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Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want to Talk About.’

Given the current move to eliminate all things Confederate, isn’t it just a matter of time before the history rewriters set their sights on Six Flags Over Texas? After all, the flag of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865) is one of six referenced by the theme park name. While the CSA flag is not the “battle flag” that’s under fire these days, even statues and other memorials associated with the Confederacy have become prime targets for eradication recently.

“At one time, the park had a themed section called The Confederacy, and the Confederate Battle Flag was used as part of the theming and a civil war re-enactment,” says Six Flags spokeswoman Sharon Parker. “The name of that section of the park was changed to The Old South in the mid-1990s and all Confederate Battle Flags were removed. Six Flags Over Texas continues to fly the Confederate States of America Flag, but does not fly or sell any variation of the Confederate Battle Flag.”

Chances are, that explanation won’t cut it with the rewrite crowd. So get ready for, “Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want To Talk About.’ “

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About the Laura Kostelny Situation

As Laura mentioned, she quit yesterday. After working at D Magazine for about a week. I would like to here add that her impact on the magazine will be felt for decades to come. That thing she did last Monday? I don’t think “groundbreaking” is too strong a word. Tuesday was a slow day. But Wednesday she came up with something that kids in journalism school will be studying a generation from now. And then Thursday! Here’s what I’m saying: if you had a dog named Story, you would consider changing it to Laura.

Okay, so, kidding aside, Laura started a decade ago as the copy editor for D. Then she became managing editor of D Home, then editor of D Home and D Weddings. I stole her back to D a week ago — at which point some folks from Hearst came calling. Laura has taken a job as executive editor of Country Living, based in Birmingham, Alabama.

We wish Laura well. And I will now make it my life’s work to bring down the Hearst Corporation.

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: June 24

The West Coast is well-represented in Dallas tonight, with Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson on one side of town and the surfer rock of Best Coast on the other. If you prefer the sound of Stratford-upon-Avon to the sonics of Los Angeles, we’ve also got some Shakespeare on deck. Here are the things you should be doing in Dallas tonight.

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Houston Press Publishes Story That UT Southwestern Probably Didn’t Enjoy

Yesterday the Houston Press published an interesting story about a high-profile society couple that left town in March under strange circumstances and moved to Dallas. Beth and Jess Moore had amassed a mountain of debt, and they ran a cancer-fighting nonprofit whose finances raise lots of questions. I can only imagine that the folks at UT Southwestern wish the Press had published its story before the organization hired Beth to be the director of development for cancer programs.

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Leading Off (6/24/15)

Police Call Missing Hurst Woman’s Disappearance “Suspicious.” Norma Shultz, 72, went missing on May 19. Her husband reported her absence to the police nearly a week later. Shultz’s daughter says her stepfather hasn’t been able to answer any of her questions. Police say they haven’t received any tips.

Lots of Thoughts of the Resignation of Mike Miles. A few places have timelines of the three years Miles has been in charge of DISD. Here’s an editorial lauding his accomplishments. And also, in the same publication, Steve Blow saying Miles was never a good fit in the first place.

Local News Outlet Finds Local Store Selling Confederate Flags. Even after Walmart and Amazon announced that they will stop selling Confederate merchandise, and Sears announced both that it still exists and that it will stop selling Confederate stuff, WFAA found a Dallas store that is still selling the Confederate flag. The place that has the nerve to sell this incredibly controversial flag is — get this — a flag store.

Rain Brings Out Alligators and Snakes. There are also more nutria and turtles. Deer too, apparently. Most of the sightings have been in Lewisville or in Tarrant County.

Mavericks Might Trade Monta Ellis. The incredibly dynamic shooting guard is owed $8.7 million for the one year remaining on his contract. It’s also possible that Ellis will opt out and test the free market. The Mavs have made it clear they have big plans for the off-season.

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Sarah Hepola’s Blackout Comes Out Today

Hello! I am new to the D staff. I started my job about a week ago, and I quit today, so I won’t be here much longer. But I am using my very brief time here to do great deeds for you, dear readers. For example, today I’m going to tell you to buy Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by the lovely and amazing Sarah Hepola. I’ve read the book twice, and you should, too. You could buy it here OR you could come to the Barnes & Noble on Northwest Highway on Thursday at 7 p.m. and meet Sarah, listen to her read a selection, and then buy the book and have the woman of the hour sign it! While you contemplate your next move, check out this interview Peter did with Sarah that appears in our July issue.

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Dwaine Caraway Officially Announces Run For County Commissioner

“I went to Mayweather fight and I didn’t get all this,” the man next to me leaned over and said, laughing, as a high school drum line led out the man of the hour, Dwaine Caraway, who represented District 4 on the Dallas City Council until yesterday. There was more to come. After Caraway finished his short announcement that he was officially entering the race for county commissioner — he didn’t prepare a speech, he said, because he was speaking from the heart — a mariachi band in the corner fired up.

Before Caraway was called to the stage, the MC said that he thought “Dwaine should have been a boxer — because he’s had to fight for everything he’s got.” And he’ll have to fight for this: embattled county commissioner John Wiley Price, whose spot Caraway is after, made it clear earlier today he’s not looking to give up so easy.

No one really expected Caraway to stay away from public office for long, so the announcement by “the most trill councilman ever” was not a surprise.

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: June 23

We hope you like singing and dancing, because it’s musical season in Dallas. Dirty Dancing and Annie both start runs tonight. Plucky orphans vs. restless dancers. “Hard Knock Life” vs. “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” Patrick Swayze vs. whoever plays Annie in the movie version(s).

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Leading Off (6/23/15)

Mike Miles To Resign Today. You have to get up early to scoop Eric Celeste. He beat Leading Off today with the bad news.

Jordan Spieth Is Golf’s “Golden Child.” Bill Nichols writes that Spieth doesn’t care for the term. But it’s the truth.

Six New Dallas Council Members Sworn in. Adam McGough and Casey Thomas bumped fists to celebrate. Next time, work on your chest bump, boys.

Virgin Hotel Coming to Design District. The 200-room hotel on Hi Line and Turtle Creek will likely open in 2018. Feels like it’s getting very hotel-y in and around downtown Dallas. Here’s hoping we’ll have enough backs for all those beds.

Dwaine Caraway Has Good Timing. Today at a luncheon he will announce that he’s running for John Wiley Price’s seat on the County Commissioners Court. Yesterday he got some more material for his speech. An Austin woman was charged with lying to the FBI about payments in the Price corruption case.

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Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles to Resign

Barring a last-minute change of heart or trustees changing their minds, DISD superintendent Mike Miles plans to resign at a morning press conference, according to multiple sources.

The decision comes after the board refused to consider amending Miles’ contract to protect him from repercussions if he was fired this year — an increasingly likely scenario given some board members’ seething hatred of the man who tried to break up their fiefdoms.

But that is really just the culmination of a long slog Miles has endured as he fought to pass reform initiatives, including a revolutionary teacher and principal evaluation system, school choice, preK expansion, and others.

If you care about kids, especially poor kids, make no mistake: This is a sad day for Dallas.

I’m out of town but will have much more to say about this later in the week.

UPDATE (7:49) Miles confirms via text that he will resign.

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Adam McGough Returned Citizens Council Cash After Changing Positions on Trinity Toll Road

Over on the Lake Highlands Advocate, Sam Gillespie deep dives newly sworn-in Lake Highlands council member Adam McGough’s road to victory in the run-off earlier this month. His election day began at 5:30 a.m., Gillespie reports, with McGough planting signs at voting locations because during the general election signs placed the night before disappeared by morning. The day ended with a victory party that featured quite the local political motley crew, including Jerry Allen, Bill Blaydes, Angela Hunt, James White and Mayor Mike Rawlings. Here’s the most interesting bit. When McGough swapped positions on the Trinity, he had to give back some skrilla:

How did it happen? The current conventional wisdom is that James White’s endorsement made the difference. Yes, McGough got White’s endorsement but he got some shoe leather to go along with it. “James’ people organized walks on my behalf in their neighborhoods, “ said McGough, “ His work for me wasn’t expected but it was very much appreciated.”

White’s endorsement came from McGough’s reconsideration of a toll road inside the Trinity levee. McGough accepted White’s endorsement but sent back the contribution from the Dallas Citizen’s Council they demanded be returned after he changed positions.


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An Abridged List of Better Names For a Dog Than ‘Story’

Over the weekend, new Morning News editor Mike Wilson finally introduced himself to readers, after a few months in town spent attending Robert Wilonsky’s son’s sporting events. In that piece, Wilson revealed that his dog — breed unidentified — is named Story.

My dude really went and named his dog Story. STORY. Like he rescued it from the Mayborn Conference. Like it has #longform on its collar. Like it divides its time between chasing squirrels and trying to write engaging ledes. Even Mike Mooney probably thinks that’s taking it too far, and he loves dogs and writing more than anyone I know. Mooney, who has a Gay Talese shirt. Story!

Here is a list of better names for a dog than Story:

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: June 22

Adults are allowed to cry at weddings, funerals, and Pixar movies. Inside Out, the latest from the vaunted animation studio, apparently rivals the first 15 minutes of Up in its ability to make grown men and women weep freely. It’s Monday, a fact that is worth crying about by itself, and you might as well take those tears to a socially acceptable place. Like a movie theater.

You might be allowed to shed a tear or two at the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition, with the one-two combo of youthful talent and moving music. If you’re crying at the Whitesnake show tonight, though, you may deserve to be publicly shamed. Not for crying in public, but for going to a Whitesnake show. Cheer up, Dallas. Here are the things to do tonight.

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