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Everything We Ever Wanted You to Know About Dallas Neighborhoods

Let’s talk a moment about the elasticity of “neighborhood.” Sometimes the word is used to refer to an entire quadrant of a city, while some people wouldn’t dare call someone from three streets over a “neighbor.” It means pretty much whatever we want it to mean. That’s either useful or frustrating, depending on your outlook, or whether you’re off your meds.

I was talking about this with a fellow from North Texas Real Estate Information Systems — the company that keeps track of regional home sales data — a few months back. NTREIS relies heavily on the self-reporting of individual agents. He noted how inconsistent Dallas-area agents are in their use of the “subdivision” field when logging information about a property. One agent might dutifully type “Bent Tree North #3” while another reports a house on the same block is simply in “Bent Tree.”

This results in it being exceedingly difficult to track trends at a level as specific as a “neighborhood,” whatever that word means.

Anyway, read on to find out about our new neighborhood guides.

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Leading Off (6/26/15)

A handful of area lakes closed for the rest of the summer due to water damage. Just what you’ve been waiting for: a list of what is opened and closed this summer thanks to the rain.

Dallas ISD auctions off overbought school supplies. Spring cleaning has come and gone but if you’re in the market for cleaning supplies, then you’re in luck. The Dallas ISD is auctioning off 89 cases of soap, 264 cases of glass cleaner, and 700-plus cases of toilet tissue. The toilet tissue, for instance, will be sold for $1 a case, but were actually purchased for $34.87 two years ago. Why’s all this happening? If supplies sit for more than a year they’re either a) tossed out or b) auctioned off.

Fake dentist allegedly pulls five teeth from woman. Erika Martinez turned to a procedure in her living room after a clinic said they’d charge her $9,000 to fix her teeth. Mario Alberto Sabillon-Mejia posed as a dentist and quoted her $1500 for the procedure. She paid him $500 up front. He and his assistant were arrested on Wednesday and he posted $3500 bail yesterday.

Sex offenders attend a conference at the Magnolia. Cameras were, for the first time, allowed at a conference where around 100 sex offenders from around the country met up to talk about reforming sex offender laws and “advocate for change.”

Mavs take Justin Anderson in the first round. Yesterday in the first round of the NBA draft, the team took the junior from University of Virginia. “Justin is a unique kid,” Carlisle said. “He’s a three-year guy. He’s gotten better each year. He’s gotten stronger and we feel he can play either the two or the three. He has an NBA body, one of the strongest kids in the draft, positionally. And he’s in a good position coming here. We have to fill roster spots. We need to get younger. He makes a lot of sense for us.”

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Leading Off (6/25/15)

School Board Wants New DISD Superintendent As Soon As Possible. I’d like to dunk a basketball in traffic with two hands but we don’t always get what we want. New board president Eric Cowan said he’d like a new supe by the beginning of the school year. Dan Micciche said he’d like one in four months. Good luck. The piece I linked to also hilariously contains a quote from John Wiley Price regarding public officials not meddling (!). Yes, that John Wiley Price.

NBA Draft Is Tonight. Excited to see what kind of project the Mavs reach for too early and ultimately don’t play/trade quickly! (Seriously, everything about UCLA’s Kevon Looney suggests a slightly taller Draymond Green, so make that happen, Donnie and Cubes.)

Dallas NAACP To Meet About Confederate Landmarks. Arthur Fleming, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, says they will talk about which ones in North Texas they will push to have removed. “If we are going to move forward in America, as Americans, we have to let go of those symbols,” Fleming said. “They can keep the symbols. They can take them to a house or put them in a museum.” On the other hand: Gay Donnell of the Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy, which oversees a large statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, says not so fast. “People can learn from it and apply it to race relations today, states’ rights today, local control today. That’s good,” she said. Riiiiight, Gay Donnell. States’ rights.

Sex Offenders Meet In Dallas. Who says we can’t get convention business? ATTABOY, Philip Jones.

“Group Petitioning For Alcohol Election To Make Frisco Completely Wet.” Is the headline to this story.

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Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want to Talk About.’

Given the current move to eliminate all things Confederate, isn’t it just a matter of time before the history rewriters set their sights on Six Flags Over Texas? After all, the flag of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865) is one of six referenced by the theme park name. While the CSA flag is not the “battle flag” that’s under fire these days, even statues and other memorials associated with the Confederacy have become prime targets for eradication recently.

“At one time, the park had a themed section called The Confederacy, and the Confederate Battle Flag was used as part of the theming and a civil war re-enactment,” says Six Flags spokeswoman Sharon Parker. “The name of that section of the park was changed to The Old South in the mid-1990s and all Confederate Battle Flags were removed. Six Flags Over Texas continues to fly the Confederate States of America Flag, but does not fly or sell any variation of the Confederate Battle Flag.”

Chances are, that explanation won’t cut it with the rewrite crowd. So get ready for, “Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want To Talk About.’ “

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About the Laura Kostelny Situation

As Laura mentioned, she quit yesterday. After working at D Magazine for about a week. I would like to here add that her impact on the magazine will be felt for decades to come. That thing she did last Monday? I don’t think “groundbreaking” is too strong a word. Tuesday was a slow day. But Wednesday she came up with something that kids in journalism school will be studying a generation from now. And then Thursday! Here’s what I’m saying: if you had a dog named Story, you would consider changing it to Laura.

Okay, so, kidding aside, Laura started a decade ago as the copy editor for D. Then she became managing editor of D Home, then editor of D Home and D Weddings. I stole her back to D a week ago — at which point some folks from Hearst came calling. Laura has taken a job as executive editor of Country Living, based in Birmingham, Alabama.

We wish Laura well. And I will now make it my life’s work to bring down the Hearst Corporation.

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Leading Off (6/24/15)

Police Call Missing Hurst Woman’s Disappearance “Suspicious.” Norma Shultz, 72, went missing on May 19. Her husband reported her absence to the police nearly a week later. Shultz’s daughter says her stepfather hasn’t been able to answer any of her questions. Police say they haven’t received any tips.

Lots of Thoughts of the Resignation of Mike Miles. A few places have timelines of the three years Miles has been in charge of DISD. Here’s an editorial lauding his accomplishments. And also, in the same publication, Steve Blow saying Miles was never a good fit in the first place.

Local News Outlet Finds Local Store Selling Confederate Flags. Even after Walmart and Amazon announced that they will stop selling Confederate merchandise, and Sears announced both that it still exists and that it will stop selling Confederate stuff, WFAA found a Dallas store that is still selling the Confederate flag. The place that has the nerve to sell this incredibly controversial flag is — get this — a flag store.

Rain Brings Out Alligators and Snakes. There are also more nutria and turtles. Deer too, apparently. Most of the sightings have been in Lewisville or in Tarrant County.

Mavericks Might Trade Monta Ellis. The incredibly dynamic shooting guard is owed $8.7 million for the one year remaining on his contract. It’s also possible that Ellis will opt out and test the free market. The Mavs have made it clear they have big plans for the off-season.

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Sarah Hepola’s Blackout Comes Out Today

Hello! I am new to the D staff. I started my job about a week ago, and I quit today, so I won’t be here much longer. But I am using my very brief time here to do great deeds for you, dear readers. For example, today I’m going to tell you to buy Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by the lovely and amazing Sarah Hepola. I’ve read the book twice, and you should, too. You could buy it here OR you could come to the Barnes & Noble on Northwest Highway on Thursday at 7 p.m. and meet Sarah, listen to her read a selection, and then buy the book and have the woman of the hour sign it! While you contemplate your next move, check out this interview Peter did with Sarah that appears in our July issue.

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Leading Off (6/23/15)

Mike Miles To Resign Today. You have to get up early to scoop Eric Celeste. He beat Leading Off today with the bad news.

Jordan Spieth Is Golf’s “Golden Child.” Bill Nichols writes that Spieth doesn’t care for the term. But it’s the truth.

Six New Dallas Council Members Sworn in. Adam McGough and Casey Thomas bumped fists to celebrate. Next time, work on your chest bump, boys.

Virgin Hotel Coming to Design District. The 200-room hotel on Hi Line and Turtle Creek will likely open in 2018. Feels like it’s getting very hotel-y in and around downtown Dallas. Here’s hoping we’ll have enough backs for all those beds.

Dwaine Caraway Has Good Timing. Today at a luncheon he will announce that he’s running for John Wiley Price’s seat on the County Commissioners Court. Yesterday he got some more material for his speech. An Austin woman was charged with lying to the FBI about payments in the Price corruption case.

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And Speaking of the Arts District, Cultural Area Seeks New Master Plan

On the wind of the news of encroaching development on the fringes of the Arts District, the organization that oversees the architectural menagerie and collection of arts organizations has announced it will seek proposals for revisions to its community development plan.

The plan could use some updating. Originally created by Sasaki way back in the early-1980s, the area has changed dramatically over the years, and a booming local real estate economy necessitates readdressing the purpose and functional design of the Arts District.

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Say Goodbye to the Dallas Symphony’s di Suvero, Hello to Office Box

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. As the general building boom in and around downtown and Uptown continues, and Klyde Warren Park’s popularity transforms what were once undesirable lots abutting a freeway into the hottest plots of land in the region, someone noticed that there’s a well-located little parcel doing nothing more than housing a giant sculpture. And so, yesterday Steve Brown reported that the land at the southeast corner of Pearl St. and Woodall Rodgers Freeway will be sold by the Dallas Symphony to make way for a new office tower.

It makes perfect sense. A spokesperson with the symphony said the proceeds from the sale (estimated at $7.2 million, one of the highest prices ever for the Arts District) will go to fund symphony operations. And while the symphony has pushed through their own rocky financial times, the financial world around orchestras is ever an uneasy one. So from a symphony perspective, it’s fortuitous that the DSO had a little land to flip to shore up their operations. Bravo.

Of course there are concerns about the development — there always are.

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Apply to D Academy

Care about your city? Want to learn more about it? Apply to be a part of D Academy. It’s a nine-month immersion course in everything Dallas. It’s a time commitment, but you learn a great deal about the city, meet incredible people, and make a difference. Plus all these Dallas’ leaders take time out of their day to come talk to you.

You can learn more here. Apply here. Or send me a question at

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Leading Off (6/19/15)

Lake Grapevine Flooding May Force Evacuations. Leaders in Grapevine, Flower Mound, and Coppell have warned some residents they may need to leave their homes as the overflowing lake is expected to crest at more than 563 feet tonight. Part of FM 2499 was shut down yesterday as water had spilled over into Denton Creek, which rose to cover portions of the road near Grapevine Mills Mall.

TCU Advances in College World Series. The Horned Frogs topped LSU for the second time, by a score of 8-4, on Thursday. But they’ll have to beat defending champ Vanderbilt — a team they lost to earlier in the double-elimination tournament — twice to advance to the best-of-3 finals. They play tonight at 7 p.m. in Omaha.

Lake Dallas Ousts Muckraking Councilwoman. Some shady goings-on in the small town north of Lewisville Lake this week. Julie Matthews had won election to the Lake Dallas City Council with 69 percent of the vote and only took her seat on June 11. Previously she’d operated a Facebook page on which she’d posted documents about Mayor Anthony Marino’s firing from Lewisville ISD for having been involved in the harassment of a gay student, images of him using city dumpsters to get rid of his own commercial waste, and a video of him drunkenly wielding a weapon at a banquet. Matthews had also complained that Nick Ristagno is in violation of state law by serving as both the city manager and police chief. So, based on what sounds like transparently thin charges, Marino and the three other members of the council voted to remove Matthews from her position.

Tennell Atkins Guilty of Assault. The soon-to-be former Dallas city councilman must pay a $166 fine for what he did to a city employee who wouldn’t let him into City Hall through a secured door last December.

Former UNT-Dallas President Owes Child Support. John Ellis Price quit as the head of the school in summer 2013 after reports of inappropriate relationships with employees. But he had still been teaching accounting classes at the school — at a salary of $191,000 a year — since then. On Thursday he resigned from that post as well, following news of a lawsuit against him by a 33-year-old former UNT student. Price is 63 and the father of a son the woman gave birth to in 2008.

Don’t Go to Oklahoma City. Maybe good advice at any time <rimshot>, but especially today as a 4-mile stretch of northbound Interstate 35 between Ardmore and Davis in Oklahoma has been shut down while officials try to figure out what to do about boulders that collapsed off a hillside onto the highway following the heavy rains of Tropical Storm Bill.

Rangers Lose on Balk-Off. Is the balk the lamest rule in sports? Discuss.

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Leading Off (6/18/15)

Bill Not As Damaging As Some Feared. The tropical storm depression was supposed to dump as much as a foot of rain on North Texas. But the Tripping Daisy cover band of storms have mostly petered out. (Guess I won’t need my umbrella.) So, it doesn’t look like we are going to have a repeat of May, which was, you know, only the wettest May ever. (Too late, say folks out in Grapevine.)

In fact, says Daniel Huckaby, meteorologist and forecaster with the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth Worth office, “The weekend actually looks pretty good if you’re interested in sunshine and warmer temperatures.”

It’s been a while, says Huckaby, since we’ve seen a tropical storm like Bill in Texas. “There was Hurricane Ike in 2008, but that was end of season, in fall,” he says.

But, the NWS meteorologist notes, “It’s not entirely unusual to see tropical systems in June. In June 2001 there was tropical storm Allison, which caused widespread flooding in the Houston area. So it’s not unheard of, but we certainly don’t see tropical storms every June.

“Most of the time — June, July, August — we’re talking about heat, not rain.” We’ll get right on that, Daniel. But first, an Oak Cliff boy’s got something to say about all this:

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Is Dallas a Midwest City?

Question: Is Texas in the Midwest? And what’s the Midwest? — Ryan C.

The gentleman who risked suffering the repercussions of my wrath for having dared to submit this staggeringly insulting question provided — so as to justify the depths of his own ignorance, no doubt — a hyper text transfer protocol address of an article posted by some execrable cyberpunk publication.

On that unfortunate page — which I urge my own thoughtful readers never to peruse, lest they risk the lowering of their intelligence quotients — a parade of ignoramuses compete to demonstrate which of them is least deserving of being considered homo sapiens.

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