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Making Dallas Even Better

Meet the New Exec Ed of D Magazine

It was creepy. I mean, it wasn’t like I was a newbie in the world of stalking or anything. In my former life as a public interest attorney I had utilized Ohio’s first stalking protection law against a deranged cop who was menacing his former girlfriend, following her around in his police vehicle and calling late at night to leave threatening messages of impending bodily harm. But still, when it happens to you, it comes as a surprise—whether or not you have an armed ex-boyfriend with a badge.

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: May 19

The mysterious Jandek, whose experimental blues are just as murky as his identity, puts in a rare public appearance with tonight’s live show at the Texas Theatre. Less enigmatic, but still intriguing: Itzhak Perlman and Emanuel Ax perform at the Winspear, and you’re probably due for a visit to the Meadows Museum.

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Leading Off (5/19/16)

Our Burbs Continue to Boom. New Census data show that Dallas proper grew at a slower rate than did the state overall. Meanwhile, Frisco and McKinney continue to pile it on.

Texas’ First Female Army Infantry Recruits Come From North Texas. Shelby Sparkman goes to McKinney North, and Hannah Carpenter goes to Alvord High. Both are 17, and both are signing up for combat roles with the Army. I admire Sparkman’s willingness to serve, but look at her. Am I the only one who doubts she’ll make it through basic training?

Japanese Bullet Train Operator To Open Office in Dallas. Central Japan Railway Company will bring about 20 employees to town to support the effort to build a high-speed rail line to Houston. [insert joke about Houston]

Longform Story Alert! The News has published a new piece about that body found in an Oak Cliff backyard. They gave it the special Snowfall treatment, this time with a black background. Jazzy!

Unsolicited Advice for the Morning News

Yesterday, the DMN launched a metered paywall. As I said, I hope it works. The city is a better place with a thriving, strong newspaper. But while they work things out digitally, I think there’s something the paper should be doing with the paper. Look at the front page of today’s Metro section.

A guy’s Audi Q5 smells of rotting flesh. His girlfriend is missing. There’s a shovel in his garage. And Febreze. It’s a sensational story. Tragic for the missing woman’s family. But a great story for readers. Yet it is relegated to that small space on the right.

The hero on the front page, the story that occupies about 75 percent of the real estate, is a thing about the Katy Trail and a guy who wants a bunch of money to spruce it up. Nothing is happening. Something might happen in the future. To a jogging path.

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Dallas Mavericks to Enter the World of Minecraft

So says Mashable:

The Dallas Mavericks will launch Mavs World, a dedicated Minecraft hub for fans to experience American Airlines Center remade in all its blocky glory. Mavs World will include games and activities — some focused on basketball, but others will include building competitions.

To Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Mavs World is a way for fans to have fun with the Mavericks, but also inspire their love of tech.

Minecraft makes you think. You have to be creative. Logical. Fun. Those are great foundations for learning,” Cuban told Mashable. 

Mavs World will launch later this summer.

Study: DFW Airport Quakes, Most Texas Quakes Caused by Humans

just-released University of Texas/SMU study has found that humans (specifically oil and gas industry activity) have been causing earthquakes in Texas since at least the 1920s. Some of this seismic activity is associated with the injection of fluids (usually wastewater) into the ground, while others involved oil and gas or fluid extraction. Say the scientists:

Altogether, for the 162 Texas earthquakes having magnitudes of 3 or greater and occurring between 1975 and 2015, we categorize 42 (26%) as almost certainly induced, 53 (33%) as probably induced, 45 (28%) as possibly induced, and the remaining 21 (13%) as tectonic

The study notes that analysis of the string of quakes centered near the old Texas Stadium site in Irving is not yet complete, but it does devote a section to discussing seismic activity at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport between 2008 and 2013:

We and others conclude that the DFW airport earthquakes were induced because of the absence of historical seismicity prior to injection, the proximity of the injection well to a known mapped fault, the onset of activity only six weeks after injection commenced in 2008, and the earthquake depths at and below the depth of injection.

What do the government regulators charged with monitoring the oil and gas industry have to say about these findings? A Railroad Commission spokesperson told the Morning News the study’s methods — admittedly based on somewhat subjective questions and drawing correlations from the data — are arbitrary.

God bless Texas.

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Dallas Zoo Wallabies Pick New Joey’s Name

I don’t know if your morning has been as miserable as mine has been so far, but if so, I suggest watching the above video of wallabies at the Dallas Zoo. I’m not the most animal-friendly of people, but I found it strangely soothing.

What’s happening in the video? From the zoo:

Our wallaby joey is no longer nameless! In mob-style fashion, we let our wallaby joey’s Australian mob pick his moniker by eating one of two labeled cakes. The choices: “Burnum” after Australian aboriginal activist, or “Pedy” for Coober Pedy in South Australia. The mob has spoken. And eaten and hopped… they really just hopped a lot. Here’s our sweet Pedy on his naming day!

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Leading Off (5/18/16)

Protesters crash Farmers Branch city council meeting. About 200 protestors gathered at the Farmers Branch city hall last night to calling for justice over the death of Jose Cruz, a teenager shot dead by an off-duty police officer in March. The protestors were asking that the city pay for Cruz’s funeral bills instead of putting money toward the officer’s defense as he faces a murder charge. Mayor Bob Phelps slipped past the crowd, later saying, “I don’t have anything to do with it.”

Dallas police can’t find enough new recruits. The department has had to cancel two academy classes due to low attendance. The lack of interest might have something to do with the city’s low salary, which is $10,000 to $15,000 under what is offered in surrounding departments.

Man (almost) cleared of murder after 19 years in prison. Tarrant inmate John Nolley was freed yesterday after nearly two decades behind bars. The Innocence Project has been investigating his conviction for ten years, finding that DNA evidence in the Bedford murder case did not come from Nolley. Nolley has yet to be fully exonerated, but his defense team expects to wrap up all legal issues within a few months.

Dallas County leaves first responders in the lurch. Dallas County sherriff’s deputies’ and firefighters’ county-issued credit cards were getting declined at the fuel pump in February due to nonpyament. The county’s first responders had to dig in their own pockets to fill up for a few days. NBC Investigates has the story.

Odor is going on time out for a while. Do we push people? Nooo. Do we punch people? Nooo. Do we make potentially-fibula-snapping slides into second to break up a double play? Noooooooooo. This is the convo I had with my kid when he caught coverage of the now-infamous Rangers brawl. And it’s essentially what MLB said to the coaches and players while handing out punishments yesterday. Bautista’s nasty slide earned him a one-game suspension. Rougned Odor got hit the hardest with an eight-game suspension, though the 22-year-old will continue playing as he appeals the decision. Rangers say they have Odor’s back 100-percent. The Frisco RoughRiders are showing their solidarity by selling Rougie’s Red PUNCH, an adult bevy made of fruit punch, an energy drink, and “a secret ingredient from Odor’s native Venezuela.”

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Dallas Morning News Launches Metered Paywall

From the announcement: “DallasNews.com and SportsDayDFW.com on Tuesday moved to a metered model that will allow local digital consumers to read 10 free articles in a 30-day period. Once that limit is hit, readers can either purchase a digital subscription or wait for the 30-day clock to reset. Or, you know, they can simply clear their cookies.” Last sentence added by me for clarification. In all sincerity, though, I hope it works.

The Real Housewives of Dallas Episode 6 Recap

Before we begin, if I may: at a dinner party last week, a friend of mine was telling me how much she enjoys my Real Housewives of Dallas recaps. Always nice to hear. And painful. “You know,” she said, “those recaps could lead to a writing job.” Yes, I suppose that is possible. Maybe one day I will have a writing job. Perhaps this recap of Episode 6, titled “Locken Loaded,” will impress someone enough to give me a job that entails writing.

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