Dallas Morning News: ‘Affirm The Right of Gay Couples to Marry:’ As the Dallas Voice points out, as recently as last year, the Dallas Morning NewsÂ refused to publish paid same-sex wedding announcements in their Weddings section. On Sunday, the newspaper came out in support of same-sex marriage in this editorial.
Is It Time For Sobriety Checkpoints? Every legislative session since 1994 has dealt with the controversial proposal to introduce police checkpoints as a way to address drunk driving. Looks like it will do so again.
Can We At Least Agree That Guns Are Scary? Of course we can’t. This is Texas. But listen. They’re scary when someone threatens to shoot-up a local high school. They are scary when a burglary turns into a Wild West shoot out and no one knows what the hell happened. They are scary because when a mentally disturbed man can only get his hand on a knife, no one dies, but when he can grab a gun, local TV news channels scramble to find the local connection. There’s always a local connection.
Should Josh Brent be on Cowboys’ Sideline? I know, I know. Phil Simms says the ‘boys are “special.” Tony Romo has now thrown for 25,000 career yards. The team is somehow tied for first place. And Jerry Jones is even trying to look good by donating $5 million to the Perot Museum of Nature and Fracking. But here’s the real Monday morning question coming out of the Cowboy’s weekend: should Josh Brent have been on the sideline during the Cowboys’ win over the Steelers Sunday? Former quarterback and CBS analyst Boomer EsiasonÂ doesn’tÂ think so. He tweeted:
“Am I the only one that is wondering what in the world the Cowboys are thinking with Josh Brent on the sideline?”
My guess as to the Cowboys’ thinking: suicide, and ways to avoid it.
Golf Courses Are the Ultimate Cure-All For Urban Poverty: Here’s another article (paywall) that talks about how Mayor Mike Rawlings is really jazzed about how great that golf course is going to be for South Dallas. But you don’t need to click through. You already know how huge this deal is going to be. Just think about what a major boom Dallas National has been for Cockrell Hill. I mean, can you think of a more affluent and booming neighborhood in North Texas than the island city of Cockrell Hill? It’s like a second Highland Park, which also has a golf course in it. Coincidence? I think not.
Man Tries to Steal $269 Worth of Meat: In order to really appreciate this story about Rodney Johnson’s attempt to make off from a Kroger with $269 worth of meat shoved up under his coat, you have to try and picture just what $269 worth of meat looks like. Then read how he was first tackled by police and then struck in the back of the head before officers finally managed to arrest the hungry thief.
Michael Young Is No Longer a Texas Ranger: Drop your head to your chest, raise your right arm, extend your fingers, and drop a final claw on Michael Young as he heads out the door to Philadelphia. “If there was crying in baseball, I guess I’d cry,” Wash said. But we all know Wash cried.
Cowboys Win Game, Josh Brent Just Loses: What do you say about Josh Brent? Over the weekend he lost his best friend, he lost his career, and he quite possibly lost his freedom for up to the next 20 years (the maximum sentence for intoxication manslaughter). He was released from jail after posting bail that was $10,000 more than his $490,000 2012 salary. “It’s not a good moment for anyone right now,” Brent’s attorney said. I guess that’s all you really can say.
Crowne Plaza Hotel Burns: The 22-story Crowne Plaza Hotel, in the running for ugliest building in downtown Dallas, was evacuated Saturday after a fire broke out in a stairwell. One guest was transported to a hospital with burns and several were treated for smoke inhalation. The cause is still under investigation.
Fort Worth Police Chief of Staff Arrested for DWI: Paul Henderson is familiar with the problem of cops drinking and getting into trouble off the job. The Fort Worth Police chief of staff had to deal with a string of incidents involving Fort Worth Police officers back in 2010. On Saturday, Henderson himself was arrested on suspicion of DWI.
Golfing In South Dallas, Or With Presidents: The Dallas Morning News editorial board likes the plan to build a golf courseÂ in South Dallas. Former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk likes golfÂ too, particularly when his foursome includes Presidents Obama and Clinton.
Sports Bits: Romo Breaks Cowboys TD Record, Cotton Bowl Lineup a Good One: Last night the supposedly “average at best” Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes to break Troy Aikman’s record for most touchdown passes by a Cowboys quarterback. Also over the weekend, thanks to Northern Illinois, the Cotton Bowl will feature the intriguing face-off between Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Dallas Trucker Released After Seven Months in Mexican Jail: A simple wrong turn turned truck driver Jabin Bogan’s life on its head. While hauling ammunition meant for a Phoenix gun shop, he mistakenly crossed into Mexico, where he was arrested and thrown in jail for arms struggling. After seven months, Bogan was released this past weekend.
Did Officer Use Excessive Force While Arresting 17-year-old? You can decide for yourself by watching this raw footage that shows a Hurst police officer kneeing the suspect in the head and then repeatedly threatening him (warning: strong language). The suspect’s mother wants the officer involved suspended, and the department says it is investigating the incident.
R.I.P. Larry Hagman: As you likely heard, Larry Hagman, aka J.R. Ewing, died Friday. Here’s the New York Times obituary, and here’s a piece in the Dallas Morning News which asks the inevitable question, can the new Dallas series survive without its best character? And from our cover story on Hagman from June 2012, which is worth revisiting: “J.R. will always be with us.”
New Children’s Medical Center Dallas Report: Health Care Picture Bleak for Suburban Children: Eight percent of children in the United States don’t have health insurance. In Texas, that number increases to 14 percent uninsured. But according to a report released today by Children’s Medical Center DallasÂ (sub. req.), in five suburban North Texas counties, including Collin, Denton, Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson, that number doubles to 23.9 percent of children who have no medical insurance. Compounding the problem for children seeking healthcare is the fact that now only 31 percent of Texas physicians accept Medicaid patients.
Squatter Could Get Life Imprisonment: David Cooper isn’t just the latest squatter trying to take control of a home by citing an obscure Texas law that protects people who move into abandoned properties but perform upkeep and pay taxes. No, Cooper moved into the home of a man who had vacated temporarily because he was receiving cancer treatment. That makes Cooper, who is being charged with theft of over $200 thousand, very uncool.
Four Years After Throwing Kids Off Overpass, Mother Walks Free: In 2008, Khandi Busby threw her 6- and 9-year-old boys off an overpass and then jumped herself (in her mind, she was being chased by Satan and the military). Remarkably everyone survived. Perhaps even more remarkably, Busby, who was diagnosed with a schizoaffective disorder, will walk free today, moving from a mental institution to a boarding house. She is forbidden to have contact with her children.
Cowboys Season “Saved:” Yes, now that the ‘Boys defense beat a pitiful Eagles offense, we actually have to keep paying attention to the Cowboys’ season.
As Austin Mulls Council Districts, Dallas Displays Pros and Cons of System: The capital city is considering switching away from citywide council representation, and Dallas shows that district-elected representatives can lead to more responsiveness and greater diversity in city government, while also creating a tendency towards a fiefdom-like system. One interesting stat sticks out: over the past two decades, three Dallas council members have been convicted of criminal charges stemming from the abuse of power, while in Austin during that time there have been no such charges.
Will Tougher Zoning Produce Better Businesses in South Dallas? That’s what council member Caroyln Davis hopes. A revised Planned Development District will try to weed out car washes, check cashing businesses, and other non-desirables, while opening the doors for community gardens and other warm and fuzzy ideas like that. But city staff fears some of the new ordinance is unenforceable and say it may discourage new small businesses.
Another Falling Death in Downtown Dallas: Last month when a 25-year-old woman accidentally fell from the 19th floor of a downtown building, we wondered what the deal was with the sudden spike in falling deaths downtown. Tim said he thought it was because Dallasites aren’t yet used to living in high rise apartments. Krista and I wondered if it was a statistics thing. Zac Googled-around trying to find the percentage of New Yorkers who fall every year. This highly speculative conversation will likely continue today now that another man has fallen to his death from a downtown Dallas building.
Why Texas Republicans Should Have Listened to Washington Redistricting Experts: IfÂ Texas Republican redistrictingÂ officials listened to Tom Hofeller, their maps may not have landed in court. Hofeller is a long-time redistricting guru who is a the center of this Atlantic piece that places the Texas redistricting effort in a national context, fleshing-out of the wider ramifications of contemporary gerrymandering on the American political system.
Shoplift Something Under $50? Don’t Worry About the Police Showing Up: A third of Dallas’ 12 percent drop in overall crime this year is related to shoplifting, but store owners are complaining that that number is misleading. There’s still plenty of theft, only its going unreported thanks to a new policy where police no longer respond to or take reports for Class C misdemeanor shoplifting cases.
Shots At North Lake College Stir Student Panic: When shots rang out in the hallway of North Lake College last Friday, this was the scene that followed:
“I pulled a chair over me and was grabbing bags and building a fort over it,” [a student] said. “One student checked and said there was a shooter in the hall … there was a woman around me crying.”
Turns out the whole ordeal was a drill exercise preparing for a real shooting incident. School officials said they sent out two emails, but when you start firing guns in the hallway, I’m not sure a couple emails is enough of a warning.
Last night at the Dallas Center for Architecture, I moderated a panel that discussed the relationship between Fair Park and South Dallas, and how Fair Park’s design and use impact the surrounding neighborhoods. The panel members included Rev. Gerald Britt, Robert Foster, Patrick Kennedy, Hank Lawson, and Vicki Meek, and the conversation brought a number of issues to light regarding the history and use of the park and the ongoing difficulties that face redevelopment there. I wanted to pull out a few takeaways, as well as put forth a few ideas to keep the conversation going. If you’re interested in your city, jump:
I hope you can join me tonight at the Dallas Center For Architecture for a panel discussion I will be moderating called: “The Elephant in South Dallas’ Living Room:Â What Do We Do With Fair Park?” The departure point of the discussion is, in part, this article that was written by Patrick Kennedy back in June. In it he argues that some of theÂ architecturalÂ features of the park — not the art deco buildings, but rather the copious parking lots — may contribute to the prolonged lack of investment in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Just a month later, after a police officer shot a young man in a neighborhoodÂ located just behind Fair Park, we were shown just how tense the neighborhood situation is as angry neighbors took to the streets. We now know that theÂ individuals involved in the specific incident that led to the shooting were engaged in criminalÂ activity, but the response of their neighbors nonetheless stood as a display of the prolonged feeling of anxiety and frustration in the communities around Fair Park, Â as well as a demonstrated lack of trust in the city and police.
We hope you can come and join our conversation which will explore how the design of the park impacts the surrounding neighborhoods and what can be done — and what has already been planned — to realize Fair Park’s best form and utilization.Â It all begins at 6:30 p.m., and it will take place at the Dallas Center For Architecture, 1909 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Ste. 100. Â We will begin with a short presentation by bcWorkshop with some background information on the park, followed by a conversation between our panelists. For information on our five panelists, jump.
Boy Scouts Hid Hundreds of Accusations of Child Molestation: The Los Angeles Times found that the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America kept a confidential “perversion file” with information on accused sex offenders whom the organization often forced to quietly resign while keeping their crimes “under wraps.” Of the 500 instances in which the Scouts learned of alleged abuse before it was reported to the police, in about 400 cases there is no record of the Scouts reporting the abuses to authorities.
Man Arrested For Tattooing 14-Year-Old: The young teen in question had her mother’s permission as well as other tattoos, but that wasn’t enough to prevent a Flower Mound manÂ from being arrested for inking the minor. The detail that should make you wonder, though, is that one of the teen’s tattoos consists of the letters “SS.”
Cowboys Routed In Seattle: Not much went right for the Cowboys, especially these four things. And if you happened to snatch up Kevin Ogletree for your fantasy league after last week’s performance, well, oops.
New Dallas Police Unit Seeks To Curb Prostitution: The Dallas Police Department has devoted more resources than most city departments to combating child trafficking and prostitution, according to this Austin-American Statesman article, with a specialized unit trolling the internet trying to find prostitution ads with pictures of underage girls. It’s a time consuming process, but in June, a four-day sting led to more than 40 arrests.
Woman Killed For Having HIV: Cicely Bolden didn’t tell Larry Dunn that she was HIV positive before they had sex. When he found out, he stabbed her to death. “She killed me, so I killed,” Dunn reportedly told the police, demonstrating his obvious command of the science behind HIV transmission and treatment.
City’s First Non-shared Bike Lane Opens in Oak Cliff: It’s just a block long, sitting outside Rosemont Elementary school, but the new bike lane is being touted by bike advocates as a major step in implementing the city’s bike program. Unless you are one of those bike advocates who hates designated bike lanes.
Instead of checking out books, it appears (sub. req.) that former City Councilwoman Sandra Crenshaw was first picked up at the downtown library on vehicle theft charges by Dallas police around 5 p.m. Then she wasÂ put in an ambulance via stretcher around 6 p.m.
Not a good way to end the week.
Al Sharpton To Campaign With, But Not Endorse, Domingo Garcia: Al Sharpton flew into town to join Domingo Garcia at an early vote rally this morning and will appear with the congressional candidate at two polling locations. So has Garcia managed to score the high profile African-American politician’s support, a vote of confidence in his hotly contested runoff with Mark Veasey? Not so, says a Sharpton spokesperson. Sharpton isn’t endorsing Garcia, just visiting “as part of a nonpartisan voter engagement tour.”
Water, Water Everywhere, But Nothing To Drink For Two Texas Subdivisons: Around 500 people live in the 170 homes that make up two subdivisions near Eagle Mountain Lake, and while lake levels are up, water from the area’s supply, an aquifer, has run brown or reeked of chlorine and is running dangerously low. Efforts to drill a new well stalled when the drill broke, and building a new pipeline to pump in water from other sources could take more than a year. The communities, however, have less than a six-month supply of water.
When Your Cellmate Is A Murderer, Burglary May Carry A Death Sentence: Mentally ill Johnathan Holden was arrested last March after spending a cold night in the front seat of a Honda Civic he didn’t own. He was thrown in Tarrant County Jail, where his cellmate turned out to be Steven Lawayne Nelson, a man suspected of suffocating an Arlington pastor. Holden would become Nelson’s next victim.
Three-Year-Old Left In Day Care Van During Triple-Digit Heat Dies: Benjamin Price may have been in the van parked outside Little T’s Tiny Tots for more than two hours before he died Friday afternoon. Then workers moved the boy’s body to hide their negligence. A worker at the day care has been taken into custody.
Grandma, Baby Survive Wild Middle of The Night Adventure Unscathed: Elizabeth Smith’s grand baby was sick, and so early Saturday morning around 3 a.m. she headed to a 24-hour pharmacy in Pleasant Grove. On the way back, a man in a passing truck stopped and told her to get in his vehicle. Smith refused, the man pulled a gun, and the grandmother ran, finding shelter near a church and calling the police. When the police arrived, Smith and baby got in the squad car, only to be suddenly swept up in a three mile high speed chase.
Storm Causes Chaos At Hospital, Lake: Yesterday’s afternoon storm knocked out power at the Doctors Hospital near White Rock Lake. Then the backup generator failed, leaving the hospital without power for nearly two hours. On Lake Ray Hubbard, the storm reportedly caused panic, as sudden winds and waves stranded and capsized boats.
If Three Shots Are Fired in Downtown Dallas, How Many People Will They Hit? The answer is zero, but this is not a joke about the business district’s lack of vibrancy. In fact, hundreds of people were reportedly hanging out downtown early Sunday morning when the shots were fired at Dallas police officers by 23-year-old Daniel Cortez (an obviously brilliant young man who was later arrested). In addition to the gunfire, fights were breaking out as clubs spilled their cliental onto the city streets. Which is encouraging, right? More and more people are finding their D-Spot.
Jason Kidd Arrested for DWI: The former Maverick, current Knick ran his car into a telephone pole in Southampton Sunday. He was arrested and released without bail. The charge could carry up to a year in jail, but something tells me that’s not going to happen.
More Texas Doctors Not Accepting Medicaid: According to a survey by the Texas Medical Association, only 31 percent of Texas doctors say they are accepting new patients who use Medicaid, a 11 percentage point drop from 2010. In 2000, 67 percent of Texas doctors accepted Medicaid. Doctors complain about red tape and low pay, but with 6 million new people projected to join Texas Medicaid, a physician shortage looms.
Henderson Ave. Rape Victim Seeks Attacker: It has been a year since Ashley Green, 31, was attacked on the way to her car after watching the NBA championship at a bar on Henderson Ave., the man who raped her leaving Green for dead, naked in the street. But now Green is trying to find information about the assailant, walking the streets with friends and posting flyers. Police have no leads.
Southlake Man Tracks Down Stolen Car After 42 Years: In 1968, Bob Russell’s 1967 Austin Healey 3000 was taken from his Philadelphia apartment complex. On May 11, 2012, Russell found the car listed for sale on eBay by a dealer in Los Angeles. After a few weeks of haggling with the dealer and digging for the old stolen car report, the vehicle is now back in his possession.