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Meet the Former Mavs Dancer Who’s Making Her TV Debut

| 2 days ago

If you attended a Dallas Mavericks game between 2009 and 2011, chances are you saw Jenna Gillund performing and cheering on the team during halftime. The former Mavs Dancer was born in Chicago but made Dallas her home for years before moving to Los Angeles. Now, the 28-year-old will appear on Bravo’s new docu-series, “Timber Creek Lodge,” that premieres on Monday and follows the staff of a luxury ski lodge in Whistler, Canada, as a number of shenanigans occur. I caught up with Jenna on her time with the Mavs and what led to her TV debut.

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Arts & Entertainment

Things To Do In Dallas This Weekend: Dec. 2-4

| 3 days ago

Rainy weather is going to do its best to complicate this weekend’s attempts at holiday cheer. The biggest casualty thus far is the Dallas Children’s Health Holiday Parade, which is officially cancelled.Reliant Lights Your Holidays, the Arts District display set for Saturday night, has been postponed to a date as yet unspecified. The show must go on elsewhere, though — you live a rain or shine lifestyle, and it’s the weekend.

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Nature & Environment

Is Dallas Really Building ‘The Nation’s Largest Nature Park’?

| 3 days ago

Did you hear the news? Dallas is building the nation’s largest nature park. Don’t take my word for it. I read it Wednesday, clear as day, in a news story that popped up in my Facebook feed. The New York-based design news website Inhabitat had the story first. Then it was picked up by other internet outlets.

“Dallas Is Building a 10,000-Acre Urban Park,” reads the headline on Seeker, which followed in its subhead: “The green space would be 12 times the size of New York’s Central Park and includes a thousand-acre hardwood forest.”

I was shocked.

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Media

A Few More Words About Tim Taliaferro, the New Texas Monthly Editor

| 3 days ago
This is the other Tim.
This is the other Tim.

Earlier this week, in a post about the big changes at Texas Monthly, I threw some “delicate shade” at Tim Taliaferro. I don’t know the guy. It was petty and immature of me to point out the absurd imbalance of the number of people who follow him on Twitter compared to the number he follows (1,486:1,340). So when I read in this 2013 profile of Taliaferro that he once worked for Bryan Garner, I figured I should at least make a call to atone for my earlier post.

Garner is something of a superhero to me. He is the English language’s foremost lexicographer. D Magazine profiled him back in 2007. I’ve met him, and my copy of Garner’s Modern English Usage bears an inscription from him. Point is: Garner’s take on Taliaferro carries weight. 

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Local News

Leading Off (12/2/16)

| 3 days ago

21 Indicted in Defunct Forest Park Kickback Scheme. Surgeons and health care executives associated with the now-bankrupt Forest Park Medical Center chain of luxury hospitals were indicted Thursday for allegedly participating in an illegal kickback scheme. Over four years, the chain, which catered to patients with private insurance, paid about $40 million in kickbacks and bribes for patient referrals, and collected more than $200 million in paid claims. For more context, read D CEO Senior Editor Matt Goodman’s piece on the collapse of the five-hospital chain.

Decision Due Today in Dallas Police and Fire Pension Lawsuit. A solution for the troubled Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund depends on the ruling, which State District Judge Ken Molberg is expected to give today. The fund loses $3.3 million every month that a vote to make changes is delayed, the fund’s executive director testified during a four-hour hearing yesterday.

Eleven Straight. It was close, but the Cowboys held on against the Minnesota Vikings last night for a 17-15 win. Dez Bryant stepped up, catching the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as well as four passes for 84 yards.

John Tesar Finds His Way Back to Top Chef. The first episode of the fourteenth season aired last night, but I’m not going to spoil it here. For the duration of Tesar’s tenure on the show, Alice Laussade will bring her colorful observations to SideDish each Friday. Look for her first post later this morning.

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Politics & Government

James Ragland Says My City Manager Conspiracy Theory Is All Wrong and Totally Right

| 3 days ago
Ragland
Ragland

James Ragland has an interesting column in today’s paper about the search for the next Dallas city manager. The online headline: “Is It Possible that Dallas Already Has a ‘Dak Prescott’ to Run City Hall?” I have some problems with it. Starting near the top:

“No matter who’s perched on top, the city manager in Dallas is like a big-league quarterback who doesn’t get to call his or her own plays.”

Given the headline, I assume we’re talking NFL in this analogy. I don’t think any NFL quarterbacks call their own plays. They might audible from one play to another, but that’s the extent of it. Also, there has never been a female quarterback in the NFL or in any big league.

“City Hall’s QB has to be a ‘system’ guy, someone who can thread the line in a council-manager form of government that spreads the power around.”

Lines are toed, or they are walked. Needles are threaded. But I’m glad that Ragland realizes that City Hall’s QB can’t be a ‘system’ gal.

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Local News

I, Barrett Brown, Have Returned

| 4 days ago

Four years ago, after my overly dramatic arrest by the FBI, I vowed to return to Dallas at the time of its greatest peril, or anyway I meant to vow this. Now I have fulfilled the promise I definitely intended to make; my sentence complete, on Tuesday I rode from a South Texas prison with my mom and dad and Alex Winter for some reason to a halfway house 20 minutes south of downtown. I live in a room with five drug dealers. We have a TV and an Xbox 360. When I came in, they were watching the 1990 Charlie Sheen vehicle Navy Seals, a film of extraordinary obnoxiousness. Further reports will follow.

Special thanks to Julian Assange and Sarah Harrison for releasing the 60,000 HBGary emails in honor of my release. Greetings to my various enemies. Down with all human institutions.

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New Year's Eve

The Fire Marshal Wants to Shut Down Our Party

| 4 days ago

Dallas had planned one hell of a new year’s Eve. All throughout the city, in loft apartments, repurposed storefronts, and empty warehouses—the kind of neglected, forgotten places with which this city virtually teems—a new cohort of young, entrepreneurial cultural organizers was planning parties that mixed art and music, performance and spectacle. Well before the clock struck midnight, however, all of these parties were shut down, victims of an amped-up code enforcement effort spearheaded by the Dallas fire marshal.

It was only the beginning. Over the past five years or so, Dallas had begun to foster a new kind of cultural identity for itself, as artists and cultural promoters took advantage of reclaimed or temporary spaces, rethinking the roles of traditional galleries, and staging events that deliberately cross-pollinated the worlds of music, art, and theater. But in the months following the New Year’s Eve crackdown, the fire marshal’s office continued to shut down these kinds of events, eventually expanding its enforcement efforts toward established art galleries, acclaimed theater groups, and even patron-run art spaces.

Why had the fire marshal embarked on what felt like a vigilante mission against the city’s art scene? And would Dallas’ recently revived cultural gusto survive the ordeal?

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Leading Off

Leading Off (12/1/16)

| 4 days ago

City Hall Had No Takers for $3M Grocery Store Offer. After H-E-B announced it would open two more Central Markets in North Dallas, City Hall officials said yesterday that they never found a taker for their offer back in July of $3 million for a grocery store that would open in southern Dallas. Even though yesterday’s deadline has passed, discussions will still continue for any interested developers.

Tourism Groups Join to Fight Potential Texas Bathroom Bill. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has said that one of his priorities in this upcoming session is to pass a bill that would require transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificates. Visit Dallas’s president, Phillip Jones, wants to challenge the possible bill, which could mean millions of lost revenue for Texas. He’s expected to discuss it at the visitors bureau annual meeting today. “It’s so important that our hospitality industry and all of our partners understand what’s at risk here and help us fight this bill so that it doesn’t see the light of day because it will have a devastating impact,” Jones said.

Lawsuit Brought Against Dallas Trucking Firm. The lawsuit, filed yesterday, accuses Dallas-based Stevens Transport of violating federal law when the company refused to hire an Air Force veteran to be a truck driver due to his bipolar disorder medication. This was despite the fact that the veteran’s doctor said he was safe to drive. And federal law does not prohibit people on such medications from driving commercial trucks. And the veteran had passed the training course and the federal physical. This does not make much sense to me.

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Media

Brian Sweany Steps Down From Texas Monthly

| 5 days ago
Sweany likes to paddle.
Sweany likes to paddle.

Brian Sweany worked at Texas Monthly for 20 years. He took a short break at one point to teach and then to work at D Magazine, where he was an excellent darts player, back when we had a dartboard, but he started as an intern at TexMo in 1996. Yesterday, it was announced that a new guy, Tim Taliaferro, is taking over Brian’s job as the editor in chief. He’s being installed by the magazine’s new owner, Paul Hobby. What’s Brian going to do next?

“Tell everyone that I’m headed to my home office, where I will hole up for many long months, growing a beard and returning to the book project that I had to shelve when I became editor,” Brian told me this morning.

Actually, that’s not right. I’m sorry. What Brian really said was this: “Whatever you write, don’t say that I’m headed to my home office, where I will hole up for many long months, growing a beard, and writing that book. Because then [my wife] will divorce me. That is not what she wants to hear.”

Anyway, Brian is out. That’s pretty much all I can tell you. Except that he’s happy and, as he has said all along, his next job won’t be in publishing. As I wrote in 2014, when Brian was promoted to editor, Brian Sweany is a true gentleman. TexMo is a better magazine for his efforts. He’ll excel at whatever he does next.

Now then. Because I can’t help myself, a few words about the new guy, Tim Taliaferro.

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