Today American Airlines announced that it is instituting a new boarding procedure wherein any passenger who is carrying on only a bag that can fit under the seat — a purse or a backpack, for instance — will be able to board earlier than the wretches daring to drag on their rolling suitcases. The carrier is hoping to speed up its passenger load times.
But what’s this? An added bonus for those whose only reason in declining to check their small suitcase is to avoid the checked-bag fee:
With the new boarding process, customers who wish to board early before Group 2 can gate-check their carry-on bag at no charge.
You’ll have to pick it up at baggage claim after the flight, but you’ll also get to board early. And just think how pleased you’ll be with yourself, knowing you’re $25 richer.
I spent some time in my closet last night. I’m not ashamed. As Krista noted in Leading Off today, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the relief fund for Hood, Johnson, and Ellis counties.
Hopefully tonight will be marked not by a dozen deadly twisters and window-breaking ice balls, but by a flurry of idioms. The public radio program A Way With Words is doing a live show at the Lakewood Theater, benefiting the Aberg Center for Literacy, which helps adults reach English fluency and obtain a GED. That means tickets are a little pricey, but if you’re a big fan, it’s co-hosts Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett’s first visit to Texas. We want to make a good impression. And this may come as a surprise to absolutely no one, but I love A Way With Words. It’s an educational radio show about the nuances and cultural influence of language. It’s also an endless source of amusement, since you get to learn fun new slang terms (such as “gone pecan” and “high lonesome”) and try them out on your friends. KERA’s Krys Boyd moderates the interactive evening of quizzes and questions with participants Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Morning News columnist Jaquielynn Floyd.
Get a burger and onion rings from Lakewood Landing. It’s comforting— a big greasy hug from someone you actually like. Perfect for a rainy, disgustingly humid night. Honestly, I’d recommend this even if you can’t make to the Aberg benefit.
Anthony Swofford, a former Marine and the author of Jarhead, has made one of those newfangled electronic books about the tragic death of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. It’s titled Death of an American Sniper. In this excerpt, Swofford writes of the first time he ever heard of Kyle:
I would have liked to get down on my belly in a patch of dirt somewhere with a sick-ass sniper rifle against my shoulder and blow out some rounds with Mr. Chris Kyle. Bob was right: if I was famous for anything, it was for not killing with my sniper rifle. I thought about this Kyle guy. I wondered how he’d learned to shoot, what rifle or rifles he’d used, why he favored a two-pound trigger weight, and just how many goddamn people he might actually have killed. A few hundred? That seemed impossible.
But I also wondered about other things beyond such technical issues. Had Chris Kyle really been able to kill that many men and feel no guilt, as his book suggests? Was he perfectly adjusted to the stark reality of how he had achieved his fame? I know that normal men do not suffer from an addiction to bloodshed. But men trained to kill do. I suspected that the psychic toll of being such a proficient and excellent killer would have finally worn Kyle down. There surely must have been times when he was alone with his thoughts and a blunt nausea took over and he realized that he, a proud son, had slayed son after son, and that he, a loving father, must have vanquished many fathers who left children behind. Like most soldiers who’ve killed in combat, Chris Kyle could not have experienced many days when his train of dead men wasn’t bearing down on him, a chorus of ghosts.
I wondered about all these things, and I had no reason to think that I would never be able to ask the man himself.
I would recommend you purchase this work if you’re interested in reading more about Kyle, but only after you first purchase the (presumably) superior electronic book on much the same subject authored by our own Michael J. Mooney, The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle: American Sniper, Navy SEAL.
This is a really smart idea. The Dallas Morning News has released an 80-page ebook containing its reporters’ notes as they worked the JFK assassination. Here’s how they describe it:
Based on first-person accounts from Dallas Morning News journalists who witnessed the assassination, this gripping story chronicles President John F. Kennedy’s fatal visit to Dallas hour-by-hour, offering a fresh look at history.
Days after the assassination, reporters, photographers and editors assigned to the story wrote down their experience in a collection of notes that have been hidden from public view for decades. Now, you’ll experience the stories of staffers as they rode in the president’s motorcade, talked with Abraham Zapruder on the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza, waited for updates at Parkland Hospital, covered the scene at the Trade Mart, followed police to the Texas Theatre and chronicled Oswald’s shooting in the basement of the police station.
This one-of-a-kind volume includes copies of the original typewritten, hand-edited notes, giving readers behind-the-scenes access to the first draft of history.
The project came from the squeezings of Will Pry‘s mind grapes. He is the mobile editor for the DMN.
The Morning News has the memo she sent to council members yesterday. Rudolph Bush writes her a love letter:
The beginning of the end of Suhm’s career comes at a time when a new council will shortly be seated. There is reason to believe several members of the new council would not be as supportive of her.
Scott Griggs, a sharp critic, handily defeated Delia Jasso, a staunch backer, in District 1. Lee Kleinman, who has a strong independent streak, took over for Linda Koop in District 11. And Philip Kingston, who has publicly questioned Suhm’s management, was the leading finisher in District 14, where he will be in a runoff with Bobby Abtahi.
People close to Suhm have said that she is terrified at the prospect of retirement. Whatever people think of her work, no one doubted her total dedication to City Hall and to the city itself.
Suhm’s commitment to the job was legend, and the loyalty she inspired among her top staff was unquestioned.
Her departure, and the effort to replace her, will draw a great deal of energy from City Hall in coming months.
She officially leaves the gig in September.
On the front page of today’s Dallas Morning News, sources say the Dallas Cowboys may abandon their practice facility in Valley Ranch for greener pastures in Frisco or Arlington. Irving, the Cowboys’ home for more than 25 years, is also in the mix. But the story says nothing about Dallas. Come on, Mayor Rawlings. You want to Grow South? Get America’s Team back in Big D. Personally, I find the concept of the Cowboys neither practicing nor playing in Dallas County offensive — and that’s coming from a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan.
Tornadoes Rip Through North Texas. As you by now know, Granbury was one of the hardest hit parts of town. At least six people died, 37 were injured, and 110 homes were destroyed. The footage is heartbreaking. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families in all towns where lives and homes were lost.
Mile-Wide Tornado Hits Cleburne. The area has been declared a disaster area as people begin to assess the damage. I have to give a shout-out to fellow Okie Rick Mitchell on NBC 5. He’s a relative newbie, and I thought he did a great job of covering last night’s storms.
Here’s How You Can Help Tornado Victims. The American Red Cross has sent out a tweet saying it does not need supplies at the shelters. But you can donate by texting REDCROSS to 90999, and $10 will go to the disaster relief fund.
Rudolph Bush of the Morning News says failed city council candidate Richard Sheridan, whose work you’re no doubt familiar with, was down at City Hall today passing out an anti-gay flier:
I’m not going to post the flier. But I’ll describe it. It was a distortion of a recent Dallas Voice front page showing the faces of three openly gay council candidates, Vernon Franko, Leland Burk and Herschel Weisfeld.
Sheridan had X’d through each of their faces and scrawled 6s on their foreheads.
“God’s voice was heard in Dallas Saturday. No openly gay LGBT City Councilmember!!” he wrote, in reference to the fact that all three lost their races. (Franko and Weisfeld ran against Adam Medrano in District 2)
Sheridan failed to write that his own bid for council came up a little short too. In fact, he managed to get 28 votes in District 13. That’s 28 votes out of 10,350 votes cast in the district. Burk lost to Jennifer Staubach Gates, but he got 3,584 votes for his effort. Or, to put it another way, Burk got 128 times the votes that Sheridan did.
Former city councilman Craig Holcomb was on hand and received one of the fliers. He addressed the council, saying that he felt obligated to speak so that Sheridan would know that the thoughts he was expressing, were “not acceptable.”
Somehow that became a discussion about limiting the rights of anyone to address the council, perhaps permitting a person to speak only once a month during the open microphone portion of the meeting. I’m not sure why they decided to consider that measure, since (from Bush’s account) it doesn’t seem that Sheridan himself spoke at the meeting.
As ugly as are the ideas that Sheridan wrote on that flier, and left in his voicemail to Dan, I get nervous whenever officials begin to decide what thoughts are and aren’t acceptable in an open public forum.
In an interview with the Dallas Voice, Leland Burk doesn’t blame his loss in the District 13 Dallas City Council race on anti-gay voters like fellow candidate Richard Sheridan. He says those who didn’t support him because he’s gay were in the “vast minority.”
“I think at the end of the day, I was running against Captain America, Roger Staubach, and there was absolutely no margin for error.”
Fact-check: The actual Captain America appeared to be primarily working on Scott Griggs’ District 1 campaign.
Lawrence Wright is a staff writer at the New Yorker and author of the books The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 and Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. (A book about terrorism and a book about the strange extent to which people will go to cling to their beliefs.) He was also at the George W. Bush Presidential Library a few days ago, when there was an “active shooter” alert on the SMU campus.
“We had just gotten through security and were standing in the vast marble atrium, waiting for some friends, when suddenly a cry went out: ‘Active shooter!’ Everybody dove for cover—but there was none. We were lined up against the walls, feeling very exposed. An elderly man had fallen and was lying on his back, helpless. People were crying and praying. The library went into lockdown. Two university policemen with automatic weapons and grim expressions shoved ammunition clips into their chambers and walked toward the front entrance. It was less than a month after the Boston Marathon bombing, and even though it seemed implausible that such a pleasant afternoon could be interrupted by a terrorist attack, I had to admit that the target would seem an obvious one if I’d just heard about it on the radio.”
Wright also gets into the loose gun laws in Texas. “Suppose the incident had happened at the other Bush library, the one for George H. W. Bush at Texas A&M, where it’s legal to display weapons openly unless they are used in a manner that ‘harms, threatens or causes fear to others.’ As we learned that afternoon at S.M.U., the mere presence of a gun openly displayed causes fear and confusion.”
“Commerce Street looking west at St. Paul,” circa 1949
Share your own Ghosts of Dallas.
What a difference in attitude a couple of months have made for Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. As Krista mentioned earlier, AT&T and Dallas have (nearly) finalized snatching the very lucrative Byron Nelson PGA tournament away from Irving—a deal the mayor was understandably upset about earlier in the year.
In an April story in D CEO magazine she told writer Art Stricklin: “From Day One we have been partners with the city of Dallas. The mayors of Dallas and Arlington, Fort Worth, and Irving agreed that we were not competing with each other. … [But] this seems to be the aim of taking a golden nugget from one city to another city.”
Now, though, Van Duyne apparently has got her mind right about things. The Nelson “is and has always been a regional event,” she told today’s DMN. “The tournament is bigger than any one city and benefits every community in North Texas.” As she spoke harps may or may not have been playing in the background.
Here at D Mag HQ we’ve been hit with some spam of late. Our I.T. support engineer, Matt Shelley, issued a company-wide memorandum warning people to be careful about opening attachments from unfamiliar senders. As a public service, I pass along his note:
Dear technologically in-touch staff members,
It has come to my attention (and the attention of my tech legions — yes, I have those) that several of you are receiving spam email today from tiffany.com that includes an attachment. This attachment has the word “invoice” in its name. As you may have read two sentences ago, this is spam. And, in an effort to educate you and fill your bright, high-functioning tech brains with some useful information regarding email dangers and common sense, here are some good spam guidelines to keep in mind.
1. If you don’t know the person, do not open the attachment.
2. No legitimate business will ever send you an attachment, i.e. jewelry stores you can’t afford, shipping companies, banks.
3. There is not some unidentifiable source holding onto invoices for you out there in the whirlwind of debt accumulation that you do not know about.
4. Do not succumb to fear.
5. You are not significant, but you are considered useful.
6. Do not eat meat at the airport.
7. Stay alive.
So, with all the love I can fit in my back pocket, I come to you pleading for hope. Do not open attachments if you do not know the person. Did you give your email to tiffany.com? Do they work on a “bill you later” agreement with customers?
Anyway you peel the potato, I am sorry if this somewhat smug and genuinely scornful email hurts your feelings. Those tiny, cuddled, and seemingly confused feelings of yours are important to me. Lastly, if you would like to work on some awareness exercises pertaining to email and general grifting tomfoolery, send me a letter.
It’s a very Arts District-centered evening, since we’ve got cool events at Booker T. Washington and the Dallas Museum of Art. As most of my friends know, I own a pretty decent camera. I do not really know how to use it, and I also don’t use it enough. A much more talented friend argues that those two things go hand in hand. All of this doesn’t stop me from being interested in tonight’s Take the Lens Cap Off panel discussion at Booker T., in which several knowledgeable guests will talk about photography trends with DMA curator Jeffrey Grove. Panelists include Kael Alford, documentary photographer, writer, and journalist; Deborah Bell, a curator and dealer who serves as vice president and head of Christie’s photographs department in New York; Dorinth Doherty, a professor of photography at UNT and a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow; and Wendy Watriss, and photographer and founder of Fotofest Houston.
Also tonight, the Dallas Museum of Art is offering their own event in conjunction with the gorgeous Marc Chagall exhibit, which is only around for another week or so. Anyway, tonight’s program is a “serenade” to the versatile, imaginative artist, and features live music and dance performance inspired by his life and work. You also get a special tour of the exhibition.
For more to do tonight, go here.
Yesterday on the DMN Opinion Blog, Rodger Jones wrote about taking a morning walk through Thanks-Giving Square.
Half the place looks like a kennel’s exercise yard — which is to say, pity the landscape crew that’s trying to grow grass under the dog droppings — and the other half is dominated by signs trying to keep the animals away.
Even though the park is half off-limits to dogs, that doesn’t prevent the kennel smell from lingering.
He proposes making the space a dog-free zone. I doubt that Patrick Kennedy, who wrote about Thanks-Giving Square’s problems last year in D Magazine, would agree with that proposal.
While Kennedy also was troubled by the amount of feces side-stepping necessary when navigating the area, he pointed to a couple of larger challenges. For one, the buildings that have gone up since the space was dedicated in 1976 have resulted in far more shade on the spot, which has led to erosion problems. And secondly, the walls that border the square have a way of detaching it from the surrounding area: