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Three Questions About That Linda Septien Article in the Dallas Observer

I just read the Observer’s cover story this week. It’s a profile of Linda Septien, who is a voice coach and star maker responsible for a long list of pop performers you’ve heard on Radio Disney. Three things about that story jumped out at me:

1. Septien is 62 years old? Holy cow. She looks great for even 42.

2. Did the Observer not see Skip Hollandsworth’s 2006 profile of Septien in Texas Monthly?

3. Even if the Observer didn’t see that 2006 profile, did the paper not realize that Septien’s former husband, Rafael, a former placekicker for the Cowboys, was indicted on a charge of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and pleaded to a 10-year probated sentence? Because the Observer’s story mentions that she was married to him but doesn’t include that important detail. I bring this up because I know the person who was the child in that abuse case. And I don’t think Rafael Septien’s name should ever be printed without mentioning that he was indicted on a charge of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

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How Big is ‘Texas-Size’?

I just happened upon the Star-Telegram’s account of Hillary Clinton’s Tuesday visit to Dallas, which Staci wrote about for us. What caught my attention was the piece’s curious headline:

A “Texas-size crowd”? The article’s own estimate of the turnout was “more than 1,500” people, and Staci tells me the venue could have accommodated more. Does 1,500 people qualify as “Texas-size”?

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Joe Pappalardo Named Observer Editor

It’s been something like six months since Joe Tone left the Dallas Observer to go work on a book about competitive archery. Finally, the paper named his replacement, and it’s a familiar name, at least to me. I worked with Joe Pappalardo — aka Joey Pops, aka Pop-a-Shot, aka Joe Bananas, aka Billy Ocean — when he was a staff writer there, I want to say in 2000. Here’s what I remember: he was a newspaper dork, he was a fair amount taller than I am, he had a beard, he occasionally wore a fedora (or maybe it was a trilby — a dumb hat, is what I’m getting at), he was a good reporter, and after he left, I think he wrote a book about sunflowers. Congratulations to Patrick Williams.

Hip-Hop, Snakebit, Janitor Work: New Dallas 500 Illuminates the City’s Most Powerful Businesspeople

The Mavs’ Mark Cuban is afraid of heights. Karen Katz of Neiman Marcus Group loves hip-hop music. Investor Kenny Troutt, who owns a Kentucky Derby-winning horse farm, is allergic to horse hair. Exxon Mobil’s Rex Tillerson worked in Oklahoma as a janitor. BBVA Compass bank’s Key Coker was bitten by a five-foot-long rattlesnake. (Which later became a rattlesnake belt.) And Mike Boone of the Haynes & Boone law firm once found himself standing buck naked on the deck of a coed swimming pool in a downtown gym.

Those are just a few of the insider tidbits to be found in a new publication called Dallas 500, which puts a spotlight on the 500 most powerful business leaders in North Texas. Compiled by the editors of D CEO magazine after months of research, including hundreds of interviews, the inaugural standalone edition features the top influencers in more than 60 categories, from aviation and banking to restaurants and technology. Someone said Dallas 500 is destined to become the area’s “business bible”—okay, it was Wick who said that—and our choices are sure to generate some controversy. Unless you’re a D CEO subscriber, you’ll have to buy a copy to see what we’re talking about. Purchase details can be found here.

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Doug Dunbar and Clarice Tinsley Poke Fun at the TV News Biz

An alert FrontBurnervian points us to a spoof video made by CBS Channel 11 anchor Doug Dunbar and Fox Channel 4 anchor Clarice Tinsley. In it, they make fun of the typical promo shots done to promote TV news teams. Dunbar’s “spin and grin” was apparently too hot for station management. The video originally went up on YouTube but was taken down — but not before FTVLive saved a copy.

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No, Dallas Doesn’t Lead the Nation in Missed Connections

Yesterday a writer for Vox looked at the number of Craigslist Missed Connections — that glorious corner of the Internet where anyone can anonymously deposit their daydreams about the girl on the train who, swear to God, gave you more than one furtive glance yesterday — for each of the country’s nine biggest cities.

He declares that Dallas put up the most posts (12) per 10,000 residents during his sample period (January 2015), leading one to believe that ours is a city replete with lonely hearts. However, I must question his method, since the population figure he credits to Dallas is for only the city proper while the “Dallas” Craigslist draws posts from throughout North Texas. This matters because while the city of Dallas is only the 9th-largest in terms of population in the U.S., the Dallas-Fort Worth metro is the country’s 4th-largest. So his per capita figures are way off.

If you refigure things based on the latest U.S. Census numbers for metro area population, Dallas is only the fourth-most desperately-seeking-Susan city in the country, with 2.3 posts per 10,000 population. It’s San Diego that most needs to screw up the courage to just go ahead and talk to the cute guy reading Dostoevsky in the coffee shop. Phoenix and San Antonio are also ahead (behind?) Dallas in this department.

What’s more interesting is the writer’s heat map of days of the week and times of day when a Missed Connections post is most likely. Monday is the big winner across the board, but Dallas’ pattern stands out:

Angelenos hardly post, and the few relative spikes in postings occur almost exclusively toward the start of the week. Houstonites, meanwhile, try their hand at romance on early Tuesday afternoons; Dallas, with the highest concentration of missed connections, has an impressive spread from Monday to Friday, with its inhabitants posting throughout the workday and late into the evening.

Props to us for our consistency, I guess.

DMN Again Takes Credit for Others’ Hard Work

A few weeks ago, I called your attention to a Morning News editorial in which the paper took way too much credit for shutting down a crime-ridden motel. The credit really belonged to Dwaine Caraway. Someone brought that fact to the attention of the paper, at which point the editorial was updated in a cynical fashion. Whoever wrote that editorial screwed up. That’s fine. We all screw up. The thing is to correct your screwups in a fair and transparent fashion. (Yes, I know the editorial writer could be a she. Yes, I know I could call the paper and ask who wrote the editorial. I’m choosing to remain ignorant of the authorship so that I don’t make an ad hominem attack here. I don’t trust myself.)

That’s context for an editorial published today that I’d like to point you to.

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All Clichés Are Bigger in Texas Award Nominee: The Day We’ve Long Dreaded Is Here

Bravo made it official this afternoon:

But there’s even more Housewives to enjoy in 2016! Stay tuned for details on The Real Housewives of Dallas, which will debut later next year. And, yes, the series will certainly confirm that everything — including the drama — is bigger in Texas.

God help us all.

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Morning News Snubs Jim Schutze

This is actually kind of funny. The News today carries an obit of John A. Hardman, the puppeteer and voice behind NorthPark’s Scrooge. That’s not the funny part. Hardman was great at what he did. I have always enjoyed his cantankerous, insulting Scrooge. His passing is a sad event, and he’ll be missed. No, the funny part is that an individual named Will Schutze, an acolyte of Hardman’s, is quoted in the story. The paper IDs Schutze thusly: “son of the Dallas Morning News’ former gardening editor Mariana Greene.” Okay, but that name. Schutze. It doesn’t match his mother’s last name. It sounds so familiar. Schutze. Hmm. Schutze, Schutze — ah, yes! Will is also the son of Jim Schutze, the Dallas Observer’s bearded, laconic gadfly. No offense to the former gardening editor of the paper, but of Will’s two parents, Jim is the one who belongs in the ID. Or who also belongs in the ID.

If anyone else has a nit, I’m happy to pick it.

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Slate Tries to Explain the Park Cities

Slate today attempts to explain to a national audience the peculiarities of the Park Cities and the controversy sparked by ugly emails in the campaign against the Highland Park ISD bond package approved by voters yesterday. The messages attempted to stoke fears that Section 8 housing could come to the small pieces of the city of Dallas that sit within HPISD boundaries and that the district therefore would be welcoming less desirable sorts of students into its classrooms.

There’s nothing in the piece that well-informed Dallasites don’t already know, especially considering the writer tapped SMU political science professor Cal “Never Turn Down a Media Request” Jillson for several quotes.

But I figured I’d mention its linking to our sister newspaper, Park Cities People:

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Leading Off (11/4/15)

DISD Bond Plan Passes. Voters yesterday backed the $1.6 billion bond package. That means nine new schools, more than 300 new classrooms, bigger cafeterias, better science labs, more debate as to where money is needed most. Michael Hinojosa was quoted saying: “I love this city. I love this district. I just want to say thank you. This is a great day for this city.” Highland Park, Mesquite, Richardson, and Allen also passed bonds while McKinney’s proposal failedExpert analysis on the way.

Debate Over Zoo’s “No Guns” Policy. A lawyer from Houston filed a complaint against the Dallas Zoo and its “no guns” sign, noting that the zoo is on city property. A 2003 law states that concealed handgun licensees can carry guns on most property “owned or leased by a government entity.” It’s not clear how any of this would be affected by another new proposed law that would require all prehensile zoo animals to carry assault rifles.

Duncanville Teen Reports Attempted Abduction. This is scary. A 15-year-old girl told police that a man stopped a car and grabbed her by the arm. She says she screamed and kicked until she had the chance to run away. Police are looking for witnesses and video.

Two Bodies Found. One was found in the Trinity Watershed. One was found in an Oak Cliff dumpster. There’s no more information out from either investigation.

Thieves Casually Walk Out with ATM. Two men walked into a gas station in West Oak Cliff last night, put a chain around the ATM, and drove off with it. Police called the theft “bold.” Of course, opening those things can be tough.

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What’s on Evan Smith’s Whiteboard?

Over at The Future of News, they’ve got a video of Evan Smith talking about the future of news. Smith is the co-founder and editor in chief of The Texas Tribune. Super smart guy. The video is nearly four minutes long. I haven’t been able to find the time to watch it all the way through yet. What immediately caught my eye, though, is the whiteboard sitting behind Smith at his desk. Presumably this board normally occupies a space above crotch level in Smith’s office, so that writing on it wouldn’t require crouching or getting on one’s knees. Then along came the The Future of News folks, and Smith put the board on the floor, where he thought it was out of site. But no! We can see it! And there in the corner are several names of people who either live in Dallas or have Dallas ties. I can make out the following: Kelcy Warren, Trevor Rees-Jones, Al Hill Jr., Kenny Troutt, Lisa Blue Baron, Harlan Crow, and Ross Perot Jr. Is this a list of all the people who have not been in Smith’s kitchen? Fundraising targets for The Texas Tribune?

We ask, dear FrontBurnervians. You decide.

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Check Out This Insane Video From Poo-Pourri

If you’ll recall, last year I wrote a story about Suzy Batiz, the woman who created Poo-Pourri, produced a commercial that went viral, and made a crap load of money. We called the feature “Queen of the Can,” and it gave me the chance to reference a Shakespearean fart joke and for Tim to edit into the text phrases such as: “dropping the kids off at the pool,” “knitting a brown sweater,” and “releasing the Kraken.”

Well the Poo-Pourri people are trying to re-capture that viral magic with an insane dance video about some of the places you could use the company’s products. Back is Bethany Woodruff, the red-haired Scottish actress who won so many hearts with her poop talk. And back are the strange and mostly funny references to defecation, like “butt trumpet” and “code brown.” The video was conceived by the Poo-Pourri staff, based in Addison, and directed by Cameron Duddy, most famous for directing the “Uptown Funk” video.

The new Poo-Pourri ad went up this morning. The first comment on YouTube was: “How high am I?”

Watch it for yourself:

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