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My Favorite Complaints About the New Dallas Morning News Website

| 17 hours ago

Firstly, yes, I live in a glass house. I’m the editor of DMagazine.com, and we ourselves recently launched a new version of our own site that continues to have flaws and bugs that we’re working to correct. Websites are never actually “finished.”

But I couldn’t help taking delight in the comments that the Dallas Morning News has received about its relaunched DallasNews.com. Digital readers are a finicky bunch, and if you make changes that force them to update their bookmarks or click more often than they used to in order to find a story, they’re going to express their displeasure, some in more colorful language than others:

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News

Leading Off (9/28/16)

| 22 hours ago

Rampage Starts in Dallas, Ends in Georgetown. A man in Dallas was fatally shot in his Hummer late Sunday night. Shortly after, two people in Cedar Hill were injured by gunshot wounds before a another man was shot dead during a carjacking at a nearby gas station. The suspect: Silvestre Franco-Luviano. He then drove south, causing mayhem along the way. Tactical teams finally tracked him down and tackled him outside a Georgetown apartment complex on Tuesday.

Houston Shooter’s Dallas Ties. More is emerging on Nathan DeSai, the lawyer who randomly shot at Houston drivers Monday morning, injuring nine before police took him out. The latest story reveals that he once worked as a prosecutor in the Dallas County DA’s office and played in the cover band “Brain Clouds” with a colleague.

DART Notes. You’ll see a lot of numbers in this recap of Tuesday’s DART board meeting. Money was allotted to D2 and the Cotton Belt, but it’s not clear whether board members are being realistic about the ability to complete both projects. I don’t know. But what I do know is that the Cotton Belt folks showed up wearing yellow tees with the words “Connect North Texas”—a direct rebuttal to the D2 supporter’s green “Can you dig it?” shirts. I mean, c’mon, surely there are better taglines out there. “Cinch the Cotton Belt” or “Buckle the Cotton Belt Up,” maybe?

One Last Link In the Black Eyed Pea Chain. The original Black Eyed Pea closed in January and now chicken-fried-steak diehards will have to drive all the way to Arlington to sample the restaurant’s Southern fare. It’s the only one of the thirteen Texas locations that survives; all the others were shuttered on Tuesday for failing to pay rent.

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Politics & Government

Lee Kleinman Got F@*&>! Over the Cotton Belt

| 2 days ago

 

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What you see here is Councilman Lee Kleinman’s wheels shooting off at a meeting yesterday of the transportation committee. You can watch the full video for yourself. Go to the 30:00 minute mark. Kleinman doesn’t actually say anything. He just mouths the words. But I believe the message was: “You fucked me.” You wouldn’t know it from reading Julieta Chiquillo’s account of the meeting, but it was an exciting one (we miss you already, Brandon Formby). Here’s what I think happened:

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Theater

10,519,200 Minutes

| 2 days ago

Jonathan Larson’s Tony-winning musical, Rent, opened on Broadway in 1996. I was a legal intern at the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City at the time. It was pretty much before the internet and email and smartphones. I would walk from the Tribeca office to the New York Law School Library on West Broadway to do research, with a pocketful of dimes to make copies of case law. I’d overhear the receptionist phoning Judith Lichtman, the director, to let her know that “Hillary” was on the phone, and listen to Judith ask her about how Chelsea was doing in school.

I had a public interest stipend of $1,000, so I would have been in a tenement for the summer if it weren’t for The Webster Apartments on West 34th, one of the most ingenious gifts ever given to young working women. Charles and Josiah Webster, cousins of Roland H. Macy, the founder of Macy’s, sunk a portion of their fortunes in a nonprofit apartment building intended to provide food and cheap, safe lodging to single women coming to New York City in the 1920s to make their way as sales clerks. They funded it well; it still exists, in exactly the same form, with exactly the same purpose. There’s a gorgeous “Green Room” overlooking a manicured back garden, a library, a dining hall, and private receiving rooms where ladies can entertain male guests, who are still not allowed past the front hallway.

I didn’t have a cell phone, so I’d have to wait for one of the public phones in the lobby to call my girlfriend, Melissa, at her sister’s house in the evening. But mostly, to save money, I wrote her letters. Every day.

That summer, Rent was already getting a fair bit of buzz, but I managed to score a couple of discount seats in the farthest corner of the topmost row, and I convinced Melissa to leave her firm job early on a Friday to fly out for the weekend. I figured I could sneak her upstairs to my room.

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Architecture & Design

Preservation Dallas Wants a Downtown Subway, Walt Humann’s Fair Park Plan

| 2 days ago

On this year’s list of Dallas’ “Most Endangered Historic Places”, Preservation Dallas advocates both for taking the second downtown DART light-rail line underground and for the city’s support of the private Fair Park Texas Foundation taking over management of Fair Park.

The organization’s interest in those issues is, of course, due to their desire to protect the buildings in those places. On D2:

Over $350 million in redevelopment of historic properties would be impacted by noise and vibrations from construction and running trains, removal of access to buildings for services and garages, and even potential demolition of portions of historic structures. This kind of impact to historic properties is too great for the amazing amount of work that has been done to revitalize them and downtown Dallas. We believe that mass transit benefits the city and the expansion of the DART system to make it more flexible is good for the city’s future. However, in order to create that flexibility the new line should be buried in a subway so that the historic buildings along the line can continue with their full use and access to keep them viable for the future and part of the renaissance of the urban core.

On Fair Park:

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Transportation

Is the Oak Cliff Streetcar Still a $50 Million Waste?

| 2 days ago

A few weeks ago, a Facebook friend raised a question. Now that the Oak Cliff streetcar has been built out to the Bishop Arts District, do I still stand behind the argument I made in this 2012 column that called the public transit project a “$50 million waste.” After all, one of the arguments that piece made was that the federal money that Oak Cliff’s neighborhood transit activists had secured to help realize their dreams of the return of the Oak Cliff streetcar was only enough to get the streetcar from Union Station to Methodist Hospital, hardly a stretch worthy of such a large expenditure of public transit funds. Now the line reaches all the way to Bishop Arts. Is it time for me to eat crow?

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