Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Why Is Deion Sanders Inviting Me To Go to Church in the Downtown Library?

Over the weekend, I got an email from Deion Sanders inviting me to church. The subject line of the email read: “You’re VIP | Sunday at Kingdom War Church | Downtown Dallas, TX.” The content of the email was a crazy GeoCities mishmash of images of Deion at church, invitations to join him, and, well, other stuff. After studying this email for three hours, I have been able to determine the following:

Read More

Leading Off (9/29/15)

All Ahmed All the Time! Now he’s going to Qatar.

SMU Golf, Basketball Teams Learn About possible NCAA Sanctions Today. Pony up!

DMN Editorial Writer Doesn’t Like expensive stuff. Tod Robberson doesn’t like the high prices that Whole Foods charges. Also, he doesn’t like Whole Foods’ parking spots that are reserved for electric vehicles. And he doesn’t like that Whole Foods chooses to locate its stores where the company thinks they will have the best chance of succeeding. Tod Robberson is indignant. Presumably, he will next assail Neiman Marcus, Lululemon, and Apple, all retailers whose business model — charging a premium for high-end goods — deeply offends him.

Read More

A Police Officer Explains Why Many Are Frustrated with DPD Management

My column for the November issue of D Magazine (on your newsstands in four short weeks) deals with the concerns of Dallas police officers. In said story, I say that the largest police organization, the Dallas Police Association, is wrong to buy into the silly narrative that there is a “war on cops.” I say they are absolutely right, however, to blame the administration for poor police response times. For days, I’ve been sent pictures of 3rd-shift details at large police substations that show only five or six officers available to handle calls from 3 p.m. to midnight.

This, I argue, is the issue that people care about. This is the concern supported by the data. This is why cops aren’t showing up for hours. And this is the concern that at least partially led to the behind-the-scenes meeting at City Hall last week, where Chief David Brown’s tenure was discussed.

In the column, I quote from a letter written by police officer Louis Mills.

Read More

How Richard Rainwater Spent Millions to Find a Cure For His Disease

As Zac mentioned earlier, Fort Worth businessman/philanthropist Richard Rainwater died over the weekend at age 71. Rainwater’s was a rags-to-riches story made tough in the last few years as he battled something called progressive supranuclear palsy. In this March story in D CEO, columnist Steve Kaskovich explained Rainwater’s disease and told how the billionaire was doing everything he could to fight it.

Read More

Leading Off (9/28/15)

Cowboys Lose. The #WeedenBoyz version of the team looked dominant at the outset, with Joseph Randle ripping off big gains and Brandon Weeden looking like a professional quarterback. Then Weeden threw a garbage interception, the offense never really recovered, and the Cowboys gave up 22 unanswered points. If there had been another half, they might have given up another 22 or so. If the team doesn’t care about scoring, ya boy is still available.

Ahmed Mohammed, The Middle School Years. Another good piece by Avi Selk, adding depth and shading to the initial sketch of the Irving 14-year-old, who has become more of a symbol than a kid over the last two weeks.

Jordan Spieth Finishes Off Most Lucrative Season Ever. The 22-year-old golfer took home the Tour Championship with a final round 69, which earned him the No. 1 ranking in the world and another $1.485 million. That gives him — not counting the $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup — $12,030,465 for the year, a new PGA Tour record. Here is a bunch of stats about how awesome his year has been. If Spieth needs a new best friend to guide him through these shark-infested waters, ya boy is always available.

Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina is In Dallas Today. She’s here for a pair of fundraisers. Let’s see if she can avoid this happening again, or at least stop talking about a video she can’t produce. I’d only bet on the former.

Billionaire Investor and Philanthropist Richard Rainwater Dies. He got his start managing the Bass family’s oil fortune and later helped George Bush buy the Texas Rangers. He had been battling supranuclear palsy, a rare neurological diseases, since 2009. He was 71.

Carrie Fisher Gives ’Em Something To Talk About at Fundraising Luncheon

In years past, the annual Metrocare fundraiser luncheon has been a smallish, subdued affair. This year was different. The nonprofit — which, among other services, helps people suffering from mental illness — landed Carrie Fisher as its featured speaker. Fisher talks frequently about her own struggles with mental illness (she’s bipolar) and past substance abuse. About 500 people packed the Anatole’s Imperial Ballroom (a wonderfully apt name, given Fisher’s most famous role). It was an interesting lunch.

Read More

Podcast: Meat Queen Alice Laussade on ‘Funlanthropy’ and Mommy Makeovers

The Dallas Observer‘s own Cheap Bastard, Alice Laussade, stopped by the Old Monk to talk about her upcoming Meat Fight fundraiser on the newest episode of EarBurner, and she brought plenty of salty language with her. Consider this your mature-content warning. Maybe skip this one if you’re listening with the kids.

Otherwise, on to the notes:

Read More

Leading Off (9/25/15)

THE STATE FAIR OF TEXAS KICKS OFF TODAY. Brace yourselves (and leave your selfie sticks at home). Fair Park welcomes the 129th installment of the State Fair of Texas today. This year’s State Fair has much to live up to, as last year’s record-setting run garnered more than $42 million in coupon sales–despite the fear of Ebola. Nurse that selfie-stick separation anxiety you’re experiencing with chicken-fried lobster and a bacon margarita. Perhaps not in that exact order.

TWO DIE IN A PLANE CRASH AT GRANBURY MUNICIPAL AIRPORT. Two men were killed last night at Granbury Municipal Airport when their single-engine aircraft went down moments after takeoff, bursting into flames. The crash, which occurred around 7 p.m., was in close proximity of a high school football game taking place across the street at Granbury High School. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

NORTH OAK CLIFF HOMEOWNER FINDS POSSIBLE HUMAN REMAINS. While remodeling a home in the 700 block of North Winnetka Avenue, a homeowner discovered what appeared to be human remains. The revelation emerged when the homeowner broke apart a concrete slab in the property’s backyard. The Dallas County Medical Examiner is determining the finding’s authenticity.

RANGERS PAD THEIR AL WEST LEAD. With an 8-1 win yesterday, the Rangers swept Oakland. Notably, the win pushed their lead over Houston in the American League West to a season high of three and a half games. They’ll open a three-game series in Houston tonight.

J.J. Watt of Houston Texans Endorses — Gasp — Dallas Shirt Company

This will come as no surprise to you, but J.J. Watt and I are a lot alike. The most recent example of our near identicalness is the news that he is now endorsing Mizzen + Main, the same shirt company I have endorsed. I’m sure you remember the Great Tuxedo Challenge of 2012, the stunt where Zac challenged me to wear a tuxedo every day, all day, for the entire month of August. Hearken back to Day 8 of the Challenge, if your memory needs refreshing. That’s me, endorsing the greatness of Mizzen + Main — and looking very much like J.J. Watt. See the resemblance in the triceps? Anyway, as I was saying, Houston sucks.

Read More

Ex-Cowboys QBs: Good Things Can Still Happen for Dallas This Season

Tony Romo may be sidelined for eight weeks with a broken collarbone, but two former Cowboys quarterbacks say Dallas may still be on track for a good season. “It’s not all doom and gloom,” said Babe Laufenberg, who played for the ‘Boys from 1989-1991. Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach agreed—and then some. Romo replacement Brandon Weeden “has a very good arm. He’s just got to get some experience,” said Staubach, who led the Cowboys to their first two championships. “He can do it. It’s more than playing; it’s also mental. It just takes time and experience.

“The defense is playing well. If they can maintain the pace, that helps too,” Staubach went on. “We’re 2-0 now. If we can hang in there through November and be, say, 7-3, or 6-4, and then get Tony and Dez Bryant back for the stretch drive, get some momentum going into the playoffs … That’s what it’s all about then: momentum. So, good things can still happen.”

Staubach and Laufenberg offered their views to a reporter Wednesday at the new West Dallas home of Mary McDermott Cook, who hosted a get-together for the “$25,000 Circle” of the United Way’s Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society for heavyweight donors.

Read More

Leading Off (9/24/15)

Ahmed’s family hires attorneys to investigate police treatment of the teen. The Irving story continues, with lawyers—Thomas Bowers and Reggie London—representing Ahmed. Says Bowers: “He may be smiling on the outside, but he’s having some issues.” Bowers’ previous clients include a former stripper who sued Jerry Jones. “I take the cases no one else will take,” Bowers says. Irving city officials did not comment on whether they would also be talking to attorneys.

McKinney police officer shoots and kills man who opened fire on officers. Last night at the Cliffs of Eldorado Apartment Homes, a McKinney police officer fatally shot a man who shot at officers. The man had apparently been holding a woman and child against their will. No officers were injured.

Rangers win, have largest division lead in two years. With a 10-3 win over Oakland last night, the Rangers now have a three-game lead over Houston, in second place in the American League West. This marks the Rangers biggest lead in the West since 2013. But unlike the 2013 season, which did not end well, this season will be different, the team vows. Don’t let us down, Andrus.

Dallas zoo surpasses 1 million visitors this year. Yesterday, the Dallas Zoo hit a major milestone: 1 million visitors in a fiscal year. This is the first time in the zoo’s 127 years that this has happened. What about the family who pushed the zoo past this marker? They got to feed the elephants, of course.

Leading Off (9/23/15)

Irving Mayor Tells Glenn Beck There’s More to Clock Story. Beth Van Duyne appeared on The Blaze to say that “the other side of the story is not coming out” about the now-famous clock incident. She also doesn’t like the President’s reaction. They speculated whether someone put Ahmed up to this, to test for weak points in Irving security. Beck asked: “Any doubt in your mind that this is really kind of the final throes of weakening us to the point to where we don’t ask any questions, to be ready for final confrontation? Total confrontation?”

Investigators Looking into Waxahachie Explosion. Neither Atmos nor the fire department will say what they believe caused the giant house explosion that injured three and damaged several homes earlier this week. Apparently AT&T confirmed the company has been working in the area. Neighbors have been given the green light to return, but they would understandably like to know what made a nearby house explode.

Neighbors Ban Together to Take Down Alleged Burglar. The Munger Place neighborhood had been having a lot of car break-ins and garage thefts. Yesterday someone saw a 16-year-old boy opening car doors. There was a pursuit. There were punches. I sure hope they have the right guy. Otherwise the pile up that followed would have been pretty awkward. From a neighbor: “At that particular time all of the neighbors just piled on top of him and once the neighbors piled on top of them he had it because somebody was sitting out of his behind somebody was putting a leg on his arm he couldn’t move it all.”

Dallas Cowboys Trade for Matt Cassel. After the tragic injury to Tony Romo, the Cowboys made a move for another quarterback. Cassel is probably best known for being an adequate fill-in for Tom Brady seven years ago. He’s played on a few teams since then, most recently the Bills. He’s expected to back up Brandon Weeden, who was until yesterday the only other quarterback on the roster.

Historic Buildings Are Now a Little Safer in Dallas (Sort of)

Dallas has a brand spanking new ordinance designed to help prevent the midnight demolition of the city’s historic buildings. The Dallas City Council passed a demolition delay ordinance which will force a mandatory review period after a developer files for a demolition permit that will allow the city to double check to make sure that the building is not, well, historic. Here’s how it will work, via the Dallas Wilonsky News report:

Read More

What’s Going On in This Picture?

I have three questions about this photo that I spotted on DISD trustee Miguel Solis’ Twitter feed. It was accompanied by the message: “No State of the District is complete without a pic with THE @Tawnell. @dallasnews.”

1. Am I an old person for having qualms about a trustee posting to social media a selfie taken with the DMN reporter who covers the district because it suggests a certain level of chumminess?

2. Has anyone else noticed that Solis, in the right light, bears a resemblance to John Leguizamo?

3. Seriously, I really am out of touch on that whole selfie thing, aren’t I?

Read More

Leading Off (9/22/15)

Ahmed Pulls Out of Irving ISD. While Ahmed Mohamed’s dad was pulling his three kids out of Irving ISD, his famous clock-making son was hanging out in California, at the invitation of Google. I’ll just throw this out there: Mark Cuban has spoken with Ahmed. On Friday, taping an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, he said, “All [Ahmed] had to do was engage with the teacher, and he didn’t. That’s the point that was missing. It was wrong that he got arrested, but all that he had to do was talk to the teacher, but he didn’t.”

John Wiley Price Item GIVES ME EXCUSE TO CALL ATTENTION TO COOL NAME. This thing isn’t really big news. JWP wrote a strongly worded letter to the vice president of advocacy for the League of Women Voters of Dallas. Read more about it, if you’d like. What I’d like you to know is that the name of the vice president of advocacy for the League of Women Voters of Dallas is — Susybelle Gosslee. Put her name in the Pantheon. She joins the ranks of Shamoil Shipchandler and Bruce Sherbet (do your own googling, if you’re curious).

DMN Begins ‘Hawk Should Quit’ Drumbeat. Read this Jacquielynn Floyd column and tell me if — seeing how thin the column is on fist-hand observation or cited sources — you think it reads like someone suggested to J-Floyd, “You should write a column titled ‘Does Susan Hawk Even Like Being Dallas County DA?’ in which you engage in wild speculation and imply she should step down.” Meanwhile, Cindy Stormer, that recently fired prosecutor, is unloading both barrels, describing what the DA’s office was like when she worked there, and Hawk has said she won’t return to work till October 2 (which is a Friday).

Gene Simmons Comes to Dallas. Yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, Gene Simmons, the former Kiss frontman who will soon open a restaurant in The Colony, gave a pep talk at the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference. Read that sentence again. Go ahead. Really let it sink in.