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Plano Wants to Fast Track Cotton Belt, But Will $12M Fix DFW’s Public Transit?

| 2 mins ago

Here’s the best line in Dallas Morning News transportation writer Brandon Formby’s report on Plano’s approval of $12 million to fast track the Cotton Belt DART extension:

“So how far forward does this push the project? That’s tough to say, because (as is the case in transportation funding and planning) things get complicated very fast.”

When it comes to the Cotton Belt, things are quite complicated. To start, there’s the hefty $1 billion to $2.9 billion price tag, which shifts dramatically depending on when the project is actually built. And while Plano and Addison have shown a strong support for the project over the years, political leaders in Dallas are not so hot on spending billions on new light rail miles.

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Job Opening: Associate Art Director at D Magazine

| 2 hours ago

This year, at the annual City and Regional Magazine Awards, D Magazine won general excellence it is circulation category. You know what you should do? Come work here and help us win it again in 2017. You should email our art director, Kevin Goodbar, and tell him why you’re the right person to be our next associate art director. Send Kevin a cover letter, your résumé, and either PDFs of your work or a link to an online portfolio. His email address is [email protected] But wait! Don’t send Kevin a note if you are mean or if you suck. If you are the kind of person who likes to gripe and who leaves dirty dishes in the sink, do not send Kevin a note. If you’ve ever un-ironically used the typeface comic sans, do not send Kevin a note. Send Kevin a note only if you are generally excellent. Is that clear? Good.

Here are some details about what the job entails:

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Local News

Leading Off (7/26/16)

| 5 hours ago

Rangers Beat A’s. Here’s what Oakland first baseman Danny Valencia said after the game: “Adrian Beltre is the one guy over there you say you can’t let him beat you. But he always finds a way. He’s one guy I’ve looked up to my whole life. There’s nothing he can’t do.” In this case what he did was hit a two-out, two-run homer for a walk-off 7-6 hyphen-filled win.

More on the Park Board Ethics Complaint. Yesterday I told you about the ethics complaint filed against Locke Lord attorney Robb Stewart. Stewart didn’t have much to tell me because he said he hadn’t seen the complaint. Well, the DMN’s Robert Wilonsky talked to Stewart before the complaint was filed. Here’s what Stewart said: “[S]ince it’s a pro bono matter and since I am not working on it and since there’s no economic benefit to me or my firm, I don’t believe there’s a conflict of interest.” So Locke Lord will never do any paid work for the State Fair or the new Fair Park Foundation? Never ever? Perfect.

Donald Trump Jr. Makes a Dallas Appearance. He was town in yesterday to raise money. For $2,700, donors could have a picture taken with him. One-time mayoral candidate Edward Okpa ponied up. Observe this masterful photo bomb.

DPD Applications Surge. After the shootings, Chief David Brown said, “Get off that protest line and put an application in, and we’ll put you in your neighborhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.” That’s exactly what people have done. The New York Post reports that in the 12 days after the shootings, 467 people put in applications, more than three times the volume from the same period the month prior.

“Silent March” Planned for Friday. The Next Generation Action Network will stage a protest Friday at Main Street Garden. 

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: July 25

| 23 hours ago

If this morning was a 20th century Czech novel of ideas, it would probably be called The Unbearable Wackness of Monday. This evening, though, should be a little better — More of a Monday of Laughter and Forgetting. Shakespeare in the Bar is going to teach them how to say goodbye at Wild Detectives, Boris is going to shred mightily at Trees, and more.

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Politics & Government

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Park Board Member Robb Stewart

| 24 hours ago
Robb Stewart
Robb Stewart

Last week, before five members of the Park Board walked out of a meeting to prevent a vote on Walt Humann’s proposed contract to run Fair Park, board member Paul Sims proposed some revisions to that contract. Or, rather, he wanted to propose some revisions to that contract. He didn’t get to do that because the board voted with president Max Wells to quash any discussion of Sims’ revisions. One of the board members who sided with Wells is named Robb Stewart, a lawyer at the firm Locke Lord who was appointed to the board by District 10 Councilman Adam McGough. As it happens, another Locke Lord lawyer, R. Nathan Crow, working pro bono, is the guy who drafted that contract for Humann. As Wylie H. Dallas asked yesterday on Twitter, can one Locke Lord lawyer on the Park Board vote against public discussion of a contract drafted by another Locke Lord lawyer? That doesn’t seem right. A woman named Carol Bell-Walton doesn’t think it seems right. On Friday, she filed an ethics complaint. Below is the text of her complaint, including what she sees as code violations. I’ve called and emailed Stewart for comment but have yet to hear back from him.

UPDATE (5:38 p.m.) Stewart emailed to say: “At this point I have not been provided a copy of the actual complaint by the City Secretary’s office. When I officially receive the complaint I will review it and take appropriate action. Otherwise I can’t make any comment on the complaint at this time. I do not believe that I have violated Chapter 12A or that a conflict of interest has occurred under Chapter 12A.”

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Local News

Leading Off (7/25/16)

| 1 day ago

Dallas Cowboys Bus Involved In Crash That Kills Four. A van collided with a Cowboys team bus in Arizona yesterday afternoon, resulting in four deaths. The bus had staff (including a mascot and the team videographer) but no players, and was on its way to a fan event in Las Vegas. No one on the bus was injured beyond “bumps and bruises,” according to the Cowboys’ Rich Dalrymple.

Local Police Travel to Baton Rouge to Honor Fallen Officers. One of them, officer Yukang “Ken” Yi, “couldn’t bring himself to go to any of his fellow DPD officers’ funerals. He mourned them on his own. But this week, he volunteered to go to Baton Rouge. ‘I felt like I needed to.'”

Child Left in Car Dies Outside Far East Dallas Church. “Reng Om with Dallas Matu Christian Church told News 8 the father of the child noticed his son was not in a children’s bible service. ‘He didn’t see him,’ Om said. Om says the father went out and found the child still inside the family’ 2006 Honda Pilot. It was 98 degrees at 3 p.m. in Dallas. Om says he was inside the church when he saw the father walk inside the sanctuary holding his son in his arms. The child was unresponsive.”

FC Dallas Earns Draw With Second-Place Colorado Rapids. Victor Ulloa salvaged a point for FCD with a late golazo, keeping your boys atop the table. More concerning: is Fabian Castillo leaving for Turkish club Trabzonspor?

Francine Reese Morrison, RIP. The gospel singer and minister from Fort Worth died Saturday. Morrison, who sang at Governor John Connally’s inauguration, was 80.

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Politics & Government

A Few Questions for Councilman Philip Kingston

| 4 days ago

Last night, Coucilman Philip Kingston gave an interview to CBS Channel 11 about the prospect of luring the 2017 NBA All-Star Game to Dallas from North Carolina. In the interview, he referred to North Carolinians as “shoeless hillbillies” because their state has a controversial transgender bathroom law (which is why the NBA is moving the game). After watching the interview, I have a few questions for Councilman Kingston:

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Local News

Here’s What Don Williams Thinks of Walt Humann’s Plan for Fair Park

| 4 days ago

A couple of days ago, Wylie H. Dallas put up a post on FrontBurner titled “How Walt Humann’s Fair Park Plan Looks Like a ‘Scam.’ ” There’s some context for that word “scam” appearing in the headline. Wylie had gotten into it on Twitter with DMN writer Michael Lindenberger, and the word in our headline was calling back to that exchange.

Let’s move beyond that word and get to the substance of this debate. Last month Robert Wilonsky wrote a good piece about Humann and a guy named Don Williams, an old friend of Humann’s and the most prominent critic of his Fair Park plan. You should read it for context. Humann and Williams both have a long track record of civic involvement in southern Dallas. Yesterday, before five members of the Parks Board walked out of a meeting to prevent a vote on Humann’s plan, Williams delivered a devastating speech to the board, laying bare the shortcomings of his friend’s work. Here is the full text:

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