Find a back issue

Dallas-Fort Worth Has the Worst Income Inequality by Neighborhood in the U.S.

Governing reports on a new Urban Institute report that looks at how income inequality affects neighborhoods. In short, the report demonstrates that between 1990 and 2010, wealthier neighborhoods have become wealthier, while poorer neighborhoods have become poorer, further exaggerating levels of income inequality between neighborhoods across U.S. metro areas. And the region that leads the way in this trend towards increasing neighborhood income inequality is Dallas (or, more accurately, DFW). Via Governing:

The analysis examined inequality within commuting zones, or large regions of several counties that resemble metropolitan areas. Of all commuting zones with at least 250,000 residents, those with the largest neighborhood disparities were Dallas, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

The Dallas commuting zone, home to about 3.7 million residents, had the highest degree of neighborhood inequality of any area reviewed. The Urban Institute’s Rolf Pendall, who wrote the report, attributed this to the area’s extremely low average wages for poor communities, along with a regional education system that trails other parts of the country.

There are a few interesting takeaways from the study.

Full Story

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.

Full Story

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:

Full Story

The Link Between Failed Housing Policies and Segregation in Texas

Just before summer, the Dallas City Plan Commission discussed a new affordable housing policy. The idea was relatively simple. When a developer comes to the city and asks it to change the zoning on a piece of property, he or she is essentially asking the city to make the land more valuable. In exchange for that value, the city would ask a developer to ensure that the property will include units accessible for people with a variety of incomes.

The assumption is that it is a good thing to have neighborhoods and buildings with mixed incomes, but the proposal was, understandably, very unpopular with real estate community. The plan commission voted overwhelmingly against it.

Why would it be in the city’s best interest to want more mixed-income neighborhoods?

Full Story

Leading Off (6/24/15)

Police Call Missing Hurst Woman’s Disappearance “Suspicious.” Norma Shultz, 72, went missing on May 19. Her husband reported her absence to the police nearly a week later. Shultz’s daughter says her stepfather hasn’t been able to answer any of her questions. Police say they haven’t received any tips.

Lots of Thoughts of the Resignation of Mike Miles. A few places have timelines of the three years Miles has been in charge of DISD. Here’s an editorial lauding his accomplishments. And also, in the same publication, Steve Blow saying Miles was never a good fit in the first place.

Local News Outlet Finds Local Store Selling Confederate Flags. Even after Walmart and Amazon announced that they will stop selling Confederate merchandise, and Sears announced both that it still exists and that it will stop selling Confederate stuff, WFAA found a Dallas store that is still selling the Confederate flag. The place that has the nerve to sell this incredibly controversial flag is — get this — a flag store.

Rain Brings Out Alligators and Snakes. There are also more nutria and turtles. Deer too, apparently. Most of the sightings have been in Lewisville or in Tarrant County.

Mavericks Might Trade Monta Ellis. The incredibly dynamic shooting guard is owed $8.7 million for the one year remaining on his contract. It’s also possible that Ellis will opt out and test the free market. The Mavs have made it clear they have big plans for the off-season.

Full Story

Dwaine Caraway Officially Announces Run For County Commissioner

“I went to Mayweather fight and I didn’t get all this,” the man next to me leaned over and said, laughing, as a high school drum line led out the man of the hour, Dwaine Caraway, who represented District 4 on the Dallas City Council until yesterday. There was more to come. After Caraway finished his short announcement that he was officially entering the race for county commissioner — he didn’t prepare a speech, he said, because he was speaking from the heart — a mariachi band in the corner fired up.

Before Caraway was called to the stage, the MC said that he thought “Dwaine should have been a boxer — because he’s had to fight for everything he’s got.” And he’ll have to fight for this: embattled county commissioner John Wiley Price, whose spot Caraway is after, made it clear earlier today he’s not looking to give up so easy.

No one really expected Caraway to stay away from public office for long, so the announcement by “the most trill councilman ever” was not a surprise.

Full Story

Adam McGough Returned Citizens Council Cash After Changing Positions on Trinity Toll Road

Over on the Lake Highlands Advocate, Sam Gillespie deep dives newly sworn-in Lake Highlands council member Adam McGough’s road to victory in the run-off earlier this month. His election day began at 5:30 a.m., Gillespie reports, with McGough planting signs at voting locations because during the general election signs placed the night before disappeared by morning. The day ended with a victory party that featured quite the local political motley crew, including Jerry Allen, Bill Blaydes, Angela Hunt, James White and Mayor Mike Rawlings. Here’s the most interesting bit. When McGough swapped positions on the Trinity, he had to give back some skrilla:

How did it happen? The current conventional wisdom is that James White’s endorsement made the difference. Yes, McGough got White’s endorsement but he got some shoe leather to go along with it. “James’ people organized walks on my behalf in their neighborhoods, “ said McGough, “ His work for me wasn’t expected but it was very much appreciated.”

White’s endorsement came from McGough’s reconsideration of a toll road inside the Trinity levee. McGough accepted White’s endorsement but sent back the contribution from the Dallas Citizen’s Council they demanded be returned after he changed positions.

 

Full Story

Leading Off (6/19/15)

Lake Grapevine Flooding May Force Evacuations. Leaders in Grapevine, Flower Mound, and Coppell have warned some residents they may need to leave their homes as the overflowing lake is expected to crest at more than 563 feet tonight. Part of FM 2499 was shut down yesterday as water had spilled over into Denton Creek, which rose to cover portions of the road near Grapevine Mills Mall.

TCU Advances in College World Series. The Horned Frogs topped LSU for the second time, by a score of 8-4, on Thursday. But they’ll have to beat defending champ Vanderbilt — a team they lost to earlier in the double-elimination tournament — twice to advance to the best-of-3 finals. They play tonight at 7 p.m. in Omaha.

Lake Dallas Ousts Muckraking Councilwoman. Some shady goings-on in the small town north of Lewisville Lake this week. Julie Matthews had won election to the Lake Dallas City Council with 69 percent of the vote and only took her seat on June 11. Previously she’d operated a Facebook page on which she’d posted documents about Mayor Anthony Marino’s firing from Lewisville ISD for having been involved in the harassment of a gay student, images of him using city dumpsters to get rid of his own commercial waste, and a video of him drunkenly wielding a weapon at a banquet. Matthews had also complained that Nick Ristagno is in violation of state law by serving as both the city manager and police chief. So, based on what sounds like transparently thin charges, Marino and the three other members of the council voted to remove Matthews from her position.

Tennell Atkins Guilty of Assault. The soon-to-be former Dallas city councilman must pay a $166 fine for what he did to a city employee who wouldn’t let him into City Hall through a secured door last December.

Former UNT-Dallas President Owes Child Support. John Ellis Price quit as the head of the school in summer 2013 after reports of inappropriate relationships with employees. But he had still been teaching accounting classes at the school — at a salary of $191,000 a year — since then. On Thursday he resigned from that post as well, following news of a lawsuit against him by a 33-year-old former UNT student. Price is 63 and the father of a son the woman gave birth to in 2008.

Don’t Go to Oklahoma City. Maybe good advice at any time <rimshot>, but especially today as a 4-mile stretch of northbound Interstate 35 between Ardmore and Davis in Oklahoma has been shut down while officials try to figure out what to do about boulders that collapsed off a hillside onto the highway following the heavy rains of Tropical Storm Bill.

Rangers Lose on Balk-Off. Is the balk the lamest rule in sports? Discuss.

Full Story

Who Should Star In Dallas Ebola Movie?

Apparently, Bryan Burrough’s Vanity Fair piece on the Dallas Ebola crisis has been optioned for a movie. Naturally, it’s time to speculate on casting. I haven’t had a lot of time to think about this, so this is off the top of my head, but probably insanely insightful and spot-on, as usual. For county commissioner Clay Jenkins, I’d say this photo of the original Alfafa from the Little Rascals gang; we’ll find a voice soon.

Rawlings is actually pretty easy: a Travolta-esque comeback role for the autopilot from Airplane!

Airplane-autopilot

Full Story

How Dallas Played a Starring Role in Jeb Bush’s ‘Disjointed’ Presidential Campaign

For many months, the main strategy of Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush was to pile up so much loot from donors—the initial prediction was for $100 million in 180 days—that potential rivals would run away from the race with their tails between their legs. As a result of the big-money ploy, the thinking went, W’s brother would be seen as the inevitable nominee. (Among Jeb’s local supporters is oil-and-gas billionaire Trevor Rees-Jones, who serves on Bush’s Texas Leadership Committee.) But now, for a variety of reasons, Jeb’s grand plan really hasn’t worked out. And, according to this story in the Washington Post, it all began to unravel inside a Hyatt hotel at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Full Story

Leading Off (6/10/15)

Eric Casebolt Resigns From McKinney Police Department. The entire resignation consisted of two words: “I resign.” The 10-year veteran of the department will keep his pension and benefits, but could still face criminal charges. McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley said yesterday that Casebolt was “out of control” on Friday night. Charges against the only person arrested at the party have been dropped. Plenty of people are pleased. Others are disappointed the officer didn’t apologize. And some, who think of Casebolt as a hero, are disappointed he resigned at all. (If you haven’t seen this yet, here is a former police officer explaining what Casebolt did wrong, and the difference between “warriors” and “guardians.”)

Four Dallas Officers on Leave After Suspect Dies. On Monday, four officers responded to calls that 25-year-old Ross Anthony was banging on car windows and running through traffic. One officer used a Taser. Police say paramedics at the scene provided Anthony immediate medical attention. He was eventually taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Probably not the last we’ll hear about this.

An Adoption Decades in the Making. This is a nice story. A 92-year-old Dallas mom officially adopted the 76-year-old woman she’s thought of as her daughter for more than 60 years. “I wanted her to be mine,” said Muriel Clayton. “And she is!”

The Texas Rangers Are Good. Yesterday the Rangers visited former manager Ron Washington in Oakland and won 2-1, moving their record to 31-27. The team is in second place in the AL West, two games behind the Astros. Also, Juan Gonzalez and Jeff Russell are headed to the club’s Hall of Fame.

Full Story

New Podcast: A Meaty Discussion With Chef Brian Luscher of the Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots

This week’s EarBurner guest is chef Brian Luscher of the Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots. At the Old Monk on Thursday he talked about his Deep Ellum hot dog joint (which also boasts one of the 20 best burgers in Dallas) and why the city’s business-friendliness doesn’t necessarily extend to small-scale operators. There’s also Chicago-accented talk of Joey Gallo’s recent heroics for the Texas Rangers and the end of the 5-cent bag fee.

Now to some corrections and notes to help you better enjoy the listening experience:

Full Story

Ask John Neely Bryan: Which Book Should We Force Dallas Schoolkids to Read Next?

Question: What should be the Big D Reads 2016 book? — Krista N.

Firstly, I am compelled as a man of conscience to challenge the premise of your question. I’m not at all convinced that it is proper to encourage the unwashed masses towards literary interests. Consider: we spend untold billions of public dollars teaching children to translate ancient Roman symbols into the familiar phonemes of modern English vernacular only to see dreck like this elevated to the top of best-seller lists:

Full Story

Leading Off (6/1/15)

Lake Lewisville Goes Over 100 Year Flood Mark. The lake is now 537 feet deep above sea level, and despite the sun yesterday, waters continue to rise. The state should be getting some federal storm aid soon, but that’s complicated.

DISD Dismisses 85 Employees. This is an awkwardly self-promotional story from WFAA, but the bottom line seems to be: 85 district employees were let go because of a $10 million budget mistake I don’t completely understand.

Allen ISD’s Stadium Will Reopen for Graduation. You’ll recall that, a few years ago, the district spent $60 million to build a nice new football stadium. (Tim forced me to sneak into the luxury suite when it opened.) Then the stadium had to close for $10 million-plus in new repairs. Well, this Friday the gates will open once again.

Josh Hamilton Is Incredible. There’s no way of knowing why exactly the Angels decided to send Hamilton back to the Rangers, a division rival, while also paying most of his very expensive salary. But we’re glad they did. This weekend, in his first home series back with the good guys, he had one multi-homerun game, and one game-winning, walk-off pinch hit. The moment was so exciting, a few players doused an unsuspecting reporter with Gatorade.

Full Story