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Making Dallas Even Better

Poll: Would You Ride a Bullet Train That Doesn’t Reach Downtown Houston?

We learned last week that the Dallas-to-Houston bullet train is likely not to see its southern terminus reach downtown Houston but will instead stop at that city’s Northwest Mall, which is along Interstate 610 loop, just south of U.S Highway 290 — about an 8-mile drive from downtown. The reason is that the environmental impact of taking a train through the neighborhoods that would be affected by the closing of that distance are too costly.

Houston’s METRORail doesn’t connect to Northwest Mall. According to Google, this is the public transportation option available for getting from there to downtown:

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Poll: How Far Will the Texas Rangers Go?

The Texas Rangers’ improbable season continues this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Canada. (Do they even play baseball up there in that frozen wasteland?) They’re considered the underdogs in their best-of-five series against the Toronto Blue Jays for the right to advance to the American League Championship Series.

But the Rangers weren’t even supposed to make it this far, so what do you think will happen?

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Poll: Do Uber and Lyft Belong at D/FW Airport?

As Tim mentioned in Leading Off this morning, Dallas taxi operators have sued to prevent Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from allowing drivers for app-based services like Uber and Lyft from picking up passengers there. Cabbies argue that “the entire culture that has developed at the airport taxicab queue is one based on the American dream.” By implication, D/FW officials hate the American dream.

What do you think?

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Poll: Should Dallas Consider Raising the Minimum Wage?

This week, as Rudolph Bush notes, the Dallas City Council will have a discussion about whether vendors on city contracts should be required to pay their employees a “living wage” of $10.25 per hour, rather than merely the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.

Meanwhile, other big cities in the United States have already set their own wage standards higher for all workers — including $10 in Chicago and $15 in Seattle. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is pushing for a $15 minimum nationally. But cost of living varies widely depending on where a person resides, so a higher federal standard would be only a little help in some places while overkill (killing jobs) in others.

Even so, if the City Council decides that those paid on city projects need to be better paid to support themselves and their families, why shouldn’t that same concern (if state law allowed it) extend to everyone who works within the city’s limits?

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Poll: Should We Stop Honoring the Confederacy?

A memorial to Confederate soldiers was vandalized over the weekend in Denton, sparking another conversation about whether in 2015 we should continue to honor those who fought in open rebellion against the United States. What do you think?

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Poll: What Is Dallas’ Biggest Problem Right Now?

This morning’s “Leading Off” was a bit of a buzzkill, what with its news of air polluted by fracking, a rise in violent crime, and the arrival of true Texas summer heat, not to mention a tirade against Craig Holcomb. Take this along with Peter’s post yesterday about potholes, and this city just about seems on the edge of collapse.

Anyway, which issue most urgently needs to be addressed?

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Poll: What’s to Blame For the McKinney Pool Incident?

Now that the country’s media elite have seen fit to pay attention to what went down at that Craig Ranch pool party, you’ve doubtless come across a host of articles and columns and on-air hot takes offering various explanations/defenses/hand-wringing.

Is it yet more evidence that white cops unfairly treat black citizens? Is it that the residents of this upscale neighborhood pushed the police to do what they did because interlopers from “other parts of town” had invaded their concrete oasis? Or are the kids at primary fault?

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Poll: Is It Too Easy to Graduate High School in Texas?

Yesterday Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a measure that reduces the burden on Texas public high school students to pass exams before graduating. Instead of having to pass five end-of-course exams from the ninth grade on, they only have to pass three of the five. (They’ll still have to obtain a special waiver to do so.)

What do you think of this change?

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Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Garland Attack

So reports the BBC about the Islamic terrorist organization that controls parts of Syria and Iraq:

It said that “two soldiers of the caliphate” carried out the attack at a conference centre near Dallas.

IS’s al-Bayan Radio news bulletin said the exhibition “was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Muhammad”.

Both suspects were shot dead after opening fire at the contest on Sunday.

Correspondents say that it is believed to be the first time that IS has claimed to have carried out an attack in the US.

Of course, ISIS (or ISIL, or IS, or whatever you want to call them) might just be opportunistically taking credit for an operation it had nothing to do with. Does this news change how safe you feel from terrorist attacks?

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