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Poll: Which is the ‘Coolest’ Dallas Suburb?

Last week, as Peter noted, Forbes released its ranking of America’s “coolest” cities. Dallas came in 10th, falling from 4th the year before. Never mind that their criteria seems bogus, given that Houston once against was higher up the list than Dallas. That’s not what I’m here about.

Forbes‘ list got me thinking about our own recent comparative list of the finest places to live (other than Dallas) in North Texas: the best Dallas suburbs. One criteria we used was something we termed “ambiance” score. You can read our explanation of it here, but I think I’m perfectly within my rights to conflate our notion of “ambiance” with Forbes‘ notion of “cool.”

To that end, I’m asking you today to pick the coolest Dallas suburb. Your options come from the 10 suburbs to which we gave higher ambiance scores than Dallas (which got an 84 out of 100). Highland Park was tops with a 96, but does that make it the coolest?

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Poll: How Liberal Is Dallas?

I posted yesterday about the Economist’s charticle showing that Dallas falls closer to the liberal vs. the conservative side of the political spectrum, as do most of the big cities in the United States. This was not surprising, given that Dallas County has gone Democratic in recent election cycles.

But that got me curious about FrontBurner Nation, since our audience isn’t strictly confined to the Dallas city limits or even the county lines. Two other North Texas cities — Fort Worth and Arlington — charted on the conservative end of the scale, after all. So where do you fall?

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Are Dallas Cops Really Disgruntled?

The Dallas Police Association put out a release this morning about a morale survey that was conducted among its membership. As the DMN has pointed out, the results do not look good. Eighty percent of respondents said morale in the department was “low” or “the lowest its ever been.” No question that Chief David Brown has a situation on his hands that needs addressing. But a few words about the limitations of this survey before anyone thinks the sky is falling:

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Poll: What Does the Uptown Sam’s Club Say About City Government?

Late yesterday a judge decided not to issue a temporary injunction against the building of a Sam’s Club mega-big-box store at the intersection of Central Expressway and Carroll Avenue, near Cityplace. That means developer Trammel Crow could file for a building permit today if they wanted to.

The neighborhood association had argued that the city’s notice of what could be built on that site under the new zoning was insufficient, but the judge ruled that the city had followed the law (even as she was apparently sympathetic to how the neighbors’ complaints.)  A lawsuit is still likely, but it won’t block the Sam’s Club from going up in the meanwhile.

In the August issue of D Magazine, Eric Celeste writes that the case is indicative of how Dallas’ zoning system needs to be fixed. What do you think?

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Poll: Which Dallas Sports Team Will Win a Championship Next?

The Texas Rangers were expected by many baseball experts to contend for the American League West division crown. Instead, they’ve been beset by injuries and have limped into the All-Star Break having lost eight in a row and 22 of their last 25. It’s the worst such stretch for the club since 1972, the first year that the team played in Arlington (having relocated from Washington, D.C., where they were the Senators.) That team finished with 100 losses. This year’s team owns the worst record in Major League Baseball. It’s time — after cheering on Yu Darvish and Adrian Beltre in the All-Star Game tonight — to start thinking about next year.

Meanwhile the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Mavericks were both impressive, if unsuccessful, in their first-round playoff match-ups this spring. And each of those teams has made major additions to their rosters that raise hopes for next season.

So, we asked a version of this question back in May, but given what’s changed since then, it seems like an appropriate moment to ask again.

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Poll: Is Mike Miles Underpaid?

Over on Learning Curve, Eric Celeste yesterday ran through some of the numbers relevant to a discussion about whether Mike Miles, superintendent of Dallas ISD, is being paid what he’s worth for the job he’s required to do.

Miles makes $306,000 a year. Eric, after comparing that base salary to other Texas school superintendents and to CEOs of similarly sized companies and nonprofits, reaches the conclusion that it’s perfectly reasonable for Miles to be seeking more money.

What do you think?

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Poll: How Do You Pick Your North Texas Hometown?

By now you’ve likely pored over our Best Suburbs rankings, wherein we’ve given you a bunch of factors by which you can compare 63 North Texas towns, plus Dallas. You may have also taken our “Which Dallas Suburb Is Right For You?” quiz.

So what we’d like to know now is which of the factors we’ve used to evaluate the quality of these various municipalities weighs most heavily for you when you’re deciding where you should live.

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Poll: Have You Got World Cup Fever?

Yesterday the U.S. men’s national soccer team won its first 2014 World Cup match, against Ghana, 2-1. It was an exciting, rousing win for the Americans, according to my Twitter feed.

Are you among those moved to post your own social media commentary in reaction to every goal, or is reading this post the first you’ve heard that there’s some sort of international soccer competition under way? In other words, how severe is your case of World Cup fever?

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Poll: Should Bike Helmets Be Required?

Last week the Dallas City Council seemed to be leaning towards repealing the city ordinance that requires adult bicycle riders to wear helmets.  Most the council want to keep the rules in place for children, while Lee Kleinman and Philip Kingston would like them repealed entirely. Only Vonciel Jones Hill said she didn’t want to make any changes.

What do you think?

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Poll: Will Merit Pay For Teachers Transform Dallas Schools?

Yesterday on Learning Curve (our new education blog, if you haven’t already heard), Eric wrote about how it’s not the possibility of becoming a home-rule district that is the most significant reform effort under way in Dallas ISD. It’s instead a measure that the school board approved last week: merit pay for teachers.

I’m sure you could guess the basics even before reading the details: The best teachers will be paid significantly more, and the evaluation system will identify the worst teachers:

The program will be watched by educators around the country because it’s designed very differently from similar (often failed) merit-pay plans across the country. (For details on this TEI plan, go here, but bottom line is that a teacher’s performance grade is based 50 percent on classroom performance, 35 percent on student achievement/tests, and 15 percent on student surveys.) Bottom line: this is incredibly important change in the way the district compensates teachers

Do you agree with Eric that this change will lead to positive transformation for DISD?

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Poll: Development Around White Rock Lake?

In the June issue of D Magazine, Eric Celeste writes about the not-in-my-backyard attitude many East Dallas residents have about development around White Rock Lake. In discussing the debate over a proposed restaurant on Boy Scout Hill:

Given the area’s liberalism and strong sense of place, it’s understandable that lake-area residents protect White Rock as if it’s theirs and theirs alone. In 1986, it was the Arboretum that wanted to build a restaurant on the lake. Rejected! In 2005, a 25-story high-rise was proposed. Denied! The next year, developers floated the idea of turning a well-known building at the lake’s northeast corner, Big Thicket, into a restaurant. Not in my house! A parking lot at Winfrey Point (swatted into the stands) and even a floating boathouse for a rowing team (okay, but we’re not happy about it!) were dismissed for being environmentally insensitive plans of callous developers who didn’t understand the specialness of the lake.

The problem: with the Boy Scout Hill restaurant, that wasn’t the case. Burgin and Kopf were sincere and worked hard to address residents’ fears.

Their proposal was withdrawn, but it’s certain not to be the last such debate. Are residents of East Dallas standing in way of potentially great new places around the lake?

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