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Making Dallas Even Better

Podcast: The Secrets of Sour Beer

In the July issue of D Magazine, our dining critic, Eve Hill-Agnus, wrote about “The Mad Scientist of Sour Beer,” a fellow named Barrett Tillman who followed his muse into an unusual form of brewing that purposefully uses bacteria in its process. Tillman stopped by the Old Monk on Thursday afternoon to chat with Tim and Zac about how he got into the business — and maybe offer samples of his wares.

A few notes before you listen:

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Leading Off (7/1/16)

Investigation of DA’s Office Under Craig Watkins Broadens. The bribery case in which Anthony “Tony” Robinson, a former chief investigator in the Dallas County district attorney’s office, pled guilty to taking money in exchange for getting a failure-to-register-as-a-sex-offender case dismissed has already cast doubts on the actions of a former first assistant DA (and current candidate for DA himself) Heath Harris, who signed off on the dismissal. Now it appears this case may just be the start of a broader investigation of the DA’s office when Watkins was in charge. Two former U.S. attorneys told the Morning News that the actions of Robinson and Harris violated “decades of protocol dictating how cases are thrown out.”

Eatzi’s Employee Sues Phil Romano. Ichel Cook, an assistant manager at Eatzi’s, says that the restaurateur (owner of Eatzis’ and founder of the Macaroni Grill and Fuddruckers chains) inappropriately grabbed her buttocks during a company meeting in April. She filed a police report and is asking for at least $1 million in her lawsuit.

Former Cowboys Player Convicted of Sex Assault. C.J. Spillman, a former special teams player for Dallas, faces between two and 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced this morning for the 2014 crime.

Grandmother Arrested For Leaving 2-Year-Old in Hot Car. Maritza Charles told police she forgot the girl was in there when she went shopping last week. When she realized what she’d done, she rushed back to the vehicle and found the girl unresponsive.

Grand Prairie Man Wins Lottery. Lance Larkin had the winning numbers in the June 18 lotto drawing. The ticket he bought at a Kroger in Arlington won him $9.8 million after he opted for the lump-sum cash option.

Marcus Willis Wasn’t the Only One Achieving His Tennis Dreams Yesterday

Marcus Willis’ 85 minutes of fame were grander than most. On Centre Court at Wimbledon. Opposite Roger Federer. Princess Kate and Mirka may not have deigned to attend yesterday’s second-round match with 3,000-to-1 odds in favor of the Swiss Maestro, but Willis’ bouncy blonde sister and dental surgeon girlfriend rose to their feet and screamed in joy for every ace and drop shot winner the #772 ranked player, who had recently lost 55 pounds and sported last year’s R.F. polo, managed to execute. So, too, did every soft, white club player who ever dreamed of a chance at the majors, much to commentator John McEnroe’s chagrin.

There may be no grass courts in Dallas, but there is a group making tennis dreams come true for local kids who otherwise wouldn’t have access to a racket or a court. The Dallas Tennis and Education Academy offers free camps and clinics for eager and aspiring kids, some of whom go on to tennis scholarships and all of whom learn a thing or two about footwork and teamwork. One of their coaches is my tennis teammate, Carol Reed. Another is my friend, Bert Cole. They both made it on the big screen yesterday, too. I stood up and cheered.

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Leading Off (6/30/16)

Dallas’ west end can look forward to smart streetlights and public wi-fi. If you plan to walk around the West End near the end of the year, you might encounter new technology including free public Wi-Fi, streetlights that measure air pollution, and an app designed to help you find an open parking spot. This is the work of the Dallas Innovation Alliance. Yesterday, it announced these initial projects, to be tested in the West End, which could improve the city. Other technologies include phone charging stations, touchscreen maps, and solar-powered waste management.

Dallas DA candidate under scrutiny. Heath Harris, a Democratic candidate for Dallas DA, signed a dismissal motion for a criminal case that has created suspicions of bribery, but not accusations at the moment. Harris was the first assistant to former DA Craig Watkins but resigned in 2014 after Susan Hawk won the spot. He also has said he planned to run against Hawk. Regarding the criminal case, Anthony L. Robinson, Watkins’ former investigator, faces up to five years in prison for persuading a prosecutor to drop criminal charges in exchange for money.

Youth sports facility at DFW airport coming from jermaine o’neal. Former NBA All-Star Jermaine O’Neal is planning to create a $10.4 million youth sports facility near DFW Airport on 16.2 acres of land near the south entrance. O’Neal, who lives in Southlake, hopes to open the facility during the first half of 2017. Today, the airport’s board is set to approve plans, which entail a 75,000-square-foot gym facility with up to 10 basketball or volleyball courts and outdoor fields. O’Neal wants to impart health and wellness knowledge on the next generation.

Man killed near Skyline high school. 20-year-old Daniel Ruiz was shot late Tuesday evening at 7986 Chariot Drive and died after being taken to the hospital. Four people attempted to steal his car, but Ruiz was shot in the chest after he refused. Police are asking for tips about the killing.

Dallas Startup Week’s Calendar Bobble Drives Improvements for Allcal

The North Richland Hills startup that two months ago challenged developers to make improvements to its application, which served as the main calendar for Dallas Startup Week, has hired two team members as a result of the competition. Allcal’s initial plan was to pick the strongest designer who showed up during the challenge at Dallas Startup […]

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Jake Plummer Calls Jerry Jones a Bad Name

Awhile back Jerry Jones said that it was “absurd” to think that a link between CTE and football had been proven. Former QB Jake Plummer, who advocates for the use of marijuana to deal with the pain and depression that can come from playing professional football, says that Jerry Jones himself is absurd. But that’s not the way he put it. Plummer’s take:

Shame on him for saying that, that billionaire asshole. It’s the worst thing in the world for a guy like that to say.

I think that’s an exaggeration. There are worse things that Jerry could say.

Leading Off (6/29/16)

Homeless Didn’t Get Less Homeless After Tent City Closed. Unsurprisingly, the shut down of Tent City in early May didn’t fix Dallas’ homeless problem. Large encampments have grown under two bridges since then. The city will shut down a South Dallas camp at I-45 and Coombs by July 19, and, most likely, one near Fair Park at I-30 and Haskell before the State Fair kicks off. Shelters are full and the wait lists for housing are long. In the meantime, “No Trespassing” signs and dumpsters are being brought in. My guess is we’ll be seeing the same story, different encampment by, say, early-August.

Area Creeps Going to the Clink for Hurting Kids. A Wylie man was given 28 years without parole on Monday for molesting a child younger than 6 years old. Also, an Arlington man was sentenced to 30 years for making child pornography videos with a 6-year-old girl. I know a federal prison guard. From what he’s told me, child abusers don’t do well behind bars. Even the baddest bad guys hate those who hurt kids. The three masked men who kidnapped this adorable 10-year-old in Oak Cliff for six hours on Monday should be shaking in their boots.

Ken Paxton Echoes Dan Patrick on FWISD Transgender Guideline Issue. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton offered an advisory opinion on Fort Worth ISD’s transgender policy, calling the guidelines illegal and saying that Superintendent Kent Scribner violated the state’s education code by not going through the school board first. Paxton’s big fuss: the guidelines say school personnel should only share information on the students’ gender identity with parents on a need-to-know basis. He says this limits parental involvement and encourages secrets. Scribner is working with the board to refine the language, while LGBT advocates are applauding the district’s efforts to keep transgender students safe.

It’s Tiki O’Clock Somewhere. Some serious stuff in the news. I need something stronger than coffee. 

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Dallas Innovation Alliance Unveils Vision For Future of the West End

The Dallas Innovation Alliance has solidified its first several projects and is unveiling its vision for the West End’s living lab via images and a virtual reality experience.

“It can be kind of abstract talking about smart cities,” said Jennifer Sanders, DIA executive director. “But putting people into an immersive experience … helps connect the dots.”

The public-private partnership, which aims to develop Dallas into a smart city, teamed up with Dallas design firms Boka Powell and 900lbs of Creative to develop static images and a virtual reality exploratory tour of the future of the West End. The visual aids, which Sanders can show via an iPad or the HTC Vive, will help the DIA continue to educate the community, potential partners, and interested parties outside the city about what the DIA has planned for Dallas. The DIA plans to showcase its vision for the West end with the new materials at its community meeting on Wednesday evening at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center.

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New Fair Park Proposal Argues State Fair Sprawl Is Bad for Business

There have been a few new plans for Fair Park batted around since the effort began to consider moving the management of the city facility to a private non-profit organization. This latest one comes from a Dallas-based urban planning firm called Ash + Lime, and it makes a simple, but compelling argument. Yes, the State Fair of Texas is too big, the Ash+Lime study contends, but the people who should be most upset about the sprawling fair that gobbles up the park aren’t park or neighborhood advocates, but rather the State Fair itself. That’s because the size and layout of the State Fair is actually leaving money on the table.

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Bottle Rocket Taps London for First International Office

Bottle Rocket has expanded its footprint to London, which will serve as the home to its third office next to Dallas and New York.

London is the first international location the company is tapping out of a slew of other opportunities it’s considering including Germany, Amsterdam and Paris. The London team, based out of the office of WPP, the company that acquired Bottle Rocket in 2013, will spend some of their time determining what parts of Europe and Asia make sense for expansion.

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Poll: Is 2016 the Year the Texas Rangers Win It All?

Last fall, impressed by the Texas Rangers’ unexpected run to the Major League Baseball playoffs, we declared that year’s team (only half-kidding) the greatest in franchise history. I typed the piece and based the argument on how the club had so spectacularly overachieved both expectations and their underlying performance statistics to wind up atop the American League West standings.

Did we jump the gun? How far can the 2016 team go?

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Global Security Veterans Launch Cyber Advisory Firm Zyston

A group of veterans in security and information technology have teamed up to launch a Dallas cyber security service firm.

Zyston LLC, a security advisory firm founded in May, boasts an executive team that includes the former chief information security officer at Fujitsu, Johnathan Steenland; the former national leader of PwC’s Cyber Breach Response, Remediation and Investigation Practice and and former global CISO at Textron, Richard Dorough; and the former president of brand protection firm Authentix, Craig Stamm.

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