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Making Dallas Even Better

Dallas Intersections That Would Make Fantastic Aliases or Elmore Leonard Characters, Ranked

30. Cole Armstrong

29. Richmond Summit

28. Stewart Lausanne

27. Victor Glasgow

26. Prescott Bowser

25. Michael Klondike

A job this size would take money to get up and running, and that’s where he came in. His family had made a fortune in candy, but he saw himself as something else, something tougher, even if no one else did. But maybe now they would.

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Help Wanted at D CEO

D CEO magazine has an immediate opening for a managing editor. In addition to being a first-rate writer and editor, the affable, super-organized person who takes this job will oversee day-to-day operations, making sure deadlines are met for a title named the country’s best regional business magazine for the last three years. Duties include assigning front-of-the-book stories, managing budgets, and supervising the fact-checking process. And, oh yeah—he or she also will have to put up with me. Journalism experience and familiarity with business required. Send a résumé to

Leading Off (2/8/16)

Mayor Rawlings Wants to Ban Adult Expo From Returning to Convention Center. Ray Hunt is against it, also. EXXXOTICA, “the largest adult event in the USA dedicated to love and sex,” held its three-day shindig last August. I’ll just say this is what happens when you build Philip Jones a convention center hotel. If I had to pick a side, I guess I’d say I’m against it, too, just because the protesters were — and this is a technical term — super lame.

Jimmie Vaughan Rides In Oak Cliff Mardi Gras Parade. I couldn’t make it out. Did he do any Fabulous Thunderbirds songs?

Fort Worth Stock Show Sets Attendance Record. I didn’t make it out there, either. Did anyone do any Fabulous Thunderbirds songs?

More Than 100 Arrests In Crackdown On Aggressive Panhandlers. I wonder if the guy who’s been using the same bus ticket to try to scare up some scratch was one of them. I sort of hope so, if only to shake up his hustle. As any good rapper knows, you gotta switch up your flow every now and again.

K2 May Be Regulated Soon In Dallas. The city’s public safety committee is looking at it after a spate of overdoses of the synthetic cannabinoid. It’s pretty dangerous, if you haven’t heard.

DMN Makes Mike Hashimoto a Metro Columnist

Mike Hashimoto has been around at the Dallas Morning News forever. Something like 30 years, I think. He’s been a member of the paper’s editorial board for a while. And a few days ago, DMN editor Mike Wilson introduced him as a new Metro columnist. You might not have known, but should if you give his first column a cursory glance, that Hash is married to Jacqueline Floyd, who is also a DMN Metro columnist.

Tim and I got to talking about this the other day, and we decided it raised an interesting conundrum for Wilson.

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Things To Do In Dallas This Weekend: Feb. 5-7

If you have a time machine, like sandwiches, and want to win some Modest Mouse tickets, cruise into that wormhole and rewind to about 3:30 pm yesterday. You’re going to want to tune in to the live video edition of “Things To Do In Dallas,” which is a thing we did over on the D Magazine Facebook page with mostly minimal embarrassment. Listen closely for a trivia question. The answer is Blade Runner. Congratulations. You’re going to see Modest Mouse and eat $50 worth of sandwiches.

Spoiler Alert: The three best things to do in Dallas this weekend are the Mardi Gras parade in Oak Cliff, Teatro Dallas’ International Festival, and Super Bowl watch parties at the Granada Theater and the Bomb Factory. But that’s really just the tip of the Dallas events iceberg, and I’m about to steer this ocean liner of a blog directly at that sucker.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Why Are There ‘Barrel Monsters’ Along Interstate 35E?

Question: I was driving up Interstate 35 over the weekend, and I spotted some strange statue. It looked like it was made of traffic barrels. This was when was I was headed north and just south of the lake in Lewisville. Any idea what that was? — Melissa H.

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What Do David Foster Wallace and Barrett Brown Have in Common?

Barrett Brown, as you might know, won a National Magazine Award earlier this week for a jailhouse column that began right here on FrontBurner and then migrated to Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept. Well, he won for three installments published by The Intercept. We’re happy to have been part of the process and aren’t looking for any credit (we totally deserve all the credit).

And, as you might also know, I won a National Magazine Award for a profile I wrote of Barrett. Which has led me this past week to remark to several people that Barrett must be the only subject of an NMA-winning story to have won an NMA himself. Right? I mean, because how could that have happened twice? So I asked the kind folks at the American Society of Magazine Editors, which bestows the awards, to confirm that it had never happened before.

Well, it has.

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Leading Off (2/5/16)

Johnny Manziel Allegedly Assaulted Ex-Girlfriend. WFAA broke the news late Thursday afternoon that Fort Worth Police are investigating a complaint that the former Texas A&M and soon-to-be-former Cleveland Browns quarterback beat up Colleen Crowley on Jan. 30 after arguing with her at his Hotel ZaZa room in Uptown. According to the report, he forced her into a car and drove her to her apartment in Fort Worth. Once there, Crowley says she became fearful for her life and banged on a neighbor’s door asking for help. However, after police arrived, Crowley was uncooperative and refused to make a report. Manziel has told TMZ the incident didn’t happen. Manziel is expected to be released by the Browns in March, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has expressed interest in acquiring him as a backup for Tony Romo. It’s unknown whether this alleged incident will have an effect on that, or prompt disciplinary action by the NFL. However, as Dale Hansen noted when he went “unplugged” on the 10 p.m. newscast last night, the signing of Greg Hardy last year demonstrated the Cowboys are a team “that doesn’t care if you beat up women. It is a team that believes in as many chances as you need, as long as they think there’s a chance you can play.”

Students to Vote on Dropping Confederate Name. Dallas ISD’s John B. Hood Middle School in Pleasant Grove is named for a Southern general of the Civil War. Recently students raised concerns about honoring someone who fought to protect the institution of slavery, especially considering that Hood’s student body is majority Latino and African-American. So the principal is allowing the kids to cast ballots during lunch today. (It’s a non-binding referendum, since the school district’s board of trustees will have the ultimate say.)

Driver Pulls Gun on Biker. It happened outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, but a viral video of the road rage incident was all over North Texas newscasts because the fellow who was packing is from — you guessed it — Irving.

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It May Cost More to Remove the Dallas Wave Than to Fix It

I just happened to spend my morning hanging out at a meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board (always a good time, let me tell you), and got to sit in on the first public briefing on the Dallas Wave since the January 20 city council meeting. If your short term memory needs refreshing, the January 20 meeting was when the city council found out that they had 5 hours to respond to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers request to finally figure out how to fix the whitewater feature on the Trinity, which has been closed since it opened in 2011.

There wasn’t much new revealed in the meeting that hasn’t been batted around to death. One of the most eyebrow-raising revelations was that most of the people on the parks board have never been briefed on the Dallas Wave, despite the fact that a power point presentation seemed to suggest that city staff spent much of 2015 trying to figure out what on earth to do with the thing. According to city staff, the city is looking at two options for fixing the wave problem. The first is to lengthen the bypass channel in order to decrease the grade, making it possible to navigate upstream. The second is to simply take the white water feature out altogether.

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Fort Worth Zoo Bear Predicts Carolina Panthers Will Win Super Bowl 50

Boudreaux the bear at the Fort Worth Zoo agrees with Vegas: the Panthers are slight favorites to win Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.

Today the zoo suspended two papier mâché footballs stuffed with fruit, nuts, popcorn, and cheerios in his enclosure. After nosing around them for a bit, as you can see in the video, Boudreaux settled on Carolina. He was too busy going to town on his favorite treats to comment on whether he expects quarterback Cam Newton to walk away with the MVP award.

Meanwhile, over at the Dallas Zoo, two tortoises raced for cakes decorated in the colors of the NFC and AFC champs. The outcome of that contest suggests the Broncos will emerge victorious. But whoever heard of a tortoise who knew anything about football?

My money’s with Boudreaux.

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City of Dallas Pushes to Keep Porn Out of Convention Center

But that pesky First Amendment made it impossible to do so last year when the Exxxotica Expo came to town. The city is apparently looking for a workaround:

[Ron King, executive director of the convention center] said he took the issue back to city attorneys when they started hitting “speedbumps” thrown in front of them by “people who said, ‘You shouldn’t have that in this facility.” He wasn’t more specific than that, but said that given the interest from the mayor’s office in the past, he thought it best to make sure Rawlings and the council knew what was coming.

“I suspect there will be some action this coming Wednesday,” said King. “I am awaiting what that action may be so we can move forward.”

[Exxxotica director J. Handy] said he doesn’t know what that would be. When asked if Exxxotica would sue Dallas if it’s not allowed in 2016 or simply move to another city, Handy said both options were, at this point, unfathomable.

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Leading Off (2/4/16)

Southwest pilots picket for higher pay. Yesterday, hundreds of Southwest Airlines pilots picketed outside of Love Field to address the fact that they still don’t have a new contract after negotiating for four years. They held signs with “It’s time for a contract” written on them. Negotiations for a new contract will begin again in March.

50 police officers could be added to force. For the coming fiscal year, city council members are informally in favor of adding 50 more cops than the usual 200 added annually. This would add $2.3 million to the budget for next year. Police Chief David Brown noted to the council that, since 2010, his department has lost 200 officers.

Plano man loses thousands in fraud scheme. 88-year-old Plano resident Bob Devinney, a former University of Kansas track star who set a national record in 1952, lost $250,000 in retirement savings due to a Jamaican fraud scheme. The suspects had talked to Devinney on the phone, told him he won the lottery, and over two years asked him to pay insurance and taxes on his “winnings.” Devinney had planned to use his savings to take care of his wife, Sarah, who has Alzheimer’s.