Dallas real estate executive Chuck Dannis has spent a lot of hours on American Airlines flights. But he’s never had such a scare on one as he did this afternoon.
Returning to Dallas from Denver aboard AA Flight 880, Dannis said he was sitting in first-class when he and the other passengers noticed an electrical “burning smell” shortly after takeoff. The plane was diverted quickly to the first available airport—in Pueblo, Colo.—where it made an emergency landing.
“They explained where all the emergency exits were, and told us to assume the crash position,” Dannis said by phone from the airport in Pueblo, where buses were scheduled to pick up the 100-plus passengers and shuttle them to Colorado Springs to board another plane for Dallas.
Then he added, jokingly, “It was enough to make you a believer.”
The Southlake-based company announced today a new series of travel videos hosted by their “senior editor,” Courtney Scott. Their intention is to release one a week. There are two posted so far, one in New York and the other about a search for the best taco in Dallas.
SPOILER ALERT: She decides the winner is the brisket taco at Mia’s.
Police Need Help Cracking Murder Case Involving Senior: A 79-year-old woman in East Dallas was found slain in her home Saturday, and police are turning to the public for help. There were signs of forced entry, but no word on whether the residence where the woman was found was burglarized. And Bernie Tiede’s locked up, so you can scratch him off the list of suspects.
Should UNT Dallas Open New Law School When Law Grads Can’t Find Jobs? That’s one of the questions put to Ellen Pryor, associate dean for academic affairs at the new UNT Dallas College of Law, which is set to open in the old Dallas City Hall in August 2014. Her answer? Well, yes, of course, but she adds that in the current economic and education environment, UNT Dallas is in a unique position to rethink the value and shape of legal education.
Trends: We Like Driving, Botox: The tranquility of the country and the distance between Dallas and Fort Worth contribute to the percentage of North Texans with “mega-commutes,” daily drives of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles. And all that driving makes the lunch hour one of the few times during the day to take care of little errands, you know, like face-lifts.
Is the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System Overinvested in Real Estate? There are so many questions raised by this lengthy report on how the pension fund that owns Museum Tower ended up managing the luxury proprieties it propped-up with large cash infusions after the real estate bubble burst. For example: What are the properties really worth now? Should the pension fund be managing Hawaiian estates and Napa Valley resorts? Is fund administrator Richard Tettamant having too much fun hobnobbing on the taxpayer’s dime? If speculative land plays don’t pan out, is it really accurate to report them as investments in “natural resources?” Is Tettamant cutting sweetheart deals for developer buddies? Are his efforts to beat market returns putting the future of the our city’s finest – not to mention the pocketbooks of Dallas taxpayers – at considerable risk? Lots of questions. But here’s the one I want to ask: did the fund really need to pay to move a piano from Hawaii to the lobby of Museum Tower? I mean, they sell pianos in Dallas, right? Really nice ones, I bet.
As American Swallows U.S. Airways, Airline Field Thins: There was a time when airports were packed with brands like Pan Am, TWA, Eastern, Braniff — all of which have gone the way of the Concorde. Now the “extraordinarily complex” merger between American and U.S. Air leaves just four major carriers: American, United, Delta and Southwest.
Tim Tebow to Speak at First Baptist: The announcement that the incredibly meh quarterback will speak at Robert Jeffress’ First Baptist Church raises all the expected questions about whether or not Tebow endorses statements Jeffress has made in the past about homosexuality, Mormonism, Islam, and on and on. And I suppose those are pertinent questions to ask, even if I wish the only question surrounding anything regarding Tim Tebow was “who cares?”
Orange Line Opens: While I know we’re all excited we can now take DART out to the beautiful canals at Las Colinas and take a tour of the city’s defunct monorail, WFAA asks the real question regarding the opening of the first leg of DART’s Orange Line: When will we be able to ride it to DFW Airport?
Burglars Steal Gear From Dino Dig: Yes, it is really terrible that some crooks nabbed about $1,000 worth of gear from the site of an Arlington fossil dig. But I can’t get over the fact that researchers may have found a new species of Protohdros and a new species of Theropod in north Arlington.
Sports Bits: Granbury Native Wins Gold, Sets World Record; Cowboys Start Training Camp: Eight years after medaling at the Olympics as a teenager and four years after almost quitting the sport, Granbury’s Dana Vollmer took home a gold medal in the 100 meter butterfly Sunday after setting a world record in the final and becoming the first woman to swim the race in under 56 seconds. Speaking of closing windows of opportunity, there’s a sense of urgency at Cowboys camp, which kicks off in Oxnard today.
Over on the Dallas Morning News transportation blog, Editorial Writer Rodger Jones writes that he believes the entire issue of the Trinity toll road boils down to one thing: traffic relief. Then, reporter Michael Lindberger asks those who oppose the toll road to offer better solutions to the problem of relieving downtown traffic congestion.
The problem is no one will ever take seriously the only real solution to the problem that would also be beneficial for Dallas. Here’s why.
Here you go. Happy now?
(To answer a few questions brought up by my previous post regarding Lamar: no, I wasn’t paid to write that; no, I don’t think that writing it will get me a better rate at the W; and, no, I didn’t type that with a part of my anatomy that, being a human male, I don’t actually possess.)
I just returned from five glorious days of roaming around the Texas Rangers camp at Billy Parker Field in Surprise, Arizona. The first thing I learned: five days in not long enough. There are 15 Major League teams that train in the Cactus League’s ten venues, and they are spread out all over the Phoenix area. The second and third things I learned: renting a car at the airport in Phoenix is a ripoff and traffic between stadiums is horrible.
During my short stay, I managed to see three games, one of which was an intrasquad game pitched by Yu “Y’all” Darvish. (He is a tall drink of water.) After talking with several players, observing batting practices, and eavesdropping on the conversations of myriad scouts sitting around me, I’ve prepared a list of 12 reasons the Texas Rangers will win the World Series in 2012.
Jump for the truth. (more…)
D Magazine is running a little sweepstakes, the winner of which will receive a week-long stay for two on Turtle Island, Fiji. All you’ve got to do is go to this page to enter.
Then, swing by the D Travel Club to share your vacation stories and photos with your fellow world travelers.
I’m going to Haiti on Tuesday. The guy I’m meeting needs some parts for a project. (One-foot long screws are in that tube.) I have been enlisted to bring them down. Logistical question: can I get that sketchy looking package on the plane? Talking carry-on.
Some Frontburnervians have probably been around here enough to remember discussions about Dallas businessman/stock broker Josh Lankford – a pretty decent rundown of links is here. And, full disclosure, I did work for him for a time.
Lankford has been on the lam for several years after being accused of helping run a few pump-and-dump scams. He’s into the SEC now for more than $94 million in penalties.
Well, just as quietly (presumably, since I wasn’t there) as he left, he was apprehended, apparently. Came across a Financial Times story from last week that was actually about federal whistleblowers. Read the entire damned story before I saw a name that I instantly recognized – Josh Lankford, my old boss.
The story, which you have to register to see (it’s free, but unless you really like reading Financial Times, probably a hassle), seemed like just this random story about snitches until the last few paragraphs, which quote Jordan Thomas, a former SEC attorney who helped create the whistleblower rules the agency now uses.
Thomas says one of his clients tipped the Feds off to “surveillance photos and satellite coordinates of the home and office of Joshua Lankford, a U.S. businessman charged criminally in 2009 with two others for allegedly stealing $20m from investors in a pump and dump scheme. Mr. Lankford,” the article continues, “was arrested in Costa Rica in September. The U.S. is seeking extradition. People familiar with the case say the FBI located Mr. Lankford independently from the whistleblower tip.”
So welcome back to the States, Josh?
Almost put up a post yesterday about the new interiors that Southwest Airlines will be installing in most of its 737 fleet. Take the tour:
I was going to remark upon my dislike for hearing about how something is “sleeker” and “more comfortable” when the bottom line is that they’re cramming six more seats onto the plane so that they can rake in $250 million more in ticket revenue and pay $10 million less in fuel costs. I didn’t like how with all their talk about how “eco-friendly” their new cabins will be, they seemed to be glossing over the fact that the distance between seats is being reduced by an inch, and the new seats will recline back only 2 inches instead of 3.
D Travel Club has a new contest that could land your vacation story and photos in the ink-and-paper version of D Magazine.
We’re looking to hear about your favorite quick getaways from Dallas-Fort Worth. Destinations within about 150 miles (with the idea that you might be able to drive there and back on a single tank of gas), but which still give you that glorious feeling of having left behind your humdrum, everyday existence.
All you need to do to enter is fill out this form to tell us about your trip and to share photos from the experience. Multiple entries are allowed and encouraged. All complete entries will appear on the D Travel Club website, and the editors of D Magazine will select the best to appear in the April issue.
Among the judging criteria will be uniqueness of the destination, helpfulness of the information and travel tips provided, and quality of the submitted photos.
Deadline for submitting entries to this contest is Feb. 10.
Awhile back we asked you to tell us about your vacation. Here’s why: Today we’ve launched our new travel website, which includes a mix of content from our readers and from our D Magazine editors. We expect it to be a place where Dallas travelers share the stories of their adventures. Please take a look and let us know what you think of it.
Let me answer that for you: you’d rather be on that beach in Nicaragua. Yes, that Nicaragua. In other words, you’d rather be on vacation. Â I don’t have facts to back this up, but I’ve found that American workers spend between 86 and 92 percent of each work day planning for their next vacation.
D Magazine wants to help. We’re soon going to launch a new travel page of our website that will let readers swap vacation stories and photos, as well as learn from the travel experiences of our editors. We’re calling it Qwikster the D Travel Club.
Before we launch, we want to hear from you. And we’re offering the chance to win a two-night stay at the Gaylord Texan resort in return. Â Just click through to this form, tell us all about your last great vacation, share some photos, and you’re entered to win.
You must enter by October 30 to be eligible to win.