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Leading Off (4/17/15)

Trinity Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Is Quickly Sedated. Despite Tuesday’s declarations by consultants whom toll road proponents themselves commissioned  — namely that there’s no good reason for putting a highway through a potentially great park — support on the Dallas City Council for the federally-approved design known as Alternative 3C seems not to have softened. At a long work session on Thursday afternoon, toll road opponents moved to drop the massive project entirely and to seek federal approval instead for a low-speed, meandering road whose primary purpose would be to provide access to the adjacent park (just what Mayor Mike Rawlings’ dream team recommended.) But that proposal was roundly rejected, 10-4, and instead the same majority voted to proceed with planning for 3C. There was also an attempt by Councilman Philip Kingston to call a vote that would have forced each member to declare his or her support for (or opposition to) 3C. This irritated toll road proponents, who maneuvered around it with their own amendment to Kingston’s proposed amendment. Rawlings made another of his public pronouncements (about the Dream Team proposal) designed to sound like he’s keeping an open mind: “We have just met this beautiful, in my case, lady, and I’m not ready to get married today.” But he then seemed to show his cards when he put Vonciel Jones Hill — whose dedication to plopping a mega-highway next to the river is unwavering — in charge of seeking public input on the proposals under consideration. “It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house,” said former councilwoman Angela Hunt. Reminder: May 9 is Election Day.

 A Lot of Words About Dez Bryant. He recently fired one advisor, who had close ties to the Dallas Cowboys, and engaged the services of another management company. What does this mean for Bryant’s relationship with the team, which is still waiting for him to sign his contract for next season? Yeah, that’s the question.

Man Detained For Watauga Abduction Attempt. Police have found a person of interest in the failed kidnapping Mike mentioned in Wednesday’s “Leading Off.”

Sex Offender Escapes Fort Worth Halfway House. Charles Sprague is suspected in a kidnapping and robbery in North Richland Hills on Wednesday. He’s been added to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list.

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SAGA Pod: Jim Schutze on Trinity Toll Roads New and Old; Also, DISD

It’s SAGA Pod After Dark! We stop by Schutze Manor to discuss the Trinity Toll Road, the Mayor, the people who really run this city, the group trying to get the Toll Road done at any cost, the Dream Team plan and more traffic noise. Then we go over the latest non-scandal scandals in DISD and wonder if the Bad Guys have finally won. Also, you can find it on iTunes here. As always, please listen with your ears.

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Dear Dallas City Council: Please Learn from the Trinity Mistakes of the Past

Today at 1 p.m. the Dallas City Council will convene a special meeting to discuss the latest plans for the Trinity River Project. The plans were developed by the mayor’s so-called “Dream Team” task force, a group of some of the best urban thinkers in North America who revealed a vision Tuesday of a “gracious and harmonious parkway” for the Trinity.

On the agenda is a resolution that will create “a team, including regional and State agencies and professionals, from appropriate disciplines, to determine any actions that would be necessary to implement the findings of the Trinity Design Charrette.”

There is every reason to believe that that group will not be able to realize the Dream Team’s vision because of the reality of the funding, flood control, and environmental requirements already written into the DNA of the Trinity River Project as it is conceived today.

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Grapevine High Students Apologize For Racist Rap

It’s a pretty awful string a words out of the mouth of a dumb Grapevine High School student, recorded two years ago, as the Daily Kos reports:

Two white female students at Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas recorded and released a song with dangerous and offensive lyrics about black, Latino, and Asian-American students. As the anger boils out of control in the school, the staff was forced to send the email below to parents.

Here’s the NSFW audio:

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Brett Shipp E-Mail Suggests He Reports DISD Stories With a ‘Miles Is Evil’ Mindset

On Learning Curve, I have a post that mentions Schutze once again criticizing Brett Shipp for his willingness to believe anything bad about the DISD administration and Mike Miles. I’ve written about this many times. But I just thought it would be helpful to let Shipp respond, in his own words, about why he does these things: Because in his mind, Mike Miles is evil.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. But look at the potboiler language he uses and tell me he doesn’t at least see Miles as a cartoon villain.

Below is an email response Shipp sent to a 20-plus-year WFAA viewer. This person […]

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A D Magazine Guess-tigation: Is Mayor Rawlings Actually a 12-Year-Old Trapped In An Older Man’s Body, Just Like In Big or Vice Versa or Like Father Like Son?

I posed the question in the headline this morning in Leading Off, but after doing so, I started to worry if I’d given enough supporting evidence for my hypothesis. Could I base my entire conclusion on one “holy smokes” quote? Well, sure. I could. But …

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Leading Off (4/16/15)

City Council To Decide What To Do With “Dream Team” Recommendations Today. They could commission a study to see about implementing Larry Beasley and Co.’s idea for a much smaller version. They could formally repudiate Alternative 3C. They could do nothing, I guess. Brandon Formby adds the necessary context here. I would describe myself as cautiously optimistic. I would also probably describe myself as taller than you’d expect.

Mavericks Win 50th Game, Will Play Rockets In Playoffs. The Mavs beat Portland, which didn’t have much to play for, since the Blazers were locked into the No. 4 seed already. Dallas already knew it was going to be No. 7, but it won 50 games for the first time since 2011. I recall that being a good season for them. They’ll play Houston in the first round of the playoffs, starting on Saturday night. Should be a good one, since there is a fair amount of animosity between the franchises, some — but not all — stemming from the Chandler Parsons situation. Last time they faced off in the playoffs, this happened. Mavs still won, though.

Dallas Streets Are a Joke. And it is going to cost more than twice what we’re spending now just to make 1 percent of them better each year. But no, please, let’s try to find a billion dollars to build any version of the Trinity Parkway.

Romano’s Bakery Suddenly Closes, Stressing Out a Ton of Brides. The store had 89 orders in for wedding cakes, at least nine of which are happening this Saturday. They didn’t tell anyone anything until Wednesday. That’s cold, brother.

You Can Now Vote to Name the Baby Giraffe at the Dallas Zoo. Jeffrey is not one of the choices.

Is It At All Possible That Mayor Rawlings Is In Some Real-Life Version of Big, And Is Actually a 12-Year-Old Kid? “Mayor Mike Rawlings had a question: ‘What are those?’ Before him on a table were the fingerprints of Lee Harvey Oswald, obtained after Oswald’s 1963 arrest by Dallas police. The mayor was impressed. ‘Holy smokes,’ he said. ‘That’s the original fingerprints. Could you imagine holding his hand down?'” I say: yes.

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Explore #OutdoorDallas, Win a Prize

Have you been outside this afternoon? Yeah, me neither. I’ve been stuck at D Magazine World Headquarters while an absolutely perfect day of Dallas weather taunts me from beyond the windows. I’d much rather be out on a trail somewhere, enjoying the great outdoors, just as the April issue of our print product implores.

We all should be playing hooky, come to think of it. And now we’ve got a way in which al fresco play could pay off. Just share a picture on social media — Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. — using the hashtag #OutdoorDallas. We’ll pick the best that we see between now and the end of next Wednesday, April 21.

The winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar. So go. Get out of here. Your boss will understand.

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: April 15

The heinous practice of “manspreading” on public transportation has been well documented. As a daily rider of the DART rail, I’ve witnessed my fair share of dudes pulling a bow-legged Lincoln Memorial squat and making everybody in a five-foot radius slightly uncomfortable. I’ve also observed, with some terrifying regularity, passengers placing suitcases and large bags on the seat beside them while the rest of us cram into the moving parts between cars, dangle from hand bars, and ride each other piggy-back to make it to work on time. I suspect it may have something to do with the orange line now ferrying amateur air-travelers to DFW Airport. Making this gesture or asking politely that a fellow passenger move the offending luggage usually solves the problem, but it shouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

I would just like to briefly use this platform to propose a level-headed policy solution: These people, manspreaders and reckless luggage carriers alike, should be catapulted directly into the heart of the Sun after they are tried and found guilty by a kangaroo court of my own devising. Thank you.

Here are our picks for things to do tonight.

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Leading Off (4/15/15)

Probation Officer Admits Role in Violent Drug Ring. Selena Ball pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Ball, 30, of DeSoto, was in what’s being described as a “romantic relationship” with an inmate she was assigned to monitor. If not reporting serious probation violations, and facing up to 20 years in prison as a result, is your idea of romance.

Double Murder Suspect Killed in DeSoto. Colby Robinson was wanted in connection with two murders in Portland. He was spotted at a 7-Eleven. Then there was a chase. Then Robinson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Watauga Girl Escapes Kidnapping. “I was screaming, trying to get out and everything,” the girl said. She apparently chipped her tooth on the car door as she got away. Police are still looking for the suspect.

Johnny Football Attends Local Baseball Game. Looks like Johnny Manziel is out of rehab and back to sitting in prominent seats at sporting events. And the Rangers won.

Pay Your Taxes. It’s that day. I’m sorry. Here’s some free stuff.

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