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Arts & Entertainment

The Annual WELD Show Is Tomorrow

| 15 hours ago

If you don’t know what WELD is, it’s a creative community and workspace in the Design District where photographers, designers, filmmakers, and other creative types work and collaborate. The space is open and bright, just as you’d expect. And every year, WELD hosts a celebration that showcases the art created by the people who work there. I’ve attended for the past few years and seen some pretty incredible work. Disclaimer: my friend is a very talented photographer who also happens to put this event together. But I’d go regardless. The artistry speaks for itself.

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Business

The Pension Fund Crisis: How Should You Invest Your Money?

| 16 hours ago

Compare and contrast. Here’s a DMN personal finance column from last summer advocating investment in municipal bonds.

[I]nvestment grade municipal bonds are relatively safe because the cities, counties, school districts, hospital districts and airports that issue this debt have the financial wherewithal — mainly tax revenue — to pay it back. It is true that there have been some high-profile municipal bond defaults in recent years, such as in Stockton, California, and Detroit, but overall the default rate for munis is exceedingly low.

Now here’s a column from ValueWalk yesterday that argues the Dallas fire and cop pension fiasco is a canary in coal mine and that municipalities across the country — heck, even states — will in coming years have to file for bankruptcy:

The next substantial fall in asset prices will sharpen the focus on budget deficits and pension underfunding, with the most indebted and underfunded states likely to find they are unable to rollover their debts at any price. Remaining residents will be negatively impacted, pensioners will see their payments slashed, and bondholders will recover little, if any, of their debt. As there is virtually no political will to take action to avoid these problems, investors should position their portfolios in expectation that these events will happen.

What’s in your wallet?

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Media

KVIL Is Dead. Long Live Amp 103.7?

| 18 hours ago

Amp

First we lost The Edge. Now KVIL is dead. God, 2017 is the worst year ever! Says Brian Purdy, CBS Radio market manager: “KVIL has a rich legacy in Dallas-Fort Worth, but it’s not your mother’s radio station anymore — unless, of course, your mom is super cool.” Here’s your new Amp 103.7. Expect to hear Ariana Grande, The Chainsmokers, Maroon 5, and Rihanna. Zac is going to love this.

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Media

Voice Media Group To Sell LA Weekly

| 19 hours ago

Observer

Voice Media Group, the parent company of the Dallas Observer is selling one of its largest remaining assets, the LA Weekly. You can read the full press release below, from the M&A firm that was hired to do the deal. Since 2013, Voice Media Group has sold six of its papers; this would be the seventh. I can’t help but wonder when the Observer’s turn will come. 

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Sports & Leisure

Don’t Tell Wesley Matthews This Season Is Over

| 20 hours ago
Wesley Matthews at Media Day, via mavs.com
Wesley Matthews at Media Day, via mavs.com

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the curious case of sort of rooting against the Mavericks. And I probably still should be hoping the team ends up with a lousy enough record to secure a top-three draft pick and another piece to build around after Dirk Nowitzki [drives to White Rock Lake; stares into the middle distance at some hazy point on the opposite shore for an hour before softly whispering, “I see you, Big German”; returns to office] retires.

But you know what? Forget that noise.

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Local News

Leading Off (1/18/17)

| 1 day ago

Mark Zuckerberg Helps Build a Garden in Oak Cliff and, Oh, BTW, Testifies in Federal Court. In yesterday’s Leading Off, Tim linked DMN story about Zuckerberg’s first visit to Texas and his PR-friendly MLK Day activities. What that story failed to mention, however, is that the Facebook founder would be spending his Tuesday on the stand in Dallas’ federal courthouse. Zuckerberg sat in court for five hours yesterday testifying in the $2 billion intellectual property case Oculus versus Zenimax, which Gizmodo calls “explosive.” In short, a Richardson-based virtual reality company claims the Facebook-owned Oculus stole trade secrets. I’m hoping we’ll at least see a Dallas skyline cameo in the Social Network sequel.

Little Elm Police Officer Dies in Standoff. Neighbors evacuated and nearby schools kept kids inside while police responded to an active shooter incident in a Little Elm home yesterday. Bullets flew during an hours-long standoff which resulted in the death of Detective Jerry Walker, the first North Texas officer to be fatally shot since the July 7 ambush. The suspect was later found dead in the home.

Crushing News on Trammell Crow Estate. Last week, Andy Beal put Tom Hicks’ former estate on the market, and this week we’re finding out that the billionaire banker is demolishing the home on his other 2016 acquisition, the $55 million Trammell Crow estate in Highland Park. How did CandysDirt.com break the story? A post appeared for a pre-demolition sale on the Highland Park Garage Sale Facebook page. Up for grabs: everything from Sub Zeros to landscaping stones.

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Media

People Newspapers Are up for Sale

| 2 days ago

Park_Cities

In July of 2003, Wick Allison bought People Newspapers. He quickly began to shake things up. As the paper’s publisher, he did crazy things like hire a professor, Glenn Arbery, to write arts coverage. He printed crime reports from the Park Cities, including incidents wherein parents were caught serving alcohol to minors, which ruffled feathers. As far as I know, Park Cities People is the only community newspaper ever to be used by Ross Perot to pull a prank (see item No. 4). Last year, for its coverage of a school bond vote, the paper won first place in its category for the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper and Education Contest, and it has taken top honors some 16 times in the Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. But after almost 14 years, it is time for someone else to take the baton.

Park Cities People has always been a consistent performer, and especially so the last three years,” Wicks says. “But in a company devoted to the D brand, it has also been a sort of stepchild. The Park Cities are a very important and tight-knit community, and it rightly expects the very best. We’ve come to believe that a new owner could better serve the community by giving the newspaper the energy and attention it deserves.”

The family of weekly papers once expanded to Oak Cliff and North Dallas. The papers now publish monthly and serve the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. Both papers have sites that report daily news (see Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People). They employ 11 people, three of whom started with the company before Wick bought it. 

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Politics & Government

City Council Report: A Preview of Tomorrow’s Briefing

| 2 days ago

dallas_city_hall

Tomorrow’s biweekly City Council briefing promises to be far more exciting than a biweekly City Council briefing has any right to be, with two of the three major ongoing city scandals slated for discussion and plenty of time still remaining for additional scandals to come up before the 9 a.m. kick-off. That’s in addition to several new elements of dramatic subtext that have lately come into play thanks to the recent appearance of viable electoral challengers in districts that desperately needed them, plus the usual sexual tension.

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