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Making Dallas Even Better

How Much Money is DISD Missing Out On by Not Fully Funding Pre-K?

At this past week’s board briefing, trustee Nancy Bingham said something that thoroughly irritated me. Now, I feel bad calling her out, because she is, for the most part, a fantastic trustee. She understands proper governance, and she doesn’t allow herself to get dragged into the mud with trolling status-quo types. I also like her because she tends to zone out and play Candy Crush Saga when status quo trustees start filibustering. Last week, though, she said something I’ve heard often from other trustees, too, and it was way off base.

Bingham, in an off-hand comment, said that she believes the district should move forward with putting the $1.6 billion bond issue on the ballot in November. Nothing wrong with that. As I said last week, it’s the right thing to do.

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The Di Suvero Sculpture In Front of The Meyerson Is Almost Gone

Good job, Dallas! Now take down the Di Suvero in front of the DMA, because there is probably room to put an office building there, too, if you try hard and don’t really care about design. Not that caring about design or the integrity of neighborhoods or thinking holistically about the city is ever really a concern. And anyway, the museum’s facade is all busted up, so no one will probably care. Great idea, huh? AWESOME.

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Millennials Are Better Off in Denton and Collin Counties

That’s as compared to the U.S. and Texas averages, as well as compared to their counterparts with the misfortune to call Tarrant or Dallas counties home. The Census Bureau’s recently released tool for determining how much worse off people ages 18-34 are now — as opposed to 1980, 1990, and 2000 — is a glorious form of infotainment to suck the hours right out of your morning.

In general the national trends hold true in Dallas-Fort Worth. Those born in 1982 or later now represent more than one-quarter of the nation’s population. According to these estimates, compared to past decades, the currently youngest cohort of adults are better educated — with a higher percentage of them having attained bachelor’s degrees — but make less money (with more living below poverty level) and are therefore more likely to still live with their parents and never have married.

However, most these changes are less pronounced in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area than they are state- or nationwide. The exception is income, where D-FW-A lags a tiny bit below the U.S. median.

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Last Week Tonight Broadcasts Episode on Televangelists With All Sorts of Dallas Connections

Take a few minutes to watch this segment, below, of HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. Not only does it feature some Brett Shipp reporting on Kenneth Copeland from way back in 2007, but it will catch you up with the current status of Robert Tilton, who turns out to be a pen pal of John Oliver’s. It was all produced with help from Dallas’ own Trinity Foundation.

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Leading Off (8/18/15)

State Fair of Texas Releases List of New Fried Foods. It doesn’t really matter what else is going on this morning. All your officemates will be talking about is: OMG, FRIED EFFING LOBSTER TAIL WITH CHAMPAGNE GRAVY, Y’ALL. Here’s the list of Big Tex Choice Award finalists. When will they rename it the State Fair of Abel Gonzalez?

Dallas County Commissioners To Vote today on Important Procedural Change. While your co-workers are debating the merits of fried lobster tail versus fried beer-battered buffalo, try this: say to them, “Did you know the staff at the County Commissioners Court has proposed moving meetings from once a week to once every two weeks? Furthermore, did you realize that under this new system, a proposal would be briefed and voted on in the same day, thereby limiting public input and making it easier, hypothetically, for commissioners to sneak stuff past voters?” Then suggest they read this editorial in the News (even though it almost certainly will crash their browser, if they are using Firefox). Then, when your coworkers stare at you like you’re wearing a Hitler mustache, just say, “Hey, who’s excited about pretzel-crusted pollo queso!”

Rangers Win in Dramatic Fashion. Last night, Adrian Beltre took a five-pitch, bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to beat Seattle. In related news, Zac Crain is jogging alongside the bandwagon, seriously considering hopping on.

Frisco Hits 150,000 Residents. Good work, people. Way to get ’er done. Now then. Garland, what’s your problem?

D/FW Airport’s ‘Welcome Mat’ for Uber and Lyft

The recent news that Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is finally going to stop prohibiting arriving passengers from using Uber & Lyft was greeted with great fanfare by long-suffering victims of the taxicab cartel. As promised by D/FW Airport CEO Sean Donohue earlier this year, the new procedure was going to be simple: “1. book your ride; 2. take your ride.” As long as the driver held a sticker issued by either Dallas or Fort Worth (the two cities that own and theoretically control the $7.5 billion nation-state), he or she would be good to go.

Although I hoped it was really this simple, knowing the time-honored North Texas tradition of protecting incumbent transportation monopolists (Exhibit A: Wright Amendment, Exhibit B: City of Dallas’ vice cops issuing questionable citations to Uber drivers, Exhibit C: City Manager A.C. Gonzalez’ secret effort to kill Uber, Exhibit D: City of Dallas attempting to kick Delta out of Love Field), I was a bit skeptical.

Sure enough, a closer look reveals the “new procedure” is anything but simple.

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Meet the New Fed Boss, Same as the Old Fed Boss?

Age around 60? Check. Steel-grey hair? Check. Wire-rim-type eyeglasses? Check. Background working for a Wall Street investment bank? Check. At first blush Robert Steven Kaplan, just selected as the new president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, seems pretty much like the old president and CEO he’s replacing, Richard Fisher.

While Fisher was known as an “inflation hawk,” though, not that much seems to be known about Kaplan’s views on monetary policy. He’s currently a business professor at Harvard, and previously was vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group. (Oh yeah: he’s also on the board of Heidrick & Struggles International, the search firm that was hired to replace Fisher. It’s said he’ll quit the board.)

Assesses Danielle DiMartino Booth, an ex-Fed employee who worked for Fisher as an advisor: “At least on paper, [Kaplan’s] qualifications suggest that he is highly capable of maintaining the Dallas Fed’s reputation as a district that can continue to be global in perspective and incorporate the financial markets into its economic and monetary policy-making framework.”

Voting For 10 Most Beautiful Women Starts Today

You may have seen our sneak peek of the candidates for this year’s 10 Most Beautiful Women a couple of weeks ago on StyleSheet, but now is the time for action. Voting kicks off today! Click here to let your choice be known.

We received more than 400 nominations for this year’s contest, and after much consideration and debate, we’ve narrowed the semifinalists to 20. Now, we need you to choose Dallas’ 10 Most Beautiful!

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Leading Off (8/17/15)

Jordan Spieth Is the No. 1 Golfer In the World. Spieth came up three strokes short in his attempt to become just the third golfer to win three majors in one calendar year. But the Jesuit grad (and David Feherty’s hero) did well enough in the PGA Championship to surpass Rory McIlroy and take over the No. 1 world ranking. So, basically, we’ve had pretty comparable years.

Two Men Steal Car With a Baby In It. They abandoned the baby in a park a few blocks away. The kid is fine. In the thieves’ defense, they probably did not expect to find a 1-year-old in the Toyota Corolla parked in front of a 7-Eleven with the keys in the ignition and the engine running. Not a lot of great decisions, here.

Sam Tasby, RIP. Tasby, the lead plaintiff in the DISD desegregation case, died Sunday morning, after cancer that started in his prostate spread throughout his body. He was 93. The World War II veteran led a class action suit filed in 1970, “tired of being pushed around for no reason because of the color I am.” The desegregation order that resulted guided many DISD decisions for the next three decades. He was later honored when a school in northeast Dallas was named Sam Tasby Middle School.

Huge Crowd Turns Out For Christian Taylor’s Funeral. The more I hear about Taylor, the less I understand what happened.

Rangers Win Seventh Straight Home Game. I have not watched any of those wins. But I have been doing a bunch of deep knee bends in preparation to leap on the bandwagon when someone gives me the signal.

Mid-1800s Log Cabin Found Inside the Walls of a Flower Mound Home. A developer discovered it as he was preparing to tear down the house to make room for a new 12-home development. Instead, he’s scaling back his plans and will preserve it. Finally, hopefully, we will all get the in-depth look at Flower Mound’s rich history that we’ve long craved.

Legendary Newsman Dan Rather on JFK, Mark Cuban, and the New Film About His CBS Downfall

Today we bring you a very special episode of EarBurner, the D Magazine podcast. Longtime CBS newsman Dan Rather stopped by the Old Monk with his grandson Martin to promote a new prize they’re offering for great ideas to improve Texas education.

The Rather Boys proved delightful guests, with Dan holding forth upon his time covering the JFK Assassination, speaking about his professional relationship with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and indulging Tim and Zac’s usual brand of tomfoolery.

A few notes to enhance the listening experience:

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Leading Off (8/14/15)

Police and Fire Pension Fund Faces FBI Inquiry. More precisely, Brett Shipp of WFAA reported that G-Men have “made contact with” members of the organization’s board and staff, but he’s doesn’t know the nature of the investigation.

DART, Dallas Weigh 2nd Downtown Line. A decision is expected soon about the city’s and transit agency’s preferred second downtown light-rail route. Ten options remain under consideration, with all of those running to, or near, the existing Convention Center station. Cost of construction could run between $493 million and $1.1 billion, depending on which route it chosen. Recently, over on StreetSmart, Patrick Kennedy indicated his preference for Alternative 3C, though he’s also sympathetic to those who wish the city was ready to put a subway below Commerce Street.

Cowboys Drop Preseason Opener. The San Diego Chargers defeated Dallas in the first official practice game of the new season, by a score of 17-7. I’m sure the city’s call-in sports radio hosts and guests are being cautious and measured in their responses to the meaningless outcome.

Dallas Ranks High For Cop-INduced Fatalities. That’s according to a Chicago-based group that looked at data for the years 2010-2014 and concluded that only the cities of Phoenix and Philadelphia saw more deaths per capita at the hands of police during that period. Dallas officers shot and killed 34 people, which translates to 2.7 fatal shootings for every 100,000 people.

Family Erects SignS In Clash With Neighbor. A Farmers Branch family and the man who lives next door have clashed over barking dogs. So much so that the family is ready to get out. They’ve placed signs in their front and back yards announcing why:

Will their tactic work in this seller's market?  (still: CBS DFW) Will their tactic work in this seller’s market? (still: CBS DFW)

Day Care Leaves Boy at AT&T Stadium. The 5-year-old was found wandering alone on the field at the House That Jerry Built after a special “Kids Day” event. His mother retrieved him from Arlington Police hours after Jeanette’s Little Haven Christian Academy misplaced him.

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Leading Off (8/13/15)

Dallas Love Field Vendors Win Right to Raise Prices by 10%. All you Love Field lovers, listen up. The airport is about to get pricier, and I don’t mean the cost of flights. Dallas City Council members signed off yesterday to let airport vendors — who agree to pay employees a minimum of $10.37/hour — raise prices by 10%. The issue was raised after certain vendors said they were struggling to make a profit. Other vendors, however, said there are many more passengers passing through Love Field as a result of the repeal of the Wright Amendment, and they’re doing just fine. Mayor Mike Rawlings was one of the opposing voters. Which side was more correct? We may never know.

7-Story Rolex Building Comes to Uptown. Harwood International broke ground Tuesday on a 136,857-square-foot building for Rolex at Moody Street and Harry Hines. This is not the first partnership for the two companies. Thirty years ago, Rolex and Harwood International built the first office in Uptown Dallas. The in-progress building brings something new to Uptown in that it will be architecturally unique and will feature gardens that has not yet been done elsewhere in the city. But, you’ll have to wait a while to see the project come to fruition as the building will open next year. This is a part of a continued Uptown resurgence, also evidenced by the opening of the new Whole Foods Market on Mckinney Avenue yesterday. All this boom in Uptown is great — but as more and more buildings shoot up, so will prices.

DFW’s First All-Recliner Movie Theater Opens. Today, Cinemark opens its first all-recliner movie theater in Roanoke; it will serve Southlake, Keller, Trophy Club, and Roanoke. Every single seat will recline and have adjustable foot rests, so go ahead and get comfortable because watching a movie just got even more relaxing.

Share Your Love of the Best of Big D, Win a Tasty Prize

Now that you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with this year’s Best of Big D honorees, we invite you to share your experiences patronizing one of those fine establishments via social media using the hashtag #bobd2015.

When you do so, you’ll have a chance to win a private menu and cocktail tasting for four at Harwood’s soon-to-open restaurant and bar, Happiest Hour. So get snapping those pictures.

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Adam McGough Proposes Trinity Parkway Compromise

UPDATE: After taking those hours to digest, the council approved the compromise in the afternoon. So officially their support is for the four-lane park road instead of the traffic reliever. However, since the bench is still being built, and since the amount of money they’re withholding from being spent on a larger tollway is but a pittance compared to the overall cost of that project anyway, it’s far from a guarantee that 3C will never get built.


Original post: This morning at the Dallas City Council meeting, freshman Councilman Adam McGough made a motion that the council declare that none of the remaining $47.7 million from the 1998 Trinity Lakes and Trinity Parkway bond be used to fund any road through the park of greater size than the four-lane meandering park-access road envisioned in the Beasley Plan.

In other words: let’s kill 3C, the high-speed toll road. (Though the “bench” that could accommodate something like 3C would still be constructed.)

Councilman Philip Kingston called it a great compromise. “I can’t wait to vote in favor of this motion,” he said.

Then Councilman Rick Callahan spoke up, asking that new members respect the ghosts of councils past, not discarding the “25 years of planning” that have gone towards developing 3C as a traffic reliever route.

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