller that night and thought, when he heard a pop, that Miller must have been using a Taser. Then this: “Upon hearing the pop, Wiggins deployed his Taser. After Taylor was hit with the Taser, Miller shot the suspect three more times.”

Former Arlington Officer Brad Miller Facing Criminal Investigation Arlington Chief Will Johnson also addressed the community, and he says getting fired may be just the start of Miller’s troubles. Because that’s generally what should happen in cases like this: a criminal investigation. Meanwhile, a lot of people are watching

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Tombstone Is Back in North Texas. It was in a roadside museum in Roscoe, Illinois, which seemed weird. But then I saw some of the other things in that same museum: a Bonnie and Clyde car, the car from Ghostbusters, one of the cars from the National Lampoon’s Vacation series, and the limo that was behind Kennedy’s on the day of the assassination. Whatever. Now the grave marker is back here, “where it belongs.”

Homeowner Shoots Intruder. Kendrick Dickson heard something while he was napping yesterday morning. “I was kind of scared at first,” he said. “I got my 8-month-old little boy here.” Dickson grabbed a rifle and shot the would-be intruder, who left a trail of blood on the way to a nearby convenience store. If there’s a criminal investigation of the shooter here, it probably won’t last long.

Dallas Woman sues Uber and Driver for More than $1 million. The woman who says she was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver a few weeks ago is suing for more than $1 million in medical expenses and damages from Uber, the driver, and the driver’s separate limousine company. The ride-share company says it “mistakenly” issued driver’s privileges to the accused man.

How Good Is Preservation Dallas at Saving Endangered Places?

Stating that “recent events have necessitated its return,” Preservation Dallas is compiling a list of Dallas’ Most Endangered Historic Places for the first time in five years. You’ve got a few days (until Friday) to make a nomination of an important old building that deserves inclusion. They’ll announce their list in September.

There’s nothing binding about this designation by the nonprofit organization, but the hope is that it will draw attention to bits of Dallas’ past that could soon disappear from our landscape. I thought I’d take a look at how well that worked for the last batch of places Preservation Dallas’ stood up for — in 2010.

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Ross Perot Didn’t Cost George H.W. Bush the 1992 Election

Recent statements by GOP operatives — meant to discourage Donald Trump from launching an independent campaign if he fails to take the party’s 2016 presidential nomination — have repeated the claim that Ross Perot’s first presidential bid gave the White House to Bill Clinton.

But according to conservative magazine The American Spectator, the 1992 candidacy of Dallas’ chart-loving billionaire actually saved Bush the Elder from suffering the worst re-election defeat of a Republican president since Franklin Roosevelt cleaned Herbert Hoover’s clock in 1932:

On September 30 — the last day before Perot re-entered the race — Clinton led Bush by an 11-point margin, at 49-38 percent, with Perot taking six percent.

One day later — the day Perot re-entered the race — Clinton’s lead shrank to nine points, 47-38 percent, with Perot nudging up a point to seven percent.

Thirty days later, on November 1 — the last day the survey was fielded — Clinton’s lead had shrunk further, to just four points, at 40-36 percent over Bush, with Perot polling at 19 percent.

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