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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Feb 24

Enjoy whatever respite the fickle whims of Mother Nature has given us today, because we may be encased in ice again tomorrow. Most galleries and museums, including the Nasher and the DMA, have closed down today. Transgender advocate and actress Laverne Cox’s scheduled appearance at UNT is looking unlikely, although I’ll update this post once that’s a little more definitive either way.

However, there’s no such thing as weather-enforced hibernation here in Dallas. There are still things to do tonight that don’t involve making sleet dolls, falling on ice, or any of the other fantastic ways to enjoy this inclement weather. As always, safety first. But if you’re strapping on those skates and headed out, here are some options.

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Is It Time For DART to Seek New Sources of Funding?

The big, elephant-in-the-room problem with DART is funding. DART’s main funding source is sales tax revenue, and it increases sales tax revenue by taking on additional communities to pay into the pot. Add a suburb, increase your earnings. The problem is that the suburbs start demanding some return for their payment, as well they should. The other problem, as DART has been struggling with of late, is that you eventually run out of suburbs, especially when you fail to deliver on the promises you made to get the first round of ‘burbs to enter your funding pool. And so what you end up with is a system that is pre-designed by its financial model to be spread out and increasingly more expensive to operate, while simultaneously under-delivering on the services you’re set up to provide. It’s not a very good business model. In fact, it looks a hell of a lot like a Ponzi scheme.

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Poll: Are Schools Too Quick to Call a Snow Day?

When I was a kid, I don’t think school ever got called off a day in advance due to the weather. We always had to wake up as early as usual to find out if we were among the lucky districts to get time off.

Maybe I’m misremembering, but it seems to be a phenomenon of the past several years to have shutdowns declared before a storm has even arrived. I’m probably misremembering. But what do you think?

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ESPN’s Interview With the Von Erichs Airs Friday

According to Kevin Von Erich on Twitter, ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 interview with the famous Texas wrestling family, which has been in the works for at least a year, will see the light.

Prior to catching that on SportsCenter, re-visit the magazine’s 1988 cover story about the Von Erichs’ professional triumphs and personal tragedies.

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Leading Off (2/24/15)

Yesterday Was a Mess, Today Isn’t Much Better, and Snow Is on the Way. There were hundreds of accidents on the roads yesterday. An American Airlines plane even slid off a taxiway at DFW. Today, as you already know if you have kids, most school districts are again closed. Then more fun: a winter storm watch kicks in at midnight. We’re looking at 2 to 4 inches of snow come Wednesday morning. So yeah. Enjoy all that family time. Hope you stocked up on booze and Netflix.

Developer Cancels Plans for Indoor Ski Resort in Grand Prairie. Details are sketchy, but the $215 million planned Grand Alps Resort and Hard Rock Hotel has pulled out of Grand Prairie. But don’t fret, folks. The developer says they are just looking for another spot in North Texas. Oh, and the $3.5 billion DreamVision Mountain DreamScape Texas is still planned for Fort Worth. It’ll have indoor skiing. So you’ll be able to ski inside in North Texas soon enough, probably.

Ron Washington Can’t Get a Job in the Majors. The Baton Rouge Advocate caught up with the former Rangers skipper. He says he has contacted some teams about getting work but hasn’t gotten a response from them. “This is the first time I haven’t been at a spring training since I left high school [in 1970],” Washington told the paper. “I’m dealing with each and every day trying to find peace with being out of the game right now and just enjoy my family.”

Three DISD Trustees Call for Meeting To Discuss Firing Mike Miles. Can you guess the three?

Terri Hodge Is Back in Politics. In 2010, she was caught up in the Don Hill investigation and admitted to federal income tax evasion, a felony. She’s out of prison now. And she’s working for U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, the woman who essentially stole money from her poor constituents and funneled it to her own grandchildren and nephews. Simply amazing.

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Mayor Mike Rawlings: ‘I Didn’t Back Out of Tuesday’s Debate’

Marcos Ronquillo’s campaign has issued a release saying they are “disappointed as Rawlings pulls out of Tuesday’s debate.” You can read the full thing, below. I caught Rawlings at his personal office a bit ago. He was headed in to City Hall. He assured me that he is insane and that only insane people should be on the road right now. “Tim!” he said. “Please don’t leave your kitchen in East Dallas! You’d be a fool to try to drive to your office!” I swear to you, Wick, that’s exactly what he said. In any case, Rawlings said he never agreed to participate in tomorrow’s debate. His position all along, he said, has been that he won’t do any of these events until we know exactly who is running; the filing deadline is February 27. He called the release from Ronquillo’s camp “just politics.”

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North Texas Drought Persists

Looking at the Texas Water Development Board’s weekly drought map, and noting that only 43 percent of the state is in the midst of a drought today as compared to 58 percent a year ago, it sure is unpleasant to see that dark red lingering over much of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Like we’re the bullseye on a dart board.

Of course, that NASA video that was going around online a couple weeks back says most of North America is likewise pretty well screwed, so we won’t be alone in our misery.

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This Is the Last Week For #HiddenDallas Entries

We’re running out of time to receive your entries in our #HiddenDallas contest. Just share your closely held secrets of how to live life to the max in this city — via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media, using the hashtag #HiddenDallas. We’ll pick the best, and the winner will get a $200 gift certificate to Marie Gabrielle Restaurants & Gardens.

This contest turns into a pumpkin after Saturday, so hop to it. Check out some of the latest entries for inspiration:

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Feb 23

With most of North Texas encased in ice, sleet, and various degrees of cold unpleasantness, it may be wisest to enjoy a quiet Monday indoors. Safety first, and all that. Most museums and galleries have shut it down for the day (I say “most” just to hedge my bets, although “all” might be more accurate from what I have gathered), but the show will go on at a handful of venues around town tonight.

If you do plan to venture into the Dallas Popsicle tonight, here are some things to do. Until the Great Thaw arrives, good luck out there.

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DMN Screws DISD With Ad Placement

As Liz mentioned in Leading Off, Sunday’s paper brought us a long front-page story about DISD hiring too many teachers and then misinforming the board about the matter. An alert FrontBurnervian sent along the image above, pointing out how funny it is that the jump of that story landed across from a full-page DISD ad seeking teacher applicants. If I were in charge of buying ads for the district, I would demand a make-good.

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How a Subway Could Transform Downtown Dallas

A downtown Dallas brimming with street life, and under-street life, with shops and churches and schools, and much more affordable rents? Jim Schutze waxes on about how a subway line built beneath Elm Street could help make this fantasy a reality, leaning heavily on the vision of real estate developer John Tatum. But we’ve got choices ahead:

The tragedy Tatum sees about to unfold downtown is that Dallas is about to make two decisions — the second downtown DART rail alignment and the Trinity River toll road — that will seriously cripple if not kill the chances for achieving Fantasy Downtown. A decision to build the toll road would waste a huge sum of money, $1 billion to $2 billion, that the city should spend on rail instead. With that kind of money to spend on itself, Dallas could achieve some all-important independence of suburban DART board members who have always fought any concentration of resources downtown.

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SAGA Pod / Learning Curve with City Councilman Philip Kingston

Shy, quiet District 14 Dallas City Councilman Philip Kingston stops by world SAGA pod headquarters to discuss his ongoing opposition to the Trinity toll road — including, but not limited to, bashing the mayor and his “dream team” of architects and urban planners. We also discuss the new PAC co-founded by D Magazine Group chairman and D Magazine publisher Wick Allison, and its efforts to back politicians for city council who support restoration of urban neighborhoods by replacing and rerouting I-345 and I-30*. We then touch on what the city could learn from DISD and its comprehensive plan. And, oh yeah — we talk about Kingston getting kicked out of […]

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Leading Off (2/23/2015)

North Texas Braced For A Taste Of East Coast Misery. Dallas ISD and many others are closed. DFW Airport has preemptively cancelled flights. Road crews have been out since 6 pm last night. Sleet forecasts have increased. Everybody stay safe.

DISD Over-Hires General Education Teachers, Causes Internal Panic. DISD started the school year off back in August with just 16 vacancies, something superintendent Mike Miles hailed as a triumph. Then, in October, executives, in a move that sounds just a tad like a usually trustworthy teenager asking to spend the night at a friend’s house in order to go to a party when they know it’s against the rules even though nothing bad will happen, asked the board to approve another $6.4 million to pay for 165 more school positions that included 137 more teachers. The reason they gave was unexpected student enrollment. Turns out, according to a pile of instant messages obtained by the News from September, DISD had actually hired too many teachers with general education certificates who couldn’t teach subjects like math, science, or a foreign language. Now the question is, was the board misled? My prediction is locked in Neil Patrick Harris’ briefcase.

New Maverick Amar’e Stoudemire Makes Impressive Debut. He scored 14 points in 11 minutes during Sunday night’s game. And the Mavs won, 92-81.

American Sniper Wins One Oscar. It was for sound editing. Taya Kyle was in attendance.

PSA: There’s A Chuck Jones Exhibit At The Fort Worth Museum Of Science And History. I caught this fantastic traveling exhibit when it was at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. I only just realized that it had traveled here. If ever in your life you derived joy from Bugs Bunny or Daffy or Roadrunner or Elmer Fudd, you must go. It’s a really wonderful look into Jones’ mind and talent.

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