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Making Dallas Even Better

Leading Off (11/25/15)

Parkland Workers Can’t Be Held Liable in Patient’s Death. In 2011, George Cornell died in restraints at the psych emergency room. It’s one of the incidents that brought about some of the recent changes at the hospital. A lower court initially ruled that the hospital executives and workers couldn’t claim immunity from a civil-rights lawsuit brought by his family. Now a federal appeals court decided otherwise, because it is almost impossible to hold government employees accountable when they screw up.

Attorney Owes Accident Victim $700,000. Diana Bernal was in a car accident in 2009 and won a settlement, but was never told about it. When she tried to contact her attorney, Richard Jaramillo, he didn’t respond. A judge recently ruled that Jaramillo owes Bernal $776,000. Bernal, still recovering from her injuries, says she doubts she’ll ever see the money.

North Texas Spends More on Christmas. We go out more, we shop more, we spend more on gifts. We also, according to this Deloitte survey, spend more on ourselves. Nearly half of the North Texans surveyed said they planned on buying themselves something.

Heavy Rain Expected on Thanksgiving. The weather psychics say we should expect a lot of bad weather over the holiday weekend. Please be safe.

Leading Off (11/24/15)

Robert Jeffress Makes Dallas Look Bad. Our Mike Mooney profiled the pastor of First Baptist Dallas in 2012. Mike said Jeffress was a likable guy. Okay. I guess. But watch this video and read what Jeffress has recently said about Islam (short version: bonkers). Most important, read this blog post written by Robert Hunt, the director of Global Theological Education at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. It’s titled “The Darkness in the Heart of Dallas.” Read it in the context of the misguided armed protesters who showed up at the Islamic center in Irving. We have SO far to go before Dallas gets to “world class” status, and it has nothing to do with signature bridges or riverside toll roads.

Elvis Andrus Unclear on the Concept. Yeah, yeah. We’re focused on the Cowboys and Mavericks right now. What? The Stars are playing? And it’s the team’s best season ever? Okay. Throw in the Stars. But here’s some Rangers news. Elvis Andrus, who committed, like, seventytwenty errors in Game 5 of the American League Division Series, says, “For sure, what happened last year is something that is going to make me work harder. I don’t think about it. It was a long process, but I’m in a good spot right now.” Say what? You don’t think about it, but it’s going to make you work harder? You screwed up, dude. THINK about it.

Two Arlington Officers Indicted. Detention officer Pedro Medina and former lead detention officer Steve Schmidt were indicted on a charge of criminally negligent homicide in the death of Jonathan Paul, who was in police custody.

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Ahmed Mohamed’s Family Demands $15M From City of Irving and Irving ISD

The lawyers for the family of former Irving teenager Ahmed Mohamed sent a letter demanding $10 million from the city of Irving and $5 million from the Irving school district for how police and officials handled the clock controversy.

From the letter, via DMN:

He will continue for the rest of his days to experience pain and suffering. A large segment of potential employers will steer clear of Ahmed to avoid controversy, despite his many obvious talents. There is no other way to put it: his reputation in the global community is permanently scarred. One also that Ahmed, quite reasonably, will have a lifelong fear of the law enforcement and educational establishments that have let him down so terribly.

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Leading Off (11/23/15)

Armed Protesters Set Up Outside Irving Mosque. Probably the least surprising, but still depressing, story over the weekend. Good job, Beth Van Duyne. [hour-long fart sound]

Cowboys Win. Since they are in a division that is the football equivalent of a garbage scow, the Cowboys are somehow alive still in the playoff race after beating the Dolphins. Also: Jerry Jones met with Greg Hardy, regarding Hardy being the worst. “He is aware that everything he does — his personality, his style, his enthusiasm — it’s all going to be interpreted negatively,” Jones said. He added, “He understands it, and he has agreed to really work on it.” I like a team owner who comes off like a cross between an incompetent substitute teacher and a mom who lets her kids’ friends have beers.

Woman Sues For Return of Original Film That Captured JFK Assassination. Gayle Nix Jackson — granddaughter of Orville Nix, who recorded the footage —filed a federal lawsuit over the weekend asking for its return or $10 million. There are copies of the 60 feet of 8mm film, but the original may no longer exist. In a related story: I would also like the footage my grandfather shot or, failing that, $10 million.

Joker Attacks Gotham. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

FC Dallas Loses First Leg of Western Conference Finals. After falling 3-1 in Portland, in order to move on to the MLS Cup Finals, FC Dallas has to win on Sunday 2-0, by three or more goals, or 3-1 and hope for the best in penalties. I think. I watched at a bar and saw the Mavs lose somewhat controversially and FCD give up a crushing third goal in stoppage time in the space of about two minutes. FUN.

Win Free Rhett Miller Tickets to Saturday’s CF Concert Series at Gas Monkey

The CF Concert Series is a benefit gig that raises money for cystic fibrosis research. This year’s installment, hosted by Gordon Keith of radio, will feature Rhett Miller (Old 97’s), Evan Felker (Turnpike Troubadours), and the Erik Chandler Band (Bowling for Soup). Saturday night at Gas Monkey Live will be a laid-back, mix-and-match affair, with the artists playing with each other and welcoming guest appearances. You can buy $45 GA tickets here. Or you can win them. Here’s how:

Write a verse to a Rhett Miller song. The stipulations: you must use a girl’s name and the name Robert Jenkins; you must make a reference to substance abuse (alcohol, pills, whatever — it’s your choice); and the setting has to be an eight-passenger van.

I’ve got two pairs of tickets for the authors of the two best verses. Put em in the comments, or, if you’re shy, email them directly to timr at dmagazine dot com. Deadline is 4 o’clock today. May your muse inspire you.

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Apply To Be a D Magazine Editorial Intern!

What are you doing this coming spring?

If this question causes you to scratch your head; if you love Dallas; if you are a motivated, driven, and curious individual; and if your dream is to work in magazine journalism, then you should apply to be an editorial intern with D Magazine. As soon as you walk through these doors, you join a team dedicated to producing the best city magazine possible. Editorial intern duties include fact-checking stories, blogging, writing stories for the front-of-book section, and working on projects for various departments.

The spring internship application deadline is Friday, December 4, so start now! The spring term begins January 20 and runs through May 4.

If real-world magazine experience is what you’re after, come intern with D Magazine. It’ll be awesome.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: How Do I Get a New Street Light in Dallas?

Question: One portion of my street gets disconcertingly dark at night. How can I get a new street light installed? — Roberta H.

Let us first consider the double-edged sword that was Edison’s electric bulb. You know what we used to do when it got dark? We went to sleep, and we didn’t feel much inclined to arise until the sun peeked out again across the eastern horizon. Even a gentleman of my much-accomplished verbal dexterity is hard-pressed to communicate the fantastic mode of living this engendered.

Don’t misunderstand. Fire had been invented by the 19th century. We had access to torches and candles and lanterns, et cetera, and you would be amazed at how brightly the moon and the vast array of stars themselves can illuminate the landscape when their luminosity hasn’t been subsumed within the visual pollution cast skyward by your modern cities.

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Leading Off (11/19/15)

Yesterday was Homeless Youth Awareness Day in dallas. The mayor declared November 18 Homeless Youth Awareness Day. About 2,200 DISD students identify as homeless. The Communities Foundation of Texas highlighted these issues in an event yesterday. Promise House is organizing a Sleep Out tonight to raise money for its homeless youth shelter.

Bank robbery suspect who led police chase arrested. The suspect led a high-speed chase from Colleyville to Arlington yesterday before being arrested. At the Bank of America on Colleyville Blvd., he’d given a note to the clerk saying he was armed, although he did not show a gun before leaving in a black GMC Denali. Police eventually spiked the car’s tires in Arlington, where he was arrested.

Dallas’ top office real estate: McKinney Ave. in Uptown. At $43.81 per square foot, two times the overall average for North Texas, McKinney Ave. takes the cake as Dallas’ most expensive business address. But that’s nothing compared to New York’s Fifth Ave. at $119.27 per square foot. It’s all relative.

Hillary Clinton Criticizes Abbott During a Routine Campaign Stop in Dallas

Mountain View College’s limited gymnasium was filling up at a gradual pace Tuesday morning, two hours before Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was set to speak. Students, and adults of varying ages, paced the royal blue floor, testing out the ideal position for a selfie in front of where Clinton was set to speak. Her heavily criticized campaign logo was prominently displayed on a banner that read “Fighting for us.”

Outside, chants of “Hill-a-ry! Hill-a-ry!” echoed throughout the line that wrapped around the building.

As 1:15 p.m. – Clinton’s scheduled appearance time – approached, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was left to entertain the crowd. Clinton was running behind.

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Leading Off (11/18/15)

Hillary Clinton Comes to Dallas. She attended a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser before a rally where she gave a speech that took swipes at both Bernie Sanders (on healthcare) and Greg Abbott (on a lot of things). On Texas taking in Syrian refugees, she said: “We can’t act as though we’re shutting the doors to people in need without undermining who we are as Americans.”

Zoo Wants 18 Elephants from Swaziland. The Dallas Zoo says the animals face “certain death” in Africa, and has applied for permits to bring them to the U.S. They say moving the elephants is vital to the survival of the nearly extinct black rhino.

Aryan Brother Kingpin Gets Life in Solitary Confinement. Tarrant County prosecutors were pushing to get James Byrd moved to a state prison — as opposed to federal prison — where policy allows for prisoners to be held in solitary confinement on the basis of gang affiliation. Prosecutors also say Byrd once stabbed a man 37 times in the face, and that isn’t even close to the most disturbing thing he’s accused of doing.

Police Looking for Woman Suspected of Robbing Two Banks. Both robberies happened within a week or so in October, and both banks are in Oak Cliff. She apparently has a scar on the right side of her face that begins at her lip and ends at her hair line, which will probably factor into a nickname if she robs more banks.

Jeff Banister is the AL Manager of the Year. It went down pretty much exactly as Jason predicted a week ago, for mostly the same reasons.

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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There Are 102 Syrian Refugees in Dallas-Fort Worth

That’s according to a count provided by the DFW International Community Alliance, a network of internationally-focused organizations in North Texas. From their press release today:

Total number of Syrian refugees:  102.

Number of refugee families (including single men):  24.

All but 6 of those who were resettled by volags (resettlement agencies under contract with the State Dept) live in Dallas.  5 families live in Fort Worth.  One single man lives in Arlington.  Three of the families originally resettled in Dallas have moved to Richardson.

8 of the 24 arrived by ‘other visas’ and applied for TPS, and subsequently for political asylum.  Three of the 8 political asylee Syrians are families.  Four are single men and one is a married man who is waiting for the arrival of his wife and children.  One of the single men was studying here on a prestigious Fulbright scholarship.  Most of these men were brutally tortured and their homes / businesses burned during their captivity and subsequently fled to Lebanon and from there to the US.

Homeland Security’s intensive investigations of each refugee family has caused an unprecedented delay in arrivals.  No families have arrived from Turkey (where the largest number of Syrian refugees currently resides) in the past 9 months.  One family reached Dallas from Uzbekastan last week.  They are a Kurdish Syrian family from the NE of the country.  Two months ago the large family of a disabled Syian reached Fort Worth.

Two families, brothers of a Syrian who lives in Richardson, are scheduled to arrive on Dec. 4.  We are uncertain at this moment if they will be permitted to join their relatives on that date.

Sorry, Gov. Abbott, they’re already here.

Dead Dogs Left Outside Dallas Animal Services

Yesterday, after her 311 report about a dead dog near Interstate 20 and St. Augustine Drive was closed within 20 minutes without the animal having been picked up, Marina Tarashevska decided to vent her frustration by dropping two dead animals right outside the entrance to Dallas Animal Services.

While not a move that we should necessarily encourage our fellow citizens to emulate, it garnered a new round of media attention about the city’s stray dog problem, which has become as pernicious an ongoing issue as potholes.

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Gov. Abbott Isn’t Racist. In the Aftermath of Paris, He’s Scared

Greg Abbott wants to lock the doors. Liberals are wrong to think that Governor Abbott is posturing. When Abbott, a good, Christian man, announced that Texas is closed to Syrian refugees, he wasn’t just out to score political points, although the sentiment will obviously be popular here. He wasn’t just trying to get attention or exploit a tragedy. Abbott is trying his best to protect the people who already live in Texas. This doesn’t prove that he’s a racist. It proves that he’s scared.

And he should be. The stories coming out of Egypt and Lebanon and Paris—where terrified concert goers ran and had to take shelter in the apartments of strangers—are utterly horrific. If he takes the terrorists at their word—and he should—they will strike again, and again after that, and after that, too, and the targets could be anyone or anything: concerts, stadiums, crowded markets. Innocent couples out to dinner. Children in the streets. People who just want to enjoy a Friday night with their friends. There will be more death, and Abbott, a devoted man, doesn’t want that for the people of Texas. That’s not wrong.

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