Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Help Wanted at D CEO

D CEO magazine has an immediate opening for a managing editor. In addition to being a first-rate writer and editor, the affable, super-organized person who takes this job will oversee day-to-day operations, making sure deadlines are met for a title named the country’s best regional business magazine for the last three years. Duties include assigning front-of-the-book stories, managing budgets, and supervising the fact-checking process. And, oh yeah—he or she also will have to put up with me. Journalism experience and familiarity with business required. Send a résumé to glenn.hunter@dmagazine.com.

Leading Off (2/4/16)

Southwest pilots picket for higher pay. Yesterday, hundreds of Southwest Airlines pilots picketed outside of Love Field to address the fact that they still don’t have a new contract after negotiating for four years. They held signs with “It’s time for a contract” written on them. Negotiations for a new contract will begin again in March.

50 police officers could be added to force. For the coming fiscal year, city council members are informally in favor of adding 50 more cops than the usual 200 added annually. This would add $2.3 million to the budget for next year. Police Chief David Brown noted to the council that, since 2010, his department has lost 200 officers.

Plano man loses thousands in fraud scheme. 88-year-old Plano resident Bob Devinney, a former University of Kansas track star who set a national record in 1952, lost $250,000 in retirement savings due to a Jamaican fraud scheme. The suspects had talked to Devinney on the phone, told him he won the lottery, and over two years asked him to pay insurance and taxes on his “winnings.” Devinney had planned to use his savings to take care of his wife, Sarah, who has Alzheimer’s.

Leading Off (1/28/16)

Southwest airlines pilots to picket at Love Field. This is set to occur next Wednesday, and it will be the first informational picket ever to take place at this Dallas airport. The pilots are not happy that after four years of negotiations for a new contract, when profits have been high, they still don’t have one. First, both the pilot union and airline will meet with federal mediators on February 2 in hopes of reaching a compromise.

Charter school in southern dallas approved. Yesterday, Dallas City Council members approved a controversial new charter school, K-12 Uplift Education. There were protests by DISD folks who say the growing number of southern Dallas charter schools is taking both resources and kids away from the school district. The vote to approve was a narrow 7-6.

SNL‘s Lorne Michaels will speak at Bush Center. On February 27, Lorne Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live, will be at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, along with the former president and first lady. The evening will center on the show’s longstanding comedic portrayal of the presidency, as it’s become famous for.

Road rage incident leads to fatal shooting of Fort Worth woman. This happened in Arlington. 26-year-old Brittany Daniel was fatally shot yesterday evening while driving east on I-30. A man who was sitting in the back of another car shot her, said a passenger to police, who are still looking for the suspect.

Surprise Report: Is Jaap Van Zweden Bound for New York?

Jaap van Zweden could be close to bolting his job as music director at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. According to today’s New York Times, the Dutch-born celebrity conductor is one of two leading candidates to become music director at the New York Philharmonic. While the paper said a representative of the Dallas conductor declined to comment, the under-the-radar development came as a “surprise” to one observer who’s intimately acquainted with the DSO. The reason: reports of van Zweden’s “abrasive” treatment of some DSO musicians, which the observer assumed would have knocked van Zweden out of contention for the prestigious New York post. The music director’s contract with the Dallas orchestra runs through the 2018-2019 season.

UPDATE: Van Zweden is also music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Earlier this week, he was asked by the South China Morning Post about the New York Philharmonic job and replied: “Well, whatever is going to happen, I have a phenomenal relationship with that orchestra, and it’s the same type of relationship which I found when I came [to Hong Kong], this eagerness, this enthusiastic music-making of the highest level. And of course it’s such an institution, it’s one of the top orchestras in the world, and I’m very honoured that I’m being named in these [newspaper] articles. But we will see.”

Read More

Leading Off (1/21/16)

Ethan Couch to return to U.S. soon. Yesterday, his attorneys said they expect Couch to be present at his Tarrant County probation hearing on February 19. They also said Couch’s legal team in Mexico will not attempt to block his return to the U.S. anymore. We’ll find out soon enough if Couch’s case will be transferred from juvenile to adult court.

Gaylord Texan primed for $120 million expansion. The Grapevine hotel’s owner announced yesterday that the planned expansion for the Gaylord Texan will make it the second-largest hotel in Texas and one of the country’s biggest non-gaming convention hotels. 300 guest rooms will be added to the 1,511 rooms currently at the Gaylord.

Dallas seeking new fire-rescue chief. The city will pay search firm Affion Public $24,000 to help Dallas Fire-Rescue continue to search for a new fire chief as Chief Louie Bright III will retire in March. The job will be posted for 30 days.

city streets still bad, says Rawlings. Dallas City Council during a meeting said that 37,656 potholes had been patched on Dallas streets over the past year or so. But Mayor Rawlings didn’t seem to be as content with that as the city council was. Although it was contended that the streets did not get any worse than they had been, Rawlings said that keeping streets in bad condition is not the goal. At least spending on streets will be up in 2016.

Dallas 500 Quiz 2: A Shot at Redemption

If you totally bombed our first Dallas 500 quiz, don’t feel bad. Only a few members of the D CEO team got more than three questions right—and we produced the special edition. (Who knew that oil baron Malone Mitchell once won a Betty Crocker award for homemaking?! There. We’ve just given you a “gimme” if you retake the first quiz.)

Redemption can be had with this second quiz of Dallas 500 fun facts. Take the quiz below.

Read More

Can Dallas Really Escape the Downside of Lower Oil Prices?

As Jason mentioned this morning, Mayor Rawlings apparently agrees with the conventional wisdom that plummeting oil prices aren’t all that worrisome for Dallas because we’re more diversified now, etc., etc. (Hey, that’s Houston’s problem.) But, the reality may be more sobering. Some of Big D’s leading business people—the ones who buy the Chanel handbags and the private jets and the weekend ranches and pony up tens of thousands of dollars for soup kitchens and inner-city education—made piles of dough off the shale boom, either directly or through investments. Now they’re either tightening their belts or at least starting to get jittery.

Read More

Leading Off (1/15/16)

DISD Could Save Millions Consolidating Offices. Dallas school trustees were told Thursday that there’s big savings to be gained by bringing together under one roof operations now scattered among two dozen buildings. Three options for doing so were discussed, with the Nolan Estes Plaza site on Beckley Avenue looking like the most feasible. The cost of the proposed project would be $71.1 million, but the district stands to save $5 million-$7 million per year with the changes.

Truck Driver Killed in Train Collision. None of the 44 Amtrak passengers who were involved suffered serious injuries, but the man at the wheel of a rock hauler that was on the tracks by Scyene Road near Mesquite Metro Airport died Thursday afternoon.

Plano Mom Sued Over Loud Kids. Kelly Counts set up a playhouse for her four children in her backyard, only to have a neighboring couple file a lawsuit claiming that the noisy kids have upset their tranquil way of life. The neighbors are demanding that the playhouse be removed and have begun playing loud music with raunchy lyrics to drown out the sounds from next door. In response, the Counts family has filed its own lawsuit to stop the less-than-family-friendly tunes.

Dallas Income Gap Growing. A new study by the Brookings Institution has found that the income disparity ratio between the 95th percentile ($220,000 per year) and the 20th percentile ($18,000) in Dallas is 12.2 (by this measure, then, the rich earn more than 12 times what the working poor do). That’s the 17th-greatest gap among cities in the country. It’s also a greater difference than is found in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a whole, where the 95th percentile is only $174,000 while the 20th percentile earns about $21,000. That’s a ratio of 8.3. Nationwide, incomes among poorer households remain 13 percent lower than they were prior to the 2007-2009 recession. These numbers further justify the concerns Mayor Mike Rawlings expressed to Bloomberg this week.

Mayor Rawlings Tells Bloomberg Oil’s Drop Doesn’t Worry Dallas, But Poverty Rate Does

Yesterday Mayor Mike Rawlings sat for an interview with Bloomberg. He described himself as a “middle-of-the-road” leader in terms of where he falls on the left-right political spectrum and boasted (as it’s one of his chief duties to do) about the “very good” state of the Dallas economy.

He was careful to draw a distinction between the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and the city itself, underlining that each of the positive indicators he was citing was related to what’s happening strictly within the municipal boundaries. Apparently he’s heard the complaints about his office’s past conflation of the two.

Rawlings explained that, unlike much of the rest of Texas, Dallas’ more diversified economy protects it somewhat from the precipitous drop in oil prices. It’s the city’s unenviable spot on the list of big cities with high childhood poverty rates and poor economic mobility that concerns him more.

Read More

Dallas 500 Q&A: Tim Love, Lonesome Dove

Tim Love is the chef and owner of beloved restaurants like Lonesome Dove, Queenie’s, and Love Shack. Today his empire has grown to employ more than 350. Love, who’s also the host of CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup” program, just announced an Italian pop-up in Fort Worth called Ufficio. Later this month, he’ll host the first of a four-part dinner series there.

Read More

Leading Off (1/14/16)

Powerball winners in California, Florida, and Tennessee. Sad news for everyone who bought tickets—for the biggest jackpot in world lottery history—in Texas. The winning ticket in California was sold at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills. Better luck next time, Dallas.

Charter school vote delayed. Yesterday, Dallas City Council members decided to wait another two weeks before voting on whether to approve a new charter school in southern Dallas. Some are concerned that it would take funding and students away from DISD.

$2.4 million granted to redevelop Southwest Center Mall. The City Council did make a decision yesterday, however, and that is to give $2.4 million to aid in the revamping of Southwest Center Mall in the city’s Red Bird neighborhood. Mall owner Peter Brodsky will need to spend $15 million on the mall’s facelift by 2019.

CEO of North Texas Commission moving to H-E-B and Central Market. Mabrie Jackson, president and CEO of the North Texas Commission, will make the switch to North Texas public affairs and community outreach for H-E-B and Central Market on March 1. Perhaps H-E-B is ready to open stores in the Dallas area.

Event Aims to Inspire DISD Students to Attend College

When sophomores and juniors from eight Dallas high schools turned up for a College and Career Fair at The University of Texas at Dallas Wednesday morning, there was plenty of rah-rah as the students entered the school gym through a gauntlet of UTD cheerleaders and red-jacketed City Year members clapping encouragement. But according to Dallas […]

Read More

Airbnb Ranks Oak Lawn One of World’s Trendiest Neighborhoods in 2016

Short-term lodging service Airbnb last week put out a list of the “Top 16 Trending Neighborhoods on Airbnb in 2016.” It’s based on how much growth the site saw in bookings to those neighborhoods during 2015. The top finisher was Chūō-ku in Osaka, Japan, which accommodated 7,000 percent more travelers through Airbnb than it had the previous year.

I was surprised to find I have a personal connection to three of the 16. I lived in District VII of Budapest, Hungary, during one semester of college. I worked in the Richmond area of Melbourne, Australia, for a brief time to help finance a backpacking trip around that country. And I resided in a duplex in Dallas’ Oak Lawn for more than nine years.

That’s right: Of all the neighborhoods in all the world, Oak Lawn is the 11th-trendiest in Airbnb’s reckoning, boasting 260-percent growth in visitors. Only it’s probably not the Oak Lawn you’re thinking of. Look at the results you get when you filter for “Oak Lawn” on Airbnb’s map:

Read More