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Who Really Loses When the Uptown Sam’s Club Construction Starts on Sunday?

This Sunday, the Trammell Crow Company, on behalf of its clients Sam’s Club and the Metropolitan Life Corporation, the primary investor in the project, will blow up old Xerox building just off Central Expressway in order to make way for a big box store right in the heart of the fastest growing, highest tax base, densest area of Dallas.

It is utter madness.

And while I know you have heard the story in some form or fashion, on the eve of destruction, I believe it is worth recounting. There are many  lessons in the sorry tale of Uptown Sam’s, and the story should enrage you—not provoking the kind of idle anger where you throw up your hands and go, “Ah, there’s Dallas, yet again,” but rather provoking the kind of rage that makes you want to run down to city hall with pitchforks in your hands. Let’s get to it.

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Washington Post Goes Deep on the Barrett Brown Sentencing

Orin Kerr is a professor at The George Washington University Law School. He’s an expert on criminal procedure and computer crime law. Today in the Washington Post, he has a 3,100-word piece that breaks down the Barrett Brown sentencing like a fraction. Honestly, if you’re not a lawyer who works in this field, you probably don’t want to read it. Kerr himself makes a joke toward the end of his story about how only three people will read the entire thing. So here’s a taste if you don’t have the time and inclination to tackle the entire plate:

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Leading Off (1/30/15)

Fort Worth Officer Involved in Shooting. The officer is in stable condition after surgery on his abdomen. The suspect, a 40-year-old man with a reported history of mental illness, is dead.

Arlington Swingers Club Shutdown for Zoning Violations. Neighbors say it’s a sexual-oriented business. The city stresses that nobody found any criminal activity, though some of the parties had upwards of 200 guests. The “host” says he isn’t running a business because he only asks for donations ($80 for couples, $20 for single ladies), and he vows to keep “Eutopia” open.

Dallas Woman Convicted of Kidnapping Son. Erica Lonzetta Dominque abducted her son during a fight with the boy’s father, then drove the boy to an embankment and reportedly told him: “This is it for us. … You’re going to have to get killed.” (Side note: Sarah Mervosh is one of the best reporters at the DMN and her coverage of this story is proof. I dare you to read her description of the 6-year-old boy testifying against his mother and not get emotional.)

“Everest” Opera Opens Tonight. It tells the story of the men trapped on the mountain in the famous 1996 climbing disaster, including Beck Weathers, the Dallas man who at one point was left for dead in the blizzard.

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Nominate Your Favorite Librarian for the Librarian of the Year Award

You may have heard of this thing we do called Big D Reads. We try to create a citywide book club. This year, we’re asking everyone to read True Grit in April. We’ve got a whole slew of (free) events for you to attend, and we’re passing out 17,000 copies of the book (12,000 of which will go to ninth graders at Dallas ISD). Even Brad Oldham has gotten in on the program and created these coins for us to pass out.

This program would be impossible without the support of our city’s librarians. Whether with the Dallas Public Library, DISD’s media services, or at hospitals, the librarians are the backbone of our efforts. That’s why we started the Librarian of the Year award. We wanted to honor the unsung heroes of the library systems. If you, like us, believe in the power of a wonderful book and want to thank those who help so many find those books, help people find jobs, offer counsel, and complete a million other tasks, please nominate them now. But, hurry, nominations close tomorrow!

And if you need some inspiration for what to write, check out these nominations (you can read more nominations here):

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Barrett Brown Gets To Keep His Copy of the Declaration of Independence

You’ll recall Barrett Brown’s sentencing last week. As part of his plea deal, he had to forfeit everything the government seized when it raided him. Toward the end of the sentencing, though, Barrett rather cheekily asked if he’d also have to forfeit the copy of the Declaration of Independence that the government took from him. Last week, the court ruled that Barrett would have to do without the document. Yesterday, the court reversed that decision:

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Readers Share Their #HiddenDallas Secrets

The February cover story of D Magazine features “89 secret things to eat, drink, see, and explore in your city.” The package is called “Hidden Dallas,” and I hope by now you’ve had a chance to peruse our staff’s findings.

On Monday we also told you about a little contest we’re holding in conjunction with the issue. We want to hear about the hidden corners of the city that you treasure most. Share them on social media with the hashtag #HiddenDallas before February 28. We’ll pick our favorite, most insightful tip and give a $200 gift card to Marie Gabrielle Restaurant & Gardens in return.

Meanwhile, here’s a sampling of what we’ve received so far:

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Leading Off (1/29/15)

Jesse Ventura Not Pumped About American Sniper. “You can’t have honor if you’re a liar,” Ventura said. “I’m gonna wait for this movie to come out on Netflix. Or Amazon Prime. Maybe Redbox. Do they still have Redbox? Whatever. I’m not seeing it in the theater.”

Five Women Mugged in Dallas Over Three Days! I guess this is news. When the crime rate drops as low it is right now, purse snatchings in parking lots become headlines. We should be grateful.

Irving Needs State Money To Study Quakes. Thus far, a small team of researchers from SMU has been using borrowed equipment to study the temblors. But nobody wants to be the guy who has borrow his neighbors tools every time he has a project around the house. So Irving will probably ask for $300k or so to buy its own.

Highland Park ISD Parent Rails Against School Text. Meg Bakich, a UP mom of five, doesn’t like what they’re reading in HPISD. She told a conservative online talk show, “This English class is really a year-long undermining of American values.” She was referring to a book called The Working Poor: Invisible in America, by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David K. Shipler. Here’s my favorite part about this story. It’s the DMN’s lead paragraph: “A parent challenging the use of a nonfiction book about poverty in Highland Park ISD says it is a ‘socialist, Marxist book’ taught with a political agenda.” Seems a book about poverty in HPISD would be a short book indeed.

Mavs Lose to Rockets. For the second time in three games, the Mavs lost a close game because they couldn’t in-bound the ball late in the game without turning it over. Well, also because Tyson Chandler missed two important free throws. And because the Mavs turned the ball over 24 times. Can you tell this one bugged me?

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Dallas City Council Votes Not To Remove Fluoride From Water Supply

Maybe you’ve gotten tired of commenting on our other fluoride-related posts. Here’s a new one, occasioned by the news that fluorides IS HERE TO STAY (at least for three more years). Only Sheffie Kadane and Adam Medrano voted to get rid of it.

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Get an Adorable Puppy Delivered in Dallas

Listen, I’m the first to fess up that I don’t really care much about the Super Bowl. I usually use those blissful four hours to hit the mall (and if I’m being totally honest by “mall” I mean that I make a mad run on all the leftover cheese samples at Central Market). What I won’t deny is my L-O-V-E for Animal Planet’s pre-game puppy bowl.

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CultureMap Sold to Dallas Company

Houstonia, the city magazine of Houston, is reporting that according to a “source who requested anonymity,” Houston-based CultureMap has been sold (or is in the process of being sold) to a Dallas company called ViewMarket (formerly the Haul Company), which was co-founded by Alexander Muse, Bob Bennett, and Molly Cain. I can confirm this. My source is Alexander Muse. I should also note that Bennett was the publisher of a magazine I edited long, long ago called Spirits & Cocktails. Has ViewMarket bitten off more than it can chew? The coming months ought to provide an answer to that question.

UPDATE (10:21) The Dallas Business Journal reports that the deal hasn’t closed yet. Like I said, though, Muse indicated in an email to me weeks ago that they were buying CultureMap. Too, Bennett and Muse have been talking to candidates about jobs at CultureMap.

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Leading Off (1/28/15)

Belo Foundation Buys Land For Farmers Market Park The non-profit purchased 1.57 acres straddling Wood Street in hopes that it helps fulfill the city’s plan for the 3.8-acre park outlined in the 2013 Downtown Parks Master Plan. There is a catch: the city has no money available to snatch up the rest of the two-plus acres.

NTTA Customers Receiving Phantom Bills Maybe this is all a backdoor way to pay for the Trinity Tollroad.

Mavericks Lose Third in a Row It’s the first three-game skid of the season for the Mavs, at a time when the team can ill afford it. Both the Clippers and Rockets have passed the Mavs in the Western Conference, and the suddenly surging Spurs sit only one game back. Dallas heads to Houston tonight, then gets a relatively easy Miami-Orlando-Minnesota stretch before heading to Golden State. Pretty much need to take three of four before that game to keep from falling into seventh in the West.

Feral Hogs Tear Up Cedar Hill There are so many wonderful turns of phrase in this story, but I do have one minor quibble with this one: “He was walking his two dogs when a cage filled with a whole lot of hog came into view.” If you ever get the opportunity to use the expression “whole lotta” you have to take it. Now, for something completely different.

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Angela Hunt Is Our Best City Columnist

Incoming Morning News editor Mike Wilson should hire the former city councilwoman to replace, oh, let’s say Steve Blow. No reason that Hunt should only get to drop bombs like this in the Advocate. A taste:

First of all, you’ve got to let go of this world-class nonsense. You spend way too much time talking about being a world class “this” and having a world class “that.” Then you petulantly threaten that if you don’t get a gazillion dollars to spend on some shiny new bauble, your friends won’t think you’re world class. You must stop trying to out-fancy the more popular cities and focus on being the best Dallas you can be. And stop worrying about what your friends think.

Speaking of your “friends,” I’m worried you’re being overly influenced by this crowd you’re hanging around with, these rich kids. When they say “jump,” you say “how many horse parks do you want?”

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Oak Cliff Filmmaker Makes Video Protesting Rezoning and Is Threatened With Lawsuit

If you’ve hung around Dallas music for any length of time, you know the name Kirby Warnock. Back in the day, he edited Buddy, one of first print mags to cover the Dallas music scene. Since then he has become a filmmaker, and his movie When Dallas Rocked showed at a film festival and on PBS (more on that here).

Warnock is also a staunch Oak Cliff-er; he’s been there long before it was the hip place to be. And he’s not happy about some of the attempts to rezone formerly single family lots on Hampton Road.

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Poll: Will You Vote in Local Elections?

In the February issue of D Magazine, Wick writes that this May’s Dallas council elections could revolutionize the city:

Because of term limits, six seats are open, the largest number in one election in memory. The ones giving up their seats are among the worst council members in the city’s history (Dwaine Caraway excepted). Luckily, the remaining council members are among the brightest and most thoughtful ever to serve. It would take only a few new members of the same caliber to tip the balance.

So this time the candidates do matter. Beware the guy who promises to fix the pothole on your street. That’s another go-along, get-along sort who will be easily co-opted by the city staff. Embrace instead the candidate who talks about growing the tax base as a whole so we can fix all the potholes and reduce your tax burden at the same time.

Is that enough to get you fired up about voting?

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