Find a back issue

Leading Off (8/27/14)

John Wiley Price Trial Date Pushed: When I wrote Leading Off on Monday, I said (despite a planned 2015 start) Price’s trial wouldn’t start until at least 2016. Then I bet everyone $100. It’s smart that none of you took me up on that offer.

Lawsuit: Day Care Duct Taped Child to Mat: I don’t have children. I also don’t think this is the best way to handle nap time. Hold up, what? The day care also withheld water from kids so they didn’t have to change as many diapers, and hit kids? Duct-taping seems almost middle-of-the-road now. For the record: “Heart2Heart offered no comment on the lawsuit.”

Public School Covers Up Religious Plaques: Because, you know, it’s not really kosher to make Muslim, Jewish, or atheist students walk past a sign that mentions the “Holy Christian Church” and implores students to “give God alone the glory.” How did this fly for the past 17 years?

Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Indicted on Sexual Assault Charge: “A new detective was going through files and realized [this 2006 case] hadn’t been filed so he notified us,” said Dallas County DA Office spokeswoman Debbie Denmon. “Since the case was never filed with our office, we knew nothing about it.” Bureaucracy wins again!

 

Full Story

How an Office Romance Went Off the Rails and Brought Down the NCPA’s John Goodman

Back in June, when the National Center for Policy Analysis fired its CEO for alleged “sexual misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty,” the free-market think tank had more than a dozen directors on its board. Chief executive John C. Goodman denied the charges at the time, you might recall, and said his dismissal was based on trivialities. Today the NCPA board is down to just five directors—and insiders say the Dallas nonprofit is struggling to survive.

So, what happened to bring all this about? The apparent implosion has come as the result of an office romance between Goodman and a staffer that went way off the rails, leading to an unusual “job promotion” that backfired badly:

Full Story

Managed Toll Lanes Are Taking Over North Texas

The News published this story on Sunday about the proliferation of managed toll lanes. Just now getting to it. My apologies. The story has a look at “plans to build the nation’s largest network of managed toll lanes into the region’s existing highways,” and it notes that “virtually every major highway project in the Dallas-Fort Worth area involves a tolling component.” I get it. We’ve run out of money to build more roads. No one has the stomach to talk about raising taxes the traditional way. So the road builders say we need a per-use tax. But two things in this story caught my eye.

Full Story

The Dallas Skyline Turns Red For D Magazine

If you were any near the vicinity of downtown Dallas last night, you likely noticed that the familiar red hue of D Magazine had taken over Reunion Tower, the Bank of America building, the Hunt Oil building, and the Omni hotel. As Tim noted a little while ago, it was in the celebration of the publication’s 40th anniversary.

We asked our Instagram and Twitter followers to share their photos with us using the hashtag #DTurns40. The response was terrific, and here are some of the best.

Full Story

Hunt Oil Building Gives a Shout Out to Wick Allison

Our 40th anniversary issue will arrive in subscribers’ mailboxes this week and hit newsstands this weekend. You’ll hear more about it on FrontBurner in the coming days and about a related photography exhibit that we installed at Klyde Warren Park yesterday. Right now, I just wanted to share the below video taken last night. Several of the buildings downtown turned red last night to celebrate our anniversary. Thanks to everyone who flipped their LEDs for us. But a special thanks to the Hunt Oil building, which really did it up right:

Full Story

Leading Off (8/26/14)

Trinity River Work Put on Hold Till … When? Until yesterday, we expected the Army Corps to deliver its “record of decision” about the Trinity floodway in December. Now we know it won’t come till next year, February at the earliest. Without the record of decision, we don’t know what is or is not possible between the levees. That includes the lakes and the soccer fields and, yes, the toll road. From the News: “Rob Newman, the Corps’ Trinity River Corridor Project manager, reminded after the meeting that the federal contribution isn’t guaranteed. ‘It still has to be applied for and appropriated through Congress.’ And even then, the Trinity project is still short the $805,604,000 needed for the athletic fields and the restoration of the river bends and the trails and parks promised almost two decades ago. That also does not include the Trinity River toll road, which is guesstimated to cost another $1.4 billion or so.” Seems like everything is coming together.

Dallas’ Park System Needs Help. Speaking of the above, Park and Recreation Department Director Willis Winters explained yesterday what we need to do to become a world-class — [sorry]

A Bunch of Kids Missed the First Day of School at DISD. Explain to me why this is a news story. Okay, even easier: give me some context. Tell me how many kids missed the first day at, oh, Richardson ISD.

Arlington ISD Teacher Arrested for Public Intoxication. First-grade teacher Megan Updegraff clearly wasn’t ready to go back to school.

Police Shooting in Pleasant Grove. Steven Douglas becomes the fifth person shot by DPD this month. He died. From all accounts, this guy had it coming, and the cops did their job admirably.

Full Story

It’s Great DART is Considering Bus Rapid Transit. But, Per Usual, It’s Not Enough.

Last week DART finally connected its light rail system to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Hurray. Raise a glass. Pat yourself on the back. Finished? Okay, moving on.

Today the public transit system said it is considering another should-have-happened-years-ago option for the future: the introduction of bus rapid transit lines to connect suburbs. What’s bus rapid transit (or BRT to transit nerds), you ask? Well, it’s simply a long range bus line that pretends to function like a train, only it’s much cheaper than building rail. The buses are longer, they run in dedicated lanes or roads, and they stop at actual stations. The most famous success story for BRT is Bogotá, Columbia. You can find out more about that here.

DART’s proposed BRT line would run along the route that has been set aside for the Cotton Belt rail extension, connecting Plano and Fort Worth. DART has wanted to build that rail line for years, but it’s really expensive and it doesn’t look like funding will come through any time soon. So, why not BRT? Good idea. Do it. After all, the hub-and-spoke DART system does make regional transport impractical. Who wants to go through downtown to get from Plano to Carrolton? (See, I don’t hate suburbs. I’m thinking about you guys out there.)

But here’s my question: why stop there?

Full Story

Middle-Class City Workers Don’t — Can’t? Won’t? — Live in Dallas

Because I know you all can’t get enough of talk about municipal worker salaries, this morning I read more interesting data regarding the residency of city of Dallas employees. It was contained in a memo packet that was distributed to Dallas City Council members on Friday.

You already know that a relatively small percentage of Dallas cops live within the city limits and that only 36 percent of all city workers are Dallasites. This new information points to the fact that, as City Councilman Philip Kingston noted to me, “We seem to do worst with our middle income earners.”

Full Story

St. Vincent On Merritt Tierce’s Love Me Back

St. Vincent, aka erstwhile Dallas resident Annie Clark, was recently interviewed by Andy Morris for GQ UK. The entire thing is entertaining, but I guess the relevant portion for our purposes is when she recommends Merritt Tierce’s new novel, Love Me Back.

Can you recommend a good book?
I just read a book called Love Me Back by a woman from Dallas, Texas called Merritt Tierce. It’s excellent. It’s fiction but it seems to be cut pretty close to her life: she talks about her life in the food service industry (which sounds like it could be a very boring premise) but it’s an awesome book. It’s especially poignant for me reading it because I knew every restaurant she was talking about in Dallas: they remind me of a time in my life. I remember when you were 14 and you’d used to go to Chillis [sic] to hang out on a Friday night and think it was very wild. All the tchotchke Americana on the walls: amazing!

Full Story

Who Will Be The 10 Most Eligible Men in Dallas 2014?

You likely remember our contest, the 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas. It wasn’t that long ago we revealed to you the winners in our December issue. We’ve changed it up this year and are shining the spotlight on the other half. In May, we put out a call for Dallas’ best bachelors. From the hundreds of nominees we received, we narrowed the pile to down to 20 outstanding Dallas gents. Now we need your help selecting the top 10. Check out our first five candidates this week, select your three favorites, and vote. You can come back and vote once a day every day. Voting for this first round ends Sunday at midnight, when we’ll release the candidates of Week 2. We’ll need you to come back and help us out again. Ready, set, go.

Full Story

Leading Off (8/25/14)

School Starts Today: This is your annual reminder that school zones (and their expensive tickets) also restart today. And after last year’s troubles with third-party student transportation companies, Dallas ISD has 180 mini buses on the road. They’re blue, and look like hotel shuttles. You should not pass them. (See above warning.)

McKinney Avenue Trolley Extension Delayed Again: If you’ve ever been to our office downtown, you know it sits at the foot of the McKinney Avenue Trolley line. Well, former foot. The line extension now pushes it down St. Paul, near the DART line. Anyway, the construction’s been a mess for a couple of years now. And it seems like we’ll all have to wait until December for it to all clear up.

John Wiley Price Trial Delayed: Until September 2015. But nobody actually expects it to even start by then, right? Standing bet: $100 down, it doesn’t start until January 2016.

Cocaine Found in Tamales: This was in Houston, but how could you not click on that story?

 

Full Story

Only 36 Percent of City of Dallas Employees Live in Dallas

As I wrote previously, yesterday’s post about the relatively low percentage of Dallas Police officers who live within the city proper got me curious about what those numbers look like for all city employees. So I asked.

According to the city public information office, as of last year (the most recent info they had) 36.2 percent of 12,316 city of Dallas employees are also residents. The city’s data claims a slightly higher percentage of cops (21.7 percent) than was in the FiveThirtyEight post (19.1 percent.) The fire department has fled the city at an even higher rate though, with only 17.2 percent of its uniformed personnel Dallasites.

The city charter requires only that the city manager, auditor, attorney, and secretary live in town. If you look at the department by department breakdown below, you’ll see that cops and firefighters are the least likely employees to be residents. Among the city’s civilian workforce, 48.6 percent call Dallas home. Sanitation Services boasts a 70.1 percent residency rate among its 321 employees.

See the full data below.

Full Story