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Leading Off

Leading Off (8/25/16)

| 3 hours ago

Body Found in Trinity Is Likely SMU Officer Carried Away in Turtle Creek. Yesterday afternoon, Dallas police found a body in uniform in the Trinity River, about 3 miles from SMU officer Mark McCullers’ last known location after he’d been swept away by Turtle Creek flooding in July. Officers believe the body to be McCullers, but they’re waiting on DNA confirmation before officially identifying the body. As the body was removed from the water, officers lined up in a salute.

Susan Hawk Is Still District Attorney. If you’ll remember, tomorrow, August 26, is an important date for Susan Hawk. If she resigns by then (so, today), voters would be able to pick a new DA in November’s election following Gov. Greg Abbott’s appointment of someone to serve out her term. If she does not, the earliest voters could choose a new DA would be 2018. Apparently there has been no indication of Hawk considering resigning. I’m guessing that won’t change today.

DPD Officer Shoots Suspect Who Pointed Gun in His Direction. After a traffic stop yesterday morning in Oak Cliff, the man who was pulled over pointed a gun at the police officer, who then shot and killed the man. The car’s license plate seemed to belong to a different vehicle. The man got out of his car and ran, and when the police officer gave chase, the man pointed a gun at the officer. The suspect died at a hospital after being shot. This was the first shooting involving a DPD officer since the ambush downtown on July 7.

Knox Street Going from Four Lanes to Three. From McKinney Avenue to Travis Street, Knox will be three lanes, as decided by city council members yesterday. The goal is to fix a bad parking situation and make sidewalks better. But some business owners worry that this will congest things and limit access. However, the project is set to begin within a year.

Yu Darvish Hits a Homer. In yesterday’s win against Cincinnati, Darvish hit the ball so hard that it soared over the center field wall at Great American Ballpark. This was the first home run by a Rangers pitcher since 1997. Hopefully this sets the tone for the next two weeks, which will greatly impact the AL West standings.

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Transportation

Does Dallas Really Have to Choose Between a Subway and a Streetcar?

| 17 hours ago

Robert Wilonsky has one dud of a column in today’s paper about DART, D2, and the whole downtown streetcar business. As Tim mentioned earlier, the column sounds at times like Wilonsky is regurgitating verbatim stuff he was told by Dallas Area Rapid Transit president and executive director Gary Thomas, and at times like he is attempting to revive the corny, clueless, blundering folksiness of Steve Blow. But what I find most interesting about the column is the way that, in its failure to grasp the full extent of the issues it grapples with, it reveals the hand of a transit agency shifting its political narrative to withstand the headwinds of unexpected opposition.

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Transportation

A Sea of Green Washed Over the DART Board Meeting Last Night

| 21 hours ago
Green is the new black.
Green is the new black.

Last night, the DART board met to discuss this and that, and about 200 people clad in green t-shirts showed up to let the board know how much they don’t want a second surface rail line through downtown. DART spokesman Morgan Lyons told me that several years ago the board faced a similar standing-room-only crowd as it considered another rail alignment, but board member Bill Velasco told the DMN’s Brandon Formby that the turnout was the biggest he’s seen in his 15 years on the board.

Read that Formby story for more details. It’s a good recap of what happened last night. Then, if you’re so inclined, read this Robert Wilonsky story on the same topic from today’s paper. It’s a total mess. The prose is a killer. Example: “On the surface (get it?!), the streetcar probably makes the most sense, right? Goes farther than a Dak Prescott deep pass …” But, far worse, the content seems in some places to have come straight from the desk of Gary Thomas, DART’s executive director. I wrote last week about how Thomas used fear tactics at a Dallas City Council briefing to try to steer them away from making that second downtown line a subway. With that in mind, read this passage from Wilonsky:

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Arts & Entertainment

Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Aug. 24

| 22 hours ago

Streaming video, cat-based and otherwise, will account for about 84 percent of all internet traffic by 2018. (The other 16 percent will be Facebook memes and blog content compiling local event listings.)

Best to become a connoisseur of the form now. And while all cat videos have their charms, some cat videos are better than others. Only the best will screen at tonight’s Internet Cat Video Festival at the Texas Theatre.

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Crime

Word of the Day: Barratry

| 24 hours ago
Tiffinni Young
Tiffinni Young

“Barratry” is the “the persistent incitement of litigation.” It is a third-degree felony in the state of Texas. It’s also what City Councilwoman Tiffinni Young stands accused of in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, reports WFAA.

Young and a lawyer friend, Chris Chestnut, allegedly encouraged Matisha Ward to file suit against the city after Ward’s mother, Antoinette Brown, was mauled to death by loose dogs in May. Ward eventually hired attorney Tom Carse, who represents her in this suit and in a $5 million demand made against the city over Brown’s death:

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Best of Big D

Is This Dallas’ Most Captivating Waiting Room?

| 1 day ago
Kirkham Office
Go ahead. Imagine Mick Jagger casually sitting on this beach-inspired couch, often turning around to better glimpse the above painting.

Editor’s Note: After the reveal of our Best of Big D 2016 issue, a reader wrote to tell us that we’d overlooked one important category: Best Doctor’s Waiting Room. “His waiting room is a significant level above all of them,” the reader suggested. “Go visit him, and you’ll see.” So we did.

Take a trip to office Suite C-506 of Medical City Dallas Hospital off Forest Lane, and you’ll swear you’ve stepped into a well-appointed beach house in the middle of Dallas. Dr. Wayne Kirkham’s waiting room is not your average, freezing, closet-sized space populated by the infirm and years-old magazines. The ear-nose-throat specialist and his team have tried to turn their space into one of surprising comfort.

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Barbecue

Homographs, Homonyms, and Cute Meats

| 1 day ago
I don't know if Tim or Zac gets credit for the meaty cover line.
I don’t know if Tim or Zac gets credit for the meaty cover line.

Matt Goodman, intrepid senior editor of D CEO, just got his first look at the September cover of D Magazine. Did he exclaim over the beautifully moist brisket that still made his mouth water after months of taste testing? Did he note how the hot pink “Barbecue!” headline perfectly picked up the fuschia hue of the red onion slices? Was he stunned by the clever use of a white Styrofoam palette set on a blue-and-white checkerboard backdrop, as opposed to the ubiquitous use of brown paper and metal trays by numerous other less inventive publications?

No.

Instead, he popped his head above my cubicle wall to inquire, “What does ‘meat cute?’ mean?”

To which a chorus of editors from D Weddings replied, “A meet cute! Like in The Holiday!”

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News

Leading Off (8/24/16)

| 1 day ago

DART Officials Perk Up When Hundreds Crash Committee Meeting. There was standing room only at the DART board meeting Tuesday evening when more than 200 people—many wearing green shirts that read “Can you dig it?”—filled the board room in an effort to promote an all-underground downtown rail expansion. The show of support caught the attention of at least one DART board member, Michelle Wong Krause, who asked for information on cutting back the Cotton Belt line to save for the D-2 subway. If you would like to read more about why a light rail expansion above ground is terrible for downtown Dallas, click here.

Special Ed Students Miss School Because Bus Never Showed. A bus meant to transport students to Multiple Careers Magnet Center in East Dallas, a school for special needs teens, has yet to pick up students this school year. A Dallas County Schools spokesperson blamed “paperwork and administration issues” for the kerfuffle, which caused a dozen students to miss the first two days of school. Just, three words for Dallas County transportation services: Get. It. Together.

North Texas Teach Gets Cred for Chucking Homework. Brandy Young, a teacher in Godley, Texas, sent a note home to parents saying their children wouldn’t have homework this year. Young said research does not show that homework equals successful student performance. She suggested that parents instead “eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.” The letter has made the rounds on the internet, earning articles in USA Today and the New York Times, not to mention a heck of a lot of kudos from exhausted parents.

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Transportation

More Reasons to Question DART’s Planning For Downtown’s Future

| 2 days ago

Yesterday Peter asked an excellent question: Why is DART looking to decide the alignment of its $80 million downtown streetcar when the route of its possibly $1 billion second downtown light-rail line is yet to be determined? His piece included this burn:

Here’s what’s most troubling to me about this whole thing. Dallas has been handed the opportunity to plan two huge major public investments in downtown transit together, and yet DART seems content to roll along on each project, considering them independently of each other, seemingly with little concern for context and mobility, while hoping the whole thing snaps together nicely in the end. How come DART’s planners aren’t running ridership scenarios for the streetcar and D2 together? Wouldn’t it be useful for policy makers to know that if D2 is built in one way it will affect streetcar ridership differently depending on the various alignments? Even a 6-year-old playing with an erector set has a better appreciation for the way systems operate than to ignore the fact that D2 and the streetcar will affect the success of one another.

A 6-year-old? Ouch. When I first saw this, I thought Peter was being a tad harsh. But then I read about what went down at Monday’s DART briefing of a Dallas City Council committee:

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